You may not know this but I am a weekly contributor (Fridays, 10:15ish, EST) on More2Life on EWTN Radio with Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak. https://www.ewtn.com/radio/shows/more2life
After today’s segment, I received an email through our Behold Publications website asking me for some notes on what I had to offer.
Here’s the email: “I only caught 5 minutes and it was your phone interview with Lisa and you spoke about this Praise tools that you use to overcome and battle the evil one’s lies, etc. I NEED THIS MORE THAN I CAN EXPRESS! If this is you, please, please, please will you email me the list of tools that you spoke about today that you use everyday to battle the lies and the battle of the evil one.”
So, Robyn – wherever you are – this is for you with love and prayers for you and your family as well! (my 3-4 main points are in bold with some bonus material too long for my typical segment!)
On today’s More2Life program, I joined the conversation about the need to arm yourself for the battles we face in life. Greg said we should work on being warriors rather than worriers. I talked specifically about how actively praising and thanking God throughout the day really helps in this regard.
I’ve learned that this need really rings true to me, on a daily basis. When you are battling a chronic illness, as I am, it is easy to wake up already discouraged when the assessment of your physical condition reveals you were not healed overnight (as usual).
So, I strive to wake up ready to face a world knowing it has already been conquered, “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (Jn. 16:33)
And, while I did not mention the need to say a few morning prayers before you even set foot on the ground, I hope that is obvious. Pick a favorite or two or just call down the Holy Spirit, “Come, Holy Spirit and fill the heart of this faithful servant!”
But, what I did mention is the need to create your own interior soundtrack. Don’t let the lies of Satan, the whispers of a world without love, or your own struggles tell you that there is no hope, that you are forgotten, or what you are facing will triumph and defeat you.
No! Instead, fill your mind with songs of praise from an on-line source or your own playlist. I’m a big fan of Matt Maher, Lauren Daigle, John Michael Talbot (I grew up on his old stuff) or beautiful Gregorian chant. Starting off your morning with powerful music reminding you of God’s love on your phone or pandora/spotify account will help you start your day right.
Then be sure to memorize or write a few verses of power on your bathroom mirror and/or around your home. These words of promise and hope such as Isaiah 40 or Jeremiah 29:11, Mary’s Magnificat or the ancient prayer, Te Deum, can restore yours strength throughout the day of battle we all fight. Strive to keep these songs and words on a loop in your heart and mind so as to drown out the accusations and lies of the evil one.
Then, take a journey back in time and make your own box of miracles or just a list of all the times you have felt the touch of God, or have seen Him in action in your life. Now I don’t have any ‘real’ miracles but I always think that being able to receive Jesus everyday (even spiritually) counts as one. 🙂
You can start with the gift of the Church and her teachings and move onto when you first received the sacraments. If you are married, add the special dates/events/times of your dating, wedding and marriage. How about children? Aren’t each of them a miracle? Even with their flaws and imperfections, along with our own, these loving relationships are a gift from God and a sign of His own love.
Our list includes stories from both Matt’s and my childhoods, finding a long lost relative during a family reunion in Maine (true story), how we got our first 15 passenger van, and how we were able to buy the house I know call a home. We strive to add it often but not often enough.
Revisiting these miracles during times of trial or darkness will remind you of God’s work in your life. Let’s take a lesson from the Hebrews who knew how important this was and did it for themselves – check out Miriam’s song of praise in Exodus 15 and any # of the Psalms!
Finally, I spoke of the need to end each day with prayer and gratitude. After our family’s evening prayers, we go around the room and ask everyone to say what they are thankful for. It can be as simple as a good dinner, a swim in the pool, or more profound such as a job offer. Over the months since we have started to do this, it has made a difference that I find hard to put into words.
There were many times I thought doing this was more of an act of sacrifice than anything else. There’s always enough days when finding something good can be hard, but this is exactly what God has asked of us! In Hebrews 13:15, Paul speaks of this sacrifice, “let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise.”
We might not ‘feel’ like things are going well, but God has not abandoned us! So, when it is hard (as all sacrifices are), taking some time to reflect and actually find something/anything good at the end of our day is a worthy sacrifice (as well as a real sign of God’s love).
In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul tells us to put on the armor of God. It is my hope that these suggestions can help you arm yourself with ‘faith as your shield’ and ‘the sword of Spirit’ against a faithless world.