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Friday, September 4, 2009

Today I'm happy to share some tips on how to be an encourager from my sweet friend, Luann Prater. Luann is an amazing woman of God. She teaches deep truths from His Word, prays like she's going into battle and loves with abandon. She has the gift of encouragement, and I treasure that about her.

Those around us need to be encouraged. Luann's given us some great tips today on how to be most effective. If you like her tips, please visit Luann's blog and let her know. That would encourage her today. There's a link at the end of her bio.

1. Pray, Pray, Pray -
Before you can pour out blessings onto others, you need to be encouraged by the author of encouragement, Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:1-2, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”

2. Consult the Truth Then Tell the Truth
Throughout the teachings of Jesus he began his statements with "I tell you the truth." We must allow God's truth to penetrate our hearts and minds before we can offer encouragement to others.
2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

3. Listen
It is often said, "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." Listening is a lost art. There is something so endearing about a friend who will simply lend an ear to a hurting heart.
James 1:19, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

4. Care and Coach
Gently provide healing words. Feel-Felt-Found approach. Get into their world with this statement in the back of your mind, "I know how you feel; I felt that way; here is what I've found." People who are hurting need to know that someone else has walked this path and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Colossians 2:2-3, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.

5. Don't Judge
The quickest way to lose someone's confidence is to judge them, even with a look or reaction. Be careful to take gentle care of those God has entrusted into your life.
Matthew 7:2, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

6. Love Deeply
Be ready for more than a pat on the shoulder and a fleeting, "How ya doin'?" Ask God during your prayer time to open your heart wide and allow Him to give you the capacity to love with His arms.
John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

7. Don't Expect to Have All The Answers
I love the song by Stacie Orrico, Don't Look at Me - because it says, I'll do my best to point you in the right direction, but don't look at me, look at Him. If we constantly point others to the source of our strength, then the responsibility for their needs rolls onto His shoulders. Lead them to the source of Light.
Ephesians 1:18, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”

8. Be Consistent, It's a Marathon Not a Sprint
Obstacles will arise, bumps will trip us, life will scream from the sidelines, regardless we run. God has prepared us for this life-long race. We become witnesses to the runner who is stumbling when we offer encouragement to keep on going.
Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

9. Character is 3D
The tapestry of life is not two-dimensional. It has dips and valleys, hills and mountains. There are shadows and highlights but together, they produce a masterpiece that only God could construct. You are His divine treasure.
Romans 5:2-5, “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

10. Live it
Your life speaks louder than words. St. Francis of Assisi summed it up when he said, "Proclaim the Gospel of Christ to everyone; use words if you must."
John 3:21, “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Luann Prater is a wife, mother and grandmother. She runs two businesses, is a speaker/author for Proverbs 31 Ministries and her latest adventure is hosting a one-hour live radio program every Saturday from 2-3 (ET) called Encouragement Cafe with Luann & Friends. Listen live online at www.EncouragementCafe.com or tune in to a Christian station near you. Downloadable podcasts are available as well as daily specials that break the Saturday show topic down into bite-sized pieces. Join this cozy table of friends. A seat is reserved just for you! Visit Luann at http://www.LuannPrater.com.

In His Love,


LeeAnn said...

Oh my what a blessing and encouragement Luann's words were today. God has been speaking to myself in volumes about using the gift of encouragement that He has given me to help others. This post was mean't for ME! I just love the many ways that God whispers in our ears the path we should take each moment.

I am new to blogging, but out of God asking me to do more for him in the encouragement arena, I have just started my own encouragement blog. I've only posted twice, so it is just getting started. My prayer is that it helps someone else and honors Him.

Thank you,
Lee Ann

Nancy J Locke said...

What a beautiful way to start the day!

I also enjoyed your email this morn.

Blessings! Nancy J Locke

Lynn Cowell said...

I loved the practically of your devo today. My youngest also struggles with fear. Since it is not something I struggle with, I have not been the most patient with her. I certainly will write out Psalm 91 for her. That is great and powerful!

Tammy Nischan said...

Hi, Glynnis,

Loved your P31 devo and your thoughts today with Luann.

Thanks for sharing.

Love you. Looking forward to seeing you again!