January 1, 2003

Heavenly Father,

Here I stand at the very start of a brand new fresh year given by You. No one but You knows what lies on the journey up ahead. Whatever is in front, I know You are with me. I know You have good plans for me, not to ever harm me- but to bless me. I will go wherever You lead.

Father, I dedicate this year to You. I want to live it for You. I want everything I say and do- to point to You. I want to be a sweet blessing to You. May we go forward down this road together. I put my hand in Yours and long to walk side-by side in the shadow of Your leading. Life is so delicious when lived with You. You always have some new truth or blessing to share around every corner. It’s been a deep adventure to walk with You this far, and I know the walk will never end; only lead closer to You and my eternal home!

Lord, You give me so much. I long to give You my very best this year. Let my life be a love song to You. Let this be Your year- the year of my Lord!

January 3, 2003

Father,

Last night, I watched the news as a large group of soldiers gathered to be sent overseas. Mothers, fathers, sweethearts, wives and children all tearfully clung to them for their last goodbyes. My heart cried out with them. My sons are at the age they may have to go, too. I have friends whose sons have already gone. I watched them grow. They still seem like boys to me, yet they are not. They are men.

Father, Your ways are so high above our ways, we do not always know what to pray for- except that Your good and perfect will be done. Lord, we pray for these soldiers who are willing, if necessary, to lay down their lives for us. You have said there is no greater love. Father, give them Your peace. Let them know there is nowhere they could ever go, that You do not go with them. Even if death comes, You will be there to bring them HOME. Comfort their loved ones in their loneliness at home, and keep watch with the soldiers in a far-off land. You are not bound by time or geography. You are God of all the heavens and all the earth.

Father, help the President, the generals, the diplomats to all bow before You, seeking Your will in all their decisions. Many lives hang in the balance at this critical time between nations. Father, we pray for those who consider us their enemies. May they also fall before You, seeking Your will. If possible, keep this situation from turning into war. May we only fight the good fight- the ones You call us to fight.

We know that on earth, there will be wars and disasters. Yet, there will come a day when the lion will lie down with the lamb in peace. There will be no more wars or rumors of war. How we long for that day! In the meantime, let us seek You with all our hearts, minds and souls. Let us pray for ourselves, our leaders and our world. Let us fight the good fight. Let us always come before You, so we will be prepared to do Your will.

January 6, 2003

Holy Father,

I come to You this morning because I want You to be first in my life. I know I can do nothing without You- so I come to You, before I do anything else. You are my reason for living. You are my life, my joy, my hope, my wisdom.

Life is empty and meaningless when I try to live it without You. But when I know I need You, You fill me with Your heavenly fountain which bubbles up with joyful abundant life. As long as I come to drink of You and be filled by You, I have all I need and so much more. But as soon as I go without You, my well runs dry. My life becomes parched and thirsty for You. I choose to live in Your presence. I choose to drink from Your living water. I choose You on this day. I choose to never live life without You again.

Father, how I thank You for Jesus- so I never have to live without You. Thank You for his constant presence in my life. Fill me up so I may be ready to share You in every single moment of this day- whatever it brings. Let Your presence overflow through my work, my home-life, my alone- moments, any “chance” meetings. Let me be so filled with You that I am ready for what this day brings. Let me live- overflowing for You on this day!

January 7, 2003

Father,

It is so comforting to know You are with us no matter what’s going on. You said that You know the plans you have for us- and that they are for good, and not to harm us. That means that even through difficult or painful situations, You are at work- making Your good come about.

I trust You, Lord. You have been with me through many trials and valleys. You have never abandoned me or left me alone. You have always proven faithful. You have shown me wonderful truths and showered me with rich blessings through every journey. I know You will be with me all the days of my life.

Lord, I pray for those around me who now face their own difficult challenges. Give them eyes to see You even in the midst of their battle. Reveal Yourself to them in a way that brings them the deep peace and comfort that only You can give. Draw them close to You- just as you have done for me.

January 8, 2003

Most Holy and all Powerful Father,

I stand again amazed in Your presence. The more I come to You, the more I see You at work. Thank You for taking my little mustard seed-sized faith and showing me what You can do! Each time I come to You with my humble little prayer, they may seem like tiny insignificant words spoken to You. But they must be so much more to You. How You must love it when we come and praise You and lift our burdens to You. For it is so wonderful to see what You do with our prayers!

Father, help me to come ever more boldly before You. We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! Strengthen us now, Lord. Help our tiny faith grow strong enough to move mountains! Lord, I love to see those mountains move! The more I come to You, the more I see it!!

Thank You for being patient while I learn to trust You and know that anything and everything I bring to You is never the same again! You can really begin to work when we invite You in each situation. May I invite You in more and more situations in my life and other’s lives. Let me never grow tired of spending time in prayer and watching You work. Open my eyes to see even more! Let me look for how YOU answer the prayers, and not be limited to only looking for how I think they need to be answered. Your ways are more perfect!! I love You, Lord!!

January 13, 2003

Father,

Thank You for making us in Your image. Many times I stop and wonder what that means. I see You in those around me.

 

I saw You today in my neighbor, who was sitting on his walker at the end of our street. Charles was resting before he begin his walk seven houses back down to his house. It was his first time to make it all the way to the corner without stopping since his heart transplant and spine surgery. I saw You in him, giving him internal strength to accomplish what he never thought would be possible again. I saw Your hope in him. If he could do this much, there will be more. I saw Your love in him, as he watched his wife patiently waiting for him to gather enough gusto to head back. I saw his joy for life as he made the journey back home and crossed the finish line in his driveway.

Father, help me always stop and see You in those around me. Thank You for never leaving those alone who face such difficult physical challenges. Thank You for the healing You give, and the way You shine through suffering and pain, also.

January 14, 2003

Father,

It is amazing to see You work. Your love and Your mercy multiply and grow each time we use them to touch others. We have no idea how far it spreads when we act in loving obedience to You.

I have been praying for a young mother with three children for two years. I’ve prayed for them through many trials during this time. You led me to put the word out that they needed furniture when they had nothing at all. There were those who love You and long to live for You, who stepped forward to share from the bottoms of their hearts. In just a few days, they had a table and chairs, microwave, toys, clothes, brand new beds and bedding.

To see the hope these gifts of love brought to this mom and her kids is such a blessing. Her voice, her face, her very life is different because of Your love and mercy demonstrated by your people. She knows Your love for her is real. Even the children are filled with joy and happiness!

And then today, she calls and tells me she is bundling up her baby’s clothes which he’s outgrown because she wants someone else to be helped like she has been.

May Your love and mercy continue to spread and multiply as they pass from person to person! The greatest giving of all began with You giving us Your Son Jesus to die in our place. We are so touched by Your gift of love and mercy that we long to pass it on. Help us to keep on giving!

January 15, 2003

Father,

Thank You for my death! How I praise You for bringing me to the point where I was willing to give up my old life and surrender to You. Now, I wonder why I fought so hard to hold onto my life. You are giving me so much more than I could ever dream in my new life with You!

Not too long ago, someone I love told me they could never give everything up to You, for they feared they would lose who they were. Oh Lord, bring them to the point of death in their own life so they can see for themselves the joy, peace, wisdom, love, understanding… so much more than can ever be experienced. You give us abundant, overflowing, ever-increasing, love-filled life!!

The old life sometimes threatens to come back, but I will never choose to take my life back. Keep showing me more of what needs to be put to death in my life, so I can receive more and more of You. There is no end to life with You! It is eternal! It is fresh! IT is growing! It is now! Even when this body serves it’s purpose and dies- I will simply fall into the sweet arms of You who is always with me and always will be!

January 20, 2003

Father,

What a beautiful day!! What a lovely day for the kids to be out of school to enjoy just playing outside together!

Father, today is Martin Luther King Day. Thank you for the dreams and visions You give, the hope for a better tomorrow. I remember hearing Dr. King’s speech: “I have a dream that someday all God’s children will play together!”

I remember the violence I lived through during the years of school busing where races were mixed together. I remember discovering really good friends of other backgrounds. Now, I see my children have grown up with kids of other races. Now they are living out the dream. The day has come when Your children of all colors really do play together on their playgrounds and in our neighborhood. Thank You for showing us how to love one another! Help us to continue to love others the way You want us to. Thank You for using Dr. King to help us all see the dream. Thank You that he was willing to give his life for that dream. Thank You for letting me see it happen. Thank you for my kids living the dream!

January 22, 2003

O Lord,

I come to You this morning because I long to drink of Your Living Water! There is no where else I can go to quench this thirst. You alone, fill me with Your sweet refreshing water. You place within me a fountain which bubbles up from deep within my very soul. You are my life, my truth and my way!

I would die and wither away without You. My life is an arid wasteland without You. I need You. Jesus, You are my Living Water. You are my oasis. You give me clear-thinking, life-sustaining, hope, peace, joy and new depths of love every day. Your well never runs dry. In fact, the more I drink- the sweeter You become. You refresh and renew me from my head to my toes. Your stream of water begins deep in my heart and flows through me, cleansing me off all filth, mistakes, sin and regrets. Your rippling brooks soothe all anxieties and worries, as I lay down beside Your still waters. You truly restore my soul!!

I cannot live without You. I choose not to even try. Today, I choose to sit with You for a while and take a good long drink of Your Living Water! You are life itself and I love living it with You!

January 24, 2003

Father,

You keep Your word!! This morning I got to see another answered “two or more” prayer and I just want to praise Your Holy name!!

Over and over again, You have showed my prayer group what happens where two or more gather to ask something in Your name. I love being amazed by You! I love sharing that amazement with others when we pray together and then get to see You move together!!

My friend was crying and pleading for her mother who was deeply involved in drugs and in jail in another state. She, being a new Christian, wanted her mom to have what she now has. How she prayed for You to step in and help her mom come to know You and to be able to get treatment. She didn’t even know how to get in contact with her. There was no way to visit her, yet we all prayed, knowing You could help her. You are not limited by state boundaries or jail bars. We asked You together to go inside her cell and reveal Yourself to her. You did!!

Thank You for the sweet phone call this morning from mother to daughter from “out of the blue.” Her mom is going into a rehab center, yet even better, she was talking about living her life totally for You from this point on. She has given herself to You. My friend didn’t have to say a word!

You are a God who changes lives. You are a God who hears prayers from the heart. You are a God who catches our tears and soothes our souls. You are a God who loves Your children to gather and spend time with You in one spirit. You are a God who reunites and heals in love. You are a God who is Almighty and powerful. Forgive us our little faith. Thank You for new life and new hope where there was none before! Please continue to strengthen her and help to grow in You. You are OUR God and we love You!!

January 27, 2003

Father,

You are calling us to follow You in a big change in our lives. What a comfort to know that You are up ahead preparing the way. We may not know all the future holds, but You do. You know exactly where we’ve been, where we are now and where You want us to go.

Your will is perfect and wise. We bow to Your authority and put our hands in Yours. We are willing to go wherever You lead us. What blessings there are in living our lives for You and with You! There are tender remembrances of all the places You led us through so far. You have brought us through sickness, danger, fear, death, uncertainty, troubled times and joyful times. Each step along the way, You have showed us Your faithfulness and deep truths which could be learned no other way.

Lord, we love You and trust You to lead us forward, even though we may not see the way. We have no doubts that You do. We choose to follow You!

January 29, 2003

Father,

You knew me before I was knit together in my mother’s womb! You gave me certain strengths and certain weaknesses. Even before I was born, You knew the plans You had for me- they were to prosper and bless me; not harm me. You were there as I took my first breath and you will be there when I take my last.

Others in my life may come and go. I grew up and had to leave my parents. My children are growing up and will someday leave me (some already have.) My first husband died. Dear friends come into my life and then leave on a new path. You never leave me. You will never forsake me. You are always with me. The years may come and go, but You are faithful! You are my Friend, my Lord, my God. I will never have to be alone, for You are with me!

What do I ever need to fear, for You go with me wherever I go. You have taken me through storms, valleys, mountain-top highs. I love every bit of my journey with You. I put my hand in Yours and am ready to follow every step of the way. For I know You are leading me HOME and there are so many wonders to see along the way!!

January 30, 2003

Lord,

There is no one wiser than You. Forgive me when I try to rely on my own wisdom. Remind me to always seek Your advice and guidance in all things. Your ways are wonderfully creative and wise. Your timing is perfect. Thank You for not showing us all our future at once. It is an adventure to walk through life seeing where You lead each day. Every step brings more faith in You, as Your wisdom is revealed more and more.

I never would think of the plans You bring about. I bow down to You in honor and respect for Your ways. Let me always be lined up with Your will. Show me as quickly as possible when I stray away from Your leadership. Forgive me when I try to tell You how things should be run. (But thank You for listening, and patiently pointing me towards Your plan. Thank You for caring about my feelings and worries.)

It is totally amazing to me how You can work in so many lives at one time. I can barely listen to one of my kids at a time! What a wonderful life- to walk with You, knowing all is well!!

January 31, 2003

Father,

Forgive us our complacency. I just heard the figures…TWICE the number of people who died on September 11 in the terrorist attacks die EVERY SINGLE DAY in South Africa from AIDS and hunger! That means by this time tomorrow, 5,500 Africans will have died from AIDS. That is far more than I can bear or even comprehend. I cannot handle that magnitude of suffering. You can- through us. You are calling us to share.

There will be 25 million orphans by the year 2010- children who are left to fend for themselves after their parents die from AIDS. I cannot imagine a little child desperately searching for something to eat to keep from dying. What kind of shelter will they sleep in? Father, they need protection from those who would abuse them or take advantage of their homelessness, their innocence. You know, Lord, if I saw even one child in front of me in that shape- I would have to do something. Do not let me be calloused by the numbers. Help me pray for the one!

Father, Shake us up in America to the reality of starvation, sickness, homelessness and death in Africa. We have so much. We can share our food. We can pray for those who are suffering. We can spread the word to those who love You. You have given us so much. Millions of dollars were freely given out of love to victims and families of Sept. 11. We can bring hope, life and love to the hopeless in Africa.

You have asked if we love You. We do, Lord. Your answer still remains, “THEN FEED MY SHEEP.” Lord, open our eyes to the starving sheep who need to be fed with physical and spiritual food.

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If you feel led to feed the sheep in Africa, here are several ways:

1. Pray for Africa and pray for one unknown child & adult.

2. Give to Relief Organizations:

Food For the Hungry

World Vision

Samaritan’s Purse

FEED THE CHILDREN

3. Educate yourself & officials about Africa’s crisis:

DATA (sponsored by many Christian music groups- www.datadata.org.

to raise awareness of the critical need in Africa.)