February 3, 2003

Father,

I think of the astronauts who were willing to risk their lives to explore space on behalf of the world. They knew what the dangers were, yet they made a deliberate choice to go into space knowing it could cost them their lives.

I think of the soldiers who are at present making deliberate choices to face the threat of death to protect those who are unable to protect themselves. They realize if the need comes to lay down their life for the sake of freedom, they will do it.

It makes me wonder. Lord, am I willing to lay down my life in order for others to know the saving grace of Jesus? Am I willing to give up the security of where I’m at, the comforts of home, the right to follow my own desires? Am I willing to face giving up everything so that someone might come to know You as their very own Lord and Savior?

Am I willing to die for You or even more… am I willing to live my life without any regard to self?

Help my will be Yours!

February 5, 2003

Lord,

You know I’ve been so sick the last few days, I could do nothing at all to help my family or myself. In fact, I had no choice but to depend upon others to help me. I felt so useless and unproductive.

Yet, once again, You have reminded me that Your love for me is not contingent on what works I do, but who I am. You love me whether I am helplessly flat on my back or whether I am doing some great thing for You. Your love has no limits. It goes far beyond human understanding.

There is no way to measure or describe the depth, width, height, or breadth of Your love. It is unending and everlasting. The way that’s come closest to knowing the vastness of Your love is Your gift of Jesus’ life for us when we still turned our backs on You. We will probably still be amazed at Jesus’ gift when we get to heaven. We will be forever crying out “Holy, holy, holy!”

February 7, 2003

Father,

Thank You so much!! I’m well! I just want to jump up and down with new life and energy!! I can only imagine those who have been sick for year and receive healing- my celebration would pale in comparison!

To make this day even better, I got more news of answered prayers in someone’s life! Six months ago, this young couple were literally on the verge of a violent divorce. So much has changed. How can I ever thank You for the wonderful life-saving, hope-bringing light of Your Son which has shown brightly in what seemed to be hopeless darkness.

The young wife has cried in prayer to You, been obedient when others urged her to walk away. Searched for Your will above her own- and now The husband is reaching for Your hope, Your word, Your direction and there are faithful people standing by him to help him grow stronger in You.

You are an amazing God. It is so exciting to see You constantly at work. The more we turn to You, the more we see it!! Show us more! And show us how our lives need to line up to Your will.

February 10, 2003

Father,

We are at war today. I’m not talking about the Iraq or North Korea crisis, although they fall under this same war.

My friend told me about going to clean up her brother’s house. He had been evicted and had disappeared. He has four children who are not living with him because of his deep drug and emotional problems. My friend was shocked at the sights she found- including a mural he painted on one wall with praying hands asking God to save his babies. On the opposite wall, a large painting of a naked woman giving “the finger” loomed. It showed the battle that rages in her brother’s soul.

Father, remind us that our real enemies are not flesh and blood people. Our struggle is against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Lord, strengthen and protect us. Arm us with Your truth and send us forth into battle. We know we could never win on our own power. That is why we come to You, constantly asking You what Your battle plans are. What are Your orders? Where do You need us to go? What or who do You need us to pray for? We stand ready.

Let us never fear or grow faint, but keep coming to You. You hold all the power and weapons needed to overcome each battle. Help us to pray with confidence and live with bold assurance that we have victory in You. Let us have hope, love and assurance for those who are too weak, too beat up, too bound by darkness to see the victory. We fight for them. We fight for You. Our weapons are prayer and love.

February 11, 2003

Father,

There may be new threats of possible terrorist attacks, possible wars, job lay-offs, uncertain financial futures. But none of that changes the fact that You, alone, are Lord God Almighty! You rule with all authority and power.

There is no need to worry or fear, for You are in control. When we take our eyes off you and see the overwhelming things going on around us, we become weak and fearful and powerless. We see the storm and begin to sink in the waves that beat around us. Yet when we keep our eyes on You and trust in You, we can walk on water! We can walk unafraid in the midst of all reports of doom and disaster. Even if the tidal wave does come upon us and we were to lose our job or a war does begin- we can walk hand-in-hand with Jesus right through the eye of the storm. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

Father, we come to You today, for we know we need You. We know that You will supply everything that is needed when it is needed. Please strengthen us so we will be more than ready to tell all those around us where our hope comes from! In the storm or in calm waters!

February 12, 2003

Holy Father,

You are the Greatest Lover. You have pursued us since You first thought us into existence. The most urgent passion of Your heart is that we would love You back. You don’t make us love You- although You very easily could. But then, perhaps it wouldn’t be true love.

Father, it’s hard to believe that You- the God of all the wonders beyond our galaxy- love us so much. You desire a sweet relationship with us. You want us to be intimately familiar with You. It’s so important to You, that You sent Jesus to die so we might live with You. Right now! We don’t have to wait until some far-off future. We get to live with You today!

Oh Lord, forgive me for so taking so long in my life to accept Your deep love. But now that I have, it seems I come to know Your love on a new level each day. You shower me with gifts of hope, peace, strength, wisdom- but most of all- I am bathed in Your love. There is no end to it! Your love is eternal, growing, deepening, refreshing.

I love You because You first loved me!

February 13, 2003

Father,

I want to love You because You have loved me, even when I have been unlovable. Lord, I want to bring joy to Your heart and a smile to Your face. May my love go beyond just seeking blessings from You. I desire to love You with ALL my heart, ALL my mind and All my soul.

You deserve my love. You have been so faithful and patient with me. Your love has forgiven my sins, believed in me when I have failed. Your love looks past my weakness and sees all that You created me to be. You lovingly mold me towards that vision even now. Your love corrects me, teaches me, guides me and comforts me. I am surrounded and held up in Your love. Nothing else can compare.

Father, I willingly give my life, my love to You. Let my words, my actions, my thoughts, my life sing love songs to You! My gift of love pales in comparison to Yours, but I know it brings a smile to You. Help me to love You more each day. Help me keep my love for You simple and pure as a child’s love is for their beloved daddy.

February 14, 2003

Father,

Today is Valentine’s Day and it is a day to express love. Lord, You are the author, creator, inventor of love. No, more than that- You are love! Your love for us goes far beyond expressions of flowers- although You surround us with a garden more beautiful than man could ever make. Your love goes far beyond boxes of chocolates, although You love to surprise us with new flavors and morsels of truth everyday. Your love goes far beyond a hand-made heart, You give us Yourself. You gave us Your Son to die so we can live eternally in love with You.

Your love overwhelms us! How we long to return Your love. You have told us Your heart’s desire. You long for us to love You with all our heart, mind and soul. You want us to experience the joy of loving others. What an overflowing, abundant life– to live in love with You and to begin to love others. What an adventure to walk hand-in-hand with You every day and to experience love at a new level.

Help us be willing to give up our selfish ways. Continue to teach us about real love. Thank You for the greatest gift of all- love. As You love us, show us how to pass love on to others.

February 17, 2003

Lord,

Praise You for being the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! You are with me even until the end of time. Nothing could ever separate us. You are with me no matter whether the weather is sunny and delightful, or dark and dreary. You are with me whether my life seems happy and blessed, or whether I am going through the darkest time of my life.

You are with me when I am sick and when I am well. You are with me even when friends and family seem far away. There is no where I can go to get away from You. Why would I ever want to?

It still amazes me that the Lord God of the whole entire universe and beyond loves me in such a personal way. You are my friend, my God, my Lord, my King, my Savior, my Counselor, my Teacher, my hope, my Love!

You are life itself! What do I ever need to fear in life with You in my heart– leading me Home!

February 19, 2003

Father,

You know I love Spring! Even on this dreary day with overcast skies, there’s a hint of Spring all around. The daffodils are green and have buds getting ready to splash open with color! Things are beginning to green up.

Even though we will probably still have more cold weather ahead, Your promise of Spring is right in front of us. Your seasons march on no matter what. There is a time for everything. No matter how dull or cold life might seem right now, Spring always comes. You lead us through the winters of our lives. But they won’t last forever. There’s always the promise of fresh new life right up ahead!

Joy will come again just as certainly as Spring will come. Father, thank You for never leaving us alone in our winters and thank You for the bright promise of Spring before us! Please reassure those who are in their winter. You have been faithful through every season of my life and I praise You for being God Almighty!!

February 20, 2003

Father,

I love coming to You first thing in the morning. I long to spend time with You early – before my day gets started. I want to come to You before I listen to anyone else. I come to You to Acknowledge my great need for You. I come to You so You can bless this day and make it holy. I come to You to so that I might be filled with You. That way I won’t be going through my day on my own power, but with Yours.

Lord, I come to You because You are the only one who can give true life. You alone give us breath. You alone give us peace and perseverance. You alone give us holy guidance so our lives can be lined up with Your perfect will, instead of blindly groping our way through life.

Father, I come to You, not only to receive what You have to give me, but I want to bless You. I want You to know that You come first in my life, nay heart, my mind and my soul. Let my humble attempts to bless You bring joy to Your heart. I know that it does, for You are my Father and I am Your child. I long to live closely with You by coming to You each day! Bless this day and make it holy!

February 21, 2003

Father,

You are a God of never-ending mysteries!! I love it! I just heard on the news that they are studying a strange light that seems to show up in videos of tornados and thunderstorms. The light seems to always go against the wind in the storm. As of yet, there is no explanation. Even Gary England, the weather genius is dumbfounded!

Right when we think we know it all, You show us there is so much more we do not know! Who can ever comprehend Your imagination, creativity and wisdom? You, who created galaxies far beyond what we can even dream of. You, who thought of every tiny particle that makes up all there is! You, who long ago knew what makes our brain work and breathes life into cells to form new babies from nothing at all!

Forgive us our prideful “knowledge.” All wisdom and true knowledge come from You. Thank You for the awesome mysteries in this life which constantly remind us that no one can know more than the Creator. Can the canvas say to the artist- “I know more than you?”

Lord, open our eyes to more and more of Your awesome mysteries. Let us continue to kneel in Your presence out of amazement of all You create, all You do and who You are. One day, when we step from this life, I believe we will see clearly all the things we can only see through the fog of earthly eyes. When we see through eternal eyes, we will be so continually amazed- all we will be able to do is cry “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!”

February 24, 2003

Father,

It is mind-boggling to think that You sent Jesus to serve us! Here You are- the most Powerful, Awesome, Majestic God of all that there is- and You sent Your very own Son to serve us with love and humility.

You could have sent a mighty army of angels for all to see. You could have gotten our attention with a world-wide earthquake or lightening such as has never been seen before. You could have shown us Yourself in all your glory and might. But You chose to send Jesus to be born and live as one of us! Not only that- but he showed us how to wash other’s feet! Like a servant!

Father, Your ideas of might and power and greatness are so completely different than what our human nature tells us. Jesus, You have told us that whoever wants to be great needs to serve. Please fill us overflowing with Your love so we can go against our urges to be first, and serve with love. Let us serve others out of love for You, because You first served us.

February 25, 2003

Father,

What an astounding gift You have given us! No matter what our sin has been, when we ask for forgiveness, You have already given it. As I look at the snow, it’s as if all the guilt and shame in our life is completely covered up by pure white snow!

But Your mercy goes far beyond that. You don’t just “cover up our sins” and whitewash us to make us holy. Jesus death on the cross completely does away with our guilt. You no longer remember them. You said they are as far away as the east is from the west. The west never meets the east! Remind us of that when we try to take back our guilt.

Lord, I know that others may long remember our sins, even after You have forgiven us– but You don’t! And You are the one who counts. We are pure and clean and holy in Your eyes, because You see us through Jesus. Father, help us to go and sin no more!

February 26, 2003

Father,

I pray for those who face mental and emotional illness. Lord, I have seen loved ones who have suffered and been set free from the torment of emotional imprisonment. I know You are able to heal these conditions in Your own perfect timing. I have seen You do it!

I have also been inspired by those who learn to live with You- in peace- in spite of their conditions. I know You work in all situations we bring before You.

Today, I ask that You bring peace to those who feel trapped in despair and depression. Please give them hope. Give their loved ones hope. Those who live with them and stand beside them carry the burden just as surely as they do. Lord, I pray that You give them an overflowing abundance of Your peace and hope. Fill them with new joy. Let them know they can do all things with You strengthening them. Heal them now or give them the patience and perseverance they need to keep going until the healing comes.

Give those of us who do not carry this challenge compassion and understanding for those who do. Let us see the courage and the strength in them. Let us encourage and pray for those who wounded mentally or emotionally. Let us be always willing to carry them in prayer before You- the Great Physician, Counselor and Psychiatrist. There is no burden, illness or disorder that can keep You away from us. Today, even as I pray, let them know You are surely with them. Let them know that You are God and that You love them and know the burden they carry. Let them feel their burden lifted by You.

February 27, 2003

Father,

Thank You for the godly heritage You have blessed me with. Thank You for giving me parents who have lived their lives humbly for You. Thank You for the awesome memories of my dad sharing his amazement at Your creations in everyday things. I’m so glad he cared enough to share his amazement over the beauty and intricate design of flowers with his young daughter. It has left me with a continual thirst and hunger to see You in everything around me!

Thank You for my mother’s willingness to serve in all she does. All my life, I have watched her reach out to everyone around her. She ministers to young and old, stubborn and willing, strangers and friends.

How blessed I have been to have witnessed consistent living for You- right in my own home as I grew up. It has continued all through their lives. Lord, thank you for parents who have also been my spiritual mentors.

Father, please help me to live a consistent life with You so that even my children will know that I live for You. Let my life be a tool to draw my children ever closer to You.

I also want to pray for those who did not have the gift of a godly heritage. Let those whose parents let them down, find You as their beloved Father. May they discover that You are always there for them, guiding them and showing them the way.

February 28, 2003

Father,

You have created such a wide variety of people! And to think that we are all created in Your image! Thank You for the experience of substitute teaching for my son’s 9th grade school where Your smorgasbord of personalities really shows up.

Father, I lift up these young people who are rapidly approaching adulthood, yet still need guidance and direction. I pray for those who are so shy and unsure of themselves that they just want to melt into the background. Help them know who they are to You. I pray for those who are overflowing with self-confidence and seem to have a witty remark for every situation. Lord, help them learn humility before You and their fellowmen. Father, I pray for those who seem not to care about anything. Please help them to find their true focus and passion in life. Father, help those girls who are so giggly and obsessed with boys that they can barely function. Help them to see there’s much more to life! Ditto for the boys.

Lord, help me to remember what it was like to be fifteen so I will know how to treat them and how to pray for them. Thank You for loving me when I was fifteen- and for not leaving me at that age! I’m so glad that You’re never finished with us. Thank You for loving us as we are but calling us to be all that You see in us!