March 3, 2003

Father,

I hold my friend before you who is at a big crossroads in her life. It seems there is a decision before her that calls for a choice. Lord, This is an important time to turn to You. I know she doesn’t want to choose against Your will.

There is no doubt in my mind that she is already seeking Your guidance in this matter. I join with her in lifting the situation up before You. Father, help her to be still before You until You make the way clear to her. I know that You have Your own perfect timing. Let her continue to seek Your will above anything else. I know that You will show her the way at exactly the right time.

It is so wonderful to know that we do not have to go through life blindly, not knowing what to do. You are right here to take our hand and guide us one step at a time. It is so reassuring to know that You know the past, You see the present and You know the future. Who else can we turn to for advice and leadership- except You. You know the plans for us. They are plans for good and not harm. Father, I trust You to help me with all my choices. I pray that You help my friend rest calmly in You as she makes her choice. Give her Your peace in the midst of her uncertainty and give her Your certainty when You’ve led her to the right place. Thank You, Father!

March 5, 2003

Father,

I am always amazed at the way praying to You changes things! Yesterday there were two major situations- one with a friend and one with a family member. They both appear to involve long term challenges.

The human part of me was tempted to say, “Oh, this is too big for anyone to solve!”

But thankfully, I immediately remembered all the many crisis situations You have held my hand through. Lord, I thank You for every single one. Being able to look back and see how You led me through so much reassured me that You will indeed lead them through their battles also! And as they turn to You, may their faith will grow as they see You at work in everything they go through.

Father, thank You for knowing that there is NOTHING that is too big for You. You are with us no matter what we must endure. You bring about good through every “crisis” as we turn to You. I’m so glad I know to immediately turn to You for help at the beginning of every battle now. I know not to wait and try to fight on my own. Thank You that I know that I can turn to You on behalf of others going through trauma. You move when we come to You!

Thank You for the hope already apparent in both situations. The battle is far from over, but You have been faithful in showing that You are with them both right in the middle of their storms. Thank You that none of us need face this hard life without You! Thank you for the knowledge that You will show us victory in EVERY fight!

March 6, 2003

Prayer- alone time

Father,

How I cherish my alone time with You. I cannot live without it. Thank You for being a jealous God. You actually desire alone time with me as much as I do with You. Thank You for the way You pull me away from everything and bring me back to You when I get too wrapped up in the world.

I think of how often Jesus went alone into the desert or into the hills to be alone with You. If Jesus needed it, how much more do I need it? The most precious place to be is in Your Holy presence!

When I am hurt- I run to You and You heal my heart. When I feel wronged- I run to You and You lovingly show me both my right and my wrong. When I feel exhausted- I run to You and You refresh and renew me in ways nothing else can. When I am worried- I run to You- and You calm my soul and show me all is well. When I am scared- I run to You and You remind me that You are with me and there is absolutely nothing to fear. When I am overwhelmed- I run to You- and You lift me up and show me that I can do all things with Jesus to strengthen me! When I am dreary- I run to You and You fill me with joy! When I am confused- I run to You and You give me such wisdom and understanding that it boggles my mind.

Lord, I run to You- and You are always anxiously awaiting me with open arms. Thank You for Your faithfulness in never leaving me alone to face this world. Thank You for the promise of the time to come- when I will no longer have to run to You, I will live in Your house, in Your presence forever! How I love You for loving me!

March 7, 2003

Prayer- soldiers and families

Father,

Just as certainly as I know Jesus has led me through all the difficult times in my life, I know he will do the same for others who turn to him. Father, there are so many people affected by the possible war in front of us. There are young men and women who have already left their families and their homes to stand ready for possible fighting.

Their lives and their families hang in limbo swirling with a mixture of worry, fear, bravery, determination and a loneliness for loved ones. Father, let them turn to You in a whole new way during this challenging time. Let this be the time they discover they need You. Let even this time of conflict and turmoil produce new life in You.

Lord, be with those who are right on the front lines, who realize their earthly lives could very well end soon. Help them to rest assured of eternal life with You no matter what happens. Be with those who are facing decisions to send troops into dangerous situations. Let them seek Your guidance and wisdom and not lean on their own understanding.

Be with those who are left at home to take care of daily life without their spouse. Help them to turn to You for the peace, energy, company and knowledge they need to keep up the home front. For those with children, let them turn to You to maintain a secure and loving environment. Let the kids know that You are with them and their parents.

Father, I have seen You take me through the valley of the shadow of death and teach me to fear no evil because You are with me. I pray that the same thing happen to those who face their valleys right now. Hold their hands and help them to come out closer to You on the other side.

March 10, 2003

Prayer- blood relatives

Father,

You truly are my Father. I am Your daughter. Not only am I blessed to have You as my Father, but You have given me a huge family with multitudes of brothers and sisters!

My cup overflows as I think of “older” brothers and sisters who have mentored me along the way. Then there are brothers and sisters who travel with me and we discover more of Your wonderful truth together every day. There are those who have already passed from this life who I know will be there to cheer my way into eternity. There are younger brothers and sisters who I can encourage and show the way.

There are brand new relatives to discover everywhere I go. I feel like I’ve known them forever as soon as I meet them, like the sister I met while walking this morning. Jesus’ blood runs in her just as surely as it does in me. Our spirits recognize the relation immediately. I have no idea if I will ever see this sister again in this life, but we are most certainly related and we will be together again.

As I think of all the family in Christ You have given me- I am overjoyed. What a family reunion we will all have when we gather in Your eternal Home! You are our Father!

March 11, 2003

Prayer- our little girl grown up!

Father,

The time is getting close for our daughter to graduate from highschool. She is anxiously awaiting her freedom and independence. She and her friend are making exciting plans to move out and live on their own.

Lord, You know how hard it is for us parents to let go, after almost 18 years of protecting, providing, leading, setting the limits. Now, she is ready to head out on her own. She is confident and determined. I’m so glad. Yet from experience, her dad and I know how hard the world is. There will be many challenges and heartbreaks. How we long to protect her from all that, but we know we can’t. She will grow strong in You.

Father, we send her forth into Your hands. (She’s been there all along.) You can go with her where we can’t. You be her parent now (I know, You always have been)- but speak to her when she needs encouragement, guidance, reprimands. Provide for her and let her know she is safe with You. Let her be sensitive to Your presence and Your voice.

In the meantime, we still have at least two more months with her in our home. Help us prepare her (and us) for her independence. Help her never to grow so heady on freedom that she doesn’t realize her dependence on You! Bless our little girl who is growing up!

March 12, 2003

Prayer- walk with You

Father,

What a privilege and honor- to walk alone with You in the coolness and freshness of the morning. Just You and me! You surround me with Your glory and shower me with delightful gifts of creation all around.

How wonderful to be still in my soul and know that You are God. It doesn’t matter how burdened I am when I come to You. As I walk and talk to You, all becomes well. You take my burden and reassure me that You are God and all is in Your hands- the same hands that created the birds singing praises all around me- the same hands that have guided all those who turn to you for generations and generations- the same hands which now holds my hand and leads me.

What a gift to be able to leave the crazy world behind and walk in the garden with You. You restore my soul as we walk. You lead me onto righteous paths as we walk. You comfort me and show me the way. How I wish everyone would hear Your invitation to take a quiet personal walk with You.

March 13, 2003

Father,

Thank You for hearing my prayers. I know that You will listen and act. I pray for my friend today. I bring him before You. He is in turmoil questioning why You let bad things happen to good people. He is questioning the value of being a Christian. He is wondering what good it does to believe if there are so many hardships.

Father, I stand before You on his behalf this morning. You have said that if we seek we will find. He is seeking answers to age old questions, Lord. But they are his personal questions. I pray that You show him the answer. Let him see the only answer is Jesus. Nothing makes sense in this life until we give ourselves to You and ask Jesus into our lives. The idea of Jesus dying on the cross may seem foolish to those- until they actually just kneel before You and submit their lives to You. Then the light bulb goes on and things begin to open up.

Lord, I pray that You help him to see that the first step to all his answers is to simply give all to You. With Jesus in his heart, the other questions become meaningless compared to the rich joys and peace and love found in You. Then we can walk in faith in You, not having to have all the answers. Then we are able to trust You, for we know You for ourselves. Father, help him to truly come to know You for himself. Let his soul be still and know that You are God. Let him give up the fight and let Jesus into his heart.

Father, I pray for my friend. I pray that through this wrestling, he comes to KNOW YOU for himself. Give him the confident peace that comes from personally knowing You. Let him find new life in Jesus.

March 14, 2003

Prayer good sportsmanship

Father,

I come to You burdened this morning for an increasing problem. Last night I attended yet another sports event where bad sportsmanship prevailed. It wasn’t just the players, but the spectators and parents. It is almost shocking to see people lose their self control over a game. Is it because it’s become more than a game?

Father, please forgive us when we let any type of sports become a god. We worship victory and fame above You. You specifically said we shall have no other gods before You. How many times do we put sports above You?

It’s another one of those things that sneaks in and gets hold of us before we know it. First we enjoy the games, then they become everything to us. Before we know it, we’re obsessed by it. Father, please search our hearts and show us the difference in priorities between games and living for You. Father, I ask this not just for myself, but for everyone. Search our hearts and show us the little gods we worship. I choose to worship You – God Almighty above all.

Father, remind me at each game I go to- to pray for calmness and peace for myself, every player, coach, referee and spectator. I even ask that You put it on everyone’s heart to stop and pray and ask that You help them play or participate in such a way that it brings glory to You instead of shame.

March 17, 2003

Prayer- raking leaves

Father,

My husband and I have been raking up leaves and cleaning the yard after winter. I have been thinking of Your marvelous designs. You have created everything to work together for good. Leaves dry up and fall off the trees in the Fall and blanket the soil all through the Winter. You knew the young plants and tender roots needed the extra warmth during freezes. That also allows the sun to get through the empty tree branches to warm our homes and keep us cozy. The leaves settle on the ground and begin to decompose, enriching the soil and providing nutrients to the plants so at the precise time they are ready to spring forth with new life.

Then comes Spring, and all the leaves threaten to burst open from the seemingly dead branches ready to provide shade and cool shelter. It is mind boggling to think of all it takes to make all this happen at just the right times. No scientist or engineer could have ever figured out how to make everything work together with such accuracy. It is crazy to think any of this could ever happen by chance or on accident.

 

It is awesome to look around and see new sprouts coming up where it looked like there was no life before. All creation is ready to praise your Holy name! Everything that lives reaches up towards You. The animals come to life with renewed energy and the birds sing out just for the joy of living.

Raking the leaves reminds me we made it through another Winter. You were here all along with Your eternal plan busy at work , even when we could not always see it. Please hear my voice join in the Joyful chorus of Spring as we all praise You for being who You are!

March 20, 2003

Prayer- for strength and courage

Father,

You are Lord God Almighty. You have been forever and You still will be forever. You have been with men through every battle and war throughout history and You will be in this one also.

Father, I ask that as soldiers and families turn to You in this time of danger and uncertainty, that You remind them You are with them. Let them rest in You. Let the be strong and courageous. Help them not to give in to fear and worry. Let them draw close to You for everything they need right now.

I just got through reading about Joshua preparing to take his people into a strange land filled with enemies. You told him over and over again to be strong and courageous. I know that we often grow stronger in You when we go through perilous times. Let each soldier, each family member and our nation grow stronger as we turn to You right now!

March 24, 2003

Heavenly Father,

You are Lord God Almighty in times of peace and in times of war. You reign above all no matter what is going on. Nothing can take away from Your holiness.

Father, we know there are more people turning to You right now in this time of danger and uncertainty. Deep in people’s hearts they somehow know that You are the only certainty. Lord, please forgive us for not turning to You more often when things are more peaceful and sure. There is a new level in our relationship with You when there is no where else to turn except You. Special blessings come from going through the storm with You.

On this day, we pray for those who have had the security knocked out of them. We pray for those who have had loved ones killed in battle. We pray for those who have been wounded. We pray for those who have been captured and are being held prisoner. We lift them all up to You with all the faith that You will draw near to them and give them peace, strength and courage in their time of desperate need.

Father, remind us how powerful and effective prayer can be. Let us all turn to You. Let America turn to You. Let the world turn to You. We will find everything we need as we turn to You. We need You, Lord. You are our security. You are our peace in the middle of the war.

March 25, 2003

Prayer- live with Him!

Father,

There is a rich joy that comes from living with You day in and day out that goes beyond anything else we could ever experience. Thank You for desiring a relationship with us. It is almost unimaginable that You love us so much that You sent Jesus to die for us. Just so we could have a relationship with You. And now he lives in me!

It doesn’t matter if I encounter storms in this life- for You are with me. It doesn’t matter if I must walk through the valley of the shadow of death- for You are with me. If I walk high on a mountain top and see wonders never seen before- You are with me. If I see suffering which rips open my heart- You are with me. If I must fight in the face of fear and danger- You are with me. When I sit on the porch with my husband or go on a walk with my grandchild- You are with me!

There is no where I could ever go or nothing I could ever face- where You do not go with me. Thank You for the real presence of Jesus in my life. I often wish I could prove him to others, so they might know the joy of living with him. Father, let my life be that proof.

March 31, 2003

Prayer- cost of freedom

Father,

Praise You for our precious freedom. I fully realize it is not free. It has been given to me at an extremely high price. Father, I think of the thousands of sons, husbands, fathers and neighbors who have fought and given their lives so that I might speak openly. Please help me use this costly freedom wisely.

Lord, my heart is with the men and women fighting. Even now they guard our freedom in this country, and struggle to give freedom a chance to a very brutalized people. They fight, fully aware it could cost them their lives. They battle despite witnessing the reality of friends falling around them. They battle for freedom for the innocent and weak. They even risk their lives for the protestor who chains himself to a pole as he hurls insults at the very ones in conflict for his freedom.

Lord, You said there is no greater love than one who will lay down his life for his friends. Bless those who are willing to do just that. Most of all, I thank You for Jesus, who laid down His life for me so I could have the ultimate freedom. A freedom no regime or thug or army or circumstances can ever take away. I am free to live an abundant life with You. You died for me even while I was still rebelling and protesting against You. Thank You for my precious freedom! I will never take it for granted. Help me love You back in such a way that I am willing to lay down my life for You and for others.