Back from vacation and right into the first day of school! Once again, I place my children in Your hands as they leave my care and go out into the world. Lord, I pray for the first day for those entering preschool and kindergarten all the way through to the high school seniors. May this day set the tone for a year full of excitement over learning, the joy of new friendships, and the discovery of tiny steps and giant steps toward independence.
Father, I pray for those students who are scared and overwhelmed. Let them know You are with them. I pray for those who fell lonely in the middle of a crowd of kids. Lead someone to speak kindly to them and give them boldness to speak to others. I pray for those who feel different- who don’t fit the usual mold. Let them know who they are in You. Lord, I pray for those kids- especially the older ones who belong to You. Let them not be ashamed of You. Let them stand strong in You, even in the midst of temptation to follow the crowd’s standards. Give them courage to stand true to You, no matter what!
Father, I also pray for the teachers and staff who work with the kids. Let their hearts be filled with love for their students and a desire to truly guide and nurture them in their lives. Let them model respect and kindness for their students. Inspire them so that they are so excited about what they teach that it becomes contagious for their students. Give them the patience they need for those students who are very slow to learn, as well as those students who seem to know it all. Bless our children’s schools with peace and love and respect. Let my prayers be added together with many other mother’s, dad’s, grandparents’ and teachers’ prayers. Let our schools be a safe place for our children to learn, express themselves and discover how to interact with many other people in a loving way.
Thank You, Lord, for going to school with my kids!
September 4, 2003
Oh Lord, my God!
Thank You for an unforgettable vacation of standing in complete awe of the works Your hands have made. I asked that You show us Your wonders on our trip and YOU DID! We listened to a song that seemed to become the theme song for our adventure. The words were, “Everywhere I go- I see You!” We saw so much and You were everywhere- all around us!
As spectacular as everything was- I believe what touched me most were the sunsets. You know how much sunsets mean to me- and I didn’t even ask for that, but You arranged for us to be in just the right spot every single evening to enjoy a new sunset with You. I know the sunsets were not just for me. Millions of people can see them- but I also know they WERE just for me. It is totally amazing how You can make something so grand and wonderful for the whole world to see and yet You make it personal for each one of us, too. Thank You for my sunsets, Lord!
Thank You for the glorious sunsets over the Painted desert, from the Indian ruins in the middle of no where, while driving out of King’s Canyon, from a deck atop a hill in El Cajon CA, driving through the mountains, from Sunset Cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the grand finale’ as we drove home through the desert again. I think it gives You joy to share Your delightful creation with us. I love Your sunsets! I love You!
Prayer- Dylan & his mom & dad
September 5, 2003
This morning I read my nephew’s latest e-mail prayer request:
>Subject: Dylan’s homecoming….
>Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 00:49:44 -0500
> When they told us that this whole “having a Preemie baby experience” would
>be an emotional roller-coaster ride, we had absolutely no idea the degree of
>what we were being told. I will try and keep this brief. The news we were
>waiting to hear finally came. This past Sunday they said we could take him
>home Monday if we were ready, because he was. I said I wanted to wait until
>Wednesday to give his belly a little more time to act up if it was going to,
>and they all agreed that was fine. Well Wednesday came and he was still
>fine so finally we were able to bring him home!!! We were beside ourselves
>and had a little homecoming with both sets of grandparents over and we
>prayed and thanked God for our little miracle baby and the progress he had
>made. That was last night. The night went about as we expected. He was up
>late trying to get used to this new and strange place he will come to know
>as home. We got up at 4 AM to give his meds and feed him (Melissa did) and
>then I got the 8 AM shift. He wasn’t as hungry as usual and his belly was
>making some seriously loud sounds so I became a bit concerned. By 2:30 pm
>he was really distended. We held off the rest of his feeds and tried a
>suppository at noon, but nothing had worked. We took him back to the
>hospital and after 3 hours in the ER and an X-Ray we found out he was full
>of air in his small bowel again and would be readmitted to the hospital.
>After a little persuasion on our part, and a GREAT Nurse Practitioner that
>has cared for him since birth, he was able to go back to the NICU (something
>they rarely ever do) since he was only let out 24 hours ago. This is a HUGE
>answer to prayer because on the regular floor he wouldn’t have received
>anywhere near the care he will in the NICU. So he is back in the hospital
>for who knows how long but they are committed to finding the source of this
>perpetual problem he seems to have. I will keep you informed as we know
>more. This is really hard for Melissa and I and can’t imagine the hell
>Dylan is going through. It is so hard to see your little boy scream in pain
>as they stick him yet again and know there is absolutely NOTHING you can do
>to help him. You feel pretty worthless and useless, because as a dad we are
>supposed to fix stuff for them. Please pray for us, please. God is
>faithful and gave us a bit of good news tonight just when we needed it. The
>area of his brain that had died, was nowhere to be found on his Cat Scan on
>his brain. The Cat Scan is more accurate than the ultrasounds he has been
>getting and it showed the PVL (dead portion) was not there!!! Praise God,
>He can do whatever he wants. Anyway that is all the good news we have for
>now, but that is enough. We just humbly ask for prayer, the more the
>better. If you think you know someone that will pray for him, please feel
>free to forward this to them as well. Join us in this fight, and I KNOW
>Dylan will make it and be healthy. He is quite a boy.
>Mike, Melissa and my HERO (Dylan)
You have been faithful to be with them from the birth of both twins back in May. You have led them through so much. Reassure them that You are with them now and will never leave them. Give them Your peace. Let them know deep in their souls that all is well. Thank You for the miracle of Dylan and the example of pure perseverance from such a tiny person! Thank You for the healing of his brain and the healing that is presently taking place in his intestines and stomach. Give Mike and Melissa the endurance they need to go all the way through this. Let them know the prayers of many lift them up when they feel exhausted and weak. We lift them all to You now.
Prayer- turning it over to You
September 8, 2003
The world in general may not think it does any good to come to You in prayer- but I know better! I have experienced Your power and presence over and over again as I bring every concern and every joy to You. I know without any doubt it will happen again today.
In a few minutes several friends are coming over for an impromptu/ emergency prayer meeting with You. We all know there are some things going on which are far too big for us to handle on our own. We all know that we can gather together and present these things to You. We all know from experience that where two or more agree, You will answer prayers. We also know from experience that You rarely answer the way we plan it out in our minds. You always have a better plan! Therefore, we come just to hand it over to You and ask You to show us what we need to do. We trust You with all the rest.
I’m so glad I don’t have to have all the answers. There is great comfort in knowing that my God is at work when I invite You into a situation. Worry and fear melts away in Your presence as I turn them over to You. Even the most challenging, hopeless-looking circumstances become blessings as You turn them into opportunities to show us Your holiness and power.
Prayer- need for others
September 9, 2003
I praise You for creating us to need You and to need others. On our vacation, we drove through the desert for miles and miles without seeing anyone- and then suddenly in the middle of nowhere, there would be a lonely little house. I wondered how those people could live so completely isolated from everyone else.
I think back to the desert times in my life when I felt isolated and lonely. It was a very difficult time to walk through- yet I discovered I am never alone. Even when no one else was- You have always been with me. So I can’t help thanking You even for those desolate times- yet it has also helped me appreciate my deep need for others. You never created us to be loners or self-sufficient.
You have made each individual so utterly unique that they have something to give that no one else can. Thank You for the passionate ones, the quiet thoughtful ones, the leaders, the followers, the humorous, the serious, the compassionate, the careful, the impulsive ones. Thank You for making us all so different- yet expecting us to live together in love. I think You have quite a sense of humor!
Lord, I thank You now for my quiet alone times with You, but I also thank You for showing me how much we need one another!
Prayer- never too busy
September 10, 2003
I refuse to listen to satan’s voice that whispers in my ear, “You’re too busy to pray today. Think what all you have on your list…”
I cannot afford not to pray. How could I survive in this world without my precious time with You? Nothing that I tried to do would amount to anything if I try to do it on my own power alone. What difference will it make in the light of eternity if I mop my floor this minute, or scramble to answer my phone calls, or fold the laundry? How can I begin my work if I haven’t begun my day with You? I don’t want to start anything without You.
Life is totally different when I come away from the world and spend some time with You first. The traffic is more bearable; my reactions to other people is more loving; my work is more enjoyable. In fact, I become more at peace and You show me what my true priorities for the day are. I am no longer frantically driven to get things done. You show me one thing at a time to do, and give me peace and joy to accomplish it. I am aware of Your presence as I go about the work You put before me.
I cannot afford not to spend time in prayer with You EVERY DAY. Who knows what this day will bring? You, alone, know what is ahead. You, alone can prepare me for all that is needed- but only when I stop and stand in Your presence. Thank You, Lord, for the great gift of Your Presence. I will not take it for granted and I will not pass You by for anything this world has to offer. You are my joy! You are the highlight of my day. You are my life!
Prayer- healing from grief
September 11, 2003
It’s so hard to believe it was two years ago when I watched (along with everyone else) in horror and disbelief as the two World Trade Centers were hit by planes and then tragically crumbled. I still remember the sick feeling as the Pentagon was struck and heard about the plane in PA going down. There are many people today who are still grieving and reliving the nightmare of that day. There’s also a good friend of mine whose mom passed on a year ago today. Father, I lift them all to You.
I know You know the pain that death leaves behind. I also know without a doubt that You can heal grief, no matter the degree of severity. But we must look up. From this side, our pain in grief may be horrible- but when we stop to imagine… What are our loved ones doing in Heaven? What have they been doing for the past year or two years or ten years? What joys and marvels are they experiencing?
Lord, it’s so amazing to think that we can get so caught up in this life that all we can see is tragedy and pain when someone passes. But how is it on the other side of eternity? In the twinkling of an eye our loved ones are gone. They were just here and now they aren’t. Father, what seems like the worst thing that could ever happen to us, is the very beginning of life for them.
I know the pain of grief- of being separated from those you love. You know it, too. And You are always here with us to comfort us. Father, in the midst of the pain, help my friend and his family and all those who are still grieving from the tragedy two years ago to look up. Help them to consider where their loved one is now. Let them live the rest of their lives knowing they, too, will be going home to join them.
Prayer- the war between man & wife
September 12, 2003
You created such a wonderful thing when You created marriage. You knew it was not good for man to be alone- so You created woman to make them both complete. We need You and we need one another. When a man and woman are joined together and also united with You, it can be so wonderful and so strong. That must be why Satan works so hard to try to break those unions apart.
Father, today I pray for several couples I know who are under attack. They are letting Satan worm his way into their relationships. They are letting deep hurts from their own pasts effect their relationships today. They are listening to Satan’s lying clever voice which tells them they can trust no one- especially not the love of their life. If he can break them apart, they both become weaker.
Lord, this is war. I fervently pray for these marriages which are being assaulted. When those dear friends are being overrun by the enemy, I choose to pray for them and to call upon You for reinforcements. I refuse to sit by and let their marriages be slaughtered. It may look like a massacre, but I know that You are a God of the impossible.
Send out Your heavenly forces, Lord. We are not really fighting against flesh and blood (or husband against wife), the real battle is between spiritual principalities. The victory is already Yours. I am just doing my part in the battle- sending up missiles of prayer on behalf of my friends who are surrounded right now. Thank You for hearing my prayers and sending out the Calvary!
Prayer- for those in homeless shelters
September 15, 2003
I am so glad You are all-powerful. This morning I went to visit a friend in a homeless shelter. It can be a little overwhelming to see so many needs. You have given me a heart to care deeply for others, yet I cannot solve their problems. You can, though- as the problems are turned over to You.
Thank You for the knowledge that I can pray for them and it really helps. Thank You for letting me see so many needs, and for trusting me to bring them to You.
Father, I pray for the young mom pushing her little baby in a stroller, while desperately looking for work to support herself and her child. I pray for the little blonde-haired girl named Gwedolyn, who stood at the gate waving at me and talking to me even as I drove away. Help her parent (or parents) to find a real home so she can play in her own yard. I pray for the beautiful thirty-something woman who was leaving for the day to find work. I hope the prayer we prayed together draws her attention to the reality of Your presence with her. Reveal Yourself to her today. I do not know all the stories of how these people ended up at the shelter, but You do.
I pray for my friend, and I thank You that You are with her, leading the way through this trial. I know You know the plans You have for my friend and all the rest of those precious people at the shelter. You have plans to bless them and not to harm them. Turn this time into a sweet blessing for each of them. Let each of them learn to trust You during this time. Please keep my heart soft and tender towards those in need. Show me when I begin to look down on anyone and remind me how easily I could be in their place.
Father, I also pray for those in charge of the shelters. Keep their hearts from being hardened. Keep the vision of ministry and the desire to lead others to Jesus as the top priority. Father, thank You for my home.
Prayer- feeling insignificant
September 16, 2003
Most Holy Father,
Today I feel so tiny and insignificant. What can I do that will make a difference? Why is my life important? Who am I that You care so much for me? In the midst of all these questions which may not have answers- I come to You.
When I come and just sit with You… I know that I matter. Even though there are two billion people alive in this world… I know You know everything about me. You know all my weaknesses which seem so BIG on this day. You know all my thoughts, fears and concerns. Yet, I know You love me more than I can ever calculate. You love me so much that You sent Jesus to live, die and be resurrected. You love me so much that You do not ever leave me alone. You let Your Holy Spirit live in me. He reassures me and shows me Your love when I am quiet before You.
Father, I no longer feel insignificant, for You let me know I’m the apple of Your eye. I am fearfully and wonderfully made…by You! I no longer feel weak, for You are in me- giving me strength. I know my life makes a difference when You flow through me. I can only get a glimpse of how important I am to You…that You let Your Son die for me.
Lord, may many others come to You today and realize how important they personally are to You!
September 17, 2003
Almighty, Most Powerful God,
I see the enormous power in the photos of Hurricane Isabel approaching towards the East coast of the U. S. and once again, I am dumbfounded by who You are. You hold the winds and the waves in the palm of Your very hand. As powerful as they can be, You have dominion over them. This hurricane is nothing but a breath of air in a moment in time to You. All You have to do is speak a word and the raging winds will whimper to stillness before You. They have no choice but to obey You.
Yet apparently, there are times when we need to see Your power & glory even in a hurricane. Is it because there are some who will not come to You until a storm shakes them up? Is it because our finite minds fail to recognize how powerful You really are? Is it because some of us have our priorities in this life all wrong… until we see for ourselves how short this life is? Is it so we can see how little we are compared to Your majesty?
I know that there are times our faith in You grows ever stronger as we must hold Your hand to ride out a storm. I know that we learn to recognize Your still small quiet gentle voice after the waves calm down. I pray that there will be new life born from this storm. May there be those who turn to You in a new way- finding that in all Your power, You have a gentle tender love for each of us that goes beyond what our hearts can comprehend. Father, thank You for being with us and caring so deeply about us…even in the storms.
September 18, 2003
Today I want to be silent before You and just listen to what You have to say. Help me to have sensitive ears to hear You all day long today!
Prayer- Your strange ways!
September 23, 2003
Forgive me for my little thinking. You would think I would know by now to trust You. You would think by now that I would know that things aren’t always the way they seem to be. By now, I should realize that when things look impossible… that’s when You are at work!
Help me to remember to keep bringing all things to You, and trusting that You are already on the case- even if it takes on a strange twist. Last week, I believed the cancer attacking my dad’s brain would continue to knock down his mental capacities. Then You turn it around and let him enjoy several days of joyful clear-thinking! Last week, some friend’s marriage seemed doomed and now they are in the midst of the most miraculous healing! Not too long ago, my nephew’s little baby boy Dylan (who was born premature was having severe problems) and now he’s gaining weight and almost ready to go home from the hospital!
I marvel at the strange and miraculous ways You work. Help me to remember when I bring something to Your attention, that You are making Your good plans come about. It might be in the next minute, the next week or ten years from now- but You know what’s absolutely best. So I will keep coming to You in prayer, trusting even when I can’t see and watching in amazement at how You handle the things I bring to You!
Prayer- not sitting still…but following
September 19, 2003
I am so glad You love us enough to not leave us alone. Thank You that You call us forth to follow You. That means always moving forward, or as my Uncle Wayne used to say…”Moving onward & upward!” Thank You for the change in the seasons and for the changes You are continually calling forth in us. Help us not to be afraid of the changes… but at the same time help us to make sure they are from You.
Father, thank You for the security of knowing that we stand on solid rock with You, as long as we are living with You and spending time with You everyday. But I also thank You that You have much more for us than where we are right now (no matter how good or how difficult right now seems.)
I am so blessed and happy to know You are with me now, but I also long for what You have in front of me, too. So I chose to follow You on this day (and the rest of my life!) Help me not to get too comfortable in one place spiritually, but to keep my eyes constantly on Jesus. Help me to follow Him into the unknown- knowing You are there!
Prayer-can’t keep quiet!!
September 24, 2003
You know how strangely my brain works! Yesterday, as I was sitting in the dentist chair and getting stitches, the dreadful thought entered my mind… what if he accidentally sewed my mouth shut!!
How could I stand not being able to praise You? If I wasn’t able to do it with my mouth, I’d have to do it with my hands. What if I could no longer write? I’d have to jump up and down in praises to You. Now I understand Jesus’ answer when he said he could not tell the ones praising his name to be quiet. It can’t be done. Once we see You and know for ourselves who You are- nothing could keep us quiet. Even the rocks and stones praise You! I saw that at the Grand Canyon. The quiet rocks scream of Your glory. They rise up and point to You!
I remember the times when I was so fearful and shy that I dare not speak. Now that I know You and see Your glory… I cannot be quiet! I would burst if I could not praise You! You are the King of all…You are my friend, my God, my Lord, my Teacher, my Comforter, my Rock, my Strength, my Master!! Let me shout it from the rooftop! Let me join with all creation praising You!!
Prayer- the harder I try…
September 25, 2003
It seems the harder I try to be good and perfect, the more I realize how sinful and imperfect I am. It is now obvious the only way I can do Your will and be what You want me to be- is through Jesus. Or perhaps I should say- Jesus through me.
There is no possible way for me to love others the way You want me to without supernatural help from Your Holy Spirit. No matter how hard I try, my human-ness gets in the way. I want to pick on others’ weaknesses, on their wrong-doings. Yet You call me away with You. As I come to You in prayer, You change my whole perspective. Somehow, Your Spirit of love begins to flow through me and I see other people and myself in a whole new way. Thank You for giving me new eyes- Jesus’ eyes. Thank You for giving me a new heart- Jesus’ heart. Thank You for giving me new life- Jesus alive in me!
The harder I try- the “worser” I get! The more I give into You, the holier I get (only because there’s more room for Jesus!) Help me come to You often to get more of Jesus!
Prayer- God makes no mistakes!
September 26, 2003
Today I want to pray for the parents and family of a newborn baby boy named Bailey who was born with a cleft palette. I know they are all in shock and adjusting to this surprise. Father, I also know You do not make mistakes. You knew the plans You made for this little boy even while he was being knit together in his mother’s womb. You also know the surgeries available and the doctors to lead them to. You also know the blessings which will come from this.
Lord, I thank You for my 23 year-old sister-in-law who has Down’s Syndrome. She no mistake. I have seen what You do through her joyful spirit. She loves each person she knows like they are her very best friend. She loves with absolute abandon- there’s no holding back! Her smiles and her jokes never fail to brighten the darkest moment. One of her favorite things is to sing songs that make you cry! She loves life and helps everyone around her love life a little more just because she’s there. I’m so glad her parents have raised her as a gift to the world instead of a mistake.
Father, You are an amazing God! Help me to see things more and more through Your eyes instead of the world’s eyes. Thank You for all the precious gifts which the world may think are flaws, but You knew all along would be precious jewels!
Prayer- longing for You!
September 29, 2003
You have created in me a longing heart. I long to be with You. I long to be at Home with You eternally. It’s such a strange thing, for I have no doubt You are with me now. Yet I believe there is even more of You to know. I can only handle so much at a time, for Your glory is too magnificent. Yet, I long to see You in all Your glory!
I enjoy this world and all the beauty You have surrounded me with. I love all the people You bring into my life. I am very grateful for my extremely blessed life. It is an appetizer of what is ahead. Yet, I still long for more of You. There are times I feel like a foreigner in a strange land. It’s a nice place to visit, but I would never want to live here forever. My soul longs for heaven where I will finally be at Home with You.
How I praise You that I can spend time in Your presence even in this world. Your glory reigns down on me as I lift my heart to You even now. You alone can quench the deep longing in my spirit for You.
Prayer- poured out wine
September 30, 2003
Thank You for being the ultimate wine-maker! You know just how to make the sweetest, life-giving spiritual wine in each of us! You are the master at growing us to just the right ripeness before You begin to squeeze us into the wine You knew You were making all along. We would be nothing on our own, but since You have helped us stay attached to the vine and receive all that is needed from Your Holy Spirit, we can not only bear fruit— we can be poured out wine for others!
How I marvel, looking back at all the seasons You’ve brought me through to ensure the best wine. Thank You for every joyful Spring, every simmering Summer, each reflective Autumn, and even the long bitterly cold Winters of my life. You knew that every single trial and joy would be needed to produce rich grapes. I even thank You for all the ways You have used so many circumstances to squeeze my life. You were very patient with me as I yelled and whined at the squeezing. (You still are!) You knew it would be far better in the end for me to go through the pressure. You were right! (You always are!)
Father, let me trust You in EVERYTHING in my life– even the hard things– if it might mean I can be poured-out wine for someone else. Let them taste You in me and desire You for themselves!
Prayer- on the mountain & in the valley!