Prayer- on the mountain & in the valley!

October 1, 2003

Father,

How I love the times You take me up on the mountaintop and give me a glimpse of Your glory! Yet I know it isn’t where You want me to stay. It would be selfish to just seek the spiritual highs with You and not go back to work in the valley so others can experience You. I know I am to take You back down.

It can be really painful and overwhelming in the valley at times, but I know I never have to walk it alone. You are always with me. The work is Yours to do. All I have to be- is willing to put myself aside and let You live through me. I am willing. Whatever darkness and suffering I see is only to bring Your Light into the valley…to those who need You. Father, let Jesus shine through me wherever You send me…to whomever You place in my path. Let them, too, experience You both on the mountaintop and back down in the valley.

Prayer- visions and truth

October 3, 2003

Father,

I praise You for being the same awesome God on the mountaintops that You are in the valley. There are times I get a fantastic vision of who You are on the mountaintop. I know You can do all things from that wonderful high, but it isn’t until I have to go back down into the valley and live the really difficult life that I KNOW You can do all things.

It is in this world- living out my walk with You- that I see how really powerful You are. It is in the nitty-gritty of daily life that the vision works itself out. And I do mean WORK! It usually doesn’t come with ease. Your truth has to work itself through the stubbornness of my heart and through those around me. When I see it work out in action, then I can truly say it is the truth and not just a vision!

Thank You for all the great mountaintop views and deep valley walks of my life. How I praise You for those high visions, but I thank You more for the ways You work them out in truth in the valley of this everyday life!

Prayer- for pastors, ministers

October 6, 2003

Father,

There are those who You have led to be ministers, pastors and preachers. Since this is Clergy Appreciation Month, I would like to specifically pray for those who You have called into those leadership positions.

Father, draw them close to You. They need You so much. There is no way they can lead others without being led by You. Help them to slow down and rest in You. Remind them they do not carry everyone’s problems on their own. Reassure them that whatever circumstances You allow them to see in other’s lives is never too big for You. Let them bring the lost and hurting to You. Help their faith to grow as they see You at work. Remind those in leadership that they do not have to be the ones to save others- that is Your job! They just need to point people to You and pray for them and love them.

Lord, I pray for extra strength and protection for those pastors/ministers and their families who are on the front lines of spiritual warfare. Remind all of the rest of us to hold them up in prayer, and to give encouragement and support to those who carry the heavy burden of concern for our spiritual well-being. I know they often come under heavy attack as they try to lead us forward.

Thank You for the obedience, humbleness and steadfastness of our ministers as they spend their lives close to You- receiving all they need from You. Inspire them and fill them with Your Holy Spirit so they can lead us closer to You!

Prayer- I can always pray!

October 7, 2003

Father,

The more I pray- the more I see You work! There’s just something about coming into Your presence that changes things. I think mostly, it changes me! The more I come to You, the more You give me eyes to see things from Your perspective. You see everything so differently than my human eyes do. Does it give You joy to show me Your ways?

What seems like a tragic disaster (like my dad drawing close to death) is totally different through Your eyes. He’s getting close to coming Home! If I was to go and see my dad without praying about it, I might give into inconsolable grief. But, my sadness over his suffering and the knowledge that he might soon be taken from my presence is overshadowed by the sweet assurance that he will be starting a whole new life in eternity with You! I know that our time apart will be short- for this life is so fleeting. How could I ever chose to keep him here when he could be there with You (with no more pain, suffering or confusion).

How can I not pray? Why would I ever chose not to come into Your Holy presence where I always find peace, joy and assurance that all is well? No one can ever take that away from me. I can always pray. I always have You.

Prayer- just as I am today

October 8, 2003

Father,

Here I am again…just as I am. I long to be pure and holy, but I know there’s no way I can be without Jesus in me. Thank You for being so patient with all my weaknesses and faults. You know every thought and every hidden motive ( even when my pride prevents me from seeing ). And You love me in spite of them.

Here I am again today… to present myself to You…just as I am. I have no doubt that You are right here with me waiting to love me despite my mistakes, my unholiness and my sin. It is overwhelming to think that I am so precious to You, that Jesus took on all my sin on Himself and died that I might now be holy! Help me to go and sin no more! I do not wish to purposely add any more grief to the sin He’s already paid for.

Here I am again…standing before You…pure and spotless and holy…because of Your magnificent love and mercy…and because of Jesus’ obedient sacrifice…and because He lives in me!!

Prayer- Go with me, Lord!

October 9, 2003

Father,

I desperately need Your holy help today. There’s a critical situation with a family I’ve known for a very long time. As far as I know, they have no spiritual counsel or support to turn to during this life-and-death crisis. It seems You’re laying it upon my heart to go to them, pray with them and point the way once again to You.

Lord, I see this as a possible crossroads for each person in the family. There is a fork in the road in front of them right now. They must choose. Father, help them desire to choose You. There is one whose life hangs in the balance between life and death. There is another who is choosing life or death for an unborn baby.

I have no doubt You are sending me to them. I know there is absolutely nothing I can say on my own that will make a difference in their lives. That’s why I’m turning to You now. I will go, but I need You to speak through me, to love through me, to help them choose You. I pray that You save their physical lives- but even more importantly, I ask that You save their eternal lives. Go before me and go with me.

Prayer- go with them

October 13, 2003

Father,

You are omnipresent. You are everywhere. There is someone You’ve laid on my heart that is at a critical crossroads in their life. I cannot get hold of this person. But You can. Please use the perfect way You have in mind to reach this person. I know I can ask You and You will respond. I do not want to tell You how to do it. My way would pale in comparison to what You have in mind.

Father, You know this person more intimately than anyone else possibly could, for you created them. The main thing I pray for is a softening in the heart. May they hear You and see You and know that You desire the very best for them. Please let them want a way out of the dreadful life they seem to be prisoner to. Let them see they can have a brand new life with You. Let them believe that all things are possible with You.

I know You’ve given all of us free choice- including this person- but bring about the best possible circumstances for their heart to be ready to choose You. May they simply give in to You and repent, and begin working out their new life in You. Reveal Yourself to them in some way that is tailored just for them. Let them see You alive and bow down before You in love and adoration.

Prayer- at school

October 14, 2003

Father,

What a joy to see young teenagers stand unashamedly before You… even in front of their peers! Last week, when my son’s car wouldn’t start, I took the boys to school. Off to the side of one of the main doors, was a group of about 25-30 high school students holding hands and praying to You before their day got started. Apparently, they meet to pray every morning.

Then at the high school football game that same night, the whole football team knelt to pray. Another group of students gathered with the cheerleaders to pray before the game began. When a player got hurt, three large players dropped a knee to ask for Your help for the injured player.

Last night at our dinner table, my middle school son prayed, asking You to bless and lead the Character Education committee meeting we were going to at his school. Thank You that these young people know to pray to You often, and about all kinds of things. Father, thank You that there’s no way prayer can ever be taken out of school. As long as there are people who are willing to bow before You in prayer, nothing can stop them!

Prayer- my son becoming a man!

October 15, 2003

Holy Father,

I want to enter Your gates with thanksgiving! Thank you for my son turning 18 today and becoming a man! Thank You for the privilege and honor of trusting me to mother him all these years. Thank You for the miracle of his life all the way from the ultra sound pictures of him sucking his thumb in my womb to looking up at his six-foot manhood today!

Thank You for the memory of holding him as a helpless infant still in the hospital- looking at his tiny hands and wondering what those hands would have to do someday. Thank You for getting him through his dad’s illness and death as a young boy. Thank You for being his dad… and for later giving him a new earthly dad to step in to teach him to be the man he is today.

Thank You for the quiet deepness of his soul, his crazy obsession with sports and his respectful caring attitude. Thank You for molding him through everything in his life. You always knew the plans You made for him. As he turns 18, I officially turn him back over to You to finish leading him and molding him. Help me to stand by and watch him go forth into the way You have prepared for him!

Father, lead our son to be Your man!

Prayer- my weakness/Your strength

October 17, 2003

Father,

Help me to never stop coming to You in prayer. That’s where I abide with You. That’s how I walk with You. That’s where You move mountains!

Yesterday was a very hard day for me. I didn’t realize how hard, until I got home and complete exhaustion and weakness overtook me. I felt utterly defeated. I couldn’t do anything. Nothing seemed to help. That’s when I knew–I have to pray! Even though I could barely speak, You honored my coming to You.

It is so amazing to me– yet also reassuring to know –that in my weakness, I can come before You in prayer. You make me lie down in Your green pastures until my soul is restored. You lead me beside Your still waters and in my parched state, You let me drink of Your life-giving water.

I come to You in my total weakness and You give me Your strength. Nothing else I do is as important as coming to You.

Prayer- grieving Your Holy Spirit

October 20, 2003

Father,

In this special time in my Dad’s life, as he draws close to “finishing his race,” I find myself going back and forth between grieving and celebrating. My heart is filled with deep praises to You for honoring my life with such a dear sweet man for my earthly father. I have been so blessed to have such a wonderful role model and mentor. I praise You for the example of a heart devoted to You. Thank you for giving him eyes to see Your wonders all around him. Thank You for his gentleness and respect for others. Thank You for the knowledge that he will soon pass from this life into joyful eternity with You!

Yet, there have also been times of deep grief in my heart over the last week as I watch him slowly slip away from us. The pain and the sorrow at the thought of missing him and having to live (even for a little while) without him is heart-wrenching.

I read in the Bible where we grieve Your Holy Spirit when we chose to live apart from You. That shook me to the very core. How You must love us… if You grieve when we chose to live our lives as though You are not a part of it. Is it because You know that without Your Spirit living in us, we are dead spiritually? Is that why You grieve? Is it because You would do anything to keep us living with You-every day… Except, You will not make the choice for us. It is our choice whether or not to ask You to live in our hearts. It is our choice whether or not to share every day with You.

I chose You. I do not want to grieve Your Holy Spirit.. or to live as the walking dead. I chose eternal life with You today! Come Holy Spirit, come!!

Prayer- You are NEW LIFE!

October 21, 2003

Most Holy Father,

You are Magnificent, Tender-hearted, Compassionate, and Wise- beyond measure!! Your timing is perfect (in spite of my frequent questioning!) You have wonderful plans to bless each of us. I stand in awe of You.

In my feeble thinking, I never would have thought my dad could have lived long enough for my brother from MO to get here. But he did! And my dad’s still here! What a wonderful time we all had- gathered around my dad’s bed last night. Memories were bouncing of the walls as we reminisced together. Even Dad was able to add to the conversations by a few winks, gestures and several well-chosen words at just the right moment! As we all sat around his bed, he got a glimpse of Jesus waiting for him. I am so thankful we were all there to witness that together!

I have never seen You fail to prepare Your loved ones for that gentle crossing- over to Heaven. Thank You for that which is yet to come that we cannot see- but we know is there. Thank You for reassuring my dad (& us!) that Jesus is right there ready to take his hand and lead him through the door to eternal life in Your perfect timing!

Blessings upon blessings! In the middle of dealing with Dad dying, my daughter Chrissy found out she is pregnant! You are a God of beginnings and endings (which is really only a new beginning!) You are NEW LIFE!!

Prayer- rough waters

October 22, 2003

Father,

Even when life’s waters send rough waves to try to knock me down, I know all is well with my soul.

You are with me. You will never leave me or forsake me. With Your loving gentle outstretched hand, You calm the waves one at a time and help me to walk on water with You. Hold my hand and remind me to keep my eyes on You and not the rough waters. Let’s walk on, Lord.

Prayer- You are God!!

October 23, 2003

Father,

I will be still and know that You are God. I will be strong and courageous for You are my Lord God Almighty, and You are with me!

Prayer- Dad’s passing

October 28, 2003

Father,

You knew my Dad before he was ever born. You have been with him from the start to the finish of this life. And, what a life he has had! You knew him long before I came into this world. You had good plans for his life- plans to bless him and all those around him. (Even through the really hard times.) It is so amazing how You can take an ordinary man and fill him with Your Holy Spirit so fully, that everyone around him saw some of Jesus in him. Jesus has shone through his gentleness, patience and compassion for others; in his love for teaching and mentoring; in his deep devotion to Your larger church.

I thank You for the amazing way You have masterfully woven Yourself throughout all his life. I am so grateful that my dad has fought the good fight and finished the race by remaining faithful to You all the way to the end. How I wish I could see him win his crown of Life with You. Even when my heart cries out in anguish over missing him, it can only last for a bit…as I begin to wonder what he’s doing now in Your very presence. Is he lavishing in perfect love? Are You showing him varieties of beautiful flowers he’s never seen before? Is he being hugged and welcomed HOME by You and all his beloved who are already there? Is he enthralled by heavenly music? You are giving him much-needed rest from all his hard work. Enjoy eternity, Dad!

Help me to be faithful and true until my very last breath. Help me shine out for You in ordinary circumstances. Let me follow in my Dad’s footsteps…all the way HOME!!!

Prayer- running the race

October 29, 2003

Father,

When my loved ones pass on to eternity, it always seems the world should stop… but it never does. Dad is in heaven and I’m still here… and life keeps on going whether I want it to or not.

Dad’s good fight is over and he has finally reached the finish line and crossed over into victory lane! But I know I must keep running the race. I will not turn back. I will not waiver from keeping my eyes on You and on my own finish line. It’s awfully nice to know Dad has joined with all my other loved ones in my own personal cloud of witnesses. I can almost hear them cheering me on. I have no doubt that I will make it there someday, too.

In the meantime, Lord, will You please continue to be my strength and my hope as I run my own race? I want to leave clear markers for those behind me to follow… just as Dad did.

Prayer- Thanks for Dad’s hands!

October 30, 2003

Father,

I just want to thank You for giving me such a wonderful dad! Thanks for the memory of my little hand in his a a young girl. His big strong hand made me feel safe and loved. Thanks for the simple wedding ring he always wore comfortably and proudly on his hand. I never saw it off…Until after he passed and Mom transferred it to her hand. Thank You for the remarkable witness of a 51-year faithful marriage between my parents that showed me that a couple can work, play, worship and live together throughout a lifetime and that it is good! Thank You for all the times I saw them holding hands through the years.

Thank You for the memory of Dad’s hands sowing millions of seeds late into the night, knowing that they would grow and provide beauty for people’s souls. Thank You for all the seeds of love and faith he sowed in his lifetime! Thank You for the times he stood watering with his hands at the end of the hose, while I (and many others) asked questions and received his gentle wisdom. Thank You for the silly gestures Dad made with his hands to cheer us all up!

Thanks for the sight of Dad’s hands on his Bible, knowing he needed Your word. Thank You for the memory of his work-scarred hands forever etched in my heart. Thank You that they can now rest from their labor and raise in forever-worship to You. Father, Thank You for Dad’s hands!

Prayer- standing by me!

October 31, 2003

Holy Father,

Life is hard- yet also wonderfully sweet. Today I stood with my daughter in front of a judge in traffic court. It brought back the time my Dad stood with me in traffic court. There are so many challenges in this life which must be met one by one.

I remember the trepidation I felt when I stood as a teen in court, not knowing what would happen. I saw that same fear in my daughter today (especially when there were a few arrests!). It’s funny how the more hard things we face, realizing You are with us, the deeper our faith in You grows. Father, help my daughter’s faith in You grow. Let her find, as I have, a loving Lord who will never leave her or forsake her. Never. Not ever! Illness, jail, persecution, unpaid bills, even death…No matter what challenge comes…You are right here, standing by me!