Prayer- grieving with hope!

November 4, 2003

Most Holy Father,

Thank You that I don’t have to grieve as one without hope! You have promised eternal life to all of us who believe in Jesus Christ as our own Savior! Your Son is the Lord of my life and Lord of my Dad’s life! How can I grieve and wail and cry for long- knowing he is with You. The only reason I grieve at all is because my family and I will miss him so much — but even that shadows in comparison with the thought of spending eternity with You and with him!

My dad did not die– he simply passed through a glass door, through which I can only see vaguely. He passed from a life of hard labor and fiery trials and simple pleasures to an abundant eternal life filled with joy and peace beyond measure and perfect love in Your very presence. My dad is much more alive than he has ever been in his earthly life! His happiness is complete in Your presence!

Because Jesus lives and because my Dad lives– I can face tomorrow! Even when sorrow sneaks up on me and threatens to drown me, I can grieve with the greatest hope of all…that my Dad is alive and I will join him someday!

Prayer- until the end of this age!

November 5, 2003

Father,

Your ways are mysteriously wise and wonderful! How I love knowing that You are in control and know exactly what is needed at all times.

Today I attended another funeral- that of a thirty-something year-old man I had never met. Yet I know his wife and some of their children. Father, he was alive and well one day and passed into eternity the next. No warning, no explanation- just gone in the twinkling of an eye. How I thank You that I know the pain of grief and the hope of life to come. Now I can pray for this young widow who had only been married 6 months. I can ask You to comfort her and draw her very close. I can pray that You will become her husband and the father of their children.. just as You did for me and my children when my first husband died. I have no doubt that You will bring about new and deeper life through the midst of their pain. I can pray for them when they are still too much in shock to pray for themselves.

Father, comfort them as only You can. Give them complete reassurance of their loved one’s eternal life with You. Let each of them know You will not leave them as orphans in the storm… You will be with them always- until the end of this age and the beginning of the next!

Prayer- for thieves

November 6, 2003

Heavenly Father,

I need Your help again today. Yesterday we discovered thieves broke into the house we grew up in and stole all my parents’ furniture. It was antique furniture which had been given to them by relatives when they married 51 years ago. The house was not occupied, but was sitting on the property of my parents’ greenhouse. As far as we can tell it was probably taken during my dad’s memorial service.

It’s hard to understand how someone can take advantage of people when they are saying goodbye to their loved one. Father, I need Your help forgiving them and praying for them. I know their hearts are wrapped up in sin to do such a thing. Lord, please use this to break their hearts and let them see their deep need for You. Let me look at this not as a violation against me and my family, but as a chance to pray for those who I don’t even know– who need You in their lives.

Father, I am sad at the thought of losing pieces that have history of Mom and Dad through all their married lives (and of our growing-up years). It would have been nice to keep those in the family as part of our inheritance– but I have received a much greater inheritance than any furniture or material things could ever be valued at. My Dad passed on his faith in You, his peace and joy in You and his love for everyone which sprung from You. No thieves can ever take that away!

Prayer- an ordinary branch…an extraordinary vine!

November 7, 2003

Father,

You do extraordinary work through ordinary people who are submitted to You. People have been calling my dad a saint. Which he is…but only because of You dwelling in his heart. He’s one of the most unlikely-looking saints according to the world’s standards. You don’t expect to see a saint walking around in overalls, black rubber boots and a straw hat. He wasn’t loud or boisterous. He simply lived his daily life filled with You.

He was the branch and You were the vine. Your life-giving spirit flowed through him quietly, yet powerfully. He didn’t brag about how You were giving him the power of life. It just happened naturally because he stayed in contact with You. As a result, Your life flowed through him and quietly affected those he came into contact with. Most of the time, they weren’t aware of Your life flowing through him. They just walked away from him feeling refreshed and renewed with some new truth to ponder.

Thank You for the abundant crop of fruit my dad (an ordinary branch) was able to produce… only because he clung to the Vine!

Prayer- Your House!

November 10, 2003

Holy Father,

How I love to go to the House of the Lord- Your House- Your church! Last night I had the opportunity to slip silently in an empty room to pray. All around me I heard the sounds of Your House filled with Your children! In the room across from me, the choir was practicing. Their blended voices raised as one praising heart to You. Down the hall in the gym, I could hear young boys playing basketball in the gym- safe and well in Your House! In the sanctuary, my sons along with other youth were practicing in the praise band preparing to lead worship. In another room, all the children from toddlers through 6th grade were filled with excitement getting ready for their singing in a special youth program.

If all those sounds fill me with such love and joy, I can only imagine what it does for You! How You must love seeing all Your children of all ages gather together in Your House! How You must love the sounds, the smiles, the hugs…the love!

Lord, I think back on the precious churches I’ve been a part of with the deepest love. I love all of them. I just enjoy being a part of Your family, gathered in Your House! What a privilege! What a gift! To be surrounded by those I love… sharing in Your love!!

Prayer- bless Veterans

November 11, 2003

Father,

Today is Veterans’ Day and my prayers are for those who have fought and served our country in the armed forces. My mind travels back to some of the men who founded our country. Thank You that they were willing to fight unto death to set up a land where we are free to worship You. Millions of soldiers since then have been willing to sacrifice their own lives so that their family, friends and future generations might keep that freedom.

I do not take this precious freedom lightly. It has been fought for by many young men and women. It has cost lives, incomprehensible suffering, disabilities, nightmares, torture in foreign prisons and separation from loved ones. The price that others freely paid for me to be able to worship in the church of my choice and to speak freely without fear of death or imprisonment is overwhelming.

Father, today I want to thank You for the long list of souls who gave up their own rights so I might keep mine. I know You have a special place in Your heart for those who were willing to lay down their lives for their brothers. Bring special comfort to those who are still alive who witnessed horrors and watched their dear friends fall around them. Bring peace to those whose minds cannot escape the memories. Bring joy to those who have known such deep sorrow. Be with those who are serving right now. Let them find security in You in their time of danger. Be near them when their loved ones can’t be.

Father, thank You for Veterans of all ages. Bless them.

***Visit www.troopfanmail.net to find how to write to our troops.***

Prayer- unfair situations

November 12, 2003

Father,

I thank You even for the unfair situations in life! Yesterday my son received what other students were calling unfair discipline at school. How I praise You for working through all circumstances for those who love You. You helped us turn it into a spiritual growth opportunity. He was able to not only gracefully accept the discipline- but it will help his character strengthen in You!

Father, it’s so tempting to want to whine and complain when we feel we are “wronged.” Thank You that through Your Holy Spirit we can see that Jesus was treated more unfairly than all of us. He alone was without sin, yet he took sin’s punishment (death) in our place so we might be sin-free throughout all eternity. How much more unfair can you get?

Perhaps some of those at school might see a little of Jesus in my son. I hope so. Although it’s a far cry from a little in-school suspension to death on the cross, I pray that you help my son carry it with Your grace and with You shining through. There was a small degree of guilt on my son’s part, so we decided together that he honestly deserved it, even though it might seem “unfair punishment.” Jesus had absolutely NO DEGREE of guilt and in no way did he deserve it, yet he willingly took the punishment completely out of love alone.

Prayer- for widows and orphans

November 13, 2003

Father,

I know You are close to the broken-hearted and You have a special place in Your heart for widows and orphans. I know how gently and closely You took care of me and my children when my first husband passed on. It brings me great hope and comfort to know You will do the same for my mother and my friend LaDawna as they both learn to live without their husbands by their side.

It is amazing how You can take such a painfully lonely time and turn it into a brand new type of relationship with You. Father, I pray that Mom and LaDawna both discover that You truly become their husband. May they discover that You will provide for their needs, give them security, listen to their worries and fears, care about their feelings. Even though they have both known You before, may they each come to know You more intimately through the hard times ahead. May they walk through the valley of the shadow of death and KNOW that You are with them.

I ask that You give them hope and even joy to encourage them along the way as they travel through their grief. May they find Your abundant joy after the mourning!!

Prayer- Hold me back!

November 14, 2003

Father,

Please keep me from trying to take away all the hard times my children have to endure. There are things which seem so utterly painful. As a mom, I just want to jump in there and take care of it for them so they don’t have to feel the pain. Thank You for holding me back. Thank You for reminding me that my job is to teach them Your ways and to pray for them. My job is not to take away all the pain and save them myself.

Keep me from trying to take over Your job, Lord. I know that You will lead them through the pain and help them to discover their own weakness… and their need for You. I know You will give them incredible strength for every situation as it is needed. I know that You work ALL things together for good for those who love You. I love You, Lord. And I know You love my children (even my grown ones- with even bigger more difficult trials.) You love them even more than I ever could. Let them find You in the midst of their trials- just as I always have. Let them find that they are never alone.

I’m so glad I can turn to You in prayer for my children and know that You will help them.

Prayer- out of the pit

November 18, 2003

Father,

When You let me feel such deep compassion for someone who is hurting or lost, I know that I am only experiencing a tiny fraction of what You feel for them. There is a deep urgency that makes me want to “do something” to help. Father, I know that the most important “thing” I can do is to pray for them.

My heart is heavy for a wonderful family I love very much that is reeling from the pain of divorce. Father, I pray for the wife who would give anything not to have to file for divorce…yet for her sake and her children, she has. She is reaching out for Your hand to pull her and the kids out of the satanic pit of alcohol and drugs. The most painful part is leaving the love of her life behind. Father, give her hope of a life in Your light. Let her discover You as the new Love of her life. Ease her loneliness and pain. Help the children to find their security in You. Give them Your strength.

Father, I pray that the husband be broken before You so that he might find wholeness in You. Let him see that his gods of alcohol and drinking are killing him and robbing him. I pray that he turns to You out of his powerlessness… for everything he needs. Let him discover You- the one true God, who alone, can restore his soul and give him an abundantly full rich life. Let him see clearly the choice before him- Life or death. I will continue to pray until he chooses Life!

Prayer- seeing through Your eyes

November 19, 2003

Father,

It is so easy to be overwhelmed by this world with the constant input of bad news and fearful reports. I chose to keep my eyes on whatever is lovely and pure. I will myself to think about what is right and truth, honorable and fair. Father, I do that by coming to You. Create in me a clean heart.

Father, when I come to You, I can see the beauty of this world– the wonder of the trees turning rich autumn colors, the refreshing breezes and the sunlight beaming through the clouds. When I come to You, I can see hope for the future. I can see the best in others. I see them as Your children. When I come to You, I even see the hope in me. I see that You didn’t give up on me even when I sin against You. You always see the potential of who You created me to be.

Lord, no matter how dark and bleak the news is or what seems to be pulling me down, when I come to You, my eyes suddenly see the promise of Your plan. You have wonderful plans– they are plans to bless and not harm. I refuse to see the world through the fearful lens it wants me to use. I desire to come to You and see the truth!

Prayer- a new brother!

November 20, 2003

Father,

Last night there was a new birth! Not of a baby, but of a young man who decided to give his life to You! It happened quietly, yet powerfully. No one knew there was anything going on in his heart. Only You saw the pulling, the desire building to live with You.

Father, I’m so happy for him to have a whole new life. Right now, I’m certain he doesn’t know what all this means, but I know he will grow in Your Holy Spirit. May he see for himself that Jesus is very much alive and real in his daily life. May he discover You as his best friend, his Rock, his shelter from the world, his Guide, his Peace, his Joy, most of all his Love.

Lord, I’m happy for You, too! I can only imagine how overjoyed You are when one of Your beloved children comes voluntarily to give their life to You!

May You draw him close as he has chosen this new life. Surround him with others who love You; who will encourage him and pray for him. May You bless this new brother of mine!

Prayer- drinking of the Living Water

November 21, 2003

Father,

This morning I fell a little spiritually dry, but even as I come to You- I know You will fill me up. You always do! I’m going to be quiet and drink up some of Your word today. Let’s see what You have to say…

Prayer- listing my thanks

November 24, 2003

Father,

I am incredibly BLESSED! How do I know? It’s because I’ve been counting my blessings and naming them. This whole week I want to devote to thanksgiving…to You! My cup overflows and I know all my rich blessings come from You. I could never thank You enough… but I’m going to try anyway!

Father, most of all, thank You for Jesus’ sacrifice so I can live eternally free from sin’s dark hold. Thank You for the new life I live, which is only possible because of Your great love, and Jesus’ obedience to You in dying for my sin. Thank You for the holy life I am now free to enjoy and the promise of more in the future.

Thank You for loving me so much, that You will never leave me alone. I know I never have to face anything without You. You are with me always…forever…without end! Thank You for the joy that comes from seeing You all around me. Thank You for the sweetness of the cold crisp air, the soothing warmth of the sun’s rays even in the cold. Thank You for the certainty of changing seasons and the deeper assurance of Your unchanging love.

Thank You for always being available. No matter what time it is, what’s going on with the rest of the world…You’re never too busy for me. I don’t know how You do that…but I’m eternally grateful that You are so powerful, yet so intimate. Thank you for…

Prayer- more thanks!

November 25, 2003

Father,

Thank You for the knowledge that I don’t have to take one step without You. You desire to lead me through my whole life. Thank You for my past, my present and my future all being in Your hands. No matter what happens, I know You are with me. Thank You for my rock solid-security in You!

Thank You for the rock-solid security You are for my children. No matter what they must go through, I can put them in Your hands and KNOW that You will lead them through and make something good out of every situation. Thank You for giving me such wonderful children and grandchildren. They are a delight to my soul!

Thank You for the precious gift of my husband. You know I was willing to be single all the rest of my days after my first husband died. I left it all up to You. I told You that if You wanted me to be married, You would have to put the man You chose right in front of me. Thank You for this kind and loving man who loves You and desires to live for You. Thank You for someone I can share life’s ups and downs with; someone who seeks Your will; someone to serve You and love You with.

There are so many things to thank You for! Thank You for…

Prayer- the thanks goes on!

November 26, 2003

Father,

The more I thank You, the more I realize how my cup overflows! You have blessed me beyond measure. Help me always to focus on what You give me… and not on the “more” I want from You. Your grace is so much more than sufficient for me. It is all I need. The rest is all overflow!

Thank You for parents who loved me and believed in letting You work through me! Thank You for my husband’s parents who have become so dear to me. Thank You for brothers, each one different, yet so close to my heart. Thank You for my brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws who have become my own family. Thank You for the sweet joy of seeing nieces and nephews grow from the time they were first born to the time they are having their own babies! Thank You for the ones I inherited when they were a little older! Thank You for my grandparents who have gone on before me (except my dear Grandma Ball who is definitely still here!) who have passed down strengths and values which have pointed towards You.

Thank You for friends who have shared so much- Your love, laughter over nothing at all, tears through painful times, quiet cups of coffee, broken and fixed relationships…Thank You for those who pray for me, who know my pain when it’s hard to talk, who also live with You and hear Your guiding words. Thank You for…

Prayer- thanksLIVING!

November 29, 2003

Father,

Thank You for those who have led the way in showing me the importance of thanking You for everything!

Thank You for Abraham who knew how important it was to stop and build altars to thank You for all Your blessings! Thank You for David who sang psalms of thanksgiving to You both from a personal point of view and on behalf of his whole nation! Thank You for Mary who sang the deepest, most humble song of thanksgiving when she was carrying Your Son in her very womb! Thank You for the one leper out of the ten who were healed by Jesus, who returned to say thank you! (I pray I always return to say thank you, instead of just going on with my life.) Thank You for Paul who knew to say thankYou in ALL circumstances- even the trials…trusting that You are making something good come out of it.

Thank You for those who came to America seeking a place where they could openly offer their thanks to You. Thank You for their desire to honor You and give You thanks for their survival and blessings. Thank You for those who have fought for and continue to protect our freedom to publicly give You thanks! Thank You for my Dad and others in my life who have modeled how to live a thankful life!

Most of all, thank You for being such a merciful, loving, intimate, powerful and involved-in-our-lives God who deserves more honor and thanks than we could ever give! You are worthy!!