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Heavenly Father,

I’m a huge believer in love…real love that lasts forever! In fact, there have been a few times in my life I have been honored to play a small part in matchmaking (putting 2 people together who ended up married!) There was those 2 friends from high school who went on a blind double date with us…the man and woman who attended the grief group I host (both grieving their spouses, who ended up together)…and even my son and daughter-in-law! (I guess you could say I played a part in all our children’s marriages since I was praying for their future spouses while they still feared “cooties” from the opposite sex! Now I’m praying for our grandchildren’s mates!) What a joy to see two people you love fall in love!

This weekend was a matchmaker set-up! My husband and I hosted a 24 hour Good Friday Prayer Vigil. From noon on Friday (when Jesus was crucified) until noon on Saturday, people came and went all day and all night. We set up a quiet room, complete with candlelight and no distractions. We urged people to sign up for a date with You for at least 30 minutes. We even provided conversation starters! Sometimes they were nervous beforehand about being alone with You. Some had been coming every year for 14 years and couldn’t wait for their annual special date! Every year, there are those who are afraid they won’t know what to say for 30 whole minutes. Often they end up staying longer because they don’t want to leave. We were so blessed to see the before and after effects. Some came in heavily burdened or frantic from the chaotic world…but when they came out, they had the glow of one in love. There was peace in their spirit and lightness in their step for they had been with You- the love of their life!

I love being a matchmaker! It’s not my job to make them love You, Lord. I just try to introduce them or provide an opening. Your love makes them fall in love with You! Everyone needs a love in their life that never leaves them, who helps them through whatever they must face, who sees them as they are and still loves them, who believes in them and encourages them, who challenges and comforts them…someone who they can go to and all is right with the world. You are truly the only one who can do that. Our sin and pride keep us from You…so You sent Jesus (the True Matchmaker) to lay down His life for us; to bring us back to You. He makes us bright and holy by His precious blood so we can not only have dates with You, but live with You now and forever! It’s a match made in heaven! I love You, Lord!

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“for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:4b-5

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him the glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.”   Revelation 19:7

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, thank You for showing Your eternal love through Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection given for me! Help me show my love for You through…

 

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Heavenly Father,

One month ago my son and daughter-in-law who live in Arkansas called to tell us they were expecting their third baby! I was overjoyed- just as they were. One week later, they called back to say it was a miscarriage. I grieved with them though long distance. It was hard because they had already told their two other children. The kids had each used fabric markers to make a tiny shirt for their new baby. My granddaughter had been hugging and patting her mom’s tummy. It seemed like all their hopes and dreams were gone. This family turned to You together to help them through their loss.

They came to visit us this last weekend. The kids brought the little memory books they had made about their baby sibling they had hoped to hold, play with and tease one day. I was deeply moved by their drawings and thoughts. My daughter-in-law seemed to still be having physical issues with the miscarriage while they were here, so my son took her to the Emergency Room. After telling their story, the doctor ordered blood work and other tests. I waited up late to hear what they found out. When they came back, they sat down with a stunned look on their faces and blurted out, “We’re still pregnant…and further along than we thought!” With shocked voices, they explained how the ultrasound tech moved the scanner over her body and showed where her bladder and everything else was, then pointed at the screen and said, “And there’s your baby with a healthy heartbeat!” They both had to lean way over to see for themselves. What they thought was dead was fully alive! And they found this out on the week of Resurrection Day!

Holy Week leading up to Resurrection Day is always my favorite Holy-day. The greatest thing to ever happen is celebrated today.  When Jesus died on the cross, it seemed all hope was lost, but He overcame death for us …and is fully alive! He is born in us when we surrender to Him. His Spirit inside us grows until nothing can hold it back. How do I know He lives? I once was dead yet now I live a full, abundant, overflowing, ever-growing eternal life in You, Lord!

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“In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.’”   John 3:3-6

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy, H has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead…”   1 Peter 1:3

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Prayer Peek & Prompt-

Father, Let me be willing to die to myself so Your Spirit may give birth to new life in my spirit

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Heavenly Father,

I have to walk around my yard at least once a day this time of year…and keep my eyes open as I walk in the neighborhood or drive to work. You’ve planted surprises for me at every turn. A month ago everything looked drab and lifeless. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought everything was dead. But I’ve lived enough years to know that Spring comes every year! With it the beauty and joy of new life pops out of the most unexpected places. Who would have thought such bright and cheerful flowers would faithfully come out of the ugly Daffodil bulbs planted so many years ago…and that they would multiply so! The trees which lost almost half of their branches in the last ice storm are bursting out with fresh new green buds…and in some cases, vivid purples and pinks and even snowy white flowers.

The brown soil which lacked water most of the winter is now rich with moisture and little tiny shoots are pushing out with hints of lush green and white hosta leaves. There are even a few dark pink Azaleas starting to peek out of their dead-looking stems. It’s so exciting to watch new life unfold before my eyes each day. Even the squirrels and birds are jubilant, scurrying about getting ready for their own new life.

Father, thank You for the surprises You surround us with all the time! Give us eyes to not only see, but hearts ready to savor and thank You for those delightful blessings. There is no way we can produce any of this joyous life on our own. It is bestowed by You alone. It is ours to soak up Your Spirit like sap that rises inside us and brings new life and hope after the winter trials of our lives. It is no accident that we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection this time of the year. What looked like death on the cross was actually new life being born and rising up in all who will accept and believe in You and Your Son- from whom all life flows. May Your Spirit burst out from me in joy unspeakable!

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“For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seed to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”   Ezekiel 36:26

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, help me see Your life all around…and to receive the overflowing eternal life You have given me through Jesus Christ.

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Heavenly Father,

You gave me the most awesome pep talk this morning! I didn’t even realize I needed it, but I got it anyway! First I opened up an email from a fellow Christian writer who wrote about not letting excuses (like being too busy, too hard, or wanting to quit) keep me from writing what You put on my heart to share. Then I get a phone call from a friend who wanted to thank me for the turn-around in her life (all I did was point towards You! But that was big and that’s what it took!)…then I spoke on the phone to someone I care deeply for who is grieving. I shared the not-yet published manuscript for CHILDREN”S FOREVER MEMORY JOURNAL with them to use with their kids to make a memory book. They told me how much it helped the whole family.

Our preacher just finished a sermon series on Fighting for Your Marriage. He used the picture of a fighter in a ring who has an opponent, yet who also has someone in their corner to coach them, cheer them on, give them first aide and water. He was talking about a spouse, but he was also talking about the greater mystery of Christ and the church. This morning, I got a hard-hitting yet powerful pep talk from You. It was a reminder that I am never alone in the fight!

I will be in this ring, fighting against an opponent, until my very last breath. The low jabs, trying to hold me on the ropes or pin me to the mat, and painful punches to my body and soul may catch me off guard at times, but they will never knock me out! I have You in my corner. You sent Your Son to overcome the opponent once and for all. Jesus, who reigns victorious at Your side, is in my corner. He has already defeated the opponent and knows exactly how to help me overcome! Thanks for the pep talk, the living water, the encouragement, the direction, the refreshment, the reminder that You are with me and no one can defeat me. I will go back into the ring to fight the good fight in the most peaceful, loving way- with Jesus in my corner!

 

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“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”   Matthew 28:19-20

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   John 16:33

“This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”   1 John 5:4-5

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Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, there’s no greater reassurance than to know You are in my corner! Am I in Your’s?