Dear friends.
When we hear of a death or a group of deaths, we think of it as a tragedy. It is tragic to us because we are left behind. It is especially tragic to us if we love or are close to the one who died. Praise God! Death is not the end!

Tragedy

Those of us who have loved someone, and then had them pass from this life, have to struggle with the tragedy of death. Death was not God’s perfect design. It was His will to have us live in the Garden with Him forever and ever. He gave man the freedom to choose and mankind chose to not trust God’s perfect will but to disobey. Ever since that first sin, we have all been born with sin as part of our DNA and there is a separation between us and God’s perfect presence. Ever since then, there has been death. (But Praise God! He overcame the tragedy and finality of death by sending His own sinless Son Jesus Christ to willingly die on the cross, once and for all, for our collective and personal past, present and future sin! God Almighty turned the greatest tragedy of all time into the greatest victory of all time…so of course, God sees death differently than we do. Yet He knows us well enough to understand our tragic viewpoint and weeps with those of us left behind.)

Reality

Anyone who has been with someone when they died knows full well the reality of death. Our loved ones are here one moment and in the blinking of an eyes, they are gone. Their empty body may be in front of us, but the person (the essence of who they really are) is gone. It is more than we can comprehend. Where did they go? Will I ever see them again? How can I go on without them? How can God let this happen? These are all questions we wrestle with as we deal with the reality of learning how to live here—when they have gone on. Death might have come from a tragic accident, long or sudden illness, suicide, war, murder, old age, or in the womb. It is a painful time to go through, but when we put our faith in the reality of what Jesus accomplished on the cross and in His resurrection, it becomes easier to finish our own race with our eyes on the finish line. Our real life is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eternity

This earthly life is short and temporary (no matter how long it is lived). When we accept God’s loving grace and the gift of His Son dying for our sins and being raised in eternal life, we also are willing to die to our old earthly lives and be raised with Jesus as new creations into eternal life with our Heavenly Father. Nothing can ever take that life away. It begins the moment we believe that Jesus died for us personally so we could live with Him eternally. We may still have to wrestle with the pain of a loved one’s passing, but we can trust the reality of eternal life through Jesus Christ. The true tragedy is for those who have not yet believed in the reality and finality of what God has given us through His own Son Jesus Christ—who not only made a way for us to be intimately joined with God but who never ever leaves us.

I will be praying for you as you struggle with the reality of death and life. I pray you choose LIFE!
Love and prayers,
Eva

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18

 

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55

 

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.” Psalm 116:15

Most Glorious Father,
I must admit I love prayers, both public and private…but I also know the public prayer is empty and meaningless when there has been no private prayer. The thing I love most about prayer is that is being with You, being aware of You, talking to You, resting silently in You, singing to You, trusting in You, bringing everything and anything to You, seeking You, finding You, being corrected, refreshed, restored and re-created by You… so many amazing things happen when we come to You in prayer. Prayer is not the power. It is simply our coming to You—the One who has all power, authority, direction, peace and love. I suppose, then, it is not prayer that I love…but You!

Both Public and private prayer can be vital links to You, Lord. I am always amazed when I read Jesus’ public prayers for us. The longest recorded section of words spoken by Jesus is actually the most incredible prayer ever prayed. John 17 is Jesus’ out loud prayer for His beloved followers, but was also recorded because Jesus said He was praying for me and all “who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-21) He continues to pray for us, when we are willing to leave this old-world order and accept Him as our King and become His subjects, in His Kingdom. He is still praying for us: “Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34) I am forever grateful for Jesus’ private and public prayers for me!

I am also so thankful for the many times someone else has stopped what they were doing just to pray for me and with me. I recall times of overwhelming situations, when I have been weary, unsure, in battle, approaching a new crossroad, needing help praying for a loved one, unsure of direction…I love to know there are others praying for me in private, but there are times I sure have needed those out loud prayers! I believe in passing that on. We all need someone to pray out loud and privately for us (and with us) on this challenging journey.

That brings me to these Prayer Peeks I write. I know Jesus said to pray in Your closet where no one sees, but He certainly didn’t say to never pray out loud. We each need to have our own private relationship with You—one that no one else has. When we have that, we want others to have their own private relationship with You, Father. We know that special relationship comes through becoming a new creation through Jesus Christ. Our new lives in Your Kingdom grows and matures as we spend private time with You. But as someone once said, “If you are already going to the throne room of God, grab someone’s hand and take them with you.” Lord, I write these prayer peeks and prompts to grab someone’s hand and lead them to Your throne—so they can have their own relationship with You. Here they are. I pray they want more of You publicly and privately.

 

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“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them for Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 5:5-8

 

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:18-20

 

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Prayer Prompt-
Lord, help me spend more time with You in private and public prayer…

Heavenly Father,

Even though I was young, when I first heard Martin Luther King’s dream of all Your children playing and living together someday in peace, I knew this is how You want it to be. It sounded perfect, but like many dreams, it takes a lot blood, sweat and tears for it to come true. It often takes someone’s earthly life like it did Dr. King’s. In my lifetime, I have seen huge advances toward that dream becoming reality…and yet I don’t know that it will be fully realized in our present earthly lives. Our sinful nature finds too many reasons to prejudge by one another’s appearance, to be divided, and even to hate for the smallest differences.

Lord, You spell out Your own dream (actually a promise) in the last book of the Bible in Revelation 7:9—”After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” You gave us a glimpse into the new heaven and new earth where all Your people are praising You in one voice—with one spirit—in one love. Jesus was willing to give up His life for our oneness with Him and with You, Lord.

Our love for You, as we more fully realize Your love for us, will spill over for love for one another. Oh Lord, how I long for that day! Just when I think I am making headway towards this fullness of love, You expose some way I still let something divide my love for others. Lord, Your love is pure, holy, perfect, all-encompassing—even for those who disrespect the very One who gives them everything—the very One who sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us while we were full of sin. There is no greater love!

Father, I will not be able to end hate, prejudice, racial or other types of divisions here on earth, but I surely can let Your love rule in me. Here I am, Lord, will You continue to create in me a clean heart that loves the unworthy, those who hate me, those who hurt my loved ones, those who misjudge me, those who sin against You. Let my heart and spirit be one with You because of Jesus…and let me give others a glimpse of all Your people praising You in the white robes that only Jesus gives us as we acknowledge Him as our personal Lord and Savior.

 

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“And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9

 

“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.’” Acts 10:34-36

 

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, use me to help bring Your dream/promise of oneness of Your kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven…

Dear friends,
It is absolutely true that death is at the forefront when your loved ones dies. Sometimes your loved one’s death hits you out of nowhere like getting hit by a semi-truck. The awfulness and finality of death has to be dealt with and relived until the reality can be absorbed. The deep wounds and traumatic injuries must be attended to. The shock of how they can be here one moment and gone the next must be dealt with. A lot of questions, regrets, and emptiness must be wrestled with. Death is definitely the cause of grief, but I propose it doesn’t have to be the outcome of grief. After 25 years of personal grieving and standing with others through grief, I have watched death turn into life over and over again. You may have to walk through the pain of death but Life is worth it!

 

Your Life Together
No one else can understand the relationship you shared with your child, baby, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, friend or person who meant so much to you. You shared a one-of-a-kind relationship that no one else has ever had in history because there has never been another you or another them. You share so many memories, hopes, dreams, battles…Some were fulfilled and others were not. Grief helps you review what you shared together and what you hoped to share forever.

 

Their Unique Life
Your loved one was a special individual—never before replicated even by those who shared the same DNA. They have left a trail that has impacted others in one way or another. It is amazing how the absence of someone causes you to realize who they really are and how many lives have been touched by them simply being who they are. You can choose to carry the best of them with you as you keep going.

 

Your Life Without Them
There is a huge learning curve as you process the fact you must go on without their physical presence. There is a huge recognition of loneliness as no one else can fill that particular void. Much of grief is the hard work of figuring out how to live without them. Nobody but you can do that. I believe it takes the realization of knowing that you never go forward alone. Not only do you carry them forward as part of who you are, but I pray you discover as I have (and many others have) that the Lord is with you and will never ever leave you.

 

Preciousness of Life
It’s sad to say that we too often take life for granted. We assume loved ones will be with us always. There is nothing like the death of a loved one that makes you more fully appreciate life, relationships, the air we breathe, being careful what you say and how you treat others because it could be the last time you see them or they see you in this present form. One of the most often repeated sentiments by grievers is to hug your loved ones tighter and tell them you love them for no one is promised tomorrow.

 

Promise of Eternal Life

However, we are promised eternal life—a life without end. It can be a glorious, unspeakably wonderful life with our Lord, our Creator, our God and our loved ones. There is nothing like the death of someone we love that smacks us into the harsh reality of how short this particular life is and that we go somewhere afterward. Often during grief, we may even get a little peek of the glory of the life to come if we are watching and we know who to watch for. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He has gone to prepare us a place where there is no more death, illness, violence, darkness or tears of grief.

Dear friends, I pray that as you face death, you ask Jesus to lead you through this valley of the shadow of death. Death is caused by sin, but God gave us Jesus to overcome death and make a way to eternal life. Ask Him to be your Savior, traveling guide, comforter, friend, counselor…He brings life even from death!

Love and Prayers,
Eva

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“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-56

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Most Glorious Father,
How I love my quiet time with You. There can be sparks of war, reports of violence near and far, deaths of loved ones, misunderstandings, relationships divided or under attack, threats of bad health or uncertainty of finance…but when I come to You to simply be in Your presence, it all melts away in Your glory and peace. There are times, the attacks of bad news and the veil of darkness are so palpable that I have to fight my way to my sweet spot in You. But You are always there waiting for me to come. When I find my way to You through Jesus, I find all I need in You. Your quiet peace is so much more powerful than all the noise the blustery bullying that evil makes. Here I come once again to You, Lord!

You are and ever will be victorious over anything this world and darkness throws at us. All we have to do is be still and know that You are God! Father, You are fully aware of how weak we are, how vulnerable we are to the threats and attacks. How I thank You for all I have been through which has taught me over and over again, to come to You through Jesus Christ. Some days I just breathe and remain in You all day. Other times, the struggle is real and the attacks come from all directions trying to keep me from You.

Some days, it appears I have to fight to get to my sweet spot in You. At least that’s what the enemy wants me to think—that the battle is too big; that Your silence means You are gone—but You never leave me, Lord. I just need to place my focus, my hope, my life on You and Your presence once again. The best way I have found to fight my way to You is to be still, to praise You, to remember who You are, to seek You with all my heart, mind and strength—the Lord God who is over me and all that is. You are the One who commands heaven and earth. You are the One who loves me more than anyone else possibly could. You are the One who restores my soul, fills me with Your Holy Spirit, uses little ole me to defeat giants. You are the One who refreshes me in Your sweet presence even here on earth and who promises an eternal sweet spot with You that I will never have to leave! It seems a little silly to call You my sweet spot, Lord- I am but a beloved little speck in the vastness of Your Holy Presence! There is plenty of room in Your Holy Sweet spot for every beloved little speck You’ve created!

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“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” Psalm 46:10

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father God, help me turn to You and find You….