Heavenly Father,

Most people have had a dream of being found naked and exposed in public. We see our flaws and try to cover them up so no one else does. What about that first time we expose ourselves completely to the one we love? They may not love us if they see our warts, wrinkles, scars or blemishes. What if all our secret thoughts and actions were caught on video for all the world to see? No one could possibly like us if they knew our deepest thoughts. Most Holy Father, You know me far better than I know myself. There is nothing hidden from You…and yet You still love me! What an amazing love!

 

You created us to live unashamed with You, but sin gets in the way and reveals our guilt and shame. We try to hide from You and even attempt to blame others or our circumstances. All along, You see our sin and know it keeps us from the sweet intimacy of eternal life with You. As a young girl, I recall thinking that I didn’t have sin—that I was a good girl. It didn’t take long to see glimpses of sin in my life. In fact, after all these years, You still expose sin in my life that I didn’t even know was there. Yet now, I can stand unashamed before You, resting sure that Your love is absolutely true and covers all my known and yet unknown sin.

 

You knew not even one of us is without sin. You knew there was no other way to wash us clean except by the innocent blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. You knew He had to be born as one of us, tempted to sin but remaining pure and holy all the way to the cross where He willingly died for my sin (and everyone else’s).  That is true love! You not only love me despite my sin and imperfection- You made a way to take it completely away. I can now come before You unashamed. In fact, I love the way You still expose my unclean thoughts and actions. You gently remind me that I am covered with radiant garments because I have accepted and trust in the sweet sacrifice of love You have given me through Jesus Christ!

 

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“You have searched me, Lord, and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely.”   Psalm 139:1-4

 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

 

“And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at his coming.”  1 John 2:28

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, I believe that Jesus died to cover my sin so I can stand unashamed before You…

Heavenly Father,

I know there is nothing new under the sun, but there seems to be a “new” movement to do away with any kind of history that offends someone, or to remove names of well-known people from the past who had any type of blemish on their record, or to find each and every mistake ever made by any person willing to serve in any type of public leadership. Do we really think there is anyone who is without sin? You have made it clear to us there is not one (except Jesus!) There is no perfect person and no perfect people or nation.

 

I am so thankful that the greatest history book ever written (the Bible) does not hide the weaknesses and mistakes of those who have lived before us. You are not afraid to show that You love to use people who have ugliness and sin in their past. You do not cover up very real sins, weaknesses and poor choices (such as murder, adultery, manipulation, idolatry, disobedience, rebellion, self-righteousness…the list goes on.) If we were to show only the best with our version of whitewashed history, we might all think we were capable of being our own god, of controlling our own eternal destiny, of changing the world with our own actions and willpower. If we try to clean up all our history, we might choose to idolize a human (with all their hidden sin).

 

It is vitally important that we face the fact of our ugly nature that has (and still is) holding others humans as slaves, attempting genocide to kill out whole people groups, not listening to the cries of the unborn- the poor- the oppressed, not caring for the elderly- widows and orphans, not working together with others to show mercy but demanding our own ways… We are sinful as individuals and as people groups. We are, far too often, quick to point out the sins of others while not acknowledging our own sin.

 

Thank You, Father, for sending Your One true perfect Son, Jesus Christ, the only One who was born human yet without sin. You sent Him to be born as one of us, tempted in every way. He was the only One worthy to die as a pure unblemished sacrifice to cover all our sins once and forever. Our sins may still be on record as far as the world is concerned, but when we believe and accept what only Jesus could do for us, Father- You see the holy purity of Your Son Jesus living in us. It is then, that You can use a surrendered soul with all their weaknesses and faults for Your glory. Yes, I too, am a sinner with a past who has been washed eternally clean with the sacred blood of Jesus Christ. I will be thanking You and praising You forever!

 

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“Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?’”   Proverbs 20:9

 

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”    1 John 1:8

 

“There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood- to be received by faith.”  Romans 3:22-25

 

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, I admit I am a sinner and need Your gift of eternal salvation through Jesus…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,
How our country needs healing and a fresh revival—as do our families, towns, churches, government and world. Lord, I so badly want every person to experience the love and security that comes from knowing You and trusting You as their Savior and God. My heart cries out for it. My spirit weeps for it. My trust in You knows it can happen. Right now, with a pandemic causing us all to see how very short this life is—how our earthly lives can end in an instant from a car accident, an illness, a virus, a bomb, a shooting…we all need to be ready. As much as I want people to be restored to an eternal relationship with You, I know You want that even more than I ever could. That’s exactly why You sent Jesus.

 

You sent Your own precious Son, the only One worthy enough to carry all past, present and future sin to the cross to die in our place. You never force His sacrifice upon anyone. You give each person the chance to believe and accept what Jesus Christ did for them personally, once and for all. You offered Your own sacrifice for our sin, because there is nothing we can do to sanitize the impurity of our own sin. We each receive healing and revival through Jesus, when we trust who He is and what He has done for us. Just as we cannot bring healing and revival in our own life, we cannot cause revival in our families, homes, cities, churches, governments or world. It all comes from Your perfect gift of love—Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

 

Lord, we know where new life comes from. As Your children, who are called by Your name, we have personally experienced healing and transformation through Jesus. And oh! How we desire it for others. That’s why we come to You humbly, knowing You can refresh and renew Your people as we bow and pray to You. You can and will cause a mighty healing and revival as we come humbly before You, confessing we have not been totally faithful to You, that we still seek after the things of this world instead of You. Father, we repent and ask You to restore and renew our hearts toward You as our first and upmost love. We also ask You to turn other hearts toward You—those of our families, neighbors, cities, churches, country and this world we live in. Father, I pray this deeply felt prayer on behalf of those I know and love, as well as those I haven’t even met yet. I know others are praying for healing and revival, too! Whatever it takes, Lord, let Your Spirit fall afresh on us!

 

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“Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation.” Psalm 85:4-7

 

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:13-15

 

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (note- the only way to be righteous is through Jesus Christ)

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I humbly confess I have sinned against You but I trust in Jesus’ forgiveness. Now I pray for healing and revival for…

Heavenly Father,
Most of us are staying safe at home during this pandemic…yet even our home doesn’t feel safe due to the ongoing reports of death, fear, and despair blasted over all kinds of media. Yet there is a safe place reserved for each of us where no one, or no thing, can touch us. This safe place can be entered any time or anywhere. Sometimes, it means fighting off all those dark menacing voices and closing the door behind us. It requires us to be still and know that You are God—and to shift our focus from all the doomsday reports to Your absolute goodness. Our quiet safe place is holy and clean, but we can enter for we have been personally cleaned and sanitized by Jesus’ blood on the cross. Our purity was paid for by His death on the cross once and for all so we can enter freely. This is the time to accept His gift to us…

 

We may be covered with seen and unseen sin. We might look Ok, but we are stained with the sin that is worldwide. We are both carriers and infected by sin. Not one of us is clean enough to enter Your throne room, Lord. Not one of us can receive eternal life without Your purification. Jesus was the ONLY ONE worthy to be born as a man and yet walk unblemished by sin through this world. His pure blood was willingly given on the cross once and for all. It seems too good to be true. And yet, it is. All we have to do is accept His eternal cleansing as we bow humbly at the foot of the cross and let His pure and holy blood pour over us and make us pure so we can enter into eternal life with You!

 

Father, thank You for the eternal cure to this world of sin. Thank You for my eternal life which is promised to me now and forever more. Thank You for the knowledge that death, a pandemic virus, sin, or nothing at all can separate me from Your love. I can walk in this world a little longer until it is my time to be forever with You. I can also step away right now—from this chaotic world into the sweet peace of Your throne room with You. All is well! You are my peace and joy in this pandemic. You are my safe place. Lord, how I want others to find You through Jesus Christ!

 

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

 

“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

 

“This is my (Jesus’) blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I realize I need a Savior from sin. I accept Your gift of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior now…

Heavenly Father,
You’ve done it again! Every year as the celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection approaches, I ask You to show me something new about Jesus. Last night as my husband and I watched the movie “The Passion of Christ,” You pointed out something new. We watch the movie once a year during Holy Week. It is a very hard movie. We can only watch it once a year and that is only because we don’t dare want to ever forget what You gave us when You sent Jesus to die and be resurrected for us.
There is always a temptation to want to close my eyes when it comes to certain parts but I make myself watch. This year I saw something new. There may be a few things in the movie that have been added to what the historical account in the Bible tells, but the horror of Jesus’ torture and death is probably pretty accurate. This year’s viewing hit me in a new way starting with Jesus being led like a quiet willing sheep to slaughter. The Son of God- who helped make all there is in the beginning- the One who has all power and authority on heaven and earth, the only One ever born to live completely without any sin, the One who has the right to judge was escorted like a guilty criminal before His own creations and allowed Himself to be judged and convicted to death.
The new thing I saw was the deep look of love Jesus had for:
• the ones who swore allegiance unto death but fled at the sign of danger
• the ones who yelled “Crucify Him!”
• the ones who told lies to have Him put to death
• the one who could find no guilt in Him yet allowed the crowd to rule
• the ones who beat Him beyond recognition, spit on Him and mocked Him
• the ones He loved who deserted him, denied Him and betrayed Him
• the one who was released in His place
• the ones who drove the nails
Jesus look of love was more powerful than any personal hurt, disappointment, abandonment, loneliness he experienced. He knew why He was giving His life. He wasn’t killed—He gave His life so we can live forever with You. He knew we are each weak and cannot save ourselves. He knew we were all sinners. He knew He was taking our deserved punishment for our sin. He, who has no sin, gives each of us that same powerful look of love from the cross despite our sin against You, Lord. It is His desire that not even one should perish. I want to look at You and others with Jesus’ look of love.

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“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely, He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:3-6

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13

“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.” John 3:16-17

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Lord, open my eyes to see Your look of love for me from the cross…

Heavenly Father,
I cringe when I think how long I let unforgiveness have a foothold in my life. Almost twenty years is too long! It’s true that according to the world’s standards I was innocent and had every right to be angry, and those who had hurt me had no right to expect my forgiveness. Yet one day I realized a horrible poison was causing a deadly cancer to grow in me. It was unforgiveness. The symptoms caused bitter sickness whenever the offender’s name was mentioned or the sight of them. It was eating away at my peace and joy. It was interfering with my freedom to live fully in Your forgiveness, Lord.

One day I read Jesus’ warning. “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins against you, Your Father will not forgive your sins.” Ouch!! Lord, You were speaking to my very soul. It was Your deep desire to heal me from this deadly disease of unforgiveness. You knew I was innocent of the wrong in the first place, but I had let my pain and bitterness get a dangerous foothold deep in my soul. I was in critical spiritual health.

Lord, it took repeated times of forgiving. I didn’t mean it as much when I first began. Yet the more I prayed for those who had hurt me, the more I meant it. Each time I forgave them, it became a little more sincere. What a relief! What a burden lifted! How I praise You for helping me to forgive like You did me. The more I practice forgiveness, the easier it becomes. Father, forgive them as You have forgiven me. Let us all live in the freedom of forgiveness that is only possible because of Jesus Christ.

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“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

“…Forgive and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, I forgive….

 

Heavenly Father, today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent- the season approaching Your priceless gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection for our eternal salvation. For years, I didn’t know what Ash Wednesday or Lent were since the church I grew up in didn’t always observe these traditions. I am all for anything that helps us realize who You are, Father…and who we are. Ash Wednesday was established to help us realize and admit we have sinned against You, Lord. That is true. Those who observe Ash Wednesday, have ashes placed on their foreheads often in the shape of a cross with a spoken reminder that our bodies will return to dust. That is also true. Yet, as I was contemplating what to give up for Lent this year, You placed “enjoy” on my heart. What a surprise!
Realizing I am a sinner and giving up something I really like usually doesn’t immediately spell enjoyment! But as I think about who You are, Lord, and all You do for me, I am humbled as I think of the ways I have disappointed You, not trusted You, rebelled against You, ignored You, argued with You, been prideful in front of You- in all Your majestic glory! Oh yes! I have sinned against You. Yet, I know that as soon as I ask, because of Jesus, I am forgiven. I also fully understand that my body will return to dust. I have buried far too many loved ones to not realize how real that truth is. So where does enjoyment come in?

The surprise for me came this morning when You pointed out that I was created for Your enjoyment! I wondered how I could possibly bring You enjoyment… I thought of my children and grandchildren, and though they made mistakes and might have rebelled against me, I enjoy who they are, who I know they are becoming. Their feeble young attempts to show me love in their limited way and watching them grow and mature has brought me immense enjoyment in my life!

Then You placed on my heart that I need to enjoy You! I can only truly enjoy Your very real presence in my soul when I confess and turn from my sin; when I realize I cannot be holy enough to dwell with You without my Savior Jesus to completely do away with my sin. It is done! I also realize I still need to cut out things that want to sneak in and take priority in my life. How can I truly enjoy You, Lord, when I am focused on other things? So yes, I am ready to admit I need Jesus, and I will give up things which threaten to come between us. But I will fill those areas that are taken away with the rich enjoyment of Your presence that I can savor for all eternity long after this body has turned to dust! You enjoy me so I can enjoy You! Sounds like love!

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This prophecy about Jesus in Isaiah 61:1-2 is how much the Lord enjoys us and the only way we can truly enjoy Him:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:3-4

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, How can I bring you enjoyment….

Most High God,

There are times I fit all too well into this world…and there are times I feel completely out of place in this world. This morning I seem to be out of place. As I hear things that are dishonoring to You, it hurts my heart. How can people live their lives without any thought of You—the very One who created them and gives them life? They live their lives with no thought or acknowledgement of Your sovereignty. Worse yet, is the mocking, downright rebellion, rejection and haughty attitudes that spit in Your face—the very One who knit our DNA and cells into existence—the One who created all the beauty and wonder and miracles to give us breath, life and everything we need.

I hear young children use Your Holy name like a flippant curse word; I hear older people who should know better say Your name with vulgar ugliness spewing from their hearts. It seems fewer people honor You with their lives, actions and words. It seems like there is more honor for the latest movie, sports team, lottery, manmade achievement, political party, paystub, vacation spot, musician, Hollywood star, house, car, animal, biggest TV, latest tech gadget—pretty much anything other than You and Your Son Jesus.

Yet You knew all this when You sent Your Son Jesus to be born as one of us (yet holy and without sin) for the sole purpose of taking our eternal punishment. Not one of us is without sin against You (including me). We have all dishonored You—yet You love us and desire that we will choose to accept the great honor You have given us through the sacrifice of Your Son even though we are definitely undeserving. It is Your great desire to have us live with You forever in perfect peace. It is Your desire that not one should perish but have the eternal life You long to give us. The day is coming when every single one of us will see You in all Your glory and realize who You are.  Father, thank You for the way You honored me with Jesus’ death and resurrection—though I do not deserve it. Help me honor You more and above all in this earthly life and forever.

 

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Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they ae doing.’” on the cross, Luke 23:34

 

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-38

 

 

“Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and worship Him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.’”  Revelation 4:9-11

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, show me what I honor above You…

Heavenly Father,

During the past week, I’ve been extremely aware of the distractions that come as I take time in prayer with You, Lord. I know it happens all the time, but each day I have purposely set aside quiet time in my backyard to spend alone with You during this past week, I have been more aware of how easily distracted I am. With all my heart, I have started out desiring to simply be still and spend time enjoying Your presence, worshipping You, praising You, thanking You, listening to You,  and then bringing people before You. No matter how sincere my intentions were, within the first few minutes, it seemed I caught my mind wandering…to a dead leaf on a plant that needed to be picked off, to a potting bench project that needs to be completed, to a crazy squirrel trying to get in my bird feeder, to my nearby phone that seemed to be calling me even with no ring! How easily I am distracted! I think that’s why I write a lot when praying to You. It helps me stay focused on You!

As soon as I was saddened at the thought of how quickly I am distracted during my special time with You, You showered me with tender love. You reminded me that even though my husband and I truly love one another, that at times we become so accustomed to one another’s voices that we simply do not hear the words the other is saying. We still love one another. We just have to work a little harder at concentrating on the very one we love who is so near. Father, how patient You are with me! How tender is Your beautiful mercy. You understand my prone to wandering. Yet You also appreciate my attempts to come to You with all my heart, mind and soul.

You are so personally involved in our lives that this morning, as I once again sat outside for my alone time with You, I opened my devotion up to read and it “just so happened” to be about “wandering from Your peaceful presence!” You would think after all my years of loving my time with You, I wouldn’t wander. Funny, the distractions seem to happen more often for me when the pathway seems smooth. It’s easier to want all my requests to be heard when there is a huge challenge to overcome. Then You have all my attention!  Lord, I’m so glad You know my humanness and are there to help remind me to come back to You as soon as I realize I have wandered. Let me recognize the distractions and turn back to You, the One who loves me anyway! Father, I am so grateful that You are never distracted from me.

 

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“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak.”   Matthew 26:41

 

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He said. But Martha became distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’  ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset by many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:39-41

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, show me what distracts me from Your sweet presence…

Gracious Loving Lord,

I have been amazed more than once by a spouse who forgave their marriage partner and kept on loving them even after they were unfaithful. That is some incredible love. I believe it goes past human capacity for love. It has to be Your love flowing through them. In the cases I am thinking of, I have seen the love grow stronger than ever once they get past that huge challenge. The cheating mate sometimes realizes that no one else could ever love them with that type of love. It won’t work if the one cheated on keeps bringing up the offense, always hanging it over their head, like a debt that cannot ever be paid.(Although it takes time for trust to rebuild). The unfaithfulness has to be forgiven and forgotten, which takes time and a lot of help from You, Lord. And the cheating has to stop. There has to be true repentance and sorrow. Faithful love covers a multitude of sins.

Yet that is how You love us, Lord. We belong to You. You created us to be in a forever relationship with You, and yet every single one of us has at some time cheated on You. We’ve been unfaithful. We have loved someone or something more than You. We have even offered our mind, bodies and souls to another god- of money, fame, status, material possessions, drugs, alcohol, entertainment, sexual pleasure, power, reputation- even religion without love for You can be a god…Sometimes we even get so obsessed with other relationships that they come before You. All our other relationships will grow in love when our relationship with You is first.

Father, I know there will be temptations to cheat on You because even Jesus was tempted (although He was the only One who remained true without sin). Lord, help me realize those temptations for what they are. Forgive me for the flirtations, for the seemingly little harmless times I look at other gods and am tempted to give my heart and soul to another. I belong to You. You loved me so much that You sent Jesus to bring me back to You. He died on the cross to completely cover my sins against You and my unfaithfulness to You. I am pledged to You through Jesus Christ; sealed for all eternity with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is coming back for me to take me to Your Home. I want to be found faithful to You, Lord. Let me love You with all my heart, mind and soul. Let me be true to You.

 

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“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit He caused to live in us envies intensely? But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.”  James 4:4-8

 

“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 he has not believed  in the name of God’s one and only Son.”  John 3:16-18

“Jesus said (on the cross), ‘Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.’”  Luke 23:34

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, I am sorry for being unfaithful to You by…