all things work together for good
all things work together for good

All things work together for good

My Prayer Peek/ your prayer prompt [blessings in a pandemic]

 

Most Holy Father,

 

Over and over again, I hear how horrible this year has been…and I have to admit, personally it has been challenging with the loss of dear friends and family members (two due to suicide which carries it’s own heartbreak), loss of income, not being able to accompany family members or them with me in medical crisis, not being able to gather as a family, or even to worship as I am accustomed to. Yet, oh my sweet Lord, how I see You at work with blessings overflowing in the midst of what some are calling “the worst year ever.” Having gone through my share of many trials, I have to say, once again, Lord, You make beauty from ashes, and it is definitely true that You create good out of what seems the worst when we have eyes to see…

 

                Some of the sweet blessings I see developing out of a year of world-wide pandemic include:

  • A slowing down of the fast-paced driven society that leaves little time for deepening relationships and simply enjoying one another.
  • Parents spending more time with their children with bike rides, walks, games, fishing and other non-stress activities.
  • With the real threat of death due to this virus, people are reviewing and simplifying their lives to savor the most important treasures which are relationships. Even the healthy are realizing today could be their last day. It changes the way we live.
  • More time to sit quietly and share all our heart with You, Lord, through prayer.
  • Letting go of things we have no control over and trusting You to make good come from our current situation—no matter how dire.
  • Learning to live with less since this pandemic has created a shortage of many things.
  • Holding our dear loved ones before You and realizing You love them even more than we ever could, and You want more for them than we could ever ask for or imagine.
  • Realizing You love us just because of who we are, and not for what we can do for You and Your Kingdom.
  • Believing that this dark and hopeless world needs the Light You give us through our relationship with Jesus Christ now more than ever. Our answer of hope, when we are hit with dark fear and hopelessness, does far more than we can imagine—even if we don’t see immediate results. The hope we share is eternal and stands for all time.
  • Doctors cannot save everyone, but You long to give us eternal life.
  • If and when I die from Covid-19 or any other cause- I know I will live forever with You! I am ready.

 

Thank You, Lord, for the countless rich blessings You are showering us with even in this horrible pandemic. Open our eyes to see them and thank You for them.

 

 

*******

 

“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.”    Isaiah 61:3

 

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

 

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”  1 Peter 3:15

 

******

 

Your prayer prompt-

Father, open my eyes through Jesus Christ to see You and Your glory in the midst of ….

God's presence
God's presence

privilege of being still in His presence

My Prayer Peek/your prayer prompt [sit in Your presence]

Most Glorious Lord,

My favorite thing is to sit in Your presence and just soak up Your glory! There are times I have to work harder at leaving all the distractions, worries, to-do lists, and urgent calls upon my heart to simply sit and be still before You. The more I am still with You, the more I want to do it more. In fact, once I am sitting still before You, I can feel Your presence all around. I know You are blessing me and filling me and doing much more than I could possibly know during this precious time together. Often, I don’t even want to leave this wonderful place where we simply sit in quiet union in an eternal space where time does not matter.

 

Having been brought up as a worker and a doer, there are times I must fight against the guilty sense of what looks like doing nothing. But, oh Lord, I have discovered it is the most important thing I could ever do. There is so much that goes on being in Your presence than I could ever comprehend in this life. In Your presence, I find all I could ever need: reassurance, comfort, wisdom, complete forgiveness, understanding, direction, peace, vision, eternal hope, tender correction, renewed strength, refreshment for my weary soul…

 

There may not be many words but much happens in this quiet time I spend just savoring the mighty miraculous gift of the presence of the Most High in a very intimate way in my little insignificant heart. It seems I have all the attention of the Great I Am…yet I know You share Your presence with whoever accepts Jesus as the way. Lord, not only do I know I can sit in Your presence now and forever, but I want to walk with You, dwell with You and abide with You as I go about living out my limited time in this limited form. You can do much more when I spend more time in Your presence and less time doing things on my own. Help me to learn to sit, walk and live in Your glorious presence- even in the most mundane activities!

 

*******

 

“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was 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 about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”  Luke 10:38-42

 

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  John 15:4

 

********

 

Your prayer prompt-

Lord, help me be still in Your presence (thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice for this eternal privilege)…

realize weakness
realize weakness

When I am Weak

Heavenly Father,

 

I have discovered what a great thing it is to be weak…like when I am faced with a gigantic situation that I have absolutely no idea how to get out of…or when the job looming in front of me requires much more talent and strength than I could ever muster…or when my exhausted body cannot take even one more step…or the problem standing in my way requires more brain power than I possess. Those situations that highlight my weakness used to frighten me, but I have a whole different perspective now. It is wonderful to realize my weakness. That’s when I am finally ready to acknowledge Your strength, Lord…

 

Too many times, I have relied on my own strength—my own will power—my own ideas. They might even appear to work for a while, but sooner or later, I will be back at the place where I am smacked in the face with my weakness. It’s happened enough times now that I have come to see that realizing my weakness is a good thing. The sooner I get that and believe it, the more quickly I can rely on Your strength, Lord.

 

So here I am again today, realizing and acknowledging my complete weakness and dependence upon You. Lord, I can’t even breathe without Your help, let alone know the best way through today. I am so happy to be weak and needy. Lord, I bow before You asking Your strength (which manifests itself in amazing ways) to flow in and through me. I’m so glad it doesn’t depend on me but on You. I’m feeling incredibly weak today so I know Your strength through Jesus Christ will give me all I need.

 

******

 

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”       Isaiah 40:29

 

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”    Romans 8:26

 

“’But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”   2 Corinthians 12:9

 

******

 

Your prayer prompt-

Father, I feel so weak due to…

I need Your strength…

 

evajuliuson

 

I am with you

Heavenly Father,

Though everyone else leaves me—You are with me! If I lose all that I possess—You are with me! When I enjoy a beautiful Fall walk—You are with me! If I am injured or ill and cannot walk—You are with me! If a storm ravages my home or I sit safely inside a comfortable house with no leaks—You are with me! If the world seems to be spinning out of control—You are with me…

 

Whether I am standing by the grave of a loved one or waiting outside the door for a new baby to be born—You are with me! Whether my relative is not speaking to me or we just shared our souls through the sweetest deep conversation—You are with me. If someone is spreading hurtful lies about me or someone I love; or whether someone actually takes time to seek out the truth—You are with me…

 

While I was still in my mother’s womb or if I am taking my last gasp on earth—You are with me. Lord God, You are so faithful and patient as You wait upon me to truly see and believe that You are with me and will never ever leave me. You have never left me…

 

I am sad to say I have left You (more often than I care to admit.) I have wandered away, been distracted, been disrespectful, dishonoring, disobedient, unfaithful and sinful. How grateful I am that it was important enough for You to want me with You for all eternity that You sent Your very own Son Jesus Christ to die for my sin so I would never be separated from You. He washed away my sins so I could accept Your eternal life and live with You forever. Lord, I know You are with me. Let me live this day through Jesus so I can be with You!

 

******

 

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”  Philemon 1:25

 

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”   2 Thessalonians 3:16

 

“I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”  (Jesus’ words) John 17:26

 

******

 

Your Prayer Peek-

Father, I want to KNOW that You are with me. Let me accept the amazing gift of Jesus Christ for that assurance…

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!

 

*********

 

“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

 

***********

 

Your prayer prompt-

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

Heavenly Father,

I had no idea I had been that busy until everything in my life suddenly slowed down from this pandemic. It was a surprise to me to be still over an extended period of time. My life has always been extremely full of activity with a large family, an in-home business and other work, church activities, chores, errands…you name it. I began to notice a slight slow down as my family all grew up and had families of their own, then I began to see their activity levels soar. There is a definite adjustment to being still. I have always needed my quiet time with You, Lord, or I never could have survived all I have. Yet You have brought me and a lot of others to a new level of stillness with most of the world sheltering-in-place. Thank You for these still days…

 

We tend to want to fill our still days with any kind of noise or activity. It’s too quiet so we listen non-stop to any kind of media, music, or words. It’s too still so we run to find some new activity to fill up our time. We can find all kinds of ways to run from stillness. Oh! But, Lord, You wait quietly in the stillness to meet with us. What a treasure we find when we simply sit with You. We learn to listen to You. We get to know You. You restore us to that beautiful loving relationship as we quietly seek You.

 

Too often our busyness glorifies us. It is when we stop and are still with You that You can be glorified in us. Being still in Your presence  reveals the darkness that needs to be brought into Your light; You lovingly convict us of wrong attitudes and thinking; You let us know  when You have something for us to do or say, but it is not difficult for You give us all we need. Father, I am so at peace and content in this stillness. I pray that we all take advantage of these still days and seek You in the quietness where You will be found.

 

********

 

“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

 

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.”   Psalm 23:1-3

 

““Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”   Mark 6:31

 

*********

 

Your prayer prompt-

Father, help me learn to love being still with 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!

 

**********

 

“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

 

************

 

Prayer Prompt-

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

Heavenly Father,

 

There was a whole different standard of delivering the news when I was younger.  It might have been more boring, but reporters knew they had to have several sources to validate their facts before publicly broadcasting something as the truth. If something was reported as news, it needed to be substantiated before it could destroy someone’s life, or cause chaos and division. The more addicted our culture has become to drama and entertainment, the more “news reports” have evolved into rapid sound bites, quick clips, tainted and slanted opinions and analysis, and half truths or full-out lies designed to grab the largest audience. Apparently bad news gets a whole lot more attention than good news so our view of the world we live in can easily skewed and feel out of control and hopeless. Of course, we really do have to deal with the reality of bad news and good news…

 

The bad news is…there is a lot of real evil in this world—people will use, kill, abuse, destroy other people’s lives for their own selfish motives.  This world is full of lies, gossip, slander, malice and manipulation that will devour others.  There are wars, movements, groups, and individuals who stir up hatred and division and trouble. Innocent lives are killed, maimed, deeply wounded from disregard for anyone else. Suicide, depression and hopelessness threaten to drown out the goodness. The bad news is that we are all part of the bad news. There is not even one single solitary soul who is without sin. That means not one of is free from the penalty of sin which is death. Not even one of us will ever be holy and pure enough to live in peace with God Almighty forever. Now, that is BAD news! The worse news ever!

 

The GOOD News is that You didn’t leave Your people to self-destruct. Lord, You made a way where there was no way. You delivered the Best News ever when You sent Your own holy and pure Son Jesus to die so our sins are forgiven! Even though He was “God in the flesh,” He was also the Son of man, fully capable of sinning and yet He did not. He knew Jesus was the only One who could walk through this sinful world untarnished, able to resist temptation so He could be the perfect sacrifice for our sin. The Good news is it is finished and we are guaranteed eternal life with You where there will never be bad news at all. All we have to do is believe and accept the BEST GOOD NEWS ever. The bad news is we stand condemned by our own choice when we do not choose the Good News. Father, I will focus on the good news and report the truth to whoever will listen and accept.

 

**********

 

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”   Luke 2:9-11

 

“You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.”   Acts 10:36

 

“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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”   John 3:16-19

 

********

 

Your Prayer Prompt-

Father God,  am I still living under the bad news …or am I ready to listen and believe in the Best news ever?…

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,
This world is so noisy and full of chaos. Non-stop news consistently tries to rattle our nerves. Continuous conversations on social media and cell phones clamor for our attention and response. Deadlines, arguments over issues, conflicting reports, background noise, and earphones always filling our thoughts with subliminal messages. In fact, it seems most people are so used to noise, they feel uncomfortable with silence, but it can be soothing to the soul.

Even prayer can be so crammed with requests and words that we leave prayer before being still and ready to hear You, Lord. Forgive us for always be too distracted to sit and enjoy Your presence, for being so busy talking or writing our prayers that we never stop to listen to You. It is good to sing songs and praise You with loud cymbals and music, but we also need to just be quiet and still sometimes.

It is so sweet to simply sit outside in the quiet of the day and bask in Your glory, to soak up Your goodness, to savor Your company, and just know that You are God. I can spill out many words and when I slow down to take a breath, You can say so much in the silence.

Your peace pours over me and Your tender presence reassures me. You restore my soul as I simply revel in who You are. All the fears, worries and trials of this noisy life melt away in the stillness of Your quiet presence. All that vital information everyone else is screaming at me dissolves in the wisdom found in Your quiet presence. How I love You, Lord. You are the Maker and Sustainer of all. You know all things and have all we need. Help us be still and quiet so we can hear You above all the noise of this chaotic world.

 

*******

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,” 1 Timothy 2:1-3

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3

“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’” Psalm 46:10

********

Your Prayer Prompt-
Lord Jesus, help me be still…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father God,
I’ve been sheltered-in-place for about eleven weeks. I’m usually going places, working hard, and interacting personally with a lot of people. During this pandemic sheltering, my life has slowed to what would appear to some as a standstill, but my roots in Christ are growing deeper once again. I was called away from the world for a long period once before. It was a different kind of isolation at that time in my life, but I recall the deep growth that took place during that particular period, as well. It was definitely a more stressful time with a terminally ill husband, four kids to raise and the licensed in-home childcare. Though there were plenty of people around me in that other isolation, I looked to You to help me in that desperate time. And You were so faithful to help me.

Now, here I am again- closed away from the world, with much more time to not be rushed in the quietness of Your shelter. How I love being still and quiet with You- praying in much more depth and with a greater peace, knowing You are at work in the sheltering-especially in those who turn to You during this time. For one who grew up with hard work woven deep into my DNA, it is still taking a lifetime to understand that the greatest, most powerful work is done in this quiet time in Your presence. This is when I learn that You love me for who I am- not for what I do. You can use me for Your eternal purposes when I get my own plans, schemes, ambitions out of the way. This is where I learn to hear Your still small voice which instructs me what You want me to do. When it is Your will, there is a sweet peace and rest –even in the “work.” Perhaps, it’s because I know it is Your work and does not depend on me- other than to obey and trust You will give me all I need to do it.

Yes, I do love sheltering under You, learning to trust You more, follow Your lead, love You more deeply, and simply enjoy who You are and the miraculous gift You give us through Jesus Christ that allows us to live with You even here on earth. Who am I—with all my quirks, faults, mistakes, sins, and rebellious attitude that wants to sneak back in—that You would make a way for me to come freely into the Holy Shelter of Your Presence? Who am I—that You would sacrifice Your own Son Jesus Christ—to give me that honor and privilege? Who am I—that I would not take the greatest opportunity ever given—to find every way I can to shelter in Your Holy presence?

 

******

 

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:1

 

“For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” Psalm 61:3-4

 

““Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” Jesus in Matthew 23:37

 

********

 

Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, help me be willing to shelter in You through Jesus…