Heavenly Father,
Just like that, my son-in-law fell through a roof! Life can change just like that- in a split second! Eight days ago at work, a faded and aged skylight which was flush with a metal roof was hidden from view as he simply crashed through and fell 20 feet, landing on some barrels below. The fall didn’t kill him, leave him paralyzed or with brain injuries but his body is broken in so many places, it is now held together with all types of metal, plates, pins and screws—oh… and stitches, tape and bandages. Every time I look at him, I see a miracle! A bionic miracle but a miracle just the same!
Lord, I know You take what is broken and make it new. I am witnessing Your supernatural power at work again in this situation. Here are just a few signs of Your new work coming out of a broken situation:
• A supernatural healing that is surpassing and surprising even the trauma doctors!
• A supernatural determination to push hard to get through this by a very active man!
• A supernatural attitude which I have not heard complain but have certainly heard many of his famous one-liners delivered with that little smile.
• A supernatural team of newly wed husband and wife growing stronger in their marriage
• A supernatural gathering/bonding of family and friends praying in unity
• A supernatural perspective of how frail and fragile our earthly lives are and how powerful and victorious our spirits are as we trust You.
• A supernatural outpouring of selflessness all over the place
• A supernatural selflessness flowing from this broken man who has a supernatural love for every single person who comes to comfort him. He ends up comforting us!
• A supernatural perseverance to push his limits to get better—for his wife, family, friends, medical team and all of us.

Lord, we pray that You keep on taking this broken man and making him new in more and more ways! In fact, make us all new! Give us eyes to see and spirits that can’t help but give You the honor and glory!

****

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:5

“But He (Jesus) 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.” Isaiah 53:5

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know…Nevertheless, I will heal My people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” Jeremiah 33:3,6b

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Lord, I surrender my life to You. Make it new!

Heavenly Father, Stories are everywhere! I have to laugh thinking back to when I first began writing to be published. I was a little afraid to write my stories because once I wrote them, I thought I would run out of things to write about! That was probably about 25 years ago. I have discovered there are more stories than I can possibly write! And they are all Your stories, Lord! I love to see Your stories unfold. I am amazed at every turn of the page! Sure, there is conflict in life…but what kind of story would it be without something to overcome?!

My sweet daughter just sent me a whole group of old photos. Each and every on is filled with incredible stories written in the lives of every face I dearly love. Several friends of mine are grieving the loss of a loved one…but oh! What stories of their lives together- even if they seem to have been cut short. This is Black History month and I am inspired by all the stories of unknown heroes who impacted so many people with true stories of bravery, hardship and overcoming. I love the true adventures of everyday lives I read about in the Bible- the greatest collection of stories throughout history. I just got to hear the story of my dear friends who went to Costa Rica to serve Your people there.

My son’s former Highschool coach contacted me out of the blue to check on my son after 10 years. Something he read reminded him of his former football player. He wanted to see how he was doing. He was interested to see how his story was turning out. One of my younger Christian sisters is giving her testimony tonight. As we talked, we agreed there are so many testimonies of how personally involved You are in our lives. We each have an entire novel of short stories which testify of Your loving involvement in our lives.

The greatest story of all is the way You sent Your own Son Jesus to save us and give us the amazing gift of eternal life with You though we have sinned against You. It is the same incredible story yet it is written in each of our lives in such different ways. You are the Author of our story. You often have to wait until we relinquish the pen and quit trying to write our own story. Yours is so much better. Father, edit my life. Delete what needs to be cut out. Write Your story the way You want with Your pen dipped in the precious blood of Jesus. I can’t wait to see what’s next- in my story, in my children and grandchildren’s stories and in everyone around me.  It’s is truly Your Story. That’s why they call it HIS-story. It is the story that never ends!

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“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  John 21:25

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endure such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:2-3

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Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, write Your story in my life…

Gracious Heavenly Father,

I often think of Ola when I start to feel sorry for myself. She taught us how to truly count our blessings. She was a very frail little old lady, confined to a wheelchair and oxygen. That didn’t keep her from coming to the grief support group I attended after my first husband died twenty-five years ago. It wasn’t necessarily a Christian grief group so the mood could often be bitter and depressing. Then Ms. Ola was wheeled into light up the room. She had so many tragedies in her life- her husband was alcoholic most of his life, then was severely injured in an explosion, then died years later. She had a little daughter die at an early age. Two of her sons had recently died. She also had terminal cancer and heart problems. As we all were feeling sorry for ourselves, Ola would say, “There’s always something to be thankful for. Just count your blessings and name them. It completely changes how you see life!” I took her advice when it seemed I had lost so much—I was amazed to discover how blessed I began to feel as I listed what I was thankful for.

So here is my very tiny short list of just a few things I am incredibly grateful for on this Thanksgiving Day: Father, first of all, I can never thank You enough for creating me, giving me life, loving me when I did not deserve it, for forgiving me, for sending Jesus to take the death penalty for my sins so I can live with You for all eternity, for never ever leaving me alone, for sending the Holy Spirit to live with me and in me, for Your guidance, protection, wisdom and all the delightful ways You give me abundant life when I stop and count my blessings. There are so many that the more I list them, the more I feel I might burst from gratitude. I am fully aware that every single blessing in my life flows from You to me. I need to stop and say thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

So here are a few more: Relationships have to be at the top of the list. You have surrounded me with the most incredible people to love. It seems the more I think about how thankful for them I am, the more I love them—my husband (my best friend), each of my precious grown children (by birth and otherwise) and their dear spouses, my grandchildren (each with their unique personality and gifts that are so fun to watch unfold), my cherished brothers and sisters-in-Christ around the world (how I love seeing Jesus in them!),  our parents who mean so much to us, our neighbors and friends, my leaders (at work, in government, and in the church who You have placed for such a time as this for Your good purposes), for the precious children and families I work with…even for those who might hurt me or persecute me (it gives me a chance to love like You!)

Lord, there is so much more to be thankful for! I have just begun to list my blessings. Ola was so right. When we thank You for our blessings, we discover we have so many more than we could ever dream of. I will be thanking You for all eternity and it still will not be enough time!

 

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“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”   Psalm 107:1

 

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”   Colossians 2:6-7

 

“Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever, to Him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.”        Psalm 136:3-4

 

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Heavenly Father,

As I sit with You this morning, I realize how very full my life is…not because of what I have…not because of what I have accomplished…not even because of where I am in my life. It is overflowing because I have You—and You have me.

You have always been with me—through every season and storm in my life. You have never ever left me. You have been right here- encouraging me, pushing me, comforting me, leading me, protecting me (mostly from myself), providing for me (in big ways and small delightful ways). At different times in my life, I have been more aware of Your presence than at others. Too many times, I have veered off my own way trying to make things happen the way I think they should, trying to prove how capable I am, falling into the trap of fear and worry, wishing I had what someone else has… Yet because I accepted the sacrifice of Your own Son Jesus for my life, You never let me wander too much. You call me back to You. I find much more than I need in You!

I purposely come to You before I get too far in my day because I have discovered my life is full and has meaning only when I stay with You. I was made for You. My soul is not complete without You. I am so weak without You. Yet I am full and strong when I am with You. Anything I might try to do without You is short-lived and meaningless. It can even be damaging. But when I am with You—when I surrender myself and whatever situation I might be facing to You—it becomes kingdom worthy. Only when I bring things to You can You truly work in and through me. That’s so fulfilling.

You, Lord, are what fulfills me. And when I am fulfilled, I can love others better. I see more and more blessing all around. It just keeps getting better and better. And I still have all eternity to know and love You more! Maybe that’s why I will someday have to have a new body—this one just can’t handle Your filling me up too much more!

 

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“And God placed everything under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him, who fills everything in every way.”  Ephesians 1:22-23

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

 

“Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and amen.” Psalm 72:19

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Prayer Prompt-

Fill me up, Lord…

Heavenly Father,

Lately I feel more and more like a mist! I remember one cold morning when we were camping in a tent and woke up to a glorious view of a mountain on the other side of the lake. The mountain was blurred by a thick cover of mist dancing across the top of the lake. It almost looked like people rising up out of the water and reaching up towards the sky. We sat watching the mist for over an hour until the sun burned off all traces of the fleeting dance. My life seems like a mist—short and insignificant in light of who You are, Almighty God.

I was just giving birth to my babies and now they are parents. I once asked my 90 year old grandmother if she felt old; she said she often felt like she was still 16 years old. No matter how old we live to be here on this earth, our lives are here one moment and gone the next. The day will come when my great grandchildren may vaguely remember me when they hear someone randomly say my name ever so often. Then their children won’t know anything about me. My life is a mist in the overall scheme of things.

Yet, though I may feel like such a miniscule particle of mist among the billions of people in the world, or nothing at all when I look at Your glorious power and eternal glory—I am blown away to realize that You knew me before I was born. You know everything about me from the hairs on my head to my unexpressed thoughts. You know how I have rebelled against You and ignored You when You are the very One who created me. You loved me so much that You sent Your own Son Jesus to take my sins upon Himself and die and rise again so I could live with You for all eternity.

I may feel like a mist, but to You—I am precious enough to die for, to save me so I can be with You forever. Father, let my mist of this earthly life rise up to dance to You—for You are mine and I am Yours. You reign forever through all generations. May my dance join in the dance of all those who have gone before me, those who live on earth now and those who are yet-to-be, as we worship You forever and ever.

****

“Why, you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4

“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.”

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, who am I before You…to You?

 

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,

How sweet it is to sit in the shade of Your presence. It can be sweltering heat, beating down on me—wearing me out. In fact, the other day, the heat index was so high I had a mild case of heatstroke from working out in the heat and humidity. I had to immediately seek shade so I could sit down and cool off.  No matter how hot life gets—no matter what is going on to zap my strength—no matter how unbearable the conditions get…I can find sweet relief simply by sitting in the shade of Your Holy presence.

I don’t even have to say anything. I can just sit and be still and know who You are—the Lord God of all, the highest Authority over heaven and earth, the One who rules forever and ever—the One who created me and knows all my needs, weaknesses and fears. There is the sweetest shelter from the heat of this life before me at all times. All I have to do is sit with You. You bring relief, cool gentle breezes to restore my peace. I know I am not the only one who experiences Your tender nearness. I cannot comprehend how You can sit with me like I am the only person in the world. You know me. You understand me. You restore me. Yet You are doing that all over the world with whoever chooses to sit in Your shade. There is a young mom in Russia, a teenager in Cameroon, a grandfather in Canada, a girl in Ireland…many times over. You are sitting personally with each of us in the shade of Your presence.

It’s all because of Jesus. Because of our sinfulness, we cannot sit in Your Holy presence. You sent Jesus to wash away our sins, to make us holy forever. You sent Jesus so we can be with You always. You sent Jesus to live in us through Your Holy Spirit so we can sit with You in Your presence any time. Lord, help me not to wander too far from the shade of Your presence.

*******

“The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”   Psalm 121:5-8

 

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”  Psalm 91:1

 

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, let me rest in Your shade through my faith in Jesus Christ…

Heavenly Father,

When I was a little girl, I couldn’t understand why in the world anyone would call the day Jesus was beaten and died on a cross as “Good Friday.” It seemed awful to me. I also couldn’t figure out why songs were sung about loving the rugged cross or the beauty of the cross. As I have traveled through life, I have discovered just how GOOD it really is—not the cross itself, but what Jesus did on the cross. Now I can sing “never did such sorrow and love flow mingled down” while my own sorrow and love flow mingled together in tears of gratitude for the greatest gift of love ever given. It was Your perfect plan to send Your Son Jesus to die and rise again ever since the very first sin was committed.

Though Jesus was with You as all things were created, You sent Him to be born as a simple human man to walk and live among us. His teachings and miracles were world-changing—yet that was not His true purpose. Even though He is holy and pure, and reigns high with You, His purpose from the very beginning was to willingly take on not only the whole world’s sin—but my personal sins. The Prince of peace, Lord of lords, Son of the Most High came when the time was right to carry the sins of all the people of all time upon Himself (though He was completely unblemished by sin) and take all that guilt and shame to the cross. Your Son paid the price (which is death) for our sin. No one killed Him. He willingly gave His life for us all—for me!

He knew His death and resurrection would open the way for anyone who accepts, confesses and believes that He is Your Son. He came to save us so we can have eternal life with You. How grateful I am that You love us so much that You sent Jesus. There is no other way to be forgiven, cleansed, holy. There is no other way to have eternal life with You. He is the way, the truth and the life. He gave us eternal life through His death on our behalf. He rose again so we could live forever with You—starting now! There is no better Friday. The moment Jesus died on that cross, His mission was completed, finished! What looked like the end was the beginning. Today we honor Your love for us through the amazing gift of Jesus’ death on the cross for us. It is not just Good Friday—it is the perfect Friday! All we have to do is believe and accept what has already been done for us on that beautiful cross.

*****

“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

 

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

 

“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

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins. I believe…

Heavenly Father,

There are times I realize how incredibly busy I am! There is always a lot going on in my life and in the lives of those around me. There are times when I almost panic wondering how I keep up with my schedule- then I remember that it is Your schedule. And a peace comes over me that allows me to just relax and trust that You hold time (and me) in Your hands. Whatever calendar, to-do-list, or schedule I might happen to make is only a draft until Your perfect plans take priority. I love being on Your schedule, Lord! It takes the pressure off me and it’s always exciting to see what You have in store each day.

I happen to have a job with a paycheck where my schedule is flexible. My days and hours are different every week. On the days I go to work as an early childhood teacher, I am handed a written daily schedule which could place me in a different room each day, or a different room each hour or even change throughout the day. My job is to be flexible. It is my job, and I love being available to serve where needed. I love being on call for You, Lord. It is quite an adventure to watch where You send me, who You place me with, and Your perfect timing in action. It takes a lot of pressure off me to realize I couldn’t possibly set all the things in motion that You do. You know exactly where You want me so I am always learning to submit and simply enjoy Your scheduling.

Besides that, You know exactly what You want me to accomplish (or in some cases—not accomplish) in each 24-hour day. In my little mind, I will try to squeeze way too much in and will end up stressed and annoyed because I didn’t get what I thought was important done. Father, it seems the most important thing I can schedule is time to be still with You. That’s when I recall who is really in charge and who knows exactly what needs to happen on this particular day. That’s when I can re-surrender myself to You and make myself available for Your scheduling. When I do it, I love my job with You! I can simply enjoy every moment—trusting You have me right where You need me for that moment.  What an adventure to follow Your schedule, Lord!

******

“As God’s fellow workers, we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says, ‘In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the time of My salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”  2 Corinthians 6:1-2

 

“But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hands…”  Psalm 31:14-15a

 

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’  And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”   Isaiah 6:8

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, show me where You want me…

Heavenly Father.

After just going through bills, I am happy to say there was enough money to pay them. Most of my life has been a struggle financially. My bank account may not be overflowing, but my blessings are! I noticed that my checking account started out larger but got smaller the more bills I paid. It’s different with my blessings. The more I share them, count them and pass them out—the more I have! Sometimes I think if You give me any more blessings, Lord, I will explode!

I have a clean and clear conscience which money cannot buy. It’s not that I haven’t done anything wrong; it’s because You have forgiven me and keep giving me a clean new start. I don’t deserve it. I can’t earn it…but You have provided it through Jesus Christ. I just accept it! I am rich in grace and newness of life! I have peace which cannot be purchased. I can relax and enjoy my life with You. I need not struggle against You. You have blessed me with a calm assurance, knowing that all is well—no matter what things in this world look like. There may not be peace in the world but You give me peace in my spirit. The greatest treasure I have is love. There is just no end to it. I was a poor pitiful beggar at one point in my life, but You have loved me with an everlasting love that never runs out. Your love just keeps multiplying as I give it away.

You have deposited so many people around me to love—family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, children, grandchildren, strangers… I am rich, indeed! Lord, You have lavished love upon me, though I did nothing to earn it. I never want to be chintzy with the love You fill me with. I never want to hoard it, store it, or hide it. I want to love You and others with the overflowing generosity that You share love. I am completely bankrupt without You. Yet You pour out all Your richest heavenly treasures upon me. Let me share them freely to make room for more! I am so rich that I will be giving it away all my life and never run out. I am RICH in You, Lord!

*****

“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ, walk.”  Acts 3:6

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Luke 12:32-34

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, let me choose Your riches or that of the world…

Heavenly Father,

I am proud to say that I am needy! That is usually not looked upon as a good trait in today’s world. People are honored for being self-sufficient and self-confident. People are applauded for being a self-made millionaire or one who gets things done by themselves. We are told to rely on our own strength and to be our own person. I have tried all that and discovered that I let myself down. My own thoughts and ideas may seem grand at the time but fizzle out when I try to make a go of it by myself. I am so happy to be needy…I need You, Lord!

Admitting I need You for all things has not made me less of a person. Instead, it is making me more fully who I am created to be. I can be content in trusting You in every situation, knowing You have a divine plan that is far higher than the best plan I could ever come up with. I can be at peace resting in my relationship with You. I can be sure of who I am- one who is valued and cherished enough that You sent Jesus to die for me to give me new life. I can soar above all the drama and conflict that comes against me, knowing that my present and my future are completely secure in You. Fear has no hold on me because I know You are with me! I belong to You and You belong to me.

Lord God, I need You today and always. I don’t ever want to go anywhere without You. I don’t have to. You complete me. You live in me and I live in You. Every day is fresh and new in You. I not only need You- I want You! I love my life hidden with You. You bring joy, peace, love and contentment into my life. I don’t need a big house, an overflowing bank account, people’s respect, or anything else this world has to offer. I need You! I need Your breath to sustain me physically and spiritually. I need Your presence to make life beautiful and purposeful. I need Your guidance to fulfill Your perfect plans instead of my defective ideas. I need Your strength, Your patience, Your wisdom, Your everything…because my own falls far short. Yes, Lord! I fully admit I NEED You! Thank You for Jesus Christ who fulfills that need. I need You. I trust You. I love You.

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“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  Hebrew 4:16

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   Romans 5:6-8

Jesus prayer in John 17:26: “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.” 

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, I need You…I need Jesus…