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…

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,

Lately, I have realized how often I say, “Just a minute!”—to the children I care for when they call my name, to my husband when he needs my help, to my grandkids who want my attention, to the phone or the doorbell when they ring (even though they can’t understand me!) A minute is only 60 seconds—just one out of the 1440 minutes/86,400 seconds during one day. I wonder how often I spend just one minute praising You, Lord—not asking for something, whining about something—simply praising You for who You are and letting You know how much I love You! Here’s one minute of praise to my awesome God who is unlimited by time in His thinking of me:

You are forever eternal yet You cherish tiny little moment-in-time me and it was most important to You to make a way for me to spend all eternity with You…Just by Your word, You set galaxies into motion and created this special place called earth for us…You created all the magnificent animals and ocean creatures as well as every miniscule atom and cell…You personally knit us each together in our mother’s womb using DNA and things we will never fully understand though we try…You know each thought and action, even those we attempt to hide from ourselves and others—yet You love us anyway…You sent Your own perfect and holy Son Jesus for the sole purpose of taking all our sin upon Himself and taking the death penalty for the sins we committed so we could have His pureness and holiness and live forever in glorious eternity with You…Father, You are patient to hold back judgement to give each of us a chance to choose Life with You through Jesus…It is part of Your great love and plan to allow us freedom to choose…Now that I have chosen eternal life with You, I can’t imagine why anyone fights against it; there is so much more freedom in Christ!…

Father, You reign high above all there is in heaven, on earth and under the earth, yet in Your wisdom, You allow us to choose who/what to worship…There is no king, president, organization, nation, earthly or spiritual power that does not answer to You…If we go through any type of fire, You are with us—now and forever…You promise a coming life where we will see You face to face and all sin, darkness, fear, evil will be completely dispelled in the Light of Your presence…You, Lord, hold all my moments and my days (both in this life and my coming life where there will be no need for moments), I want to spend more minutes here on earth praising You!

 

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“What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short.”  1 Corinthians 7:29

 

Jesus’ prayer recorded in John 17:1-3  “After Jesus said this, He looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You. For You granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.’”

 

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”  1 Timothy 1:17

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord God, I want to spend a minute praising You…

Heavenly Father,

It’s easy to fall prey to sadness when it is gloomy outside. I am usually a very upbeat person (even being accused of always seeing the bright side) but everyone faces storms and cloudy days—even if it is only seen by one’s self on the inside. My brother takes amazing daily photos of the sunset on the lake by his house. It is the same exact lake view, but not one of his hundreds of photos are ever the same. Some are made up of glorious vibrant colors that take your breath away. Others are dark and gloomy. The lake is the same. Trees have not moved. The sun still sets in the west. Some days there are clouds, birds, or people in the photo; other days there’s nothing in the photo but the water and sky. The weather can affect our view. Our mood can make a difference in what we see. Too much on our minds; the stress of trying to control our circumstances; worries and fears can all attempt to blind us to the glory all around us.

That’s why, though I might feel gloomy tis morning, I still come to praise You through the grey skies. All may seem dreary—but when I purposely begin to turn to You, calling out to You, praising You for who You are, my view changes. When I stop to remember that You, alone, are God Almighty; that You are the Creator and Designer of all there is; that You hung the sun, stars and entire galaxies into place and cause them to stay there; that You are still the same glorious God though I cannot see You at the time; that You are still shining just as brightly as ever.

As I praise You, my Eternal, Everlasting, Majestic, All-Powerful, tender, merciful, Righteous, Holy, comforting, True, Faithful, Forgiving, Expectant, Constant through the Ages, Victorious, Most High God—there is a little part in the clouds and a ray of Your glory shines down on me. You sustain me, encourage me, direct me, guide me, restore me, refresh me, heal me… Most of all, the sweet joy of Your presence melts away the greyness in my spirit. Once again, I know that You are still God. There is no darkness or hopelessness in You at all. Though there might be some grey days here on earth, the time is coming when I will see you in all Your glory. My view of You will be unhampered by the clouds of this life. When I praise You, I get a sneak peek of Your glory!

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“Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” John 1:4

 

“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”  Psalm 18:28

 

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.”   Matthew 6:22-23

 

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12

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Prayer Prompt-

Most Holy Father, am I looking to You or something else?

Glorious Father,

Anything that is living is always changing. It never stands still. A favorite saying in Oklahoma is “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes. It will change!” That’s not only true for the weather, but for life itself. We are always going through different seasons in our lives. Whatever we have gone through in our past has already happened. We may not be able to change that, but when You are made the very center of our lives, You take all the good, the bad and the ugly and turn it into something glorious as we hold it before You. All praise and glory to You, Father! The hurts, pains, disappointments, mistakes, sins, abuse, darkness do not have to hold us captive all our lives. Through Jesus Christ, we are made free and You carry us from glory to glory into the next season of our lives! Thank You that my life did not stand still in darkness!!

Whatever I am facing right now will not stay this way. Whether it feels like a blessing or an overwhelming trial. Each moment is to be savored for it will never be exactly like this again. Babies grow up. (Sleep will come again). The “terrible twos” do not determine that child’s future personality. You can carry on deep conversations with teenagers one moment and be stabbed in the heart by their words the next. Your parents can be strong and invincible one moment, and frail and vulnerable the next. No one but You, Lord, knows when our last earthly breath will be, so help me to enjoy this particular moment which will never happen again. It is precious (even when it happens to be painful) for You are making something beautiful through every single moment we live with You.

You are the only One who holds the future. I might as well not dread it, for what I fear may never even happen…and if it does happen, You will be at work in that particular moment as well. You love me with Your perfect love and I can completely trust You for this particular moment and for all eternity! Life circumstances, the people in my life, my health, my plans, my dreams—are all always changing. But all is well because, You, my Loving Lord, never change! You are God and I bow before You in ever-growing love and adoration!

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“I the Lord do not change.”    Malachi 3:6

 

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.”     James 1:17

 

“And He (Jesus) said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”  Matthew 18:3-4

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, do I trust You through all changes?….

Glorious Father,

Sometimes I need to get away from my little world to get a new glimpse of how powerful and mighty You are. I recently took a short trip with my husband to Colorado for a Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial Service. We went to honor my husband’s great uncle who died in 1925 when big gas barrels blew up as he had just finished fighting a fire. This had been a huge family story. They were to add his name to the national memorial by Pikes’ Peak. Then we were gathered with 217 other families whose loved ones were killed in the line of duty. Each of them had a story—most of whose grief was fresh from the last year. Over 7000 people were at the main service where 217 firefighters in dress uniform presented firefighter flags to each family. I saw more grief in one place than ever before, yet I knew You were already at work helping each person in very unique and personal ways.

Just before the ceremony began, I received a report that my 87 year old mom had fallen and broken another hip. She was in indescribable pain as she was transported by ambulance to the hospital. It was overwhelming to receive this news from three states away while I was sitting on the front row of such an intense ceremony. I struggled with whether I should immediately return or not. Since I couldn’t make it back for the surgery, others would be affected by my decision, and the knowledge that You and my other family members at home were with her—I finally decided to stay. Quite a few times, I had to fight against my emotions to place her in Your hands again.

We drove up into the Rocky Mountain National Park which goes way up into the mountains. I lost phone service for most of two days. Once again, I had to trust You when I not only couldn’t be with my mom (like I had always been before when there has been medical emergencies), but I couldn’t hear her voice or get a report. Yet when I gazed continually upon the massive mountains in all their glory, it was a reminder that You are so much larger than anything anyone can ever face. Then I looked up above me at the sky which was incredibly closer than in Oklahoma, I thought of how small these massive mountains appear from an airplane or even from space…and how You are the One who created all there is—including galaxies I cannot see. The more I praised You, the more I trusted You, and the more peace I had.

I got home to see my “perky-ready-to-face-the-rehab-in-front-of-her” mom and was showing her the photos we took of the overwhelming beauty and size of the mountains. They looked so tiny in the photos. It was almost disappointing. The photos were pretty but could never catch the glory we saw. Father, You are indescribable. We can try to share Your love and mercy given to us through Jesus Christ, but it’s only like a photo. Until the person we share with accepts and experiences You for themselves, they cannot fully fathom the indescribable glory of who You are. I suppose we will be discovering more and more of Your indescribable glory for all eternity! Let my tiny praises bring joy to an Indescribable You!

 

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“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.’  Isaiah 40:4-5

 

“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”  Isaiah 54:10

 

“’I am the Alpha  and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was,  and who is to come, the Almighty.’” Revelation 1:8

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord God Almighty, I praise You because…

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.

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“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?

Heavenly Father,

The things on my to-do list were calling my name early this morning, but I knew I needed to start out my day with a good soaking of Your presence. I happened to set the sprinkler to run during my quiet time with You. The sweet cool mist blew back on me refreshing and renewing me. I looked up to You, simply soaking Your majesty in. All those little things I needed to do that were calling me away seemed so insignificant in Your eternal presence. Anything I could possibly do wouldn’t last long. Any projects, programs or deeds (no matter how good they seem) will blow away like that mist from the sprinkler when compared to eternity.

Then You turned my thoughts to my plants that are beginning to require water each day as our blistering hot Oklahoma summer begins. It is so obvious when they have gone without water- even for one day. The green is sucked out of them. They are struggling to thrive. They are simply going into survival mode instead of flourishing and enriching the world with the lush green leaves and vibrant flowers that are a result of a good soaking of water.

Lord, I need You! I was created to soak You in and worship You. As I raise my heart, soul and mind to You, You rain down on me and replenish me. I will just be a wilted plant trying to do my little things with no real life running through me. I need to be watered daily with Your living water. It is only with Your presence flowing through me that even the tiniest, most insignificant thing I do flourishes and leaves a trace of Your eternal glory behind. It is only when Your love waters me that I can grow, flourish and produce any kind of eternal growth. I can never produce any eternal fruit on my own—no matter how hard I try. It only comes from being well-watered by You! So here I am to soak You up, Lord!

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“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”  Psalm 1:2-3

“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”  Isaiah 58:11

“If anyone is thirty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” Jesus said in John 7:37b-38

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Prayer prompt-

Lord, give me Your living water…

Heavenly Father,

We in America love our independence. We do not bow to an earthly king. We barely treat our elected earthly authorities with respect. But I come before You this morning to acknowledge Your Son Jesus as my King. You are the Creator of all, the Eternal Ruler and Greatest Authority. Others may come and go, but You, Lord reign forever with no beginning or end. You rule with justice and mercy and wisdom. You are never defeated or caught off guard. No one can discover any hidden sin or scandal in You because You are pure and holy. You do not misuse Your power in any way. You do not abuse us, mistreat us or overtax us. You love us and long to save us from the tyranny of sin’s rule.

Your Kingdom is not of this world, yet it is over this world. You allow us to do our own thing even though it hurts us. You do not coerce us into bowing before You but wait until we see our great eternal need for You. You want more than subjects or servants; You desire children who freely love and adore You. You do not send armies to crush us into submission but sent Your own Son Jesus from heaven to pay the death penalty for our sin. Not one of us can make it into Your Kingdom without accepting Jesus’ death for us on a cross and experiencing His resurrection. There is nothing else we need to do. It is too good to be true—yet it is! Jesus is the only One worthy to bring us into Your kingdom. He is the One who gives us eternal citizenship—even more, He makes us co-heirs along with Him. He transforms us into His likeness though His resurrection power.

We gain so much by belonging to Your Kingdom- peace, love, joy, eternal life. Even on this earth, You never leave us or forsake us. We belong to Your victorious eternal kingdom that holds all power and authority over anyone and anything else. Yet, it is not about us. It is truly all about You! We can trust You. We bow down to You. We acknowledge who created us, sustains us, saves us and invites us into Your kingdom. This life on earth is short. Eternity is forever. You reign forever! Glory to our eternal King!

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“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  Luke 19:38

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17

“Great and marvelous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are Your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear You, O Lord, and bring glory to Your name? For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:3-4

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Prayer Prompt-

Almighty God, Let me be still and worship and honor You…

Heavenly Father,

You absolutely deserve first place in my life. After all, You thought of me and breathed life into me…and not only me but all there is! You truly are first!

First- because You have always existed and brought all creation to life

First- because You reign above all powers and authorities on earth and in heaven and anywhere there is

First- there is no one like You, though many attempt to live as they are first

First- You lovingly pursue each generation from my ancestors, to me and to great grandchildren yet born

First- I can trust You above all

First- You are my first love—yet I can only love You because You loved me first

First- All knowledge, wisdom, peace, joy and love comes from You first

First- Forgive me when I try to put my own ways instead of Yours first

First- Life is sweet when I think of You first thing even before opening my eyes in the morning

First- Things go smoother when I come to You first as challenges threaten my peace

First- All my other relationships are richer when I put You first

First- When life is good and when life is hard, I want to run to You first!

First- I want to give my life for You because You gave Your life for me first

First- I want to know You better because You knew me first

First- And when I take my last breath, I want to see you First!

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“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” John 1:1-2

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” Revelation 2:4

“I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”  Revelation 22:13

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, what have I put first?

Most Holy Lord God,

How I praise You for being the highest authority there is! There are three different situations in front of me today where “officials” have been called in to determine outcomes. On the outside, it can be very scary to have someone else make such critical decisions over people I care so deeply about. One concerns a great grandson who could be forced by the court to be in an unsafe setting. Another of those situations is about a young neighbor I used to care for as a child who just became a ward of the state due to mental illness. The third situation is about a little boy whose care is being investigated when I have seen a whole team of people go far above and beyond to help him. It is impossible to trust earthly authorities make the right decisions concerning these young people I love so much.

However, when I recall that You reign above all courts, governments, agencies, and nations, I can rest in my trust in who You are. As I remember that my love for these three is simply a poor reflection of Your unending, staggering, lavish love for them, I can truly put their care in Your hands. You never make a mistake. You can help them in far better ways than I or anyone else can. In fact, even though earthly authorities sometimes mess up and make a wrong decision, You can take that mistake and turn it into something glorious. I look forward to seeing how You will work through this. I can trust You, Lord.

Lord, today I place all three of these loved ones in Your care. I trust that You will make far greater things happen than I could ever dream of or imagine. No matter what things look like right now, I trust the outcome to You. I trust the ones I love to the One who loves them more. I absolutely know You are at work on their behalf and even in the lives of all those involved- including any earthly authorities. Thank You, Lord.

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“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.’” Matthew 28:18

“”For by Him (Jesus) all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  Colossians 1:16-17

“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.’As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”  Isaiah 55:8-9

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, show me what I need to trust to Your authority…