Heavenly Father,

I love it when a certain sis-in-Christ calls me up and asks me, “Are you sitting down?” I am continually amazed at how different she has become since I first met her. We don’t get to see each other as often because You have us in new places, but she always calls to share some new major thing You are doing in her life. I was blessed by her call again today. Some of her phone calls in the past have been heartbreaking, but she is a new creation in You, Lord. She always makes a big deal of thanking my husband and me for sticking with her (which is totally embarrassing because we know we really had nothing to do with who she is today.)

I first met her about 17 years ago. I prayed in front of the church I was at, asking you to let at least one woman see the banner I was hanging publicizing a “Ladies Night of Encouragement.” She showed up that night and said she was walking by. When she saw the banner, she said, “I really need some encouragement.” We sure have been through a lot together since then. I have seen her lose her husband, her children, her home, jobs, every single possession…even her grandkids. I have seen her make poor choices and amazing faith choices. Not only has she been an encouragement to me since then, but I started praying for many more than one when I hang a banner since then!   I have watched her walk more closely with You during all those seasons.  I have watched You reunite her with her birth family she was ripped apart from at a young age. There are so many stories to tell about how You have worked in her life. You have healed her from the inside out! She has become an amazing woman who reflects Your glory.

Today’s phone call was to tell me that the church she has been quietly serving in surprised her with “the woman of the year” award because of her great faithfulness. Even through the phone, I could see her shocked face! We both shared delicious laughter because we both know who that award really goes to! Lord, only You can take two such different wimpy women and make new creations out of each of them for Your beautiful kingdom. Thank You, Lord! We are still being made new creations in You!

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“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

 

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

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, I want to give up this old life and become a new creation…

Heavenly Father,

My daughter sent out a message to anyone who happened to be listening. It said, “If you are awake right now, go outside and check out the eclipse!” Twenty-three minutes had passed early this morning since she posted that announcement but I ran outside in my pajamas to try to catch this once-in-150-year lunar event. I searched the entire sky but I missed it. I did, however, get to see the sunrise. It happens every single morning.

I would have loved to see the lunar eclipse! But I was reminded Your mercies are new every single morning! I do not have to wait to see some huge incredible sign in the skies or a dramatic miracle because You are with me always. And Your glory shines all around! I simply need to keep the eyes of my heart open. Your glory is everywhere! It’s true—there is a lot of darkness in this world. It can cast a great shadow over our soul. It’s easy to give in, thinking the darkness is taking over, but as soon as I turn my eyes back to seeking You, Your glory bursts forth and brings hope, light and peace which chase away the darkness. The darkness cannot stay where You shine! The news can be devastating. It can look like the whole world is dying. Or it can be extremely personal news that threatens to overcome us. But, Lord, as we keep turning to You- praising You for who You are, believing in Your almighty power, thanking You for our eternal life and relationship with You through Jesus, trusting in Your perfect plan for us and the people around us—Your Glory bursts through!

The darkness is dispelled like a mist with no power. No matter how ominous the worldly or personal news appears, all is well when we bask in Your glory! Sometimes we might have to hang on much tighter and longer as we wait for Your light to appear. Yet those are the very times our trust in You grows deeper—when it is stretched to its limits.  Father, You in all Your glory, are always there! Nothing can take that away. The darkness may attempt to place things in front of us to block our view of You, but You wait for us to seek You in the midst of the darkness. And oh! How wonderful when we get to soak up Your glory! When we are filled with the light of Christ! Help us to shine out with the glorious reflection of the One we see every morning so others will want to seek You for themselves. You and Your Glory eclipses all!

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“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’” Lamentations 3:22-24

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”  1 Peter 4:12-13

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, help me look to You instead of my dark circumstance of…

Heavenly Father,

A young lady I know just went home after spending almost two months in the hospital on bedrest. They were trying to keep her from having her baby boy prematurely. She had lots of practice simply waiting. She finally successfully made it safely to the point they felt she was safe to go home to finish out her pregnancy.  She and her young husband are still waiting for the birth of their firstborn son. Waiting is challenging—even if it’s for the wonderful birth of a new baby.  By nature, we are not too good at waiting.

Working with small children, I can testify to the fact that waiting for Christmas drives kids into a super-frenzy (as well as their parents and teachers!) Some people spend all their lives waiting for what they think will finally make them happy…to graduate, to find their perfect job or soulmate, make the big money, get the car or house they’ve always wanted, go on the trip of their dreams, to become famous as an author, actor, musician or athlete, for the kids to grow up, for retirement… Lord, we confess that sometimes we are waiting for what we think will fulfill us and we miss the abundant, overflowing life You’ve given us that is ready for us to receive right now.

Ever since sin entered the world, people had been long awaiting the birth of Your promised Messiah. Most missed His quiet birth into this world because they were busy waiting for their own version of a Savior and King. Yet there were a few who were watching and praising…Elizabeth, the Wise men, shepherds, Simeon and Anna in the temple, and Mary. While Mary was expecting, she believed and sang Your praises even when she couldn’t see. Father, I can never thank You enough for what You’ve given us in Jesus Christ. Now that He has been born, lived as one of us, willingly took on our sins and died on the cross, and rose again to defeat death and give us eternal life, I don’t want to just waste my life waiting. I want to live richly and fully with Him as I wait for His return to get me. I want to sing praises like Mary as I wait upon You! Waiting becomes a joy when I’m with You.

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“Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.’

And Mary said: ‘My soul exalts the Lord,

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;

For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.

For the Mighty One has done great things for me;

And holy is His name.

And His mercy is upon generation after generation

Toward those who fear Him.

He has done mighty deeds with His arm;

He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones,

And has exalted those who were humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things;

And sent away the rich empty-handed.

He has given help to Israel His servant,

In remembrance of His mercy,

As He spoke to our fathers,

To Abraham and his descendants forever.’”  Luke 1:39-55

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, help me to wait with You for…

Heavenly Father,
There have been many times in my life when I have been overwhelmed with thankfulness when someone did something for me that I could never repay. It’s a humbling experience to be shown such love and not be able to reciprocate. But when I think of all You have done for me, Lord, I can’t even begin to say thanks…but I’m going to try. I hope I don’t ever appear ungrateful for all Your blessings.
Thank You for creating this beautiful garden of a world as an earthly home for me. Its breath-taking splendor does not go unnoticed with the glorious sunsets, magnificent mountains, enormous oceans, peaceful valleys, productive prairies all filled with millions of trees, animals of all kinds, fruits, flowers, grass…To think You made it specifically for us to live in while on this earth! You have given us everything we need. Thank You for even thinking of me when You knit me together in my mother’s womb…and for thinking of each of my family and friends and giving them life. None of us would even be—if not for You. Thank You for the special people You have surrounded me with—some for a short time here on earth, others for a much longer time. Thank You for the promise of eternal relationships with these same family and friends- even when we are separated here on earth (whether by death, moving or whatever reason).
Father, everything I have and am; everything I hold dear comes from You. I can’t breathe, move, love or even appreciate anything at all without You. It’s so true—all blessings flow from You! Who am I but one tiny being out of billions…yet You love me enough to send Jesus to take away all my sins and ungratefulness and give me eternal life. How can I ever say thank You for loving me when I was unlovable? How can I ever say thank You for making it possible to live with You now and forever? How can I thank You for making me pure and holy? How can I thank You for never leaving me or forsaking me? If I am so overwhelmed by all Your blessings here on earth, how can I ever say thank You for an eternal life that goes far beyond what I can imagine? How can I say thank You? I will live my life loving You and loving others. That sounds like the thanks You desire, Lord
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“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’” Hebrews 12:28-29
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians9:15
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Prayer Prompt:
Heavenly Father, thank You for…

Almighty God,

I was asked the other day to sing acapella with a group of ladies in church this morning. I do not have the best singing voice. However, I do love to sing to the Lord. When my children were young and I spent a lot of time driving them around, I would turn up the praise music and sing my heart out. My very own kids turned the station to keep me from singing! I always told them (and I truly believe) that You love my singing, Lord. You listen to my heart and not the notes. When I told my husband that I had been asked to sing during church, he said with surprise, “But you don’t sing!” (Good thing I love him!) I told him that I thought I was going to. I found the song on You Tube and sang along with it several times. My wonderful husband asked, “So you’re going to sing?” I told him, “How can I not sing my thanks to the Lord!?” So I did—along with other sisters-in-Christ (Some who have beautiful voices and others who had never sung in front of church before). I can’t help but believe You thought our song of thanks was lovely, Lord.

Recently, I had a phone conversation with a mom who was very hurt because her grown daughter never says thanks—she just expects her mother to do whatever she needs her to do. The ungratefulness affects their relationship… I had another conversation with a young mom who was deeply blessed by the help of some believers. She confessed she didn’t know how to handle it—that she wasn’t good at just receiving a gift… I think of how often I try to install the practice of saying thank you to the little toddlers and preschool children I work with. I may just be pouring them a glass of milk at lunch, but if they learn now to say thank you, perhaps they will grow to be even more thankful for all the blessings they will receive in their lives.

Father, out of all the wonderful blessings You have showered me with, I want to give thanks most of all for Jesus Christ. He is the most incredible, undeserved gift ever given. He died in my place so I can live with You forever. He rose again so I could live a new life. He lives in me and with me. He will never leave me. He empowers me to do Your will. He shows me what is truly important and takes away my guilt, shame, fears and burdens. Though I will live for all eternity, I will never be able to say or sing Thank You enough for Jesus Christ. But I will not quit trying. Forever I will be thanking You for loving me so much that You sent Jesus for me.

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“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”  Psalm 100

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim His salvation day after day.”  1 Chronicles 16:23

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, I want to say thank you for…


Heavenly Father,
Music expresses more than the mind can describe, the heart feels and the soul longs to say. I have been very blessed in my life to be surrounded by love songs. My first husband who died at age 37, spent 20 years writing and singing love songs to me. If I didn’t feel loved before, there is no way I could not believe I was loved after all that. Before he died, we were talking about his music and he said that all love songs come from God. The longer I live, the more I believe him…
My present husband started out our marriage by singing his first-ever solo at our wedding! Of course, it was a song of love. It took a lot of courage and I know he really meant what he sang! There are lullabies sung by parents and grandparents that convey an indescribable love. Teachers sing silly-little songs to help children learn the alphabet, months, manners and how to dance the wiggles out. Those little ditties are filled with love for their students. Care-givers sing songs along with patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia or brain injuries who are basically unable to speak. Those patients will belt out a song they’ve sung all their lives though they may not be able to answer simple questions. There is nothing more moving than being in a group where everyone is singing a song of love to You, Lord, with all their heart, like they really mean it. I can feel all our love rising up like a beautiful sacrifice of praise straight to Your heart. I know it blesses You more than we know.
There’s one verse in the Bible that has always stopped me in my tracks—that is where You say You sing songs over us! That really amazes me! Do You have just the right song at just the right time for each of us? A lullaby when we need rest; a teaching song when we need to remember; a battle song when we need to fight; a peaceful song when we need to rest in Your presence; a song of grace when we need to be assured of Your forgiveness; a strong song when we need to overcome fear; a tender song reminding us to trust You no matter what; a song of promise that You will never leave us; a song of joy when we do right; a song of Your immeasurable, everlasting love for us that tells us that You delight in us! I am overcome by Your love—that You would be willing to love me when I was a sinner–enough to send Jesus to die in my place so I could choose to live with You forever and ever—that You continually woo me with love songs.
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“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
“For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.” Psalm 149:4-5
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
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Prayer Prompt-
Father, help me be still and hear Your songs, and let me sing love songs to You—no matter what…


Heavenly Father,
I want to love you with all that I am, but it seems so inadequate. You will always love me more! You not only created me, but You are continually blessing me in more ways than I can count or comprehend. You designed this planet with perfect conditions so I can breathe, move and live. You scatter beauty everywhere so my soul can bask in Your glory…through sunrises and sunsets, beautiful flowers and trees, butterflies and puppy dogs, the soft eyes of love from my husband, children, grandchildren, friends and strangers. You surprise me with divine encounters, holy moments, insightful thoughts and everyday grace. You have faithfully loved me from before I was born. I have no doubt You will never leave me even up to my last earthly breath…and then I even get to live with You forever.
My love for You has grown immensely since I was a little girl, yet it is still so flimsy and insufficient. My mind wanders. My heart is wishy washy. My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. I cannot love you anything near like You love me. You loved me so much, that even though I am a sinner and have been unfaithful to You, You sent Jesus to take the punishment for my sin on the cross. He died in my place and rose again so I could live with You forever and ever. How can You love me that much?! Why would You sacrifice Your Son for me except for a love that can never be matched or taken away?
You purposely designed us with our own free will and gave us the freedom to choose. We don’t have to accept Your eternal gift of Jesus’ sacrifice…but Oh! The joy, the peace, the purpose, the certainty, the love we receive from You is beyond compare! Our real life begins when we accept Your loving sacrifice for our sins. There is absolutely no way to love You in the way You deserve. Yet after accepting Your love through Jesus, I can live my little life with my small heart and mind focused on You and Your unmatchable love! What a joy to love You with all my little heart that grows more in love with You each day!

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, Your love is…

Beautiful Heavenly Father,

For the past 4 months, I have been experiencing a lot of physical pain. I have been very blessed in my life to have excellent health which is definitely not taken for granted. I’ve cared for too many loved ones who have suffered pain which was excruciating to witness. That’s why it’s always been hard for me to complain if I have a little twinge. It has always appeared that I have a high threshold of pain (probably got that from my tough/stubborn little 84 year old mom!) Yet these past few months have knocked me down. It was challenging to walk from the living room to the bedroom without back pain that affected my entire body. It was such a change for me since I have always worked hard. I have to admit there were many times, I have been tempted to feel hopeless…thinking I would never be able to walk normally again.

Fortunately, You found a way to remind me each time I was invited to the pity party to turn it into a praise party instead. Sometimes the praise had to be forced until it became real. It truly seemed like a sacrifice to thank You and praise You…but it always turned into the true thing. Lord, I know and trust Your goodness. There is not one iota of meanness, darkness or manipulation in You. I trust Your love for me to be pure and holy. Not only did I and all those who loved me pray for me, but I went forward three times (once a month) to ask the elders of the church to anoint me and pray for my healing. I finally sincerely came to the point I could praise You for whatever happened. If You needed me to go through the suffering for whatever reason, I asked that I would handle it for Your glory.

Lord, I just want to publically thank You for Your sweet healing that is taking place in my body! I feel my back along with my entire body getting stronger every day! I am so incredibly grateful. My body and my spirit want to dance!!! I hope that I will praise You if it someday comes back. I hope that I praise You no matter what circumstances I face. I hope that I praise You in the good times and hard times. I hope I praise You when it is popular and when it might be illegal to hold the name of Jesus Christ up high. I love praising You because that’s where I find You. It might be a sacrifice to praise You at times, but it is a beautiful sacrifice that results in You pouring Your rich blessings into me that far outweigh whatever challenges I might face. You are worthy of all praise, glory and honor! You are the Great I am- our eternal Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

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“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  Romans 8:18

“For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”  Hebrews 13:15

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Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, I praise You even though…

My Lord and God,

I am joyfully declaring my total dependence upon You today! As our country celebrates our independence as a nation, we read the Declaration of Independence which announced for the whole world to hear that the newly-founded United States of America was officially separating from the unjust rule of the King of England. Those who signed the historical document knew it would most likely cost them life and their worldly riches (theirs, their families’ and their new countrymen). Indeed it cost dearly. Millions of lives have since been sacrificed to gain and protect our country’s freedom. I am indeed blessed to have been born in the USA…although I did not have a say in that blessing.

I do, however, have a say in freely giving up my rights to my own life. It is the best choice I’ve ever made. Whatever worldly riches and rights I willingly laid aside to acknowledge my dependence upon You as my King is nothing compared to the richness of living with Jesus now and forevermore. What a relief to know I do not have to live up to laws which are unobtainable; to pay taxes which put me in chains of bondage; to be ordered about with no compassion by a worldly king who doesn’t even know me. You are the King of kings yet You humbly offered Your one and only pure Son Jesus Christ to pay the ultimate price for my freedom. You are the absolute maker, designer, and Lord of all yet You long to have an intimate personal relationship with little me. It is not Your nature to rule over us with an iron hand, although You alone have the power and authority to reign for all eternity.

You invite all of us from every tribe and nation to willingly be a part of the only kingdom that truly counts. You do not force us but wait upon us to realize we can’t do anything without You. We indeed find more than we could ever hope for or imagine as we realize our great need for You. It is with upmost love, trust, faith, hope and with everything I am that I once again tell You that I need You. I need You salvation, guidance, comfort, direction. I need the blood of Jesus to open the way. I need You to breathe, move, live. I need You to live in and through me so I can fulfill Your purpose for me, so I can draw others to You, so I can love joyfully and completely. I need You, Oh, I need You. Every hour I need You! I have found true freedom in my dependence upon You, My True King!

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“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”  Psalm 62:5-8

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, , who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.”  Philippians 3:20-21

“Halleluiah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!” Revelation 19:6b

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Prayer Prompt-

King of Glory, help me see what areas I need to let You rule over…

Awesome Holy Father,

My granddaughter and I were driving on the highway next to an Air Force base when a gigantic AWAC plane was getting ready to land right over us. We saw it coming and knew it was flying straight towards us. It felt like the landing gear almost clipped the top of our van. The power of the huge engines reverberated through our whole vehicle and our bodies. We both looked at each other fully aware of the fearsome power that aircraft had. It could have easily wiped us out! For several miles on our journey afterward, my granddaughter and I discussed the design and purpose of the massive airplane. They fly high in the sky and keep constant watch with high-tech equipment for threats. It’s radar system with dedicated and highly trained personnel watch over our safety and welfare. It gave me another glimpse of You and Your care for us, Lord!

There are a few times in my life where You have shown me a peek at Your glory…and it has shaken my very spirit to the core. You kind of tilt Yourself so I get a tiny sample of Your fearsome power and mighty majesty. My spirit can scarcely take in Your indescribable strength. I am shaken to think of who You really are in all Your glory. You who spoke… and galaxies were birthed; the stars were set in place; mountains pushed up from the center of the earth; oceans were tamed; molecules spilt; and You tenderly breathed life into dust to form man into Your own image. You have all power and authority over all that there is. No armies can march, no kingdoms prevail, not even death can reign unless You give it permission to accomplish Your great purposes. No one can look upon You and live. You are more powerful than anything else we can comprehend or create…and yet You gently watch over us.

Most of the time, I can go about my daily life and not be shaken by Your power because You tenderly hold back to what I can withstand. Yet, even when I cannot see You or feel You, I know You are on constant watch over me. You never sleep or grow weary of protecting, guarding, guiding, warning, correcting and singing over me. There is not one thing that goes unnoticed by You and yet You loved me enough to send Jesus to save me. You never leave me alone to face this life. You are always with me. I always want to stay under the shadow of Your wings, Lord! Help me worship, love, obey and live with You at the very center of my life. Not only do You fly high above me, but You sent Your Spirit to live within me. That’s a crazy power that shakes up my world and brings heaven to earth!

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“How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 36:7

“See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and His arm rules for Him. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him. He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those who have young.”  Isaiah 40:10-11

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.”  Psalm 29:3-4

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, You are awesome in power yet tender in mercy with me by…