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…

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…