Heavenly Father,
My son sent me a photo of the weights his gym is letting him borrow during this quarantine period. He and his wife do heavy strength training and their plans are to continue at home during the pandemic. My husband and I are going through some intense exercise training during this time…along with millions of others around the world. Our faith is going through some heavy-duty training. Each day brings new burdens to be lifted up to You, Lord. Some seem far too much to bear… but that is where the growth takes place to go further than we have gone before. We might be fearful our knees will buckle under the weight…but You give us Your strength…

My daughter-in-law may be a beautiful young mom, but don’t let her looks fool you. She has become a giant in the strength department. My son got her lifting along side of him. I have watched them grow in strength and endurance from their consistent and faithful lifting. I think back to all the toils and dangers You have brought me through so far, Lord. Each one has given me a chance to exercise my faith in You. Every time it was far more than I could handle, but as I hold those heavy weights up to You—each time my faith in You has increased.

It is not that You have grown stronger. Lord, You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Yet my faith in You has grown stronger with each increase in challenge. My frail body, mind and emotions may not be able to handle any of this…but You have been with me and encouraged me to trust You each time…and You have never failed. It is totally amazing what You can do through me because of Jesus Christ.

Many of us are facing huge weights even above and beyond the social distancing…but You are with us. As soon as we take our stance and lift that weight to You, Your incredible strength flows through us and we are surprised that we can do far greater things than we could imagine because You are with us! Thank You for this opportunity to exercise our faith in You, Lord!

 

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

 

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” Hebrews 12:11-13

 

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” 2 Thessalonians 1:2-4

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, I lift up these weights to You, acknowledging I need more faith in You…

 

Heavenly Father,
Fear does not come from You! In fact, Your word is full of commands not to fear. I should know. I was once probably one of the most fearful people alive. Only You could take that fear away- and that came when I started placing my faith in You. What freedom and joy to not live in fear! When the temptation to fear rears it’s ugly head, I run away from fear and run to You, Lord. Faith and fear cannot live together. It is either one or the other, and I choose to trust in You.

Sometimes it seems like there is an army of fear trying to get my old nature worked up—fears of viruses, losing a loved one, catastrophes, disasters, cancer, violence, rejection, being deserted, growing older, financial and relational challenges…All these things can seem like giants or even mountains until I look at who You are. You, Lord, rule over all these things and everything else in the world and beyond this earth. Sin and evil will not have the last say. You do. I trust in You- Your goodness and Your sovereignty.

Whatever comes my way, I KNOW I need never face it alone. You are with me. Whom or what shall I fear? I live with You, the Lord God Almighty. You have secured my soul by letting Your Son Jesus Christ die for my salvation and my victory over anything and everything as I place my faith in You. It is incredible to watch those giant fears fade away into nothing as I keep placing my faith in You. I love You, Lord!

 

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“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, show me the areas I am letting fear get a stronghold…Let me trust You in that area…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,
How I love watching for You! Just in the last few days I’ve seen You in a tiny clump of yellow crocus in an expansive lawn of still-dormant grass…in the opening up of a traumatized friend…in families gathering together in love at the passing of family members…in friends gathering to help a widow…in a dove peering out of a bush right outside my window…in a granddaughter running up and practically jumping in my arms…in light whisp of clouds that I saw when I looked up- just like the ones in a very poignant 27-year old memory I had just written about…

Just in the last few days, though I have not seen Your face, I have seen You in the praise of one who has endured much…in laughter shared with a long-time friend…in contentment and rest in the soul of a mother who has worked extremely hard all her life…in the gratitude of someone You asked me to help…in the hope of spring coming again…in the cheerful morning praises sung by the birds…in the connection felt with a simple smile and greeting between strangers…in the healing of one who has been quietly grieving his wife for five long years…in the hope of a new marriage of two dear friends…in the waiting for a new baby soon to be born…

In just the last few days, I have seen You bring faithful believers to a state-wide gathering to pray for our state… in the fervent prayers of those praying daily on the sidewalk for the unborn and their parents…in the celebration of a dear friend from India who has faithfully poured out his life to thousands in his country and around the world…in his daughter who is willing to take up the vision and carry it on…in the sacrifice and love of young parents on behalf of their children…in the dedication of teachers in caring for their little ones…in my husband massaging my aching feet…

Just in the last few days, I’ve seen You in a couple who have run their family’s 102 year old business with Christ-like integrity and love as they handed it over to a new owner…in the life of two pastors’ wives who are recently widowed, still shining out with the same quiet faith and love for You which has been their life testimony…in the commitment of one friend caring for their aging friend…in a young sister-in-Christ quietly waiting and praying for guidance from You…

Father, I love to watch for You and there are so many more ways I have seen You in just the last few days…I can’t begin to imagine all You have done in my lifetime that I didn’t stop to notice. I will be watching and praising You for all eternity!

 

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“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

 

“Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” Psalm 105:3

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, open my eyes as I seek You….

Heavenly Father,
Oh! How my soul longs to be listened to! Just listened to. Without interruption. Without advice. Without correction. Without argument. Without analysis. Without someone else’s story or experience or thoughts being interjected before I am able to voice what is in my mind and heart. It seems like there are so few “listeners” in the world. Yet it is one of the greatest gifts of love we can give someone. Listening is one of the greatest attributes of love. But there is so much noise and not enough listening…

There is a world of people who long to be heard. Everyone is talking and no one is listening. I know I fall short of true listening even though I know that is one of my gifts (perhaps it is a gift available to all of us). Who wants a doctor to decide how to treat before hearing what is really going on? What child will listen to a parent who never takes time to listen to their heart? Who wants to marry someone who is always correcting them when they don’t even listen to all they are saying? How can our country ever be united until all sides take turn listening? It seems everyone is yelling and no one is truly listening. Oh! How we need more listeners!

Father, You are the greatest listener! Though You have all authority and rule over all that there is, You are ready to listen to us at any time. You listen to our complaints, our desperate pleas, our angry tirades, our rambling thoughts that seem to have no point. You listen much deeper than our words. You see our heart and soul. You listen all the way to the end and to what is really being said. You are the only One who can truly understand us better than we understand ourselves. You are always ready and willing to listen. Though You know what we are going to say and what we really mean—You listen because You know we desire to be heard. You listen out of love. Thank You for always listening—even when words won’t come!

Lord, how often do I stop and listen to You? How often am I simply still and quiet enough to place all my attention on what You are saying to me? You do not force us to listen. But You must desire to be heard by each of us as much or more than we desire to be heard. Father, let me “listen” to You as I read Your word, as I hear the wind, as I listen to a song, as a fellow believer shares a truth, through the perfect timing of your ordained situations and encounters, through Your still small voice—Your voice that we will all recognize as we get better at listening. Let me show You my love through listening and then obeying Your voice.

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“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9

 

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord said, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:39-42

 

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I am listening…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,
Your love is outlandish! How incredible that the Lord God, Maker of all the earth and everything in it and all the galaxies should love me so tenderly?! You are always with me, meeting my every need, satisfying my desires, singing over me, protecting me, guiding me, watching me when I am asleep and when I am awake! I try to love You back in a way that honors a love that was willing to send Your own Son Jesus to be born as one of us, to live and die for the penalty I deserved for my sin- so I could be with you for all eternity. I try to set aside time just to be with You alone and enjoy Your presence…and yet I am so easily distracted by the most ridiculous things. I have this chance, this opportunity, this honor to come to You at any time. It was paid for at the highest price ever paid. And yet I neglect or take this gift for granted. You, Lord, loved me first. I can never out-love You. I would have no comprehension of what love really is- if not for You loving me first. But I truly want to make You my first love…

Not the amazing kind of first love I encountered with my parents loving me as a tiny baby…not the first love of that little boy (forgot his name!) in kindergarten who professed his love for me and mine for him…not the unconditional love from or for my brothers…not the true love from my high school sweetheart Steve, who I went on to marry(I didn’t forget his name!)… not the even the breath-taking love I’ve known holding each one of my newly born children or grandchildren or the love that continues to grow…not the surprising love I thought was not possible—to love another husband after the death of my first (his name is Tex, I mean Dwight!)…not the love for so many friends and even strangers. There are so many experiences of love both received and given that I am eternally grateful for, Lord. And they all flow from You! Yet I want You to be my first love..

Lord, it seems the only way we can know true love is to first experience it and receive it from You through Your eternal gift of Jesus Christ. I’m glad to know that You realize how frail our love is compared to Yours, yet You give us the capacity to give and receive it like You do. I long to love You more, Lord. I desire to keep You as my first love; for when I do, I am capable of loving others so much more. I love because You love me first!

 

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“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

 

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-38

 

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

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, am I loving You as You deserve?…

Heavenly Father,
What a treasure we have been given in the ability to come to You at any time with anything through prayer and yet we often neglect this highest honor and responsibility. Many prayers are shot up to You in desperate need- even by those who supposedly don’t believe. There is a difference between a one-time prayer and a life lived in prayer. There is a difference between a prayer from our flesh and prayer in the Spirit…but it has to start somewhere! So when does a prayer from our own selfish will change to a prayer in the Spirit?

I know it’s probably different for everyone because we are all such unique people -designed and loved by You. Yet praying in the Spirit involves living with Your Holy Spirit in us. It begins with believing that Jesus died for us on the cross. It is believing that our old life/ nature/ selfish will has been crucified with Jesus. Jesus sends the Spirit to live in us in a resurrected life that is much more real than this earthly life. It is knowing that He really lives in us and through us. I know it’s crazy, but to pray in the Spirit is not just asking You to make my wish come true. It is being still in Your presence. It is praying for the richer things of the Spirit that might come even from very challenging situations. It is trusting that You are at work in me, and in others, bringing about Your Kingdom that is high above this earthly life.

Praying in the Spirit is knowing it is no longer my blood that runs through my veins, my goals to obtain, my answers to problems, my demands…it is Your Spirit running through my surrendered heart and soul. You said that the prayers of a righteous man can accomplish much…but I realize that there is nothing righteous about me. The only righteousness in me was given to me by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. I am a new creation in Him. Your Spirit truly lives in and through me. I find myself praying in whole new ways and trusting You in all situations. Praying in the Spirit is yielding to Your will/ Your intercession/ Your answers/ Your amazing work. There are times, I am tempted to slip back into my powerless prayer life so I have to re-surrender to Your unseen powerful Spirit. What a crazy mysterious plan You have- to work in and through our prayers in the Spirit. Thank You for this amazing gift, Lord! Let me get myself out of the way so Your Spirit can flow through me.

 

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“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18

 

“If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for He lives in with you and will be in you.” Jesus’ promise in John 14:15-17

 

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:38

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, I accept Your sacrifice on my behalf for my sin of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Let me die to my old life and let Your Spirit live in me…

Most Glorious Father,
How I love my quiet time with You. There can be sparks of war, reports of violence near and far, deaths of loved ones, misunderstandings, relationships divided or under attack, threats of bad health or uncertainty of finance…but when I come to You to simply be in Your presence, it all melts away in Your glory and peace. There are times, the attacks of bad news and the veil of darkness are so palpable that I have to fight my way to my sweet spot in You. But You are always there waiting for me to come. When I find my way to You through Jesus, I find all I need in You. Your quiet peace is so much more powerful than all the noise the blustery bullying that evil makes. Here I come once again to You, Lord!

You are and ever will be victorious over anything this world and darkness throws at us. All we have to do is be still and know that You are God! Father, You are fully aware of how weak we are, how vulnerable we are to the threats and attacks. How I thank You for all I have been through which has taught me over and over again, to come to You through Jesus Christ. Some days I just breathe and remain in You all day. Other times, the struggle is real and the attacks come from all directions trying to keep me from You.

Some days, it appears I have to fight to get to my sweet spot in You. At least that’s what the enemy wants me to think—that the battle is too big; that Your silence means You are gone—but You never leave me, Lord. I just need to place my focus, my hope, my life on You and Your presence once again. The best way I have found to fight my way to You is to be still, to praise You, to remember who You are, to seek You with all my heart, mind and strength—the Lord God who is over me and all that is. You are the One who commands heaven and earth. You are the One who loves me more than anyone else possibly could. You are the One who restores my soul, fills me with Your Holy Spirit, uses little ole me to defeat giants. You are the One who refreshes me in Your sweet presence even here on earth and who promises an eternal sweet spot with You that I will never have to leave! It seems a little silly to call You my sweet spot, Lord- I am but a beloved little speck in the vastness of Your Holy Presence! There is plenty of room in Your Holy Sweet spot for every beloved little speck You’ve created!

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“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” Psalm 46:10

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father God, help me turn to You and find You….

Heavenly Father,
I received a message from someone who was sad. Because of their current situation they could give no Christmas gifts this year as they had delighted to do in the past. Though my heart goes out to them, I know from experience that these are the times we learn our relationships are what is most important. Then this morning, as I sat alone in Your presence, I realized how very impoverished I am without You, Lord. You give me life, breath, people to love, shelter, comfort…everything I have and need is from You. I am absolutely destitute without You. I wouldn’t even exist if not for You. You lavish love gifts upon me continually…and sadly, I take most of them for granted. What can I possibly give to You who owns everything? Yet there is something…

 

Father, it was Your idea to create us with our own free will. We have a choice to accept the fact that You reign above all…that You created us…that we have sinned against You through our rebellion, neglect, disbelief, denial, disrespect…that we need You…that we are not complete without You…that we cannot have the close loving relationship with You–that You created us to have without Your help…that we cannot earn Your love…that we cannot even breathe without Your assistance…that we cannot get clean enough or holy enough to come into Your presence without Your cleansing mercy from the blood of Jesus…Oh Lord, I am so poor in spirit. There is only one thing that You do not have which I can give. I’m the only one who can give it. I’m the only one who has it, and You gave me that, as well—my will.

 

So here I am once more, holding my feeble will before You. I don’t know why You would want such an ugly obstinate thing. It has led me down wrong paths, hurt me and others, blinded my eyes to You and my life with You… Yet this awful will of mine—the only thing I truly have to give You—like everything else transforms into something incredibly beautiful when it is freely given to You. My will becomes Your will! I am able to come freely without any shame into Your presence and bask in Your glory! My eyes are opened to the vast riches You bestow upon me! My heart is overcome with love that goes way beyond my own capacity. I have overflowing joy no matter what my circumstances are. I am finally at peace because I am one with You and You with me! My will surrenders to Your will. I am only able to do this because of Jesus Christ, who gave up His own will and chose to die on the cross for my sin, so I can live now and forevermore with You! I am no longer poor but rich indeed! All because of my relationship with You through Jesus Christ! Here is my will freely given to You, Lord!

 

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Jesus said in Mark 8:34-37: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me and the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

 

Jesus giving up His will in Gethsemane before the cross: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

 

Jesus told us we should pray like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done…” Matthew 6:9-10

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I’m sorry I have been so stubborn…here is my will…

Glorious Heavenly Father,
It has been a joy to work with children most all my life in one form or another. They amaze me with their thoughts (and keep me humble with their truth, and wear me out with their energy!) I have served as a licensed child care provider, early education teacher, Wee Worship and Vacation Bible School teacher as well as mom and grandmother to many. I have learned much more than I could ever teach these precious children. I can see why Jesus said we need to be child-like to be part of His Kingdom. I’m not talking about the screaming melt-downs in the grocery-store aisle, or the demanding “I want’s,” or the irritating tattling (though I’ve learned a lot about how we act towards You from those episodes. too)—I’m speaking of the trusting nature of a child’s faith which I see over and over again…

• My young friend, a 4 year-old hyper boy who invited his preschool teacher to the Thanksgiving church dinner and worship service without anyone telling him to! (Thank You, Lord, for that sweet loving teacher who came and was drug around church all morning being proudly introduced by her wild-hearted little student!)

• The precious 8 year old boy who came to me Sunday with a little notepad and asked if I had a prayer request. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked to be prayed for by someone so young. (I was able to give him a request that I have really been praying about–which he promptly wrote down. I just regret that I didn’t think to ask if he had one. Yet I know something dear to his heart I will pray about!)

• A teenaged grandson who began praying to You even before he could talk. He has blessed many with his fervent prayers as he grew. I think he may be slipping from that closeness with You as he grows, yet I know he knows Your call on his heart and will return.

• The tried and tested faith of a young grandson who I believe cried out to Jesus to save him and his sisters from danger. He knows who saved him and placed him in a new loving family where he and his sisters could stay together. (I am humbled by his faith in You and his deep compassion at such a tender age.)

• For a “special needs” great grandson, who ever so often displays special insight into You, the only One who truly understands him.

• Babies and toddlers- I often see a built-in faith in these fresh new lives who can somehow tell who to trust. They seem to be able to sense who is safe fairly quickly—who will care for them, love and protect them.

 

Father, help me to know, just as these children know, that I need help; that I can’t survive on my own; that I don’t know what is best for me; that my demands could be the worst thing; that all my deepest needs and desires are fully met through Jesus Christ so I can know a loving relationship with You—my Heavenly Father, the one I can fully place my faith in for all eternity. I am so thankful to be your child!

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“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…” Galatians 3:26

 

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 18:2

 

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:15-17

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father God, show me where I do not trust You as my Good Father…

 


Lord God Almighty,
There is not one person who was created, who was not created by You. That includes every single person who ever served in the military or is serving now. You created them with a desire to stand for what they believe in, to fight against threats, and to protect their loved ones and countrymen. Because today is Veteran’s Day in the United States of America, I want to lift up veterans and their families before You now:
• Those who are deployed right now- who will miss the holidays, birthdays, birth of their baby, death of a family member, cuddling in a cozy home with their spouse, a warm shower, their child’s games, a quiet walk in the woods…
• Those who fought off very real threats to our country since its beginning- the war for our freedom to govern our own country to the more current threat of terrorists…
• Those who gave their lives for the sake of truth and liberty… and for the families who must learn to live on without them…
• Those who were wounded while fighting; who must learn to live without limbs, eyesight, or even movement…
• Those who might have come home in one piece physically, but are tormented by the deeper emotional and mental wounds of war…
• Those who left their homes to fight so we could all live safely, yet live on the streets in fear of their safety…
• Those spouses, children and parents who watch a passionate warrior leave to willingly protect with their life, yet miss out on years of time with their personal hero…
• Those in military authority who make decisions which mean life or death to their beloved “men” and have to live with those choices…
• Those who carry gratitude, guilt and memories all the days of their lives because they made it home while some of their “brothers-in arms” did not…
• Those families who have graves to visit and those who never received a body to mourn…
• Those who continue to support their fellow veterans through Veteran programs, small groups and national groups…
Lord, I pray that each of these precious veterans and their family members find all the peace they need in You. I look forward to the day when all weapons and fighting will no longer be needed as the new Heaven and earth is revealed…when even enemies who fought against one another will embrace and worship You as our One True God. Lord Jesus, bless the veterans and their families who sacrifice so much. Let them bask in the glory of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ who conquered sin and death so we might live.
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“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’” Exodus 14:13, 14
“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take you stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, by against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
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Your Prayer Prompt-
Who has laid down His life for me? How can I show my gratitude?