all things work together for good
all things work together for good

All things work together for good

My Prayer Peek/ your prayer prompt [blessings in a pandemic]


Most Holy Father,


Over and over again, I hear how horrible this year has been…and I have to admit, personally it has been challenging with the loss of dear friends and family members (two due to suicide which carries it’s own heartbreak), loss of income, not being able to accompany family members or them with me in medical crisis, not being able to gather as a family, or even to worship as I am accustomed to. Yet, oh my sweet Lord, how I see You at work with blessings overflowing in the midst of what some are calling “the worst year ever.” Having gone through my share of many trials, I have to say, once again, Lord, You make beauty from ashes, and it is definitely true that You create good out of what seems the worst when we have eyes to see…


                Some of the sweet blessings I see developing out of a year of world-wide pandemic include:

  • A slowing down of the fast-paced driven society that leaves little time for deepening relationships and simply enjoying one another.
  • Parents spending more time with their children with bike rides, walks, games, fishing and other non-stress activities.
  • With the real threat of death due to this virus, people are reviewing and simplifying their lives to savor the most important treasures which are relationships. Even the healthy are realizing today could be their last day. It changes the way we live.
  • More time to sit quietly and share all our heart with You, Lord, through prayer.
  • Letting go of things we have no control over and trusting You to make good come from our current situation—no matter how dire.
  • Learning to live with less since this pandemic has created a shortage of many things.
  • Holding our dear loved ones before You and realizing You love them even more than we ever could, and You want more for them than we could ever ask for or imagine.
  • Realizing You love us just because of who we are, and not for what we can do for You and Your Kingdom.
  • Believing that this dark and hopeless world needs the Light You give us through our relationship with Jesus Christ now more than ever. Our answer of hope, when we are hit with dark fear and hopelessness, does far more than we can imagine—even if we don’t see immediate results. The hope we share is eternal and stands for all time.
  • Doctors cannot save everyone, but You long to give us eternal life.
  • If and when I die from Covid-19 or any other cause- I know I will live forever with You! I am ready.


Thank You, Lord, for the countless rich blessings You are showering us with even in this horrible pandemic. Open our eyes to see them and thank You for them.





“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”    Isaiah 61:3


“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16


“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”  1 Peter 3:15




Your prayer prompt-

Father, open my eyes through Jesus Christ to see You and Your glory in the midst of ….

Most Glorious Heavenly Father God,
I’ve been sheltered-in-place for about eleven weeks. I’m usually going places, working hard, and interacting personally with a lot of people. During this pandemic sheltering, my life has slowed to what would appear to some as a standstill, but my roots in Christ are growing deeper once again. I was called away from the world for a long period once before. It was a different kind of isolation at that time in my life, but I recall the deep growth that took place during that particular period, as well. It was definitely a more stressful time with a terminally ill husband, four kids to raise and the licensed in-home childcare. Though there were plenty of people around me in that other isolation, I looked to You to help me in that desperate time. And You were so faithful to help me.

Now, here I am again- closed away from the world, with much more time to not be rushed in the quietness of Your shelter. How I love being still and quiet with You- praying in much more depth and with a greater peace, knowing You are at work in the sheltering-especially in those who turn to You during this time. For one who grew up with hard work woven deep into my DNA, it is still taking a lifetime to understand that the greatest, most powerful work is done in this quiet time in Your presence. This is when I learn that You love me for who I am- not for what I do. You can use me for Your eternal purposes when I get my own plans, schemes, ambitions out of the way. This is where I learn to hear Your still small voice which instructs me what You want me to do. When it is Your will, there is a sweet peace and rest –even in the “work.” Perhaps, it’s because I know it is Your work and does not depend on me- other than to obey and trust You will give me all I need to do it.

Yes, I do love sheltering under You, learning to trust You more, follow Your lead, love You more deeply, and simply enjoy who You are and the miraculous gift You give us through Jesus Christ that allows us to live with You even here on earth. Who am I—with all my quirks, faults, mistakes, sins, and rebellious attitude that wants to sneak back in—that You would make a way for me to come freely into the Holy Shelter of Your Presence? Who am I—that You would sacrifice Your own Son Jesus Christ—to give me that honor and privilege? Who am I—that I would not take the greatest opportunity ever given—to find every way I can to shelter in Your Holy presence?




“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:1


“For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” Psalm 61:3-4


““Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” Jesus in Matthew 23:37




Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, help me be willing to shelter in You through Jesus…

Most Glorious Father,
I must admit I love prayers, both public and private…but I also know the public prayer is empty and meaningless when there has been no private prayer. The thing I love most about prayer is that is being with You, being aware of You, talking to You, resting silently in You, singing to You, trusting in You, bringing everything and anything to You, seeking You, finding You, being corrected, refreshed, restored and re-created by You… so many amazing things happen when we come to You in prayer. Prayer is not the power. It is simply our coming to You—the One who has all power, authority, direction, peace and love. I suppose, then, it is not prayer that I love…but You!

Both Public and private prayer can be vital links to You, Lord. I am always amazed when I read Jesus’ public prayers for us. The longest recorded section of words spoken by Jesus is actually the most incredible prayer ever prayed. John 17 is Jesus’ out loud prayer for His beloved followers, but was also recorded because Jesus said He was praying for me and all “who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-21) He continues to pray for us, when we are willing to leave this old-world order and accept Him as our King and become His subjects, in His Kingdom. He is still praying for us: “Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34) I am forever grateful for Jesus’ private and public prayers for me!

I am also so thankful for the many times someone else has stopped what they were doing just to pray for me and with me. I recall times of overwhelming situations, when I have been weary, unsure, in battle, approaching a new crossroad, needing help praying for a loved one, unsure of direction…I love to know there are others praying for me in private, but there are times I sure have needed those out loud prayers! I believe in passing that on. We all need someone to pray out loud and privately for us (and with us) on this challenging journey.

That brings me to these Prayer Peeks I write. I know Jesus said to pray in Your closet where no one sees, but He certainly didn’t say to never pray out loud. We each need to have our own private relationship with You—one that no one else has. When we have that, we want others to have their own private relationship with You, Father. We know that special relationship comes through becoming a new creation through Jesus Christ. Our new lives in Your Kingdom grows and matures as we spend private time with You. But as someone once said, “If you are already going to the throne room of God, grab someone’s hand and take them with you.” Lord, I write these prayer peeks and prompts to grab someone’s hand and lead them to Your throne—so they can have their own relationship with You. Here they are. I pray they want more of You publicly and privately.



“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them for Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 5:5-8


“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. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:18-20




Prayer Prompt-
Lord, help me spend more time with You in private and public prayer…

Heavenly Father, yesterday I happened to hear of more unrelated deaths than usual on one day—my daughter-in-law’s stepdad, my sister-in-law’s stepdad, and four children and their aunt who were killed in an apartment fire near my church. My stepdaughter was involved with the children’s lives. Although it is such a deep sorrow to hear of deaths and the effect that loss has on those dear loved ones left behind, I can’t help but think of the ones who passed through death into immeasurable joy and peace as they are in Your very presence. It is amazing how one day, one moment of passing can be viewed in such conflicting ways.

Father, I have personally been on the “left behind” side of death too many times to count. And due to the grief ministry You have led me to, I have seen the deep wounds of the broken-hearted up close and personal (even when I haven’t always known the ones who passed from this life). From our side, there is often deep wailing (whether heard or unheard) that comes deep from within the very soul. There is a panicked lost feeling-wondering how we can possibly go on living without our loved one. You already know our deepest pain. I believe that’s why Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus—not for Lazarus, His dear friend who had been dead for three days. Jesus knew Lazarus would be brought back to life. He wept for those dear ones grieving in such deep pain who were “left behind.”  Lord, You know us better than anyone else possibly could. You know all that goes on in our inner most soul.

Lord, You may have conflicted feelings when death comes. Death was not Your plan. Yet You see it on the other side. Your beloved child is coming HOME to You forever to be free, healed, glorified, and more alive than ever before. I don’t know how You can do it; but I am absolutely positive that You are with those who are left behind in their deep grief that can barely be expressed…and at the same time, You are welcoming Your dear ones into Your very presence where they will live in joy with You forever and ever.  There will be no more suffering, tears, darkness, evil… There has to be a huge celebration!

Father, I have seen You do it so many times before. I pray that You let those “left behind” know that their loved one is enjoying their new life with You; that You will never leave them as they come to terms with living out the remainder of their life here without their loved one; that You prepare them for their eternal life with You; that You look forward to the time You will welcome them Home into Your presence…and that You understand their tears but You know the joy that is coming up ahead. Help those “left behind” to find all they need in You—the very One who created us to live forever with You- beginning now through Jesus Christ!


“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”  Psalm 116:15

“When the perishable has been clothed in imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (I hear my friends who are left behind, saying that the sting is on this side.)

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making all things new!’” Revelation 21:3-5


Prayer Prompt-

Father, comfort those “left behind” with the true promise of eternal life with You … ef

Heavenly Father,

               I love having this whole day completely free to spend with You from the very start to the very end. It often works out that I can spend the first day of the new year quietly with You with no distractions. I realize You are with me all the time—that I can come to You any time—with no limitations. There is just something about giving You the first clean day of a new year. I feel the same way when I start a brand new prayer journal with fresh clean pages.

               No one has to remind me that You have been with me from the very start. I have evidence from many years past (written down in piles of previous prayer journals.) You have led me through each previous year through what seemed like unbearable trials to indescribable joys—as You have forgiven me for all the ways I have sinned against You. Yet here is another start to a brand new year that has never been here before. It will be so interesting to see how You lead in this particular year. Life with You is such an adventure! Just when I think I might have Your plans figured out, You turn me in a whole different direction.

               No matter what the path looks like, I always discover more of You! More love. More knowledge. More wisdom. More peace. More trust. More faith. More hope…more of what You gave us when You gave us Jesus Christ! So as I face this fresh new unchartered year, I look with love to You as You teach me to worship and love You more deeply—as You infuse me with greater love for others—as You mold me to be a more willing servant ready to do Your bidding—as You draw me nearer to You so I can shine the way for someone else—as You take away more of me and give me more of You—as You guide me closer to my real eternal home with You. Happy New Year, Lord. This day, this year, this life is for You.


“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”  James 4:12-13

“But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”    Psalm 102:27

“They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But You remain the same, and Your years will never end.”   Hebrews 1:11-12


Prayer Prompt-

Lord God Almighty, do I acknowledge You as the Creator of all and the Savior as my soul? Let this year be the time I am born anew in You…

Heavenly Father,

Not long ago, my foster grandchild, started calling his foster parents by name instead of “Mom and Dad” like he’d been doing for a long time. My son lovingly sat down with him and they discussed exactly what a mom and dad do (providing food, love, a home, protection, clothes, care, comfort, attention…). It was like he didn’t really know what a dad or mom did. Afterward, this sweet boy started calling them “Mom and Dad” again. That night as he prayed, he thanked You for his mom and dad – and for their son! He realized that true role models are not always from birth.

As Father’s Day draws near, my mind is on the special gift of dads in our lives…whatever form that takes. Many of my fellow teachers are helping their kids prepare Father’s Day gifts. It can get a little tricky when not everyone has a daddy involved in their lives. Everyone had to have some kind of birth dad- for better or worse. Unfortunately, some end up not involved in a child’s life due to death or neglect or some other reason. But almost everyone is blessed with a man in their life who makes an eternal impact.

Father, I’ve been extra blessed to have an incredible dad who lived out his beautiful faith in You day in and day out before my eyes. He now cheers me on from heaven! I’ve been blessed to have the daddy of my children, who also waits in heaven, continue to impact our children and grandchildren (who never got to meet him yet). My children (by birth and marriage) have been blessed more than they know by a strong loving dad who stepped up to love, pray and cook for, help, and even invests in the lives of their children as Grandpap! Another indescribable blessing is to see the dads our children have become to their kids- raising them up to be amazing people! There are men all around: foster dads, stepdads, teachers, ministers, coaches, uncles, grandfathers, neighbors, bosses…who You have put in place in children’s lives to somehow fill a role of a dad figure to young men and women who need to know what a real dad looks like. Some kids have no idea. No matter what, we all have You, our Heavenly Father, who encompasses more than we can describe or imagine of what a true Father is. To the greatest Father of all, I love You, Lord…and thank You for all the wonderful pictures of You I see in those around me.


“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

“Sing to God, sing praise to His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds- His name is the Lord- and rejoice before Him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…”  Psalm 68:4-6a

“‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters,’ says the Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18


Prayer Peek & Prompt-

Heavenly Father, thank You for being my dad by….

Heavenly Father,

Today I am thanking You for twenty-one years of a blessed marriage to a good man. When my first husband told me the night before he died that I would marry a good man, I didn’t want to hear anything about it. I couldn’t possibly think of loving anyone else. After heavily grieving the loss of my first soul mate, I had to deal with the incredible loneliness and void where he had stood next to me for 18 years of marriage. I told You, Lord, that I would remain single the rest of my life if that’s what You wanted for me but confided how much I missed being married and serving together with a husband who loved You. I asked that if You wanted me to be married, You would pick someone out because I saw the best in everyone and I might make a mistake. I told You I would not go looking but that You would have to place that man right in front of me…And You did.

You placed a good man in my life and showed me he was Your choice. I have always been sure from that moment on. We have gone through a lot of life together. For one thing, who else would be brave enough to marry a woman with four children when he had 3 of his own? We’ve been through blending our families, illnesses, deaths, births, raising children and teenagers, family issues, financial issues, church challenges, multiple trials…We’ve gone camping and hiking in 29 degree weather, gone on missions, vacations and adventures together. We’ve had disagreements and made up. We’ve discovered our differences make us stronger as a team. We’ve kept each other warm and froze one another with icy feet. We’ve stood by one another when trials come. We’ve faced many ups and downs side-by-side and covering one another’s back. We’ve cried together, cooked together, played together, worked hard together, ministered together, read the Bible together, prayed together and worshipped You together.

You had a great idea when You put us together. In fact, You had an amazing idea when You designed marriage. You placed us together to complete each other. I love that marriage is a profound mystery…a picture of Jesus and His church. It’s incredible to me that my husband loves me despite my short-comings and mistakes. He looks past my wrinkles and impurities and sees the beautiful bride he loves. I realize more fully each passing year just how much I respect this good man You’ve placed in my life. Thank You for Jesus’ looking past all the imperfections of the Church and seeing His glorious Bride. We fit together with Jesus. We are made complete and beautiful in Him. We are in You and You are in us! What a glorious marriage!


“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-33

“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”  Isaiah 62:5b


Prayer Prompt-

Father, help me be the Bride You can rejoice over…


Prayer- on the mountain & in the valley!

October 1, 2003


How I love the times You take me up on the mountaintop and give me a glimpse of Your glory! Yet I know it isn’t where You want me to stay. It would be selfish to just seek the spiritual highs with You and not go back to work in the valley so others can experience You. I know I am to take You back down.

It can be really painful and overwhelming in the valley at times, but I know I never have to walk it alone. You are always with me. The work is Yours to do. All I have to be- is willing to put myself aside and let You live through me. I am willing. Whatever darkness and suffering I see is only to bring Your Light into the valley…to those who need You. Father, let Jesus shine through me wherever You send me…to whomever You place in my path. Let them, too, experience You both on the mountaintop and back down in the valley.

Prayer- visions and truth

October 3, 2003


I praise You for being the same awesome God on the mountaintops that You are in the valley. There are times I get a fantastic vision of who You are on the mountaintop. I know You can do all things from that wonderful high, but it isn’t until I have to go back down into the valley and live the really difficult life that I KNOW You can do all things.

It is in this world- living out my walk with You- that I see how really powerful You are. It is in the nitty-gritty of daily life that the vision works itself out. And I do mean WORK! It usually doesn’t come with ease. Your truth has to work itself through the stubbornness of my heart and through those around me. When I see it work out in action, then I can truly say it is the truth and not just a vision!

Thank You for all the great mountaintop views and deep valley walks of my life. How I praise You for those high visions, but I thank You more for the ways You work them out in truth in the valley of this everyday life!

Prayer- for pastors, ministers

October 6, 2003


There are those who You have led to be ministers, pastors and preachers. Since this is Clergy Appreciation Month, I would like to specifically pray for those who You have called into those leadership positions.

Father, draw them close to You. They need You so much. There is no way they can lead others without being led by You. Help them to slow down and rest in You. Remind them they do not carry everyone’s problems on their own. Reassure them that whatever circumstances You allow them to see in other’s lives is never too big for You. Let them bring the lost and hurting to You. Help their faith to grow as they see You at work. Remind those in leadership that they do not have to be the ones to save others- that is Your job! They just need to point people to You and pray for them and love them.

Lord, I pray for extra strength and protection for those pastors/ministers and their families who are on the front lines of spiritual warfare. Remind all of the rest of us to hold them up in prayer, and to give encouragement and support to those who carry the heavy burden of concern for our spiritual well-being. I know they often come under heavy attack as they try to lead us forward.

Thank You for the obedience, humbleness and steadfastness of our ministers as they spend their lives close to You- receiving all they need from You. Inspire them and fill them with Your Holy Spirit so they can lead us closer to You!

Prayer- I can always pray!

October 7, 2003


The more I pray- the more I see You work! There’s just something about coming into Your presence that changes things. I think mostly, it changes me! The more I come to You, the more You give me eyes to see things from Your perspective. You see everything so differently than my human eyes do. Does it give You joy to show me Your ways?

What seems like a tragic disaster (like my dad drawing close to death) is totally different through Your eyes. He’s getting close to coming Home! If I was to go and see my dad without praying about it, I might give into inconsolable grief. But, my sadness over his suffering and the knowledge that he might soon be taken from my presence is overshadowed by the sweet assurance that he will be starting a whole new life in eternity with You! I know that our time apart will be short- for this life is so fleeting. How could I ever chose to keep him here when he could be there with You (with no more pain, suffering or confusion).

How can I not pray? Why would I ever chose not to come into Your Holy presence where I always find peace, joy and assurance that all is well? No one can ever take that away from me. I can always pray. I always have You.

Prayer- just as I am today

October 8, 2003


Here I am again…just as I am. I long to be pure and holy, but I know there’s no way I can be without Jesus in me. Thank You for being so patient with all my weaknesses and faults. You know every thought and every hidden motive ( even when my pride prevents me from seeing ). And You love me in spite of them.

Here I am again today… to present myself to You…just as I am. I have no doubt that You are right here with me waiting to love me despite my mistakes, my unholiness and my sin. It is overwhelming to think that I am so precious to You, that Jesus took on all my sin on Himself and died that I might now be holy! Help me to go and sin no more! I do not wish to purposely add any more grief to the sin He’s already paid for.

Here I am again…standing before You…pure and spotless and holy…because of Your magnificent love and mercy…and because of Jesus’ obedient sacrifice…and because He lives in me!!

Prayer- Go with me, Lord!

October 9, 2003


I desperately need Your holy help today. There’s a critical situation with a family I’ve known for a very long time. As far as I know, they have no spiritual counsel or support to turn to during this life-and-death crisis. It seems You’re laying it upon my heart to go to them, pray with them and point the way once again to You.

Lord, I see this as a possible crossroads for each person in the family. There is a fork in the road in front of them right now. They must choose. Father, help them desire to choose You. There is one whose life hangs in the balance between life and death. There is another who is choosing life or death for an unborn baby.

I have no doubt You are sending me to them. I know there is absolutely nothing I can say on my own that will make a difference in their lives. That’s why I’m turning to You now. I will go, but I need You to speak through me, to love through me, to help them choose You. I pray that You save their physical lives- but even more importantly, I ask that You save their eternal lives. Go before me and go with me.

Prayer- go with them

October 13, 2003


You are omnipresent. You are everywhere. There is someone You’ve laid on my heart that is at a critical crossroads in their life. I cannot get hold of this person. But You can. Please use the perfect way You have in mind to reach this person. I know I can ask You and You will respond. I do not want to tell You how to do it. My way would pale in comparison to what You have in mind.

Father, You know this person more intimately than anyone else possibly could, for you created them. The main thing I pray for is a softening in the heart. May they hear You and see You and know that You desire the very best for them. Please let them want a way out of the dreadful life they seem to be prisoner to. Let them see they can have a brand new life with You. Let them believe that all things are possible with You.

I know You’ve given all of us free choice- including this person- but bring about the best possible circumstances for their heart to be ready to choose You. May they simply give in to You and repent, and begin working out their new life in You. Reveal Yourself to them in some way that is tailored just for them. Let them see You alive and bow down before You in love and adoration.

Prayer- at school

October 14, 2003


What a joy to see young teenagers stand unashamedly before You… even in front of their peers! Last week, when my son’s car wouldn’t start, I took the boys to school. Off to the side of one of the main doors, was a group of about 25-30 high school students holding hands and praying to You before their day got started. Apparently, they meet to pray every morning.

Then at the high school football game that same night, the whole football team knelt to pray. Another group of students gathered with the cheerleaders to pray before the game began. When a player got hurt, three large players dropped a knee to ask for Your help for the injured player.

Last night at our dinner table, my middle school son prayed, asking You to bless and lead the Character Education committee meeting we were going to at his school. Thank You that these young people know to pray to You often, and about all kinds of things. Father, thank You that there’s no way prayer can ever be taken out of school. As long as there are people who are willing to bow before You in prayer, nothing can stop them!

Prayer- my son becoming a man!

October 15, 2003

Holy Father,

I want to enter Your gates with thanksgiving! Thank you for my son turning 18 today and becoming a man! Thank You for the privilege and honor of trusting me to mother him all these years. Thank You for the miracle of his life all the way from the ultra sound pictures of him sucking his thumb in my womb to looking up at his six-foot manhood today!

Thank You for the memory of holding him as a helpless infant still in the hospital- looking at his tiny hands and wondering what those hands would have to do someday. Thank You for getting him through his dad’s illness and death as a young boy. Thank You for being his dad… and for later giving him a new earthly dad to step in to teach him to be the man he is today.

Thank You for the quiet deepness of his soul, his crazy obsession with sports and his respectful caring attitude. Thank You for molding him through everything in his life. You always knew the plans You made for him. As he turns 18, I officially turn him back over to You to finish leading him and molding him. Help me to stand by and watch him go forth into the way You have prepared for him!

Father, lead our son to be Your man!

Prayer- my weakness/Your strength

October 17, 2003


Help me to never stop coming to You in prayer. That’s where I abide with You. That’s how I walk with You. That’s where You move mountains!

Yesterday was a very hard day for me. I didn’t realize how hard, until I got home and complete exhaustion and weakness overtook me. I felt utterly defeated. I couldn’t do anything. Nothing seemed to help. That’s when I knew–I have to pray! Even though I could barely speak, You honored my coming to You.

It is so amazing to me– yet also reassuring to know –that in my weakness, I can come before You in prayer. You make me lie down in Your green pastures until my soul is restored. You lead me beside Your still waters and in my parched state, You let me drink of Your life-giving water.

I come to You in my total weakness and You give me Your strength. Nothing else I do is as important as coming to You.

Prayer- grieving Your Holy Spirit

October 20, 2003


In this special time in my Dad’s life, as he draws close to “finishing his race,” I find myself going back and forth between grieving and celebrating. My heart is filled with deep praises to You for honoring my life with such a dear sweet man for my earthly father. I have been so blessed to have such a wonderful role model and mentor. I praise You for the example of a heart devoted to You. Thank you for giving him eyes to see Your wonders all around him. Thank You for his gentleness and respect for others. Thank You for the knowledge that he will soon pass from this life into joyful eternity with You!

Yet, there have also been times of deep grief in my heart over the last week as I watch him slowly slip away from us. The pain and the sorrow at the thought of missing him and having to live (even for a little while) without him is heart-wrenching.

I read in the Bible where we grieve Your Holy Spirit when we chose to live apart from You. That shook me to the very core. How You must love us… if You grieve when we chose to live our lives as though You are not a part of it. Is it because You know that without Your Spirit living in us, we are dead spiritually? Is that why You grieve? Is it because You would do anything to keep us living with You-every day… Except, You will not make the choice for us. It is our choice whether or not to ask You to live in our hearts. It is our choice whether or not to share every day with You.

I chose You. I do not want to grieve Your Holy Spirit.. or to live as the walking dead. I chose eternal life with You today! Come Holy Spirit, come!!

Prayer- You are NEW LIFE!

October 21, 2003

Most Holy Father,

You are Magnificent, Tender-hearted, Compassionate, and Wise- beyond measure!! Your timing is perfect (in spite of my frequent questioning!) You have wonderful plans to bless each of us. I stand in awe of You.

In my feeble thinking, I never would have thought my dad could have lived long enough for my brother from MO to get here. But he did! And my dad’s still here! What a wonderful time we all had- gathered around my dad’s bed last night. Memories were bouncing of the walls as we reminisced together. Even Dad was able to add to the conversations by a few winks, gestures and several well-chosen words at just the right moment! As we all sat around his bed, he got a glimpse of Jesus waiting for him. I am so thankful we were all there to witness that together!

I have never seen You fail to prepare Your loved ones for that gentle crossing- over to Heaven. Thank You for that which is yet to come that we cannot see- but we know is there. Thank You for reassuring my dad (& us!) that Jesus is right there ready to take his hand and lead him through the door to eternal life in Your perfect timing!

Blessings upon blessings! In the middle of dealing with Dad dying, my daughter Chrissy found out she is pregnant! You are a God of beginnings and endings (which is really only a new beginning!) You are NEW LIFE!!

Prayer- rough waters

October 22, 2003


Even when life’s waters send rough waves to try to knock me down, I know all is well with my soul.

You are with me. You will never leave me or forsake me. With Your loving gentle outstretched hand, You calm the waves one at a time and help me to walk on water with You. Hold my hand and remind me to keep my eyes on You and not the rough waters. Let’s walk on, Lord.

Prayer- You are God!!

October 23, 2003


I will be still and know that You are God. I will be strong and courageous for You are my Lord God Almighty, and You are with me!

Prayer- Dad’s passing

October 28, 2003


You knew my Dad before he was ever born. You have been with him from the start to the finish of this life. And, what a life he has had! You knew him long before I came into this world. You had good plans for his life- plans to bless him and all those around him. (Even through the really hard times.) It is so amazing how You can take an ordinary man and fill him with Your Holy Spirit so fully, that everyone around him saw some of Jesus in him. Jesus has shone through his gentleness, patience and compassion for others; in his love for teaching and mentoring; in his deep devotion to Your larger church.

I thank You for the amazing way You have masterfully woven Yourself throughout all his life. I am so grateful that my dad has fought the good fight and finished the race by remaining faithful to You all the way to the end. How I wish I could see him win his crown of Life with You. Even when my heart cries out in anguish over missing him, it can only last for a bit…as I begin to wonder what he’s doing now in Your very presence. Is he lavishing in perfect love? Are You showing him varieties of beautiful flowers he’s never seen before? Is he being hugged and welcomed HOME by You and all his beloved who are already there? Is he enthralled by heavenly music? You are giving him much-needed rest from all his hard work. Enjoy eternity, Dad!

Help me to be faithful and true until my very last breath. Help me shine out for You in ordinary circumstances. Let me follow in my Dad’s footsteps…all the way HOME!!!

Prayer- running the race

October 29, 2003


When my loved ones pass on to eternity, it always seems the world should stop… but it never does. Dad is in heaven and I’m still here… and life keeps on going whether I want it to or not.

Dad’s good fight is over and he has finally reached the finish line and crossed over into victory lane! But I know I must keep running the race. I will not turn back. I will not waiver from keeping my eyes on You and on my own finish line. It’s awfully nice to know Dad has joined with all my other loved ones in my own personal cloud of witnesses. I can almost hear them cheering me on. I have no doubt that I will make it there someday, too.

In the meantime, Lord, will You please continue to be my strength and my hope as I run my own race? I want to leave clear markers for those behind me to follow… just as Dad did.

Prayer- Thanks for Dad’s hands!

October 30, 2003


I just want to thank You for giving me such a wonderful dad! Thanks for the memory of my little hand in his a a young girl. His big strong hand made me feel safe and loved. Thanks for the simple wedding ring he always wore comfortably and proudly on his hand. I never saw it off…Until after he passed and Mom transferred it to her hand. Thank You for the remarkable witness of a 51-year faithful marriage between my parents that showed me that a couple can work, play, worship and live together throughout a lifetime and that it is good! Thank You for all the times I saw them holding hands through the years.

Thank You for the memory of Dad’s hands sowing millions of seeds late into the night, knowing that they would grow and provide beauty for people’s souls. Thank You for all the seeds of love and faith he sowed in his lifetime! Thank You for the times he stood watering with his hands at the end of the hose, while I (and many others) asked questions and received his gentle wisdom. Thank You for the silly gestures Dad made with his hands to cheer us all up!

Thanks for the sight of Dad’s hands on his Bible, knowing he needed Your word. Thank You for the memory of his work-scarred hands forever etched in my heart. Thank You that they can now rest from their labor and raise in forever-worship to You. Father, Thank You for Dad’s hands!

Prayer- standing by me!

October 31, 2003

Holy Father,

Life is hard- yet also wonderfully sweet. Today I stood with my daughter in front of a judge in traffic court. It brought back the time my Dad stood with me in traffic court. There are so many challenges in this life which must be met one by one.

I remember the trepidation I felt when I stood as a teen in court, not knowing what would happen. I saw that same fear in my daughter today (especially when there were a few arrests!). It’s funny how the more hard things we face, realizing You are with us, the deeper our faith in You grows. Father, help my daughter’s faith in You grow. Let her find, as I have, a loving Lord who will never leave her or forsake her. Never. Not ever! Illness, jail, persecution, unpaid bills, even death…No matter what challenge comes…You are right here, standing by me!