praise God
praise God

God is worthy to be praised

My Prayer Peek/your prayer prompt [power of praise]

Most Glorious Father God!

My prayers used to start out with desperate pleas to give me this or that or help me get out of another mess. There is nothing wrong with those frantic calls for help, for You most certainly answer them in some of the most unusual ways. But through the years, I have discovered the amazing power of praising You, Lord! It is not due to my eloquent or specific words. It is not about MY praising…it is because You are God and You are worthy of all our praise. When we turn our thoughts, minds and spirit to who You really are; as we seek some adequate way to praise Your greatness—something incredible happens…

 

Our pride, hurt feelings, fears, anxieties, plans, desire for control all melt away like mist in the glory of who You are! As we acknowledge Your Almighty power, Your reign over all, Your faithfulness, the fact that You govern heaven and earth and that all powers must answer to You, we are filled with the sweetness of Your joy and peace that signal our trust in who You are. ..as You call Yourself “I AM that I AM.”

 

You are far more wonderful than any words that we can express, yet we are the only ones who can express our personal praise to You- whether it be through music, dance, face down in submission and surrender. Worshipping You in spirit and truth is to recognize You know better than we do, that we belong to You forever and ever, that You loved us so much that You sent Jesus to die for our sins, that we can live with You  though we cannot see You, that You dwell in the praises of Your people, and that we can make it through whatever temporary trials this world offers as we travel in faith toward our everlasting Home with You. Then we will see You in all Your glory and our praises will be absolutely pure and a blessing to You, Lord. Help me praise You more even now- no matter what today looks like!

 

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“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.”   Psalm 71:23

 

“Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!”   Psalm 147:1

 

“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’”     Revelation 5:11-13

 

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Your prayer prompt:

Most Holy Father God, I praise You for at least 10 things that describe who You are…

prayer for pruning
prayer for pruning

prayer for pruning

 

My Prayer Peek/your prayer prompt [Pruning might hurt]

Heavenly Father,

 

My husband smiles when he sees me with a pair of pruners in my hand. He knows it’s one of my favorite parts of gardening (not the picking up the debris left behind—but the vision of the beauty to come.) I enjoy bringing new life to an old overgrown specimen that someone else may even want to take out. I’ve seen it many times before. The gasp that comes when pruning occurs. The prized rose, tree or shrub is cut back to half its size. The panic on someone’s face is expected when they don’t realize the good that will come from cutting out the extra growth even though it might look healthy–even though it has been coddled, fed, watered and celebrated. In order for the plant to keep healthy and produce the fruit, blossoms or desired effect. It must undergo the cutting eye of the gardener.

 

The other day, my neighbor came to me worried about how the small tree she had watched grow looked after her new tenant “cut it back.” I sympathized with her concern but knew it was the best thing. It was what I would have done. As I got to know her new renter (my new neighbor), I discovered he grew up on an apple tree farm and knows all about pruning. There is a lot to be said about trusting the Pruner.

 

Lord, You are my Master Gardener! You have been doing some extra pruning on me lately. I don’t have Your vision for my life. I don’t know how You are using me in Your landscape. I may wince under the knife as You cut out this activity, or that attitude, or even what seems a healthy-looking ministry…but I have learned to trust You. I submit to Your excellent pruning and Your knowledge of me and what You are needing me for. I will not yell or complain or doubt Your vision.  Here I am. Prune me. I love the pruners in Your hands even better than in mine.

 

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“For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone

    and the flower becomes a ripening grape,

he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,

    and cut down and take away the spreading branches.”   Isaiah 18:5

 

““I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”   John 15:1-2

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Your prayer prompt-

Lord, do I trust Your pruning in my life?…

Help grievers with eternal hope
real help with grief

Eternal Help with grieving

Thoughts to Help Someone Grieving

  • Hug them and cry with them, limiting your own words
  • “I love you” and “I’m praying for you” are never wrong to say
  • Share your best memories of their loved one (in person or in writing)
  • Share a photo or video you have of their loved one (they are priceless)
  • Send cards, texts or messages on a regular basis to let them know you are thinking and praying for them (even months after the death)
  • Listen to them without analyzing or giving advice. They need to talk out their grief.
  • Follow their lead. At times they might not want to talk. They might need a break from grief for a bit.
  • Be gentle with them. They have incurred a major injury and it takes time to recover
  • Invite them for dinner or a movie but realize they might be experiencing a wave of grief at that time and may back out. Let them know it’s ok and you will ask again.
  • They might be open to practical help like fixing a car, mowing the yard, doing some laundry- things that must be done but seem incredibly overwhelming at this time.
  • Try not to interfere when they wrestle with God. Grief brings up anger, doubts, regrets, unfinished business in their relationship. Trust God to help them work through these issues.
  • Give them a copy of My Forever Memories of You interactive memory book available in adult or children/youth versions (paperback or ebook)
  • Commit to pray for them as they work through grief.
  • Resist urge to correct them or advise them
  • Listen to their brokenness and then give it to God so He can help them
  • Encourage them to participate in a grief group like My Forever Memories of You group on Facebook
  • Gently point them towards the eternal hope that God offers
  • Know that each person travels through grief differently. Be willing to stand by them for the long haul.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”  Galatians 6:2

 

Galatians 6:2

realize weakness
realize weakness

When I am Weak

Heavenly Father,

 

I have discovered what a great thing it is to be weak…like when I am faced with a gigantic situation that I have absolutely no idea how to get out of…or when the job looming in front of me requires much more talent and strength than I could ever muster…or when my exhausted body cannot take even one more step…or the problem standing in my way requires more brain power than I possess. Those situations that highlight my weakness used to frighten me, but I have a whole different perspective now. It is wonderful to realize my weakness. That’s when I am finally ready to acknowledge Your strength, Lord…

 

Too many times, I have relied on my own strength—my own will power—my own ideas. They might even appear to work for a while, but sooner or later, I will be back at the place where I am smacked in the face with my weakness. It’s happened enough times now that I have come to see that realizing my weakness is a good thing. The sooner I get that and believe it, the more quickly I can rely on Your strength, Lord.

 

So here I am again today, realizing and acknowledging my complete weakness and dependence upon You. Lord, I can’t even breathe without Your help, let alone know the best way through today. I am so happy to be weak and needy. Lord, I bow before You asking Your strength (which manifests itself in amazing ways) to flow in and through me. I’m so glad it doesn’t depend on me but on You. I’m feeling incredibly weak today so I know Your strength through Jesus Christ will give me all I need.

 

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“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”       Isaiah 40:29

 

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”    Romans 8:26

 

“’But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”   2 Corinthians 12:9

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, I feel so weak due to…

I need Your strength…

 

evajuliuson

 

I am with you

Heavenly Father,

Though everyone else leaves me—You are with me! If I lose all that I possess—You are with me! When I enjoy a beautiful Fall walk—You are with me! If I am injured or ill and cannot walk—You are with me! If a storm ravages my home or I sit safely inside a comfortable house with no leaks—You are with me! If the world seems to be spinning out of control—You are with me…

 

Whether I am standing by the grave of a loved one or waiting outside the door for a new baby to be born—You are with me! Whether my relative is not speaking to me or we just shared our souls through the sweetest deep conversation—You are with me. If someone is spreading hurtful lies about me or someone I love; or whether someone actually takes time to seek out the truth—You are with me…

 

While I was still in my mother’s womb or if I am taking my last gasp on earth—You are with me. Lord God, You are so faithful and patient as You wait upon me to truly see and believe that You are with me and will never ever leave me. You have never left me…

 

I am sad to say I have left You (more often than I care to admit.) I have wandered away, been distracted, been disrespectful, dishonoring, disobedient, unfaithful and sinful. How grateful I am that it was important enough for You to want me with You for all eternity that You sent Your very own Son Jesus Christ to die for my sin so I would never be separated from You. He washed away my sins so I could accept Your eternal life and live with You forever. Lord, I know You are with me. Let me live this day through Jesus so I can be with You!

 

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“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”  Philemon 1:25

 

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”   2 Thessalonians 3:16

 

“I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”  (Jesus’ words) John 17:26

 

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Your Prayer Peek-

Father, I want to KNOW that You are with me. Let me accept the amazing gift of Jesus Christ for that assurance…

help adults and children while grieving

Here is a peek at Chapter 2 of My forever Memories of You [The Story of our Relationship- Discovering Eternal Hope in the Midst of Grief]

The World Should Stop!

“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out in a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” Luke 23:44-46

Sharing Our Experiences

My experiences will be completely different than yours because you are completely different than me, and there’s never been anyone else exactly like our loved ones—not ever before, not now and or ever again! I share my experience with you so you’ll know someone else has made it through grief and so that you’ll know I understand and care about you. No one should try to compare whose grief is worse or more intense. It’s your grief. No one else has shared the unique relationship you had with the one you love. This grief you are experiencing is not so much for your loved one because their pain and suffering are finished. We grieve for ourselves as we experience the huge void they left in our lives.

Perhaps some of my experience might put voice to something you are feeling that you didn’t even realize. It’s still not your own experience, though. That’s why it is so important to work through your own emotions and experiences, and try to express them in the best way you can. Sharing our heart’s deepest thoughts helps us to process and learn from them. Sharing our deepest, most honest prayers with the Lord God, who created us and knows us better than we know ourselves, will help us begin to heal.

I write to share with you. May you write to share with God.

My Story- The World Should Stop!

Driving back to the church from the graveside the day of the funeral, I looked out the window of the limo at people going to work and running errands. I wanted to scream, “The world should stop!”

I looked at my poor children sitting quietly in the seats next to me and thought, “Our world has stopped.” Yet everyone was going about their normal day as if nothing had happened. They had no idea.

The world should stop because the love of my life had died! The world should stop so I could comprehend what just happened. The world should stop so I could help my children. The world should stop because it would never be the same again. The world should stop because I had no idea how to go on!

Policemen might have stopped traffic on the way to the cemetery, but it sped by faster than ever on the way back. How could life go on as usual? We drove back to the church for a memorial dinner where friends and family gathered. We had brought photo albums to share. That took away the harsh reality for a bit as we all reminisced about fun times with Steve. Laughter and hugs were passed around. Then slowly people began to get up and head for the door to return to their everyday lives.

Someone had taken the kids back to our house to hang out with cousins. There were only a few people remaining, and they were all busy cleaning up. I sat in utter shock. I think I probably looked ok on the outside, but I was completely lost on the inside. I had no idea where to go or what to do. I’ve never been so lost. I sat stunned, immovable. What seemed like hours of paralysis was probably only a few moments. Then I suddenly remembered my children were at home and needed me. I made myself get up and drive home. Although—I do not recall the drive.

Later that same day (The day of the funeral), I answered the phone when it rang. It was one of many bill collectors. We owed over a million dollars’ worth of medical bills at the time of Steve’s death. It had become part of our everyday life to deal with bill collectors. As you can imagine, we had struggled financially nonstop throughout his expensive illness. The collector started in his spiel. I interrupted him to let him know I had just buried my husband that day. He didn’t seem to care one bit and continued rudely pushing for money. I hung up on him, but was once again reminded the world was not going to stop to let me grieve.

The world might not stop, but I knew I needed to take time to grieve. Although I had to keep working to provide for my family, I could go slowly and take time to review the most meaningful relationship I had ever had. Even though I had to drive kids to school, cook, clean and take care of bills, I could still take this time in my life to realize how blessed I had been to have Steve in my life. I needed to look back over the meaning of his life, and to realize the great impact he had on me and others.

The world might not stop, but I was going to take time to cherish his life as I grieved.

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3

Your Story- The World Should Stop!

Write about your feelings of being left behind without your loved one. It doesn’t have to make sense or be in any order. Just write!

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“Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9b

Helpful Input- The World Should Stop!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2

The world definitely doesn’t stop for you to grieve, but you need to allow yourself the time and give yourself permission to. Of course, your grief will take on a different look than others’ because of who you are—and who you are grieving.

Grief often comes in waves—torrential tsunamis at first. It washes over you, taking your breath, causing you to feel like you will literally drown. You may look ok on the outside, but inside you are grasping to hold on to something solid. Some show it more on the outside, as well. Panic. Gasping. Real fears that you will drown in grief. Many times, you truly wonder if you will live through the crashing pounding waves that threaten to overtake you. Then it passes; at least giving you a momentary breather.

Then you hear a song, smell their clothes, catch a glimpse of a photo that brings on another crashing wave. Will you drown in your grief, in your tears? Hold on and ride the wave. After the first several bouts of waves, you realize that they will not kill you. Just as there is a beginning, there is also an end to the wave. As you travel through your grief, you will slowly begin to realize the waves begin to get smaller with a little more time in between waves. It helps so much to hold on to the Lord as those waves crash over you. Write to Him. Tell Him what you are going through. He will never leave you.

“I will turn the rivers into islands and dry up the pools. I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:15b-16

Even when our loved ones have to leave us, God never will. He is faithful to stay with us as we travel through the rough waters of grief. He doesn’t take it away, but leads us through. He walks through the valley of the shadow of death with us. We won’t always have to stay there, but we must travel through. There is no way around it. The more we avoid it, the longer it will take to go through.

No one else can fully understand our grief—the pain we are experiencing—the fear of being left behind. God does. He knows us deeper than we know ourselves. He knows the help we need. Our Lord doesn’t ever leave us alone in this world. He is with us no matter what we face.

Though our loved ones have passed from the troubles and trials of this world, we have not. We still have to face each day along with whatever comes our way. There are still taxes, bills, meals, health issues, children, other relationships, repairs… and much more that must be dealt with. The world doesn’t wait until we are ready to handle those things. Life keeps happening. God is with us to help us through each day. It’s easy to start thinking too far ahead. How you will handle all the rest of your life without your loved one? To face it all at once can be overwhelming. Yet we are made to go slowly and lightly through life, trusting that God is with us, giving us what we need for each day.

You may be missing your loved one more than you thought possible, but God will more than fill the huge void they left in your life. He helps you through your grief by helping you fully realize the precious gift He gave you in your loved one. Then He begins to help you see that He is there to fill that huge hole with Himself through the gift He gave you in Jesus Christ. Keep turning to the Lord through your grief and He will bring you out into new life. Even when the world doesn’t stop, the Lord will stop with you and help you through.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18

Practical Ideas- The World Should Stop!

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b

Take time to grieve by looking through photos, letters, cards. Appreciate the love you shared.

Take a break from grieving by doing something fun.(Yet don’t use constant entertainment to avoid grieving)

Listen to music you both liked.

Let others know you need time to grieve. If they invite you somewhere, let them know you may not be up to it when the time comes. Grief can cause a change of emotions as often as every few minutes for a while.

List things you are thankful to have shared with your loved one.

Thank God for the great qualities you saw in your loved one.

Be easy on yourself as you face daily challenges without your loved one. Realize it will not always be this hard.

Gather good advice on handling issues without your loved one. Once you have counsel, pray about it and take your time making decisions. Don’t let others rush you.

When possible, postpone any major decisions for at least a year such as selling your house, car, moving out of state. There are real life situations when this is not possible. Be sure to pray your way through.

Listen to Christian music; read scripture; have daily devotions (GriefShare sends out great free daily devotions for grievers in the form of emails)

Don’t give your loved one’s personal items away until you are ready. Make sure the timing is right for you.

Try to realize others have to go forward in their lives and can’t completely stop for yours.

Take time to pray and write in a prayer journal every day. God has all eternity to listen and is never too busy.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Interactive Workpage- The World Should Stop!

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34

How can I set aside time to grieve every day for a while? (work through this book, write in a prayer journal, take a quiet walk each day…)

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Who do I need to let know that I need to grieve my way?

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What decisions do I have to make now?

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What decisions can I wait on?

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Which areas do I need immediate help with? (paying bills, balancing checkbook, lowering bills..)

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Can I, or do I want to take time off from work? How long? (Realize you will not be as productive for a while. Great amounts of energy are required to grieve)

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What activities can I cut back on to make it easier to go through grief?

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Which activities do I want to maintain to keep a daily routine going?

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“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Prayer Journal- The World Should Stop!

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:26-27

My Prayer Journal- The World Should Stop!

(note- These prayers contain combined excerpts from my personal prayer journal. My unedited prayer journals often ramble or repeat out of urgency–so if yours do, don’t worry. Pour your heart out to the Lord)

Father,

My world has been torn in two… before and after Steve’s death! I am incredibly weak and fragile. Does anybody realize how frail I am? It’s like being run over by a semi-truck. Maybe if I was in a wreck, people would understand my wounds. I hear a lot of people say that I look good. Sometimes that just makes me mad. I am not OK! Yet I know I will be. I don’t even know how to answer when people ask how I’m doing. I don’t even know how I’m doing. I’m trusting You, Lord, to hold my hand through this chaotic time. I am used to crying out to You. How else would I have made it through Steve’s all-consuming illness the last 4 years? You are my stability, my Rock, my anchor! I am holding on to You for dear life to keep from going under.

Lord, I took the kids to a science museum. My heart was not in it but they needed a break. They had a huge exhibition of Native American artifacts. The kids ran ahead, having fun, doing their own thing. I was so glad they could have a break from grieving for a while. Yet, it is in those quiet moments that I grieve the most. My eyes were drawn to a beautiful woven shawl. As I stopped to read about it, tears flowed. It was titled “The Widow’s Shawl.” When a woman lost her husband, she wore this shawl for at least a year, longer if needed. Everyone in the tribe knew she needed extra care and help during this time. They were careful with her, realizing the tremendous toll of grief. How I wish I had a shawl like that. I wouldn’t need to explain. Everyone would just know to be gentle. (Perhaps if I wore a sign?) But the world doesn’t stop! I’m just so grateful that You understand what I cannot express, Lord!

The hugs without words are the best gift people can give me… or a card with a prayer. Well-meaning advice brings out an ugly anger in me that I don’t like. I know they mean well. I’ve had to tell a few people to let me take care of my kids through this. They are my family! Other people do not know what is best for my children. I may seem weak, but You have given me a mother’s love for my kids. I know they need me! We will get through this as a family. I will not let my family fall apart after all we’ve been through. Yet I know I need Your strength, Lord. I cannot be mother and father to them. I cannot be a dad, no matter how hard I try. But You can. You promise to be the father to the fatherless. I’m counting on You to provide, protect, guide and teach my children. They are Your children even before they were Steve’s (or mine!)

Oh God! How I miss Steve’s companionship, his input, his hugs, his wisdom. He was always there to help me face any trial or obstacle (even in his illness). We decided together how to handle situations with our kids; in business; with finances; house and car repairs…Can’t the world stop with all these decisions that must be made? Doesn’t the world understand I can’t handle this much in the state I am in? I’m going to rely on You where I relied on Steve before. You will need to be my husband. I am trusting You will comfort me, guide me, provide for me, understand me and coax me.

So much in the world seems petty and insignificant now. What does having material things mean in the scheme of eternity? Lord, please use this time in my life to cut out things that don’t matter and to add what is eternal and lasting.

Heavenly Father, the world may not stop for me to come to terms with Steve’s absence…but You are always there as I take stops with You each day. I could never face this without You.

“As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” John 15:19b

Your Prayer Journal- The World Should Stop!

(Write in your prayer journal about how your world has stopped with the death of your loved one. Don’t worry about what to say…just start writing)

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My forever Memories of You [The Story of our Relationship- Discovering Eternal Hope in the Midst of Grief 

Heavenly Father,

The most challenging, heart-breaking and fulfilling job I’ve ever had is being a parent. In the days my children were still living at home, it was a 24-hour-per-day job. No matter how you are feeling, you have a huge responsibility. There are few breaks; when you do take a break, you are continually concerned about your kids. The cost is great with many sacrifices along the way. Now, with the pandemic, parents are put even more into the position of teaching their children.

 

It might seem a bad thing, but in many ways—it is bringing more responsibility back to parents. Many times, through my years as a mom, I have thought You made us parents so we would understand You more fully. You truly are our Father. You are so smart. You knit our children together, then hand them to us when they are cute and adorable so we fall in love with them before some of the hardest stuff starts. How else would I understand pure unconditional love, or patience as my child tries to grasp a lesson or impatience as they should have learned it by now. Being a parent means pouring out your life and soul without any guarantees of gratitude. I’m sure You feel this way often, Lord. You have taught me so much about You just by making me a parent.

 

Parents have their children longer than any other teacher. They have the larger responsibility of teaching their children how to be respectful and kind to others, how to share, how to meet life’s obstacles, how to persevere, how to have courage even when afraid, when to speak up and when to be quiet… Father, I pray for all the parents still on active duty, to take their job as their child’s first-string teacher seriously. There will be many mistakes, distractions, losses and victories. It is worth all the investment and sacrifices. That’s how You teach us. When we ask, You instruct us each step of the way as we teach our children.

 

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“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, ‘Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.’”       Deuteronomy 4:9-10

 

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”   Deuteronomy 11;18-19

“Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”    Psalm 34:11

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, thank You for teaching me. Now, help me teach  the children You’ve given me….

Heavenly Father,

Sometimes we feel completely alone in the world. It can happen when we feel disconnected to our family, when we have to face a huge challenge without any help, when we are grieving a loved one, when friends and family have let us down, when it seems no one understands us, when we are sick and there is no one to care for us…We can even feel completely alone while in a crowd or even sitting next to our best friend. Although loneliness may be really painful, it is not necessarily the worst thing that can happen to us. It can be in our deepest loneliness that we discover we are never alone…

 

When those we have depended on have been stripped from us, You are still with us, Lord.

When no one has the right answers to help us, You patiently wait for us to ask You.

When it seems the whole world is against us, You are for us!

When we are misunderstood and judged by all those around us, You know us batter than we know ourselves.

When we are facing the biggest battle of our lives, You fight for us.

In the middle of the night when no one is around, You shine out for us.

 

Lord, we can fill up our lives with so much stuff, busyness, entertainment, news, friends…that we can easily forget You are here. Perhaps it is good for us to sometimes feel alone so we can once again, realize our great need for You. You are the only One who truly never leaves us or forsakes us. You are the only One who fills us overflowing, wants the very best for us, knows us, forgives us, encourages us, corrects us and restores our soul.  I am never alone because of Your gift of Jesus. All I need is found in Him, alone. How I long for everyone else to discover You in their aloneness.

 

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“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.”   Psalm 25:16

 

“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.”    Psalm 16:5

 

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart

    and free me from my anguish.”  Psalm 25:16-17

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, I feel so alone in this world. I need You…

Heavenly Father,

Most people have had a dream of being found naked and exposed in public. We see our flaws and try to cover them up so no one else does. What about that first time we expose ourselves completely to the one we love? They may not love us if they see our warts, wrinkles, scars or blemishes. What if all our secret thoughts and actions were caught on video for all the world to see? No one could possibly like us if they knew our deepest thoughts. Most Holy Father, You know me far better than I know myself. There is nothing hidden from You…and yet You still love me! What an amazing love!

 

You created us to live unashamed with You, but sin gets in the way and reveals our guilt and shame. We try to hide from You and even attempt to blame others or our circumstances. All along, You see our sin and know it keeps us from the sweet intimacy of eternal life with You. As a young girl, I recall thinking that I didn’t have sin—that I was a good girl. It didn’t take long to see glimpses of sin in my life. In fact, after all these years, You still expose sin in my life that I didn’t even know was there. Yet now, I can stand unashamed before You, resting sure that Your love is absolutely true and covers all my known and yet unknown sin.

 

You knew not even one of us is without sin. You knew there was no other way to wash us clean except by the innocent blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. You knew He had to be born as one of us, tempted to sin but remaining pure and holy all the way to the cross where He willingly died for my sin (and everyone else’s).  That is true love! You not only love me despite my sin and imperfection- You made a way to take it completely away. I can now come before You unashamed. In fact, I love the way You still expose my unclean thoughts and actions. You gently remind me that I am covered with radiant garments because I have accepted and trust in the sweet sacrifice of love You have given me through Jesus Christ!

 

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“You have searched me, Lord, and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely.”   Psalm 139:1-4

 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

 

“And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at his coming.”  1 John 2:28

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, I believe that Jesus died to cover my sin so I can stand unashamed before You…

Heavenly Father,

I had no idea I had been that busy until everything in my life suddenly slowed down from this pandemic. It was a surprise to me to be still over an extended period of time. My life has always been extremely full of activity with a large family, an in-home business and other work, church activities, chores, errands…you name it. I began to notice a slight slow down as my family all grew up and had families of their own, then I began to see their activity levels soar. There is a definite adjustment to being still. I have always needed my quiet time with You, Lord, or I never could have survived all I have. Yet You have brought me and a lot of others to a new level of stillness with most of the world sheltering-in-place. Thank You for these still days…

 

We tend to want to fill our still days with any kind of noise or activity. It’s too quiet so we listen non-stop to any kind of media, music, or words. It’s too still so we run to find some new activity to fill up our time. We can find all kinds of ways to run from stillness. Oh! But, Lord, You wait quietly in the stillness to meet with us. What a treasure we find when we simply sit with You. We learn to listen to You. We get to know You. You restore us to that beautiful loving relationship as we quietly seek You.

 

Too often our busyness glorifies us. It is when we stop and are still with You that You can be glorified in us. Being still in Your presence  reveals the darkness that needs to be brought into Your light; You lovingly convict us of wrong attitudes and thinking; You let us know  when You have something for us to do or say, but it is not difficult for You give us all we need. Father, I am so at peace and content in this stillness. I pray that we all take advantage of these still days and seek You in the quietness where You will be found.

 

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“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

 

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.”   Psalm 23:1-3

 

““Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”   Mark 6:31

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, help me learn to love being still with You…