Most Holy Father,
Almost twenty-seven years ago, my first husband died in my arms and was later “brought back.” That was a year before he passed and didn’t come back—when he finally went to his eternal home with You! This young man who was a gifted writer of songs, poems, and novels was at a loss for words when it came to describing heaven where he got a sneak preview. I was so hungry to know every detail—and all he could say was, “I never knew God gave so much when he gave His Son!”

I have pondered those words in my heart all these years and have asked You to show me something new about Your Son Jesus every Christmas and Easter season since. It seems there is no end to who He is…
JESUS is Your Son and yet He is in You and You are in Him! He does nothing without You. (John 10:30)
JESUS was with You in the beginning before all things were created. He brought life. (John 1:1-5)
JESUS was declared victor over sin by You from the beginning! (Genesis 3:15)
JESUS was hoped for all through the history of the Old Testament and the world. (Psalm 2:6-7)
JESUS came in Your fullness to be born as one of us in the humblest way to a simple peasant girl. (Luke 1:26-38)
JESUS came to bring peace between You and all who accept Him. (Luke 2:14)
JESUS was in spiritual warfare all his life (from Herod killing hundreds of baby boys- to leaders declaring him guilty and placing Him on a cross. (Matthew 2:13-18, 27:45-54)
JESUS willingly died on the Cross for us. (John 18:4-9; Matthew 26:50-54)
JESUS paid the price of our sin and overcame death because we cannot. (John 3:16-18)
JESUS died so we could live! (John 17:1-5)
JESUS lives in us when we are willing to die to ourselves. (John 17:25)
JESUS never leaves us alone. (Matthew 28:20)
JESUS prays for us now at Your right-hand, God, with the authority You have given Him! (Romans 8:34)
JESUS helps us personally overcome when we make Him our King! (John 16:33)
JESUS is always making us new along with our situations. (Revelation 21:5)
JESUS is preparing a new home for us and will come bring us there. (John 14:1-4)
JESUS is what life is all about! (John 14:6-7)

JESUS:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:6-11)

Most Holy Father,

Can I dare say that I have identified with Mary many times in my life? Some may think that’s outrageous for me to say, but I know You know my heart, Lord…and I think that may be something that pleases You. In fact, maybe we all should expect Jesus like Mary did…

Mary was an ordinary peasant girl (like me) just going about her daily life when You sent the angel Gabriel to tell her she would give birth to Your Son. At first, she was frightened (as I can understand—fearing something in the spiritual realm as seen). Though Mary knew it seemed impossible to conceive a baby (let alone Your Son), she accepted the news and had faith it would happen because You sent Your word.

Very quickly, before telling anyone, before it even seemed real—she hurried to visit her cousin Elizabeth who lived in another town. The angel told Mary that Elizabeth was also going to have a baby very soon though they had no contact. When Mary greeted her cousin, the baby inside Elizabeth (John the Baptist who was to prepare the way for the Lord) leaped for joy (recognizing even in the womb that his Lord was there!) This is how I feel when You affirm a promise to me when I see no evidence yet! I certainly identify with Mary’s rejoicing praise in You. Do my little-fumbling-words-yet-heartfelt-praises stand for eternity as well?

Mary had to face many hardships from her own people- the initial abandonment from her Joseph, friends and family’s gossip and judgement, (yet You sent Joseph back to help her and he most certainly did), the long dangerous journey to Bethlehem, no place open to go through the labor of birth, the humbleness of giving birth to the Son of the Most High in the very lowest of places.

Father, I know what it is like to do what is utterly impossible for me to do on my own —to have Your Son be born in me, for my whole life to be changed from whatever little insignificant plans I might have had—to know the intimate blessing of His Spirit alive and moving in me—to know the pain yet immensely greater joy of carrying Jesus and sharing Your Son with anyone who is ready and willing to accept Your Son. Father, may we all be willing to be like Mary, and let Jesus grow and be glorified in our lives. In fact, let us go through this day expecting Jesus and watching Him move and live!

 

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“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’
The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.’
‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.”

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Lord God, I am ready and willing to have Jesus born in me and carry him to the world…

Heavenly Father,
One of my favorite things is to tell of the wonderful ways I see You at work! Yesterday morning, I was teaching a very small preschool Sunday School Class (two rambunctious boys!) K was already in class feeling sorry for himself because there were no friends there. L came in late, making that loud gasping sound that results from sucking up huge sobs- which Is very unusual for this normally happy little boy. He sat at the table when K immediately began trying to comfort his little friend. L didn’t want a hug, or a smile or any other sweet attempts made by K. With all his heart, K wanted to help his friend not be so sad. I told him there are times we cannot do anything to help someone else- it has to come from God helping them…and they need to be willing to receive it. So I suggested we pray for God to help L with his sadness and to have joy. K asked what joy is to which I responded: a deep happiness that God places in our hearts when we are close to Him.

 

We proceeded with the lesson on the angel Gabriel telling Mary she was to give birth to a son who would be called Jesus. At first Mary was afraid, then surrendered to God, trusting He would do this. Later, Mary sang a song of great JOY because she realized how close the Lord was and how blessed she was! We then created paper angels with glittery halos and handprint wings to take home. Suddenly L jumped up from his seat and began dancing around the room with a huge smile on his face. He stopped in his tracks, looked surprised and announced, “I’m not sad anymore!” K and I looked at each other, and this wise little K said, “God answered our prayer! L has joy!”

 

Father, how can we ever thank You enough for bringing JOY to our world, which can often be dark and sad? How can we ever praise You enough for sending Jesus to draw us to a close relationship with You? Lord, we often want to help someone else overcome their sadness, stress, problems, deep hurts…but You are the only one who can bring true joy. Lord, help me stay close to You so I can pray for those who need Your Son Jesus Christ. Help me stay focused on life in You so I can be Jesus to others. Joy to the world! Let us all make room for him so our hearts can be transformed from a dark inn crowded with the world to a simple stable that shines out with the King of kings and Lord of lords. Joy to the world! The Lord still comes!

 

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“The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. ” Luke 1:27-32 (Gabriel’s message to Mary)

 

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:41-45 (cousin Elizabeth’s and her unborn baby John’s reaction to visit from Mary expecting Jesus)

 

Mary breaks out in joyful song in Luke 1:46-50
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.”

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, turn my sadness to joy as I thank You for Jesus…

photo by Emily Juliuson

Heavenly Father,
Our pastor gave an excellent message on spiritual transformation today…and I couldn’t help thinking about the three caterpillars I found in my yard on my parsley plant about six weeks ago. I carefully put them in jars and gave one to three of our families to watch transform into butterflies. I wanted them to watch the miracle of transformation take place in front of their eyes. I knew they would need to be patient because it wouldn’t happen fast like the video games they are accustomed to. I have to admit I was a little nervous, hoping they would all make it, since there was only one caterpillar in each home. It seemed extra important for my family who had just lost a baby to watch the transformation that happens when the caterpillar appears to die, and then it is transformed and flies free.

I got fairly regular reports of how they each had to add more parsley when those hungry caterpillars ate everything and were about to burst. One by one, they let me know the crawly critters stopped crawling and attached themselves to something to form a chrysalis. Apparently, every day these wild little boys each watched the non-moving bag with great interest. (That’s a miracle considering the action they crave!) Finally, I began hearing of the first—then several days later, the second—and more days later, the third all had transformed into new creatures! They watched a fuzzy worm turn into an exquisite butterfly and fly away! Who but You, Lord, can do that?!!

It wasn’t an animated or computerized car transforming into a giant robot—it was a living, breathing creature. No matter how hard we try; no matter how many self-help books we read; no matter who we listen to—we can never transform ourselves from one creation to a new creature. We can only be truly transformed by dying to ourselves and letting Jesus Christ live in us through the Holy Spirit.

Lord, I know you made the old me. You breathed life into me and knit me together in my mother’s womb and said it was good. I am incredibly grateful You didn’t stop there. I am even more grateful to be made into a new creation through Jesus Christ. You have made me brand new. You are still making me, transforming me from glory to glory! I look back to my old self and I can see how completely I’ve been changed. I can now fly free with You. Thank You, Lord, that You are continually transforming me into a new creature who glorifies You!

 

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

 

“We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4

 

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

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, do I need spiritual transformation?….

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…

 

Dear Friends,
With the holidays approaching, extra anxiety can set in for those who are dreading going through them without their loved one. No matter how much you want time to stop, the holidays will come whether you want them to or not. Some people truly wish they could just skip over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years due to the fear of facing these special days without the one they love by their side. There are some specific plans you can make to ease your way through these special days that are filled with memories, emotion, family and the very obvious void of your loved one.

Make Realistic Plans
Even without grief, holidays can be stressful with so many things to do on your list. You may want to consider paring down your list to take some of the stress off and leave yourself extra room for grieving. Consider writing down all the ways you usually celebrate (putting lights up, sending cards, shopping, baking, wrapping…) Take a good look at the list and take some of those items off the list this year. The world will not end if you do not do everything you usually do. On the other hand, there may be some things you’ve done every year that you know are important to continue. Focus on those fewer traditions or ask for help on some of your tasks.

Acknowledge Your Loss and Celebrate Them
You do not have to act like nothing has happened. Find a creative way to honor your loved one this season. Make a special ornament; give a gift that you would have bought for your loved one and give to someone in need; set a place at the table for them; light a candle and have everyone tell something they admired about your loved one; print a card to send out to share thoughts of your loved one; give a framed photo with family members; make a pillow from old shirts to give to a family member; read something they wrote… You know your loved one and can plan a special personalized way to celebrate them during this holiday season.

Stay Flexible During this Season
You may get invited to parties and gatherings. You may want to accept them with the understanding that you have no idea how you will feel that day. Explain that you may need to cancel or leave early. Grief, as you know by now, is unpredictable. It could hit hard without warning, so leave yourself an out to leave if you need to. It may be a good idea to come up with a planned answer for those you see during the holidays who ask how you are doing. You may feel like talking about your loved one and you may not. Feel free to have an answer ready such as, “It is still very hard but I don’t feel like talking about it right now.”

Sometimes the anxiety about the holidays turns out to be much harder than actually going through them. Prepare your loose plans. Give yourself permission to take extra time to remember the special gift of your loved one. Keep a journal or have a safe trusted friend you can share your heart with. Don’t forget to celebrate the real reason we have these “holy-days” in the first place. They just might become more precious than ever before as you discover in a new way that “God is with us” through Jesus Christ.

Love and prayers,
Eva

 

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“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:14

 


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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Glorious Father God,
I have a new view of the earth after flying from Dallas, Texas to India. The airline we flew overseas on had the most up-to-date personal screens in front of each passenger seat. The interactive cameras offered us a choice of watching camera views from the front, rear and underneath the plane from take-off to landing and everything in between. There was also a choice of different interactive maps so we could see where we were on the 15-hour flight—what countries or bodies of water we were flying over. It was our first time to fly across the world and we had no idea that we could watch the trip unfold through cameras and maps. Others might have watched movies but we were caught up in our flight.

The ground view is so different than that of high above the earth. At 40,000 plus feet we were flying high above the clouds. As we looked out the window at that altitude, all we saw was a lovely pure white blanket of clouds far beneath us. The screen also showed the temperature at that altitude which was at times listed at negative 80 degrees Fahrenheit. We could not have survived outside the shelter of that plane. The monitor listed the countries we were flying over at the time. We were visiting India which is exactly on the opposite side of the world from my home. India looks completely different than my home city. Yet I couldn’t help but wonder how each country I was flying over was so unique. Lord, it puts me in my extremely small place when I contemplate that You, Almighty God, created each land and every single individual living in those lands—that You are intimately involved in every single life that has surrendered to Your sovereignty and accepted Your gift of Jesus Christ.

I can fly high, close to You, because I am in Jesus and He is in me. You no longer see the dirty sinful nature I had- You see me being carried by Jesus, pure as those snow-white clouds. You have saved me through Jesus to soar high above the earth where I can never go on my own. I may be only one-in-a-billion people alive at this time, but I am precious to You. At times, it seems like just You and me. Other times, You give me a glimpse of who You are and how You reign high above the earth and the galaxies and heaven–how Powerful yet Tender, Righteous yet full of Mercy, Timeless yet there comes a time for each of us, in-control yet You give us free choice…You are our Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Savior, Lover, and Glorious God! Thank You. Lord God, for being able to soar safely with You high above the earth in Jesus’ tender care–now and forever!

 

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Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” Isaiah 40:21-22

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles’ they will run and not grow weary’ they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31

“And He died for all, that hose who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:15-17

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Your Prayer Peek-
Heavenly Father, what is my view of you…and of the earth?

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,
We’ve been praying for preparation for the mission trip we are about to go on to India for a couple of months. We’ve prayed for safety, eyes to see what You are doing and willingness to do what You want us to do, for hearts and minds to be open to Your leading and for encouragement to those we are going to visit. Wow! You been preparing us and others, Lord. You are just as much at work in the preparation as the actual trip. What a journey we have had so far and we haven’t even left home!

As time has grown closer for our departure, we asked the head of the college we will visit what he believes is our main purpose this trip. He told us to encourage the young people who have traveled from all over India on foot or on the back of trucks that happen to be going that way. These young people are coming to study so they can go back to be Christian leaders in a country that is full of hardships and persecution for believers. We were immediately humbled. How can we encourage them when they face so much more than we do? But You have been faithful to prepare each of the six going as we have faced challenges, health issues, family who are very adamant about their loved one not going…We knew we would face opposition but it is all turning out for good so we will be more prepared to encourage those we will visit.

The finances seemed overwhelming, but You supplied in the most unusual and incredible ways from airline tickets to pumpkins. We just keep thanking You for preparing and leading the way! It has been inspiring to see how You have involved so many other people who are not going but have become part of the team through gifts of prayer, money, soccer balls, eyeglasses, pumpkins and hay, luggage organizers, power converters… Relatives, various churches, and long-time friends have jumped on board. People who know nothing of missions have become involved and want follow up reports. A dear younger sister-in-Christ has organized a prayer team scheduled to have different people praying for this mission each day at the same time until we return. A non-believing customer who bought pumpkins and mums at our fundraiser kept coming back to ask more questions about Jesus, the church and what we are doing. He initially told his wife not to spend very much but ended up donating the largest amount that day. How I praise You, Lord! Our preparation is to turn to You and let Your Spirit lead. Just the preparation alone for this trip has done more than we could ever ask for or imagine. May You keep preparing us and everyone both here and there who are somehow touched by You. You do great things, Lord!

 

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“In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the Glory of the Lord will be revealed.” Isaiah 40:3-5

 

“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’ but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-11

 

“It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, help me prepare by coming to You—so You can prepare me for Your perfect work…

Glorious Father,
There are times that suffering feels like the life is being squeezed out…when it seems more than we can handle…when pain, grief and sorrow threaten to drown us—but even then, You are right here. Lord. You are closer than anyone else could possibly be. You truly never leave us. We can count on You and Your goodness. Last night, I felt the suffering trying to overtake me once more. I knew I needed to be still in Your presence and look to You instead of the suffering. So much pain, tears, sorrow, suffering all around… I need You, Lord—and Your hope.

Less than a week ago, our precious tiny granddaughter died in her mommy’s womb. It has been so sad. I couldn’t share it with the grief group that I host until our grown children decided how they would handle it. I couldn’t ease their pain no matter how hard I wanted to. There have been so many others who are suffering lately…and yet I see how You turn that suffering into something beautiful.

Life keeps going despite our suffering. Several of us go into a neighborhood once a week to leave gospel tracts and pray with people who want it. The day after our granddaughter’s death, I asked You to use my suffering… and You did as I prayed with three different people I had never met about the preciousness of life. I believe it had eternal impact. My sweet daughter-in-law is a NICU trauma nurse. I can’t even begin to imagine how her suffering will impact her future compassion and ministry to families. I see You at work in our son and 4-year-old grandson. There are more ways You will use this suffering than any of us can comprehend right now.

Jesus was with You as You made all there is. He holds all power and authority–yet He knows all about suffering. He was willing to suffer unjust punishment, judgement, desertion, mockery, bullying, physical, mental and spiritual abuse—even unto death so we could live with You for all eternity. He knew His bitter suffering would result in the sweetest gift ever given- eternal life.

 

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Isaiah 53:3 says about Jesus “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. “

 

“And we hope in the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Romans 5:2-5

 

“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. I consider our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:17-18

 

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Your Prayer Peek-
Father, what suffering do I have to offer to You?