Prayer- grieving with hope!

November 4, 2003

Most Holy Father,

Thank You that I don’t have to grieve as one without hope! You have promised eternal life to all of us who believe in Jesus Christ as our own Savior! Your Son is the Lord of my life and Lord of my Dad’s life! How can I grieve and wail and cry for long- knowing he is with You. The only reason I grieve at all is because my family and I will miss him so much — but even that shadows in comparison with the thought of spending eternity with You and with him!

My dad did not die– he simply passed through a glass door, through which I can only see vaguely. He passed from a life of hard labor and fiery trials and simple pleasures to an abundant eternal life filled with joy and peace beyond measure and perfect love in Your very presence. My dad is much more alive than he has ever been in his earthly life! His happiness is complete in Your presence!

Because Jesus lives and because my Dad lives– I can face tomorrow! Even when sorrow sneaks up on me and threatens to drown me, I can grieve with the greatest hope of all…that my Dad is alive and I will join him someday!

Prayer- until the end of this age!

November 5, 2003

Father,

Your ways are mysteriously wise and wonderful! How I love knowing that You are in control and know exactly what is needed at all times.

Today I attended another funeral- that of a thirty-something year-old man I had never met. Yet I know his wife and some of their children. Father, he was alive and well one day and passed into eternity the next. No warning, no explanation- just gone in the twinkling of an eye. How I thank You that I know the pain of grief and the hope of life to come. Now I can pray for this young widow who had only been married 6 months. I can ask You to comfort her and draw her very close. I can pray that You will become her husband and the father of their children.. just as You did for me and my children when my first husband died. I have no doubt that You will bring about new and deeper life through the midst of their pain. I can pray for them when they are still too much in shock to pray for themselves.

Father, comfort them as only You can. Give them complete reassurance of their loved one’s eternal life with You. Let each of them know You will not leave them as orphans in the storm… You will be with them always- until the end of this age and the beginning of the next!

Prayer- for thieves

November 6, 2003

Heavenly Father,

I need Your help again today. Yesterday we discovered thieves broke into the house we grew up in and stole all my parents’ furniture. It was antique furniture which had been given to them by relatives when they married 51 years ago. The house was not occupied, but was sitting on the property of my parents’ greenhouse. As far as we can tell it was probably taken during my dad’s memorial service.

It’s hard to understand how someone can take advantage of people when they are saying goodbye to their loved one. Father, I need Your help forgiving them and praying for them. I know their hearts are wrapped up in sin to do such a thing. Lord, please use this to break their hearts and let them see their deep need for You. Let me look at this not as a violation against me and my family, but as a chance to pray for those who I don’t even know– who need You in their lives.

Father, I am sad at the thought of losing pieces that have history of Mom and Dad through all their married lives (and of our growing-up years). It would have been nice to keep those in the family as part of our inheritance– but I have received a much greater inheritance than any furniture or material things could ever be valued at. My Dad passed on his faith in You, his peace and joy in You and his love for everyone which sprung from You. No thieves can ever take that away!

Prayer- an ordinary branch…an extraordinary vine!

November 7, 2003

Father,

You do extraordinary work through ordinary people who are submitted to You. People have been calling my dad a saint. Which he is…but only because of You dwelling in his heart. He’s one of the most unlikely-looking saints according to the world’s standards. You don’t expect to see a saint walking around in overalls, black rubber boots and a straw hat. He wasn’t loud or boisterous. He simply lived his daily life filled with You.

He was the branch and You were the vine. Your life-giving spirit flowed through him quietly, yet powerfully. He didn’t brag about how You were giving him the power of life. It just happened naturally because he stayed in contact with You. As a result, Your life flowed through him and quietly affected those he came into contact with. Most of the time, they weren’t aware of Your life flowing through him. They just walked away from him feeling refreshed and renewed with some new truth to ponder.

Thank You for the abundant crop of fruit my dad (an ordinary branch) was able to produce… only because he clung to the Vine!

Prayer- Your House!

November 10, 2003

Holy Father,

How I love to go to the House of the Lord- Your House- Your church! Last night I had the opportunity to slip silently in an empty room to pray. All around me I heard the sounds of Your House filled with Your children! In the room across from me, the choir was practicing. Their blended voices raised as one praising heart to You. Down the hall in the gym, I could hear young boys playing basketball in the gym- safe and well in Your House! In the sanctuary, my sons along with other youth were practicing in the praise band preparing to lead worship. In another room, all the children from toddlers through 6th grade were filled with excitement getting ready for their singing in a special youth program.

If all those sounds fill me with such love and joy, I can only imagine what it does for You! How You must love seeing all Your children of all ages gather together in Your House! How You must love the sounds, the smiles, the hugs…the love!

Lord, I think back on the precious churches I’ve been a part of with the deepest love. I love all of them. I just enjoy being a part of Your family, gathered in Your House! What a privilege! What a gift! To be surrounded by those I love… sharing in Your love!!

Prayer- bless Veterans

November 11, 2003

Father,

Today is Veterans’ Day and my prayers are for those who have fought and served our country in the armed forces. My mind travels back to some of the men who founded our country. Thank You that they were willing to fight unto death to set up a land where we are free to worship You. Millions of soldiers since then have been willing to sacrifice their own lives so that their family, friends and future generations might keep that freedom.

I do not take this precious freedom lightly. It has been fought for by many young men and women. It has cost lives, incomprehensible suffering, disabilities, nightmares, torture in foreign prisons and separation from loved ones. The price that others freely paid for me to be able to worship in the church of my choice and to speak freely without fear of death or imprisonment is overwhelming.

Father, today I want to thank You for the long list of souls who gave up their own rights so I might keep mine. I know You have a special place in Your heart for those who were willing to lay down their lives for their brothers. Bring special comfort to those who are still alive who witnessed horrors and watched their dear friends fall around them. Bring peace to those whose minds cannot escape the memories. Bring joy to those who have known such deep sorrow. Be with those who are serving right now. Let them find security in You in their time of danger. Be near them when their loved ones can’t be.

Father, thank You for Veterans of all ages. Bless them.

***Visit www.troopfanmail.net to find how to write to our troops.***

Prayer- unfair situations

November 12, 2003

Father,

I thank You even for the unfair situations in life! Yesterday my son received what other students were calling unfair discipline at school. How I praise You for working through all circumstances for those who love You. You helped us turn it into a spiritual growth opportunity. He was able to not only gracefully accept the discipline- but it will help his character strengthen in You!

Father, it’s so tempting to want to whine and complain when we feel we are “wronged.” Thank You that through Your Holy Spirit we can see that Jesus was treated more unfairly than all of us. He alone was without sin, yet he took sin’s punishment (death) in our place so we might be sin-free throughout all eternity. How much more unfair can you get?

Perhaps some of those at school might see a little of Jesus in my son. I hope so. Although it’s a far cry from a little in-school suspension to death on the cross, I pray that you help my son carry it with Your grace and with You shining through. There was a small degree of guilt on my son’s part, so we decided together that he honestly deserved it, even though it might seem “unfair punishment.” Jesus had absolutely NO DEGREE of guilt and in no way did he deserve it, yet he willingly took the punishment completely out of love alone.

Prayer- for widows and orphans

November 13, 2003

Father,

I know You are close to the broken-hearted and You have a special place in Your heart for widows and orphans. I know how gently and closely You took care of me and my children when my first husband passed on. It brings me great hope and comfort to know You will do the same for my mother and my friend LaDawna as they both learn to live without their husbands by their side.

It is amazing how You can take such a painfully lonely time and turn it into a brand new type of relationship with You. Father, I pray that Mom and LaDawna both discover that You truly become their husband. May they discover that You will provide for their needs, give them security, listen to their worries and fears, care about their feelings. Even though they have both known You before, may they each come to know You more intimately through the hard times ahead. May they walk through the valley of the shadow of death and KNOW that You are with them.

I ask that You give them hope and even joy to encourage them along the way as they travel through their grief. May they find Your abundant joy after the mourning!!

Prayer- Hold me back!

November 14, 2003

Father,

Please keep me from trying to take away all the hard times my children have to endure. There are things which seem so utterly painful. As a mom, I just want to jump in there and take care of it for them so they don’t have to feel the pain. Thank You for holding me back. Thank You for reminding me that my job is to teach them Your ways and to pray for them. My job is not to take away all the pain and save them myself.

Keep me from trying to take over Your job, Lord. I know that You will lead them through the pain and help them to discover their own weakness… and their need for You. I know You will give them incredible strength for every situation as it is needed. I know that You work ALL things together for good for those who love You. I love You, Lord. And I know You love my children (even my grown ones- with even bigger more difficult trials.) You love them even more than I ever could. Let them find You in the midst of their trials- just as I always have. Let them find that they are never alone.

I’m so glad I can turn to You in prayer for my children and know that You will help them.

Prayer- out of the pit

November 18, 2003

Father,

When You let me feel such deep compassion for someone who is hurting or lost, I know that I am only experiencing a tiny fraction of what You feel for them. There is a deep urgency that makes me want to “do something” to help. Father, I know that the most important “thing” I can do is to pray for them.

My heart is heavy for a wonderful family I love very much that is reeling from the pain of divorce. Father, I pray for the wife who would give anything not to have to file for divorce…yet for her sake and her children, she has. She is reaching out for Your hand to pull her and the kids out of the satanic pit of alcohol and drugs. The most painful part is leaving the love of her life behind. Father, give her hope of a life in Your light. Let her discover You as the new Love of her life. Ease her loneliness and pain. Help the children to find their security in You. Give them Your strength.

Father, I pray that the husband be broken before You so that he might find wholeness in You. Let him see that his gods of alcohol and drinking are killing him and robbing him. I pray that he turns to You out of his powerlessness… for everything he needs. Let him discover You- the one true God, who alone, can restore his soul and give him an abundantly full rich life. Let him see clearly the choice before him- Life or death. I will continue to pray until he chooses Life!

Prayer- seeing through Your eyes

November 19, 2003

Father,

It is so easy to be overwhelmed by this world with the constant input of bad news and fearful reports. I chose to keep my eyes on whatever is lovely and pure. I will myself to think about what is right and truth, honorable and fair. Father, I do that by coming to You. Create in me a clean heart.

Father, when I come to You, I can see the beauty of this world– the wonder of the trees turning rich autumn colors, the refreshing breezes and the sunlight beaming through the clouds. When I come to You, I can see hope for the future. I can see the best in others. I see them as Your children. When I come to You, I even see the hope in me. I see that You didn’t give up on me even when I sin against You. You always see the potential of who You created me to be.

Lord, no matter how dark and bleak the news is or what seems to be pulling me down, when I come to You, my eyes suddenly see the promise of Your plan. You have wonderful plans– they are plans to bless and not harm. I refuse to see the world through the fearful lens it wants me to use. I desire to come to You and see the truth!

Prayer- a new brother!

November 20, 2003

Father,

Last night there was a new birth! Not of a baby, but of a young man who decided to give his life to You! It happened quietly, yet powerfully. No one knew there was anything going on in his heart. Only You saw the pulling, the desire building to live with You.

Father, I’m so happy for him to have a whole new life. Right now, I’m certain he doesn’t know what all this means, but I know he will grow in Your Holy Spirit. May he see for himself that Jesus is very much alive and real in his daily life. May he discover You as his best friend, his Rock, his shelter from the world, his Guide, his Peace, his Joy, most of all his Love.

Lord, I’m happy for You, too! I can only imagine how overjoyed You are when one of Your beloved children comes voluntarily to give their life to You!

May You draw him close as he has chosen this new life. Surround him with others who love You; who will encourage him and pray for him. May You bless this new brother of mine!

Prayer- drinking of the Living Water

November 21, 2003

Father,

This morning I fell a little spiritually dry, but even as I come to You- I know You will fill me up. You always do! I’m going to be quiet and drink up some of Your word today. Let’s see what You have to say…

Prayer- listing my thanks

November 24, 2003

Father,

I am incredibly BLESSED! How do I know? It’s because I’ve been counting my blessings and naming them. This whole week I want to devote to thanksgiving…to You! My cup overflows and I know all my rich blessings come from You. I could never thank You enough… but I’m going to try anyway!

Father, most of all, thank You for Jesus’ sacrifice so I can live eternally free from sin’s dark hold. Thank You for the new life I live, which is only possible because of Your great love, and Jesus’ obedience to You in dying for my sin. Thank You for the holy life I am now free to enjoy and the promise of more in the future.

Thank You for loving me so much, that You will never leave me alone. I know I never have to face anything without You. You are with me always…forever…without end! Thank You for the joy that comes from seeing You all around me. Thank You for the sweetness of the cold crisp air, the soothing warmth of the sun’s rays even in the cold. Thank You for the certainty of changing seasons and the deeper assurance of Your unchanging love.

Thank You for always being available. No matter what time it is, what’s going on with the rest of the world…You’re never too busy for me. I don’t know how You do that…but I’m eternally grateful that You are so powerful, yet so intimate. Thank you for…

Prayer- more thanks!

November 25, 2003

Father,

Thank You for the knowledge that I don’t have to take one step without You. You desire to lead me through my whole life. Thank You for my past, my present and my future all being in Your hands. No matter what happens, I know You are with me. Thank You for my rock solid-security in You!

Thank You for the rock-solid security You are for my children. No matter what they must go through, I can put them in Your hands and KNOW that You will lead them through and make something good out of every situation. Thank You for giving me such wonderful children and grandchildren. They are a delight to my soul!

Thank You for the precious gift of my husband. You know I was willing to be single all the rest of my days after my first husband died. I left it all up to You. I told You that if You wanted me to be married, You would have to put the man You chose right in front of me. Thank You for this kind and loving man who loves You and desires to live for You. Thank You for someone I can share life’s ups and downs with; someone who seeks Your will; someone to serve You and love You with.

There are so many things to thank You for! Thank You for…

Prayer- the thanks goes on!

November 26, 2003

Father,

The more I thank You, the more I realize how my cup overflows! You have blessed me beyond measure. Help me always to focus on what You give me… and not on the “more” I want from You. Your grace is so much more than sufficient for me. It is all I need. The rest is all overflow!

Thank You for parents who loved me and believed in letting You work through me! Thank You for my husband’s parents who have become so dear to me. Thank You for brothers, each one different, yet so close to my heart. Thank You for my brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws who have become my own family. Thank You for the sweet joy of seeing nieces and nephews grow from the time they were first born to the time they are having their own babies! Thank You for the ones I inherited when they were a little older! Thank You for my grandparents who have gone on before me (except my dear Grandma Ball who is definitely still here!) who have passed down strengths and values which have pointed towards You.

Thank You for friends who have shared so much- Your love, laughter over nothing at all, tears through painful times, quiet cups of coffee, broken and fixed relationships…Thank You for those who pray for me, who know my pain when it’s hard to talk, who also live with You and hear Your guiding words. Thank You for…

Prayer- thanksLIVING!

November 29, 2003

Father,

Thank You for those who have led the way in showing me the importance of thanking You for everything!

Thank You for Abraham who knew how important it was to stop and build altars to thank You for all Your blessings! Thank You for David who sang psalms of thanksgiving to You both from a personal point of view and on behalf of his whole nation! Thank You for Mary who sang the deepest, most humble song of thanksgiving when she was carrying Your Son in her very womb! Thank You for the one leper out of the ten who were healed by Jesus, who returned to say thank you! (I pray I always return to say thank you, instead of just going on with my life.) Thank You for Paul who knew to say thankYou in ALL circumstances- even the trials…trusting that You are making something good come out of it.

Thank You for those who came to America seeking a place where they could openly offer their thanks to You. Thank You for their desire to honor You and give You thanks for their survival and blessings. Thank You for those who have fought for and continue to protect our freedom to publicly give You thanks! Thank You for my Dad and others in my life who have modeled how to live a thankful life!

Most of all, thank You for being such a merciful, loving, intimate, powerful and involved-in-our-lives God who deserves more honor and thanks than we could ever give! You are worthy!!

 

 

 

Prayer- on the mountain & in the valley!

October 1, 2003

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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

Father,

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!

 

 

Sept. 2

Father,

Back from vacation and right into the first day of school! Once again, I place my children in Your hands as they leave my care and go out into the world.  Lord, I pray for the first day for those entering preschool and kindergarten all the way through to the high school seniors. May this day set the tone for a year full of excitement over learning, the joy of new friendships, and the discovery of tiny steps and giant steps toward independence.

Father, I pray for those students who are scared and overwhelmed. Let them know You are with them. I pray for those who fell lonely in the middle of a crowd of kids. Lead someone to speak kindly to them and give them boldness to speak to others. I pray for those who feel different- who don’t fit the usual mold. Let them know who they are in You. Lord, I pray for those kids- especially the older ones who belong to You. Let them not be ashamed of You. Let them stand strong in You, even in the midst of temptation to follow the crowd’s standards. Give them courage to stand true to You, no matter what!

Father, I also pray for the teachers and staff who work with the kids. Let their hearts be filled with love for their students and a desire to truly guide and nurture them in their lives. Let them model respect and kindness for their students. Inspire them so that they are so excited about what they teach that it becomes contagious for their students. Give them the patience they need for those students who are very slow to learn, as well as those students who seem to know it all. Bless our children’s schools with peace and love and respect. Let my prayers be added together with many other mother’s, dad’s, grandparents’ and teachers’ prayers. Let our schools be a safe place for our children to learn, express themselves and discover how to interact with many other people in a loving way.

Thank You, Lord, for going to school with my kids!

Prayer- sunsets!!

September 4, 2003

Oh Lord, my God!

Thank You for an unforgettable vacation of standing in complete awe of the works Your hands have made. I asked that You show us Your wonders on our trip and YOU DID! We listened to a song that seemed to become the theme song for our adventure. The words were, “Everywhere I go- I see You!” We saw so much and You were everywhere- all around us!

As spectacular as everything was- I believe what touched me most were the sunsets. You know how much sunsets mean to me- and I didn’t even ask for that, but You arranged for us to be in just the right spot every single evening to enjoy a new sunset with You. I know the sunsets were not just for me. Millions of people can see them- but I also know they WERE just for me. It is totally amazing how You can make something so grand and wonderful for the whole world to see and yet You make it personal for each one of us, too. Thank You for my sunsets, Lord!

Thank You for the glorious sunsets over the Painted desert, from the Indian ruins in the middle of no where, while driving out of King’s Canyon, from a deck atop a hill in El Cajon CA, driving through the mountains, from Sunset Cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the grand finale’ as we drove home through the desert again. I think it gives You joy to share Your delightful creation with us. I love Your sunsets! I love You!

Prayer- Dylan & his mom & dad

September 5, 2003

Father,

This morning I read my nephew’s latest e-mail prayer request:

>Subject: Dylan’s homecoming….

>Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 00:49:44 -0500

>

> When they told us that this whole “having a Preemie baby experience” would

>be an emotional roller-coaster ride, we had absolutely no idea the degree of

>what we were being told. I will try and keep this brief. The news we were

>waiting to hear finally came. This past Sunday they said we could take him

>home Monday if we were ready, because he was. I said I wanted to wait until

>Wednesday to give his belly a little more time to act up if it was going to,

>and they all agreed that was fine. Well Wednesday came and he was still

>fine so finally we were able to bring him home!!! We were beside ourselves

>and had a little homecoming with both sets of grandparents over and we

>prayed and thanked God for our little miracle baby and the progress he had

>made. That was last night. The night went about as we expected. He was up

>late trying to get used to this new and strange place he will come to know

>as home. We got up at 4 AM to give his meds and feed him (Melissa did) and

>then I got the 8 AM shift. He wasn’t as hungry as usual and his belly was

>making some seriously loud sounds so I became a bit concerned. By 2:30 pm

>he was really distended. We held off the rest of his feeds and tried a

>suppository at noon, but nothing had worked. We took him back to the

>hospital and after 3 hours in the ER and an X-Ray we found out he was full

>of air in his small bowel again and would be readmitted to the hospital.

>After a little persuasion on our part, and a GREAT Nurse Practitioner that

>has cared for him since birth, he was able to go back to the NICU (something

>they rarely ever do) since he was only let out 24 hours ago. This is a HUGE

>answer to prayer because on the regular floor he wouldn’t have received

>anywhere near the care he will in the NICU. So he is back in the hospital

>for who knows how long but they are committed to finding the source of this

>perpetual problem he seems to have. I will keep you informed as we know

>more. This is really hard for Melissa and I and can’t imagine the hell

>Dylan is going through. It is so hard to see your little boy scream in pain

>as they stick him yet again and know there is absolutely NOTHING you can do

>to help him. You feel pretty worthless and useless, because as a dad we are

>supposed to fix stuff for them. Please pray for us, please. God is

>faithful and gave us a bit of good news tonight just when we needed it. The

>area of his brain that had died, was nowhere to be found on his Cat Scan on

>his brain. The Cat Scan is more accurate than the ultrasounds he has been

>getting and it showed the PVL (dead portion) was not there!!! Praise God,

>He can do whatever he wants. Anyway that is all the good news we have for

>now, but that is enough. We just humbly ask for prayer, the more the

>better. If you think you know someone that will pray for him, please feel

>free to forward this to them as well. Join us in this fight, and I KNOW

>Dylan will make it and be healthy. He is quite a boy.

>

>Mike, Melissa and my HERO (Dylan)

Father,

You have been faithful to be with them from the birth of both twins back in May. You have led them through so much. Reassure them that You are with them now and will never leave them. Give them Your peace. Let them know deep in their souls that all is well. Thank You for the miracle of Dylan and the example of pure perseverance from such a tiny person! Thank You for the healing of his brain and the healing that is presently taking place in his intestines and stomach. Give Mike and Melissa the endurance they need to go all the way through this. Let them know the prayers of many lift them up when they feel exhausted and weak. We lift them all to You now.

Prayer- turning it over to You

September 8, 2003

Father,

The world in general may not think it does any good to come to You in prayer- but I know better! I have experienced Your power and presence over and over again as I bring every concern and every joy to You. I know without any doubt it will happen again today.

In a few minutes several friends are coming over for an impromptu/ emergency prayer meeting with You. We all know there are some things going on which are far too big for us to handle on our own. We all know that we can gather together and present these things to You. We all know from experience that where two or more agree, You will answer prayers. We also know from experience that You rarely answer the way we plan it out in our minds. You always have a better plan! Therefore, we come just to hand it over to You and ask You to show us what we need to do. We trust You with all the rest.

I’m so glad I don’t have to have all the answers. There is great comfort in knowing that my God is at work when I invite You into a situation. Worry and fear melts away in Your presence as I turn them over to You. Even the most challenging, hopeless-looking circumstances become blessings as You turn them into opportunities to show us Your holiness and power.

Prayer- need for others

September 9, 2003

Father,

I praise You for creating us to need You and to need others. On our vacation, we drove through the desert for miles and miles without seeing anyone- and then suddenly in the middle of nowhere, there would be a lonely little house. I wondered how those people could live so completely isolated from everyone else.

I think back to the desert times in my life when I felt isolated and lonely. It was a very difficult time to walk through- yet I discovered I am never alone. Even when no one else was- You have always been with me. So I can’t help thanking You even for those desolate times- yet it has also helped me appreciate my deep need for others. You never created us to be loners or self-sufficient.

You have made each individual so utterly unique that they have something to give that no one else can. Thank You for the passionate ones, the quiet thoughtful ones, the leaders, the followers, the humorous, the serious, the compassionate, the careful, the impulsive ones. Thank You for making us all so different- yet expecting us to live together in love. I think You have quite a sense of humor!

Lord, I thank You now for my quiet alone times with You, but I also thank You for showing me how much we need one another!

Prayer- never too busy

September 10, 2003

Father,

I refuse to listen to satan’s voice that whispers in my ear, “You’re too busy to pray today. Think what all you have on your list…”

I cannot afford not to pray. How could I survive in this world without my precious time with You? Nothing that I tried to do would amount to anything if I try to do it on my own power alone. What difference will it make in the light of eternity if I mop my floor this minute, or scramble to answer my phone calls, or fold the  laundry? How can I begin my work if I haven’t begun my day with You? I don’t want to start anything without You.

Life is totally different when I come away from the world and spend some time with You first. The traffic is more bearable; my reactions to other people is more loving; my work is more enjoyable. In fact, I become more at peace and You show me what my true priorities for the day are. I am no longer frantically driven to get things done. You show me one thing at a time to do, and give me peace and joy to accomplish it. I am aware of Your presence as I go about the work You put before me.

I cannot afford not to spend time in prayer with You EVERY DAY. Who knows what this day will bring? You, alone, know what is ahead. You, alone can prepare me for all that is needed- but  only when I stop and stand in Your presence. Thank You, Lord, for the great gift of Your Presence. I will not take it for granted and I will not pass You by for anything this world has to offer. You are my joy! You are the highlight of my day. You are my life!

Prayer- healing from grief

September 11, 2003

Father,

It’s so hard to believe it was two years ago when I watched (along with everyone else) in horror and disbelief as the two World Trade Centers were hit by planes and then tragically crumbled. I still remember the sick feeling as the Pentagon was struck and heard about the plane in PA going down. There are many people today who are still grieving and reliving the nightmare of that day. There’s also a good friend of mine whose mom passed on a year ago today. Father, I lift them all to You.

I know You know the pain that death leaves behind. I also know without a doubt that You can heal grief, no matter the degree of severity. But we must look up. From this side, our pain in grief may be horrible- but when we stop to imagine… What are our loved ones doing in Heaven? What have they been doing for the past year or two years or ten years? What joys and marvels are they experiencing?

Lord, it’s so amazing to think that we can get so caught up in this life that all we can see is tragedy and pain when someone passes. But how is it on the other side of eternity? In the twinkling of an eye our loved ones are gone. They were just here and now they aren’t. Father, what seems like the worst thing that could ever happen to us, is the very beginning of life for them.

I know the pain of grief- of being separated from those you love. You know it, too. And You are always here with us to comfort us. Father, in the midst of the pain, help my friend and his family and all those who are still grieving from the tragedy two years ago to look up. Help them to consider where their loved one is now. Let them live the rest of their lives knowing they, too, will be going home to join them.

Prayer- the war between man & wife

September 12, 2003

Father,

You created such a wonderful thing when You created marriage. You knew it was not good for man to be alone- so You created woman to make them both complete. We need You and we need one another. When a man and woman are joined together and also united with You, it can be so wonderful and so strong. That must be why Satan works so hard to try to break those unions apart.

Father, today I pray for several couples I know who are under attack. They are letting Satan worm his way into their relationships. They are letting deep hurts from their own pasts effect their relationships today. They are listening to Satan’s lying clever voice which tells them they can trust no one- especially not the love of their life. If he can break them apart, they both become weaker.

Lord, this is war. I fervently pray for these marriages which are being assaulted. When those dear friends are being overrun by the enemy, I choose to pray for them and to call upon You for reinforcements. I refuse to sit by and let their marriages be slaughtered. It may look like a massacre, but I know that You are a God of the impossible.

Send out Your heavenly forces, Lord. We are not really fighting against flesh and blood (or husband against wife), the real battle is between spiritual principalities. The victory is already Yours. I am just doing my part in the battle- sending up missiles of prayer on behalf of my friends who are surrounded right now. Thank You for hearing my prayers and sending out the Calvary!

Prayer- for those in homeless shelters

September 15, 2003

Father,

I am so glad You are all-powerful. This morning I went to visit a friend in a homeless shelter. It can be a little overwhelming to see so many needs. You have given me a heart to care deeply for others, yet I cannot solve their problems. You can, though- as the problems are turned over to You.

Thank You for the knowledge that I can pray for them and it really helps. Thank You for letting me see so many needs, and for trusting me to bring them to You.

Father, I pray for the young mom pushing her little baby in a stroller, while desperately looking for work to support herself and her child. I pray for the little blonde-haired girl named Gwedolyn, who stood at the gate waving at me and talking to me even as I drove away. Help her parent (or parents) to find a real home so she can play in her own yard. I pray for the beautiful thirty-something woman who was leaving for the day to find work. I hope the prayer we prayed together draws her attention to the reality of Your presence with her. Reveal Yourself to her today. I do not know all the stories of how these people ended up at the shelter, but You do.

I pray for my friend, and I thank You that You are with her, leading the way through this trial. I know You know the plans You have for my friend and all the rest of those precious people at the shelter. You have plans to bless them and not to harm them. Turn this time into a sweet blessing for each of them. Let each of them learn to trust You during this time. Please keep my heart soft and tender towards those in need. Show me when I begin to look down on anyone and remind me how easily I could be in their place.

Father, I also pray for those in charge of the shelters. Keep their hearts from being hardened. Keep the vision of ministry and the desire to lead others to Jesus as the top priority. Father, thank You for my home.

Prayer- feeling insignificant

September 16, 2003

Most Holy Father,

Today I feel so tiny and insignificant. What can I do that will make a difference? Why is my life important? Who am I that You care so much for me? In the midst of all these questions which may not have answers- I come to You.

When I come and just sit with You… I know that I matter. Even though there are two billion people alive in this world… I know You know everything about me. You know all my weaknesses which seem so BIG on this day. You know all my thoughts, fears and concerns. Yet, I know You love me more than I can ever calculate. You love me so much that You sent Jesus to live, die and be resurrected. You love me so much that You do not ever leave me alone. You let Your Holy Spirit live in me. He reassures me and shows me Your love when I am quiet before You.

Father, I no longer feel insignificant, for You let me know I’m the apple of Your eye. I am fearfully and wonderfully made…by You! I no longer feel weak, for You are in me- giving me strength. I know my life makes a difference when You flow through me. I can only get a glimpse of how important I am to You…that You let Your Son die for me.

Lord, may many others come to You today and realize how important they personally are to You!

Prayer- hurricanes

September 17, 2003

Almighty, Most Powerful God,

I see the enormous power in the photos of Hurricane Isabel approaching towards the East coast of the U. S. and once again, I am dumbfounded by who You are. You hold the winds and the waves in the palm of Your very hand. As powerful as they can be, You have dominion over them. This hurricane is nothing but a breath of air in a moment in time to You. All You have to do is speak a word and the raging winds will whimper to stillness before You. They have no choice but to obey You.

Yet apparently, there are times when we need to see Your power & glory even in a hurricane. Is it because there are some who will not come to You until a storm shakes them up? Is it because our finite minds fail to recognize how powerful You really are? Is it because some of us have our priorities in this life all wrong… until we see for ourselves how short this life is? Is it so we can see how little we are compared to Your majesty?

I know that there are times our faith in You grows ever stronger as we must hold Your hand to ride out a storm. I know that we learn to recognize Your still small quiet gentle voice after the waves calm down. I pray that there will be new life born from this storm. May there be those who turn to You in a new way- finding that in all Your power, You have a gentle tender love for each of us that goes beyond what our hearts can comprehend. Father, thank You for being with us and caring so deeply about us…even in the storms.

Prayer- listening

September 18, 2003

Father,

Today I want to be silent before You and just listen to what You have to say. Help me to have sensitive ears to hear You all day long today!

Prayer- Your strange ways!

September 23, 2003

Father,

Forgive me for my little thinking. You would think I would know by now to trust You. You would think by now that I would know that things aren’t always the way they seem to be. By now, I should realize that when things look impossible… that’s when You are at work!

Help me to remember to keep bringing all things to You, and trusting that You are already on the case- even if it takes on a strange twist. Last week, I believed the cancer attacking my dad’s brain would continue to knock down his mental capacities. Then You turn it around and let him enjoy several days of joyful clear-thinking! Last week, some friend’s marriage seemed doomed and now they are in the midst of the most miraculous healing! Not too long ago, my nephew’s little baby boy Dylan (who was born premature was having severe problems) and now he’s gaining weight and almost ready to go home from the hospital!

I marvel at the strange and miraculous ways You work. Help me to remember when I bring something to Your attention, that You are making Your good plans come about. It might be in the next minute, the next week or ten years from now- but You know what’s absolutely best. So I will keep coming to You in prayer, trusting even when I can’t see and watching in amazement at how You handle the things I bring to You!

Prayer- not sitting still…but following

September 19, 2003

Father,

I am so glad You love us enough to not leave us alone. Thank You that You call us forth to follow You. That means always moving forward, or as my Uncle Wayne used to say…”Moving onward & upward!” Thank You for the change in the seasons and for the changes You are continually calling forth in us. Help us not to be afraid of the changes… but at the same time help us to make sure they are from You.

Father, thank You for the security of knowing that we stand on solid rock with You, as long as we are living with You and spending time with You everyday. But I also thank You that You have much more for us than where we are right now (no matter how good or how difficult right now seems.)

I am so blessed and happy to know You are with me now, but I also long for what You have in front of me, too. So I chose to follow You on this day (and the rest of my life!) Help me not to get too comfortable in one place spiritually, but to keep my eyes constantly on Jesus. Help me to follow Him into the unknown- knowing You are there!

Prayer-can’t keep quiet!!

September 24, 2003

Father,

You know how strangely my brain works! Yesterday, as I was sitting in the dentist chair and getting stitches, the dreadful thought entered my mind… what if he accidentally sewed my mouth shut!!

How could I stand not being able to praise You? If I wasn’t able to do it with my mouth, I’d have to do it with my hands. What if I could no longer write? I’d have to jump up and down in praises to You. Now I understand Jesus’ answer when he said he could not tell the ones praising his name to be quiet. It can’t be done. Once we see You and know for ourselves who You are- nothing could keep us quiet. Even the rocks and stones praise You! I saw that at the Grand Canyon. The quiet rocks scream of Your glory. They rise up and point to You!

I remember the times when I was so fearful and shy that I dare not speak. Now that I know You and see Your glory… I cannot be quiet! I would burst if I could not praise You! You are the King of all…You are my friend, my God, my Lord, my Teacher, my Comforter, my Rock, my Strength, my Master!! Let me shout it from the rooftop! Let me join with all creation praising You!!

Prayer- the harder I try…

September 25, 2003

Father,

It seems the harder I try to be good and perfect, the more I realize how sinful and imperfect I am. It is now obvious the only way I can do Your will and be what You want me to be- is through Jesus. Or perhaps I should say- Jesus through me.

There is no possible way for me to love others the way You want me to without supernatural help from Your Holy Spirit. No matter how hard I try, my human-ness gets in the way. I want to pick on others’ weaknesses, on their wrong-doings. Yet You call me away with You. As I come to You in prayer, You change my whole perspective. Somehow, Your Spirit of love begins to flow through me and I see other people and myself in a whole new way. Thank You for giving me new eyes- Jesus’ eyes. Thank You for giving me a new heart- Jesus’ heart. Thank You for giving me new life- Jesus alive in me!

The harder I try- the “worser” I get! The more I give into You, the holier I get (only because there’s more room for Jesus!) Help me come to You often to get more of Jesus!

Prayer- God makes no mistakes!

September 26, 2003

Father,

Today I want to pray for the parents and family of a newborn baby boy named Bailey who was born with a cleft palette. I know they are all in shock and adjusting to this surprise. Father, I also know You do not make mistakes. You knew the plans You made for this little boy even while he was being knit together in his mother’s womb. You also know the surgeries available and the doctors to lead them to. You also know the blessings which will come from this.

Lord, I thank You for my 23 year-old sister-in-law who has Down’s Syndrome. She no mistake. I have seen what You do through her joyful spirit. She loves each person she knows like they are her very best friend. She loves with absolute abandon- there’s no holding back! Her smiles and her jokes never fail to brighten the darkest moment. One of her favorite things is to sing songs that make you cry! She loves life and helps everyone around her love life a little more just because she’s there. I’m so glad her parents have raised her as a gift to the world instead of a mistake.

Father, You are an amazing God! Help me to see things more and more through Your eyes instead of the world’s eyes. Thank You for all the precious gifts which the world may think are flaws, but You knew all along would be precious jewels!

Prayer- longing for You!

September 29, 2003

Father,

You have created in me a longing heart. I long to be with You. I long to be at Home with You eternally. It’s such a strange thing, for I have no doubt You are with me now. Yet I believe there is even more of You to know. I can only handle so much at a time, for Your glory is too magnificent. Yet, I long to see You in all Your glory!

I enjoy this world and all the beauty You have surrounded me with. I love all the people You bring into my life. I am very grateful for my extremely blessed life. It is an appetizer of what is ahead. Yet, I still long for more of You. There are times I feel like a foreigner in a strange land. It’s a nice place to visit, but I would never want to live here forever. My soul longs for heaven where I will finally be at Home with You.

How I praise You that I can spend time in Your presence even in this world. Your glory reigns down on me as I lift my heart to You even now. You alone can quench the deep longing in my spirit for You.

Prayer- poured out wine

September 30, 2003

Father,

Thank You for being the ultimate wine-maker! You know just how to make the sweetest, life-giving spiritual wine in each of us! You are the master at growing us to just the right ripeness before You begin to squeeze us into the wine You knew You were making all along. We would be nothing on our own, but since You have helped us stay attached to the vine and receive all that is needed from Your Holy Spirit, we can not only bear fruit— we can be poured out wine for others!

How I marvel, looking back at all the seasons You’ve brought me through to ensure the best wine. Thank You for every joyful Spring, every simmering Summer, each reflective Autumn, and even the long bitterly cold Winters of my life. You knew that every single trial and joy would be needed to produce rich grapes. I even thank You for all the ways You have used so many circumstances to squeeze my life. You were very patient with me as I yelled and whined at the squeezing. (You still are!) You knew it would be far better in the end for me to go through the pressure. You were right! (You always are!)

Father, let me trust You in EVERYTHING in my life– even the hard things– if it might mean I can be poured-out wine for someone else. Let them taste You in me and desire You for themselves!

Prayer- on the mountain & in the valley!

 

August 1, 2003

Prayer- songs in the middle of trials

Oh Lord, my God,

How I praise You for the remarkable ways You work in our lives! Thank You for the way You shine through my dear friend’s life. I have not known too many people who have endured the kinds of fiery trials she has. I do not know too many people who sing Your praises as she does either!

Father, as I heard of the latest challenge piled up on top of all the others she was already facing, it was almost more than I could bear. I offered to come be with her- but she knew she needed to turn to You and seek Your counsel and help. She knew she needed more than human sympathy for what she must go through. She knew she had to go to You. Honoring her choice, I prayed with her on the phone and then let her go to You. I continued to pray all evening and woke up praying several times through the night- knowing she was also praying. My heart was heavy for her and for her loved ones.

This morning as I was continuing to pray for her, a joyful praise took over as I thanked You for giving her what only You can in an impossible situation. I was thanking You for giving her songs to sing in the midst of what the world would call torment. Right in the middle of my praise, she called with the most beautiful sing-song voice to let me know she was okay! I know she is. I know she will be. I know You are working in the whole situation.

Thank You for her faithfulness to turn to You in such overwhelming times. Thank You for Your faithfulness to give her joy and faith and peace that goes beyond explanation! Thank You for the promise that that our present sufferings pale in comparison to the glory that will soon be revealed to us! Thank You for the glory You’ve already revealed!!!

August 4, 2003

Prayer- walking in the garden with You

Father,

I love to go out into the coolness of the morning and meet You in my garden. You’re always waiting for me to walk with You and talk with You. Your gentle breezes blow through my soul and refresh my spirit. Just being with You reassures me that You are God of all- and that all is well. You whisper sweet truths in my heart. You delight in showing me the many gifts You have surrounded me with, which might go unnoticed if I wasn’t walking with You in the garden.

Thank You that I no longer have to hide from You (like Adam and Eve did in the garden.) Thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sin and shame – just so I can walk in the garden with You.

Don’t ever let me take this precious gift of coming into Your Holy presence for granted. Don’t ever let me get too caught up in anything else that I neglect to meet You. This time reminds me that the time will come when I will live in Your garden with You for all eternity. In the meantime, I will cherish these times in the garden and I will invite others to meet You here, too!

August 5, 2003

Prayer- for the homeless (& my brother)

Father,

Please take special care of all the homeless and “street people,” including my brother. He called last night. It was the first time in at least three years I had talked to him. Long ago, to keep from going crazy, I had to put him in Your hands. It is difficult to not know if he has a warm place in the winter, a safe place to sleep, food to eat, or friends. Lord, after all these years- I know You have watched over him and helped him to survive. Apparently he has even stayed in the same area now for almost ten years. Surely he has developed some kinds of relationships.

Thank You for the assurance that You go with him wherever he is and there is not one need that he has that You do not know about and can help him with. You are the same God here with me that is there with him.

Father, as I see street people where I live, I can’t help but pray for them. Help me know how to treat them with respect- knowing that they are someone’s brother, son, uncle. Each one has a story of how they got there. May You have someone where my brother is look compassionately on him and pray for him when they see him. I pray for a healing of his mind and spirit. I know that You love my brother and walk everywhere he walks. Bring him to the place where he knows You are with him. Give him the peace that comes from living with Jesus in his heart.

August 7, 2003

Prayer- for Nick & moments with kids

Most Holy Father,

Sometime today (perhaps even right now), my little 4 year-old friend Nick from here in Oklahoma is being operated on in NY. I have never met him, although my prayer partners and I have been praying for him for at least two years. He and his family have been through so much, and this surgeon thinks he can remove the biggest part of the rare tumor in his stomach area. It is considered extremely risky as it is entwined with so many organs. There are hundreds praying for him right now and I add my prayers. We trust You with Nick’s heart, mind and soul. We have NO DOUBT that You are right there in the operating room holding his little hand. Give his parents and family Your peace which goes beyond human understanding. Let their hearts rest in You. We ask for healing in Nick.

As I have been praying for Nick, I think of how precious the moments with him have been for his parents. In an email, I read how his dad was wanting to take him to a ballgame yesterday before this “life & death” surgery. Father, with the knowledge that our children are not guaranteed to be here forever, help us to cherish the moments with them.

Help me to stop and really listen to my kids with ALL my attention. Remind me to sit and talk with them, go on a walk with them, play a game with them or simply tell them how much I enjoy them. Thank You for the wonder of loaning us our children so we can get a small taste of how You feel about us. It is amazing that You entrust us with these wonderful souls. Let us never take such amazing gifts for granted. Help us to cherish our kids and long to linger with them- as You do with us.

August 11

Prayer- sing Praises!

Most Holy Father!

I want to sing Your praises! I want to enter Your courts with praise! My soul longs to cry out with joy at Your greatness- Your majesty! I wish there were words to express Your mightiness! How can I ever be quiet about who You are! How I wish everyone in all the world would stop and sing of how great You are.

You are the maker of all heaven and earth, of all mountains and seas- stars and galaxies; yet You knew me even when no one else did in my mother’s womb! You created every single person who ever was, who is now and who ever will be- and yet, You know each hair on everyone of our heads! You, alone, control the mighty winds and the ocean’s tides, when the seasons come and go, when kingdoms rise and when governments fall- yet You also have power over every tiny and ominous circumstance in our lives. You know the number of days we have to spend on this earth- and yet, You know it’s only a blink of an eye compared to eternity.

You are King of all- over America, Liberia, Antartica, the Shuttle Space Station, of Mars and distant galaxies we don’t even know of yet! You have the power to bring down the proud and to lift up the humble. No one is beyond Your reach- yet You hold back Your mighty hand, waiting patiently- hoping that each of Your children may willing humble themselves before You. It is only then that we begin to realize the vastness of Your love for us. It is only then that we begin to sing real songs of praise to You!
May our songs of praise be added to all creations’ song to You! May everything and everyone who lives and breathes sing Your praises!  Since there is no end to who You are or to Your power and majesty, may we sing Your praises for all eternity as we continue in amazement to discover more of You!

August 12, 2003

Prayer- for a struggling mom

Father,

I know You love for us to come to You and invite You into our lives and into every situation. Here I am. Father, I lift before You a young mother of three I know, whose children have been taken away from her by DHS. Lord, You know she has made mistakes. You know her heart. Now she is trying to find a job, go through the DHS Parenting classes and get back into school.

There are many things pulling on her, threatening to overwhelm her. Equip her to refuse to be brought down by worry and fear. Father, remind her again and again to keep her eyes on You. Help her to sincerely turn to You with all her heart, mind and soul. Let her see that everything else will fall into place as she puts You first. Father, please strengthen her in Christ so she can do all she needs to do. Let her know the sweet joy of doing what the world would say is impossible. Let her discover for herself that with You, ALL things are possible. Today she is searching for a job. Give her the job that You know she needs at this particular time. Let her KNOW that You led her to it, and let her give You praise for it. Give her hope for the future. May all her hope be found in You.

Father, I pray for her 3 precious children. Let them know that You are with- them even while they are away from their family in foster care. Protect them. Surround them with Your love. Let them know they will be reunited with their family. Heal the entire family. I ask these things with complete confidence that You desire what is best for her and the children. I have no doubt that You are already at work. Thank You for the miracles that are already happening and will continue to take place in their lives! I am so grateful that I do not have to figure out how to save them. It’s way over may head. But You can, and that’s why I bring them to You! I love the way You pull people out of the depths of darkness into the brightness of Your presence when we ask. That’s why I’m asking for this family!

August 13, 2003

Prayer- Jesus’ name

Most Holy Father,

Saturday night at our Musical Reunion, two songs were sung about Jesus’ name. As “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…” was sung, tears of joy ran uncontrollably down my face. What is it about Jesus’ name?! I think back to one of the nights at the Billy Graham Mission when a young man was practically skipping to the altar to accept Jesus as his Savior. He joyfully hugged me and all he could say was, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”

Father, what is it about Jesus’ name?

Is it because Jesus is…the Way, the Truth, the Life and no one can come to You except through Him? Is it because Jesus is…the Word, the very part of You who spoke things into existence & still does! the Door, which we all must enter through; the Bread of Life, which we need and crave for our very existence? Is Jesus name so powerful because…He is Your Son, our Redeemer, Savior, our merciful & faithful High Priest, Master, Lord of all, Light of the world, the Resurrection and the Life, our Mediator, the Almighty, the Alpha & Omega, the Beginning & the End? Is it because He is the only one who is worthy to be the Lamb? Is it because He is the Victorious Lamb who will come again and before whom every knee shall bow?

Father, how is it that in Jesus’ name all power & authority is found for everything in heaven and on earth? How can it be that the one who came to judge- died for me instead- just so I can dwell with You forever and ever?

Because I have accepted Your gift of Jesus’ death for my sins & given my life to You, I now bear Jesus’ name. It is not just any name. It is Jesus. And I belong to Him and He belongs to me. I am now known as a Christian- belonging to Christ. Jesus is mine and I am His. He knows me and I know Him. He has the sweetest name I know….Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!!!

August 14, 2003

Prayer- for those in poverty and those who are rich

Father,

It is so amazing to know that You are personally and intimately at work in people’s lives around the world- just as You are in mine. My young friend just returned from a mission trip to Africa. Her heart was greatly blessed to discover that some of the poverty-stricken believers in Africa are overflowing with joy and thanksgiving. They have practically nothing, yet they are continually thanking You for every tiny thing around them! Bless them and thank You for their witness!

Father, forgive me- forgive all of us in America, for our lack of gratefulness. You have blessed us so abundantly. We take so much for granted. In fact, we expect certain standards to be met. The people in Africa have no clean running water- I have hot and cold purified water at the touch of my fingers in several rooms! Most African families live squished together in one or two room shacks in torrid heat- I have an air-conditioned house with bedrooms, bathrooms, living areas and a kitchen, even a yard with grass and flowers! In Africa, people must live with rotting teeth, illnesses, bugs, very little transportation. Here in America, we expect dental and medical treatment and most of us have a fairly new car (or several.) And I cringe to think of the differences in the food. Forgive our “picky-ness” and gluttony. We are obsessed with entertainment- they find joy in simply surviving.

Father, please keep me aware of my dependence on You for even my most basic needs. Don’t let me give in to the temptation to get so caught up in things- that I think I need and deserve the latest and the best. I want to have a joyful and thankful heart. Help me be content with what You so generously give me. Show me the very minute I am acting greedily or ungratefully. Help me desire to eagerly share out of my abundance with those who have needs.

I also want to thank You for the times in my life when I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from, when the electricity was turned off, when there was no heat. Looking back, those times were relatively short- but it reminds me to be grateful. Whether in poverty or riches, real joy and contentment can only be found in You! Sometimes I think it’s easier to stay close to You in poverty- when we are fully aware we need You for everything.

August 15, 2003

Prayer- in Jesus’ name

Father,

The other day I asked You what it was about Jesus’ name that was so powerful. It is mind- boggling to me that every time I ask You to show me something- You begin to do just that. Ever since then, You have surrounded me with thoughts, scripture, conversations, songs which all point to the majesty and power in just the mention of Jesus’ name. Thank You for answering a prayer I didn’t even fully realize I was praying!

There may be multitudes of other rulers and leaders whose names may be honored, but they all pass away. Sadam Hussein may have forced a whole nation to sing songs about the greatness of his name and made holidays- but where is he now? There may be kings, presidents, famous sports stars and movie stars whose names are instantly recognized. There may even be religious leaders whose names are revered. They all come and go. Some are remembered and some are not. But there is no name like the name of Jesus.

At the mention of His name, demons cower and scamper away. At the mention of Jesus’ name, lives are freed from the pits of darkness. At the mention of Jesus’ name, You hear and answer every prayer. At the mention of Jesus’ name, angels are sent to fight unseen battles here on earth.

Father, forgive those who throw around Jesus’ holy name for their own purposes, or use it like it’s a magic word or worse yet, treat it as a curse word. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus….there is no other name so holy. No one else was pure; no one else was holy; no one else was worthy enough to come and be sacrificed for our impurities, our unholiness and our unworthiness. One day, every single knee shall bow before Jesus. Demons already do! Someday, there will be some who bow- and Jesus will sadly say, “I never knew you.”

Jesus, I bow before You NOW! You are my Lord, my Savior, and my friend. I know You know me and I know You. How do I know? Because You always answer when I call Your name!

August 18, 2003

Prayer- from start to finish

Father,

Thank You for my nephew and niece’s little baby Dylan going home today! He’s been in the Neonatal ICU since his birth on May 20th, when his little twin brother went home to heaven. Father, he’s going home with oxygen and monitors and nervous parents. Give them your peace which goes beyond explanation. Let them know that all is well and that You are with them. Let them sit in their own home, holding the precious gift You’ve given them. Let them marvel over the miracle of Dylan’s life and determination. Let them dream and pray for his future.

It is so reassuring to know that You are with us from the beginning of our lives to the very end of this age and throughout all eternity. I’ve spent a lot of time with my dad lately. We all know his life here will most likely end soon. We’ve all been looking back and seeing the many ways You have faithfully been with him from his birth. No one, but You, knows the plans You have for each of us from before our birth. They are good plans- plans to bless us, even though there are many hard times which we must go through.

Since Dad has already outlived the time the doctors gave him, he sometimes says “I hope I am accomplishing what God wants me to.” Perhaps just being himself, with Jesus shining through is God’s plan for his life. Father, whether we stand at the start of this life (like Dylan) or at the end of this life (like my Dad), help us all be who You want us to be, who You designed us to be. Help us go through this life with Jesus shining through us!

August 19, 2003

Prayer- search me

Father,

Today I come before You, earnestly asking that You search my heart. Look in all the hidden cracks and crevices of my soul for something that stands between me and You. I realize I will not like what You find, but I’m asking You to point it out to me anyway.

Maybe it’s an attitude, a habit, too much emphasis on my self. With trepidation and yet the hope of a closer walk with You, I ask that You point out one thing. ( I don’t know if I can handle more than one at a time.)

Lord, as You bring it to my attention, help me to turn away from it. Help me to accept Jesus’ payment for it. Help me to leave it behind like an old worn out tire that is no longer needed. Let me walk on lighter, free and pure, and closer than ever before to You.

August 20, 2003

Prayer- trusting You with other’s lives

Father,

Thank You for pointing out my weakness in trusting You in certain areas. I seem to be able to trust You with my own life. You’ve led me through some really hard times and I know I can trust You no matter how difficult the situation looks.

You pointed out to me that sometimes I don’t trust You enough with other people’s lives. The “mommy” in me wants to take away their pain and make their troubles go away. I know that You lead us through the trials and we grow closer to You. Help me to pray for others and learn to walk beside them, encourage them and give them the hope that You are indeed with them even in the midst of their pain. Let me place them in Your loving hands and let You work your perfect will in their lives. Show me when I am stepping in, trying to save them myself, instead of letting You do it the right way- Your way. When I pray for others, let me continually place them in Your hands and trust You to bring about the good plans You have for them. Let me also trust that You will let me know the practical ways I can help.

Father, I also want to thank You for the vacation we’re getting ready for. May we stand in profound awe of You as we see Your handiworks of nature in our travels. Let us enjoy one another’s company as a family and let us experience You wherever we go. And thank You that I don’t have to have email to pray to You! (I’ll just take along my prehistoric spiral notebook and pen!)

 

 

July 1, 2003

Prayer- Just do it!

Father,

How I praise You for Your word! It is filled with life-changing truth! You have given us treasures beyond our wildest dreams all wrapped up in the Bible. Yet what good does it do us if we just read it or listen to it? Father, help us to want to do it!

Thank You that we don’t have to do it on our own. How could we ever fulfill all You have written for us. How many times have I strived to be and do all You have told me to. The more I try, the more I realize I cannot do it on my own! I fall short every time. But with Jesus, I can do all things as He gives me His strength! Father, thank You for sending Jesus to live in my heart to help me live out Your word. HE fulfills it. HE does it through me! HE brings the word alive!

All those great ideas that we read about in the Bible are only ideas until we ask Jesus to help us do them! All the sudden they are living truths! As we ask Jesus to help us do what the Bible says, You provide circumstances to be able to practice them. You also give us Your Holy Spirit to remind us of what it says, and to teach us, and to reveal more and more to us. Jesus brings Your word Alive! The more HE helps me know, the more I realize there is no end to what there is to know. Jesus is the key, the way, the truth and the word!

Father, help me to not just read or listen to Your word, but to do it!!

July 2, 2003

Prayer- little answers to prayer

Father,

Thank You for working with Your life-changing power when we pray. Thank You for letting us be able to pray for others. I especially want to thank you for the friends with the marriage in crisis. Just when it looks like there is no way possible, You step in. Father, thank You for the efforts they are each making. I know You are inspiring them to at least try. There has been so much hurt, mistrust and angry bitterness. Anyone would look at the situation and say there is no hope.

With You, there is always hope. Love is the most powerful force available. They both love You and are willing to make attempts out of obedience to You. Father, thank You for their little acts of service to one another. Even though they may seem uncomfortable and awkward at first, help them each to continue until they feel Your love flowing through them and spilling out into their marriage.

Help them to be willing to show kindness and gentleness and love in more small ways. Let it become such a way of life for them that before they know it, they really enjoy caring for one another. Let them do it no matter what the reaction. Let them do it as they were doing it for You. Show them how to love in a deeper way than they ever thought possible.

Let them both see the hope. Let them put their hope in You. Let them trust their marriage to You. Someday soon, may they even turn around and be able to help show other married couples the way through their crisis.

July 3, 2003

Prayer- true FREEDOM!

Father,

I’m Free!! Thank You, God, for giving me freedom in Christ! Thank you that I am able to face a crisis with one of my children today knowing that I am free. Because of my life with You, I can face this challenge, knowing the solution doesn’t depend on my own frantic attempts. Thank You that I can rest, knowing that You are in control despite the circumstances.

What a privilege to bring this burden to You and know that You will begin working ALL things together for good. I can even give my child back to You, knowing that You can lead them through this trial far better than I ever could.

I can remember being imprisoned- to worries, fears, insecurities, and to sin in my life with no out. Then I surrendered all to Jesus. I gave up to him- even if it meant being enslaved to him forever. I found freedom! What a joyful abundant life with him! I love knowing that I am totally dependent upon him. I can do nothing without him. Yet through him, I can do all things!

Father, bring my child to the point of total surrender. Let them find FREEDOM as they declare their dependence upon You.

July 7, 2003

Prayer- wrestling with God

Heavenly Father,

I have been wrestling with You over a certain issue lately. When I finally surrendered, You won- but so did I!!! I love the way You work!

Sometimes a situation comes up that I feel so passionately about, it’s hard to completely let it go. I struggle in prayer to seek Your will and guidance. I feel so strongly about it that I want it solved right now! I push to control things the way I think they ought to be done and all the while You have hold of me asking me to be still and let You be God.

Thank You for being patient with me while I fight in prayer to truly place things in Your hands. At times, it’s hard to just hand it over. Forgive my lack of trust. Of course, You are at work! Of course, You know better than I do. Humbly, I bowed before You and placed the whole thing in Your hands.

It so amazing! Right after I did, You began to show me how many different ways You are using this situation to affect more lives than I could ever dream of. While I was trying so hard to argue the case for my way of handling it, I didn’t see that You were already at work weaving Your masterpiece in many lives all at the same time! You are my amazing, powerful, all-knowing, creative God! I yield to Your will, which far surpasses my ideas. Let Your will be done!

July 8, 2003

Prayer- seeking God’s wisdom

Father,

What a privilege to come straight to You! I’m so grateful I don’t have to rely on human wisdom. It may seem logical, but it is fickle and unstable. The world is exploding with “knowledge” right now. Between the over-abundance of information available, all it seems to do is bring confusion and fear. The news is filled with reports of the latest studies that reveal new causes along with the latest possible aids against cancer. There are so many I can’t remember what I’m supposed to be eating or not eating now.

There are experts everywhere on TV, in print and on the internet who tell us what we should be doing ( or is it what we shouldn’t be doing? I forget.) Father, there are even well-meaning friends who offer their advice. A lot of it is good, too. But…

I choose to come to You first. You have all wisdom and knowledge. In every situation, let me seek Your will first. Who else has made Heaven and earth? Who else created universes in tiny molecules which have not even been discovered or massive stars which defy our imagination? Who else knows for certain how our world began and when our time will end? Who else created billions of unique individuals with quirky personalities and knows every number of hairs on their head? Who else knows the past, the present and the future?

Why turn to the latest “expert” when I can turn to You? You have told us that when we keep our eyes on You, all else will fall into place. I come to You for wisdom, guidance, leadership. I come to You for so many reasons… most of all, I come to You because I love You. Thank You for sending Jesus to open the way so we can come straight to You!

July 9, 2003

Prayer- seeing satan’s attacks

Father,

I praise You! You have given us complete authority and power over all demons and satan himself with all his sneaky schemes! Thank you for the dramatic proof yesterday when my friend came under his attack. You used one of her own relatives to try to make her believe she was worthless and hopeless right when she is in the middle of a life-changing decision to serve You with the rest of her life, ministering to those imprisoned to drugs and alcohol. What painful lies he used!

Father, I have seen You work through her. I already know hundreds of lives have been affected by her testimony. Lord, she is in the middle of stepping out in complete faith in You and giving up a lucrative job to help addicts. It comes as no surprise that she should be attacked by satan who knows she can help lead more out of the prison he has built from substance abuse.

What is so strange is the form of attack he can come in- from a loved one. The slithery liar and schemer chooses ways he knows hurt us and trip us up the most. He would not even bother attacking if we were not a threat to his dark kingdom. Thank You, Lord, that You warned us to be on the alert for his poisonous arrows. Sometimes they feel more like bazookas, but it doesn’t matter the form of the weaponry- he has absolutely NO POWER over us!

I only pray that You continue to make us immediately aware of his inevitable attempts to make us ineffective in Your Kingdom. Help us to have eyes to see when we are being attacked and to immediately pray for help in telling him to get away. He does! Every time! He must cower and slither off in defeat in Your Holy presence. There is nothing to fear from him as long as we stay with You. He knows it, too. Thank You for helping my friend defeat him. Father, keep us close to You so we can recognize and rebuke satan in our lives- and in the lives of those around us that he tries so hard to sabotage.

July 11, 2003

Prayer- for my Daddy

Father,

How I thank You for my Daddy. I especially thank You that he has continued to live, despite the fact they sent him home on hospice care to die three years ago. I am so grateful for his faith, trust and joy in You through everything. Thank You for his smile and the twinkle in his eyes. My parents have always worked so hard. I remember praying my heart out for my parents to be able to relax and enjoy life. Little did I know the answer to that prayer would come disguised in the form of cancer.

Lord, thank You for helping my parents savor just sitting and listening to music or reading together during the past 3 years. Thank You for the delightful ways You have helped them look back on their lives and see the good fruit of their labor. You’ve also helped them to come to peace with the inevitable regrets one has when looking back. You’ve allowed them to be surrounded by family and friends who openly share their love because of the “terminal cancer.” I have been greatly blessed to have been born and raised by such wonderful parents. They have nurtured a godly legacy in me.

Father, the days are getting harder for my dad. His body is wearing out. Now, it’s work just to breathe and get up. As he draws closer to his time to go Home, please reassure him in very real ways of Your presence. Soften his sorrow at the thought of leaving his beloved wife and family. Let him know, it will be just a blink of an eye before we are all reunited. Give him a glimpse of what is ahead in Heaven. Let him finish the work he has to do, and then gently take him Home. Father, bless my Daddy.

July 14, 2003

Prayer- Here I am

Father,

You are my Lord, my God, my Creator, my Teacher, my Counselor, my Guide, my Friend, my all-in-all. You reign over all creation- and yet You have unselfishly given me so much. You sent Jesus to live and die for me even when I was stubbornly trying to live my own life apart from You. You love me so much that once I “gave in” to Your love-You arranged to let Jesus live with me even now. What a delight to know I will never be alone. There is nothing that could ever happen to me that You will not lead me through.

Here I am today to offer myself to You. I trust You to use me in whatever way You know is best. I give You my life to spend; I give You this day; I give You my hands to use; I give You my voice to speak; I give You my smile to cheer; I give You my time to arrange; I give You my marriage to bless; I give You my home to live in; I give You my family to lead; I give You my will to mold to Yours; I give You my mind to change to Your thinking.

Father, my ways are so puny and insignificant compared to the plans You have. Here I am to humbly acknowledge that You know best in all things. Lead me in every step of my life. Use me for Your perfect will. I trust You. I know that Your way leads to life- not just for me, but for everyone around me. Here I am. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and send me where You need me.

July 15, 2003

Prayer- where two or three gather

Father,

What a delight when all my children gather back together in my home- the young ones still at home, the older ones who are married and have their own lives- and of course, the grandkids! There’s eating, laughing, playing games, visiting and fun and lots of reminiscing! How I cherish having all of my family gather together!

Is that how You feel when two or more of Your children gather together in Your name? Do You just enjoy listening and visiting and being with us? You promised us that wherever two or three gather in Your name, You will be in our midst. You are here, even now!

How I love to gather with Your other followers/ believers/ children. Even more- how I love to pray with two or more. You also promised that if two agree on earth, it will be done for us by You. Father, how I cherish my prayer partners (the long-term and short term ones). We have a bond- a history! We are eternally related! We’ve gathered in Your name and prayed for many things over the years. When we get together, we love to reminisce and praise You for all the answered prayers we have seen! How our faith has increased because we have prayed through hard times and good times. We have seen You move in miraculous ways just because we have asked together! Does it bless You to have us pray in agreement- whether in a home, church, over the phone or by email? Does it bring joy to Your heart to have us all come together in Your name to seek You? We honor You, for You are our Father.

July 16, 2003

Prayer- be my filter!

OK, God!

I need You to be my filter again. I come to Your listening chair before I say anything to anyone else. I have learned from experience to run things by You first!

Yesterday, I suddenly got very sick and started feeling a little sorry for myself. I thought no one cared (could it be because no one knew?) When I called my husband at work, he was extremely busy and couldn’t talk long. He’s been so overrun lately between work and helping others, I started getting upset that he wasn’t giving me attention. (Yes, Lord- I know that’s one of the reasons I love him- because he works so hard for us and he loves helping people. And yes, he gives me much more attention than I could ever hope for.)

When my daughter came slamming in the house, I knew she must be having a difficult time with her boyfriend. I felt bad for her- until she came complaining to me that I didn’t leave her enough dinner! I wanted so badly to get upset right back at her- but You reminded me how all-encompassing new love is. (Yes, Lord. I know she wasn’t really upset at me. It’s hard work being in love!)

I tossed and turned all night, trying to get comfortable. Sweating from a fever, I got irritated that everyone else was asleep. (Yes, Lord. You were awake- right there with me. And yes, Lord, I know my illness was just short-term, not like my dad’s and others I know.)

This morning when I got up, I saw the stack of dirty dishes and started to gripe to myself about the mess from one night of being out of commission. (Yes, Lord, I’m very thankful to have a houseful of loved ones who make dirty dishes and who do care very deeply about me!)

OK, Lord, I feel much better now! I think I’m even well! Thanks for being my filter again!

July 17, 2003

Prayer- my friend’s heart

Father,

You are the holder of life. You know the sanctity and holiness of life better than anyone. What a comfort to trust in Your will for our lives, knowing how precious a price You place on each of us. Even above our physical well being, You hold our spiritual well being at an even higher value.

Knowing all this, I pray for my friend who faces heart cauterization with a possible angioplasty and stint placed in his heart. Father, I pray for all to go well with him physically, but even more, I pray that You let him literally place himself in Your hands. May You anoint him with Your peace that goes beyond human explanation. Let him (and his wife) be so willing to simply trust You that all fear melts away.

There is something about the heart. Perhaps it’s because all our blood is pumped through it to keep us alive. But actually, life depends on You. Once we ask Jesus to live in us, His blood flows through us giving us eternal life that can never be threatened or killed.

Give my friend and his wife the reassurance that You hold his heart in Your hands and Jesus’ blood flows through him and there is nothing to fear.

July 18, 2003

Prayer- for someone with no where else to go

Father,

I just got off the phone with one of my relatives who is a really nice guy in a lot of ways- but oh, Lord, how I pray for his stubbornness. I pray that it doesn’t do him in. Once again, he has lost almost everything. I do not understand why he just won’t give in and turn to You.

For years, I have seen him choose his own way and his own addiction. I have watched him lose his wife, his job, his cars, his friends. Here he is again with nowhere else to go. Father, I thought he was there before- and urged and begged him to reach out to You. I tried so hard to explain that nothing in his life would be right until he surrenders to You.

I told him that I knew from experience that life without You is hell, and life with You is filled with peace. If only he knew how easy it is to just give up and how rewarding it is to live with Jesus in his life. Father, why is it so hard for him to make that choice? If only he could see from the other side. If only he knew what he is missing.

Father, You know my heart cries for him (and for all those around him). As he sits right now in the loneliness of his room, let him come to the place where he finally surrenders to You. Forgive him for the anger, bitterness and blame he chooses to hang on to. He doesn’t realize what he’s doing. Let all the seeds of Your love that have ever been planted in his life come to his mind right now. You know that I have a strange mixture of wanting to wring his neck and crying for his soul to be saved. Father, thank You for being patient with him. Let this no-where-else-to-turn-time be another chance for him to turn to You. Let this be the time he quits running!

July 21, 2003

Prayer- “on call” for You

Father,

You are always with me! You are always available- whether I need You in the middle of the night or in the heat of the day; Whether there’s a crisis or a celebration; whether I’m completely alone or in the middle of a huge crowd. You have faithfully led me through my life every step of the way. (Even through the times I stubbornly tried to live life my way, You patiently brought me back to You.)

Father, I want to be faithful to You. I want to be “on call” for You. Remind me to never be too busy for You. Forgive me for the times I set up my plans and get irritated when they are interrupted. Father, give me a sensitive spirit, so I will know when You need to use me. Bring those who You need me to point to You. Remind me it is not my job to chose who You send or when You send them. I want to be available to whoever You place in my path. Keep my heart humble to hear the messages You send me through others. Let me be ready to answer the phone, the door and for those chance meetings when You send someone my way. Let me always be in prayer- living with You- so I’ll be ready on a moment’s notice to give the hope You’ve given me. Remind me that You are in charge of eternal life, my job is to point to You in all things!

Father, help me always be determined to be cheerfully “on call” for You.

July 22, 2003

Prayer- water in a parched land

Father,

I just got through watering my plants outside. In this heat, they are already in danger of burning up from lack of moisture- and I just watered the day before yesterday! I have several plants that wilt and look as though they might not make it. And yet, when they soak up the fresh cool water, they almost immediately perk up and are filled with new life!

Lord, You are my Living Water! In the treacherous heat of this world, there is no way I can make it without You. I will surely wilt and die and not be able to withstand this parched land. I come to You to lead me beside Your still waters. I want my roots to go down deep into Your River of life. I need to drink of Your water EVERY DAY. Let me be still and soak up Your Holy Spirit.

Father, I’m so glad You are always there to water me when I turn to You. You never fail me. Lord, it breaks my heart to see so many trying to survive this life without You. They are parched and dry and desperately seeking for relief from the torrid heat. Father, if only they will begin to seek You, they will know the joy and security of resting in Your shade. They will be full of lush, fruitful life that never runs dry. Father, use me to offer them a cup of Your life-sustaining water.

July 23, 2003

Prayer- I want to die

Father,

I want to die to myself. I don’t like my old self- with all the selfishness, pride, stubbornness, fears, complaining, whining, insecurities. I want to nail my old self up on a cross and let Jesus be resurrected in me. Help me to take up my cross daily and follow You into brand new life.

You are such a powerful and loving Father God, that when I offer myself to die, You give me more life! What a rich, blessed wonderful life. It is eternal life- true life- abundant life. It is never-ending and it is with You! It is now!

Let Jesus be more and more real in my life. Let Him be known through me. Let Him live in me! Use me to carry Jesus to everyone around me. Use me in some way to help Your Kingdom come here on earth as it is in Heaven. Let there be less of me and more of Him!

Father,

Today I’d like to pray for a young man named Rocky and a young girl named Kalyn, both who have been in jail for a while now. Lord, thank You for showing them both You are there with them. Please help them continue to keep their hearts, minds and souls focused on You. Let this “time” they serve as prisoners draw them very close to You. Let them soak up Your word and be still in Your presence. Use this time to prepare them for all Your good purposes.

In fact, Lord, I’d like to pray for prisoners everywhere today. Open their ears so they can hear you in the solitude of their cells. I pray for those who are guilty of all kinds of crimes. I pray for those who have been imprisoned even though they are innocent.

Thank You for the two or three prisoners I read about who began to agree in prayer for a revival in their prison. Once again, You answered in an amazing way. Not only have there been regular prayer and revival meetings in their facility, but Promise Keepers heard about it and is broadcasting one of their revivals to be seen in prisons via satellite. Lord, open the hearts of wardens everywhere to let their inmates particpate. Let my prayers join with these few inmates who started this and let their be a huge revival throughout prison systems.

Let each person who asks Jesus to be their Lord, find freedom (and love, peace and joy) in the confines of their cells.

http://www.promisekeepers.org/redeemthetime/index.htm

July 25, 2003

Prayer- help me be still

Father,

I just want to be still in Your presence- and know with all my heart, mind and soul that You are God. Settle my spirit. Quiet my mind. Let everything in me focus on You- my Holy Lord God Almighty.

July 28, 2003

Prayer- I’m terminal

Holy Father,

Thank You for the knowledge that I don’t have long to live. None of us do. This life is temporary. It could be over at any minute from a gunshot, a car wreck, a heart attack or a terrorist attack.

I want to be ready at all times so I won’t be caught off guard whenever the end comes. It is so exciting to know that the very moment I take my last breath, I step into eternity with You. Let me live always looking forward to what’s ahead, but also enjoying every minute of right now.

Help me to stare death right in the face and not be afraid- for Jesus overcame it and opened the way for me to live forever in Paradise with You. With nothing to fear, let me hold Your hand and walk through every situation each moment brings with peace and calm. You are with me in all things!

Forgive us for trying to live like this world is the only life. Let us live today with our eyes on Heaven. Let us live with the certainty we are going to die. No one escapes death. When Jesus is Lord of our lives, we simply slip from this life into glorious eternity. Father, let me live each day like it could be my last. Help me to treat others like it could be the last time I see them. Let me walk so closely with You that I yearn for You instead of the things of this earth.

July 29, 2003

Prayer- coming in & going out

Father,

There are so many times I wish I could just stay here in Your holy presence, curled up like a little girl in my Daddy’s lap. With You, all is well. All is safe and peaceful and holy. It is heaven to be alone with You. All life’s problems melt away in the glory of who You are.

I know You love to have me come and just be with You. You love to renew me and restore my soul with Your Fresh life. I also know that You want to send me back out. Just like You sent Jesus from Your presence to a dying world. Just like Jesus sent his disciples out from his presence to reach the lost. Lord, I am willing to go. I just don’t ever want to go without You.

This life is too hard. The lost and the hurting are too much for me to handle by myself. It gets discouraging when people continue to chose life apart from You when they could know the joy of Your friendship. And yet, You remind me that Your word does not go out without accomplishing what You intend it to.

So I will continue to come into the sweetness of Your presence. Fill me up with Your loving holiness and send me out. I will go where You send me. Keep me weak before You- so You can be strong in me. Shine through me with every step I take. Let me never grow tired of coming to You and then going out to bring others into Your presence.

July 30, 2003

Prayer- in awe of You

Most Holy God Almighty,

There are times I feel I know You so intimately. It’s like You are right here with me- even a part of me: guiding me, teaching me, showing me things, comforting me, continually calling me closer.

Then there are other times, I stand in complete awe of You…unable to comprehend who You are. Your holiness goes beyond comparison. You are pure love all the way through. There is not even a tiny spot of evil or malice anywhere in You. Your power and glory shine so brightly that shadows and darkness cannot stand in Your presence. Your justice overruns our pale attempts to know the difference between right and wrong. There is no end to Your mercy and grace. How is it that You- the God of everything- would go to any measure to draw us back to a sweet relationship with You?!!

How is it- that You take time from ruling heaven and earth and all creation to care about every little thing in my life? How is it- that You do the same for some other person completely on the other side of the world at the same time? How is it- that You love and are intimately involved in every person’s life on earth and in heaven?

How is it- that the more I know You and love You, I find I don’t know You at all. There is far too much of You to know. There is no end to Your holiness and love! I stand in awe of You!

 

 

June 2, 2003

Prayer- in awe of You!!

Holy Father,

We have been on vacation and I have stood in awe of Your majestic creation. Standing at the top of an Oklahoma mountain, I have looked across the wilderness and seen the spread of Your hand in a thick forest of millions of trees and the quiet reflection of a clear lake. I have walked through the woods and seen the tiny minute details in the mosses and ferns, the birds and squirrels.

I have been flabbergasted by the way You have put it all together to work in perfect harmony and gave it to us- Your most beloved children to enjoy. Father, if I can be so moved by standing in one small place on this planet and be amazed by Your creation, I can only imagine being overwhelmed by being in Your presence.

Father, I don’t want to get caught up in the silly meaningless things that pull me away from You. I don’t want to wait until I pass from this life into the next. Don’t let me settle for being captivated by man-made things. Don’t even let me settle for being overwhelmed by Your creation. I desire You. I want to stand in Your presence and be amazed by who You are- even now! Come, Holy Spirit, come! Let me just stand here in Your presence and be amazed!!!

June 4

Prayer- choices

Father,

Thank You for loving me and never giving up on me! I think of the times one of my children was old enough to have free choice and they made a wrong decision. How it broke my heart. Yet it didn’t diminish my love. How could I ever not love my child? In fact, my love seemed even more intense as I prayed and hoped they would see the right way. I never gave up hope that they would return to Your ways.

It is so amazing that you give us free choice. When our children are younger, they don’t have as much choice. They have to obey. When they reach a certain maturity, I can no longer “force” them to choose the right path. They have the freedom to choose for themselves and I have no control over it (except for all the training to that time, and all the prayers during it!)

It can be so disappointing and heart-breaking when they make a wrong choice. I think of the wrong choices I have made in my life and I know You have completely forgiven and forgotten them. I’m sorry for the sadness I must have caused Your heart, yet I am so thankful that You loved me so much that You never gave up on me. You led me through it and saved me. You always believed in the possibilities You created in me.

I think of what joy it brings me when I see my children freely chose the right way. It makes me long to choose in a way that brings delight and blessings to You. I use my free choice to choose You!!

June 5, 2003

Prayer- Your mercy!

Father,

Thank You for Your mercy on us. I wonder how sin looks to You. Is it ugly and disgusting? Is it a slap in Your face? Is it a nail in Your hand? Is it pure rebellion and disrespect? Is it heart breaking? Is it worthy of death and destruction? I look around at this world and see so much sin, I am overwhelmed. Yet just when I see others’ sin and become disgusted- You show me that pride and self- righteousness are the worst sins of all. We are all sinners without You.

You are completely pure and holy. There is absolutely no flaws or impurities in You. You are perfect- yet You are love. Sin stands in the way between us, and You can’t stand to be apart from us.

We are sinful, yet we are Your children. Your greatest hope and desire must be for us to be holy and pure so we can be one with You. You want that so badly that You sent Jesus- Your very own Son – to die in our place so we might be holy.

You urge us to ask Jesus into our hearts so we can become pure and become intimately involved with You. Your love and Jesus’ pure blood immediately makes us white as snow. You no longer see sin, just the one You love so deeply. Thank You for loving me, for loving all of us! Your mercy and love go beyond our human comprehension- yet it becomes more real each day in Your presence.

June 6, 2003

Prayer- for the crises

Father,

I’m glad things are not always what they appear to be. Thank You for the times we make it through what seems like the worst crisis in the world and then we get a glimpse of what You’ve been doing. Thank You that we can look back in our lives and see how You’ve turned what appeared to be “Bad” situations and used them for Your great plan.

Father, it is good to know we can trust You in ALL situations and know that You are God. You know what You are making. The pain and the discomfort, or even the inconvenience, will ultimately be worth the outcome. I look back to some of the crisis times in my life. I thought I would be crushed and brought to ruin, but You used each one to mold me and bless me. I wouldn’t change a step of my path- even the painful parts- for it has all led me to a deeper relationship with You.

Lord, I pray for several loved ones now- who are feeling the heaviness of the trials of this world. May You help them to realize quickly that You will never leave them alone. May they soon discover that their lives are not out of hand- they are in Your hands. Let them rest in the knowledge that You are leading them into undiscovered territories of living with You. Help them know You in a whole new way as they hold Your hand through the rocky treacherous path. Lead them to the mountaintop where they can get a glimpse of the big view. Reassure them all is well.

June 9, 2003

Prayer- leaving and coming home!

Father,

If you made us all in Your image, You must have infinite characteristics! I look at each of my children and stand in awe of their uniqueness. Each is a thought by You- a special gift to the world and to me. Yet they are not mine.

What a delightful (and at times heart-breaking) responsibility You have entrusted my husband and me with. At times I wonder if You allow us to be parents so we can better understand and love You.

A one-of-a-kind spirit is formed inside us from nothing at all- except love. As this tiny person (whom You already know) develops, You bond us together in love, as we feel the little life begin to move and express it’s own personality. You entrust us with this helpless and vulnerable soul to care for and instruct until it becomes mature enough to make it’s own choices. Even then, You place in parents the urge to run along side of them and coach them as they find their way in this life.

Then comes the time You knew would happen. They are ready for freedom (whether we think so or not!) They pull away from us to choose their own way. As parents, we are both proud and sad at the same time. As they go off into the world, there is a chance they might never come back. It’s their choice. Their path might lead them far away. Our hearts ache to have them back. But love says to let them go.

What joy when a grown child chooses to come back (in spirit- not to live!) What a day when they freely show they love You and are grateful for your love. What a day to celebrate when we see them living their lives (freely by their own choice) in a way that honors You! Father, help us all to choose to come home to You!

June 11, 2003

Prayer- knocking on the door

My Daddy, My Father,

I remember seeing that beautiful painting where Jesus stands at the door and knocks. You told us that You knock at our door, and when we hear Your voice and open the door, You will come into us and dine with us.

Father, looking back, You have been patiently knocking on my door all my life. You have been softly and tenderly calling my name since childhood. You have longed for my company. For so long, I was too busy with other things to answer the door. I knew You were there if I ever needed You, but I didn’t necessarily want to spend my whole life with You. There was too much other noise and distraction in my life to hear Your still small voice. Yet, You kept knocking and calling. You kept waiting and hoping. You knocked, and sought me with all Your heart- out of love.

What a wonderful day when I finally answered the door and asked You into my heart. If I had only known- I would have asked You in sooner! It’s an overflowing abundant life with You. There is always more to feast on every day.

Now I come to You and knock. You promise that when we seek, we will find. When we knock, the door will be opened. I knock on Your door and seek You with all my heart -out of love. I desire to dine with You all the time. Jesus, You are my Bread of Life. Jesus, You are the door.

June 11

Prayer- MISSION OKC tonight!!!! (Billy Graham)

Father,

It is so amazing to see You at work all around. Thank You for giving me open eyes to see. Tonight is the start of the MISSION OKC (Billy Graham Crusade) at the Ford Center. There has already been so much prayer surrounding this that when I walked in for my ushering training, I felt Your Spirit everywhere. Father, be with every person involved tonight from the ushers, greeters, singers, musicians, sound and lighting techs, wheelchair pushers, bus drivers, speakers and Dr. Graham.

Fill each person with Your Holy Spirit and let those who walk in those doors or see it on TV know that You are there. Let them be overwhelmed by Your love and Your presence!

Father, I pray for those who come. Let this be a holy meeting between them and You. Prepare their hearts. Let them feel that hunger for You that we were made with. Let them be ready to invite Jesus into their hearts and may their lives be forever new in You.

Thank You for the unity of spirit that draws so many of Your children together despite differences in how we worship You. Thank You for the way You have led so many people together to work together in harmony for this week. Let us all worship and adore you together!!!

Father, I pray BIG! I pray that individual lives come to You and I pray that our city and state and all the churches find a passionate revival of new life in You! Bless this night, this week, this mission. Let us all bring joy to You!!!

June 13, 2003

Prayer- new lives from last night

Father,

I rejoice with You over Your loved ones who came to You last night at the Billy Graham mission. There are lives who will never be the same. They asked Jesus into their hearts and they will never again be alone. They will go through life following You from this point all through eternity! Thank You for letting me be a part of it. Thank You for the ones that touched my heart out of the hundreds who made the decision to turn to You.

From my little area as an usher, I saw many pass by as I directed them to the nearest escalator to go down to the floor level. There was a holiness as they all walked past. Some walked alone. Others had loved ones holding their hands or their arms. Some were weeping. Others were filled with joy. Some were determined.

I pray for the man in his thirties with long hair and tattoos who walked towards me with joy seeping from every pore. He saw me smiling and grabbed me in a hug, praising “Jesus, Jesus!” and then walked on into a new life. I pray for the young boy (about ten) who walked with more serious determination than most adults, all by himself. I wonder what You will do in his life, Lord. I pray for two of my loved ones who I later found out went forward. May You guide them and help them to grow deep in You, Lord.

Father, we pray for more new lives in You!

June 19

Prayer- children & Vacation Bible School

Father,

I praise You for summer time and the chance to spend more time with my own children and other children! I love Vacation Bible School! Thank You for all the people giving their time, their love and their energy to hold up Jesus to children.

Lord, thank You for the spiritual hunger of children and their open acceptance of You. Help us all to be as open and eager as these children are. They just naturally love You and desire to know more about You. Father, help each child to make the decision to ask You into their hearts early in their lives. Let them hide all Your words deep in their hearts so as they get older, they will not depart from You.

Father, I pray for the children who have no Vacation Bible School to go to (or no one to invite them or even suggest such a thing.) Father, I pray for more believers to take seriously the call to draw children and young people to You. There are still so many children who grow up imprisoned in darkness and without hope. Help us to seize every opportunity to show children and young people Your love. There are many who have never known love. This world can be so hard even for adults (especially for those who do not know You personally.) May we all help more children turn to You so they might know You all the days of their lives and beyond!!!

June 23

Prayer- Water me, Lord!

Lord Jesus,

You are my LIVING water! I went out to my garden this morning after being gone for several days. Many of my plants were wilted! They were desperate for water. As I soaked them, I thought of how I need you desperately. If I try to go very long without coming to You for deep refreshment- my spirit will wilt. I need you every day!

I can try to go through a day without You, but my peace and joy and love grow limp. Life becomes dry and withered without You. I am not much good to myself or anyone else. Even if I try to serve You, if I am dry- it is meaningless. My words, my actions, my very thoughts are useless unless Your Holy water is running through my spirit.

Lord, I come to You now to just soak You up. I come thirsty for You! I come to lay down in Your green pastures and lie beside Your still waters. I come to have my soul restored. Fill me, Holy Spirit! I stand before You knowing that as You fill me- I can do all things. With Your Living water flowing through me, I can go about my day and even the smallest encounters can become holy!! I can bloom and produce eternal results as you live in me!! Here I am! Fill me up!!

June 24, 2003

Prayer for a troubled marriage

Father,

You know that my heart is heavy this morning. We have two dear friends who are considering divorce. It breaks my heart. I know You designed marriage so two people could become one- on the same team. You want us to work together so that we can be there for one another through everything this life offers: Through pain, through joy, through sickness, through fun vacations, through job loss, through financial ups and downs, through having children together or even through not being able to have children together.

Father, You want us to leave our own self-centered lives and truly be there for one another. Marriage can be hard work. It goes against our human nature to put someone else first. We want our own needs to be met. You call us to serve our partner.

Father, I pray for this couple who are under attack. They are each listening to Satan who tells them they should just go their own way. It might seem easier, but Father, I believe there will be even more heartache alone, than sticking it out together. Father, please speak to their hearts. Let them each desire to be on the same team instead of living in such opposition to one another. Lord, give them the desire to try to be a blessing to their partner. Let them begin to see all the good things in one another. Let them see the gift You’ve given them in their soul mate. Draw them back into oneness. Help them make a commitment to bless one another and make it work.

Please do not let Satan win this battle. Give them each open eyes to see what’s going on. Let love win out. Let them turn to You for help. Let Your love flow through them and show them how to make their way through this battle. May a strong marriage come out on the other side of this. After this storm, may they know they can make it through anything with Your help. Let a rock solid marriage and home come out of this trial. May their children see that a good marriage is worth fighting for. May everyone around them see the miracle of Your love prevail.

Father, thank You for the sweetness of marriage.

June 25, 2003

Prayer- for disappointments

Father,

Two of my sons have recently had discouraging disappointments in their lives. Lord, You know the mommy part of me wants to take away all their pain and make everything better. Then You remind me of all the times in my life that You have taken my disappointments and made something absolutely beautiful out of them! Who am I to know what’s best?

You, alone know my children (and me) better than anyone else. You know the plans You’ve made for each of them. How many times have I pleaded for a certain thing- only to find out later that You had something much better in mind!

Father, take my sons’ disappointments. Let this be a time in their lives that they turn to You for comfort, encouragement and direction. Help them learn to trust You and to wait upon You. I know it’s been hard in my life to learn to wait upon You, but I’m so glad that I have. May they also learn to be still before You and know that You are, indeed, leading them. You know what doors to close and what doors will be opening soon. May each of my sons learn the joy of trusting in Your leading. Let them marvel as they see You working in their lives for themselves!

June 26, 2003

Prayer- thunderstorms

Father,

Thank You for last night. I stood with my door open watching the thunderstorm. It was just You and me. You were all around me, surrounding me with Your glory and Your power and Your gentleness. How can You, the God of all the Universe love ME so intimately?

Lord, if I had nothing but You, I would have absolutely everything I need to be complete and whole. You are my best friend, my guide, my Teacher, my comforter, the very love of my life! I can talk to You about anything and everything. You understand me and know me and STILL LOVE ME!

You look past my shortcomings and bring out the very best in me. As much as I know You love me- You love others just as intimately. I know You are with my friend in CA who feels all alone there. I have no doubt that You are using this time in her life to let her feel that “just You and me” intimacy. I also know that You are the same God to my friend in Idaho whose husband just passed on. And to someone in Iraq who knows that You are with them when they feel all alone. Lord, let them fall so deeply in love with You that they will know all the days of their lives that You are with them. Let them find everything they need in You.

Father, I also thank You for all the millions of blessings You have showered me with beyond just Yourself! Even though I have all I need in You, You have surrounded me with family, friends, trees and flowers, sunsets and thunderstorms! You have bathed me in love! I am blessed beyond words!!!

June 30, 2003

Prayer- Divine encounter

Father,

Thank You for what society might call a “coincidence” yesterday. I call it another of Your “Divine encounters.” Because of a set of unusual circumstances, my husband and I ended up at a restaurant we hadn’t been to in ages. Our waitress happened to be a young girl who we hadn’t seen in almost two years who obviously needed a spiritual boost.

She ended up meeting us at church after work. Father, she confessed some major mistakes and is desperately trying to make it on her own. She feels as if everyone else in her life has turned their back on her. Although she tries to appear very self-efficient, she is very vulnerable, alone and needy. She needs You! She is struggling with the choices she has made and says she wants to get back on Your path.

Help her to see the very moment she thought about turning her life back around, You were there to point her in the right direction through “coincidences” no one else could have maneuvered. Let her see deep in her heart that You have been with her even in her journey through the dark side. And now, let her hear Jesus’ voice calling her back into the Light.

Father, I’m not sure we will see her again. She avoided giving us her address and phone number. I pray that we do. More importantly, I pray that whatever was said and done in our “chance meeting” goes way beyond what I could ever do on my own. I pray that Your Holy Spirit goes with her when I cannot and continues to guide her and lead her closer to You. If it is Your will, bring her back again. If she goes on and I do not see her again, I will continue to pray for this beautiful child of Yours who stands between disaster and abundant life with You. Let the “Divine encounter” yesterday continue to call her to You! Go with her, Lord, and arrange many more such encounters in her life!

May 12

Prayer – for mothers

Father,

Thank you for mothers who desire the very best for their children no matter what their ages are. Thank you for their patience and endurance for the many times their love and sacrifice goes unnoticed. Thank you for the times our children have their own kids, and finally realize how very much we love them!

Thank you mothers’ prayers that come deep from within the soul on behalf of their children. Thank you for the mothers who continue to believe and want the best for children, even when everyone else has given up on. Thank you for moms who stand their ground even when it might make them unpopular.

Please be with those moms whose children have already passed from this world before they did. Comfort their hearts and reassure them they will be reunited. Be with those mothers who gave up their children for adoption, knowing they could not give their children what they needed. Be with the moms who stepped in to care for children who were not carried in their wombs, yet they love them all the same.

Help there be forgiveness for moms who let us down and honor and respect for moms who give everything they can. Thank you, Lord, for creating moms!

May 13

Prayer- for a sinner

Father,

You are so Holy and Pure that we cannot even begin to comprehend the depth of Your love. Thank You for loving me even when I sin. You see the best in me and continue to hope that I live up to what You created me to be. How I thank You for being so patient with me.

You are my loving Father, who loves me even when I let You down. I’m so sorry when I disappoint You with my prideful attitude. Forgive me when I look down on someone else I see sinning, when all the while I am. Remind me to look into my own heart first. Father, please point out the uncleanliness and help me to turn away from it. After tasting Your holiness, there is absolutely no sin that can compare with the sweetness of being one with You. Keep me focused on You alone.

Help me love others despite their uncleanliness. Help me to be patient with them as You are with me. Let me pray for them and love them instead of judging them. Lord, draw them close to You. Draw me close to You. We are all sinners and need Jesus’ saving grace. We can all be holy because of Jesus. Instead of judging, help me to pray for myself and for others who need You so desperately. We need Your holiness.

May 16

Prayer- someone thinking of suicide

Father,

I know You have the deepest love for those who are lost and hurting. There are two people who feel desperately hopeless right now. One attempted suicide and the other is talking about it. Father, reach them in their darkness. Open their eyes that they may see a glimpse of You. Give them hope and show them the way out of the pit they have fallen in.

Help them to wait upon You and know that all is well. Help them to know that You love them more than they can ever comprehend. Make Your love known to them in a very real and personal way. Let them know they will never be alone. Let them see their value in Your eyes. Heal the deep hurts that have driven them to such despair. Let them taste true joy in knowing You.

Let them feel Your hand as You lead them through the valley of the shadow of death. Help them to recognize the lies and schemes of Satan and turn away from him. Let them listen to the truth of Your love for them. Father, I also pray for those who are reaching out to them right now. Give them Your wisdom and love and compassion. Let them see Jesus in those who are with them. Let them reach out and take Your hand and walk with You into a fresh new life of hope.

May 19

Prayer- soon-to-be-born babies and parents

Father,

Life is such a miracle! I have three nieces who are expecting babies right now. One just found out; one is due to give birth any time and the other is carrying twins! Father, Only You can create a new life where there was nothing at all before! Only You can form these new souls in their mother’s wombs. You already intimately know these unnamed babies. You know whether they will be shy or loud, studious or athletic, calm or hyper. You know the plans You’ve made for their lives.

Father, I pray that You bless these little babies even while they are still in their mother’s wombs. Prepare their moms and their dads for the exciting and challenging job of being parents. Reassure any uncertainties. Remind them You will be with them through middle-of-the-night feedings, learning to ride their first bike, middle school chaos, driving a car, and going on dates. Father, thank You that we don’t have to know everything about being a parent before we become one. Thank You that You train us as we train our children.

Thank You for the absolute joy and honor of being parents. Thank You for sharing Your children with us and entrusting us to love and care for them. Thank You for being our parent and the parent to our children (whether unborn or stepping out into independence!)

May 20, 2003

Prayer- for unborn twins at risk

Father,

OK- Lord, I know You had me pray for those unborn babies and their parents for a reason yesterday. Now the mother of the twins is in the hospital and they are trying desperately to hold off the labor she’s trying to go into.

Father, I know that You know these two little boys who are not due to be born until September. I know that You formed them (and still are) with Your very own hands. Father, I know You have plans for them and I trust that You know exactly what is perfectly right for each baby boy and their parents, Mike and Melissa. I ask You to bless this situation and keep everyone in Your perfect care.

Lord, I pray for Mike and Melissa’s faith in You (and everyone else’s involved- including mine!) I pray that our faith in You grows as we trust You through this situation. These are Your boys, Father. Mike and Melissa are Your children, also. Please let Your peace that goes beyond understanding completely flow over them and through them right now. Reassure them that You are indeed with them and their babies.

Inspire and encourage the doctors, nurses and family. Remind each person to turn to You at this time and to put these two tiny lives in Your hands. You know what is absolutely best. We trust You. Bless Melissa and calm her soul and her body. Let her rest in Your care. Give Mike peace as he turns to You. Thank You, Father, for hearing our prayers. We know You are already working in this situation and we wait upon You to finish the work that You began.

May 21, 2003

Prayer- for Your twins

Father,

Another prayer for the twins who were born yesterday. One died, and one is fighting to live at 1 lb. 6 oz. Father, it is so comforting to know they are both in Your tender care. They are both Your boys and You love each of them. Little Braden is already Home in Heaven with You. Little Dillon came into this world fighting and that’s what he continues to do in the Neonatal ICU.

You have specific plans for each one of those boys. You know the number of hairs on their tiny heads and the plans for their lives in this world and in their eternal Home. Father, thank You for the miraculous gift of both boys!

Please continue to comfort and give extra strength to Mike and Melissa (Dad & Mom) and each of the grandparents and friends and family members. Thank You for the miracle of new life and for the absolute promise of eternal life (which is a lot longer than this life will ever be!) Thank You for the reassurance that twins separated at birth can be reunited forever with You. Thank You for the joy to come and the joy here on earth!

May 22, 2003

Prayer- for a new life in You

Father,

It’s so exciting to see new life in You. Thank you for letting me witness a new creation taking place. A much loved and prayed for relative is discovering for himself that You are ALIVE!

He’s finding out that Your Word is the LIVING WORD! the words are not just empty words in a Bible- that You are speaking to him! He’s hungering and thirsting after You. May You help him to desire to do more than just be born as a new creature. May You help him grow and mature deeply and quickly so he may know more and more of you. Don’t let him be satisfied with being born. Let his hunger and thirst for you lead him ever closer to You. Let his passion for You spill over to those around him. Let his joy in You grow as he learns there is no end to getting to know You. May every day of his life be an adventure of living with You.

How I praise You for the overflowing abundant life in You. Thank You for seeing someone else come to know You in such a real way. Bless this new life in You and remind me to never take my life with You for granted. You are my joyful loving Lord. Continue to reveal Yourself to those who truly turn to You with all their heart, minds and souls.

May 23

Prayer- for those going through trials

Father,

I love coming to You. You are my source of life, strength, hope and love. Father, there are several friends and family members going through very challenging trials right now. Lord, I pray on their behalf. I know that You know them and love them even more than I do. As much as I want good things for their lives, You desire even better things. I have no doubt that You hold their lives and their futures in Your hands. There are no better hands to be in. Help them to wait upon You.

Help them to turn to You for everything- for calmness, for strength, for wisdom, for hope, for patience. As they turn to You, fill them with Your Holy Spirit and reassure them they are not alone. Remind them that You are God and that You have good plans for them- better than we could ever scheme up ourselves. Father, help them to trust You through the fog of uncertainty. Let their certainty be found in You and not in their circumstances.

Father, I pray that the very second worries and fears threaten to edge their way in that You remind them to immediately turn to You. Help them take their eyes off the stormy raging seas and walk on water with You. Let them know the joy of depending on You alone when everything around tells them to panic. Father, during these trials- help their faith in You to grow even deeper. Father, I pray for my dear ones who are walking through the fire. Let them see You are walking through it with them- and they will not be burned.

May 27

Prayer- Memorial Day

Father,

Thank You for the wonderful people You’ve put in my life who have already won the race and gone home to You. Thank You for the witness of their lives. How I miss them, yet rejoice for them- knowing they are enjoying Your very presence and the home You’ve prepared just for them.

Thank You that they lived with Your spirit shining through in such a way that it drew me closer to You. Thank You for their faith in You through the difficult parts of this earthly life. I saw them lean on You and receive the help and the guidance they needed. Thank You for the unselfish way I saw them live- loving me and loving others- but most of all- loving You.

Father, I look forward to the time when I will be at Home in heaven with them and with You. I pray that You help me live my life so filled with You, that if others look to me- they will see You. I pray that if there are those who follow me- they will see me following You and they will find You for themselves. Let my memorial be a life pointed towards You.

March 3, 2003

Father,

I hold my friend before you who is at a big crossroads in her life. It seems there is a decision before her that calls for a choice. Lord, This is an important time to turn to You. I know she doesn’t want to choose against Your will.

There is no doubt in my mind that she is already seeking Your guidance in this matter. I join with her in lifting the situation up before You. Father, help her to be still before You until You make the way clear to her. I know that You have Your own perfect timing. Let her continue to seek Your will above anything else. I know that You will show her the way at exactly the right time.

It is so wonderful to know that we do not have to go through life blindly, not knowing what to do. You are right here to take our hand and guide us one step at a time. It is so reassuring to know that You know the past, You see the present and You know the future. Who else can we turn to for advice and leadership- except You. You know the plans for us. They are plans for good and not harm. Father, I trust You to help me with all my choices. I pray that You help my friend rest calmly in You as she makes her choice. Give her Your peace in the midst of her uncertainty and give her Your certainty when You’ve led her to the right place. Thank You, Father!

March 5, 2003

Father,

I am always amazed at the way praying to You changes things! Yesterday there were two major situations- one with a friend and one with a family member. They both appear to involve long term challenges.

The human part of me was tempted to say, “Oh, this is too big for anyone to solve!”

But thankfully, I immediately remembered all the many crisis situations You have held my hand through. Lord, I thank You for every single one. Being able to look back and see how You led me through so much reassured me that You will indeed lead them through their battles also! And as they turn to You, may their faith will grow as they see You at work in everything they go through.

Father, thank You for knowing that there is NOTHING that is too big for You. You are with us no matter what we must endure. You bring about good through every “crisis” as we turn to You. I’m so glad I know to immediately turn to You for help at the beginning of every battle now. I know not to wait and try to fight on my own. Thank You that I know that I can turn to You on behalf of others going through trauma. You move when we come to You!

Thank You for the hope already apparent in both situations. The battle is far from over, but You have been faithful in showing that You are with them both right in the middle of their storms. Thank You that none of us need face this hard life without You! Thank you for the knowledge that You will show us victory in EVERY fight!

March 6, 2003

Prayer- alone time

Father,

How I cherish my alone time with You. I cannot live without it. Thank You for being a jealous God. You actually desire alone time with me as much as I do with You. Thank You for the way You pull me away from everything and bring me back to You when I get too wrapped up in the world.

I think of how often Jesus went alone into the desert or into the hills to be alone with You. If Jesus needed it, how much more do I need it? The most precious place to be is in Your Holy presence!

When I am hurt- I run to You and You heal my heart. When I feel wronged- I run to You and You lovingly show me both my right and my wrong. When I feel exhausted- I run to You and You refresh and renew me in ways nothing else can. When I am worried- I run to You- and You calm my soul and show me all is well. When I am scared- I run to You and You remind me that You are with me and there is absolutely nothing to fear. When I am overwhelmed- I run to You- and You lift me up and show me that I can do all things with Jesus to strengthen me! When I am dreary- I run to You and You fill me with joy! When I am confused- I run to You and You give me such wisdom and understanding that it boggles my mind.

Lord, I run to You- and You are always anxiously awaiting me with open arms. Thank You for Your faithfulness in never leaving me alone to face this world. Thank You for the promise of the time to come- when I will no longer have to run to You, I will live in Your house, in Your presence forever! How I love You for loving me!

March 7, 2003

Prayer- soldiers and families

Father,

Just as certainly as I know Jesus has led me through all the difficult times in my life, I know he will do the same for others who turn to him. Father, there are so many people affected by the possible war in front of us. There are young men and women who have already left their families and their homes to stand ready for possible fighting.

Their lives and their families hang in limbo swirling with a mixture of worry, fear, bravery, determination and a loneliness for loved ones. Father, let them turn to You in a whole new way during this challenging time. Let this be the time they discover they need You. Let even this time of conflict and turmoil produce new life in You.

Lord, be with those who are right on the front lines, who realize their earthly lives could very well end soon. Help them to rest assured of eternal life with You no matter what happens. Be with those who are facing decisions to send troops into dangerous situations. Let them seek Your guidance and wisdom and not lean on their own understanding.

Be with those who are left at home to take care of daily life without their spouse. Help them to turn to You for the peace, energy, company and knowledge they need to keep up the home front. For those with children, let them turn to You to maintain a secure and loving environment. Let the kids know that You are with them and their parents.

Father, I have seen You take me through the valley of the shadow of death and teach me to fear no evil because You are with me. I pray that the same thing happen to those who face their valleys right now. Hold their hands and help them to come out closer to You on the other side.

March 10, 2003

Prayer- blood relatives

Father,

You truly are my Father. I am Your daughter. Not only am I blessed to have You as my Father, but You have given me a huge family with multitudes of brothers and sisters!

My cup overflows as I think of “older” brothers and sisters who have mentored me along the way. Then there are brothers and sisters who travel with me and we discover more of Your wonderful truth together every day. There are those who have already passed from this life who I know will be there to cheer my way into eternity. There are younger brothers and sisters who I can encourage and show the way.

There are brand new relatives to discover everywhere I go. I feel like I’ve known them forever as soon as I meet them, like the sister I met while walking this morning. Jesus’ blood runs in her just as surely as it does in me. Our spirits recognize the relation immediately. I have no idea if I will ever see this sister again in this life, but we are most certainly related and we will be together again.

As I think of all the family in Christ You have given me- I am overjoyed. What a family reunion we will all have when we gather in Your eternal Home! You are our Father!

March 11, 2003

Prayer- our little girl grown up!

Father,

The time is getting close for our daughter to graduate from highschool. She is anxiously awaiting her freedom and independence. She and her friend are making exciting plans to move out and live on their own.

Lord, You know how hard it is for us parents to let go, after almost 18 years of protecting, providing, leading, setting the limits. Now, she is ready to head out on her own. She is confident and determined. I’m so glad. Yet from experience, her dad and I know how hard the world is. There will be many challenges and heartbreaks. How we long to protect her from all that, but we know we can’t. She will grow strong in You.

Father, we send her forth into Your hands. (She’s been there all along.) You can go with her where we can’t. You be her parent now (I know, You always have been)- but speak to her when she needs encouragement, guidance, reprimands. Provide for her and let her know she is safe with You. Let her be sensitive to Your presence and Your voice.

In the meantime, we still have at least two more months with her in our home. Help us prepare her (and us) for her independence. Help her never to grow so heady on freedom that she doesn’t realize her dependence on You! Bless our little girl who is growing up!

March 12, 2003

Prayer- walk with You

Father,

What a privilege and honor- to walk alone with You in the coolness and freshness of the morning. Just You and me! You surround me with Your glory and shower me with delightful gifts of creation all around.

How wonderful to be still in my soul and know that You are God. It doesn’t matter how burdened I am when I come to You. As I walk and talk to You, all becomes well. You take my burden and reassure me that You are God and all is in Your hands- the same hands that created the birds singing praises all around me- the same hands that have guided all those who turn to you for generations and generations- the same hands which now holds my hand and leads me.

What a gift to be able to leave the crazy world behind and walk in the garden with You. You restore my soul as we walk. You lead me onto righteous paths as we walk. You comfort me and show me the way. How I wish everyone would hear Your invitation to take a quiet personal walk with You.

March 13, 2003

Father,

Thank You for hearing my prayers. I know that You will listen and act. I pray for my friend today. I bring him before You. He is in turmoil questioning why You let bad things happen to good people. He is questioning the value of being a Christian. He is wondering what good it does to believe if there are so many hardships.

Father, I stand before You on his behalf this morning. You have said that if we seek we will find. He is seeking answers to age old questions, Lord. But they are his personal questions. I pray that You show him the answer. Let him see the only answer is Jesus. Nothing makes sense in this life until we give ourselves to You and ask Jesus into our lives. The idea of Jesus dying on the cross may seem foolish to those- until they actually just kneel before You and submit their lives to You. Then the light bulb goes on and things begin to open up.

Lord, I pray that You help him to see that the first step to all his answers is to simply give all to You. With Jesus in his heart, the other questions become meaningless compared to the rich joys and peace and love found in You. Then we can walk in faith in You, not having to have all the answers. Then we are able to trust You, for we know You for ourselves. Father, help him to truly come to know You for himself. Let his soul be still and know that You are God. Let him give up the fight and let Jesus into his heart.

Father, I pray for my friend. I pray that through this wrestling, he comes to KNOW YOU for himself. Give him the confident peace that comes from personally knowing You. Let him find new life in Jesus.

March 14, 2003

Prayer good sportsmanship

Father,

I come to You burdened this morning for an increasing problem. Last night I attended yet another sports event where bad sportsmanship prevailed. It wasn’t just the players, but the spectators and parents. It is almost shocking to see people lose their self control over a game. Is it because it’s become more than a game?

Father, please forgive us when we let any type of sports become a god. We worship victory and fame above You. You specifically said we shall have no other gods before You. How many times do we put sports above You?

It’s another one of those things that sneaks in and gets hold of us before we know it. First we enjoy the games, then they become everything to us. Before we know it, we’re obsessed by it. Father, please search our hearts and show us the difference in priorities between games and living for You. Father, I ask this not just for myself, but for everyone. Search our hearts and show us the little gods we worship. I choose to worship You – God Almighty above all.

Father, remind me at each game I go to- to pray for calmness and peace for myself, every player, coach, referee and spectator. I even ask that You put it on everyone’s heart to stop and pray and ask that You help them play or participate in such a way that it brings glory to You instead of shame.

March 17, 2003

Prayer- raking leaves

Father,

My husband and I have been raking up leaves and cleaning the yard after winter. I have been thinking of Your marvelous designs. You have created everything to work together for good. Leaves dry up and fall off the trees in the Fall and blanket the soil all through the Winter. You knew the young plants and tender roots needed the extra warmth during freezes. That also allows the sun to get through the empty tree branches to warm our homes and keep us cozy. The leaves settle on the ground and begin to decompose, enriching the soil and providing nutrients to the plants so at the precise time they are ready to spring forth with new life.

Then comes Spring, and all the leaves threaten to burst open from the seemingly dead branches ready to provide shade and cool shelter. It is mind boggling to think of all it takes to make all this happen at just the right times. No scientist or engineer could have ever figured out how to make everything work together with such accuracy. It is crazy to think any of this could ever happen by chance or on accident.

 

It is awesome to look around and see new sprouts coming up where it looked like there was no life before. All creation is ready to praise your Holy name! Everything that lives reaches up towards You. The animals come to life with renewed energy and the birds sing out just for the joy of living.

Raking the leaves reminds me we made it through another Winter. You were here all along with Your eternal plan busy at work , even when we could not always see it. Please hear my voice join in the Joyful chorus of Spring as we all praise You for being who You are!

March 20, 2003

Prayer- for strength and courage

Father,

You are Lord God Almighty. You have been forever and You still will be forever. You have been with men through every battle and war throughout history and You will be in this one also.

Father, I ask that as soldiers and families turn to You in this time of danger and uncertainty, that You remind them You are with them. Let them rest in You. Let the be strong and courageous. Help them not to give in to fear and worry. Let them draw close to You for everything they need right now.

I just got through reading about Joshua preparing to take his people into a strange land filled with enemies. You told him over and over again to be strong and courageous. I know that we often grow stronger in You when we go through perilous times. Let each soldier, each family member and our nation grow stronger as we turn to You right now!

March 24, 2003

Heavenly Father,

You are Lord God Almighty in times of peace and in times of war. You reign above all no matter what is going on. Nothing can take away from Your holiness.

Father, we know there are more people turning to You right now in this time of danger and uncertainty. Deep in people’s hearts they somehow know that You are the only certainty. Lord, please forgive us for not turning to You more often when things are more peaceful and sure. There is a new level in our relationship with You when there is no where else to turn except You. Special blessings come from going through the storm with You.

On this day, we pray for those who have had the security knocked out of them. We pray for those who have had loved ones killed in battle. We pray for those who have been wounded. We pray for those who have been captured and are being held prisoner. We lift them all up to You with all the faith that You will draw near to them and give them peace, strength and courage in their time of desperate need.

Father, remind us how powerful and effective prayer can be. Let us all turn to You. Let America turn to You. Let the world turn to You. We will find everything we need as we turn to You. We need You, Lord. You are our security. You are our peace in the middle of the war.

March 25, 2003

Prayer- live with Him!

Father,

There is a rich joy that comes from living with You day in and day out that goes beyond anything else we could ever experience. Thank You for desiring a relationship with us. It is almost unimaginable that You love us so much that You sent Jesus to die for us. Just so we could have a relationship with You. And now he lives in me!

It doesn’t matter if I encounter storms in this life- for You are with me. It doesn’t matter if I must walk through the valley of the shadow of death- for You are with me. If I walk high on a mountain top and see wonders never seen before- You are with me. If I see suffering which rips open my heart- You are with me. If I must fight in the face of fear and danger- You are with me. When I sit on the porch with my husband or go on a walk with my grandchild- You are with me!

There is no where I could ever go or nothing I could ever face- where You do not go with me. Thank You for the real presence of Jesus in my life. I often wish I could prove him to others, so they might know the joy of living with him. Father, let my life be that proof.

March 31, 2003

Prayer- cost of freedom

Father,

Praise You for our precious freedom. I fully realize it is not free. It has been given to me at an extremely high price. Father, I think of the thousands of sons, husbands, fathers and neighbors who have fought and given their lives so that I might speak openly. Please help me use this costly freedom wisely.

Lord, my heart is with the men and women fighting. Even now they guard our freedom in this country, and struggle to give freedom a chance to a very brutalized people. They fight, fully aware it could cost them their lives. They battle despite witnessing the reality of friends falling around them. They battle for freedom for the innocent and weak. They even risk their lives for the protestor who chains himself to a pole as he hurls insults at the very ones in conflict for his freedom.

Lord, You said there is no greater love than one who will lay down his life for his friends. Bless those who are willing to do just that. Most of all, I thank You for Jesus, who laid down His life for me so I could have the ultimate freedom. A freedom no regime or thug or army or circumstances can ever take away. I am free to live an abundant life with You. You died for me even while I was still rebelling and protesting against You. Thank You for my precious freedom! I will never take it for granted. Help me love You back in such a way that I am willing to lay down my life for You and for others.

February 3, 2003

Father,

I think of the astronauts who were willing to risk their lives to explore space on behalf of the world. They knew what the dangers were, yet they made a deliberate choice to go into space knowing it could cost them their lives.

I think of the soldiers who are at present making deliberate choices to face the threat of death to protect those who are unable to protect themselves. They realize if the need comes to lay down their life for the sake of freedom, they will do it.

It makes me wonder. Lord, am I willing to lay down my life in order for others to know the saving grace of Jesus? Am I willing to give up the security of where I’m at, the comforts of home, the right to follow my own desires? Am I willing to face giving up everything so that someone might come to know You as their very own Lord and Savior?

Am I willing to die for You or even more… am I willing to live my life without any regard to self?

Help my will be Yours!

February 5, 2003

Lord,

You know I’ve been so sick the last few days, I could do nothing at all to help my family or myself. In fact, I had no choice but to depend upon others to help me. I felt so useless and unproductive.

Yet, once again, You have reminded me that Your love for me is not contingent on what works I do, but who I am. You love me whether I am helplessly flat on my back or whether I am doing some great thing for You. Your love has no limits. It goes far beyond human understanding.

There is no way to measure or describe the depth, width, height, or breadth of Your love. It is unending and everlasting. The way that’s come closest to knowing the vastness of Your love is Your gift of Jesus’ life for us when we still turned our backs on You. We will probably still be amazed at Jesus’ gift when we get to heaven. We will be forever crying out “Holy, holy, holy!”

February 7, 2003

Father,

Thank You so much!! I’m well! I just want to jump up and down with new life and energy!! I can only imagine those who have been sick for year and receive healing- my celebration would pale in comparison!

To make this day even better, I got more news of answered prayers in someone’s life! Six months ago, this young couple were literally on the verge of a violent divorce. So much has changed. How can I ever thank You for the wonderful life-saving, hope-bringing light of Your Son which has shown brightly in what seemed to be hopeless darkness.

The young wife has cried in prayer to You, been obedient when others urged her to walk away. Searched for Your will above her own- and now The husband is reaching for Your hope, Your word, Your direction and there are faithful people standing by him to help him grow stronger in You.

You are an amazing God. It is so exciting to see You constantly at work. The more we turn to You, the more we see it!! Show us more! And show us how our lives need to line up to Your will.

February 10, 2003

Father,

We are at war today. I’m not talking about the Iraq or North Korea crisis, although they fall under this same war.

My friend told me about going to clean up her brother’s house. He had been evicted and had disappeared. He has four children who are not living with him because of his deep drug and emotional problems. My friend was shocked at the sights she found- including a mural he painted on one wall with praying hands asking God to save his babies. On the opposite wall, a large painting of a naked woman giving “the finger” loomed. It showed the battle that rages in her brother’s soul.

Father, remind us that our real enemies are not flesh and blood people. Our struggle is against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Lord, strengthen and protect us. Arm us with Your truth and send us forth into battle. We know we could never win on our own power. That is why we come to You, constantly asking You what Your battle plans are. What are Your orders? Where do You need us to go? What or who do You need us to pray for? We stand ready.

Let us never fear or grow faint, but keep coming to You. You hold all the power and weapons needed to overcome each battle. Help us to pray with confidence and live with bold assurance that we have victory in You. Let us have hope, love and assurance for those who are too weak, too beat up, too bound by darkness to see the victory. We fight for them. We fight for You. Our weapons are prayer and love.

February 11, 2003

Father,

There may be new threats of possible terrorist attacks, possible wars, job lay-offs, uncertain financial futures. But none of that changes the fact that You, alone, are Lord God Almighty! You rule with all authority and power.

There is no need to worry or fear, for You are in control. When we take our eyes off you and see the overwhelming things going on around us, we become weak and fearful and powerless. We see the storm and begin to sink in the waves that beat around us. Yet when we keep our eyes on You and trust in You, we can walk on water! We can walk unafraid in the midst of all reports of doom and disaster. Even if the tidal wave does come upon us and we were to lose our job or a war does begin- we can walk hand-in-hand with Jesus right through the eye of the storm. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

Father, we come to You today, for we know we need You. We know that You will supply everything that is needed when it is needed. Please strengthen us so we will be more than ready to tell all those around us where our hope comes from! In the storm or in calm waters!

February 12, 2003

Holy Father,

You are the Greatest Lover. You have pursued us since You first thought us into existence. The most urgent passion of Your heart is that we would love You back. You don’t make us love You- although You very easily could. But then, perhaps it wouldn’t be true love.

Father, it’s hard to believe that You- the God of all the wonders beyond our galaxy- love us so much. You desire a sweet relationship with us. You want us to be intimately familiar with You. It’s so important to You, that You sent Jesus to die so we might live with You. Right now! We don’t have to wait until some far-off future. We get to live with You today!

Oh Lord, forgive me for so taking so long in my life to accept Your deep love. But now that I have, it seems I come to know Your love on a new level each day. You shower me with gifts of hope, peace, strength, wisdom- but most of all- I am bathed in Your love. There is no end to it! Your love is eternal, growing, deepening, refreshing.

I love You because You first loved me!

February 13, 2003

Father,

I want to love You because You have loved me, even when I have been unlovable. Lord, I want to bring joy to Your heart and a smile to Your face. May my love go beyond just seeking blessings from You. I desire to love You with ALL my heart, ALL my mind and All my soul.

You deserve my love. You have been so faithful and patient with me. Your love has forgiven my sins, believed in me when I have failed. Your love looks past my weakness and sees all that You created me to be. You lovingly mold me towards that vision even now. Your love corrects me, teaches me, guides me and comforts me. I am surrounded and held up in Your love. Nothing else can compare.

Father, I willingly give my life, my love to You. Let my words, my actions, my thoughts, my life sing love songs to You! My gift of love pales in comparison to Yours, but I know it brings a smile to You. Help me to love You more each day. Help me keep my love for You simple and pure as a child’s love is for their beloved daddy.

February 14, 2003

Father,

Today is Valentine’s Day and it is a day to express love. Lord, You are the author, creator, inventor of love. No, more than that- You are love! Your love for us goes far beyond expressions of flowers- although You surround us with a garden more beautiful than man could ever make. Your love goes far beyond boxes of chocolates, although You love to surprise us with new flavors and morsels of truth everyday. Your love goes far beyond a hand-made heart, You give us Yourself. You gave us Your Son to die so we can live eternally in love with You.

Your love overwhelms us! How we long to return Your love. You have told us Your heart’s desire. You long for us to love You with all our heart, mind and soul. You want us to experience the joy of loving others. What an overflowing, abundant life– to live in love with You and to begin to love others. What an adventure to walk hand-in-hand with You every day and to experience love at a new level.

Help us be willing to give up our selfish ways. Continue to teach us about real love. Thank You for the greatest gift of all- love. As You love us, show us how to pass love on to others.

February 17, 2003

Lord,

Praise You for being the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! You are with me even until the end of time. Nothing could ever separate us. You are with me no matter whether the weather is sunny and delightful, or dark and dreary. You are with me whether my life seems happy and blessed, or whether I am going through the darkest time of my life.

You are with me when I am sick and when I am well. You are with me even when friends and family seem far away. There is no where I can go to get away from You. Why would I ever want to?

It still amazes me that the Lord God of the whole entire universe and beyond loves me in such a personal way. You are my friend, my God, my Lord, my King, my Savior, my Counselor, my Teacher, my hope, my Love!

You are life itself! What do I ever need to fear in life with You in my heart– leading me Home!

February 19, 2003

Father,

You know I love Spring! Even on this dreary day with overcast skies, there’s a hint of Spring all around. The daffodils are green and have buds getting ready to splash open with color! Things are beginning to green up.

Even though we will probably still have more cold weather ahead, Your promise of Spring is right in front of us. Your seasons march on no matter what. There is a time for everything. No matter how dull or cold life might seem right now, Spring always comes. You lead us through the winters of our lives. But they won’t last forever. There’s always the promise of fresh new life right up ahead!

Joy will come again just as certainly as Spring will come. Father, thank You for never leaving us alone in our winters and thank You for the bright promise of Spring before us! Please reassure those who are in their winter. You have been faithful through every season of my life and I praise You for being God Almighty!!

February 20, 2003

Father,

I love coming to You first thing in the morning. I long to spend time with You early – before my day gets started. I want to come to You before I listen to anyone else. I come to You to Acknowledge my great need for You. I come to You so You can bless this day and make it holy. I come to You to so that I might be filled with You. That way I won’t be going through my day on my own power, but with Yours.

Lord, I come to You because You are the only one who can give true life. You alone give us breath. You alone give us peace and perseverance. You alone give us holy guidance so our lives can be lined up with Your perfect will, instead of blindly groping our way through life.

Father, I come to You, not only to receive what You have to give me, but I want to bless You. I want You to know that You come first in my life, nay heart, my mind and my soul. Let my humble attempts to bless You bring joy to Your heart. I know that it does, for You are my Father and I am Your child. I long to live closely with You by coming to You each day! Bless this day and make it holy!

February 21, 2003

Father,

You are a God of never-ending mysteries!! I love it! I just heard on the news that they are studying a strange light that seems to show up in videos of tornados and thunderstorms. The light seems to always go against the wind in the storm. As of yet, there is no explanation. Even Gary England, the weather genius is dumbfounded!

Right when we think we know it all, You show us there is so much more we do not know! Who can ever comprehend Your imagination, creativity and wisdom? You, who created galaxies far beyond what we can even dream of. You, who thought of every tiny particle that makes up all there is! You, who long ago knew what makes our brain work and breathes life into cells to form new babies from nothing at all!

Forgive us our prideful “knowledge.” All wisdom and true knowledge come from You. Thank You for the awesome mysteries in this life which constantly remind us that no one can know more than the Creator. Can the canvas say to the artist- “I know more than you?”

Lord, open our eyes to more and more of Your awesome mysteries. Let us continue to kneel in Your presence out of amazement of all You create, all You do and who You are. One day, when we step from this life, I believe we will see clearly all the things we can only see through the fog of earthly eyes. When we see through eternal eyes, we will be so continually amazed- all we will be able to do is cry “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!”

February 24, 2003

Father,

It is mind-boggling to think that You sent Jesus to serve us! Here You are- the most Powerful, Awesome, Majestic God of all that there is- and You sent Your very own Son to serve us with love and humility.

You could have sent a mighty army of angels for all to see. You could have gotten our attention with a world-wide earthquake or lightening such as has never been seen before. You could have shown us Yourself in all your glory and might. But You chose to send Jesus to be born and live as one of us! Not only that- but he showed us how to wash other’s feet! Like a servant!

Father, Your ideas of might and power and greatness are so completely different than what our human nature tells us. Jesus, You have told us that whoever wants to be great needs to serve. Please fill us overflowing with Your love so we can go against our urges to be first, and serve with love. Let us serve others out of love for You, because You first served us.

February 25, 2003

Father,

What an astounding gift You have given us! No matter what our sin has been, when we ask for forgiveness, You have already given it. As I look at the snow, it’s as if all the guilt and shame in our life is completely covered up by pure white snow!

But Your mercy goes far beyond that. You don’t just “cover up our sins” and whitewash us to make us holy. Jesus death on the cross completely does away with our guilt. You no longer remember them. You said they are as far away as the east is from the west. The west never meets the east! Remind us of that when we try to take back our guilt.

Lord, I know that others may long remember our sins, even after You have forgiven us– but You don’t! And You are the one who counts. We are pure and clean and holy in Your eyes, because You see us through Jesus. Father, help us to go and sin no more!

February 26, 2003

Father,

I pray for those who face mental and emotional illness. Lord, I have seen loved ones who have suffered and been set free from the torment of emotional imprisonment. I know You are able to heal these conditions in Your own perfect timing. I have seen You do it!

I have also been inspired by those who learn to live with You- in peace- in spite of their conditions. I know You work in all situations we bring before You.

Today, I ask that You bring peace to those who feel trapped in despair and depression. Please give them hope. Give their loved ones hope. Those who live with them and stand beside them carry the burden just as surely as they do. Lord, I pray that You give them an overflowing abundance of Your peace and hope. Fill them with new joy. Let them know they can do all things with You strengthening them. Heal them now or give them the patience and perseverance they need to keep going until the healing comes.

Give those of us who do not carry this challenge compassion and understanding for those who do. Let us see the courage and the strength in them. Let us encourage and pray for those who wounded mentally or emotionally. Let us be always willing to carry them in prayer before You- the Great Physician, Counselor and Psychiatrist. There is no burden, illness or disorder that can keep You away from us. Today, even as I pray, let them know You are surely with them. Let them know that You are God and that You love them and know the burden they carry. Let them feel their burden lifted by You.

February 27, 2003

Father,

Thank You for the godly heritage You have blessed me with. Thank You for giving me parents who have lived their lives humbly for You. Thank You for the awesome memories of my dad sharing his amazement at Your creations in everyday things. I’m so glad he cared enough to share his amazement over the beauty and intricate design of flowers with his young daughter. It has left me with a continual thirst and hunger to see You in everything around me!

Thank You for my mother’s willingness to serve in all she does. All my life, I have watched her reach out to everyone around her. She ministers to young and old, stubborn and willing, strangers and friends.

How blessed I have been to have witnessed consistent living for You- right in my own home as I grew up. It has continued all through their lives. Lord, thank you for parents who have also been my spiritual mentors.

Father, please help me to live a consistent life with You so that even my children will know that I live for You. Let my life be a tool to draw my children ever closer to You.

I also want to pray for those who did not have the gift of a godly heritage. Let those whose parents let them down, find You as their beloved Father. May they discover that You are always there for them, guiding them and showing them the way.

February 28, 2003

Father,

You have created such a wide variety of people! And to think that we are all created in Your image! Thank You for the experience of substitute teaching for my son’s 9th grade school where Your smorgasbord of personalities really shows up.

Father, I lift up these young people who are rapidly approaching adulthood, yet still need guidance and direction. I pray for those who are so shy and unsure of themselves that they just want to melt into the background. Help them know who they are to You. I pray for those who are overflowing with self-confidence and seem to have a witty remark for every situation. Lord, help them learn humility before You and their fellowmen. Father, I pray for those who seem not to care about anything. Please help them to find their true focus and passion in life. Father, help those girls who are so giggly and obsessed with boys that they can barely function. Help them to see there’s much more to life! Ditto for the boys.

Lord, help me to remember what it was like to be fifteen so I will know how to treat them and how to pray for them. Thank You for loving me when I was fifteen- and for not leaving me at that age! I’m so glad that You’re never finished with us. Thank You for loving us as we are but calling us to be all that You see in us!

 

January 1, 2003

Heavenly Father,

Here I stand at the very start of a brand new fresh year given by You. No one but You knows what lies on the journey up ahead. Whatever is in front, I know You are with me. I know You have good plans for me, not to ever harm me- but to bless me. I will go wherever You lead.

Father, I dedicate this year to You. I want to live it for You. I want everything I say and do- to point to You. I want to be a sweet blessing to You. May we go forward down this road together. I put my hand in Yours and long to walk side-by side in the shadow of Your leading. Life is so delicious when lived with You. You always have some new truth or blessing to share around every corner. It’s been a deep adventure to walk with You this far, and I know the walk will never end; only lead closer to You and my eternal home!

Lord, You give me so much. I long to give You my very best this year. Let my life be a love song to You. Let this be Your year- the year of my Lord!

January 3, 2003

Father,

Last night, I watched the news as a large group of soldiers gathered to be sent overseas. Mothers, fathers, sweethearts, wives and children all tearfully clung to them for their last goodbyes. My heart cried out with them. My sons are at the age they may have to go, too. I have friends whose sons have already gone. I watched them grow. They still seem like boys to me, yet they are not. They are men.

Father, Your ways are so high above our ways, we do not always know what to pray for- except that Your good and perfect will be done. Lord, we pray for these soldiers who are willing, if necessary, to lay down their lives for us. You have said there is no greater love. Father, give them Your peace. Let them know there is nowhere they could ever go, that You do not go with them. Even if death comes, You will be there to bring them HOME. Comfort their loved ones in their loneliness at home, and keep watch with the soldiers in a far-off land. You are not bound by time or geography. You are God of all the heavens and all the earth.

Father, help the President, the generals, the diplomats to all bow before You, seeking Your will in all their decisions. Many lives hang in the balance at this critical time between nations. Father, we pray for those who consider us their enemies. May they also fall before You, seeking Your will. If possible, keep this situation from turning into war. May we only fight the good fight- the ones You call us to fight.

We know that on earth, there will be wars and disasters. Yet, there will come a day when the lion will lie down with the lamb in peace. There will be no more wars or rumors of war. How we long for that day! In the meantime, let us seek You with all our hearts, minds and souls. Let us pray for ourselves, our leaders and our world. Let us fight the good fight. Let us always come before You, so we will be prepared to do Your will.

January 6, 2003

Holy Father,

I come to You this morning because I want You to be first in my life. I know I can do nothing without You- so I come to You, before I do anything else. You are my reason for living. You are my life, my joy, my hope, my wisdom.

Life is empty and meaningless when I try to live it without You. But when I know I need You, You fill me with Your heavenly fountain which bubbles up with joyful abundant life. As long as I come to drink of You and be filled by You, I have all I need and so much more. But as soon as I go without You, my well runs dry. My life becomes parched and thirsty for You. I choose to live in Your presence. I choose to drink from Your living water. I choose You on this day. I choose to never live life without You again.

Father, how I thank You for Jesus- so I never have to live without You. Thank You for his constant presence in my life. Fill me up so I may be ready to share You in every single moment of this day- whatever it brings. Let Your presence overflow through my work, my home-life, my alone- moments, any “chance” meetings. Let me be so filled with You that I am ready for what this day brings. Let me live- overflowing for You on this day!

January 7, 2003

Father,

It is so comforting to know You are with us no matter what’s going on. You said that You know the plans you have for us- and that they are for good, and not to harm us. That means that even through difficult or painful situations, You are at work- making Your good come about.

I trust You, Lord. You have been with me through many trials and valleys. You have never abandoned me or left me alone. You have always proven faithful. You have shown me wonderful truths and showered me with rich blessings through every journey. I know You will be with me all the days of my life.

Lord, I pray for those around me who now face their own difficult challenges. Give them eyes to see You even in the midst of their battle. Reveal Yourself to them in a way that brings them the deep peace and comfort that only You can give. Draw them close to You- just as you have done for me.

January 8, 2003

Most Holy and all Powerful Father,

I stand again amazed in Your presence. The more I come to You, the more I see You at work. Thank You for taking my little mustard seed-sized faith and showing me what You can do! Each time I come to You with my humble little prayer, they may seem like tiny insignificant words spoken to You. But they must be so much more to You. How You must love it when we come and praise You and lift our burdens to You. For it is so wonderful to see what You do with our prayers!

Father, help me to come ever more boldly before You. We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! Strengthen us now, Lord. Help our tiny faith grow strong enough to move mountains! Lord, I love to see those mountains move! The more I come to You, the more I see it!!

Thank You for being patient while I learn to trust You and know that anything and everything I bring to You is never the same again! You can really begin to work when we invite You in each situation. May I invite You in more and more situations in my life and other’s lives. Let me never grow tired of spending time in prayer and watching You work. Open my eyes to see even more! Let me look for how YOU answer the prayers, and not be limited to only looking for how I think they need to be answered. Your ways are more perfect!! I love You, Lord!!

January 13, 2003

Father,

Thank You for making us in Your image. Many times I stop and wonder what that means. I see You in those around me.

 

I saw You today in my neighbor, who was sitting on his walker at the end of our street. Charles was resting before he begin his walk seven houses back down to his house. It was his first time to make it all the way to the corner without stopping since his heart transplant and spine surgery. I saw You in him, giving him internal strength to accomplish what he never thought would be possible again. I saw Your hope in him. If he could do this much, there will be more. I saw Your love in him, as he watched his wife patiently waiting for him to gather enough gusto to head back. I saw his joy for life as he made the journey back home and crossed the finish line in his driveway.

Father, help me always stop and see You in those around me. Thank You for never leaving those alone who face such difficult physical challenges. Thank You for the healing You give, and the way You shine through suffering and pain, also.

January 14, 2003

Father,

It is amazing to see You work. Your love and Your mercy multiply and grow each time we use them to touch others. We have no idea how far it spreads when we act in loving obedience to You.

I have been praying for a young mother with three children for two years. I’ve prayed for them through many trials during this time. You led me to put the word out that they needed furniture when they had nothing at all. There were those who love You and long to live for You, who stepped forward to share from the bottoms of their hearts. In just a few days, they had a table and chairs, microwave, toys, clothes, brand new beds and bedding.

To see the hope these gifts of love brought to this mom and her kids is such a blessing. Her voice, her face, her very life is different because of Your love and mercy demonstrated by your people. She knows Your love for her is real. Even the children are filled with joy and happiness!

And then today, she calls and tells me she is bundling up her baby’s clothes which he’s outgrown because she wants someone else to be helped like she has been.

May Your love and mercy continue to spread and multiply as they pass from person to person! The greatest giving of all began with You giving us Your Son Jesus to die in our place. We are so touched by Your gift of love and mercy that we long to pass it on. Help us to keep on giving!

January 15, 2003

Father,

Thank You for my death! How I praise You for bringing me to the point where I was willing to give up my old life and surrender to You. Now, I wonder why I fought so hard to hold onto my life. You are giving me so much more than I could ever dream in my new life with You!

Not too long ago, someone I love told me they could never give everything up to You, for they feared they would lose who they were. Oh Lord, bring them to the point of death in their own life so they can see for themselves the joy, peace, wisdom, love, understanding… so much more than can ever be experienced. You give us abundant, overflowing, ever-increasing, love-filled life!!

The old life sometimes threatens to come back, but I will never choose to take my life back. Keep showing me more of what needs to be put to death in my life, so I can receive more and more of You. There is no end to life with You! It is eternal! It is fresh! IT is growing! It is now! Even when this body serves it’s purpose and dies- I will simply fall into the sweet arms of You who is always with me and always will be!

January 20, 2003

Father,

What a beautiful day!! What a lovely day for the kids to be out of school to enjoy just playing outside together!

Father, today is Martin Luther King Day. Thank you for the dreams and visions You give, the hope for a better tomorrow. I remember hearing Dr. King’s speech: “I have a dream that someday all God’s children will play together!”

I remember the violence I lived through during the years of school busing where races were mixed together. I remember discovering really good friends of other backgrounds. Now, I see my children have grown up with kids of other races. Now they are living out the dream. The day has come when Your children of all colors really do play together on their playgrounds and in our neighborhood. Thank You for showing us how to love one another! Help us to continue to love others the way You want us to. Thank You for using Dr. King to help us all see the dream. Thank You that he was willing to give his life for that dream. Thank You for letting me see it happen. Thank you for my kids living the dream!

January 22, 2003

O Lord,

I come to You this morning because I long to drink of Your Living Water! There is no where else I can go to quench this thirst. You alone, fill me with Your sweet refreshing water. You place within me a fountain which bubbles up from deep within my very soul. You are my life, my truth and my way!

I would die and wither away without You. My life is an arid wasteland without You. I need You. Jesus, You are my Living Water. You are my oasis. You give me clear-thinking, life-sustaining, hope, peace, joy and new depths of love every day. Your well never runs dry. In fact, the more I drink- the sweeter You become. You refresh and renew me from my head to my toes. Your stream of water begins deep in my heart and flows through me, cleansing me off all filth, mistakes, sin and regrets. Your rippling brooks soothe all anxieties and worries, as I lay down beside Your still waters. You truly restore my soul!!

I cannot live without You. I choose not to even try. Today, I choose to sit with You for a while and take a good long drink of Your Living Water! You are life itself and I love living it with You!

January 24, 2003

Father,

You keep Your word!! This morning I got to see another answered “two or more” prayer and I just want to praise Your Holy name!!

Over and over again, You have showed my prayer group what happens where two or more gather to ask something in Your name. I love being amazed by You! I love sharing that amazement with others when we pray together and then get to see You move together!!

My friend was crying and pleading for her mother who was deeply involved in drugs and in jail in another state. She, being a new Christian, wanted her mom to have what she now has. How she prayed for You to step in and help her mom come to know You and to be able to get treatment. She didn’t even know how to get in contact with her. There was no way to visit her, yet we all prayed, knowing You could help her. You are not limited by state boundaries or jail bars. We asked You together to go inside her cell and reveal Yourself to her. You did!!

Thank You for the sweet phone call this morning from mother to daughter from “out of the blue.” Her mom is going into a rehab center, yet even better, she was talking about living her life totally for You from this point on. She has given herself to You. My friend didn’t have to say a word!

You are a God who changes lives. You are a God who hears prayers from the heart. You are a God who catches our tears and soothes our souls. You are a God who loves Your children to gather and spend time with You in one spirit. You are a God who reunites and heals in love. You are a God who is Almighty and powerful. Forgive us our little faith. Thank You for new life and new hope where there was none before! Please continue to strengthen her and help to grow in You. You are OUR God and we love You!!

January 27, 2003

Father,

You are calling us to follow You in a big change in our lives. What a comfort to know that You are up ahead preparing the way. We may not know all the future holds, but You do. You know exactly where we’ve been, where we are now and where You want us to go.

Your will is perfect and wise. We bow to Your authority and put our hands in Yours. We are willing to go wherever You lead us. What blessings there are in living our lives for You and with You! There are tender remembrances of all the places You led us through so far. You have brought us through sickness, danger, fear, death, uncertainty, troubled times and joyful times. Each step along the way, You have showed us Your faithfulness and deep truths which could be learned no other way.

Lord, we love You and trust You to lead us forward, even though we may not see the way. We have no doubts that You do. We choose to follow You!

January 29, 2003

Father,

You knew me before I was knit together in my mother’s womb! You gave me certain strengths and certain weaknesses. Even before I was born, You knew the plans You had for me- they were to prosper and bless me; not harm me. You were there as I took my first breath and you will be there when I take my last.

Others in my life may come and go. I grew up and had to leave my parents. My children are growing up and will someday leave me (some already have.) My first husband died. Dear friends come into my life and then leave on a new path. You never leave me. You will never forsake me. You are always with me. The years may come and go, but You are faithful! You are my Friend, my Lord, my God. I will never have to be alone, for You are with me!

What do I ever need to fear, for You go with me wherever I go. You have taken me through storms, valleys, mountain-top highs. I love every bit of my journey with You. I put my hand in Yours and am ready to follow every step of the way. For I know You are leading me HOME and there are so many wonders to see along the way!!

January 30, 2003

Lord,

There is no one wiser than You. Forgive me when I try to rely on my own wisdom. Remind me to always seek Your advice and guidance in all things. Your ways are wonderfully creative and wise. Your timing is perfect. Thank You for not showing us all our future at once. It is an adventure to walk through life seeing where You lead each day. Every step brings more faith in You, as Your wisdom is revealed more and more.

I never would think of the plans You bring about. I bow down to You in honor and respect for Your ways. Let me always be lined up with Your will. Show me as quickly as possible when I stray away from Your leadership. Forgive me when I try to tell You how things should be run. (But thank You for listening, and patiently pointing me towards Your plan. Thank You for caring about my feelings and worries.)

It is totally amazing to me how You can work in so many lives at one time. I can barely listen to one of my kids at a time! What a wonderful life- to walk with You, knowing all is well!!

January 31, 2003

Father,

Forgive us our complacency. I just heard the figures…TWICE the number of people who died on September 11 in the terrorist attacks die EVERY SINGLE DAY in South Africa from AIDS and hunger! That means by this time tomorrow, 5,500 Africans will have died from AIDS. That is far more than I can bear or even comprehend. I cannot handle that magnitude of suffering. You can- through us. You are calling us to share.

There will be 25 million orphans by the year 2010- children who are left to fend for themselves after their parents die from AIDS. I cannot imagine a little child desperately searching for something to eat to keep from dying. What kind of shelter will they sleep in? Father, they need protection from those who would abuse them or take advantage of their homelessness, their innocence. You know, Lord, if I saw even one child in front of me in that shape- I would have to do something. Do not let me be calloused by the numbers. Help me pray for the one!

Father, Shake us up in America to the reality of starvation, sickness, homelessness and death in Africa. We have so much. We can share our food. We can pray for those who are suffering. We can spread the word to those who love You. You have given us so much. Millions of dollars were freely given out of love to victims and families of Sept. 11. We can bring hope, life and love to the hopeless in Africa.

You have asked if we love You. We do, Lord. Your answer still remains, “THEN FEED MY SHEEP.” Lord, open our eyes to the starving sheep who need to be fed with physical and spiritual food.

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If you feel led to feed the sheep in Africa, here are several ways:

1. Pray for Africa and pray for one unknown child & adult.

2. Give to Relief Organizations:

Food For the Hungry

World Vision

Samaritan’s Purse

FEED THE CHILDREN

3. Educate yourself & officials about Africa’s crisis:

DATA (sponsored by many Christian music groups- www.datadata.org.

to raise awareness of the critical need in Africa.)