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Heavenly Father,

I know there is nothing new under the sun, but there seems to be a “new” movement to do away with any kind of history that offends someone, or to remove names of well-known people from the past who had any type of blemish on their record, or to find each and every mistake ever made by any person willing to serve in any type of public leadership. Do we really think there is anyone who is without sin? You have made it clear to us there is not one (except Jesus!) There is no perfect person and no perfect people or nation.

 

I am so thankful that the greatest history book ever written (the Bible) does not hide the weaknesses and mistakes of those who have lived before us. You are not afraid to show that You love to use people who have ugliness and sin in their past. You do not cover up very real sins, weaknesses and poor choices (such as murder, adultery, manipulation, idolatry, disobedience, rebellion, self-righteousness…the list goes on.) If we were to show only the best with our version of whitewashed history, we might all think we were capable of being our own god, of controlling our own eternal destiny, of changing the world with our own actions and willpower. If we try to clean up all our history, we might choose to idolize a human (with all their hidden sin).

 

It is vitally important that we face the fact of our ugly nature that has (and still is) holding others humans as slaves, attempting genocide to kill out whole people groups, not listening to the cries of the unborn- the poor- the oppressed, not caring for the elderly- widows and orphans, not working together with others to show mercy but demanding our own ways… We are sinful as individuals and as people groups. We are, far too often, quick to point out the sins of others while not acknowledging our own sin.

 

Thank You, Father, for sending Your One true perfect Son, Jesus Christ, the only One who was born human yet without sin. You sent Him to be born as one of us, tempted in every way. He was the only One worthy to die as a pure unblemished sacrifice to cover all our sins once and forever. Our sins may still be on record as far as the world is concerned, but when we believe and accept what only Jesus could do for us, Father- You see the holy purity of Your Son Jesus living in us. It is then, that You can use a surrendered soul with all their weaknesses and faults for Your glory. Yes, I too, am a sinner with a past who has been washed eternally clean with the sacred blood of Jesus Christ. I will be thanking You and praising You forever!

 

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“Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?’”   Proverbs 20:9

 

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”    1 John 1:8

 

“There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood- to be received by faith.”  Romans 3:22-25

 

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, I admit I am a sinner and need Your gift of eternal salvation through Jesus…

Heavenly Father,

You created every single person that lives. You love variety, colors and differences. It is all part of Your glorious design. And yet You knew that our sinful nature causes us to distrust, dislike and sometimes view those who look or do things differently than us as an enemy. The world will always find some kind of difference to cause conflict between others. It could be the shape of our noses, the language we speak, the foods we eat, what political party we affiliate with, our body shape, what type clothes we wear, the tone of our skin, how educated we are…in fact, there are so many differences, the list is endless. And, if we let any one of those differences cause us to hate, we are part of the problem.

Lord, it looks like there will always be prejudice and racism in this world in one form or another. Having grown up in the 1960’s where rioting and bigotry ran ramped, even as a little girl, I knew racism was wrong. When I went to high school during forced busing meant to achieve integration in schools in the 1970’s, I thought we, as a mixed-race idealistic young student council, could bring everyone together. I found out in very harsh terms at the very first social gathering we worked so hard to plan, that was not going to happen so easily. It takes living together, facing life together, and most of all, living for You, Lord. It takes praying together, worshipping together, crying and laughing together, and accepting one another as we are. It means being willing to get to know one another.

There will always be prejudice and racism in this life, but there are ways to fight it. Instead of being afraid of the differences, Lord, let us love each person with your love. I may not be able to do that with my old sinful nature, but I can with Jesus living in me. He willingly died for every single person even when we were each at odds with You, Father. His love unites us with all our differences and makes us one through Jesus Christ. Whenever I might be tempted to hate, dislike or misunderstand someone who is different than me (which is every single person), remind me that You sent Jesus to die for them—just like you did for me. They are worth loving and treating with respect- even if they don’t look or act like me- even if they look at me with hatred or racism. Father, Your love overcomes prejudice and racism one person at a time. Let Your love work in and through me to make Your Kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven.

 

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“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”    Galatians 3:28

 

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

 

“Salvation belongs to our God,

who sits on the throne,

and to the Lamb.”    Revelation 7:9-10

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-

Father, show me how to love others with Your all-inclusive love…

Heavenly Father,
Most of us are staying safe at home during this pandemic…yet even our home doesn’t feel safe due to the ongoing reports of death, fear, and despair blasted over all kinds of media. Yet there is a safe place reserved for each of us where no one, or no thing, can touch us. This safe place can be entered any time or anywhere. Sometimes, it means fighting off all those dark menacing voices and closing the door behind us. It requires us to be still and know that You are God—and to shift our focus from all the doomsday reports to Your absolute goodness. Our quiet safe place is holy and clean, but we can enter for we have been personally cleaned and sanitized by Jesus’ blood on the cross. Our purity was paid for by His death on the cross once and for all so we can enter freely. This is the time to accept His gift to us…

 

We may be covered with seen and unseen sin. We might look Ok, but we are stained with the sin that is worldwide. We are both carriers and infected by sin. Not one of us is clean enough to enter Your throne room, Lord. Not one of us can receive eternal life without Your purification. Jesus was the ONLY ONE worthy to be born as a man and yet walk unblemished by sin through this world. His pure blood was willingly given on the cross once and for all. It seems too good to be true. And yet, it is. All we have to do is accept His eternal cleansing as we bow humbly at the foot of the cross and let His pure and holy blood pour over us and make us pure so we can enter into eternal life with You!

 

Father, thank You for the eternal cure to this world of sin. Thank You for my eternal life which is promised to me now and forever more. Thank You for the knowledge that death, a pandemic virus, sin, or nothing at all can separate me from Your love. I can walk in this world a little longer until it is my time to be forever with You. I can also step away right now—from this chaotic world into the sweet peace of Your throne room with You. All is well! You are my peace and joy in this pandemic. You are my safe place. Lord, how I want others to find You through Jesus Christ!

 

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

 

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.’” Revelation 5:9

 

“This is my (Jesus’) blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I realize I need a Savior from sin. I accept Your gift of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior now…

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:18-20

 

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

photo by Emily Juliuson

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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