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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…

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,
This world is so noisy and full of chaos. Non-stop news consistently tries to rattle our nerves. Continuous conversations on social media and cell phones clamor for our attention and response. Deadlines, arguments over issues, conflicting reports, background noise, and earphones always filling our thoughts with subliminal messages. In fact, it seems most people are so used to noise, they feel uncomfortable with silence, but it can be soothing to the soul.

Even prayer can be so crammed with requests and words that we leave prayer before being still and ready to hear You, Lord. Forgive us for always be too distracted to sit and enjoy Your presence, for being so busy talking or writing our prayers that we never stop to listen to You. It is good to sing songs and praise You with loud cymbals and music, but we also need to just be quiet and still sometimes.

It is so sweet to simply sit outside in the quiet of the day and bask in Your glory, to soak up Your goodness, to savor Your company, and just know that You are God. I can spill out many words and when I slow down to take a breath, You can say so much in the silence.

Your peace pours over me and Your tender presence reassures me. You restore my soul as I simply revel in who You are. All the fears, worries and trials of this noisy life melt away in the stillness of Your quiet presence. All that vital information everyone else is screaming at me dissolves in the wisdom found in Your quiet presence. How I love You, Lord. You are the Maker and Sustainer of all. You know all things and have all we need. Help us be still and quiet so we can hear You above all the noise of this chaotic world.

 

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“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,” 1 Timothy 2:1-3

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

“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’” Psalm 46:10

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Lord Jesus, help me be still…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,
How our country needs healing and a fresh revival—as do our families, towns, churches, government and world. Lord, I so badly want every person to experience the love and security that comes from knowing You and trusting You as their Savior and God. My heart cries out for it. My spirit weeps for it. My trust in You knows it can happen. Right now, with a pandemic causing us all to see how very short this life is—how our earthly lives can end in an instant from a car accident, an illness, a virus, a bomb, a shooting…we all need to be ready. As much as I want people to be restored to an eternal relationship with You, I know You want that even more than I ever could. That’s exactly why You sent Jesus.

 

You sent Your own precious Son, the only One worthy enough to carry all past, present and future sin to the cross to die in our place. You never force His sacrifice upon anyone. You give each person the chance to believe and accept what Jesus Christ did for them personally, once and for all. You offered Your own sacrifice for our sin, because there is nothing we can do to sanitize the impurity of our own sin. We each receive healing and revival through Jesus, when we trust who He is and what He has done for us. Just as we cannot bring healing and revival in our own life, we cannot cause revival in our families, homes, cities, churches, governments or world. It all comes from Your perfect gift of love—Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

 

Lord, we know where new life comes from. As Your children, who are called by Your name, we have personally experienced healing and transformation through Jesus. And oh! How we desire it for others. That’s why we come to You humbly, knowing You can refresh and renew Your people as we bow and pray to You. You can and will cause a mighty healing and revival as we come humbly before You, confessing we have not been totally faithful to You, that we still seek after the things of this world instead of You. Father, we repent and ask You to restore and renew our hearts toward You as our first and upmost love. We also ask You to turn other hearts toward You—those of our families, neighbors, cities, churches, country and this world we live in. Father, I pray this deeply felt prayer on behalf of those I know and love, as well as those I haven’t even met yet. I know others are praying for healing and revival, too! Whatever it takes, Lord, let Your Spirit fall afresh on us!

 

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“Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation.” Psalm 85:4-7

 

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:13-15

 

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (note- the only way to be righteous is through Jesus Christ)

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I humbly confess I have sinned against You but I trust in Jesus’ forgiveness. Now I pray for healing and revival for…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,
I grew up busy. Our family operated a huge greenhouse and nursery business so there was always a ton of hard work to do…plus the added activities of church, 4-H and school with lots and lots of meaningful volunteer work. Yet in all that busyness, I often felt Your still small voice calling me to be still and just be with You. As a young girl, I can still recall the peace of being outside and feeling Your breath in the wind circling round and caressing my face, or Your tender way of pointing out the incredible wonders You surrounded me with. Those were precious glimpses of my safe place in You!

Then I would get called back into the duties, chores and planning great projects in my daily life. There was always so much to do and it seemed not enough time to do it… so many deadlines, expectations and my own endless “to-do lists.” In most people’s eyes, I was an incredibly productive person…yet I still caught those sweet moments of pure peace where I could simply enjoy a simple walk in the country or sit still while others fished…moments where I could just be still in Your presence.

It seemed right at the peak of a very worthwhile ministry which involved sharing Your word with children all summer, unforeseen circumstances changed everything. Due to my young husband’s ever-increasing traumatic illness, we were called away from the world and shut up in our own home. I recall asking You why! It didn’t make sense to shut down what appeared to be a very effective ministry and lead us into virtual isolation. Yet the longer we went through the crisis, the more I needed You, the more I cried out to You, the more I lived for those times I could share it all with You—I found all I needed in my shelter alone with You.

There were times I fought against that long-extended isolation with You. The deeper the trauma became, the more I depended on my safe shelter in You. How I thank You, Lord, for sending Jesus so I can live with You now and forever more. The sacrifice of His pure blood has made it possible for me to come to You wherever I am, whatever is going on. You love me—not for how productive I am—but for who I am. You still send me out on missions, but it is a restful work that depends on You and the time I spend alone with You. I love You, Lord. You are my safe place and my life! Wherever you send me, I can shelter-in-place with You.

 

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“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:1-2

 

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

 

“It (God’s Spirit) will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.” Isaiah 4:6

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, I need Your shelter…I need Jesus Christ…

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…

All Powerful Heavenly Father,
You have tried to warn us of approaching danger and trials over and over again…but we choose not to listen. All throughout history, ever since sin entered into the world, You have told us there would be hardship. You sent Old Testament Prophets to warn Your people in times before Christ… Jesus warned us (even as followers) there will be persecution, famines, earthquakes and wars…It is part of life in this present world. You never told us You would take away our suffering. You sent Jesus to take away our sin so we can have the promise of eternal life where there will finally be no more suffering.

Jesus came to suffer as one of us yet He has overcome the world! He is with us, helping us to overcome through Your Holy Spirit. Thank You, Father, that He will never ever leave us or forsake us. As we submit our lives to Him, He lives in us enabling us to overcome. Father, I have no doubt that this pandemic was meant to kill, steal and destroy…but I also have no doubt that You are with us in the very midst of this pandemic to bring Your abundant life…so that is what I am praying for…

I pray for every single one of these to submit their life to You, to draw closer to You, to persevere through this pandemic with the hope and strength that can only come through Jesus Christ: for the nurses, doctors, CNAs, Housekeeping, Respiratory Therapists, First Responders and all others who are fighting this pandemic on the front lines…for those who are assisting with the daily needs of others- Nursing home personnel, grocery store workers and vendors, truckers, farmers, food servers, bankers, truckers, teachers, clergy, social workers…for those who are finding ways to help others through this: mask sewers, delivery people, neighbors…

May we all turn to You and realize our great need for You. We were created to need You and love You. We were designed to need and love one another. Father, through this pandemic, let Your glory shine brighter than ever as You bring new life from suffering. Take away our complacency, ingratitude, grumbling, spirit of entitlement, disregard for You, our God and Creator. Let this be a time of revival and turning our hearts, minds and souls to You. In Jesus’ victorious name, we pray. Amen.

 

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“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.” Romans 8:17-19

“News about him (Jesus) spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” Matthew 4:24

“I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, during this pandemic, I pray for…

 

Heavenly Father,
Whenever there are huge things going on like this pandemic, I know You are up to something bigger and better than we can imagine. Jesus told us in Matthew 24:6-8: “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.”

Every mother wishes she could skip the labor and go straight to the delivery of the new precious life she has longed for. We all want the joy of new life, but because of sin in this world, we have to endure the pain before new life is born. Lord, I think of the painful times I’ve been through in my life. More than once, I thought that pain would kill me. It did not. Yet going through those laborious challenges has always brought new glories in my life. Each bout of suffering has squeezed out more of my old selfish prideful nature and given birth to a new more Christ-like spirit.

When I was in actual labor giving birth to each of my babies (who are remarkable men and women now), I was incredibly grateful to have someone I love holding my hand and encouraging me through. Words could never express the comfort from their nearness, the touch of their hand, soft words of encouragement. I was alone in the most intense part of my most difficult birth when a faceless nurse (or an angel?) gently rubbed my back. No one could take the pain away, but how encouraging to know I was not alone.
Father, during these intense labor pains where so many are hurting, scared, and grieving, I pray that they will know the sweetness of Your presence. You never leave us. May Your Holy Spirit touch us, speak to us and assure us that the new life to come is worth all this temporary pain.

What a joy to share the new life with You! For some, it might be the beginning of a new life in Jesus Christ! For others, it may be a deeper relationship with You where more of You and less of us is seen in our lives. With every child I gave birth to, my intense pain dulled in comparison to the glory I held in my arms. With every trial I have endured, the pain has fled in the joy of a deeper life with You!

 

How I praise You for the amazing new life I already see being born from this intense pain we must labor through! Thank You for never leaving us!

 

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” John 16:21

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” James 3:6

 

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Prayer Prompt:
Heavenly Father, I need You as my Comforter and Labor Coach right now…

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

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

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

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

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

Heavenly Father,
There seems to have been a flood of deaths around me lately. Some of them have been very close to me and others involve relatives or friends of those I am close to. Death is never easy- no matter the age or circumstance of the one we mourn. My forever Pastor Jerl, who just died, enjoyed teasing and called me “a grief guru” because he knew I would protest! Who wants to be associated with death and grief? I would much rather deal with life than death! Yet they go together…

Those dear ones who just left this life—the two young football players, the young man in his twenties, the little girl everyone loved, the beloved husband, and our amazing pastor friend, Jerl are more alive than they have ever been! They had to die from this life to fully experience eternal life with our Lord! Before this, they had to die to their own will and surrender to Jesus as their Lord to receive His life and all the inheritance His life offers. You sent Jesus to die for us so that we might have eternal life! Jesus’ death was the only way to give us the gift of life with You, our Father. Jesus’ death brings us TRUE LIFE which can never ever die or be taken from us.

Father, how I pray for those who are left behind; those who are grieving the death of their loved one. I know they feel surrounded by death. I realize they feel overwhelmed by death…yet I know that You are with the broken-hearted, tenderly calling them to a new deeper life with You. You will never ever leave them or forsake them. You know they must go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but You have much more life ahead for them to live—both here on earth and for all eternity.

Lord, as much as I would love to take away the taste of death from those who are hurting, I know even as I pray that You are bringing life out of death. You are the expert on birthing life from death! We wait upon You! We look to You, the Victor over death and the gracious Giver of Eternal Life!

 

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“Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves Me must follow Me…’” John 12:23-26

 

“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13

 

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning, or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who is seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:4-5

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, help me to trust You to bring life even through death and grief…

Heavenly Father,
I am increasing in weakness…and that is good! I used to be really strong for a woman. I grew up carrying heavy loads in our family greenhouse and grew strong from heavy physical labor. I have also been told throughout my life that I can do anything and become anything. I am finding out that is not true…and that is good! I continually hear from society that it is all up to me to make something of myself—that I am the master of my own life. As I grow older, wiser and weaker, it is such a relief to know that my strength is failing. How freeing it is to realize how very weak I really am. The crazy thing is the weaker I realize I am, the more I realize I need Your strength.

I wouldn’t exist without You; I would never have been born except for You. I could never breathe or live without You. Even when I was young and thought I was so strong; even when I didn’t fully realize how much I need You—You were my strength. Lord, You knit my cells and DNA together to form me out of nothing at all. You linked a nervous system to my muscles and told them to move me. You fired off brain cells and began my physical life that included the ability to think and choose for myself. You placed me in a world which was totally created by You for me to have a safe, lush, lovely world surrounded by everything I could possibly need, including other people to love. Forgive me for thinking I could ever live independently from You!

You have allowed me to face challenges in my life that have threatened to overwhelm me because there seemed no way out or no way I could handle the burden. How I thank You for those times when I have realized my weakness. That is when I have experienced Your strength! I need not try to prove my strength to You or anyone else. You made me and know I am weak. You created me to need You. You designed me to be strong as I yield my life to Jesus. Then His unseen strength flows with a powerful force to overcome anything that comes up. I truly enjoy being weak and letting Your strength flow in and through me! I am weak and You are strong! You are my strength!

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“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord, and may please him in every way, bearing the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power. according to His glorious might so you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of the light.” Colossians 1:11-12

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Lord, help me see my weakness with out You so I can submit to Your strength through Jesus…