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Glorious Heavenly Father,
We can never get to the bottom of Your love! Your love and power go far beyond what we could ever get away from. Your everlasting love fills every bit of heaven and earth and space itself. Your love created all that there is and ever will be. Your love knew us and thought of us long before we were even conceived. You have loved us for generations and will keep loving us for all eternity. You loved us before we ever took our first breath and will still be loving us when we take our last. You will love us when we no longer need breath—but will live on Your love alone. There is never a time You don’t love us even when we have not loved You…even when we have sinned against You. Your love is all-encompassing and bigger and mightier than we can ever comprehend.

You love us when we disappoint You, when we rebel against You, when we complain, when we hurt others whom You love…You love us when we neglect You, when we try to live our lives without You, when we think we know better than You, when we hear Your calling and turn our backs, when we think we have You all figured out, when we put our faith in other short-lived things besides You, when we love this world and all its temptations more than You, when we choose hate and judgement instead of love and grace, when we doubt our worth when You love us so much, when we believe in ourselves instead of Your eternal power and glory.

The only thing that blocks our receiving Your eternal love is our own selfish will which refuses to accept the eternal love You sent us through Jesus Christ. When we finally surrender our own selfish will and accept the greatest gift of love You’ve ever given in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, our eyes are opened. We begin to see and believe in Your love. We can count on You, trust You, hold fast to You, Lord. Your love forgives us, renews us, restores us, teaches us, molds us, prunes us, holds us, guides us, corrects us, encourages us, emboldens us, empowers us, humbles us, works through us…

I will never ever stop discovering more of Your love. For all eternity, I will be falling more deeply in love with You, Lord. I can see Your Love because Christ lives in me and even loves through me. I can only love You because You loved me first. I can only love others because Your love lives and grows in me. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) All love flows from You, Lord…and there is no end to who You are! How rich it is to live in Your eternal love. and to love You back with my feeble yet ever-growing love!

 

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“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8

 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

 

“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.” Psalm 36:7-8

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I accept the love You gave me through Jesus Christ…Help me grow in Your love…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,
How I love watching for You! Just in the last few days I’ve seen You in a tiny clump of yellow crocus in an expansive lawn of still-dormant grass…in the opening up of a traumatized friend…in families gathering together in love at the passing of family members…in friends gathering to help a widow…in a dove peering out of a bush right outside my window…in a granddaughter running up and practically jumping in my arms…in light whisp of clouds that I saw when I looked up- just like the ones in a very poignant 27-year old memory I had just written about…

Just in the last few days, though I have not seen Your face, I have seen You in the praise of one who has endured much…in laughter shared with a long-time friend…in contentment and rest in the soul of a mother who has worked extremely hard all her life…in the gratitude of someone You asked me to help…in the hope of spring coming again…in the cheerful morning praises sung by the birds…in the connection felt with a simple smile and greeting between strangers…in the healing of one who has been quietly grieving his wife for five long years…in the hope of a new marriage of two dear friends…in the waiting for a new baby soon to be born…

In just the last few days, I have seen You bring faithful believers to a state-wide gathering to pray for our state… in the fervent prayers of those praying daily on the sidewalk for the unborn and their parents…in the celebration of a dear friend from India who has faithfully poured out his life to thousands in his country and around the world…in his daughter who is willing to take up the vision and carry it on…in the sacrifice and love of young parents on behalf of their children…in the dedication of teachers in caring for their little ones…in my husband massaging my aching feet…

Just in the last few days, I’ve seen You in a couple who have run their family’s 102 year old business with Christ-like integrity and love as they handed it over to a new owner…in the life of two pastors’ wives who are recently widowed, still shining out with the same quiet faith and love for You which has been their life testimony…in the commitment of one friend caring for their aging friend…in a young sister-in-Christ quietly waiting and praying for guidance from You…

Father, I love to watch for You and there are so many more ways I have seen You in just the last few days…I can’t begin to imagine all You have done in my lifetime that I didn’t stop to notice. I will be watching and praising You for all eternity!

 

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“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

 

“Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” Psalm 105:3

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, open my eyes as I seek You….

Heavenly Father,
Oh! How my soul longs to be listened to! Just listened to. Without interruption. Without advice. Without correction. Without argument. Without analysis. Without someone else’s story or experience or thoughts being interjected before I am able to voice what is in my mind and heart. It seems like there are so few “listeners” in the world. Yet it is one of the greatest gifts of love we can give someone. Listening is one of the greatest attributes of love. But there is so much noise and not enough listening…

There is a world of people who long to be heard. Everyone is talking and no one is listening. I know I fall short of true listening even though I know that is one of my gifts (perhaps it is a gift available to all of us). Who wants a doctor to decide how to treat before hearing what is really going on? What child will listen to a parent who never takes time to listen to their heart? Who wants to marry someone who is always correcting them when they don’t even listen to all they are saying? How can our country ever be united until all sides take turn listening? It seems everyone is yelling and no one is truly listening. Oh! How we need more listeners!

Father, You are the greatest listener! Though You have all authority and rule over all that there is, You are ready to listen to us at any time. You listen to our complaints, our desperate pleas, our angry tirades, our rambling thoughts that seem to have no point. You listen much deeper than our words. You see our heart and soul. You listen all the way to the end and to what is really being said. You are the only One who can truly understand us better than we understand ourselves. You are always ready and willing to listen. Though You know what we are going to say and what we really mean—You listen because You know we desire to be heard. You listen out of love. Thank You for always listening—even when words won’t come!

Lord, how often do I stop and listen to You? How often am I simply still and quiet enough to place all my attention on what You are saying to me? You do not force us to listen. But You must desire to be heard by each of us as much or more than we desire to be heard. Father, let me “listen” to You as I read Your word, as I hear the wind, as I listen to a song, as a fellow believer shares a truth, through the perfect timing of your ordained situations and encounters, through Your still small voice—Your voice that we will all recognize as we get better at listening. Let me show You my love through listening and then obeying Your voice.

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“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9

 

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord said, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:39-42

 

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, I am listening…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,
Your love is outlandish! How incredible that the Lord God, Maker of all the earth and everything in it and all the galaxies should love me so tenderly?! You are always with me, meeting my every need, satisfying my desires, singing over me, protecting me, guiding me, watching me when I am asleep and when I am awake! I try to love You back in a way that honors a love that was willing to send Your own Son Jesus to be born as one of us, to live and die for the penalty I deserved for my sin- so I could be with you for all eternity. I try to set aside time just to be with You alone and enjoy Your presence…and yet I am so easily distracted by the most ridiculous things. I have this chance, this opportunity, this honor to come to You at any time. It was paid for at the highest price ever paid. And yet I neglect or take this gift for granted. You, Lord, loved me first. I can never out-love You. I would have no comprehension of what love really is- if not for You loving me first. But I truly want to make You my first love…

Not the amazing kind of first love I encountered with my parents loving me as a tiny baby…not the first love of that little boy (forgot his name!) in kindergarten who professed his love for me and mine for him…not the unconditional love from or for my brothers…not the true love from my high school sweetheart Steve, who I went on to marry(I didn’t forget his name!)… not the even the breath-taking love I’ve known holding each one of my newly born children or grandchildren or the love that continues to grow…not the surprising love I thought was not possible—to love another husband after the death of my first (his name is Tex, I mean Dwight!)…not the love for so many friends and even strangers. There are so many experiences of love both received and given that I am eternally grateful for, Lord. And they all flow from You! Yet I want You to be my first love..

Lord, it seems the only way we can know true love is to first experience it and receive it from You through Your eternal gift of Jesus Christ. I’m glad to know that You realize how frail our love is compared to Yours, yet You give us the capacity to give and receive it like You do. I long to love You more, Lord. I desire to keep You as my first love; for when I do, I am capable of loving others so much more. I love because You love me first!

 

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“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

 

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-38

 

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:4

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, am I loving You as You deserve?…

Heavenly Father,
What a treasure we have been given in the ability to come to You at any time with anything through prayer and yet we often neglect this highest honor and responsibility. Many prayers are shot up to You in desperate need- even by those who supposedly don’t believe. There is a difference between a one-time prayer and a life lived in prayer. There is a difference between a prayer from our flesh and prayer in the Spirit…but it has to start somewhere! So when does a prayer from our own selfish will change to a prayer in the Spirit?

I know it’s probably different for everyone because we are all such unique people -designed and loved by You. Yet praying in the Spirit involves living with Your Holy Spirit in us. It begins with believing that Jesus died for us on the cross. It is believing that our old life/ nature/ selfish will has been crucified with Jesus. Jesus sends the Spirit to live in us in a resurrected life that is much more real than this earthly life. It is knowing that He really lives in us and through us. I know it’s crazy, but to pray in the Spirit is not just asking You to make my wish come true. It is being still in Your presence. It is praying for the richer things of the Spirit that might come even from very challenging situations. It is trusting that You are at work in me, and in others, bringing about Your Kingdom that is high above this earthly life.

Praying in the Spirit is knowing it is no longer my blood that runs through my veins, my goals to obtain, my answers to problems, my demands…it is Your Spirit running through my surrendered heart and soul. You said that the prayers of a righteous man can accomplish much…but I realize that there is nothing righteous about me. The only righteousness in me was given to me by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. I am a new creation in Him. Your Spirit truly lives in and through me. I find myself praying in whole new ways and trusting You in all situations. Praying in the Spirit is yielding to Your will/ Your intercession/ Your answers/ Your amazing work. There are times, I am tempted to slip back into my powerless prayer life so I have to re-surrender to Your unseen powerful Spirit. What a crazy mysterious plan You have- to work in and through our prayers in the Spirit. Thank You for this amazing gift, Lord! Let me get myself out of the way so Your Spirit can flow through me.

 

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“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.” Ephesians 6:18

 

“If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for He lives in with you and will be in you.” Jesus’ promise in John 14:15-17

 

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:38

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, I accept Your sacrifice on my behalf for my sin of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Let me die to my old life and let Your Spirit live in me…