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I am with you

Heavenly Father,

Though everyone else leaves me—You are with me! If I lose all that I possess—You are with me! When I enjoy a beautiful Fall walk—You are with me! If I am injured or ill and cannot walk—You are with me! If a storm ravages my home or I sit safely inside a comfortable house with no leaks—You are with me! If the world seems to be spinning out of control—You are with me…

 

Whether I am standing by the grave of a loved one or waiting outside the door for a new baby to be born—You are with me! Whether my relative is not speaking to me or we just shared our souls through the sweetest deep conversation—You are with me. If someone is spreading hurtful lies about me or someone I love; or whether someone actually takes time to seek out the truth—You are with me…

 

While I was still in my mother’s womb or if I am taking my last gasp on earth—You are with me. Lord God, You are so faithful and patient as You wait upon me to truly see and believe that You are with me and will never ever leave me. You have never left me…

 

I am sad to say I have left You (more often than I care to admit.) I have wandered away, been distracted, been disrespectful, dishonoring, disobedient, unfaithful and sinful. How grateful I am that it was important enough for You to want me with You for all eternity that You sent Your very own Son Jesus Christ to die for my sin so I would never be separated from You. He washed away my sins so I could accept Your eternal life and live with You forever. Lord, I know You are with me. Let me live this day through Jesus so I can be with You!

 

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“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”  Philemon 1:25

 

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”   2 Thessalonians 3:16

 

“I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”  (Jesus’ words) John 17:26

 

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Your Prayer Peek-

Father, I want to KNOW that You are with me. Let me accept the amazing gift of Jesus Christ for that assurance…

Heavenly Father,

The most challenging, heart-breaking and fulfilling job I’ve ever had is being a parent. In the days my children were still living at home, it was a 24-hour-per-day job. No matter how you are feeling, you have a huge responsibility. There are few breaks; when you do take a break, you are continually concerned about your kids. The cost is great with many sacrifices along the way. Now, with the pandemic, parents are put even more into the position of teaching their children.

 

It might seem a bad thing, but in many ways—it is bringing more responsibility back to parents. Many times, through my years as a mom, I have thought You made us parents so we would understand You more fully. You truly are our Father. You are so smart. You knit our children together, then hand them to us when they are cute and adorable so we fall in love with them before some of the hardest stuff starts. How else would I understand pure unconditional love, or patience as my child tries to grasp a lesson or impatience as they should have learned it by now. Being a parent means pouring out your life and soul without any guarantees of gratitude. I’m sure You feel this way often, Lord. You have taught me so much about You just by making me a parent.

 

Parents have their children longer than any other teacher. They have the larger responsibility of teaching their children how to be respectful and kind to others, how to share, how to meet life’s obstacles, how to persevere, how to have courage even when afraid, when to speak up and when to be quiet… Father, I pray for all the parents still on active duty, to take their job as their child’s first-string teacher seriously. There will be many mistakes, distractions, losses and victories. It is worth all the investment and sacrifices. That’s how You teach us. When we ask, You instruct us each step of the way as we teach our children.

 

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“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, ‘Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.’”       Deuteronomy 4:9-10

 

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”   Deuteronomy 11;18-19

“Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”    Psalm 34:11

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, thank You for teaching me. Now, help me teach  the children You’ve given me….

Heavenly Father,

Sometimes we feel completely alone in the world. It can happen when we feel disconnected to our family, when we have to face a huge challenge without any help, when we are grieving a loved one, when friends and family have let us down, when it seems no one understands us, when we are sick and there is no one to care for us…We can even feel completely alone while in a crowd or even sitting next to our best friend. Although loneliness may be really painful, it is not necessarily the worst thing that can happen to us. It can be in our deepest loneliness that we discover we are never alone…

 

When those we have depended on have been stripped from us, You are still with us, Lord.

When no one has the right answers to help us, You patiently wait for us to ask You.

When it seems the whole world is against us, You are for us!

When we are misunderstood and judged by all those around us, You know us batter than we know ourselves.

When we are facing the biggest battle of our lives, You fight for us.

In the middle of the night when no one is around, You shine out for us.

 

Lord, we can fill up our lives with so much stuff, busyness, entertainment, news, friends…that we can easily forget You are here. Perhaps it is good for us to sometimes feel alone so we can once again, realize our great need for You. You are the only One who truly never leaves us or forsakes us. You are the only One who fills us overflowing, wants the very best for us, knows us, forgives us, encourages us, corrects us and restores our soul.  I am never alone because of Your gift of Jesus. All I need is found in Him, alone. How I long for everyone else to discover You in their aloneness.

 

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“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.”   Psalm 25:16

 

“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.”    Psalm 16:5

 

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart

    and free me from my anguish.”  Psalm 25:16-17

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, I feel so alone in this world. I need You…

Heavenly Father,

Most people have had a dream of being found naked and exposed in public. We see our flaws and try to cover them up so no one else does. What about that first time we expose ourselves completely to the one we love? They may not love us if they see our warts, wrinkles, scars or blemishes. What if all our secret thoughts and actions were caught on video for all the world to see? No one could possibly like us if they knew our deepest thoughts. Most Holy Father, You know me far better than I know myself. There is nothing hidden from You…and yet You still love me! What an amazing love!

 

You created us to live unashamed with You, but sin gets in the way and reveals our guilt and shame. We try to hide from You and even attempt to blame others or our circumstances. All along, You see our sin and know it keeps us from the sweet intimacy of eternal life with You. As a young girl, I recall thinking that I didn’t have sin—that I was a good girl. It didn’t take long to see glimpses of sin in my life. In fact, after all these years, You still expose sin in my life that I didn’t even know was there. Yet now, I can stand unashamed before You, resting sure that Your love is absolutely true and covers all my known and yet unknown sin.

 

You knew not even one of us is without sin. You knew there was no other way to wash us clean except by the innocent blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. You knew He had to be born as one of us, tempted to sin but remaining pure and holy all the way to the cross where He willingly died for my sin (and everyone else’s).  That is true love! You not only love me despite my sin and imperfection- You made a way to take it completely away. I can now come before You unashamed. In fact, I love the way You still expose my unclean thoughts and actions. You gently remind me that I am covered with radiant garments because I have accepted and trust in the sweet sacrifice of love You have given me through Jesus Christ!

 

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“You have searched me, Lord, and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely.”   Psalm 139:1-4

 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

 

“And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at his coming.”  1 John 2:28

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, I believe that Jesus died to cover my sin so I can stand unashamed before You…

Heavenly Father,

I had no idea I had been that busy until everything in my life suddenly slowed down from this pandemic. It was a surprise to me to be still over an extended period of time. My life has always been extremely full of activity with a large family, an in-home business and other work, church activities, chores, errands…you name it. I began to notice a slight slow down as my family all grew up and had families of their own, then I began to see their activity levels soar. There is a definite adjustment to being still. I have always needed my quiet time with You, Lord, or I never could have survived all I have. Yet You have brought me and a lot of others to a new level of stillness with most of the world sheltering-in-place. Thank You for these still days…

 

We tend to want to fill our still days with any kind of noise or activity. It’s too quiet so we listen non-stop to any kind of media, music, or words. It’s too still so we run to find some new activity to fill up our time. We can find all kinds of ways to run from stillness. Oh! But, Lord, You wait quietly in the stillness to meet with us. What a treasure we find when we simply sit with You. We learn to listen to You. We get to know You. You restore us to that beautiful loving relationship as we quietly seek You.

 

Too often our busyness glorifies us. It is when we stop and are still with You that You can be glorified in us. Being still in Your presence  reveals the darkness that needs to be brought into Your light; You lovingly convict us of wrong attitudes and thinking; You let us know  when You have something for us to do or say, but it is not difficult for You give us all we need. Father, I am so at peace and content in this stillness. I pray that we all take advantage of these still days and seek You in the quietness where You will be found.

 

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“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

 

“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

 

““Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”   Mark 6:31

 

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Your prayer prompt-

Father, help me learn to love being still with You…

Heavenly Father,

I can’t even begin to count the number of times a roadblock has appeared out of nowhere on my journey with You. There have been so many times as I’ve walked with You that a mountain, deep crevice or ocean looms in front of me and there seems no way around it. Panic threatens to break out as I see no humanly-possible way out of my situation. It is so easy to feel like it’s the end of the world—that my life is destroyed. Now that I’ve been through quite a few junctions like that, I have found that these are some of the best places to be. When I am faced with the unknown, I have another chance to know and trust You in a new way. Just when I think I know You, I discover there is so much I have yet to know.

 

The human part of me wants to lead my own life, make my own choices, rule my own destiny, but I have discovered the absolute joy of surrendering to the One who truly knows all, reigns over all and is victorious over all. The human part of me wants to trust in what I can see, analyze and prove. That’s why I can truly thank You for those times I am in a place that all my human thinking does me absolutely no good. I have watched You open up seas for me to walk through, knock down mountains that seemed immovable, and turned hopeless looking circumstances into whole new chapters that I had never considered possible.

 

All the twists and turns of my journey through this life may be unknown, but all is well…because I know Jesus! He is my way, my truth and my life. I trust Him to lead me all the way Home! I just need to keep my eyes on Him. He is the way. Nothing is unknown to Him. Don’t let me be overwhelmed by any storm, war, issue, or turn in the road. Let me trust the greatest gift we could ever accept from You. Jesus is Lord of my life, my Savior from sin and death, my Guide, my Protector. He lives in me and with me. He knows me and I know Him. I will follow Him into the unknown so I can know You in all Your glorious fullness.

 

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“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:16-19

 

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1

 

“And without faith it is impossible to please God.”      Hebrews 11:6

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-

Father, as I face the unknown, help me to have faith in You…

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,

 

There was a whole different standard of delivering the news when I was younger.  It might have been more boring, but reporters knew they had to have several sources to validate their facts before publicly broadcasting something as the truth. If something was reported as news, it needed to be substantiated before it could destroy someone’s life, or cause chaos and division. The more addicted our culture has become to drama and entertainment, the more “news reports” have evolved into rapid sound bites, quick clips, tainted and slanted opinions and analysis, and half truths or full-out lies designed to grab the largest audience. Apparently bad news gets a whole lot more attention than good news so our view of the world we live in can easily skewed and feel out of control and hopeless. Of course, we really do have to deal with the reality of bad news and good news…

 

The bad news is…there is a lot of real evil in this world—people will use, kill, abuse, destroy other people’s lives for their own selfish motives.  This world is full of lies, gossip, slander, malice and manipulation that will devour others.  There are wars, movements, groups, and individuals who stir up hatred and division and trouble. Innocent lives are killed, maimed, deeply wounded from disregard for anyone else. Suicide, depression and hopelessness threaten to drown out the goodness. The bad news is that we are all part of the bad news. There is not even one single solitary soul who is without sin. That means not one of is free from the penalty of sin which is death. Not even one of us will ever be holy and pure enough to live in peace with God Almighty forever. Now, that is BAD news! The worse news ever!

 

The GOOD News is that You didn’t leave Your people to self-destruct. Lord, You made a way where there was no way. You delivered the Best News ever when You sent Your own holy and pure Son Jesus to die so our sins are forgiven! Even though He was “God in the flesh,” He was also the Son of man, fully capable of sinning and yet He did not. He knew Jesus was the only One who could walk through this sinful world untarnished, able to resist temptation so He could be the perfect sacrifice for our sin. The Good news is it is finished and we are guaranteed eternal life with You where there will never be bad news at all. All we have to do is believe and accept the BEST GOOD NEWS ever. The bad news is we stand condemned by our own choice when we do not choose the Good News. Father, I will focus on the good news and report the truth to whoever will listen and accept.

 

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“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”   Luke 2:9-11

 

“You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.”   Acts 10:36

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”   John 3:16-19

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-

Father God,  am I still living under the bad news …or am I ready to listen and believe in the Best news ever?…

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…