I’m Praying For You

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today I’m praying for you.  I may not know you personally or you may be among my group of besties but I AM PRAYING for you.  Here are the requests I am making before the Throne:

Father in Heaven, grant every man and woman the ability to know You more and more.  Open hearts, minds, and souls to Your incredible love for each of us.  Make us aware that in Your Word we were not only created by You but created in Your image. (Genesis 1:27)

Creator of all that is, was, and is to come, help us know the great value You place in each of us.  Help us understand deeply in every cell of our bodies that You take great joy in Your sons and daughters.  You are the Redeemer of not only our souls, but our lives, our pasts, and our futures.  You see us during our times of deepest fear and greatest joy.  Help us know and understand Your great love for us.  (Psalm 31:7)

Abba, Father, I know You hear each of us.  You hear our praise. You hear our needs. You hear our nearly silent pleas for mercy. You hear us when we regret our sins. You hear us when we have no one but You.  Oh, Lord, hear this prayer.  Grant each of us the ability to totally trust in You. (I Chronicles 5:20)

I lift this prayer before the Throne of Grace, in the Precious Name of Jesus, my Lord, my Provider, my Savior…     Make it so!

This post is linked to Literacy Musing Monday’s.

5 Prayer Prompts

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Do you have times when what to pray evades?  Of course you do.  I do.  Everyone does.  There are many ways and methods of prayer.  Spoken.  Written.  Thought.  There are acronyms to keep us focused and cover all the things we ‘should’.  (ACTS – Acclamation Contrition Thanksgiving Supplication   PRAY – Praise Repent Access Yield)  How about just going before the Throne and giving God all that’s on, or in, your mind/heart.  Here are some ideas:

Tiny Praying HandsA prayer totally devoted to thanks for His provision.  Do one for each letter of the alphabet.  This could become quite long since He gives us EVERYTHING!

Tiny Praying HandsPrayers for someone who is causing you problems.  Not just what is happening on the surface but the whole story.  Dig in and lay it out.  Like King David did in some of the Psalms.  Don’t forget your part in it.

Tiny Praying HandsPray for our country and its leaders, its people, its problems, its challenges…

 

Tiny Praying HandsPraise Him!  Close the door and sing His praise.  Not just one song but maybe a whole CD.  Write a poem.  Take a walk and focus on His creation.  Draw.  Paint.  Sculpt.

Tiny Praying HandsCall a friend! (Matthew 18:19)  Grab your prayer lists, find a quiet place, and lay it all before God.  Agree before hand to stay totally focused on God.

Pray On prayer warriors.  God wants to hear and respond.

Heavenly Father, hear our prayers, incline Your ears, and grant us Your peace.  Help us as we strive to experience Your presence.  Let our prayers and our words be a pleasant fragrance before Your Throne.  Make it so in Jesus name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Signs

Sign Collage

Look around!  They’re everywhere!  Stop signs.  Sale signs.  Billboards.  Not just ‘man’ signs.  God did some pretty spectacular ones.  The rainbow.  The Babe in the manger.  Reversing the sun.  What?  Take a look at Isaiah 38:7-8.

Here’s the story in a nutshell.

~Hezekiah got sick.  Isaiah went to visit him and told him he was going to die.

~Hezekiah turned to the wall and prayed, pointing out his righteous life.  He asked for nothing.

~God heard his prayer and gave him 15 more years.

~God said he would give Hezekiah a sign to assure Hezekiah He could and would do what He said He could.  God moved the sun’s shadow 10 notches backward on the sundial.  The near impossibility of that happening then or even now is astronomical.   Even though the people of that time believed the sun moved around the earth it was till going to be a really big event.

Are you watching for His signs?  (I’m not really referring to end times here.)  When God wants our attention He can use several ways to get it.  Working/speaking through other believers – Isaiah spoke God’s message to Hezekiah.  Motivation to pray and seek answers – Hezekiah turned to the wall, toward God in prayer.  Everyday activities, like watching television or listening to music, will start pointing you in the direction God wants you to go.  Discomfort/sickness – Hezekiah was on his death bed.  God signs are visible but we must be watching, waiting, and ready.  All we have to do is look!

Ah, Lord God, open my eyes, my ears, my heart, my mind to where You are working and what You want me to see.  Give me the ability to take all that is going on around me and see it through Your eyes.  Let me hear Your voice as I try to determine the right response.  Give me wisdom and knowledge to see it Your way.  Make it so in Jesus Name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I am a part of Holly Garth’s Launch Team for her new book, You’re Already Amazing.  From time to time you will see some of her work in this spot on the blog.  Enjoy it with me.  She is a very gifted writer for such a time as this.

With Jesus

You can also find this post in Pondering and Prayer.

A Satisfied Spirit is Persistent

judge

Do you find yourself annoyed at those who ask for the same thing over and over?  Well yes, we all do.  Jesus used this very human characteristic in the Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8) to show us a picture of prayer.

It sometimes appears that the Widow was using the old adage-the squeaking wheel gets the grease-to her advantage.  Meaning the one who complains the longest and loudest gets what they want.  That wasn’t Jesus’ intent.  If you look closely at verse 1 Jesus says (my words) pray, pray, pray.  Although the widow knew the only way to get the desired result was to seek justice, she also knew she needed God to lend a hand.  She was persistent in her quest.

In 1 Corinthians 15:58 Paul tells us to stand firm and let nothing move us in our work for the Lord.  This kind of persistence leads to having no doubt that our work for the Lord matters.

Galatians 6:9 says do not become weary in doing good.  We are to be persistent in every opportunity to be the ‘light in the darkness’ to both those who believe and those who don’t.

If Paul McCartney had not persisted we might have a song called “Scrambled Eggs, oh my baby how I love your legs”.  Instead through rewrite after rewrite.  We got,  “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away”.  “Yesterday” has been played on the radio more than 6 million times, more than any other record in history.  It is also McCartney’s favorite song.

The difference between failure and success-between the widow and the judge-between “Yesterday” and “Scrambled Eggs”- is persistence.

Heavenly Father, let us persist in all the ways that will show the world that You will always answer.  Let others see Jesus in us.  Make it so!

Keep The Appointment

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How often do we keep our God appointments?  Are we more likely to say…If I have time today…Maybe later…and then it’s time to sleep and we have had no or little contact with Him?

1 Samuel 13:14 tells us of the consequences for King Saul when he decided to go his way and not keep the appointment God had given him.

God is out looking for your replacement right now!  This time He’ll do the choosing.  When He finds him, he’ll appoint him leader of His people.  And all because you didn’t keep your appointment with God!    The Message

What was the appointment?  Samuel had told Saul to wait 7 days before attacking the Philistines at Gilgal.  At that time he, Samuel, would sacrifice to God and the battle could begin.  Saul waited the seven days, but in the meantime he was loosing his army to fear.  On the 7th day when Samuel didn’t show up immediately Saul took matters into his own hands and did the sacrifice himself.  Samuel showed up at the end of the sacrifice and said, “What on earth are you doing?”  Saul’s answer was much like our own when we feel we’ve waited long enough and have to take matters into our own hands.  Every time I decide I’ve waited long enough and it’s time to do it my way…there is a consequence.  The results are not the ones I wanted.  Saul’s consequence was not only the loss of his kingship but a serious bout of mental illness.

What is our appointment?  God only wants one thing of us.  He wants a relationship with us.  Each day I set aside specific time to spend with the Lord of my life.  I read His personal instructions to me (The Bible),  I talk to Him about my day, my thoughts, and lift others up (in prayer), and I sit quietly and enjoy the moments with Him (Psalm 46:10).  After reading the verse above, won’t you agree, it’s just to risky to miss the appointment.

Prayerful Acronyms

prayerDo you find it difficult to stay focused on God during your quiet time with Him?  Does your mind wander to and fro with the cares of everyday living?  Perhaps these suggestions will be helpful.

1) A place that is peaceful and set aside for your prayer time.  I love summer because I can sit in our gazebo and enjoy Creation’s song while praying.  In the winter my desk by the window is my choice.   But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.  Luke 5:16

2) A method that works for you.  On your knees? Standing? Sitting? Journaling? Writing?  That’s my method…writing.  I find it easiest to write my prayers because I am totally focused.  Do take time to reread your words and listen for God’s response.  Write that down, too!  Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker   Psalm 95:6

3) An organized plan.  P-R-A-Y  or  F-A-C-T-S  or  A-C-T-S    Each of these acronyms is designed to focus on those areas that are used in Biblical Prayers.  Matthew 6:8-14

P – Praise      R-Repent     A-Ask     Y-thank You

F – Faith      A-Adoration     C-Confession   T-Thanksgiving     S-Supplication  (The faith section of this acronym is about knowing God’s Word so well it can be used in our prayers.)

A-Acclimation     C-Contrition     T-Thanks     S-Supplication

gods-loveI’ve used ACTS for many years.  It helps me to remember the actions I should be using in every prayer, whether in community or alone.  Talk to Him daily.  He loves hearing from us!

Worship in Song       Pray On by Babbie Mason

Heavenly Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight.  Thank You for the ultimate Sacrifice so that I can come before the Throne with a clean heart.  Grant my petitions and those from others, too.  You are my God and King.  Hear my prayer, Oh, Lord!  In the Precious Name of Jesus I ask You to make it so!

What if….

What if, when you woke up this morning, all you had was what you thanked God for yesterday?  Would that change how you communicate with God?  That profound question was another step in the journey God has taken me on to developing a more thankful heart and attitude.

It all started when I was made aware of a book called “One Thousand Gifts”.  This book tells the story of a woman’s journey from an unthinkable incident that colored her whole life to a thankful heart and soul.  As a result I added the ‘gifts’ page to this blog.

Prayer is necessary to a productive Kingdom life.  Since I find it difficult to stay focused I write my prayers and use a model called ACTS.  The A is for Acclamation (praise).  C for contrition (remorse for sins).  T for thanksgiving.  S for supplication (requests).  Because I truly want to develop a thankful heart I include at least five thank-praises for what my One and Only has done or given.

It is mandated in the Word to give thanks!  Take a look at these scriptures and pictures…

I Chronicles 16:34  Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.

I Corinthians 15:57  Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

A fond memory of my dad holding his first grandchild.

Philippians 1:3  I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18  Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.

Ah, Lord, God, how can I say thanks…You have given me life, joy, hope, a future, family, friends, music, cats, a believing husband…What more can I say than thanks!!!!!!

Matthew 6:9-13

New International Version (NIV)

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Tes...

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Testament manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew. Most likely originated in Egypt.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

For yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever. 

I do wonder why that last line is so often left out.  It’s definitely the perfect closing and every 2nd grader who has learned to write a letter has learned it must have a greeting, a body, and a closing.  Ah, well, I digress…..

How often have you said these Words in worship or prayer or song and that’s just what they are..words?  We’re going to take a couple of minutes and just look at a couple of hidden gems in this beautiful prayer.

 Jesus did not say ‘Every time you pray you MUST use these words.  He said, “This, then, is how you should pray:” meaning this is a template, blueprint, or even an outline of how to do it.  We are first, to recognize God for who He is and what He does.  Next, we are to ask for what we need…food, forgiveness and freedom (from evil).  Lastly, we are to once again give God all glory and honor for who He is.

Notice, in verse 11, He tells us to ask for our DAILY bread.  Look a little closer.  If we reverse the two words they become…bread DAILY.  I don’t think this is a mistake, nor would it be out of line to look at the words in this way.  God wants us to ‘pray without ceasing’, asking Him, talking to Him, giving Him credit every hour of every day, day after day.

Let’s take a look at verse 12.  The word debts can be transliterated sins.  Let’s think this through.  Here’s another verse that when reversed adds  more understanding.  What if we say it like this.  “As (in the same way) I forgive others, Father, forgive me.”  Can you imagine the change in our hearts if we thought about that when we say forgive me.  I don’t want to forgive the cruelty shown me by a church leader, but I expect You to forgive me anyway.  I’m not going to forgive the abuses of my childhood, but I expect You to forgive me anything.  I know in my heart that God has forgiven me completely but His expectation is that I will forgive all the hurts, wrongs, stabs in the back…just like He does. 

In the verses following this prayer I’ll paraphrase what He is saying:  Those who forgive will be forgiven by Me.  Those who don’t, won’t.  Those are pretty powerful words for those of us who believe.  Jesus was making a point that He wouldn’t have had to make if we were to remember what He said about forgiving…basically- JUST DO IT!  It will be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but, I really don’t want to have to stand before a disappointed Father and explain why I chose not to forgive.  Not gonna happen.

Heavenly Father, Savior, Forgiver of my sins, teach me to forgive and not hold grudges.  Help me to let go of things others have said and done and let You handle the situation.  When I am asked to forgive just let me do it.  Let my life be an example of forgiveness for those around me.  Teach me Your ways, Lord.  Make it so!

Peace

I’ve really been spending a lot of time searching my heart for what God really wants of my life.  This has really caused me some restless nights and a lack of peace.  I have followed through with leaving my career as an educator, knowing He was very clearly speaking to me about this.  As for what’s next…I am still praying on that.  I know he will make it very clear when He’s ready and not until He’s ready.  I love you all and covet (I know I’m breaking one of the Commandments but I think He really understands this) your comments and prayers.  I am so blessed by you.In several of the churches I attended as a child (We moved a LOT!) the pastor would use the words of Philippians 4:7 (And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.) as a benediction. To this day, when I hear these words an indescribable blanket of peace settles over me. Paul uses these words to describe the blessing we receive when we rejoice in the Lord, are gentle in our relationships, give our worries to the Lord, pray and give thanks for everything. When we obey and give in, through, and too His Name, peace is indeed ours.

Ah, Lord, God, let the peace that escapes our understanding invade our lives today.  Let us see it, feel it, and show it to the world around us.  Make it so!

Psalm 86

 
Psalm 86 is sub-titled ‘A Prayer of David’ in my Bible. Through prayer and focusing on God’s love David could put those who were tormenting him in the right perspective. Praying this psalm in my own words was very enlightening. Enjoy!
 
 
Oh, LORD, bend your ear down to earth so I can speak my needs directly into it.I trust you to keep me safe because You are my God.I send prayers to You 24/7. Hear and grant them.Help me find gladness in serving You.Many call upon You and depend on Your goodness, forgiveness and constant love.Hear my prayer and plea for mercy.When I am in trouble I come to You for the answer.Your works stand out, You are unique.Your creation worships You.You are the One and Only.Instruct me in Your ways. I am in awe of You.Thank You for being my God. I give You all the glory.Your great love sustains me. You are my Deliverer.Those who do not follow You have risen against me.Show Your mercy and grace, Your ‘always there’ love and faithfulness.

Give me strength and keep me safe.

Let those who hate You be shamed because You are my Helper and Comforter.

Heavenly Father, make it so!