Tag: crisis

June 2 Guide me

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Father, thank You for meeting me where I am. Don’t ever let me try to live life without You.  Even when I don’t know which way to go, I desire the companionship of Your company and the blessing You offer when I am following Your instruction. 

After Your resurrection, several of Your disciples returned to fishing.  But one long night when their efforts yielded no catch, You found them.  From the shore, You told them to throw down their nets on the right side of the boat.  And an enormous catch was brought in.  You blessed their obedience.

Lord, there are so many things pulling at me, personally and in our world today – Covid, injustice, disunity, evil abounding in abuse of power.  So many things seem broken; and that’s on the large scale of what’s happening in the world and in my country.  I am saddened and overwhelmed.

Father, please bring comfort and healing to those families who have suffered at the hands of evil men and women.  Rescue them and bring them the peace that only You canExpose and punish the evil ones.  Let us see Your justice.

Father, when we feel lost, individually or as a nation; find us wherever we are. Show us how to be obedient and where the blessing is.  Thank You for this lesson that even when I come to the end of my efforts and have tried to do things on my own, You stand ready to show me the wayHelp me be humble enough to accept Your instruction, and obedient to follow it.  Amen

John 21:1-14

Apr 24 God’s Protection

“Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail.”

jesus-3618220_640Father, this reminds me that although satan seems to have power on this earth, his power is temporary and limited

He must ask permission to have access to even one of Your children

So I can know, if there is oppression in my life from the evil one, (which I have not invited) that it is limited, and that it has first been filtered through Your fingers of love

That gives me a real sense of securityYou have set a limit and the evil one can go no farther.

And You are interceding, praying for my faith to be strong, so I will not fail. That helps me feel courageous.  If You are on my side, and praying for me, then whatever happens, I cannot fail.

You have the power to create a universe and destroy it.  The beauty of Your imagination is seen in every sunrise and sunset.   The deafening crash of the waves is like a whisper of Your voice. 

You are exalted, lifted up forever.  And yet, You bend down to me. 

You have given me peace in times of stress and hardship that has defied understanding.  You have calmed me down when circumstances were upsetting.   You have shown me wisdom when I could not think of a solution.   You have encouraged me with visions that brought understanding and reassurance when I was afraid.

Even in times of crisis, help me remember that You are with me.

Thank You for caring for me.  For protecting me.  For interceding for me.  Amen

Luke 22:31-32

Mar 25 Help me see

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Lord thank You for these pictures in scripture about the ability to see truth for what it is and to understand the meaning behind being a follower of Christ.

Your first picture reminds me that although a blind person who cannot see can help another blind person, there are blocks they will both stumble over due to their lack of vision.

And the second illustrates how I sometimes try and “help” someone else by fixing a problem I see in their life when I have bigger problems in my own life.

How many times have I relied on the advice and guidance of another person, who is “in the dark” as much as I am?

Rather than coming to You, my own lack of vision blinds me to the truth.

In both these examples, I need to remember to look to You for guidance, answers and perspective on issues in my life and seek Your help in correcting my own issues.

Your last illustration shows how important it is that when I come to You for “vision” I need to be obedient to what You tell me. You and Your wisdom and faithfulness build the foundation for my faith.  And in times like these, a firm foundation is absolutely necessary.

During these times of crisis and challenge, we need to know what our faith is based on.  And that its foundation is sure and reliable.  Father, You are that sure foundation that will keep us from collapsing.

Open my eyes of understanding.  I choose to turn – not to other blind people – but to the Creator who made my eyes and gives me sight.  Amen

Luke 6:39-49

Mar 24 Tracing God’s Faithfulness

Dear Lord, I don’t often take time to look back over my life to see where I’ve been and all I’ve come through.  I forget that remembering Your faithfulness to me in the past, builds my faith in the present, and for the future.

But this is what Moses is doing for these young Israelites who are about to come into their Promised Land.

It was Your miracle that delivered them and their parents from slavery in Egypt.  You who kept them alive through the desert and brought them to this place of promise.  And You who kept Your promise to their forefathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

So this scripture impresses upon me now, that I should take time to see where I have come from, where I am going, and how Your hand has blessed me all along the way.  So many times You have protected me and helped me through hardship.  Recalling those times helps strengthen my faith in You.

Knowing You came through in the past allows me to trust You more now, and be strong in the face of trouble.  I once made a time line of how You had impacted my life at crucial points.  With my aging memory, it helps to see those times written down that confirm Your faithfulness to me.

Life can sometimes seem like a desert, a dry time of focusing more on what I don’t have than what I do.  I’ve truly been given what I’ve needed, not lacking anything.  And I can say that “You have watched over my journey through this vast desert. You have truly blessed me, and been with me.”

Father be with me now, in this time of crisis.  Be with the people who are afraid.  Be with those who have suffered tragic loss.  Speak to our country’s leadersGuide us and guard us.  Deliver us out of danger and into Your promised land safely and quickly.  And we will give You praise.  Amen

Deuteronomy 2:1-29; especially 2:7

Mar 22 You care for us

“O Father, who hears our prayers, forgive us when we are overwhelmed by sin.  You are the hope of all the ends of the earth.

You formed the mountains… and stilled the seas… and the turmoil of the nations.  You care for the land and water it; You enrich it abundantly.”

panorama-3311973_640Father, care for us as You care for the land.  Pour out on us what we need for growth and fruitfulness in our spiritual livesProvide us with the nourishment we need to grow in maturity and grace.

You “drench its furrows and level its ridges, softening it with showers, blessing the land and crowning it with bounty and abundance.”   Father, drench us in Your love, even out our rough places, soften our hearts where they are hardened.

“You crown the year with Your bounty, and Your carts overflow with abundance.”

Father, this year continues the crisis and disunity in our lives, our nation and the world.  Draw us all to You, to seek Your will and purpose for our lives.  Answer us with awesome deeds and fill us with good things from Your house.

Open our eyes to acknowledge Your bounty and the abundance of blessing. And we will shout for joy and sing praises to You.  Amen 

Psalm 65:1-13

June 16 Your Provision

obediencehopeblessingFather, let me be like the woman of Zarephath.

You sent Elijah to this widow when he was exhausted, burned out and in need.  And she herself was in dire need.  Because You had withheld rain from the land, rivers and brooks had dried up and crops had failed. She was ready to make a meal to eat and die.

But like her, reverse my own plans to accommodate Yours.  Let me recognize and be obedient to all You ask of me.

Even when circumstances are dire and I feel like there is no hope, let me be attentive to You at work in my life.  And in doing so, let me receive Your blessing of hope, provision, and life.  Amen

I Kings 17:1-24

June 15 Bring Salvation to all

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Father, I live in a time when Your Word has spread to cover almost all the earth.  In Acts, this was just beginning.  Thank You for spreading the Word to Gentiles as well as people in the Jewish faith.

For Cornelius, You sent an angel directing him to Peter.  And to Peter, You sent a vision to prepare him to share the Good News with Cornelius and other Gentiles.  Thank You for including me in Your message of salvation down through the ages.

Father, I ask that You would continue to send angels and visions to those who have yet to hear of You and Your love for them!   All around the world, give each of these people understanding to see Your truth.

Lord, I have loved ones who have forgotten or walked away from Your loving care.  Draw them back to You.  Return to them the joy of their salvation.  Give them a hunger and thirst to seek and receive Your Good News again.

They have been living under the lies and deceitful influences of the world, the flesh, and the evil one.  Break their chains and set them free to love You again!

Your psalm tells “how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!“  I pray for this goodness and this unity in my family.   Please bestow this blessing on us so we can walk in Your goodness and Your mercy forevermore.

And even on a worldwide scale, I believe You can use even the worst circumstances imaginable to bring unity and salvation.  You can use this pandemic to draw people to You.  And this injustice and unrest in America too.  Please take what satan means for evil and use it for good.  Don’t let any of these painful circumstances be wasted.  But use them all to bring people to a saving knowledge of You.  Amen

Acts 10:1-23; Psalm 133:1-3

June 7 Wisdom and Integrity

wisdom integrity pathDavid spoke a wonderful charge to his son, Solomon. It is also my prayer.

Father, help my children and loved ones, and myself be strong.  Not simply in physical strength.  But help us be of strong character, so we can stand and not fall in the face of temptation.

Help us be tough and resilient in the face of hard times.  And just as gracious and generous in the good times.  Let us be known as men and women who are obedient to You, following You in the kind of life You teach us to live.

Help us walk in Your ways in the everyday decisions of our lives, and choose what is right and just.  Help us conduct our business and relationships openly and honestly, speaking the truth in love.

Teach us to hold to Your moral standards in our conduct and attitudes.  Give us understanding and discernment when we are unsure.   Remind us to study and know Your Word so it can guide and enlighten us.

Help us live out our lives in faith before You, Lord.  Not half-heartedly, but with all our heart and soul; seeking Your wisdom, and applying it correctly to our circumstances.  Let this yield prosperity in all we do wherever we go .

Proverbs says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”  Let me, my family and loved ones know Your way.  Let us live our lives according to it and find eternal life with You.  Amen

1 Kings 2:1-4; Proverbs 16:25

June 3 Jehovah-Jireh My Provider

office-594132_640Lord, thank You for this reminder to commemorate Your works in my life by writing about it.

Whether in a song like David, or poem, or letter form in a journal, it is important that I not only give You recognition, credit, and thanks, but that I leave a record for others to see and know of Your involvement in my life.  I want others know how You love, rescue and deliver those who belong to You.

I may not fight battles with six-fingered giants, but there are forces acting against me today.  In this fight, You are also my rock which I can rely on as immovable; to stand on or hide behind.  You are my fortress where I can find protection within.

You are the One whose power delivers me from the enemy.  You are my shield that deflects the arrows and blows aimed at me.  You are the source of my strength, and the place I can pull back to, to find rest and refuge.  Your power and strength save me.

Thank You that I can call on You when I need help and have become exhausted.  Thank You that You are faithful and trustworthy and come to my aid.  As the Psalmist says, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.”  I can look to the beautiful, often snow-capped mountains where I live.  Their beauty and stability speak to me of Your strength and faithfulness.

But the Psalmist wrote this to be a song all the Israelites would sing either as they made their way up to Jerusalem from their hometowns; or as they ascended the steps on the south wall of the Temple mount.  This was Mount Moriah, where You blessed Abraham and provided the ram to sacrifice in place of his son.

As the Israelites looked up to the hills of Jerusalem, towards the Temple, they would be thinking of You, the offerings they brought, and the forgiveness, celebration and protection they would experience there.

Father, some in my country and around the world do not feel safe today.  Evil is thriving – in violence, in disease, in injustice.  As the Psalm says, “Do not let our foot slip…do not slumber or sleep.” Lord let these people feel Your hand of protection.  Give them Your comfort.  Be their fortress.

And we will give You the glory!  And our thanks and praises.  Amen

2 Samuel 21:15-22:20; Psalm 121:1-8

June 2 Guide me

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Father, thank You for meeting me where I am. Don’t ever let me try to live life without You.  Even when I don’t know which way to go, I desire the companionship of Your company and the blessing You offer when I am following Your instruction.

After Your resurrection, several of Your disciples returned to fishing.  But one long night when their efforts yielded no catch, You found them.  From the shore, You told them to throw down their nets on the right side of the boat.  And an enormous catch was brought in.  You blessed their obedience.

Lord, there are so many things pulling at me in our world today – the pandemic, injustice, disunity, evil abounding in abuse of power.  So many things seem broken; and that’s on the large scale of what’s happening in the world and in my country.  I am saddened and overwhelmed.

Father, please bring comfort and healing to those families who have suffered at the hands of evil men and women.  Rescue them and bring them the peace that only You can.  Expose and punish the evil ones. Let us see Your justice.

Father, when we feel lost, individually or as a nation; find us wherever we are. Show us how to be obedient and where the blessing is.  Thank You for this lesson that even when I come to the end of my efforts and have tried to do things on my own, You stand ready to show me the way.  Help me be humble enough to accept Your instruction, and obedient to follow it.  Amen

John 21:1-14; Psalm 120:1-4

May 27 Your Peace

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Jesus, You told Your disciples what was about to happen so they would have peace.  It was not peace in their circumstances, for those would be catastrophic to them.  But peace in knowing that You were who You said You were and knowing that the Holy Spirit would come and give comfort and teach them.

You knew they would have trouble in this world.  But You encouraged them to take heart!  Because You would overcome the world.

And You did.

Interesting that You said these words to them “A time is coming when you will be scattered, each to your own home.”  Sound familiar?

I believe Your words speak to us today as well.  We are all in our own homes.  We do not know the future, and our circumstances seem catastrophic.  But we know that You are who You say You are.  And we have the Holy Spirit to comfort and teach us.

And knowing that we will have trouble in this world, You speak to us: “Take heart!”

Because You have overcome the world!

Thank You that in Your victory, I can have peace.

John 16:25-33

May 6 FAITH = things hoped for but not yet seen

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Lord, may my faith be like that of the royal official.  He asked for You to come and heal his child who was close to death.  You simply told him “Go, your son will live.”  And he took You at Your word and left.

Even before he saw it with his own eyes, the circumstances proved that You did what You said You would do.  They even revealed that it happened exactly when You spoke!

Father, help me trust in You and what You tell me, even when I can’t see the results immediately.   When it is not in front of my eyes and the doubt of the world pushes in, don’t let my faith waver.  When it doesn’t seem to be happening quick enough let me be patient and trust that Your timing is perfect.

We are having to wait on so many things right now.  In this pandemic, we are praying for healing and good health and jobs, and normalcy to return.  And we cannot see what life will look like in another week or month.

Reminds me of an old country hymn.  Part of the lyrics say:

“Take Him at His word when it’s not lookin’ good,

believe that He’ll do what He said that He would…’”

I believe.  Amen

John 4:43-54

April 24 God’s Protection

“Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail.”

jesus-3618220_640Father, this reminds me that although satan seems to have power on this earth, his power is temporary and limited.

He must ask permission to have access to even one of Your children.

So I can know, if there is oppression in my life from the evil one, (which I have not invited) that it is limited, and that it has first been filtered through Your fingers of love.

That gives me a real sense of security.  You have set a limit and the evil one can go no farther.

And You are interceding, praying for my faith to be strong, so I will not fail. That helps me feel courageous.  If You are on my side, and praying for me, then whatever happens, I cannot fail.

You have the power to create a universe and destroy it. The beauty of Your imagination is seen in every sunrise and sunset.  The deafening crash of the waves is like a whisper of Your voice.

You are exalted, lifted up forever.  And yet, You bend down to me.

You have given me peace in times of stress and hardship that has defied understanding.  You have calmed me down when circumstances were not upsetting.  You have shown me wisdom when I could not think of a solution.  You have encouraged me with visions that brought understanding and reassurance when I was afraid.

Even in these times of crisis, help me remember that You are with me.

Thank You for caring for me.  For protecting me.  For interceding for me.  Amen

Luke 22:31-32

April 14 Your Word over deception and lies

“O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.  See how Your enemies are astir, how Your foes rear their heads.”

For a limited time You have permitted satan to have limited power here.  With lies and deception, vain philosophies and worldly desires he confuses people and leads them astray.

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He holds up the pride of accomplishment and the lusts of the eyes and of the flesh as the pinnacle of human achievement.  He elevates satisfaction and pleasure with material gain no matter the cost in human suffering.

And he stalks those who would seek to lead a godly life and bring You glory; hoping to derail their efforts and sideline them completely.

When I was born, I was automatically on satan’s team because of my sin nature.  Because Adam sinned, all sinned.  There is only one way to be reconciled to You and be on Your team:  accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Jesus’ blood paid the price, the penalty for my sin.   Once on Your team, satan can never have me on his team again.  And because that makes him mad, he tries to ruin my team efforts or keep me off the field entirely.

I admit sometimes I am still misled by satan’s lies.  He deceives me to believe that I am not worthy, or good enough to be on Your team.  If he gets me discouraged enough, depressed, despairing, or distracted, I may just sit myself on the sideline.  He is cunning in his ways to deceive.  And he plots against Your players on all fronts: personally, professionally, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

And during this crisis is just the time when the isolation can get to us and make us feel alone.  But we are NOT alone.  You are ALWAYS with us!  And You give us weapons to fight those lies with.

Your armor is the BEST!  Your protection: absolute!

Thank You that I can protect my mind, my thoughts, from the evil one and use my faith as a shield.

Thank You that I have a weapon: Your Word, to use against his lies and deceiving ways.

And thank You for fighting with me, to give me victory!

Father, make Your enemies like refuse on the ground; “like tumbleweeds that blow along, like chaff before the wind” that is blown and dissipates till it is no more. Consume Your enemies “like a fire consumes the forest or sets a mountain ablaze” as You “pursue and terrify them with Your hurricane power.”

“They will perish in disgrace, O Lord.  And know that You alone, are the Most High, over all the earth.”  Amen

Psalm 83:1-18

April 11 Courage for the next step

directory-1273088_640“Hear me O Shepherd of Israel, You who led Joseph and his people like a flock” to greener pastures in Egypt because there was an extreme famine in the land.

“Hear me, You who sit enthroned between the cherubim” on the golden Ark of the Covenant that Moses had made so the High Priest could seek Your face and wisdom.

 “Awaken Your might!  Come and save me!”

As the Israelites went into the Promised Land to take possession of all You had promised them, lead me, Lord, to what You have for me.  Let me see and possess all the blessings You have prepared for me.  Do not let me miss out on Your blessing because I am too afraid to get my feet wet!

The Israelites had to step into the floodwaters of the Jordan River before You stopped the flow of water to let them pass.  Sometimes I also must take a step of faith to see Your provision in my life.  Show me that step so I can also come into all that You have for me.

What an opportunity they would have missed  if they lacked the courage to do as You said! 

The same is true for the people You spoke about who were invited to a great banquet.  They made every excuse to stay away.  Although they were acceptable excuses for the day and time, they missed out on the bounty, provision, and the very salvation You had prepared for them.

This present crisis allows me even more time to spend with You because I am at home all day every day. How sad that I sometimes choose checking email over hearing from the God and Creator of the Universe who makes time to speak with me!

“Restore me O God.  Make Your face to shine upon me that I may be saved.”  Restore me to right thinking so I will set my priorities straight, Lord.  Make Your face to shine on me so I may walk in the light of Your radiant presence.

Show me when I need to take a step of faith and get my feet wet.  When I make excuses, remind me of the rich banquet of blessing I am missing by not spending time with You.  Thank You for Your unending faithfulness.  Amen

Joshua 3:1-4:24; Luke 14:16-24; Psalm 80:1-3

April 8 Back to You

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Father, like the Israelites, we have put You to the test.  Even as Believers, we have rebelled against You.  We pick and choose how we obey You, discounting some things claiming they were written for another time.  Or that the meaning was different so long ago.

We have placed greater importance on other things, like sports, fame, money, youth, rather than on worshipping the One True God, the Most High, who is deserving of all of our praise.

Do not reject us O God.  Do not abandon us.  But show us the error of our ways. Teach us to walk rightly again and make wise decisions that honor You.

Use these stressful times of crisis in our lives to turn us back to a closer relationship with You.  Help me give You the place in my life that You deserve.

Remind me in this time of being at home, to make time to read Your word so it can guide and encourage me.  Help me set aside time to actually pray, for myself, my family, my neighbors, my church, my state, my country and the world.  And to listen for Your response to my prayers.

Train my ear to hear Your voice so I receive Your direction, Your wisdom, Your love, Your peace.  Open my eyes to see the real and tangible blessings You have placed in my life in my life.

Turn our hearts, our minds, our spirits, our lives back to You.  Amen

Psalm 78:56-64

April 5 Power in Your Word

directory-466935_640Heavenly Father, thank You for those times I literally cried out to You for You to hear me and come quickly; and You did.

Nights like the Psalmist experienced – when in distress over circumstances, I sought You.  One night I could not see a way out of or through my problems.

And though I had gone to bed, sleep was far from me.  My thoughts would not be still.  With each issue, another failure or complication seemed to pile on until I felt so overwhelmed I did not even know where or how to start to pray.

Many may be feeling this way now, in the midst of this crisis.

Even though many times before You spoke to me, encouraged me, lifted me up – I didn’t feel that this time.  I felt far from You and wondered if I had reached the end.  And that thought sounded like the answer.  That death would be a relief.

That’s when it hit me – this thought was NOT from You.

It was from the evil one who would like nothing better than to sideline me – take me out of the game altogether!  If satan can get anyone to believe the lie that there is no hope, it immobilizes and freezes them.  Can even paralyze a Christian’s faith.

So I began praying – not about the circumstances that were overwhelming me – but any scripture I could remember:

The Lord’s prayer.  

The 23rd Psalm. 

“I will love the Lord my God with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, and love my neighbor as myself.” 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not die, but have everlasting life.” 

“The Lord your God goes with you to fight for you against your enemies and give you victory!” 

“Jesus wept.” 

The more I quoted Your Word in prayer, the calmer I felt.  And soon fell asleep.

Thank You Lord, for sending Your calm, Your peace.  Thank You for sending sleep.

Thank You that in the morning, things didn’t look as bad as they had the night before!  Thank You that I could see resources and solutions I could not the night before.  In taking those steps back towards You, I felt Your presence once again.  It was not You who had moved.  But in believing a lie, I had.

Father, show us all the way back to You.  Draw us closer into Your Presence and Your Deliverance with the power of Your Word.  When we don’t know what to pray, bring scripture to our minds.

“You are the God who performs miracles; You display your power among the peoples.”  Thank You for the power in Your Word.  Amen

Psalm 77:1-15; Matthew 6:9-15; Luke 10:27; John 3:16; John 11:35; Deuteronomy 20:4

April 3 The Good Samaritan

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Father, the Parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the first I can remember hearing from the Bible when I was a little girl.

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by robbers.  They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.”

Photo by http://www.LumoProject.com

It was a lesson on loving your neighbor as yourself, teaching us all in Sunday school that when anyone is hurt or hurting we are to do all we can to help them.  This is a value I have had all my life.

Much later in life, You opened my eyes to new levels of understanding of this parable.  I’ve learned more about how badly he was hurt and the level of commitment it took on the part of the Good Samaritan.  And the significance of the spiritual hypocrisy and political bigotry of the men who passed him by.  And the social discrimination that the Samaritan ignored or overlooked to help the wounded man.

So it’s hard for me to see people profiting off of others by hoarding needed supplies during this crisis.

Lord would You help everyone look beyond their selfishness and greed to see the hurting people.  Remind us that if not for Your grace, we could be those hurting people.

Give us each, everyone on the planet, the perspective to see that everything we have is blessing from You.  And that we are to share that blessing.

Father, some of us are in need right now.  We may not be stripped and bloody on the side of the road, but we may be sick, or have loved ones who are sick, and separated from us in hospitals.  We thank You for the care received at the hands of those who are generously giving out of their abundance and knowledge to treat the sick.

Some of us may be out of work and have bills coming due.  Father make a way where there seems to be no way for our financial needs to be met.  Bring a solution to every person and every problem.  Allow grace and generosity be the signs of these times.

Some may be isolated in their needs for food or care.  Lord bring those needs to light, and someone in each person’s life to help meet those needs.

Make us like the Good Samaritan.  Remove greed, selfishness, discrimination and hypocrisy from us during these times.  And let us emerge from this crisis a more loving, caring people who bring honor to Your name.  Amen

Luke 10:25-37

April 1 I still belong to You

DSCN0079Father, thank You for this scripture that reminds me that even in the midst of this pandemic crisis You are the strength of my heart.

You created me.  And called me to believe in You and trust You with my life.

Because I call You Savior and Lord, I belong to You.  You have promised to guide me with Your counsel.

So whatever is happening in the world I can trust that You will take my hand and be with me.  I can lean on You for support when I am feeling weak or overwhelmed.  Your counsel will give me the perspective I need to cope and prevail under any circumstances. In the heart of turmoil, You give me peace.

You rejoice with me in the victories.  You fight with me and for me in the battles.  And lead me to a glorious destiny, eventually to spend eternity with You.

Regardless of the condition of the world or the circumstances of my life, I have put my faith in You.  You are the strength that keeps me going.

Psalm 73: 23-26

Mar 31 God makes a little a lot

A crowd came because they were hungry to hear from and be healed by You, Jesus.  In staying late, they also grew hungry physically.  Your disciples had only five loaves of bread and two fish; not even enough to feed the twelve of them, much less a crowd of five thousand.

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But You took what was there, looked up to heaven, gave thanks and broke it.  And that meager amount was miraculously multiplied to provide enough for more than five thousand people to eat and be satisfied, with more left over than there was at the start!

Oh Lord, You have placed gifts in me and in each one of us that are to be shared.  Like the bread and the fish, it may not look like much to begin with.  But You do not make mistakes.

What matters is not what things look like here on earth through man’s eyes.  What matters is that the gifts are available to be used by You.

So Father, in these times of crisis, help us each offer what we have.  Let us overcome the selfish, hoarding, greedy ways of the flesh and look to You with thanksgiving in our hearts.

Father bless us and break us to release the gifts You have placed in us.  Use what You have given us to make a blessing for others that will bring glory and honor to Your name.

Because of who You are: the One True God, the Lord Jesus Christ, You can do more than we can say or do, more than we can ask or even imagine!

With You, nothing is impossible!  Amen

Luke 9:10-17

Mar 28 Burnout? or Peace?

Lord, I do not desire to be a stiff-necked person.  Yet there are so many times I have been obstinate, stubborn, and wanted my own way!

Situations come up in my life, and the first thing I think of is how it can work out best for me.  I don’t think of myself as selfish, but I certainly do prefer when circumstances benefit me and don’t rock my boat.

virus-4937553_640There are so many things beyond my control that I seek to tightly control the things that are within my grasp.  I do what I can to plan my work and work my plan.  I try and keep a handle on and stay on top of events, relationships, finances, schedules, health issues, family, home.

The truth is: my being in control is just an illusion.  I am not really in control of anything.  This year and the corona crisis had made that remarkably clear for all of us.

But by Your grace, make it from one day to the next, one month to the next, one year to the next.

I believe You are a God of order.  You created the universe with order.  You ordered the solar system, and the seasons, life cycles and day and night.

If You can handle the universe, You can certainly handle the details of my life and the crisis we are facing now.  The control I desperately seek, I can trust to You.  I need to do my part, but I can release that part of me that seeks to insist on my own way; that seeks to “feel” in control.

A new way of thinking for me is to ask how the circumstances in my life can be used to bring You glory.  How can I respond in a way that shows that my peace and confidence come from You, the Lord God Almighty, instead of being dependent on whether or not things work out my way?

man on rok overlooking skyseaHelp me Lord.  Keep my heart sensitive to what You are doing so I can join you.  Keep my mind focused on what You are showing me and teaching me through Your Word, about how to let go.

I have heard that I cannot do Your part, and You will not do my part.  Give me the discernment to know which is which.   And the courage to let my actions reflect that.  Amen

Deuteronomy 10:12-22

Mar 25 Help me see

eyeglasses-2003188_640Lord thank You for these pictures in scripture about the ability to see truth for what it is and to understand the meaning behind being a follower of Christ.

Your first picture reminds me that although a blind person who cannot see can help another blind person, there are blocks they will both stumble over due to their lack of vision.

And the second illustrates how I sometimes try and “help” someone else by fixing a problem I see in their life when I have bigger problems in my own life.

How many times have I relied on the advice and guidance of another person, who is “in the dark” as much as I am?

Rather than coming to You, my own lack of vision blinds me to the truth.

In both these examples, I need to remember to look to You for guidance, answers and perspective on issues in my life and seek Your help in correcting my own issues.

Your last illustration shows how important it is that when I come to You for “vision” I am obedient to what You tell me. Obedience and Your faithfulness build the foundation for my faith.  And in times like these, a firm foundation absolutely necessary.

During this crisis we need to know what our faith is based on.  And that its foundation is sure and reliable.  Father, You are that sure foundation that will keep us from collapsing.

I choose to turn – not to other blind people – but to the Creator who made me eyes and gives me sight.  Amen

Luke 6:39-49

Mar 24 Tracing God’s Faithfulness

Dear Lord, I don’t often take time to look back over my life to see where I’ve been and all I’ve come through.  I forget that remembering Your faithfulness to me in the past, builds my faith in the present, and for the future.

Printable-Timeline-Template-for-StudentBut this is what Moses is doing for these young Israelites who are about to come into their Promised Land. 

It was Your miracle that delivered them and their parents from slavery in Egypt.  You who kept them alive through the desert and brought them to this place of promise.  And You who kept His promise to their forefathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

So this scripture impresses upon me now, that I should take time to see where I have come from, where I am going, and how Your hand has blessed me all along the way.  So many times You have protected me and helped me through hardship.  Recalling those times helps strengthen my faith in You.

Knowing You came through in the past allows me to trust You more now, and be strong in the face of trouble.  I once made a time line of how You had impacted my life at crucial points.  With my aging memory, it helps to see those times written down that confirm Your faithfulness to me.

Life can sometimes seem like a desert, a dry time of focusing more on what I don’t have than what I do.  I’ve truly been given what I’ve needed, not lacking anything.  And I can say that “You have watched over my journey through this vast desert. You have truly blessed me, and been with me.”

Father be with me now, in this crisis.  Be with the people who are afraid.  Speak to our country’s leaders.  Guide us and guard us.  Deliver us out of danger and into Your promised land safely and quickly.  And we will give You praise.  Amen

Deuteronomy 2:1-29; especially 2:7

Mar 22 You care for us

panorama-3311973_640“O Father, who hears our prayers, forgive us when we are overwhelmed by sin.  You are the hope of all the ends of the earth.

You formed the mountains and stilled the seas, and the turmoil of the nations.  You care for the land and water it; You enrich it abundantly.”

Father, care for us as You care for the land.  Pour out on us what we need for growth and fruitfulness in our spiritual lives.  Provide us with the nourishment we need to grow in maturity and grace.

You “drench its furrows and level its ridges, softening it with showers, blessing the land and crowning it with bounty and abundance.”   Father, drench us in Your love, even out our rough places, soften our hearts where they are hardened.

“You crown the year with Your bounty, and Your carts overflow with abundance.”

Father, this year has begun with a crisis in our lives, our nation and the world.  Draw us all to You, to seek Your will and purpose for our lives.  Answer us with awesome deeds and fill us with good things from Your house.

Open our eyes to acknowledge Your bounty and the abundance of blessing. And we will shout for joy and sing praises to You.  Amen

Psalm 65:1-13

 

Mar 17 Growth

sapling-154734_640

Lord Jesus, we know very little about Your childhood from the scriptures.  We do know that You were remarkable.  From Your eighth day, we know that “He grew and became strong, was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him.” 

And when twelve years old, You ”sat among the teachers in the temple courts, amazing people at His understanding and answers.”

Then we learn You were obedient to Your earthly parents and “grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”

Lord, that is my desire as well, to grow “in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”

I pray You would help me grow in being able to understand, remember, and apply learning and knowledge to my life; which we call wisdom.  But not just from a worldly viewpoint.  I would desire to have godly wisdom, from the Holy Spirit, to teach me of You, to know You better, to see things from Your perspective.

That way, when a crisis comes, like what we are facing today, I would not only have the wisdom to know what to do, and the peace to act, but I would be able to share that peace with others to help them cope.

Thank You Father, that You have shared your wisdom with me, and that I do have peace.

Grow and mature me now to put away childish thoughts and behaviors, to let go of ego and selfishness, and to be accountable to my relationships with You and others.

Let me be strong, and show others the peace that You offer and the grace that I live in, thanks to You.  Amen

Luke 2:36-52