Tag: deliver

July 9 YOU are my Refuge

“Lord my God, I take refuge in You; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.” 

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Father, I don’t use the word “refuge” too often.  But from the time I was young, I remember hearing about “refugees” escaping other countries because the circumstances they lived in were so bad they had to flee to even survive.

Some came on boats with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  They had no food, no other clothing, no source of help.  But they believed if they could only reach America, there would be hope and the possibility of a new, safe, good life.

So a “refuge” is the place we go when we need safety, protection, relief, shelter, help, provision.   It allows security from the pursuit of danger or trouble.  Just as these people fled the threats of their government and political and physical danger to find refuge in America, so I can come to You to find relief from the onslaught of attacks against me.

The flesh, the world, and the evil one are all influences that war against Your wisdom, Your plan and Your purpose for my life.  So I ask You to come to my aid.

Defend me against all that seeks to destroy me, my godly relationships, my adoration and worship of You, my ministry in Your name, and my freedom to read and study Your Word.

The evil one seeks to keep me fearful, discouraged, frustrated, and make my faith in You waver because of difficult circumstances.  He desires my financial ruin, the destruction of my marriage, the smearing of my reputation, and personal moral failure.  The enemy is always crouching at my door, waiting to devour me.

So I ask, “Arise, O Lord, in Your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies… O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.  My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart…You will not back down from the fight, but will sharpen Your sword; and will bend and string Your bow.  You have prepared deadly weapons; and have made ready Your flaming arrows.”

And “I will give thanks to You because of Your righteousness and will sing praise to Your name: The Lord Most High.”  Thank You for being my refuge; for delivering me from the hand of the evil one who comes to harm, kill, and destroy.

You are more powerful than anything he can bring against me.  You are more powerful than all the world can throw at me, or even that my flesh can tempt me with.  I trust in You.  You are my refuge.  Amen

Psalm 7:1-17

 

July 8 You are our Hope

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Be merciful to me, Lord…O Lord, heal me.”  Father, there have been times when not only my body, but my soul have been sick with grief, with fear, with frustration.  There are times when I do not understand why such bad things happen to good, seemingly innocent people and children.

Or why tragedies come: floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, pandemics!  Such devastation is hard to watch as the suffering and loss is personalized in the news.  And that doesn’t even include man’s inhumanity to man as I hear about injustice, shootings and bombings and the violent plans of bloodthirsty men.

As hard as all this is to take in, there are the invisible tragedies as well.  These are the spiritual disasters that occur when people are deceived and led away from You into lives of confusion and sin.  As I see hate and mistrust grow in my family, community and nation I wonder where it will end.  How bad can it get O Lord, before You come and deliver?

I see children rebelling, pulling away from the godly way their parents have raised them.  When will they come to their senses Lord?

I see young people swayed into immoral lifestyles by the social tolerances of the day.  What one generation has allowed in moderation, the next has taken to excess.

Greed runs rampant.  Self is exalted.  Consequences are non-existent.  But the spiritual cost is beyond measure.

While it all looks fun on the outside, many of these people are tortured in their personal life.  They are trapped in a web of self-doubt and pain, discontented with life.  The more they seek to satisfy “self” the more dissatisfied and confused they are.

The further away they get from Your truth, the more lost and unable to even recognize truth they become

“How long, O Lord, how long?  Turn and deliver; save because of Your unfailing love.”

Your love and deliverance are the only hope.   For my family, my community, my nation.

Father, turn the hearts of sons back to fathers.  “Open the eyes “of those who have been drawn away from You, “and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to You, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in You.”

“Father, hear my cry for mercy.  Accept my prayer.”  I long for and wait for the time when all Your enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; and will turn back in sudden disgrace.”  And You will be remembered and worshipped as the One True God.  In my family.  In my nation.  In the world.

I need, we need Your mercy Father.  And Your healing.  Thank You that You hear my cry, and answer.  Amen

Acts 26:18; Psalm 6:1-10

July 5 My Shield

roman shieldHow amazing You are, Father.  You knew what Paul was headed for and You told him to “Take courage” just when he needed it.

You also worked out that a relative learned about the plot against Paul’s life.  And predisposed the Commander of the barracks to be willing to listen to a boy.  Because he took the boy’s story seriously, it preserved Paul’s life and gave him the opportunity for a greater testimony.

There is no doubt that You involve Yourself with life circumstances here on earth.  And intercede to bring about Your purposes.  Thank You that I am assured that You not only know what will come next in my life, but will prepare me for it, encourage me through it, and cause things to work together for me.  I can trust this to happen, because I can trust You.

 “O Lord, no matter how many are against me, You are a shield around me.”  You protect me from their attack.  You repel the arrows fired at me.  You stop the fiery darts flung at me.  You deflect the blows directed at me.  I can stand behind You, as I would stand behind a battle shield and be safe.

Not a flimsy garbage can lid, but a battle shield: reaching from my head to my feet.   And wide enough to cover me so that when I stand next to another, our shields meet and form a wall.  This shield is thick enough and covered with materials that will prevent penetration by darts or arrows.  And it is shiny to reflect the sun and blind the enemy so I am a hard target to find.

“When I cry out to You, You answer me!”  You speak to me through Your Word and in prayer.  You have ways to reach me I haven’t even imagined.  “And when I lie down, and sleep, I wake again because You watch over me.  You sustain me.”  When I cannot defend myself, You are there, protecting me.

So “I will not fear – even when I see my enemy drawn up against me…You will arise!  You will deliver me!”  Thank You Father for Your immeasurable love for me, for Your unfathomable power which You use to strike down my enemies.   All praise to You!  Amen

Acts 23:11-35; Psalm 3:1-8

July 1 A good king – a great prayer!

Finally Father, a good king!  Hezekiah was a good king (few and far between) of the southern kingdom of Judah.  He removed the high places that other kings had allowed to be used for pagan worship and smashed all the sacred stones and Asherah poles.

017-hezekiah-assyriansDuring one of Assyria’s attacks, Hezekiah prayed to You because the Assyrian king mocked and ridiculed You, claiming You could not save Your people.  And You answered and delivered them.   I echo those powerful words.

“Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.  You have made heaven and earth.  Give ear, Oh Lord, and hear; open Your eyes Oh Lord, and see, listen to the words (of the world and the evil one), sent to insult the living God. “

“It is true, Oh Lord, that (the evil one) has attacked and laid waste (to many, winning victories over their lives).  Now, Oh Lord, our God, deliver (me and my loved ones) from the hand of the enemy “- from any plot or plan to derail me, or us from the purpose and plan You have for our lives  – from any lies or deception the world or the evil one would use to oppress us  – from any harm the enemy would seek to do in our lives, whether physical, mental, emotional, psychological, intellectual, social, financial, political or spiritual – “so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You, alone, Oh Lord, are God. “

My loved ones and I may not have to do battle on horseback with spears, but our enemies are real.   Powers and forces come against our family, our godly values, our emotions, our finances, our life circumstances; all trying to defeat us and make us lose our faith in You.

Your response to Hezekiah was positive and powerful.  I desire the same victory You gave Him, Father:

“The enemy will not enter (my life or the lives of my loved ones) or launch an attack (against us).  The enemy will not come against us with shield or build a siege ramp against us (to gain a foothold in our lives or cause devastation within our walls).  By the way that the enemy came (to oppress us,) he will leave and will not enter.   You will defend us and save us, for Your own sake. “     

You were true to Your Word to Hezekiah, and I know You will be faithful to me.  Father, thank You that there is nothing too big and nothing too small for me to ask of You.

You have the power, the authority and the desire to act.  Thank You that You can do immeasurably more than I can ask, or even imagine, in my life, and in the lives of my loved ones – so that You will get all the glory!   Amen

2 Kings 18:17-19:37

June 26 You are my God

“Praise be to You Lord!  You are my Rock.  You train my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”

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And I am in a battle Lord.  A battle between good and evil rages in my country, my society, and even in myself.  Help me stand firm for godly values amidst the onslaught of evil influences that elevate greed, selfishness, lust, envy, pride, laziness, murder, and all sorts of immorality.

“You are my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer.  My shield, in whom I take refuge…Part the heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke.  Send forth lightening and scatter the enemies; shoot Your arrows and rout them.   

“Reach down Your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.”

Father, You never promised I would not have to face difficulties, but You have promised to always be with me.  You have said “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you…” 

Help me take hold of Your hand and stand strong against the rushing waters the enemy sends to sweep me off my feet.  Let me see through the veil of lies and deceit the enemy would use against me.

Make my sons “like well-nurtured plants.”   As plants need water, light and soil, let them grow strong and walk in the light of the “Son.”   Let them be watered by the Holy Spirit to revive and refresh them.  Give them a rich faith to nourish and feed them so they will produce fruit in season as a fruitful vine in Your care.

Father, prune them to increase their fruitfulness so their lives will bring honor and glory to You.    And make “my daughters like pillars:” strong and straight, beautiful to adorn a palace, of resilient character to stand for and display godly values.

Father, in rescuing me, You have “filled my barns with every kind of provision.”  You know what I need to meet the coming challenges You allow into my life.  Meet those needs in a way that I know without a doubt that You have done it.

Prepare me to face challenges in faith and strength of character so I will be a strong witness for You.  Meet my physical and economic needs.  Bless my household out of Your abundant provision.   Show me how to share with others from the bounty You provide for me.

You have my thanks and my praise.  “I will sing a new song to You.”  You are my God.  And I am blessed.  Amen

Psalm 144:1-15; Isaiah 43:1-2

June 25 Miracle Worker!

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Lord God, You never cease to amaze me!  You are involved so intimately in the lives of Your people.  You genuinely care for them.  It gives me such hope!

You warned the man and woman who made a room for Elisha to leave the country to spare them from a seven-year famine.  And when they returned to beg for their house and land, You orchestrated that the king who could grant their plea, had just then heard about the miracle of Elisha raising their son from the dead!

The timing couldn’t have been better!  They received back what they had given up to obey You, and more!

When the rulership had gotten so bad; leading Your people into idolatry and doing only evil in Your eyes, You took action.  You had a just and godly ruler anointed over Israel.  Under Jehu, the line of Ahab was removed.  The people were able to return to worshiping You.

When Your servants Paul and Silas were imprisoned, beaten, and put under special guard, You orchestrated an earthquake to free them!  Even more, You allowed them to work in the lives of their enemy, sharing the Gospel with their jailer, and bringing salvation to him and his family!

How can I doubt

that You, who have done all this on behalf of Your people, will do the same for me?

How can I think

that my problems are beyond Your help?  You, who control earthquakes and famines, kings and jailers!

I am Your servant, Lord.  So I cry to You for mercy.  I rely on Your character of faithfulness and righteousness to defeat the enemy that pursues me and crushes me to the ground.

Even when circumstances discourage me, and cause my spirit to grow faint and my heart to be dismayed, I remember these and other works of deliverance.  I meditate on all You have done and consider the power in Your hands.

And I know, without a doubt, that You will preserve me in Your righteousness.  And that I am Yours forever.  Amen

2 Kings 8:1-6; 9:1-13; Acts 16:16-34; Psalm 143:1-12

June 12 Thank You

“O Lord, hear my voice.  Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.  If You, Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?  But with You there is forgiveness.”

banner-949932_640Thank You Lord, that You hear my voice and my prayer.  Thank You that one of Your qualities is omnipresence: You can be everywhere at once.

I never have to worry that You are too busy, or that I have to wait on the other people in the world for You to be listening and responding to me.  Thank You that in the quietness of my heart, I can turn to You anytime and You are there.

Thank You that when I turn from my sin and ask for forgiveness, You remove my sin from me and never bring it up again.

People remind me of my failures and mistakes, some more than others.  But with You, there is never a backhanded comment, or dredging up my past faults.   When You forgive, it is over and done with.

Thank You for knowing that no one can stand when compared to Your standard and example of perfection without Your covering of mercy and righteousness.  And thank You for providing exactly that in the blood You shed on the cross.   It completely pays the penalty my sins deserve.

“In Your Word I put my hope.”  Its promises are true.  Its instruction is sure.   Father, bring my loved ones to put their hope in You too.   In You, they will find unfailing love and full redemption.  Turn their hearts back to You.  Open their eyes to Your truth.

Pull back the veil of lies and deceit they have believed.  Rip away the evil one’s trickery and schemes that have drawn them away from You.  Help them see that You alone can redeem them.  I wait in anticipation of their deliverance and salvation.  Amen

Psalm 130:1-8

June 4 My All

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Father, I am not free of sin like David in this song.  I cannot say I have been obedient to all Your laws or kept all Your ways.  And yet, You grant me righteousness.  You cover me with the blood You shed at Calvary, giving me the status of being righteous in Your sight.

It is only with this status that I can see and not be afraid.  You are my lamp, turning the darkness around me into light.

You help me fight against the enemy and allow me to scale walls.

You become my shield and my refuge.

You arm me with strength, enable me and train me for the conflicts that come so I can stand firm.

I can say with David, “You give me Your shield of victory, You stoop down to make me great.  You broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles do not turn.”  You provide all this care I do not deserve.

So Father, as You did for David: avenge those who have been persecuted or killed.  Rescue us from violent men and women.  Pursue these enemies and crush them.

And we will lift up Your name.  I will give You the praise of my lips and the worship of my voice.  You are my Savior, my Deliverer, my Redeemer.  You are the Rock upon which my faith is built.  I trust in You.  Thank You.   Amen

2 Samuel 22:21-51

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

Feb 25 Lord have mercy

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Oh Lord, the commands You give your people here look like the Prime Time TV line up on any given night, or the most popular movies   Our “entertainment” is filled with murder, vampires drinking blood and every form of sexual immorality.  The culture and society of my country have become so profane – I am ashamed.

Looking historically, this nation has become all that Egypt represented in Exodus.  I look at this Psalm, and I pray for the United States: “Lord, have mercy on us, as a nation; heal us, for we have sinned against You.”

“Deliver us in times of trouble, protect and preserve our life; bless us in this land and do not surrender us to the desire of our foes.  Sustain us on the sickbed of immorality and restore us from our bed of illness”

“O Lord, have mercy on us; raise us up…Praise be to the God of Israel (and hopefully the God of America) from everlasting to everlasting.  Amen”

Leviticus 17:1-18:30; Psalm 41:1-13

Jan 7 The Lord’s Prayer

religious-316272_1280Dear Father and Creator of us all, who dwells in heaven and whose name is holy, I pray for Your will and Your kingdom to be manifested here on earth as it already is in heaven where You reign.

Bless me with all I need today.  I trust that You know better than I do, what that is.  I gratefully accept what comes from Your hand.

Forgive my sin against You and others (specifically say the sins you repent of) and help me be forgiving of those who have sinned against me.

Lead me away from whatever or whoever would tempt me; and rescue me from evil.

I worship You, honor You, and give You glory.  Yours is the power eternally.  Amen

Matthew 6:9-13

Nov 29 Let me be like Daniel

“You are the Living God and You endure forever; Your kingdom will not be destroyed, Your dominion will never end.  You rescue and You save; You perform signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.  You have rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” 

Daniel lion denO Father, do for me what You did for Daniel!  When forces come against me with contrived plans for my demise, save me from their evil strategies!  Deliver me from whatever punishment they seek to be my end.  Put people in my life who will come to my defense like King Darius, and will pay back my enemies.

Let me be like Daniel.   Make me steadfast in my faith, recognizing You are worthy to be worshipped no matter the social or political climate.  Help me be faithful to pray, trusting in You no matter what.

An interesting point is that Daniel was in his eighties when he was thrown into the lion’s den.  This means that since he was taken captive as a boy in his teens, he never lost faith in You!

He continued his prayer life and godly lifestyle all throughout his years.  He remained a man of integrity and faith.  Even those jealous of his position found him to be “trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.”  Let this be true of me also.

A time is coming when lawless, ungodly men will be judged.  As the flood destroyed the earth once, You will destroy it again by fire.  But I will see a new heaven and a new earth created by Your hand.

As I await that day I want to live, like Daniel, a holy and godly life.

In the Words of the Psalmist: “Direct my footsteps according to Your Word; let no sin rule over me…Make Your face shine upon Your servant and teach me Your decrees.”

Father, this is how I can live the life I desire.  With Your help, I can grow in Your grace and knowledge.  Amen

Daniel 6:1-28; II Peter 3:1-18; Psalm 119:133-135

Jul 8 You are our Hope

usa-1491725_640Be merciful to me, Lord…O Lord, heal me.”  Father, there have been times when not only my body, but my soul have been sick with grief, with fear, with frustration.  There are times when I do not understand why such bad things happen to good, seemingly innocent people and children.

Or why tragedies come: floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires.  Such devastation is hard to watch as the suffering and loss is personalized by the news reporting teams.  And that doesn’t even include man’s inhumanity to man as I hear about shootings and bombings and the violent plans of bloodthirsty men.

As hard as all this is to take in, there are the invisible tragedies as well.  These are the spiritual disasters that occur when people are deceived and led away from You into lives of confusion and sin.  As I see hate and mistrust grow in my family, community and nation I wonder where it will end.  How bad can it get O Lord, before You come and deliver?

I see children rebelling, pulling away from the godly way their parents have raised them.  When will they come to their senses Lord?

I see young people swayed into immoral lifestyles by the social tolerances of the day.  What one generation has allowed in moderation, the next has taken to excess.

Greed runs rampant.  Self is exalted.  Consequences are non-existent.  But the spiritual cost is beyond measure.

While it all looks fun on the outside, many of these people are tortured in their personal life.  They are trapped in a web of self-doubt and pain, discontented with life.  The more they seek to satisfy “self” the more dissatisfied and confused they are.  The further away they get from Your truth, the more lost and unable to even recognize truth they become

“How long, O Lord, how long?  Turn and deliver; save because of Your unfailing love.”

Your love and deliverance are the only hope.   For my family, my community, my nation.

Father, turn the hearts of sons back to fathers.  “Open the eyes “of those who have been drawn away from You, “and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to You, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in You.”

“Father, hear my cry for mercy.  Accept my prayer.”  I long for and wait for the time when all Your enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; and will turn back in sudden disgrace.”  And You will be remembered and worshipped as the One True God.  In my family.  In my nation.  In the world.  I need, we need Your mercy Father.  And Your healing.  Thank You that You hear my cry, and answer.  Amen

Acts 26:18; Psalm 6:1-10

Jun 22 God Delivers

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“Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men and women; protect me from people of violence who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up dissension and war every day.  They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers in on their lips.  Selah”

 

Father, as I think about this, I think of those who have made, planted and exploded bombs to hurt and kill random people, or targeted specific ones.  And those who have taken lethal weapons and randomly attacked people around them.  Some kill themselves in the process; some lay booby traps for even further devastation.  The news reports on them and their stories.

Some have political agendas.  Some have emotional issues.  Some are simply evil, and enjoy the resulting death and destruction.

Making their “tongues as sharp as serpents” allows them to masquerade as “normal” until their deed is carried out.  The poison in their words allows them to fool people around them into thinking nothing is wrong.  Or possibly even lead others into the same darkness in which they operate.  Their lies and deceit create confusion even after the fact, so that truth is hard to discern.

Father, “keep me from the hands of the wicked; protect me from people of violence who plan to trip my feet.  They have hidden a snare for me; they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path.” 

“Do not grant the wicked their desires. O Lord; do not let their plans succeed…”

Father, beyond those who would seek to kill, there are those who would delight in keeping me from Your righteous path; from living a godly life.   Those who would enjoy the moral failure of any believer.  Protect me and my loved ones from any who would act or plan to draw us away from You, or cause us to stumble in our pursuit of a closer relationship with You.

Do not allow ego, misunderstanding, or emotions to lead me away.  Do not let me fall into hopelessness or depression that would keep me distant from You.   Protect my mind, my emotions, my body, and my spirit from any and all attacks,

“You are my God!  Hear, O Lord, my cry for mercy.  O Sovereign Lord, my strong Deliverer…”   Amen

Psalm 140:1-13

May 12 There is none like You

Because You can be trusted, O Lord, my heart is strong and steady.  I am secure in my faith.  I will stand steadfast and give You the praise You deserve!

I will shout and sing!  I will make music that honors You with all that is in me!  I will sing along with praise music.  Add my voice to those of others in praise and worship.  And will compose new songs that tell of Your faithfulness to me!

guitarplayI will stay up late to praise You Father!  I will even get up early when the sun is coming up to honor You!  Break out the guitars, pianos, cymbals, harps, harmonicas, drums, whatever instruments can make music that acknowledges Your love and faithfulness!

Your love is boundless!  As high as I can see with my eyes or even perceive with satellites to the farthest reaches of our galaxy – Your love goes farther still!  Beyond what is calculable or even imaginable!

I stretch out my arms to encompass all I can measure from end to end till it wraps around the earth and begins again – that’s the way Your unending faithfulness is.  You are over and above and beyond all that I can see or comprehend!  I place Your name above all others.  Your glory is limitless!

With just the power and strength in Your right arm, You can save me from any foe, rescue me from any enemy, deliver me from any calamity.  Deliver me Lord, from the lies and deceit of the evil one.  Do not let me be pulled into false philosophies, lying schemes, or political intrigues only to see the truth when it is too late and I have been corrupted.

I am Yours, Lord.  Defend me and bring me to Your fortified place.  Free me from the weaknesses of my flesh: selfishness, laziness, lust, jealousy, pride, arrogance, and greed.  Help me against all these enemies.  No one can help me like You.  There is none like You!

With You, I am victorious!  With You, nothing is impossible!  Thank You for coming to my aid.  Thank You for loving me faithfully.  And for being lovingly faithful.  Amen

Psalm 108:1-13

 

Apr 25 Remember – Commemorate

praise-1154566_640Heavenly Father, my memory is so bad when it comes to recalling all the times You have stepped in to rescue me.  There have been relatively small things and really big things where You have acted on my behalf or worked things out for me.  And at the time, words of thanks went up, but I wouldn’t say I did an adequate job of expressing my gratitude to You or cementing Your blessing in my memory.

Why is it I can remember toothpaste or cereal jingles from when I was a child, but can’t remember when You made a significant impact in my life?  If only I could write a silly jingle whenever I am thankful…

Your people were so greatly impacted with the victory over Sisera and Your defeat of his army, freeing them from twenty years of oppression, that they wrote and sang a song about it.  What a great way to commemorate the occasion and pass on what happened to others!  Perhaps that would be something that would improve my memory too!

Seriously – I could adapt the song “Jesus loves me…”

Jesus loves me this I hear

For He healed my young son’s ear

Doctors sang a surgery song

Jesus healed it – they were wrong!

 

Jesus loves me this I think

‘cause He saved our backed up sink

Others had costly plumbing jobs

But now our water drains, no clogs!

It’s no “Deborah’s Song” but the sentiment is genuine, the gratitude sincere, and I will remember this – and even sing it to friends!

Whether with songs or words, prayers or journals, I will be more intentional about recording the ways You impact my life and reveal Your love for me.  Ways that I can demonstrate my gratitude, record for my own memory, and share with others.  Thank You!  Amen

Judges 4:1-5:31

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.”

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Father, 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.  And that You, Jesus, are interceding, praying for my faith to be strong and sufficient, so I will not fail.

To do my part, I will praise Your name and Your character.  I will sing and make music, proclaiming Your love and faithfulness.  Your godly ability to be with me wherever I go and at all times has been a comfort so often.  Knowing that You will never leave me and that Your love is everlasting has brought me through difficult times.

I will remember Your deeds in my life and the lives of others.  The peace You have given me in times of stress and hardship have defied understanding.  You have calmed me down when circumstances were not calm.   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.

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.

Even in Your unlimited power, You are gentle with me.   You nourish me to become like a strong palm or a tall cedar.

O Lord, let me flourish in Your court.  Let me still bear fruit in my old age; maintaining my knowledge and memory of You so that I may always proclaim that You are My Rock.  My Fortress,  My Deliverer.  My Salvation.  My God.  Amen

Luke 22:31-32; Psalm 92:1-93:5

Apr 19 Only God can make a tree

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…”

Oh Father, I am sick of waiting for some people to make good on their promises.

The delays that come are hard to take.  Even when I can understand there may be a good and logical reason behind postponements, it doesn’t make the waiting any easier.  And when no reason is apparent, the frustration builds up and I literally feel ill.

This happens time and time again when I put my hope in people.  The wondering if they will come through, the anxiousness of not knowing when things can be planned due to the uncertainty, the anticipation of desiring something but having it drag on indefinitely – all these things bring mental exhaustion and emotional collapse!

but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

camperdown-elm-316360_640When I think of all a tree provides, it is comforting.

A tree is beautiful to look at.  It is sturdy and provides shelter to sit or stand under or hide behind.  It’s boughs and leaves give shade from the heat.  I can lean up against it, climb it, sit in it, hide in it.

Depending on the type, it’s leaves may be a balm of healing, or its fruit may be nourishment.   A tree is life giving and life sustaining.

This verse paints a beautiful picture of Your provision in a world where there can be so much disappointment.

Thank You Father, that all Your promises are true.

You promise salvation and You deliver.  Your mercy and grace are renewed every day.  You always forgive and never leave me.  All this is according to Your Word, Your promise.

Father, I place my trust, my hope in You.  If I have hopes or longings that are not honoring to You, please remove them.  Do not let me become sick waiting or hoping for something that is not right for me.  Show me if I need to move my focus or change my perspective.

When I need to wait on Your plan or purpose, help me wait patiently, purposefully and prayerfully.  And when my longings are fulfilled, remind me to thank You and give You the credit.

For all You have already done, and for all You will do, thank You Father.  Amen

Proverbs 13:12

Mar 27 Not by bread alone…

Lord, today’s scripture passages are so rich, it is hard to chose one area of prayer focus.  In these verses You are instructive, encouraging, and even give warnings.  All are important.  But the ones that speak to me the most, remind me of how You care for me and how I should behave in response to that care and commitment.

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I am holy to You, Lord.  That doesn’t mean I am perfect, but that I am set apart for You. And for Your purposes.

Like the Israelites, I have value because of who I am in Your eyes.  You did not set Your affection on me because I am the biggest, or best.  There is nothing I could have done to make You love me.  But You chose me.

You delivered the Israelites from slavery.  Because You love me, You promise to deliver me with a mighty hand from this world and its distressing values.  

You have provided for me in the past when I needed help, encouragement, and provision.  Although You provided physical sustenance for me, You have also taught me that there is more.

So I do not live on “bread” alone.  But my relationship with You and Your Word gives me peace and wholeness.  So I will spend time reading and studying Your Word, and listening for Your voice.

Often, especially in times of need – like the Israelites –  I am drawn to You.  And I need to be sure I give You the credit when You answer and provide. I express my thanks and gratitude in praise, in song, in telling others how You bring me through troubles and trials.

Every good thing I have has come from You.  It is You who make it possible for me to have the life I enjoy, to work and volunteer and help others.

I will pour out myself to honor You.  You have saved me!  From trouble, from trauma, from myself, from circumstances I have gotten myself into, and from eternal death.

You have answered my prayers, come to my rescue, given me hope, forgiven my sin.  I thank You and I praise You!  And I cannot wait to see what’s coming next!  Amen

Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20

Mar 7 Follow the leader

Lord, I love how You are always available to me.  I can come to You any time to ask for wisdom and direction. There is no question too big or too small for You to answer.   And You never make me feel bad for asking.

cloud-pillar_imgarcade.comThe Israelites came and inquired of You through Moses about a problem for some wanting to celebrate the Lord’s Passover.  In response, You told them exactly what to do.  Not only did You answer their question, but Your presence was visible in the camp as a cloud over the Tabernacle.  When You remained, the people remained where You were.  When Your presence moved, they moved.

How I would love to have my own pillar of cloud appear before me and stay with me to direct my path!

Then I would know precisely if I were in Your perfect will or if I were ever in danger of straying from it.  I would know when to move on and when to stay put.  There would be no question of misinterpreting what You were telling me.

And what an accountability factor!  If I were not near the pillar, everyone would know it was me who had moved away – who chose not follow.

In Jerusalem, when Your disciples asked about their future, You revealed events that would help them prepare for the dangers and challenges to come.  You also reminded them to watch for signs and pay attention to the things around them that would help them discern what was coming.  And warned them about false prophets.

As Your Word warns, help me also keep watch and be prepared.

In Psalm 50:15 You tell me to call on You in the day of trouble and You will deliver.  Again showing Your availability and desire to respond when I ask.  I can trust that You, the mighty Creator of the universe, are available to help me, whenever, wherever, however a need arises.

“The way of the Lord is a refuge for the righteous.” And You have shown me that way.  You came and lived on earth to be my example by showing how to treat people and live a moral and godly life.

Also, through Your sacrifice, death and resurrection, You showed me the way to have eternal life.  And gave me the gift of Your Word so I would have it written down, to read and study and memorize and hide in my heart.

You are my refuge.  Thank You for being my sheltered, protected place of sanctuary.   Thank You for being ready with whatever I need.  And for knowing what I need even when I do not.

I am so grateful to have a God who hears, who is able, who is available, and who is willing.  Amen.

Numbers 9:1-23; Mark 13:14-37; Psalm 50:15; Proverbs 10:29

Feb 25 Lord have mercy…

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Oh Lord, the commands You give Your people look like the Prime Time TV line up on any given night, or the most popular movies   Our “entertainment” is filled with murder, vampires drinking blood and every form of sexual immorality.  The culture and society of my country have become so profane – I am ashamed.

Looking historically, this nation has become all that Egypt represented in Exodus.  I look at this Psalm, and I pray for the United States: “Lord, have mercy on us, as a nation; heal us, for we have sinned.”

“Deliver us in times of trouble, protect and preserve our life; bless us in this land and do not surrender us to the desire of our foes.  Sustain us on the sickbed of immorality and restore us from our bed of illness” 

“O Lord, have mercy on us; raise us up…Praise be to the God of Israel (and hopefully the God of America) from everlasting to everlasting.  Amen”

Leviticus 17:1-18:30; Psalm 41:1-13

Feb 20 In the storms

i-know-notFather, so many times I act just like the disciples in the boat during the storm.

I choose to focus on the storm around me.  In the face of the strong winds, the high waves, the tossing of the boat, I look at the opposition, the circumstances that block my way, and the hopelessness of things turning out right.

All the time forgetting Your promises of protection.  Even though I know You are there with me, I do not see how You are at work in the situation, and I cry out to stir You to my cause.   “Lord, don’t You care…?”

Many times, I can almost hear You say the same words to me that You spoke then; “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”

Sometimes You do calm the wind and still the waves.  Other times You simply hold me in Your arms while the waves buffet me.  And sometimes You inspire me and increase my faith with a vision of future calm waters and blue skies, reassuring me that it will be all right.

Thank You for being with me in the storms.  Thank You for speaking to me in songs, scriptures, promises, and visions.

Thank You for the truths You give me in Psalm 37: “My salvation comes from the Lord; You are my stronghold in time of trouble.  You help me and deliver me; and save me. Because I take refuge in You.”  Amen

Mark 4:35-41; Psalm 37:39-40

Feb 15 Me? A Disciple?

picture0223Holy Father, may I be like those You called to follow You as disciples.  May I be willing to leave my family, my occupation to go with You wherever You lead me, leaving behind the security I would lean on in place of You.

Although I was not present in Capernaum where You began teaching with such authority, let me learn from the amazing lessons in Your Word.

You have given me the Holy Spirit to teach me, correct me, guide me.  Make me sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit in my life.

Help me listen to godly wisdom when it comes to opportunities and circumstances; not just take the easy way, or most logical way.  I will call on You, and seek the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Though I may not have seen You perform miracles in Galilee, You have answered prayers and done miraculous things in my life and in the lives of others I know.  Let me be bold about sharing those experiences and so spread the word as Your disciples did.

“I have the assurance that You will contend with those who contend with me and will fight against those who fight against me.  You will take up shield and buckler, arise and come to my aid.  You will brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me.  You will disgrace and put to shame those who seek to ruin my life; and turn back in dismay those who plot my ruin.“

As David wrote these words about the men who were literally seeking his life, I seek Your deliverance from the oppression of the powers of this present darkness at work in the world today; from the spiritual forces at work against You, and so also against me as I live in Your light.

“My soul rejoices in You.  I delight in Your salvation.”  I place my complete trust in You, for there is none like You.  I know that “Your wisdom will reward me.”  Thank You for being my Savior.  Amen

Mark 1:16-28; Psalm 35:1-4,9; Proverbs 9:11

Jan 24 Speak a blessing

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Holy Father, here You depict another way I desire to be like Israel: speaking words of blessing over his sons and grandsons.

I pray that my words would be a blessing to my children.

So many times, I open my mouth before I speak, and the result is not a blessing.

Father, train me in the ability to speak the truth in love. Set a watch over my mouth to stop unthinking or hurtful words before they are spoken, and damage is done. For once spoken, words cannot be unheard.

I believe You must have revealed to Israel what to say to each son, where to put his hands for the blessing, even as he intentionally switched his hands to bless Joseph’s sons. This was not according to the tradition of the time. Neither was the blessing where he gave Judah leadership of the house of Israel and Joseph the double portion. Those both should have been passed to the oldest.

Oh Lord, let me be so close to You that I also hear what You are telling me and let me be obedient even if it goes against the traditions of man or of the times.

One way I can bless my children is by using Your very words. Today I pray these words for my sons by inserting their names:

 “O Lord, answer _______ when he is in distress;” (place in his heart the desire to call out to You, and let him hear Your voice above all else going on in his life) “may the name of the God of Jacob protect _______.” (protect his life, his health, his relationships, his mind, his emotions, his spirit, his work, his comings, his goings)

“May You send _______ help from Your sanctuary” (where You sit enthroned and have angels to be Your messengers and do Your bidding) “and grant him support from Zion. “

“Would You give _______ the desire of his heart” (and remove any desires that would take him away from You) “and make all his plans succeed.” (as You direct his steps)

 “We will shout for joy when _______ is victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God!” Amen !

When his work was done, Israel “drew his feet up into his bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.” Israel finished the work You sent him to do.

Knowing what awaits me as a believer, I so desire to be with You rather than in the dimness of this earth. Do not let me outstay my usefulness to You. Please don’t leave me here one minute beyond what is necessary. I want to do and be all You have sent me here for. And bless all those cross my path.  Amen 

Genesis 48:1-49:33; Psalm 20:1-2,4-5

Feb 25 Lord have mercy…

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Oh Lord, the list of these laws You give Your people looks like the Prime Time TV line up on any given night, or the most popular movies.  Our ‘entertainment’ is filled with murder, vampires drinking blood and every form of sexual immorality. The culture and society of my country have become so profane – I am ashamed.

 

Looking historically, this nation has become all that Egypt represented in Exodus. I look at this Psalm, and I pray for the United States: “I say Lord, have mercy on us, as a nation; heal us, for we have sinned.”

“Deliver us in times of trouble, protect and preserve our life; bless us in this land and do not surrender us to the desire of our foes. Sustain us on the sickbed of immorality and restore us from our bed of illness” 

“O Lord, have mercy on us; raise us up…Praise be to the God of Israel (and hopefully the God of America) from everlasting to everlasting. Amen”

Leviticus 17:1-18:30; Psalm 41:1-13

Feb 15 Me? A Disciple?

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Holy Father, may I be like those You called to follow You as disciples. May I be willing to leave my family, my occupation to go with You wherever You lead me, leaving behind the security I would lean on in place of You.

Although I was not present in Capernaum where You began teaching with such authority, let me learn from the amazing lessons in Your Word. You have given me the Holy Spirit to teach me, correct me, guide me. Make me sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit in my life. Help me listen to godly wisdom when it comes to opportunities and circumstances; not just take the easy way, or the way that seems logical. I will call on You, and seek the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Though I may not have seen You perform miracles in Galilee, You have answered prayers and done miraculous things in my life and others I know. Let me be bold about sharing those experiences, and so spread the word as Your disciples did.

“I have the assurance that You will contend with those who contend with me and will fight against those who fight against me. You will take up shield and buckler, arise and come to my aid. You will brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. You will disgrace and put to shame those who seek to ruin my life; and turn back in dismay those who plot my ruin.“

As David wrote these words about the men who were literally seeking his life, I seek Your deliverance from the oppression of the powers of this present darkness at work in the world today; from the spiritual forces at work against You, and so also against me as I live in Your light.

“My soul rejoices in You. I delight in Your salvation.” I place my complete trust in You, for there is none like You. I know that “Your wisdom will reward me.” Thank You for being my Savior. Amen

Mark 1:16-28; Psalm 35:1-4,9; Proverbs 9:11

Feb 13 I will testify and praise You!

worship-435108_640So many prophecies fulfilled just in today’s verses from Matthew, Lord. In so many ways, You made good on Your Word to send a specific deliverer by a specific pre-ordained way: a Savior who would be the Lamb of God and take away the sin of the world, if we would just accept and believe.

These were not easy promises to fulfill. They were quite costly. Jesus paid the ultimate price with His very life, in a painful and torturous way. And even after His death, more prophecies were satisfied.   So many people, so many years, so many ways the plan could miss the mark, be off the prophecy just a bit. But You brought Your plan down through the ages to fruition. You accomplished the saving of man’s soul and his reconciliation to Yourself.

For these reasons as well as Your faithfulness, Your trustworthiness to Your promises, Your Sovereignty and power in accomplishing all You set out to do, “I will extol You”! According to a dictionary, that means I will praise You, exalt You, commend, admire and worship You. I will tell others of You with highest recommendations.   “Your praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in You! “

I will invite others to glorify You and lift up Your name with me in song, in prayer, to other believers and to anyone who will listen! I will tell them how You heard my prayers and saved friends and family from illness and injuries, how You protected them from bad decisions and bad people and bad situations. I will share how friends at death’s door were returned to their loved ones, and how in Your mercy, others were spared from terrible pain.

I will let them know that You are in the business of revealing wisdom to me when I ask about making decisions, about how when I didn’t know the way to go and felt trapped, You made a way out of the situation I had never thought of or considered.

I will recall times when I was too afraid of what was about to happen, but You gave me peace and the courage to make it through by giving me songs, or visions, or specific scriptures to help me. I will share how there were times when I thought things were going so wrong, but You worked them out and brought blessings out of them I never thought were possible.

These are the things, the testimonies that I have tasted, and have proven over and over again that You are good. Thank You – for being there for me every time I knew I needed You. And thank You Lord for being there for me when I didn’t even know I was in need. Amen

Matthew27:32-66; Psalm34:1-8

Feb 1 Exodus Deliverance Prayer

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Father, I pray this for ______ who is undergoing trials that seem overwhelming right now.

I pray that according to what You, the Holy One did for those who left Egypt when You delivered them out of the hand of Pharaoh at the Sea of Reeds in Exodus 14:19-31, You will do for this precious one in their time of trial, difficulty or crisis.

[You interposed Yourself between Pharaoh’s army and your people who were in the desert trapped up against the Sea of Reeds. You kept them safe all night as You prepared their way of escape. You threw the enemy into a panic and vanquished the enemy completely. You gave them safe passage, making a way where there seemed to be none. And You gave them a wonderful deliverance.]

Lord God, will You now physically place Yourself between this one You love, who You have redeemed and whatever threatens their safety, their security and welfare; and personally assume responsibility for their protection – not because they deserve it by anything they have done, but for the sake of the eternal relationship You have with them.

May You keep vigil over them and send Your almighty Spirit to make a way of escape to deliver them. May You watch over them through the night, the dark time when they cannot see Your hand at work on their behalf – may they feel Your protection even in light of seemingly overwhelming circumstances when they focus on the enemy.

As in Exodus 14:21 when You sent the ‘Ruach kadim’ generally translated as ‘east wind’ but literally meaning ‘the breath that was from before the first, that was in the very beginning’ (reference to Genesis 1:2 when the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the waters, and the Ruach [the breath or Spirit] of the Holy One moved over the face of the deep) may they feel the Ruach or Spirit of God moving in whatever challenge is facing them, as You make a way of escape for them.

May You set panic in the heart of their enemy and send that enemy into confusion so they may not be harmed. May none of the enemy’s weapons find their targets. May they even turn on themselves in the confusion.

May You vanquish the enemy before their eyes. May the enemy fall into the very pit they have dug as a trap and into the hands of a jealous and mighty God. May You totally repel and defeat the enemy on their behalf, because You love them.

We do not underestimate Your power, Holy One, our Covenant Partner. You know what is needed.   Provide for safe passage for them to the place of fulfillment of their purpose in life. They are Your handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do the works You prepared in advance for them. And You who began a good work in them will be faithful to complete it. You absolutely can and will do whatever You have to do to make a way even when there seems to be no way.

And may You, our Lord God, give an awesome aftermath, where they can tell others about the wondrous and mighty work of the Holy One on their behalf. May You give them a heart of gratitude and thanks that acknowledges You and gives You the glory. May their testimony be that in faith, they stood and saw the deliverance of the LORD. Amen

Exodus 13:17-14:31

Jan 30 Salvation Lamb – Passover

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What a beautiful depiction of Your amazing Salvation plan! You delivered the Hebrews physically from the Pharaoh by the same way You deliver me into eternal life: by the blood of the lamb!

The last plague to fall on Pharaoh and Egypt was the death of their firstborn. And the Hebrew people were told to take a lamb from their flock, a male without defect, sacrifice it at a certain hour, and smear the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe of their house. When the Angel of death saw the blood, he would pass over those people within and they would be saved from physical death that night.

It was an exact representation of what would happen centuries later when Jesus came to earth and lived a sinless life. He was the spotless lamb, killed at that same hour, on that same day of the year that Hebrews celebrated down through generations: Passover. The blood He shed paid the price for our sin so we can be justified or reunited to You, a holy God. When we appropriate that blood (or accept it as the free gift to pay the penalty for our sin), eternal death will pass over us, and we will remain to live with You forever!

Until that time of judgment when eternal life and eternal death are meted out, I echo David’s words to proclaim my trust in You. I acknowledge that You are “good and upright”, that “Your ways are loving and faithful”. And I ask that You would “deliver me from my enemies” and “keep me from shame”. Show me more about You and the depth of Your love every day, and “teach me to walk in Your paths” – wherever You would lead me – without stumbling or turning away to the left or the right. Let me learn how Your truth should determine my actions, my words and my attitudes. Help me love my brother and my neighbor as myself.

I thank You for forgiving my sin as I continue to confess it before You: my disobedience, unjust actions, shortcomings and wrong attitudes. Instruct me and guide me every day, giving me strength to hold my tongue when I should, and courage to speak when I should.

I believe You have given me specific gifts and talents; help me use those to glorify You and to bless others. Bring people and resources to me that will empower and support these gifts. Help me be a guiding light for those who see me live my life, pointing them to You.

“My eyes are ever on You”, my Lamb, my Savior, my Lord. Amen

Exodus 11:1-12:13Psalm 25:1-15

Nov 29 Let me be like Daniel

Daniel lion den“You are the Living God and You endure forever; Your kingdom will not be destroyed, Your dominion will never end. You rescue and You save; You perform signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. You have rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

O Father, do for me what You did for Daniel! When forces come against me with contrived plans for my demise, save me from their evil strategies! Deliver me from whatever punishment they seek to be my end. Put people in my life who will come to my defense like King Darius, and will pay back my enemies. And let me be like Daniel.   Let me steadfast in my faith, recognizing You are worthy to be worshipped no matter the social or political climate. Let me be faithful to pray, trusting in You no matter what.

An interesting point is that Daniel was in his eighties when he was thrown into the lion’s den. This means that since he was taken captive as a boy in his teens, he never lost faith in You! He continued his prayer life and godly lifestyle all throughout his years. He remained a man of integrity and faith. Even those jealous of his position found him to be “trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent”. Let this be true of me also.

A time is coming when lawless, ungodly men will be judged. As the flood destroyed the earth once, You will destroy it again by fire. But I will see a new heaven and a new earth created by Your hand. As I await this day I want to live, like Daniel, a holy and godly life. Help me Lord.

In the Words of the Psalmist: “Direct my footsteps according to Your Word; let no sin rule over me…Make Your face shine upon Your servant and teach me Your decrees.” Father, this is how I can live the life I desire. With Your help, I can grow in Your grace and knowledge. Amen

Daniel 6:1-28; II Peter 3:1-18; Psalm 119:129-136