Tag: heal

July 30 the Good Shepherd

For many believers, the 23rd Psalm is a passage of scripture known by heart. Many more are familiar enough to recognize the phrases that describe the Shepherd’s care.

sheep-690198_640

But what do all the references really mean?  I have only seen sheep in petting zoos and on back roads in sheep country.  I really don’t know very much about them.  And the impressions I have are not too favorable toward them being a smart or regal animal.

But I have read a wonderful book written by an actual shepherd who takes each verse and explains it from the perspective of a shepherd, and why the sheep need and value each specific thing in this Psalm.

I understand that You, Lord God, are the Good Shepherd, who plans for, provides for, cares for, calms, protects, feeds, guides, restores, heals, comforts, and sacrifices for, even lays down Your life for, the sheep.  And I am that sheep.

Thank You Father that You are my Shepherd.  Other sheep have masters who do not care about them.  They go hungry and become diseased, living a life without shelter or protection.  But You provide all things for me.  You meet my every need.

You provide a place for me to rest that is full of the nourishment I need and free from pests, aggravation from the rest of the flock, and fear of predators.  You lead me where clean, fresh, shallow water stands still for me to drink from so I don’t become sick from dirty, poisoned water.  Or get dragged down or carried a way in deep, rushing water.

When I become world-weary and feel discouraged, depressed, and are down-cast, You renew me.  You give me hope, and bring restoration to my life.

Father, thank You for showing me a good, right way to live that will bring honor to Your name.  Left alone I would go my own way and become entrapped in the selfish, greedy ways of the world.  Thank You that even in the darkest places, where I am the most vulnerable, You go with me and protect me.  You bring me through these valleys to a higher place.

You drive away the predators who seek to devour me with Your rod: a symbol of Your power, authority, and strength.  Thank You that I have Your Word, and that there is power in it.  And that it can also be used as Your staff, to examine, corral, and direct meIn Your protection and direction I am comforted.

I am blessed Lord, that You have walked this earth before me.  You know every trial, every temptation I will face.  And You have prepared me for it.  Like a shepherd removes the poisonous plants before he brings his sheep to feed, You have prayed for me while I’m in this world.  Even with enemies all around, You stand guard and intercede for me, praying for my faith to be strong.

You anoint my head with oil” to consecrate and heal me.   For sheep, it is a life saving measure to drive out parasites that would lay eggs causing inflammation, blindness, and death.   The Holy Spirit in my life brings understanding and healing to me.  And overflows my cup with abundance and blessing.

Yet even when there is suffering in my cup, Your suffering on the cross, and the life You poured out for me, pours over into my cup and overflows it with Your strength and vitality and blessing.

Because You are my Shepherd, You bring goodness and mercy into my life.  But You can also help me leave it in my path, as a legacy to others.  I can deposit into other’s lives, blessing, forgiveness, encouragement, inspiration, and peace.   Help me do that.

I choose to be in Your flock, Your household, forever!  I will never leave.  I want to be in Your presence, in Your care, all the days of my life, and then after that, for eternity.  Amen

Psalm 23:1-6; A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller

July 22 Heal our land

flag needs prayerO Father, Solomon knew the people so well.  Even as You inhabited the Temple, and Your Glory shone all around, he knew Your people would turn away from YouHe prayed for Your forgiveness and mercy, and You answered with a promise we can claim today.

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Father, I belong to You.  I am called a Christian after Your Name “Christ.”  So it is my responsibility to intercede: pray for my community, my country.   That also makes it my responsibility to humble myself and turn from my sin.

It’s so easy to point a finger at corrupt people who take advantage of and mislead others.  Or to ask for forgiveness for “corporate sin” – the sin committed by others in my nation or society as a whole. But You did not stipulate only the guilty looking people confess, but Your people.

I cannot get away from the need to confess my personal sin too.

So Father, I humble myself before You.  I have not measured up in so many ways.  I do not deserve the blessings You pour out on me.   Show me where there is wickedness in my life: my words, my actions, my attitude.

Forgive me when I have spoken but should have held my tongue.  Forgive me when I held my tongue but should have spoken.

I have allowed fear to dictate when I was willing to stand up for You.  I have allowed my comfort to set the limits of my generosity when it comes to giving of my time and talents and treasure.

Lord I seek Your face to bring a spiritual awakening and revival upon my country.  Renew the Biblical values this country was founded on.  Let Your people once again know Your presence, Your power and Your blessing.

Father, bring America together in unity, across boundaries of race, politics, faith, status, income.  Help us join together to seek the common good and Your direction for our lives and our country.

I love You Lord.  You are my strength.  You are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.  I call to You, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.”  Amen

2 Chronicles 6:12-7:16; Psalm 18:1-3 

June 5 All I have is from You

grateful for

 

Dear Lord, I see myself all over today’s scriptures.  Like David taking a census of Israel, I sometimes do things that are not right for my family or me.  I persist in the activity or behavior by some sense or motivation that I become adamant about.

Father, open my ears to the wise counsel You send into my life.  Let me be dissuaded from pursuing ungodly ends.

Lord, I identify with the man at the gate, crippled from birth.  Surely I was also unable to walk in Your light until I came to know You.

But Peter said “Look at us!”  And when the man gave them his attention, he received.

It wasn’t until I gave You my full attention, read Your Word, really listened to the lessons others taught me from Your Word, that I received the ability to walk in Your truth, Your light.  Thank You for sending each one of these helpers into my life.  Thank You for directing my understanding, and opening my eyes to Your truth.

Peter also said “And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made …”

I too am an heir of all that You revealed through the prophets – because I live in a time when I can see that they have been fulfilled in You!

Like the psalmist, I also “lift up my eyes to You.”  I live only because of Your mercy.

Although I am not familiar with being a slave, I can understand that a slave receives only what is provided by the master.

I realize that all I have comes from You: the goodness and blessing I do not deserve, the loving family and friends, the freedoms I enjoy in this country, the medical and technological advances I benefit from.  Thank You for choosing this time and place for me to be born.  All I have is from You, and I am richly, richly blessed.

Lead me in the way that will direct my words, my actions, my attitudes to honor You and bring glory to Your name.  Amen

2 Samuel 24:1-25; Acts 3:1-26; Psalm 123:1-2

May 11 Consider the great love of the Lord!

They:                                                              But God:

Wandered in desert wastelands with no place, no home; hungry, thirsty, fading Led them by a direct path to a city with a place for home, good food and drink, revitalized them
Depressed, prisoners, suffering  in chains, in bitterness rejected the Lord Freed them, broke their chains, brought them out of darkness and gloom, loved them
Rebelled in foolishness bringing suffering upon themselves, dying Healed them, saved their lives
Sought adventure and wealth, befallen by tragedy, discouraged, lost Delivered from distress, calmed storms, provided safety, brought them home
Were needy Blessed them, lifted out of their affliction, increased their numbers, fed them

Imagine what He is willing to do for you !!  And me!!  Amen

Psalm 107:1-43

Apr 17 Learn from the blind beggar

boy-2026186_640“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and answer me.   Thank You for guarding my life.  Father, I devote that life to You.  You are my God and I am Your servant who trusts You.”

Lord, there are so many things I am trusting You for right nowthings that I cannot see, and have no evidence will ever happen.  I guess that’s what faith is all about: believing in what is not yet seen.

Lord let me learn from the blind beggar.

First, when he heard You were passing by, he knew You could heal him and persisted asking for Your help.

So when I have a need, let me come straight to You; confident that You have the desire and the power to help.  And remind me to be persistent like he was.

Next, when You asked what he wanted, he knew exactly.  Help me see my need for what it is, not hide it or deny it.

And last, when You answer my prayer, as You answered the beggar’s, let other people see it and praise You!

Lord, as I bring my requests to You, I come praising You with all my heart.  I praise You that when I am under attack I can ask for Your strength.  I appreciate that sense of Your presence with me when I feel discouraged.

I exalt You for teaching me truth from Your Word and showing me how to apply it to my life; which increases my faith.  I glorify Your name as You guide me in Your wisdom, and give me discernment.

Thank You that I can call on You when I am in trouble.  I know You will answer me.  For all this and more, I thank You Lord.  Amen

Psalm 86:1-13; Luke 18:35-42

Mar 3 Hosanna!

Oh Lord, how wonderful it would have been to be one of the people who shouted to You “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”

And to lay down palm branches and watch You ride onto Jerusalem on the back of a donkey.  What a prophetic time to live in.

10_triumphant_entry_1024

picture from LumoProject.com

I can just imagine the excitement of the moment, and the expectation of the people as they wondered if You really could be the Messiah.

Hosanna!  Waving my arms in the air, swaying with the crowd; having heard the stories of Your miracles and healing:

Water into wine!
Walking on water!
Healing with a touch, a word!
Raising the dead!
These must be signs of a long-awaited deliverance for our people!

But were these the same people who only a few days later called “Crucify Him!” and watched as You were led away?

How is it Jesus, that so near the end of Your time here, You are still to be found teaching.  Whole crowds were amazed at Your words when You threw out the money changers, enraging the chief priests and teachers of the law.

Thank You for teaching me one more time about prayer.  Your words remind me that I need to ask in faith, believing.  And that I need to ask according to Your will.  And that I need to be forgiving so I can be forgiven.

“You are my refuge!  And my strength!  My ever-present help in times of trouble.  Therefore, I will not fear.”  Amen

Mark 11:1-24; Psalm 46:1-2

Mar 2 Selfless Savior

clasped-hands-541849_640Lord Jesus, You amaze me! 

Walking on Your way to Jerusalem, You have just told the disciples that You are going to be personally betrayed.  Following that, You will be condemned to death, mocked and spit on, flogged and finally killed.   Your disciples respond by asking You to do them a favor – and a selfish one at that!

Then, as You come to the city of Jericho, You take time to heal a blind man calling out by the side of the road.  Amazing!

I would think that foremost in Your mind, would be the terrible death You are about to face.  I would think You would want some understanding, sympathy, comfort from those around You.  Yet I find You seeing to the needs of others, teaching them about servanthood, and healing a stranger.

Even in a time of personal need, You give more than anyone else possibly could.  You take Your eyes off Yourself and put them on others.  You use Your power to teach and to heal for the benefit of others. Again, You amaze me!

I wonder, did the disciples hear what You were saying, but think to themselves, “Yeah, but it will probably work out differently when we get there – this can’t be right?”   What else would explain their insensitivity?

Father, let this be a lesson to me to be present with people around me who are hurting.  When they tell me of their hardship, let me be comforting and encouraging.

Remind me to lift them up in prayer.  For although I probably won’t be able to solve their concerns, You most certainly can.

And even when I am hurting, don’t let me ignore others around me who are also hurting, like the blind man You healed.  Again, I cannot heal, but I can direct them to You – the One who always has the patience, the desire and the ability to help.

I am so glad You are my Savior, my Healer, my Father, my Friend.  Amen

Mark 10:32-52

Jan 31 Thank You Thank You Thank You!

pzvi92s-zms-lifelike-creations“Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard Jesus was passing by they called out. When You stopped, You asked what they wanted You to do for them. They asked for their sight. You had compassion on them and healed them. What a miracle!

I depend on Your mercy as well. And Your mercies are new every day. But if You were to ask what I want of You, I am already so blessed, it would be hard to answer.

You have already given me eternal life in Your presence for all time. You have forgiven my sin. You have allowed me to be born in a time when most disease is treatable, water and air are safe to drink and breathe, and injuries do not usually become life threatening.

I have no fear of wild animals attacking as I live in a safe place. You have placed me in a country where I have freedoms that most in the world do not. I can worship You freely, I can travel where I want, can vote for my form of government and live my life in peace within its protected borders, without persecution.

You have allowed me to be born into a loving, supportive, Christian family who raised me to love You. And who gave me not only adequate food, shelter, and an education, but loved me and encouraged me.

You have protected me and saved me from more tragedy and trauma than I will ever know about. And have blessed me with a husband and children, and friends. I live in a beautiful place where every day I can look to the mountains and be reminded of Your strength and majesty.

I enjoy four seasons with all the consistent changes that come with them; weather, wildlife, life cycles of plants, flowers, trees. I have full use of all my senses that can take in the beauty around me and see your infinite diversity at work in birdsongs, floral aromas, the lushness of grass, the chill of fresh snow, the painted sky at sunrise and sunset.

As I think of all these things, my heart overflows with gratitude and thanksgiving. Forgive me for not voicing it every day.

Thank You. Thank You. Thank You!

For as many days as I have left on this earth, there will always be something to thank You for. And when I pass into that next part of our eternal relationship, “I will enter Your gates with thanksgiving in my heart, and enter Your courts with praise!”

Matthew 20:29-34, Psalm 100:4

Jan 15 His eye is on the sparrow

sparrowOh God my Father, I too, sometimes have days where I feel like the Psalmist David who writes this prayer for help in trouble. He sings his troubles to You O Lord, as he writes this to his chief musician.

Like David, I also pour out my heart to You, Oh God. There are circumstances in my life where I feel You have turned away from me, hidden Your face from me. I cannot see You, or feel Your presence and do not know when You will act.

I pray and call out for You to make it right: for healing, for restoration, for vindication, for strength, for wisdom, for justice. I can think of challenges, troubles, where I need each of these; and You know them too, because You know all things.

There are places in my life of such hurt and frustration. They cause sorrow to fill my heart. I feel as if I have fought a battle and my enemies have defeated me. My strength is gone.

I cry out for You to hear me, to come to me, and lift me up. Almighty God, do not let my enemies have the victory. Do not let them say they have vanquished me with rejoicing in their camp.

Even facing all this, I trust wholeheartedly in Your mercy. I know that my salvation is sure. All else pales in the light of Your love and care for me. Whatever happens to me here on earth, I know my future in eternity is secure in You.

So I will sing to You. I will lift up Your Holy Name. I will rejoice abundantly because of what You have done for me. You know the number of hairs on my head, and that is a number that changes daily! Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from Your will.

I trust in Your will completely. I trust the plans that You have for me, to prosper me and not to harm me; plans to give me a hope and a future. So in You will I rest. Amen

Psalm 13:1-6; Jeremiah 29:11

Jan 5 You hear my voice…

praying-614374_1920“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.”

This is the substance of my prayer today.  I lay myself and my loved ones, one by one before You, asking for Your hand to be at work in each of these relationships, and in our circumstances.

Father, You know what each of us needs better than I do, so work in each of our lives to bring about Your perfect will.

Where we have set our own will in opposition to Yours – set us back on Your path.

Some of our bodies need a physical healing; some a spiritual one.  Heal us.

Where there has been rebellion, turn our spirits to You.

Where our hearts are hard, soften them.

Give us Your help and direction.

Where there is disappointment or despair, give us a realization of Your blessings in our lives.

Where our troubles are the result of bad choices, show us those mistakes. Teach us to learn from them so they are not wasted.

Where we are wrestling with spiritual forces, rulers, principalities, authorities, and powers of this dark world and in the heavenly realms; destroy them Lord! Declare them as guilty O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their sins and rebellion against You.

We take refuge in You, and in Your mighty power! You have the resources, the authority, and the power to achieve even more than I can ask or even imagine.

Spread Your protection over us. Surround us with Your favor as with a shield. I wait for Your hand to be made visible in the lives of my family and myself so that I can see and rejoice in You and sing for joy!

We love Your Name O Lord. Jehovah! Yahweh! Jesus! Messiah! For there is no other name by which we can be saved! Amen

Psalm 5:1-12

July 30 The Good Shepherd

For many believers, the 23rd Psalm is a passage of scripture known by heart. Many more are familiar enough to recognize the phrases that describe the Shepherd’s care.

sheep-690198_640

But what do all the references really mean?  I have only seen sheep in petting zoos and on back roads in sheep country.  I really don’t know very much about them.  And the impressions I have are not too favorable toward them being a smart or regal animal.

But I have read a wonderful book written by an actual shepherd who takes each verse and explains it from the perspective of a shepherd, and why the sheep need and value each specific thing in this Psalm.

I understand that You, Lord God, are the Good Shepherd, who plans for, provides for, cares for, calms, protects, feeds, guides, restores, heals, comforts, and sacrifices for, even lays down Your life for, the sheep.  And I am that sheep.

Thank You Father that You are my Shepherd.  Other sheep have masters who do not care about them.  They go hungry and become diseased, living a life without shelter or protection.  But You provide all things for me.  You meet my every need.

You provide a place for me to rest that is full of the nourishment I need and free from pests, aggravation from the rest of the flock, and fear of predators.  You lead me where clean, fresh, shallow water stands still for me to drink from so I don’t become sick from dirty, poisoned water.  Or get dragged down or carried a way in deep, rushing water.

When I become world-weary and feel discouraged, depressed, and are down-cast, You renew me.  You give me hope, and bring restoration to my life.

Father, thank You for showing me a good, right way to live that will bring honor to Your name.  Left alone I would go my own way and become entrapped in the selfish, greedy ways of the world.  Thank You that even in the darkest places, where I am the most vulnerable, You go with me and protect me.  You bring me through these valleys to a higher place.

You drive away the predators who seek to devour me with Your rod: a symbol of Your power, authority, and strength.  Thank You that I have Your Word, and that there is power in it.  And that it can also be used as Your staff, to examine, corral, and direct me.  In Your protection and direction I am comforted.

I am blessed Lord, that You have walked this earth before me.  You know every trial, every temptation I will face.  And You have prepared me for it.  Like a shepherd removes the poisonous plants before he brings his sheep to feed, You have prayed for me while I’m in this world.  Even with enemies all around, You stand guard and intercede for me, praying for my faith to be strong.

“You anoint my head with oil” to consecrate and heal me.   For sheep, it is a life saving measure to drive out parasites that would lay eggs causing inflammation, blindness, and death.   The Holy Spirit in my life brings understanding and healing to me.  And overflows my cup with abundance and blessing.

Yet even when there is suffering in my cup, Your suffering on the cross, and the life You poured out for me, pours over into my cup and overflows it with Your strength and vitality and blessing.

Because You are my Shepherd, You bring goodness and mercy into my life.  But You can also help me leave it in my path, as a legacy to others.  I can deposit into other’s lives, blessing, forgiveness, encouragement, inspiration, and peace.   Help me do that.

I choose to be in Your flock, Your household, forever!  I will never leave.  I want to be in Your presence, in Your care, all the days of my life, and then after that, for eternity.  Amen

Psalm 23:1-6; A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller

July 22 Heal our land

flag needs prayerO Father, Solomon knew the people so well.  Even as You inhabited the Temple, and Your Glory shone all around, he knew Your people would turn away from You.  He prayed for Your forgiveness and mercy, and You answered with a promise we can claim today.

“If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Father, I belong to You.  I am called a Christian after Your Name “Christ.”  So it is my responsibility to intercede: pray for my community, my country.   That also makes it my responsibility to humble myself and turn from my sin.

It’s so easy to point a finger at corrupt people who take advantage of and mislead others.  Or to ask for forgiveness for “corporate sin” – the sin committed by others in my nation or society as a whole. But You did not stipulate only the guilty looking people confess, but Your people.

I cannot get away from the need to confess my personal sin too.

So Father, I humble myself before You.  I have not measured up in so many ways.  I do not deserve the blessings You pour out on me.   Show me where there is wickedness in my life: my words, my actions, my attitude.

Forgive me when I have spoken but should have held my tongue.  Forgive me when I held my tongue but should have spoken.

I have allowed fear to dictate when I was willing to stand up for You.  I have allowed my comfort to set the limits of my generosity when it comes to giving of my time and talents and treasure.

Lord I seek Your face to bring a spiritual awakening and revival upon my country.  Renew the Biblical values this country was founded on.  Let Your people once again know Your presence, Your power and Your blessing.

Father, bring us together in unity amid this crisis, this pandemic, this season of injustice and political division.  Help us join together to seek the common good and Your direction for our lives and our country.

“I love You Lord.  You are my strength.  You are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.  I call to You, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.”  Amen

2 Chronicles 6:12-7:16; Psalm 18:1-3 

June 5 All I have is from You

Dear Lord, I see myself all over today’s scriptures.  Like David taking a census of Israel, I sometimes do things that are not right for my family or me.  I persist in the activity or behavior by some sense or motivation that I become adamant about.

grateful for

Father, open my ears to the wise counsel You send into my life.  Let me be dissuaded from pursuing ungodly ends.

Lord, I identify with the man at the gate, crippled from birth.  Surely I was also unable to walk in Your light until I came to know You.

But Peter said “Look at us!”  And when the man gave them his attention, he received.

It wasn’t until I gave You my full attention, read Your Word, really listened to the lessons others taught me from Your Word, that I received the ability to walk in Your truth, Your light.  Thank You for sending each one of these helpers into my life.  Thank You for directing my understanding, and opening my eyes to Your truth.

Like the psalmist, I also “lift up my eyes to You.”  I live only because of Your mercy.

Although I am not familiar with being a slave, I can understand that a slave receives only what is provided by the master.

I realize that all I have comes from You: the goodness and blessing I do not deserve, the loving family and friends, the freedoms I enjoy in this country, the medical and technological advances I benefit from.  Thank You for choosing this time and place for me to be born.  All I have is from You, and I am richly, richly blessed.

Lead me in the way that will direct my words, my actions, my attitudes to honor You and bring glory to Your name.  Amen

2 Samuel 24:1-25; Acts 3:1-10; Psalm 123:1-2

 

Mar 2 Selfless Savior

clasped-hands-541849_640Lord Jesus, You amaze me!

Walking on Your way to Jerusalem, You have just told the disciples that You are going to be personally betrayed.  Following that, You will be condemned to death, mocked and spit on, flogged and finally killed.   Your disciples respond by asking You to do them a favor – and a selfish one at that!

Then, as You come to the city of Jericho, You take time to heal a blind man calling out by the side of the road.  Amazing!

I would think that foremost in Your mind, would be the terrible death You are about to face.  I would think You would want some understanding, sympathy, comfort from those around You.  Yet I find You seeing to the needs of others, teaching them about servanthood, and healing a stranger.

Even in a time of personal need, You give more than anyone else possibly could.  You take Your eyes off Yourself and put them on others.  You use Your power to teach and to heal for the benefit of others. Again, You amaze me!

I wonder, did the disciples hear what You were saying, but think to themselves, “Yeah, but it will probably work out differently when we get there – this can’t be right?”   What else would explain their insensitivity?

Father, let this be a lesson to me to be present with people around me who are hurting.  When they tell me of their hardship, let me be comforting and encouraging.

Remind me to lift them up in prayer.  For although I probably won’t be able to solve their concerns, You most certainly can.

And even when I am hurting, don’t let me ignore others around me who are also hurting, like the blind man You healed.  Again, I cannot heal, but I can direct them to You – the One who always has the patience, the desire and the ability to help.

I am so glad You are my Savior, my Healer, my Father, my Friend.  Amen

Mark 10:32-52

Jan 15 His eye is on the sparrow

sparrow

Oh God my Father, I too, sometimes have days where I feel like the Psalmist David who writes this prayer for help in trouble. He sings his troubles to You O Lord, as he writes this to his chief musician.

Like David, I also pour out my heart to You, Oh God. There are circumstances in my life where I feel You have turned away from me, hidden Your face from me. I cannot see You, or feel Your presence and do not know when You will act.

I pray and call out for You to make it right: for healing, for restoration, for vindication, for strength, for wisdom, for justice. I can think of challenges, troubles, where I need each of these; and You know them too, because You know all things.

There are places in my life of such hurt and frustration. They cause sorrow to fill my heart. I feel as if I have fought a battle and my enemies have defeated me. My strength is gone.

I cry out for You to hear me, to come to me, and lift me up. Almighty God, do not let my enemies have the victory. Do not let them say they have vanquished me with rejoicing in their camp.

Even facing all this, I trust wholeheartedly in Your mercy. I know that my salvation is sure. All else pales in the light of Your love and care for me. Whatever happens to me here on earth, I know my future in eternity is secure in You.

So I will sing to You. I will lift up Your Holy Name. I will rejoice abundantly because of what You have done for me. You know the number of hairs on my head, and that is a number that changes daily! Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from Your will.

I trust in Your will completely. I trust the plans that You have for me, to prosper me and not to harm me; plans to give me a hope and a future. So in You will I rest. Amen

Psalm 13:1-6; Jeremiah 29:11

Jan 10 Jehovah Rophe – God who Heals

i amHeavenly Father, thank You for coming to earth in the flesh and preserving Your Word so that all can know of it and of Your great love for us:

how You lived and walked among us

how You taught us by Your words and Your actions

how You miraculously healed so many

You fulfilled all the prophecies spoken by Your prophets.

Isaiah says “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” You did this freely, and with authority and power. I believe You still do this today. So many need a healing, Lord. Will You come and lay Your powerful hand of healing on us.

Some need a physical healing. Our bodies are weak and wracked with diseases of all sorts, from fevers and rashes to cancer.  In Your Word You healed all who came to You.  Heal us.

Some have mental stress that has caused emotional problems and we are heartsick. Heal us.

Others need for You to touch our spirits and bring light and life back into us where we have lost hope and are filled with discouragement.  Heal us.

Father, use Your mighty power to make us a living testimony for You.

I praise You because You not only have the power, but also the authority and the will to heal us. Thank You that You are willing and able.

I welcome Your presence into our lives to dispel the darkness. Bring us peace, Lord. Bring us back to wholeness in You.

I realize that Your perfect healing may not look like what I think it should look like from an earthly perspective.  But I trust Your perfect plan.

I fall on my knees before You to receive all You have for me. I lift up Your name Lord Jesus Christ, for You are all that I need.

As I receive from You, let me sense You in a tangible way. I gratefully give You all that I am. Thank You. Amen

Matthew 8:1-17

 

Jan 5 Ordinary People

praying-614374_19201.jpg

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.”

This is the substance of my prayer today.  I lay myself and my loved ones, one by one before You, asking for Your hand to be at work in each of these relationships, and in our circumstances.

Father, You know what each of us needs better than I do, so work in each of our lives to bring about Your perfect will. In some cases, we have set our own will in opposition to Yours – set us back on Your path.  Some of our bodies need a physical healing; some a spiritual one.  Heal us.

Where there has been rebellion turn our spirits to You.  Where our hearts are hard, soften them.  Give us Your help and direction.  Show us how to call on You where there is disappointment or despair and give us a realization of Your blessings in our lives.

I lay our lives at Your feet, knowing that You have the resources, the authority, and the power to achieve even more than I can ask or even imagine. I wait for Your hand to be made visible in the lives of my family and myself so that I can see and rejoice.

Where our troubles are the result of bad choices, show us those mistakes. Teach us to learn from them so the experience is not wasted. Where we are wrestling with spiritual forces, rulers, principalities, authorities, and powers of this dark world and in the heavenly realms; destroy them Lord! Declare them as guilty O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their sins and rebellion against You.

You took a regular man like Abram, and chose to use and bless him. Only by Your promise and power was he made into a great nation with a great name, through whom all peoples of the earth have been blessed.

Even with the mistakes he made, the bad choices, the lack of faith he showed at times, You kept Your word to him. Your promises are never just empty words. Thank You for using ordinary people like him, to do extraordinary things through Your power.

We take refuge in You, and in Your mighty power! Spread Your protection over us. Surround us with Your favor as with a shield. We rejoice in You and we sing for joy! We love Your Name O Lord. Jehovah! Yahweh! Jesus! Messiah! For there is no other name by which we can be saved! Amen

Genesis 12:1-13:4; Psalm 5:3, 10-12

Jul 30 the Good Shepherd

For many believers, the 23rd Psalm is a passage of scripture known by heart. Many more are familiar enough to recognize the phrases that describe the Shepherd’s care.

sheep-690198_640

But what do all the references really mean?  I have only seen sheep in petting zoos and on back roads in sheep country.  I really don’t know very much about them.  And the impressions I have are not too favorable toward them being a smart or regal animal.

But I have read a wonderful book written by an actual shepherd who takes each verse and explains it from the perspective of a shepherd, and why the sheep need and value each specific thing in this Psalm.

I understand that You, Lord God, are the Good Shepherd, who plans for, provides for, cares for, calms, protects, feeds, guides, restores, heals, comforts, and sacrifices for, even lays down Your life for, the sheep.  And I am that sheep.

Thank You Father that You are my Shepherd.  Other sheep have masters who do not care about them.  They go hungry and become diseased, living a life without shelter or protection.  But You provide all things for me.  You meet my every need.

You provide a place for me to rest that is full of the nourishment I need and free from pests, aggravation from the rest of the flock, and fear of predators.  You lead me where clean, fresh, shallow water stands still for me to drink from so I don’t become sick from dirty, poisoned water.  Or get dragged down or carried a way in deep, rushing water.

When I become world-weary and feel discouraged, depressed, and are down-cast, You renew me.  You give me hope, and bring restoration to my life

Father, thank You for showing me a good, right way to live that will bring honor to Your name.  Left alone I would go my own way and become entrapped in the selfish, greedy ways of the world.  Thank You that even in the darkest places, where I am the most vulnerable, You go with me and protect me.  You bring me through these valleys to a higher place.

You drive away the predators who seek to devour me with Your rod: a symbol of Your power, authority, and strength.  Thank You that I have Your Word, and that there is power in it.  And that it can also be used as Your staff, to examine, corral, and direct me.  In Your protection and direction I am comforted.

I am blessed Lord, that You have walked this earth before me.  You know every trial, every temptation I will face.  And You have prepared me for it.  Like a shepherd removes the poisonous plants before he brings his sheep to feed, You have prayed for me while I’m in this world.  Even with enemies all around, You stand guard and intercede for me, praying for my faith to be strong.

“You anoint my head with oil” to consecrate and heal me.   For sheep, it is a life saving measure to drive out parasites that would lay eggs causing inflammation, blindness, and death.   The Holy Spirit in my life brings understanding and healing to me.  And overflows my cup with abundance and blessing.

Yet even when there is suffering in my cup, Your suffering on the cross, and the life You poured out for me, pours over into my cup and overflows it with Your strength and vitality and blessing.

Because You are my Shepherd, You bring goodness and mercy into my life.  But You can also help me leave it in my path, as a legacy to others.  I can deposit into other’s lives, blessing, forgiveness, encouragement, inspiration, and peace.   Help me do that.

I choose to be in Your flock, Your household, forever!  I will never leave.  I want to be in Your presence, in Your care, all the days of my life, and then after that, for eternity.  Amen

Psalm 23:1-6; A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller

June 5 All I have is from You

Dear Lord, I see myself all over today’s scriptures.  Like David taking a census of Israel, I sometimes do things that are not right for my family or me.  I persist in the activity or behavior by some sense or motivation that I become adamant about.   Father, open my ears to the wise counsel You send into my life.  Let me be dissuaded from pursuing ungodly ends.

grateful forLord, I identify with the man at the gate, crippled from birth.  Surely I was also unable to walk in Your light until I came to know You.

But Peter said “Look at us!”  And when the man gave them his attention, he received.  It wasn’t until I gave You my full attention, read Your Word, really listened to the lessons others taught me from Your Word, that I received the ability to walk in Your truth, Your light.  Thank You for sending each one of these helpers into my life.  Thank You for directing my understanding, and opening my eyes to Your truth.

Peter also said “And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made …”  And I too am an heir of all that You revealed through the prophets – because I live in a time when I can see that they have been fulfilled in You!

Like the psalmist, I also “lift up my eyes to You.”  I live only because of Your mercy.

Although I am not familiar with being a slave, I can understand that a slave receives only what is provided by the master.  I realize that all I have comes from You: the goodness and blessing I do not deserve, the loving family and friends, the freedoms I enjoy in this country, the medical and technological advances I benefit from.  Thank You for choosing this time and place for me to be born.  All I have is from You, and I am richly, richly blessed.

Lead me in the way that will direct my words, my actions, my attitudes to honor You and bring glory to Your name.  Amen

2 Samuel 24:1-25; Acts 3:1-26; Psalm 123:1-2

Mar 30 Real Faith

Dear Father, may I have faith like Jairus and the woman who reached out to touch the hem of Your robe.

hem-garment1

Jairus came to You knowing his daughter was sick unto death.  Probably the wisdom of doctors and medical science had done all they could; and still he came, believing, expecting that You could be the source of her healing.  Even when he received word that his daughter was dead, You told him not to be afraid, and he responded with faith.

So many times I let the circumstances around me determine how much faith I have.

If things look good and I am reasonably sure they will work out, I have a greater level of faith that my prayer will be answered favorably.  After all, if it’s likely things will work out, I’m not really depending on You for that much.

If things look really bad, I may cry out, but am I really expecting You to act on my behalf?  Or do I hedge my bet?

The woman with an issue of blood believed she wouldn’t even have to ask; that if she merely touched You – wait, not even You, but only the hem of Your robe that she would be healed.   And she was!

What amazing faith!

They received these amazing, miraculous blessings, Lord, because their faith was in the One who is worthy.  My faith is also in the One who is worthy.

I am blessed, because the outcome is not dependent on me, but on You.  The outcome is not dependent on how the circumstances look.  All the faith in the world does no good if it is misplaced.  Thank You for being the Author and Perfecter of my faith.  Amen

Luke 8:40-56

 

Mar 2 Selfless Savior

clasped-hands-541849_640Lord Jesus, You amaze me!

Walking, on Your way to Jerusalem, You have just told the disciples that You are going to be personally betrayed.  Following that, You will be condemned to death, mocked and spit on, flogged and finally killed.   Your disciples respond by asking You to do them a favor – and a selfish one at that!

Then, as You come to the city of Jericho, You take time to heal a blind man calling out by the side of the road.  Amazing!

I would think that foremost in Your mind, would be the terrible death You are about to face.  I would think You would want some understanding, sympathy, comfort from those around You.  Yet I find You seeing to the needs of others, teaching them about servanthood, and healing a stranger.

Even in a time of personal need, You give more than anyone else possibly could.  You take Your eyes off Yourself and put them on others.  You use Your power to teach and to heal for the benefit of others. Again, You amaze me!

I wonder, did the disciples hear what You were saying, but think to themselves, “Yeah, but it will probably work out differently when we get there – this can’t be right?”   What else would explain their insensitivity?

Father, let this be a lesson to me to be present with people around me who are hurting.  When they tell me of their hardship, let me be comforting and encouraging.

Remind me to lift them up in prayer.  For although I probably won’t be able to solve their concerns, You most certainly can.

And even when I am hurting, don’t let me ignore others around me who are also hurting, like the blind man You healed.  Again, I cannot heal, but I can direct them to You – the One who always has the patience, the desire and the ability to help.

I am so glad You are my Savior, my Healer, my Father, my Friend.  Amen

Mark 10:32-52

Feb 21 Healing and Forgiveness

Dear Father, even though You no longer walk this earth in the flesh, Your power is still present here.  Each believer has the Holy Spirit and can call on You in prayer to effect Your purposes.

prayer-888757_1920So we bring our loved ones and the people of the earth before You.  We ask for healing from physical ailments.  We ask for an end to suffering, whether at the hands of ungodly persecutors, or by the powers of this present darkness that work for the evil one.

We ask for salvation to come to those who are lost and in need of a Savior.  Lord, be the light in their lives that heals and frees and saves.

Like Jairus, I put my faith in Your power to touch and heal.   You are a God of miracles.

I also realize that when I intercede, or pray on behalf of others, I need to be clean before You.  Unconfessed sin can get in the way of our communication.  David says that his sin caused health to leave his body, guilt to overwhelm him.

I too need to confess my sin before You and ask forgiveness.  Show me the sin in my life Lord, and as I agree with You and turn from it, cleanse me anew.

Thank You for Your forgiveness.  Thank You for purifying me from all sin’s unrighteousness.  Thank You for allowing me, like Jairus, to ask in faith for Your healing.

Help me pray in Your will, because I trust that Your will is the absolute best for each of us.  And help me rest in Your answers and Your timing.  Amen

Mark 5:21-43; Psalm 38:1-22

June 6 By God’s Power

“Sovereign Lord, You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of Your servant David when he said ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His Anointed One.’.”

God in control

 

It was true in David’s time that the Philistines and others came and attacked Your people who were led by the men You had anointed to rule them.  When You came to Israel in the flesh, the High Priest and Sanhedrin plotted against You to have You killed

 

And today, many other religions are set against You and Your believers with plans of destruction.  Even more, the culture I live in does not embrace a Biblical worldview, but is focused on material gain, social success, political intrigue and self-gratification.

The prayer of Your disciples is a great guide for me.  First, they acknowledged that You were and are in control.  “They (your enemies) did what Your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”  In David’s time, in Your time here on earth, and now in my life, You are in control.  When things aren’t going well, I sometimes forget that.

Thank You for the reminder that I don’t have to worry that something is going to slip by You unnoticed. You know all things.  You do not sit wringing Your hands wondering what to do next.  I can trust that not only is Your plan advancing, but Your plan is the best one for me. Your power and Your will have already determined beforehand, what is best.

Their prayer was to “enable Your servants to speak Your Word with great boldness.”   What a courageous prayer!  The disciples had just been told by the religious leaders NOT to speak of You, and they had the courage to say they would prefer to obey You, rather than obey man. Show me Lord, when I should speak. And as I open my mouth, fill it with Your words.  And then close it when I am to remain silent.

“Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.”  I have spoken to several people in the last few days who have described dire circumstances for themselves and/or their children.   What I see is that the stage is set for You to do a miracle!

Let the people of my generation see that You are a miracle-working God.  Let them see how much You care for them, and want to have a personal relationship with them.  When things work out, let them see and acknowledge Your hand in their lives, and turn to You!

This was a powerful prayer for the disciples.  I ask it would also be for me.  Amen

Acts 4:1-31

 

May 6 Faith = things hoped for but not yet seen

shield-492992_640

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.

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

Dec 11 You are the One

michelangelo-71282_1280Father, so many times You sent messages to the people and leaders of Israel to return to You, and they did not. You sent death in famine, drought, blight, locusts, plagues, and military defeats as a way to get their attention. Father, when challenges and difficulties come to me, I will come to You. You are the One who can help and heal me. You are the One who can show me wisdom and how to cope with whatever You allow into my life.

Lord, when it is so easy to fret and worry, and grumble and complain to friends, and look to the world for answers, remind me that the source of all I need is You! Calm my heart when I am anxious. Shut my mouth when I whine. Turn me around when I go toward the world’s solutions. I will pour out my heart to You. I will seek wisdom in Your Word. I will not just talk during prayer, but will listen, so I can hear what You have to say to me. I will open my eyes and ears to discern when You are showing and teaching me; and where You are leading me. I will let go of my own way and humble myself to obey You.

For it is “You who forms the mountains, who creates the wind,  and who reveals Your thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—    the Lord God Almighty is Your Name.” You are mine, and I belong to You.  You redeem me with Your love, renew me with Your presence, restore me with Your touch. Amen

Amos 4:1-13