Anyone who is having troubles should pray. ... When a believing person prays, great things happen. -James 5:13,16 NCV

Thine Is the Glory

(Part of a continuing series on the Lord's Prayer. I am aware there is a serious textual question on this last part, but I have decided to pray through it, anyway.)

Father,

I thank You that the kingdom and the power and the glory all belong to You. Help us to live in the light of that. Help us to remember that You are ultimately victorious and that Your rule will last forever, when all that we today think is great has come and gone. Help us to look beyond the facade of this present world and to see Your majesty and to live for eternity rather than this current age.

In Jesus' Name, 
Amen

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Longing and Hope

Jesus, as Israel longed for their Messiah, so we long for you to return and consummate your kingdom. We long for the day when creation will be restored, when their will be more pain or death, when all tears will be wiped away. Thank you for the hope that we have in you, the expectation that you will come as you promised. Amen
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GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST




 Luke 2:13~14  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying ~ "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Dear Lord, I cannot comprehend that You, the Creator of the universe took on flesh and were born of a peasant girl.  You, the One who spoke galaxies into existence, became a speechless newborn baby.  You, the One who gave the stars their light, veiled Your own glory and slipped unnoticed into the human race.  You, the One who clothes all of nature in its boundless beauty and order, came to us wrapped in rags and lying in a feeding trough.  The miracle of Your incarnation is all too unexpected, too mysterious, too holy for me to understand.  I can only follow the shepherds to the manger and bow in astonishment and thanksgiving, glorify and praising You for all that I have heard and seen.  I love You.  Amen.

*Little angels from church Christmas Play
*Maranatha Worship Bible



Amen

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Thankful for Daily Guidance




Psalm 143:10 (NLT)
     Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.


Father if there is anything we need in life it is guidance. And Father I am so impressed with the Psalmist prayer who desires to learn Your will, who understands the importance of Your will, who realizes that guidance in Your will is an act of Your gracious Spirit and who longs for the security of a certain future.

Father, I want that as we are within weeks of completing a year and soon to begin a new one. So much activity in the coming weeks and decisions we may need to make that we haven’t even thought of yet. But your guidance through the balance of this year and through all the days of the coming new year will be a real source of peace and hope.

Thank You Father that the Apostle Paul gives us insight into how this is accomplished: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)

Father the best thing we can do is to learn Your will and follow Your guidance daily. Not only do we pray for daily bread but also daily guidance. And thank You that in Your will we have both.

Through Jesus our Lord,

Amen

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Lord, teach me to forgive

Our Father in heaven, you have commanded us to forgive one another, even up to seventy times seven times, even though we feel it is unfair to us. I pray O God you will teach us to be kind to another, tender-hearted forgiving one another, even as God through Christ has forgiven us. At times when it is difficult to forgive, I pray that you will remind us of your grace and mercy for us, because we too are unworthy for your forgiveness but still you have forgiven us and justified us worthy through Christ. Similar for our brothers and sisters who may have wronged against us, and when we do not have any idea how to move forward, we come to you Father asking for your grace and mercy to flow through us like a river to them, that they too will be filled with your goodness and grace.

Amen



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Finding God afresh in Advent

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.


I love that the Messiah was born in a small village. When I think about him being raised in Nazareth I think of the importance of family and community. God could have come as man but came as a baby who could grow experiencing interactions with both children and adults. Not all was good for Jesus though - because folks in his community knew him so well they were blinded to the idea that his origins were greater than their town. Because of this many could not see him as a messianic ruler. This familiarity is also a challenge to those who grow up in religious communities.



In this Advent season, Lord help us to get past our religious familiarities.
Have mercy on us that we might find you afresh in the midst of shopping for gifts.
Open our eyes to ways that we can serve others who are sad because of the season.
That we might be born anew in us in this busy and hectic season of celebrations.

Teach us to hear and sing beloved Christmas carols with new ears and voices.
Open our minds to new understandings of Christmas and how we might worship you.
Grant us grace that we might find new ways to love the baby Jesus in our families.
Come Holy Spirit and fill our hearts and our families with love faith and peace.

Amen
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