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

thank you for new beginnings

O Lord, thank you for new beginnings.

You have just given us a moment where the earth stood still, where the nights were longest and the light just fleeting. Now each day is longer, brighter than the one before. We turn the page on our calendars, saying good riddance to baggage and hello to resolution.

This amazing gift, Lord, is embedded in our Universe. We thank you for new beginnings.

Each month, by your design, the moon is full then new again.

The seasons are marked by death and rebirth.

Each day, we go to sleep at night in darkness, confident that the morning will bring light, hope and the opportunity to start with a clean slate – worry free.

If we need even more reminders, we have the tides… high, low, high, low… twice each day each.

All by your design. You give us rebirth. Reawakening. Renewal. Thank you Lord.

You have made it impossible to not notice you Lord. The very fabric of our existence screams out your vow of redemption.

But if somehow our eyes and ears remain closed to the signs around us, you reached further and gave us the greatest gift of all, the everlasting sign of your promise and hope, your son Jesus.

Thank you Lord. We humbly and gratefully accept these gifts today. Today is a day to begin again.

Amen


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RUNNING THE RACE


With the new year just days away, my heart was drawn to this verse in Philippians 3:13-14 where Paul tells us how we should treat 2010.

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

May this be our prayer today, based on this Scripture.

Dear Lord, the longer I live, the more I respect Your servant Paul. He narrowed his focus to encompass only that which was eternal. Lord, teach me to live with a heavenly perspective and a heavenward goal. Even now, my desire is to say with Paul ~~ This one thing I do ~~ Teach me to leave behind peripheral distractions and to fix my eyes on the goal as I seek to run the race you have set before me.

There are failures, disappointments, health issues, and attitudes that I experienced in 2009 ~~ Today, I want to learn from them and then leave them behind, and fix my eyes on Jesus and press on to the goal of pleasing Him in 2010. Will you join me in this prayer?

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Lord, prop us up on our leaning side.




Every time I am asked to pray, I think of the old deacon who always prayed, "Lord, prop us up on our leanin' side." After hearing him pray that prayer many times, someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently.

He answered, "Well sir, you see, it's like this. I got an old barn out back. It's been there a long time; it's withstood a lot of weather; it's gone through a lot of storms, and it's stood for many years.

It's still standing. But one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit.

So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn't fall.

Then I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn. I've been around a long time.

I've withstood a lot of life's storms. I've withstood a lot of bad weather in life, I've withstood a lot of hard times, and I'm still standing too. But I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, 'cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning at times.

Sometimes we get to leaning toward anger, leaning toward bitterness, leaning toward hatred, leaning toward cussing, leaning toward a lot of things that we shouldn't . So we need to pray, 'Lord, prop us up on our leaning side, so we will stand straight and tall again, to glorify the Lord."

Amen

- Anonymous


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God With Us

This beautiful Christmas prayer comes from beliefnet..

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman..." -Galatians 4:4

God with us,

I've come to see you. I'm not as clean as I wish I was, but I'm hoping you'll receive me just as you did the rough, and sweaty shepherds who burst in on you on that holy night so long ago. They were afraid. I guess that spectacular light show in the sky got to them. I wish I felt more afraid than I do. I should, considering this is it: the Incarnation. But all of this is so simple; so ordinary. No, it's less than ordinary. This is abject poverty. Most babies aren't born where the livestock is. I keep asking myself, how can this be God? Yet, here you are. I know it's you, because here I am, on my knees, and my heart is aflame within me.

It isn't as pristine as the Christmas cards make it seem. It's cold, and drafty, and filthy, and it smells of animals and dung in here. No wise men are hovering over you with their gifts. The shepherds aren't even here. Just me, and your folks, and my hands are empty. But Lord, seeing you like this, so vulnerable, my heart is full.

Look at you in that feeding trough. I can't get over how tiny you are, but oh. You are perfect. The scriptures say when you grow up you won't be much to look at, but I don't think I've ever seen such a gorgeous child. I hope I always see you like this: beautiful, new, and surprising.

Oh my! Your mom is bringing you to me! Thank you, Mary. You really are full of grace. This is incredible! I feel so clumsy, Lord. Like I can hurt you if I'm not careful. But you feel so good in my arms. You're like a warm little ball of pure love. Can you feel me shaking? I'm undone. You're right here at my heart. I wish I could stop time right here, and hold you like this forever, loving on you, and kissing you like this.

You still smell like the blood from your mother's womb. Oh, Jesus. You'll have this same coppery scent again in about 33 years. But it'll be a much bloodier occasion than your birth. That time, you'll be dying, so that I can be born anew. Have mercy. I don't want to think about what I'm going to put you through. Not today. But I can't help it.

Oh, man. Forgive me, Jesus. I'm crying all over you. You're the baby, but I'm the one blubbering. I'm not trying to scare you on your birthday, but the shadow of the cross is on this barn, and there isn't a thing I can do to stop what's going to happen to you. So, I'll just continue to hold you tight, if you don't mind. If I can keep you close to me we may just get through the rest of your story together. Despite how small you are, I'm the one that needs you to save me. This is craziness, but this is the way you chose to do it. Who can understand such mysteries?

I'm amazed that you can fall asleep in my guilty arms. Maybe you're so quiet and peaceful because even now you know you'll make it all right. Oh, Lord. Who can understand such mysteries? It's mind blowing enough to think that you are here: God as a baby, born in the humility of a barn, resting in my arms, my ragged heartbeat sounding in your tiny ear. And you will not forget me.

Amazing grace.

Sleep in heavenly peace, Lord Jesus. And welcome. I'm glad you're here.

Amen


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lost and found

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:32)

Lord, can you forgive me?

This will sound like a movie you have seen over and over again, but I have sinned against heaven and against you. In my thoughts and actions. In what I have done and what I have failed to do. I am unworthy of your love.

Too many times, Lord, my eyes have been closed and my ears shut. I have put entertainment, ambition and spiritual apathy above your mission. It could be easy to stay away… pass through the wide gate… continue down the broad road.

But then I hear these words. Good news of great joy that will be for all people. And I understand that when you say all people, you still mean me. And I am humbled.

Lord please forgive me. I want to come home. Again.

Amen


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A DIARY OF PRIVATE PRAYER

Two books have been very helpful in my prayer life over the years. One is my Worship Bible which has prayers that help you put a passage or verse into a prayer. I love these as they are simple, and in everyday language.


On the other hand, the book that has touch me so very deeply in my prayer life is just the opposite. It's old English. It was published the year I was born, 1941 and the Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie are profound in substance. Today I will share one of his daily prayers.

"O God, ever blessed, who hast given me the night for rest and the day for labour and service, grant that the refreshing sleep of the night now past may be turned to Thy greater glory in the life of the day now before me. Let it breed no slothfulness within me, but rather send me to more diligent action and more willing obedience.


Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin.


Let me use disappointment as material for patience:
Let me use success as material for thankfulness:
Let me use suspense as material for perseverance:
Let me use danger as material for courage:
Let me use reproach as material for longsuffering:
Let me use praise as material for humility:
Let me use pleasure as material for temperance:
Let me use pains as material for endurance.


O Lord Jesus Christ, who for the joy that was set before Thee didst endure the Cross, despising the shame, and art now set down at the right hand of the throne of God, let me consider Thee who didst endure such contradiction of sinners against Thyself, lest I be wearied and faint in my mind.


Holy God, I would remember before Thee all my friends and those of my own household, beseeching Thee that in Thy great love Thou wouldst keep them also free from sin, controlling all their deeds and this day in accordance with Thy most perfect will.


Amen"

This wonderful little prayer book as morning and evening prayers for each day of the month. I have read and prayed them over and over, and somehow this old syle brings reverence to my soul.






Amen



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It may be time to slow down a bit.


Perhaps more than ever when we prepare for Christmas, it's easy to get caught up in the "busy-ness" of life. Buying and wrapping gifts, addressing and mailing cards, baking and packaging the cookies... All these things can create a "noise" that keeps us from recognizing our true priorities. So I pray:


Slow me down, Lord.
Sometimes I find myself going 100 miles an hour.

Too fast to see you.
Too fast to hear you.
Too fast to feel your touch.
Too fast to know your will for me.

Today, Lord, help me to step off the treadmill
And wait for you.

Amen


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Prayers for Comfort and Protection

Today's prayer comes from the Sojourner's blog..

Comforter and Advocate, we mourn the many injustices that we see in the world today. We know these grieve your heart, and we wonder how long it will be before your justice and your reign is established on earth. Give us grace to persevere, patience to trust, and courage to keep working with you to see your kingdom come.

We lift up our migrant brothers and sisters, Lord, asking that you would protect them and watch over them, wherever they may be. We pray that they may be welcomed into loving communities, and find homes and families in the places where you have led them. Where we are able, may we also extend a welcome, just as you extended your welcome to us.

We pray for those who are homeless and hungry this season. We pray that we would have eyes to see and ears to hear where our neighbors are are in need; and that we would be bold and generous in meeting those needs

God, may we be bearers and sharers of your joy in the world, today and this season.

In Jesus name, amen.


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Psalm 148 Imagery


Please take a few moments and pray through Psalm 148 as you watch this beautiful video from Laura at Changing Lenses for a Better View.


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We Give You Thanks

Today's prayer comes from Crownring..

Heavenly Father, here it is December 2009 and it seems our lives are as complicated as ever. We have been through many changes and experiences this year, many happy and some not so. We give you thanks and glory because You have not abandoned us and have walked with us through every difficult situation. We give You thanks and glory for every beautiful thing You created. We give you thanks for health and for helping us to bear our suffering when health seems only a wistful memory. We thank you for our loved ones, both here on earth and those who now dwell forever in Your presence. We thank You for the food you have provided and the hands that provided it. We thank You for shelter and clothing and ask that you remind us to be generous to those who have nothing. We thank You for your protection from evil and ask that You would protect our men and women in uniform, be they military or police and firemen. We humbly pray for our government officials, that they might seek Your wisdom and act according to Your Will. Father God, thank you for the holidays and the special opportunities we are given to honor Your Son's birth and share Your love with others. Help us to remember that Your Presence in our lives means far more than presents under the tree.

In the Name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


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most holy prayers

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. Rom 8: 26-27


If you believe in the power of prayer, then the “who” and “what” we pray is significant.

So my prayer today is that the Lord will guide us to good prayers. Keep our hearts pure and our intentions worthy. Help us to see as you see, Lord.

When we sit quietly alone, meet with friends in small groups, or gather as a community – let us speak prayers that honor our Lord God. Let us use the power and promise of prayer to glorify His kingdom.

Amen


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FROM THE CRADLE TO THE CROSS



Luke 2 "The Christmas Story ~ From the Cradle to the Cross"
Dear Lord Jesus,

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 clothed 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, glorifying and praising You for all that I have heard and seen. How my heart loves you my Lord and Savior. Amen!

(Taken from the Worship Bible ~ Luke 2:6-20)


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Fill me with your life and light and love

A thought from a comment left at a blog by Sue..

I was "given" a little prayer that I pray before receiving Eucharist. But I've also found it helpful in many other instances. Perhaps it will help you when things seem dark and gray:

Lord Jesus, Son of God, empty me of all darkness, and fill me with your life and light and love.

Amen


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Prayer of Submission

Todays prayer is from Charles de Foucauld..

God, I abandon myself into your hands. Do with me whatever you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.

Into your hands I commend my spirit. I offer it to you with all the love that is in my heart. For I love you, Lord, and so want to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve and with boundless confidence.

Amen


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Human Rights Prayer

Today's prayer comes from Laura's blog..

We pray for those who have been exiled from their native land, refugees, who have been forced to leave behind their heritage and possessions, their families and their friends, and those who have had to begin life anew in a foreign culture and among strangers.

Lord, let justice run down like rivers.

We pray for those who are discriminated against on grounds of their race or sex, who offer the gifts of their presence, culture and personality, but find them despised or rejected.

Lord, let justice run down like rivers.

We pray for those who at this moment are being tortured in their bodies or in their minds because of the convictions they hold so dear, that their pain may be eased and that the peace of God may bring them release even in the midst of suffering.

Lord, let justice run down like rivers.

We pray for all rulers and those who hold positions of authrity in the state and in all the powerful institutions of our society that they may use their power for good and not for evil, that the rights of men and women may no longer be abused.

Lord, let justice run down like rivers.

We pray for all whose basic needs for food, shelter, clothing and healing are not met. Stir up the consciences of peoples and governments, to re-arrange the world's unjust systems; teach us all to live more simply, that others may simply live.

Lord, let justice run down like rivers.

We pray for the nations of the earth that you in your mercy will save them from their folly and humankind from its sin, that people will be set free from vindictiveness and fear, that forgiveness will replace revenge, that none shall be in bondage to another and none shall hold another country in contempt, and you alone will be worshipped all over the earth.

Lord, let justice run down like rivers.

Amen


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soar on wings like eagles

I have a few friends who suffer from chronic depression. Some of these friends are only teenagers… a time of life that is supposed to be carefree and happy.

Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.


Please join me today in Isaiah 40 and pray to the Lord.

A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.


Like John the Baptist before us, we each have a role to play in God’s plan.

Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.


And oh what a plan it is. Lord, today we ask you to guide our friends out of the valley of darkness and into the light. Reach out to those who are lost and show them the way.

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.


Lord, allow our friends to overcome fatigue with a renewed sense of hope and purpose. Breathe into them new life. Give them a sense of presence in this world.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.


Lord, we pray for those people in our lives who must fight depression every day—a fight that often becomes even more challenging in this holiday season.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint


Jesus, you promise to restore health and heal souls. Today, we ask you to be the wings for our dear friends, lift them high and hold them tight in your hands.

Amen


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STAY IN YOUR LANE

Proverbs 4:25-27


"Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."


Dear Lord
We need to follow your instructions and in our lane. Father, I need to look straight ahead keeping my eyes on you. Any thing in the lanes to the left and right may look good, but I want to stay in YOUR lane. I will not swerve to the left or the right, but will follow close to you and not get sidetracked! You are my guide.
I love you, Amen


Amen



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A Soldier's Prayer


Father you blessed me by answering my prayers and protecting my son those two years when he served our country in Iraq.. I am so thankful to you for this. I ask you to protect those who are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Help them to know you are there and as this video says help them to know that heaven is a prayer away.

Give our troops peace during this season when we celebrate your coming and the angels announcing the coming of the Prince of Peace. Help the men and women who serve in the military to know how much we all appreciate them. Give grace to their families and cause friends to gather around them during this holiday season.

Believing in the name and power of Jesus we pray with all of our hearts for your kingdom and peace to come all over the world.

Amen


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Teach Me to Pray

A prayer from Henri Nouwen..

Every day I see again that only you can teach me to pray,
only you can set my heart at rest.
Only you can let me dwell in your presence.

No book, no concept or theory will ever bring me close to you
unless you yourself are the one who lets them become the doors to you.

But Lord, let me at least remain open to your initiative.
Let me wait patiently and attentively for the hour when you will come
and break through the walls I have erected.

Create new doors.
Teach me, O Lord, to pray

Amen


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our forgotten prayers

The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father's God, and I will exalt him.


World AIDS Day was observed this week.

To “observe” this event, I reflected on my earliest memories of AIDS. In NY in the early ‘80s, people would curse you out saying “Get AIDS Mother F******”. In 1993 I remember being on vacation with my family in Rehoboth Beach Delaware feeling a bit cautious because some of the men swimmers in our pool had lesions – I think that was around the time the movie Philadelphia was in the theatres.

And at some point in time, people just stopped talking about AIDS. With increased awareness and advances in treatment, the number of AIDS cases and deaths in the US declined sharply in the late 1990s. It was no longer in the news. The movie of the week moved onto new topics. You could say that I forgot about AIDS. I certainly can’t remember the last time I prayed about anyone impacted by this disease.

But here are some startling facts in 2009: Two-thirds of all peoples living with HIV are in Africa. More than 14 million African children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. My friends Rich and Heidi just came back from Nairobi where it is impossible to walk outside of the shadow of AIDS.

How could I ever forget to pray about those affected by AIDS?

Sometimes we stop praying for a certain cause, person or issue. We simply move on. But today, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on your forgotten prayer. Has someone or something dropped off your radar in recent months or years? Today is a good day to pray.

My forgotten prayer is for those who have been touched by AIDS. O Lord, help us to care and support those who suffer from HIV and AIDS. Wipe away this illness from our earth. Bring comport, joy and peace to your people. May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, 0 God; may all the peoples praise you.

Let me know what you are praying for today in the comments below so I can join you today.

Amen


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Faith in the Name of Jesus

Romans 3:21-24

"But now righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Dear Lord Jesus ~~ Thank you so much for righteousness, justification, redemption and atonement. We have all of these because of our faith in you name, Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed to be called by your name and to be bought by your precious blood, and given a home in heaven. You demonstrated your own love for us while we were sinners by dying for us and paying the price for our redemption. Thank you! May I honor you with my life. Amen


Amen



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Teach us to number our days aright..

Today's prayer comes from Victor Hoagland..

Lord, teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. -Psalm 90

Help us do today the things that matter, not to waste the time we have.

Yes, the moments we have are precious, Lord, see that we count them dear.

Teach us to number our days aright.

Fill us this day with your kindness, that we may be glad and rejoice all the days of our life.

Amen


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