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

Praying Psalm 92

It is good to give thanks to you Lord.. to sing praises to your name, O Most High.. we declare your steadfast love in the morning and your faithfulness by night.

Our hearts join in one accord in the music of praise and worship. For you, O Lord, have made us glad by your work.. at the works of your hands we sing for joy.

How great are your works, O Lord! How deep are your thoughts! The proud one does not know or understand your ways Lord.. yet you have revealed yourself to anyone with a seeking heart.

You encourage and lift up the humble Lord.. you anoint the lowly with your favor.. your mercy flows over us like fresh oil.

Because of your grace the faithful flourishes like the palm tree and grows like a cedar in Lebanon.. they are planted in your house and flourish in your courts.. bearing fruit in old age they are ever full of sap and life.

We declare that you are holy.. you are our rock.. you are right and totally righteous.. and we worship you Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen


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Who Is This Jesus?

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. John 5:39-40


No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
John 6:44-45

I have been told that Jesus is not God. I've been told I should not pray to Him. But I believe that He is God. I believe that God loved me so much that He clothed His Word in human flesh and came down to earth to die in my place and offer me salvation. How can I keep from praising Him? How could I not fall on my knees and worship Him? How can I stop myself from praying that my friends and family will come to know forgiveness and salvation?

Lord Jesus,
Please touch the hearts of those I love who don't know You
Amen


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beyond my grasp

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped… (Phil 2:5-6)

Jesus is God, and yet while on earth, he did not consider “godness” to be attainable.

My life is certainly full… family, friends, health, purpose, stability, security. The list of things to be thankful for goes on and on. But what if I considered these things to be beyond my grasp?

Surely, other people’s lives are beyond my reach. Bill Gates. Barack Obama. Bruce Springsteen. But my gifts… my blessings… my talents… how could I deny them?

Could I act like a person who did not consider equality with Ed G as something attainable? Honestly, I don’t know. My point of reference almost always centers on my experiences. Judgments are made based on how something relates to my life. People are richer, poorer, happier, sadder, smarter, dumber, taller, shorter… than me. I would like this to change. Will you pray with me?

I need to be humbled, Lord. Show me how to make myself nothing. Fill my heart with the attitude of Christ Jesus. Help me to live as though I considered all that is my life to be simply unattainable. Humble me.

Amen


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I Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"

Ephesians 6:18 "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of requests..."



In John MacArthur book Lord Teach Me To Pray he shares this insight on praying without ceasing.

He compares it to breathing. Inhaling and exhaling is so natural for us that if often seems totally involuntary; it's actually harder to hold your breath than it is to breathe. The same should be true of prayer for Christians.

Prayer is like breathing for Christians
When you don't pray, you're holding
you breath spiritually - fighting against the
very existence and presence of God in your life.
Dear Lord, help me to stop holding my breath, and just breath you in and breath you out all day long. May I either be praising you or petitioning you. May my life be a continually act of breathing spiritually. ~~ Amen


Amen






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Shine through me

Dear Jesus,

Help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with your Spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that my life may only be a radiance of yours.

Shine through me and be so in me
that every soul I come in contact with
may feel your presence in my soul.
Let them look up, and see no longer me,
but only Jesus!

Stay with me
and then I will begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus,
will be all from you;
none of it will be mine.
It will be you,
shining on others through me.

Let me thus praise you in the way
which you love best,
by shining on those around me.

Let me preach you without preaching,
not by words but by example,
by the catching force,
the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you.

Amen.

– John Cardinal Newman.

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Prayer to begin the week..

Today's prayer is from Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed..

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen


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We need you tonight.

Alcoholism. Drug Abuse. Addictive Behaviors.

Lord, if these words do not describe us—they certainly describe someone close to us. Our family. Our neighbors. Our co-workers. Members of our church.

Right now somewhere, someone we know is at the edge… and they must choose a path.

The apostle Paul writes, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Free us Lord. Where we are weak, you are strong. Where we are trapped, you have opened new doors. The yoke of alcohol, drugs and addictions can be heavy, but your yoke is easy, your burden light. We give you thanks and praise.

We need you tonight.

Protect your children, Lord. Comfort their families. Help us persevere.

Free us Lord.

Amen


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Holding On


Life requires countless "little deaths"- occasions when we are given the chance to say no to self and yes to God.
-Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity

Dear Lord,

I am holding on. What is inside my clenched fist I do not even know, but I need Your help to loose my fingers, to give into Your care that which really already belongs to You anyway. I do not want to let go. Lord, help my "want to" that it may become one with Yours.


Amen


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PRAYER ~~ A PRECIOUS GIFT





Philippians 4:6-8




"Lord, thank You for providing prayer as an antidote to fretfulness. When my heart is full of anxiety I can see only my limitations. I cannot find Your peace. But when my heart is full of thanksgiving I can see Your every provision; Your peace is unavoidable. So in response to Your generous invitation, I bring my thoughts, one by one, into captivity to the obedience of Your Son. I focus my heart and mind on the virtue of Jesus Christ. I cast all my cares upon You. I receive in return Your incomparable gift of peace. Thank You Lord Jesus. Amen." (Ps. 55:22, 2 Co. 10:5, 1Pet. 5:7)

"Begin at once; before you venture away from this quiet moment,

ask your King to take you wholly into his service, and place

all the hours of this day quite simply at his disposal,

and ask him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what he appoints.

Never mind about tomorrow; one day at a time is enough.

Try it today, and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious peace,

so sweet that you will be only too thankful when tomorrow

comes to ask him to take it also."

Francis Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)



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Stretch my heart



O God, enlarge my heart
      that it may be big enough to receive the greatness of your love.

Stretch my heart
     that it may take into it all those who with me around the world
     believe in Jesus Christ.

Stretch it
     that it may take into it all those who do not know him,
    but who are my responsibility because I know him.

And stretch it
     that it may take in all those who are not lovely in my eyes,
     and whose hands I do not want to touch.

through Jesus Christ my Saviour


Amen

- from The Book of a Thousand Prayers, compiled by Angela Ashland


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Fill Us Dear Lord

These thoughts from the late Martin Luther King Jr. inspire me to pray..
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
Forgive us dear Lord for walking in darkness. We ask you Father to fill us today with love that transforms us.. love that drives out hate.. loves that sheds light on our dark ways. We desire dear Lord to be agents of reconciliation and hope.. fill us with peace and cause us to pursue peace with those who are different from us.. help us to see all people as your children. Lord fill us with hope.. we need your hope to replace our cynicism and fatalism.. we desire to follow you.. we need to be filled today.. cause love, peace and hope to spring fresh from our hearts today. And cause us Lord to be people who pray.

Amen


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A Prayer for Haiti

A prayer from the folks at Beliefnet..

Heavenly Father, It is with a heavy heart that we come to you, not necessarily knowing what we should ask for because many of us are wondering, "Why did this happen? Why has tragedy struck Haiti again and why do so many lives have to be lost again? Why has this beautiful island been struck by a catastrophic earthquake and ruined?" But as many questions as we have regarding the situation, we still humble ourselves before you to ask for your mercy to be upon Haiti and its people. Extend your hand upon the land and restore all that has been lost, destroyed and damaged to be better than it was before. As rescue teams search for casualties, give them foresight. May they be led by your wisdom, and encouraged by your strength and advised by your discernment. There are yet people who are surviving and I pray that the rescue workers would find them in time and revive them. For the lives that will be lost, we pray for immediate comfort to come to the family and friends of the deceased. For those of us who are watching this unfold from the outside, I pray that you would give us hearts of compassion so that we can give out of our surplus to fill the deficit that is widening in Haiti. May we all extend ourselves in any way possible to secure our brothers and sisters in Haiti. And may every prayer regarding this tragedy be heard and responded to in your good time.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen


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A Hand of Protection

Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand [is] a right hand of falsehood: That our sons [may be] as plants grown up in their youth; [that] our daughters [may be] as corner stones, polished [after] the similitude of a palace: Psalm 144:11-12 (KJV)

Lord,

This day I ask your Hand of protection on our children. I pray that they would be planted deep in Your holy word, held in the palm of Your hand. Teach them, Father, to guard their hearts and remain pure in Your sight.

Thank you for Your never ending mercy and forgiveness, for being a God of second chances.

Amen


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Text ‘Haiti’ to 90999

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:2-3
On Tuesday evening, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the poorest country in the Americas.

Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, is in ruins. Thousands have died. Perhaps tens of thousands. Perhaps more. The Red Cross estimates that three million are reeling from this devasting quake.

There are times like this when I am not even sure what to pray for. So I will just pray. Will you join me?

Heavenly Father, we give you thanks and praise. Our brothers and sisters are suffering tonight Lord, for reasons only you understand. Your healing hand is needed to satisfy the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of so many Lord. Be with the people, Lord. Be with your children.

Bless the poor in spirit, bless those who mourn, bless the meek. Give them the fruits of the earth, provide comfort, and deliver the kingdom of heaven.

Someone tonight is trapped Lord. Hurting. Afraid. In darkness.

Be the light. Free them. Save them.
We call upon you in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen


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HUNGER FOR GOD


"Almighty and eternal God,
Thou art hidden from my sight;
Thou are beyond the understanding of my mind;
Thy thoughts are not as my thoughts;
Thy ways are post finding out.

Yet hast Thou breathed Thy Spirit into my life;
Yet hast Thou formed my mind to seek Thee;
Yet hast Thou inclined my heart to love Thee;
Yet hast Thou made me restless for the rest that is in Thee;
Yet has Thou planted within me a hunger and thirst that make me dissatisfied with all the joys of earth.

O Thou who alone knowest what lies before me this day, grant that in every hour of it I may stay close to Thee. Let me be in the world, yet not of it. Let me use the world without abusing it. If I buy, let me be as though I possessed not. If I have nothing, let me be as though possessing all things. Let me today embank on no undertaking that is not in line with Thy will for my life, nor shrink from any sacrifice which Thy will may demand. Suggest, direct, control every movement of my mind; for my Lord Jesus Christ's sake."

This is another of the prayers I love from the A Diary if Private Prayer by John Bailee




Amen




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Tree Wisdom




I had an old neighbor named Doctor Gibbs when I was growing up. He didn't look like any doctor I'd ever known. Every time I saw him, he was wearing denim overalls and a straw hat, the front brim of which was green sunglass plastic. He smiled a lot, a smile that matched his hat - old and crinkly and well-worn. He never yelled at us for playing in his yard. I remember him as someone who was a lot nicer than circumstances warranted.

When Doctor Gibbs wasn't saving lives, he was planting trees. His house sat on ten acres, and his life goal was to make it a forest. The good doctor had some interesting theories concerning plant husbandry. He came from the "No pain, no gain" school of horticulture. He never watered his new trees, which flew in the face of conventional wisdom.

Once I asked why he said that watering plants spoiled them. He said that if you water them, each successive tree generation will grow weaker and weaker. So you have to make things rough for them and weed out the weenie trees early on. He talked about how watering trees made for shallow roots, and how trees that weren't watered had to grow deep roots in search of moisture. I took him to mean that deep roots were to be treasured.

So he never watered his trees. He'd plant an oak and, instead of watering every morning, he'd beat it with a rolled up newspaper. Smack! Slap! Pow! I asked him why he did that, and he said it was to get the tree's attention.

Doctor Gibbs died a couple years after I left home. Every now and again, I walk by his house and look at the trees that I'd watched him plant some twenty-five years ago. They're granite strong now -- big and robust. Those trees wake up in the morning and beat their chests and drink their coffee black.

I planted a couple trees a few years back. Carried water to them for a solid summer. Sprayed them. Prayed over them. The whole nine yards. Two years of coddling has resulted in trees that expect to be waited on hand and foot. Whenever a cold wind blows in, they tremble and chatter their branches.

Sissy trees.

Funny thing about those trees of Doctor Gibbs. Adversity and deprivation seemed to benefit them in ways comfort and ease never could.

Every night before I go to bed, I go check on my two sons. I stand over them and watch their little bodies, the rising and falling of life within. I often pray for them. Mostly I pray that their lives will be easy "Lord, spare them from hardship." But lately I've been thinking that it's time to change my prayer. Has to do with the inevitability of cold winds that hit us at the core. I know my children are going to encounter hardship, and my praying they won't is naive. There's always a cold wind blowing somewhere. So I'm changing my eventide prayer. Because life is tough, whether we want it to be or not. Instead, I'm going to pray that my sons' roots grow deep, so they can draw strength from the hidden sources of the eternal God.

Too many times we pray for ease, but that's a prayer seldom met. What we need to do is pray for roots that reach deep into the Eternal, so when the rains fall and the winds blow, we won't be swept asunder.

 - Author unknown

Lord, today we ask that you would help our roots grow deep!

Amen


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Prayer for those Who Mourn

Thanks to all who prayed and are praying for me and my family as we walk through a season of grieving over the loss of our mother. Please join with me in offering this prayer by Vienna Cobb Anderson.

Bless those who mourn, eternal God, with the comfort of your love that they may face each new day with hope and the certainty that nothing can destroy the good that has been given. May their memories become joyful, their days enriched with friendship, and their lives encircled by your love.

Amen.


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Along the Path



In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:6


Dear Lord,

I need Your help today. The path is dark without You and I stumble along the way. I don't want to fall and I don't want to trip others in the process. Please shine Your light before my feet and guide me in Your truth. Lead me only where You would have me to go and keep me from causing trouble.

Lord, please set a watch over my mouth and tongue that my words would bring help and healing. May they never be used to wound and destroy and, Lord, forgive me for those times when I have not been so careful what words have escaped my lips.

May I follow in Your footsteps, Lord, and encourage others to do the same. And, Jesus, thank you for a Hand to hold along the way. I need You every day.

Amen


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for our friends out of work

Sheila. Rick. Meg. Jim. Beth.

The number of people I know who are out of work – many for longer than a year… some going on two – weighs heavy on my heart. I don’t call them as often as I should. I certainly don’t do enough for them.

But tonight I will pray. Will you join me?

Lord God, you call upon us to work with our hands. For our daily bread, to earn the respect of outsiders and avoid being a burden on others. So when those doors are closed, it can be so challenging, frustrating, especially when we are responsible for others in our family.

Tonight, Lord God, I ask you to open doors, create opportunities, and help your people find their paths – whether that is in the workforce, in ministry or another calling. Keep roofs over their heads, food on their plates, and make it easy for them to provide for their parents, children and spouses.

But above all Lord, let the peace of Christ overwhelm them tonight. And tomorrow. And the day after. Let them feel your presence. Your love. Like a roaring fire on a cold night. Let them grow strong, patient and confident in your presence. Help them persevere in every way possible.

Tonight Jesus, watch over your children Sheila. Rick. Meg. Jim. Beth. And for those added in the comments below.

Amen


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TRUTH IS TRUTH


It seems to me in our society, truth is what someone wants it to be and everyone has their own opinion of what truth is! The Bible is plain on this subject.

Isaiah 5:20 tells us "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for

bitter."


"O Lord, hear our prayer today. Your Word shows plainly what is good and what is evil. What is truth today will be truth forever. Give me courage to speak the truth and live it. Let me not be moved by the so-called wisdom of the world or the deceitfulness of any human philosophy. Guard my heart and mind Holy Spirit. May I never pervert the ways of God." Amen

"It is contrary to reason for a thirsty person to turn from a pure, sparkling mountain stream to quench his thirst at a stale, putrid cistern --yest that is what the human race does when it rejects God's truth and standards in favor of the devil's impure philosophies." ~~ Billy Graham



Amen

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A search for meaning

The author of Ecclesiastes struggled with something that can serve as a stumbling block to those of us who love the Lord. Here is what he said:

All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good man, so with the sinner; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them. This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all.
- Ecclesiastes 9:2-3


There are times when things don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, at least from our earthly perspective. We’ve all seen good people suffer and, for that matter, we’ve seen just the opposite. There are times when all of us have tried hard to live good lives, only to see results that seemed to seem more like punishment than reward.



Father God, at moments when things don’t make sense to me and doubt begins to creep in, help me to remember that you are love, and that your love for me is boundless and eternal. Help me to remember that you created the universe – moon and stars, sky and sea – and that you continue to create... to create good out of evil, meaning out of meaninglessness.


Amen


A special prayer request: Please pray for Kansas Bob and his family. His mother passed away yesterday at the age of 94. May God strengthen all of them at this difficult time.


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I Can't, You Can

Yesterday I posted about New Years resolutions and listed Mark Herringshaw's five steps to successfully achieving them. Here is the last step that he proposes:
Pray. Yes, pray. I realize up front that I'm doomed to fail with all my plans to change myself. Yes, disillusion too is a necessary step, and with it a cry for help. Jesus once said, "Apart from me you can do nothing." In other words, all my intentions and plans AND commitments and disciplines Will in the end fall short. I'm not strong enough or focused enough, even with all the right strategies. Yes, I can improve the odds of success, but I can never dodge Jesus' tenet: "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." My spiritual mentor, Morris Vaagenes once put this principle into a prayer: "I can't, you can, please do, thank you!" That is the key to transformation... and resolution... I can't. Jesus can, through me. I can ask for that change, and then thank him for that completed promise.
Mark closes his blog post with this prayer.. please join me in praying it:

"God, I want to change. I need to change. You made me for more than I am. But the truth is, I need more than my own resolve. I need you. I can't make the changes I must. Please work in me to lead me toward my destiny. Give me strength and determination and focus and the humility to ask you to work when and where I cannot. Thank you ahead of time for your strength to accomplish your purposes in me. In Jesus...

Amen


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