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

God's Continuing Care



Father as we come to the close of another year, it is with deep gratitude that we express our appreciation for your faithful guidance and care. As you have graciously lead us and watched over us in this past year so we ask for your continued direction and advice in 2017.

Because you are our Shepherd we can walk into the future with confidence, assured of your presence with us. Having the personal reality of Psalm 23 we know you are with us and that eventually we will live in your glorious presence forever.

Thank you Father, for your comforting presence and the good path on which you walk with us each day. Surely we can say with Jacob: “…..God has been my shepherd all my life, to this very day….” Genesis 48:15 (NLT)

Looking forward Father, to another year in which we will continue to experience Psalm 32:8
 
In Jesus, our Good Shepherd’s name,
Amen

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Prayer for the New Year


Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future.

We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us—but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year.

In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love.

In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need.

In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of our stubborn self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost.

And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end” (Psalm 119:33).

We pray for our nation and its leaders during these difficult times, and for all those who are seeking to bring peace and justice to our dangerous and troubled world. We pray especially for Your protection on all those who serve in our armed forces, and we thank You for their commitment to defend our freedoms, even at the cost of their own lives. Be with their families also, and assure them of Your love and concern for them.

Bring our divided nation together, and give us a greater vision of what You would have us to be. Your Word reminds us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

As we look back over this past year we thank You for Your goodness to us—far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on Your past goodness or forget all Your mercies to us, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and to a new commitment to make You the foundation and center of our lives this year.

And so, our Father, we thank You for the promise and hope of this new year, and we look forward to it with expectancy and faith. This I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, who by His death and resurrection has given us hope both for this world and the world to come.

Amen
...prayer from Billy Graham, written for "The Saturday Evening Post" in 2008

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New Year Starting

Father,

Thank you for a new year. Help us to use it wisely. Lead us in the ways we need to go to make it a year of service for You. Help us, amid the many voices we will hear, to hear Your voice urging to do what is right. Help us to hear Your call to do good for our neighbor in any way we can. Help us not to we be so enchanted with the voice of this world that we do not hear Your voice. Help us to present this year an offering to You.
 
In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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2016

Father, as we have gone through this past year, there have been times of joy and celebration and there have been times of grief and mourning. Many have had great success while others have seen leanness. Thank you that through all we have experienced, you have been with us and for us. Thank you that we are always in your loving hands. Amen
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MERRY CHRISTMAS


 Related image
 Matthew 1:22-23 ~ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said through his prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" ...which means, "God with us."

Dear Jesus, You amaze us ~~ You were present when the earth was spun into orbit and the stars were ordered in the night sky.  You designed the awesome workings of our planet and all that live on it.

You shared with your Father in the joy and wonder of creating everything that now exists.

And yet, when we were lost and fallen, You were willing to take on the frailty of our human nature and become one of us so that we might be saved.

We praise and worship You, IMMANUEL.  You are indeed "God with us".  I love you.   Amen.

Image from googleimages.com
Prayer from Maranatha Worship Bible







Amen

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The Greatest Gift



Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

2 Corinthians 9:15 (NJV)

Thank you Father that we too can celebrate with the Angels, the Shepherds and the Wise men the joyous and miraculous gift of your son. As the Apostle Peter says of us: “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.” 1 Peter 1:8 (NLT)

Father I pray that this Christmas, all around the world, people will accept this gift of your love through trust in your Son and the Savior for all who will believe. May they embrace the truth of Ephesians 2:8 “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

Through Jesus, who himself is the gift,
Amen

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Come Lord Jesus

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.
~ Charles Wesley

Amen





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Christmas Prayer

For those who are ill or sad, we pray for the presence of heaven.

For those who are healthy and happy, we pray for courage and strength of character.

For our world, we ask for the promise of Christmas, peace on earth and goodwill to all.

For all people, in all things and in all places, the joy of a newborn baby.

Amen
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HOPE and JOY




There are so many people struggling this season. Many are sick. Many are hurting. Many are dealing with unspeakable pain and sadness. There are some who are mourning the loss of loved ones. Some are dealing with heartbreaking news. There are people who are just plain lonely and lost.

But....

There is HOPE! And in that HOPE we find great JOY! Jesus Christ came to bring us sweet HOPE in this uncertain and unforgiving world. He is Messiah. Emanuel. Savior of the world! He came to bring PEACE and REDEMPTION.

Share Him with others this season. Give the gift of LIFE to all around us. He is worthy!

Father, thank you for the precious gift of your Son! May we always be filled with HOPE and JOY because of Him and the light He brings to a dark world. Help us keep our hearts and eyes turned toward You. 




Amen

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The Good Invasion

Father,

Thank you that when we were lost and enslaved to sin, You sent Your Son to save us. You did not send us just good advice. We are horrible at following good advice. When we were helpless and could not help ourselves, You sent Him to become one of us and rescue us. He invaded this world that is dominated by sin and death to set the prisoners free. Help us live as part of that new kingdom that He came to create. And help us live in celebration of the fact that He came to redeem us.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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LET ALL MORTAL FLESH KEEP SILENCE




 Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand:
Ponder nothing worldly minded,
For with blessing in His hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born to Mary,
As if old on earth He stood.
Lord of Lords in human vesture,
In body and the blood.
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food,

Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.
(~Liturgy of St. James the 4th)

Oh Dear Father, how can we take into our finite minds the magnitude of these words?  From heaven to a manger, to live a sinless life, to pay the price for MY sins on the cross, rise again, prepare a place for me in heaven....I want to shout...but I can only fall on my face, and keep silence.  I love You.  Amen



Amen

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Joy to the World



Luke 2:8-12 (NIV)
   8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Father, how strange it seems that such great joy of infinite and eternal value should be found in the lowly and unpleasant setting of an animal’s shelter. Far from the splendor of heaven’s glory is the Savior’s birth place, to be visited first by shepherds of humble state and vocation. How could the contrast be any greater than that God became man, the Sovereign took the form of a servant, and the King became a pauper. Though this baby became a man of sorrows he brought great joy to the world.

Father, through the gift of your Son, Jesus, all who believe in Him, have the joy of sins forgiven, the joy a relationship with you, and the joy which will have everlasting completion in your eternal presence. Truly, it is joy even beyond the world for it encompasses not just time but eternity.
 
Thank you Father that joy became incarnate in the birth of Your Son, which we celebrate every Christmas.  Indeed it is joy to the world!

Amen

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Help me, O Lord

Have mercy on me, O God,
have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.

He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
disgracing those who hound me.
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.
I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey-
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
and whose tongues cut like swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
May your glory shine over all the earth.
My enemies have set a trap for me.
I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
but they themselves have fallen into it.

My heart is confident in you, O God;
my heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!

Wake up, my heart!
Wake up, O lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.
I will thank you, Lord,
among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God,
above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth.

Amen
Psalm 57:1-11 NLT



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Light of the World

Father,

May the Light of the World shine in our darkness. We live in a world of deep darkness, like that long ago. We live in the midst of gloom and confusion. Intervene in that darkness. Enlighten our eyes, enlighten our hearts, and enlighten our minds. Help us see You in the midst of this world's chaos. Not just at Christmas time, but the whole year round.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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Anticipation


 Lord Jesus, as your people anticipated the Messiah by actively waiting and obeying your Law, may we actively anticipate your coming again by working for your kingdom while we wait. Let your kingdom come on earth in us as it is in heaven. Amen


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Safely Home


“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God….”  1 Peter 3:18 (NLT)

In Steve Green’s song “Safely Home,” you can hear Jesus saying:

“Children, precious children I Know you’re shaken,
A loved one taken.

Oh but hear me. Come, draw near me. His pain is passed now.

He rests at last now, safely home.

He is strong and free. He is safe with me.

This life is nearly shadow. Today there’s sorrow, but joy tomorrow.

Safely home.

One day you will join Him, all together, this time forever,

Safely home.”


Father we find great comfort in Jesus words: ”There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”  John 14:2-3 (NLT)

Father we are grateful for our lives here on earth and we are grateful for the life we will share with you in heaven. And this is all possible because Jesus left his home in heaven to be born in a stable, die on a cross and be victoriously raised from the dead. In singing the songs of Christmas we celebrate the glorious reality of these events and the blessed assurance of our hope in heaven.

Thank you Father that as we enjoy the festivities of this season we do so with a sparkle in our eye, a joy in our heart and a hope in our future, as we remember the words of the Apostle: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NLT)   

Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 2 Cor. 5:8 (NLT)

Amen

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Hear me, Lord

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.

You are my God; have mercy on me,
Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.

When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.

All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.

Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.

Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me--
they have no regard for you.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you just as my mother did.
Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Amen

Psalm 86:1-17 NIV


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Prayer to the God of Hope

God of hope, who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope, the rock we stand upon,
be the centre, the focus of our lives
always, and particularly this Advent time.
Amen

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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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Lead Us Not Into Temptation

(Part of a continuing series on the Lord's Prayer)

Father,

Protect us from trouble and temptation. Guide us in ways that we may avoid it.  And if we must go through it, give us the strength to endure it. Help us not to take the attitude that we are strong and we can handle it. But let us trust You to show us the way to escape it. What we must bear, let us do through Your strength. But help us not to proudly take more on ourselves than we should, lest we fail in the test.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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Advent Thanksgiving

Father, we thank you that, as the longing of Israel for the Messiah was fulfilled, so shall our longing for the return of our King. Thank you that all things will be made right and everything sad will become untrue. Amen

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THE ONE TRUE GOD




 Jeremiah 10:10  "But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King....."

Dear Lord, In a world that markets innumerable false gods, I acknowledge You, O Lord, as the only true God in a world that lives as though You were dead.

I choose to walk in Christ's resurrection life, for You are the living King.  In a world bound by time and quickly passing away, I embrace Your gift of everlasting life.  

Sovereign Lord, I gratefully worship You in the beauty of all that You are ~~ true, living and eternal!  I love You.  Amen.




Amen

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So Much.......


Psalm 95:2 (ESV)
     Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;

 Father as we have in this season of Thanksgiving, remembered Your blessings, we find the greatest joy in Your presence.  Our gratitude is not limited to temporal blessings but especially for the eternal relationship we have with You. It is so well expressed in Psalm 16:11 (NLT) “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”

King David again expressed this reality when he said: “You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence.” Psalm 21:6 (NLT)

 Father we have so much to give thanks for and we do so in the name of Your Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Amen

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To be closer to God

My Father, my God, my Lord. I feel so far away from you even though I know you are near. You are here. Your presence is with me. Yet I long for more closeness. I long to seek you every moment of my life and yet I know I don't all time. I desire to come near, to center my life in you, from you, through you. I need to put you first and seek you. You have told me that when I seek you I will find you when I search for you with all my heart. So here I am, Lord, coming to you, believing in you—despite my fears, doubts, and failures. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Inspired by Jackie M. Johnson, Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times


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This Thanksgiving, We Choose Gratitude

God, there are days we do not feel grateful. When we are anxious or angry. When we feel alone. When we do not understand what is happening in the world or with our neighbors. When the news is bleak, confusing. God, we struggle to feel grateful.

But this Thanksgiving, we choose gratitude.

We choose to accept life as a gift from you, and as a gift from the unfolding work of all creation.

We choose to be grateful for the earth from which our food comes; for the water that gives life; and for the air we all breathe.

We choose to thank our ancestors, those who came before us, grateful for their stories and struggles, and we recieve their wisdom as a continuing gift for today.

We choose to see our families and friends with new eyes, appreciating and accepting them for who they are. We are thankful for our homes, whether humble or grand.

We will be grateful for our neighbors, no matter how they voted, whatever our differences, or how much we feel hurt or misunderstood by them.

We choose to see the whole planet as our shared commons, the stage of the future of humankind and creation.

God, this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks. We choose it. We will make this choice of thanks with courageous hearts, knowing that it is humbling to say “thank you.” We choose to see your sacred generosity, aware that we live in an infinite circle of gratitude. That we all are guests at a hospitable table around which gifts are passed and received. We will not let anything opposed to love take over this table. Instead, we choose grace, free and unmerited love, the giftedness of life everywhere. In this choosing, and in the making, we will pass gratitude onto the world.

Thus, with you, and with all those gathered at this table, we pledge to make thanks. We ask you to strengthen us in this resolve. Here, now, and into the future. Around our family table. Around the table of our nation. Around the table of the earth.

We choose thanks.

Amen.

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We have too much...


What a powerful scripture to remind us all of the importance of having a grateful and a thankful heart. There is much need around us. We have so much. Too much. And we are slow to be generous to the needs of others. 

As a missionary to Nicaragua, I see first hand the stark poverty of others and it has opened my eyes to the fact that most of us are drowning in our abundance. We must be mindful of those around us who are lacking in the necessities and in need of someone being the hand of God to them.

This season, be focused on Christ so that He can turn our gaze off of ourselves and on to the needs of others. You will never be filled with more joy than when you focus on the needs of others rather than the desires of self. 

Gives thanks......with a grateful heart!


Amen

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Forgive Us Our Debts

(Continuing a series on the Lord's Prayer.)

 Father,

I thank you for Your forgiveness. Help us in this season of thanksgiving not  to forget this greatest of Your gifts. Thank you for offering that forgiveness freely through Your Son through faith. Help us to come to You and accept that forgiveness. Help us not to hide or rationalize or blame other people but to honestly bring our sins and confess them to You. Help us also to show others the the forgiveness You have show us. Help us to remember we are sinners, saved by Your  grace, and to treat others in the same way You have treated us.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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Thankful for Freedom

Father, we thank you for the freedoms you have blessed us with. Thank you that we can proclaim the gospel and show the love of Christ to others without fear. Thank you that we can gather with our brothers and sisters to worship and encourage one another.
Amen

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THANK YOU





 THANK YOU, Father for the voice of wisdom.  It calls to us, it seeks us out and does not remain hidden.  Its voice can be heard by anyone who will listen.  Please give me ears to hear and a heart to understand, so that I may live by Your truth, walk in Your light, and grow in Your grace and knowledge.  I love You.  Amen.

You are the living Truth;
All wisdom dwells in You,
The source of every skill,
The One Eternal True!
O great I AM, in You we rest
Sure answer to our every quest.

You only are true Life;
To know you is to live
The more abundant life
That earth can never give.
O Risen Lord, we live in You;
In us each day Your Life renewed.

We come O Christ, to You ~Margaret Clarkson (1957-1985)



Amen

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Thankful for Undeserved Grace



Romans 5:1-2 (NLT)
     1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege (GRACE) where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.


Father when I contemplate the privilege of friendship and fellowship with you, it is stunning. The wonder of such a personal relationship with God who created and sustains all things. God with whom power has no limit, wisdom has no error, love has no measure, holiness has no flaw and mercy has no prejudice. This privilege that makes us the apple of your eye, the object of your affection and the treasure of your heart. What an astounding thought! How much you love us and think about us. It reminds me of Psalm 139:17 (NLT) How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!


Father, may I ever be mindful that this privilege is undeserved. This is pure and glorious grace. It is a relationship which only you could make possible. Thank you Father from an undeserving heart and an eternally grateful soul.

Amen

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Thank you Lord

Thank you Lord for this life you've given us
Thank you Lord for in you we can trust
Whatever that life brings
Whichever life song we sing
We thank you that you are Emmanuel

Thank you Lord even in times of trouble
Thank you Lord that in all our struggles
You are good
You are faithful
In you we can depend on

Thank you Lord.

Amen





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Thankful for Love and Goodness

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. -Psalm 118:1 NIV

These two words, love and goodness, describe God at a very core level.

For these two words we give thanks to you Lord.

You are good. When we hurt, we can know that you have not caused the pain.

You are love. When all have abandoned us, your loving presence remains.

You are good. In times of great trial, we know that your plans for us are good.

You are love. In moments of doubt and confusion, you love brings clarity.

You are good. Evil and temptation, in the end, will bow to your goodness.

You are love. Hate cannot stand against you. Love never fails.

Lord, we have hope for tomorrow because we see your love and goodness today.

Amen
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In everything.....

"Give thanks in everything,
for this is God's will
for you in Christ Jesus."

(1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Be thankful in ALL things. Be thankful for everything. God is in control. He has a plan. We just have to jump in and trust Him. And believe Him. And be thankful....



Amen

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Daily Bread

(Continuing a series of prayers based on the Lord's Prayer.)

Father,

I thank you that You are concerned for our mundane ordinary needs. I thank You we can ask You for our everyday food  and shelter. Provide us those needs. And help us to remember they come from You. Help us to remember to trust You for even the little things. And help us remember all good things come from You.

In Jesus' Name.

Amen

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Thanks

Father, thank you for the comfort you give when we are grieving, when we are broken and feel like we can't go on. Thank you for those you send our way who pass on the comfort you have given them. Thank you that we can know that you are with us always, even when we feel alone. Amen

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GIVING THANKS






 Psalm 100:4-5  "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name, for the Lord is good and is love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations."


 Dear Lord, our goal in life should be giving thanks to You, praising you wonderful Name, and remembering that Your love endures forever, and Your faithfulness will filter down to all generations.  Our children, grandchildren, and beyond.  Praise Your Holy Name.  I love You.  Amen.








Amen

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Gratitude

Image result for count your blessings

1 Chronicles 16:8-10 (NLT)
     8 Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. 9 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. 10 Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the LORD.

Father we have more to give thanks for than we can possible express. It reminds me of the refrain written by Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.

The Apostle Peter captured it will when he wrote: “You are extremely happy with joy and praise that can hardly be expressed in words? 1 Peter 1:8 (GW)

Yes we are Father and we give You all the glory and our love, worship and praise!

Amen

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Thank You Lord

by Paul Baloche and Don Moen

I come before You today,
and there's just one thing that I want to say
Thank You, Lord, thank You, Lord
For all You've given to me,
for all the blessings that I cannot see
Thank You, Lord, thank You, Lord
With a grateful heart,
with a song of praise,
With an outstretched arm
I'll bless Your Name and

Thank You, Lord,
I just want to thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord,
I just want to thank You, Lord

For all You've done in my life,
You took my darkness and gave me Your light
Thank You, Lord, thank You, Lord
You took my sin and my shame,
You took my sickness and heal all my pain
Thank You, Lord, thank You, Lord
With a grateful heart,
with a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I'll bless Your Name an

Thank You, Lord,
I just want to thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord,
I just want to thank You, Lord

With a grateful heart,
with a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I'll bless Your Name and

Thank You, Lord,
I just want to thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord,
I just want to thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord,

Amen

Listen to it here.




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An Election Benediction

May you remember that all politics and all platforms and all legalities and all borders and all leaders are temporary.

May you recall that political movements and boundaries and personalities and programs are here one day and gone the next. All of these are passing away.

May you resist the temptation to place ultimate trust in any person, policy, party, movement, or nation—even a beautiful idea that is embodied by a nation—because there is no nation with an eternal foundation.

May you know that your kingdom is not of this world but of the world that is coming to this world and that is not yet here.

May you in the same breath grasp that engagement with the things of this world—not escape from its harsher, darker realities—is the sacrificial pattern of Jesus Christ.

May you discover your role in the just and merciful governance of the world God made good and pursue that cosmos-converting vocation with love amid the world’s brokenness and grittiness.

May you see your work in the world—all of your callings and activities—as a participation in bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth.

May you have strength and beauty and determination and wisdom as you love your neighbor and your enemy as Christ has loved you, seeking with all persons to bring justice, mercy, and lasting peace.

May you comprehend that your salvation is not dependent on who you vote for in an election, or in whether or not you vote; that you are under no biblical or theological or moral obligation to vote for a person or party or proposal or initiative if that vote violates your conscience.

May you be grateful for the opportunity to participate in your government and if you choose not to participate in the election may you find ways to make that non-participation more than a protest, and may you find tangible ways to help and protect the poor and oppressed who might have been helped or shielded by your vote.

May you realize that the kingdom of God is within you and that the Son of God sets you free even as you vote for whomever your conscience dictates, without anxiety or fear, for the Spirit the Father gives us does not make us timid, but bestows on us power, love, and self-discipline.

May your posture toward every human leader be driven by respectful prayer, and where protest and prophecy and non-violent resistance are needed, may you have the courage to speak and oppose and critique in humility and charity.

May you perceive God’s love for creation in sending Jesus to embody a New Humanity, and may you join in Christ’s care for the earth and all its creatures and resources, for we await with patience not only the coming of the Son in the flesh but his perfect bride, a people who beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.

May you trust that Providence is working behind the scenes of history to draw all things to a good and fitting and proper end with justice and mercy.

Amen.

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Now and Forever!

Oh, LORD, we are thankful for your infinite mercy and grace upon us. We are grateful for your loving watchcare over us. You have blessed us immeasureably and bountifully and we give you thanks. Our blessings are uncountable. Your goodness unending. May we give you all praise and all glory and all honor due your Holy and Mighty Name! Help us to keep our eyes and hearts turned toward heaven. 


"But we will praise the LORD,
both now and forever. 
Hallelujah!"
(Psalm 115:18) HCSB



Amen

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Thy Will Be Done

Father,

I pray that Your kingdom may invade this world and end all sin and sorrow and pain. But I also pray that Your kingdom may manifest itself  more and more in our lives. May we do Your will in our lives, in our families, in our nations, and around the world. May we show Your grace and Your truth to all who meet us. May Your people be the example of Your kingdom breaking into time, until the full day dawns and all evil is driven forth from the world.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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Thanks for Friends

Father, thank you for friends, our brothers and sisters who are there to encourage us, to challenge us, to teach us, and to comfort us when we grieve. Thank you for those friends who are as close as family and who are always there for us. Amen

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Today I will Dance


“……a time to dance.”
Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NLT)


Father, happy feet are a wonderful expression of the exuberance you give us in life. It is hope jumping for joy. It is laughter filling the air. It is love bubbling over with barely restrained enthusiasm. There is a time to dance and probably more often that we think. In fact if we danced more we would probably be less depressed.

So today I will dance. Dance with the joy of a forgiven heart. Dance with  appreciation for a wonderful family and faithful friends. Dance with thanksgiving for the abundance of your blessings. Dance with the assurance that when the music ends on earth its’ just beginning in heaven where there will still be more dancing. Yes, dance, dance, dance for all the grace and mercy you shower on us every day. There will be times of mourning, but not today. Today I will dance!

Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT)
     11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!

Yes, today I will dance!

 Amen

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Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all blessings, source of all life, giver of all grace:

We thank you for the gift of life:
for the breath that sustains life,
for the food of this earth that nurtures life,
for the love of family and friends without which there would be no life.

We thank you for the mystery of creation:
for the beauty that the eye can see,
for the joy that the ear may hear,
for the unknown that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder,
for the expanse of space that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves.

We thank you for setting us in communities:
for families who nurture our becoming,
for friends who love us by choice,
for companions at work, who share our burdens and daily tasks,
for strangers who welcome us into their midst,
for people from other lands who call us to grow in understanding,
for children who lighten our moments with delight,
for the unborn, who offer us hope for the future.

We thank you for this day:
for life and one more day to love,
for opportunity and one more day to work for justice and peace,
for neighbors and one more person to love and by whom be loved,
for your grace and one more experience of your presence,
for your promise: to be with us, to be our God, and to give salvation.

For these, and all blessings,
we give you thanks, eternal, loving God, through Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

By Vienna Cobb Anderson
Source: BeliefNet





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Thankful for Who You Are

You are a righteous God ... You are my refuge and defense ... You are a faithful God ... You are my God. ... Praise the Lord! How wonderfully he showed his love for me.
[Psalm 31:1,2,5,14,21 GNT]



In this season of Thanksgiving, I think that we sometimes forget to give thanks for who God is. I love how David speaks to the character of God in this psalm. There is an intimacy projected in each of these verses. It is as if David had personally experienced each of these divine qualities in his life.

Sometimes people confuse rightness with righteousness. When I consider what it means to be righteous I think about justice and mercy. The Prophet Micah teaches us that a humble walk with God requires us to act justly and love mercy. These two qualities seem to define what it means to be righteous.

The words refuge, defense and faithful speak deeply to me about prayer. I have often come to God in times of deep distress and found spiritual refuge in him. I have sensed him defending me against mental assaults. He has been so faithful to speak comforting and encouraging words to me when I most need it.

Lord, you are righteous in all that you do.
I give you thanks for who you are in my life.
I give you thanks for your compassion towards me.
I give you thanks for never leaving or forsaking me.
I give you thanks for how you show your love for me.
I give you thanks that you are a place of prayerful refuge.
Praise you Lord for who you are.

Amen

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Much to be thankful for!!

We have much to be thankful for!

Too many times our hearts tune out the goodness of God and focus instead on the negative. It seems easier to look at and dwell upon all that is wrong but it is so much more beneficial to our lives to see just how blessed we are in our every day existence!

We have so much to thank our God for and we simply must take the time to look around and recognize what they are. Something as simple as clean, running water is a huge blessing that we pass by everyday without a thought.

Let's make the effort to stop and lift our faces toward heaven and express our thankfulness to our God and Savior!

"...singing and making music from your heart to the LORD, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ." ( Ephesians 5:20)

Amen

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Hallowed Be Thy Name

(A continuation of a series based on the Lord's prayer.)

Father,

I praise You that Your Name is great and holy and majestic.  You are great above all things that are called god or take the place of gods in peoples' lives. Your holiness and justice and Your love and grace are great beyond all we can comprehend. Help us, Your people to live lives that reflect Your greatness. May we reflect who You are and not a distortion of You.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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Father, thank you for all of your mercies to us. Thank you for the times you are gentle with us when we stray. Thank you for the times you discipline us and put us back on the path. Thank you that we can be confident that your love for us never changes. Amen

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OBJECT LESSON FROM NATURE


This morning as I carried a load of laundry to the Laundry Room, I noticed a clump of dead leaves hanging in a most lovely green tree.

 Upon on closer investigation saw the reason.  It had broken off from the branch and the source of life.

John 15:5-7 "I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers........If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."

Object lessons are all around us if we will just notice.  I don't want to become a clump of dried leaves, ready for the trash....
 
Lord help me to remain in the Vine, and be nourished by the life giving source.  I love You.  Amen




Amen

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Worthy of Praise



Father, as prone as we are to first approach You with our own concerns, needs, questions and fears, today we just want to thank You!  Thank you that we can relate to you as our heavenly Father. Thank you for your heart felt way of understanding our weaknesses and failures. Thank you for your patience and encouragement to share our hearts with you.

Somehow Father we feel akin to the Psalmist when he wrote in Psalm 139:17 (GW)
    How precious are your thoughts concerning me, O God! How vast in number they are!

Thank you Father for your grace, generosity, kindness, and the many ways you show your love for us.

You are glorious and worthy of all praise!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

We pray this in the Name of Your beloved Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen

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O Lord, I give my life to you

O LORD, I give my life to you.
I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Show me the right path, O LORD;
point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.

Remember, O LORD,
your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O LORD.

The LORD is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.
The LORD leads with unfailing love
and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
For the honor of your name, O LORD,
forgive my many, many sins.

Who are those who fear the LORD?
He will show them the path they should choose.
They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.
The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.
My eyes are always on the LORD,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress.
My problems go from bad to worse.
Oh, save me from them all!
Feel my pain and see my trouble.
Forgive all my sins.
See how many enemies I have
and how viciously they hate me!

Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced,
for in you I take refuge.
May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.
O God, ransom Israel from all its troubles.

Amen

Psalm 25 (NLT)





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In Remembrance

Memories elicit so my feelings in me Father.

I am thankful when I remember the joyous times in my life.

I am forgiving when I ponder the times that you were faithful even when I was not.

I am joyful when I consider the blessings of my childhood.

I am trusting in hard times because I recall that you are with me.

I am filled with faith as I recollect the faithfulness of Jesus.

Mostly my memories remind me that you love me and care about me.

I love you Lord.

Amen
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Let's not fail!


"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16)

Faith and true prayer are like two sides of the same coin - inseparable. A.W. Tozer says that men often pray without faith (though this is not true prayer), but it is not thinkable that men should have faith and not pray.

Whatever God can do, faith can do, and whatever faith can do, prayer can do when it is offered up in faith.

The invitation God extends to us to pray, is an invitation to Omnipotence, for prayer engages the Omnipresent God and brings Him into our human affairs.

Let's not fail ourselves and fail the world buy failing to pray. It's time to fall on our faces and seek the One who can and who will and who does do miracles!

(Taken in part from Mornings with Tozer)


Amen

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Our Father

(This prayer is the first of a series based on the Lord's Prayer.)

Father in Heaven,

I thank You that we can call You Father. I thank You that You choose to make us Your children. Help us to live in the light of that. Help us to trust in Your love and Your concern. Help us to faithfully represent You to a world that needs to know You. And help to turn to You  for help and comfort in time of need.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

Father, as you are gentle with us, help us to be gentle with others. Let us be people who will not break a bruised reed or put out a smoldering wick. Help us to be approachable because others see Jesus in us. Amen

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THE JOY OF YOUR PRESENCE




* No matter what your circumstances may be, you can find Joy in My Presence.   On some days, Joy is generous strewn along your life-path, glistening in the sunlight.  On days like that, being content is as simple as breathing the next breath or taking the next step.  Other days are overcast and gloomy; you feel the strain of the journey, which seems endless.  Dull gray rocks greet your gaze and cause your feet to ache.  Yet Joy is still attainable.  Search for it as for hidden treasure.

Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and
made him glad with the joy of your presence.
Psalm 21:6

Dear Heavenly Father, giver of life and joy.  I pray today that I will have the same deep love for You whether I'm walking in sunlight, or trying to climb over rocks and boulders.  I will enjoy Your presence in the sunlight, and search for You in the dreary times like hidden treasure.  You have promised to be with me and keep me in ALL PLACES.  I love You.   Amen


*This passage is taken from the Devotional "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.  Oct. 22.




Amen

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