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

Great is the Lord


Father,

Your faithfulness is great, O Lord. Your love and care for us is immeasurable. 

As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
    your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
    ever preserve me!


Our enemies may be many, but you are greater and bigger and more powerful than our enemies. You are for us when others are against us. You watch over us when other dismiss. You straighten our path when sin overwhelms.

12 For evils have encompassed me
    beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
    and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
    my heart fails me. 


Yet we can come boldly to your throne, knowing your love and forgiveness awaits. That you are longing to wash us with your compassion, to direct our paths. May we learn to rejoice in this and cry out with a heart filled with gladness.

But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”


In Jesus' Name,

Amen

(verses taken from Psalm 40)

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The Incarnation


O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen





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IN HIS TIME


Image result for antique clocks





 "In His time, in His time.
He makes all things beautiful
In His time.
Lord, please show me every day
As You're teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say
In Your time."


Dear Lord, sometimes life seems unfair.  Bad things happen to good people while good things happen to bad people.  Sometimes it's hard to remember You are always in control.  Help my faith to believe and know that You work on Your timetable, not mine.  In Your time, you will turn my disappointments into joys, my failures into success. Help me be content with Your plan for me.  Help me to trust you even though Your deliverance has not yet come and seems so far away.  Gracious God, surprise me once again with another breathtaking demonstration of your goodness and faithfulness.  I love You.  Amen.

One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.
~~Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (1605-1691)


Amen

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The Key to Life



Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)

     19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life……”


Father you have given people the choice of life and death. It is an astonishing choice with black and white contrasts of clear consequences. The obvious implication is that you long to bless people with grace, mercy, peace and all of the fruits of spiritual and physical life. But this is radically impossible for those who refuse to love, obey and be whole heartedly committed to you.


Father so much hangs in the balance, not only for us but especially for our children and generations to come. I hear and feel the plea that comes from your heart: “Oh, that you would choose life.” Father, may we please have the faith, wisdom and passionate desire to choose life, the life you have provided for us in your Son. The equation clear: “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.” 1 John 5:12 (NLT)

In his Name we pray. Amen.




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Prayer for Love and Insight

“This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” ... “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”


‭‭
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:9-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬; Hebrews‬ ‭13:20-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬


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for racial harmony

God and Father of all,
in your love you made all the nations of the world
to be a family, and your Son taught us to love one another.
Yet our world is riven apart with prejudice, arrogance, and pride.

Help the different races to love and understand one another better.

Increase among us sympathy, tolerance, and goodwill,
that we may learn to appreciate the gifts that other races bring to us,
and to see in all people our brothers and sisters for whom Christ died.
Save us from jealousy, hatred, and fear, and help us to live together
as members of one family at home in the world,
sons and daughters of one Father
who live in the liberty of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-from the Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland

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something powerful


Never, ever, underestimate the power of prayer. Too often, we equate the effectiveness of our prayers with the strength of our walk and our faith. Truly, the effectiveness of our prayers lies solely in the power of the One who hears and answers those prayers. Our whispers for intervention are heard by the Master. The Creator. The One who King of kings and the LORD of lords. 

“I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters....”
Our faith certainly propels us to His Feet in desperation, but never be mistaken, it is His Power that prevails......

Amen

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A Lament


Father,

I feel broken today. I am wrecked by the ravages of the Fall. Sin is breaking my heart - the sins of my own and the sins of others against me and the sins of others against others.

This just isn't how it's supposed to be.

But You know that, I suppose. For You are the Creator of the universe and it was never designed for this sin. That's on me. On us. We've broken shalom with You and these are the consequences: Hurt and pain.

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, 
and you will not hear? 
Or cry to you “Violence!” 
and you will not save? (Habakkuk 1:2)

How am I to press on, Father? How am I to understand what faithfulness means in the midst of this brokenness? Teach me, Lord, to not despair. Teach me, Lord, to find hope.

But the Lord is in his holy temple; 
let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk 2:20)

With gratitude, O Lord, help me to find Your peace. Help me to see all the ways in which You are redeeming and rescuing this world. All the ways You are working in the hearts of Your people. Help me to find hope in You.

God, the Lord, is my strength; 
he makes my feet like the deer's; 
he makes me tread on my high places.(Habakkuk 3:19)


Amen

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REVEALED BY THE SPIRIT



 "No eye has seen
No ear has heard
No mind has imagined
What God has prepared 
For those who love him"  ~~~
But God has revealed it to us
By his Spirit.  I Corinthians 2:9-10

O magnificent  Holy Spirit, God's heart in flight.  You are Grace and Truth racing through a soul's dark house, plugging in the lights, turning on the heat, opening doors long locked.  And when those doors are thrown open the stale, unlit spaces freshly fill with Your sweet breath and radiant light.  Only You can answer faith's faintest whisper with such swift understanding!  You alone bring wisdom, the Spirit's housewarming gift.  How we love You.  Amen.

This is the scripture I taught Wednesday night to the children at Kid's Time.  The Holy Spirit spoke to my own heart in preparation for the lesson.

The prayer which fits so well with the scripture is from my Maranatha Worship Bible.  I trust it will speak to you as deeply as it did me.  Thank you Father for giving us the Holy Spirit to bring light and understanding to your Word.

 

Amen

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The Gift of Life



Psalm 139:16 (NLT)
      You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Psalm 39:4 (NLT)
     LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.

Father, so far in book of life that you have given me, there are 29,265 days. Wow!!! How many more days are in the book, I don’t know. I do know that: “Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. Job 14:5 (NIV)

I also know Father how grateful I am for the gift of life you have given me, yes for each day. I can hardly imagine they would extend so far in what now seems to be such a brief period of time. But, you have given me today. Thank you for this precious gift, and not only the gift of this day but especially the gift of life in which to live and love it. As the Psalmist declared: “This is the day the LORD has made. Let's rejoice and be glad today!” Psalm 118:24 (GW)

Thank You Father, in Jesus Name, Amen.


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Pursuit of Good

God of Glory, our Father, bring purity and peace to Your Church. Speak to us through the ministry of Your Word, that we might live by Your power. May Christ live in us, for He is our hope. Help us to pursue that which is true and good. Build us up in our holy faith. May we live in peace with one another, as we together receive Your grace day by day. Help us to be joyful and grow to maturity as we encourage one another and build each other up. Amen

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our one desire

My God,

I pretend to nothing upon this earth,
except to be so firmly united to you by prayer
that to be separated from you may be impossible;
let others desire riches and glory;
for my part,

I desire but one thing,
and that is to be inseparably united to you,
and to place in you alone
all my hopes
of happiness
and repose.

Amen
- a prayer of St. John Scholasticus

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To See More Clearly


Great and Mighty God,

We praise you for  your provision and care for us today. Thank you for your love and compassion towards us. We acknowledge your great power and might,  also your gentle and merciful spirit.

Father, help us to see more clearly those around us in need. Help us to lean into what makes us uncomfortable. Guide us into a place obedient to your will. Help us to care for the widows and orphans, the refugees you welcome in. Help us to see your image in each one you've created. Help us to see their worth.

Praise and glory be, to You who sits on the throne. May the glory and majesty and blessing be to you now and forever.

Amen

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STOP ~~~~AND PRAISE HIM





Recently we were listening to Steve Lawson giving a message on Psalm 135.  In praying so many times our burdens are so heavy, our hearts so torn and our bodies worn out, that we just cry out for mercy and deliverance.  Those are good and needful reasons to pray, and we are encouraged to in God Word.   But, how often do I just STOP and praise Him like the little boy above?

Dear Lord I would ask that you give me a heart of praise.  No matter what the difficulties of my life or the circumstances I find myself in, I need to STOP and praise You.  Praise your Holy Name, which is so lovely.  I need to praise You for Your Goodness that never fails,  Lord you do what ever pleases You in heaven, on the earth and in the seas and all their depths.  You make the clouds rise from the ends of the earth,  You send lightening with the rain and bring the wind out of Your storehouses.  You are a great God.

Oh Father, there is no one like You.  And to think a God in command of the universe, thinks about me.  Loves me.  That love brought You to earth with a plan to restore a fallen world and a sinner like me.  Thank you.  May I always remember to Praise, Praise, Praise, and then make all my request and needs to You at the foot of the throne.  I love You Father.  Amen. 


 image from googleimages.com


Amen

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Goodness of God



 "Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good....." 
Psalm 136:1 (HCSB)

Father we gratefully recognize and joyfully acknowledge that your essential nature is good.  Every gift you have given to us is rooted in the goodness and infinite generosity of your nature. So we gladly join the Psalmist in singing: “Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. 2 Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. 5 He fills my life with good things…..!” Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT)

Father your goodness extends to the whole of my life, the depth of my soul and the enter recesses of my heart. It is an abundant goodness as Psalm 23:5 expresses: “My cup overflows.” So, I pray Father, that others who don’t know you will: “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!" Psalm 34:8 (NLT)

In the gracious Name of Jesus, Amen.


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Granting Grace to other Believers

Lord God, teach us to be patient and appropriately tolerant within Your Church for believers who are weak in faith. May we live unto You in all situations because we belong to You. Show us the way of love and grant to us the spiritual strength to serve You in peace within the Body of Christ. We want to see our brothers and sisters built up in faith and godliness. We want to walk in faith ourselves. We need to turn away from all arrogance of our ideas of perfection rather than grace. Teach us the wisdom that comes from Your Son, Jesus.  Amen

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When we don't have the words ...

Heavenly Father, we need to hear from You, today!

We wait to hear Your voice, to receive the peace and comfort that only You can bring.

Life has delivered circumstances we didn't expect, so we run to You knowing when we don't have the words to say, and the prayers don't seem to come, we can just hide in the secret place of the Most High and abide in the shadow of Your wings!

Come and be our peace today; speak to our hearts in the way only You can.

Thank You Lord, for the hope and strength that comes when we hear You!

We ask You to lead us and let us hear Your voice in every situation we face today.

In Jesus' name.

Amen & Amen.


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the least


As I sit in Nicaragua this morning, my heart is heavy for the people that I minister to here. Everywhere we go...everywhere we look....is poverty. Need. Heartbreak.

My prayer today is not just for the people that I serve here, but for people all over the world.

LORD, today, show yourself mighty to all who lift their eyes to the heavens in poverty, in need, in want, in despair, in loneliness. Show hope to the hopeless. Mercy and grace to the needy. Show love to those who have none. Be the bright star for all who are looking for truth. Guide and direct. Lead and beckon all to come.

I thank you that when we can't, You can. 

Open the eyes of those blinded and pierce the hearts of those who are still searching.

God, You are an amazing God and the most that we can give is the least that you deserve.

"I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2) CSB

Amen

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To His Glory



Father,

We enter into our time with you this day with a heart of humility, acknowledging that it's only in your strength that we have victory. That in our weakness, you make us strong.

May we walk each day in step with the Spirit, listening for and hearing the conviction given to us. May our hearts be open to correction, our minds to understanding, and our hands open and willing to get into the muck and mire of life. May we not be afraid to struggle, to heal, to declare your truth, to stand and to fall, all in service to your will and to bring you glory and honor.

Let us worship with grateful and contrite hearts, seeing the whole of your faithfulness, how you keep your promises, and love us unendingly. 


I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
    my strength of soul you increased (Ps.138: 1-3)




Amen

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Epiphany


Arise, shine, for the Light of the World has come!
Darkness covers the earth and its people,
but the radiance of God's Light
burns away its shadows,
illuminates the smallest corner,
and heralds in the start
of a new dawn,
where hearts no longer fear,
souls might be set free,
and sister shall follow brother,
nation shall follow nation,
and kings and princes bow down in awe
before the one who comes to reign.
Arise, shine, for the Light of the World has come!
Alleluia!
Amen

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WINDS OF STORM





Image result for margaret sangster


God knows, not I, the reason why 
His winds of storm drive through my door;  
I am content to live or die 
Just knowing this, nor knowing more.  
My Father's hand appointing me
My days and ways so I am free.

~Margaret Sangster (1838-1912) 


Dear Lord, You alone know the deep winds of storm that whirl around us trying to frighten us and causing us to doubt Your care for us.  But  I'm reminded that you have assigned me my portion and my cup. You have made my lot secure. (Psalms 15:5)  You are a God of Love, so I can trust you.  I'm your child and you alone filters what can touch me.  I rest in that Love and Security today and every day.  I love You.  Amen.


Margaret Sangster immage
googleimages.com







Amen

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God Knows



Exodus 2:23-25 (ESV)
     23 During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.

Father these verses bring out three things that are of great comfort to my soul. God heard, remembered, saw……God knew.

Father as I think about my life and the various experiences encountered on a daily basis, I am so glad that you hear our prayers, remember your promises, see in depth our needs, and fully know our concerns. As we step into a new year, 2018, it is with confidence knowing that you will be us each step of the way. Father we also know that in accordance with your sovereign wisdom and power you will intervene in our lives for our benefit and blessing.

Thank you so much for such personal and compassionate care. In the Name of your beloved Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.



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Lord, You make all things new, You bring hope alive in our hearts and cause our Spirits to be born again. Thank you for this new year for all the potential it holds. Kindle in us a mighty flame so that in our time, many will see the wonders of God and live forever to praise Your glorious name. Amen


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A prayer against the paradox

Gracious Heavenly Father,

We come before you this day in awe of who you are: a loving, compassionate, great, just and powerful God. One we can bring our joys and burdens to each and every moment. One who listens and speaks. One who is is quiet yet sounds a loud trumpet for us to hear. One who holds the earth in the palm of your hand and yet is so close we can feel your presence next to us.

In the midst of confusion, O LORD, we ask for clarity. We ask for guidance to navigate the muddy waters of this life. We ask you to give us a path to take that is not the way of the world, but your way alone.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, 
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

(from The Valley of Vision prayers)

Amen

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New Year

Father, as we leave one year and go into the next, help us to remember that you are already there. Whether this past year has been good or bad, help us trust that you will work in everything in that year for our good. Grant us faith to trust that you are in control of the year ahead and that your love is always with us. As we go through this year, help us to know that when we can't trace your hand, we can trust your heart. Amen

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