Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Billy Graham's 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.


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Proverbs 7:1-3  "My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you.  Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.  Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablets of your heart."

Dear Lord, as we look ahead to a New Year, I will remember your words, "store up my commands within you."  So I will feast daily on Your Word and hide it in my heart.  Then in the day of trouble, when I am weak and tempted, I will recall Your instructions.  They will be to me as spiritual food to nourish my soul and give me strength for the battle.  I love you.  Amen


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Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT) 
   “19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead……….”
Father, as I face the challenges and opportunities of a new year, it is with appreciation for your providence, protection and provision you so graciously have given in this past year. And yet a new year always comes with concerns and questions about the uncertainties of life. Many and difficult as they may be of this I am certain, ”the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.”

Father the power you exercised in raising your son from the dead is the same power you exert every day in sustaining, securing and supplying what you know is best for us. Help us to understand the far reaching impact your power has on every aspect of our lives.

Father, with the power that comes from your presence I look forward to 2014, and how “the incredible greatness of Your power “ will be seen in amazing ways demonstrating your love, your care and your involvement in the lives of those who believe in You.

And Father I also pray that Your power which (surpasses expression or comprehension.— Word Pictures in the New Testament) will bring honor and glory to your Name.

Psalms 91:2 (NLT)
   2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. 


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Peace in the Storm

Dear Father God,
I bring my family before You today and pray for peace. I ask a bit of calm in the midst of the storm. Other than that I'm not even really sure how to pray or what to ask. Maybe I have to go back ten years and pray again that You would do "whatever it takes" to once again turn my son around and bring him back into fellowship with You. It is a frightening request, Lord, because I don't know what it will take. I hope in Your mercy, but I know my own son too. In spite of my fears and reservations, You know best.
(Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions. Ps 132:1)

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The Day after Christmas


You are the fount from which all blessings flow.

You are the Giver of all good things.

On this day after Christmas we ask that You would:

... be with those who felt alone yesterday;

... surprise those who are sad with joy;

... bring a new friend to the one who is sad;

... help us each to keep Jesus in the season;

... speak to us concerning goals for the New Year;

... open our eyes to what you are doing all around us

And teach us Lord to be thankful each day.

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Christmas Eve Prayer

Most Loving Father.

Thank you for this day and for all it represents.

Thank you for the hope you bestow, the peace you bring,
the love you pour out, and the joy you give.

We praise you most of all for Jesus, your Word made flesh.

May he light our way as the holy star lit the way for the wise men.


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Fourth Week of Advent / Christmas

Jesus, as your people longed for the coming of the Messiah, so we long for your return to set all things right. As we celebrate that first coming, help us to know that you will come again, as you promised. Amen

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Isaiah 9:2 "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined."

Dear Heavenly Father, I was one of those who walked in darkness.  Your light that came into the world in the form of baby Jesus changed history, and changed my life.  Sometimes I still walk in my own darkness because of my disobedience, but you are a loving and forgiving God, and I want to always walk in the light of your presence.  This Christmas season give me the opportunities and the courage to share your light with those who are still walking in darkness.  I love you.  Amen.


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Luke 2:14 (NLT)
   “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”


Father one of the great gifts of Christmas is the peace you have given us in the gracious gift of your son.


It is peace with God…… who through Christ reconciled us to himself….  2 Corinthians 5:18 (ESV)


It is the peace within which “…..exceeds anything we can understand. It is your peace that guards our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (NLT)


It is the peace that restores our relationship with others and enables us to comfort them, agree with them and live with them in love. 2 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV)

Father, for this heavenly peace, that is such a priceless and precious gift thank you. Thank you because it makes living practical, meaningful and hopeful.

*This prayer if from Don Slaven..his computer was having problems, so it shows posted by Wanda.  Hopefully the problem can be fixed by next week. 


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It's Christmas Time Again

Oh, Lord...
Sometimes it's hard to know just how to pray. Christmas hasn't been the same the last few years, at least not since the fire in Webster, NY, the one that took the lives of Uncle Carmen and his two boys. I think that was probably the hardest December I ever had to face. How does one celebrate all things fun and merry when your childhood friends are suffering such anguish? And then last year tragedy struck the same small town where I grew up all over again when the firefighters were ambushed down by the bay the day before Christmas. All our hearts were broken. The entire community was stunned. Perhaps in some ways we still are. Folks are trying to remember in order to honor the fallen, but it brings such sadness... And this year, Lord, there are struggles within my own family. I guess one never really knows how the holidays will pan out. Yeah, there is more than enough pain and heartache to go around, and yet that is precisely the reason why you came. We break your heart too, don't we? That is why you came, wrapped in the skin of a baby and, born in a stable. That is why you gave your life, because your heart breaks too. I pray this Christmas that we will be able to see through the pain and heartache all the way to Hope. All the the way to Love. And all way to Faith in you.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for all you've done for us.

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The Longest Night

As we prepare for Christmas it is always good to remember that this is a very difficult time for many among us. I have three friends who will be, for the first time, celebrating Christmas without their spouses. It gives me a heavy heart. I find myself thinking about this meditation (posted below), written in 2001 by Rev. Diane Hendricks. As you read it please pray for those who are hurting so much this season.

Longest Night Meditation

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Only it's not.

  • Not for everyone.
  • Not when there is an empty chair at the table.
  • Not when your body is ravaged with illness.
  • Not when the depression is too much to bear.
  • Not without her voice joining yours on the Christmas carols.
  • Not when you feel all alone even in a crowd.
  • Not when you are not sure you can even afford the rent or mortgage, let alone the presents.
  • Not when they are trying their best to the best of you.
  • Not when another Christmas party means he will come home drunk again.
It's the most wonderful time of the year?

No, it's not.

And trying to smile and say Merry Christmas is more than difficult. It's pretty near impossible.

C.S. Lewis once wrote:

"No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning..."
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Only it's not.
  • Not after he has died.
  • Not after the doctor gave you the news.
  • Not after they told you they would be downsizing.
  • Not after... you fill in the blank.
  • Not after September 11.
  • Not when there is so much violence and destruction in the world.
In truth, it has never been the most wonderful time of the year. Certainly not in the days surrounding that first Christmas so long ago. The story of the birth of Jesus is not to be told with a jolly voice and a merry ho-ho-ho.
It is the story of a teenage girl, pregnant with a child that is not her husband's.

It is the story of a child born in a dirty animal stall.
It is the story of a family of refugees who had to flee their homeland so that their child would not be killed.
It is the story of one sent into the world in peace who was condemned to death.
It is the story of a light sent to shine in the darkness, which the world snuffed out.
It is the story of God's never-ending, self-giving mercy which was rejected and condemned.
In the great work the Messiah, Handel quotes the prophet Isaiah, proclaiming that Jesus was "despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." One great theologian reminds us that we cannot come to the manger without acknowledging that it lays in the shadow of the cross.

It is not the most wonderful time of the year.

Only it is! It is:
  • If we forget about the tinsel and the trees.
  • If we forget about the holly jolly tidings.
  • If we forget about the presents and the ornaments and the trappings.
And remember. Remember the story.
  • Mary was alone and afraid.
    But God was with her and exalted her among women.
  • Joseph was disgraced.
    But God revealed in Joseph's cause for disgrace God's plan to save the world.
  • The world was in darkness.
    But God sent the light of life to shine.
  • The lowly were imprisoned.
    But Jesus set them free.
  • The blind wandered aimlessly.
    But Christ gave them eyes to see.
  • The lame were rejected.
    But through the Holy One they were made to leap and dance.
  • The deaf were confined to the silence.
    But the song of life unstopped their ears.
  • The sorrowful grieved.
    But God wipes away our tears.
  • We were alone.
    But in Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God is with us.
  • The people rejected God.
    But God embraces us.
  • The world crucified Christ.
    But God would not allow that to be the last word, and gave us the sure hope of the resurrection.
It is the most wonderful time of the year, not because you have to be cheery and happy and merry.

But because you don't.

You can have heavy spirits and shattered dreams. Broken hearts and deep wounds.

And still God comes to be with you.
  • To comfort you.
  • To redeem you.
  • To save you.
  • To restore you.
  • To empower you.
  • To strengthen you.
  • To grant you peace.
  • To be raised for you.
  • To hold you in the communion of saints with those whom you have loved and lost.
  • To store your tears in his bottle.
  • To offer you eternal life.
It is the most wonderful time of the year.
For Christ is born.
Love has come.
God is with us!
Thanks be to the Lord our God.


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Father, I thank thee....

"Then they took away the stone from the place
where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes
and said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me"
(John 11:41)

Do we see the example of faith that our Lord Jesus gave us here? He was thanking the Father for the healing and raising up of Lazarus before it happened. Because He knew that the Father could do it and would do it. He had the faith that what He asked for would be done.

Don't you see that if we exercise that kind of faith in our Lord, we too, can experience miracles in our lives? Christ is showing us in His Word that it is all about believing deep in our hearts and souls. When we petition our God, He is faithful. When we cry out to Him, He hears. When we truly believe in His promises and His Word, He shows us His glory!

Let's live our lives in the realm of believing that His Word is TRUTH! Nothing is too hard for our God. Nothing is impossible to Him who believes. Get on your faces and cry out to the One who can do all things!


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Third Week of Advent

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Scot McKnight

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Luke 9:58 (TLB)

   But Jesus replied, “Remember, I don’t even own a place to lay my head. Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Messiah, have no earthly home at all.”

Father, how strange it is that he who created a home for the human race found no home among the human race. And of course I am reminded of Luke 2:7 (NIV) “…she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

No home, no room for the creator of the universe except among the animals in a stable. And yet Father what an incredible way to demonstrate that Jesus did not come for the luxury of human wealth but for the love of personal relationship. “…that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor…..” 2 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV)
The home Jesus sought riches can never build because he seeks the home in the heart where there is room for him. Father how moving it is to consider what the Apostle Paul wrote: “Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.” Ephesians 3:17 (NLT)

And Father I would like to repeat this song as a prayer, written many years ago from the heart of Emily Ellicott, which I affirm today with deepest gratitude.
     “O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee.”


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None can compare

"For who in the heaven can
be compared unto the LORD?
who among the sons of the mighty can
be likened unto the LORD?
(Psalms 89:6)


There is no one like our God. Nothing can even come close in comparison to Him. He is mighty and He is powerful and He is all things to all people. We need to reverence Him like we believe that with all of our hearts, soul and mind.We need to worship Him like we believe that is true.  Let's pray and ask our mighty God to give us the awareness we need to fully understand just how amazing and awesome He is. Let's begin to honor Him as the Almighty God. The King of kings and the LORD of lords. 

Lord, give us a heart to acknowledge you for who you are. Omnipresent. Omniscient. Omnipotent. You are the One true God and no one can compare to you. Thank you, sweet Father, for loving us and sending your precious Son as the sacrifice for our redemption from sin. 

"God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,
and to be had in reverence of all them
that are about Him."
(Psalms 89:7)



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Second Week of Advent

Lord Jesus, you came as the Prince of Peace. Let your peace reign in our hearts and let it extend into our relationships with family, with friends, and with our neighbors. Let us be known as peacemakers. We long for the day when you return and bring peace for all your creation. Amen

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God's Mistletoe

God has given us the Bible as a means of knowing Him and enjoying his presence.  It is a catalyst for worship.  As Peter Kreeft so aptly stated, "Reading the Bible is putting yourself in the way, standing in God's great waterfall of 'living water'.  ...If you stand in the Bible, you'll get kissed by God.  It's God's mistletoe."

Dear Heavenly Father, when your sent your Son to this earth to be born of a virgin, live and minister, serve and die on a cross for our sins you were showing Your incredible love.  Then you gave us the Word of God, the Bible, and that again showed your great love for us.  Now we have Your Word, to be our road map for life.  Truly I do feel kissed by You when I stand in your Word.  Thank you for the mistletoe of your love, thank you for the Bible.  I love You, I love your Word.  Amen.


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Luke 2:10 (NLT)
       ……… great joy to all people……….

Father, in this Christmas season, celebrating the birth of your son, I marvel at the mystery of his incarnation into human history, the majesty of his annunciation by angelic beings and the jubilation of humble shepherds as they saw and shared the good news of the Savior lying in a manger.  

And Father, such joy is not just in the event, but, especially in the experience of what it meant and would come to mean for countless millions of people in all walks of life. It certainly means the joy of a promise fulfilled, the joy of sins forgiven, the joy of peace of mind for all who believe, the joy of hope renewed and the joy of a future guaranteed. It is joy that the human heart can never contain. It is, Father, as the Apostle Peter so profoundly said:    ….a glorious, inexpressible joy.” 1 Peter 1:8 (NLT)


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Dear Lord,
My tummy is tied in knots every time I think about it. There is nothing much I can do except to lay my heart before you and pray for my wayward child. I know you love him more than I could ever hope to imagine. I cannot follow him, I cannot change his ways, and I cannot even begin to know the depths of his hurting heart, but as a mother, I ache. I ache for my son, I ache for my daughter in law, and I ache for my dear, sweet grandchildren. I ache. Lord God, years ago I prayed that You would do whatever it took to bring my boy back to You. For a time he seemed to have returned. He is wandering again, farther than ever before. His marriage is disintegrating and he is headed for trouble. Please help. "Lord, remember David..." (Ps. 132:1)  Amen

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all the while my breath is in me....

"...All the while my breath is in me, 
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils...."
(Job 23:4)

Lord, our prayer today is that as long as we have breath in us, we will praise your Name! As long as your Spirit is upon us, we will glory in the Cross and what it means in our lives. May we be ever mindful of that precious and costly sacrifice that your Son made for us on Calvary. May we live every day of our lives in sweet expectation of doing your will and receiving the blessings of being obedient to you. 

Empower us, Oh God, to be full of mercy and grace to others as you have so freely bestowed the same upon us time and time again. May we live our lives in such a way that we are lights for you in all that we do and say.

Thank you for loving us and thank you for guiding us. Truly, you are the King of kings and Lord of lords and we will worship you as long as we have a breath in our bodies.


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Grace to cast away the works of darkness

Almighty God, give all of us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

...from The Divine Hours written by Phyllis Tickle

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First Week of Advent

Lord Jesus, as your people once longed for the Messiah to come, so we long for you to come again and set all things right. As we wait, let your Kingdom come and your will be done in us and through us as it is in heaven. Amen

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