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


Thank you, LORD, for being our HOPE in all circumstances. We give You glory and praise and honor for who You are!


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A Time for Change

The new year is a time for resolutions. The standard joke is that we make them in January, and we break them before February. The truth is, it is hard to change without the power of God.


Give us the ability to know the things in our lives that need to be changed. Help us to discern the things that are better left alone. And help us to trust in you and not in ourselves for the ability to make those changes. Help us to focus on You and Your power and not our limited abilities. Help us to realize how limited we really are and how much we need you, even for dealing with the things we think we have control over.

In Jesus' name,

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Prayer For a New Year

Father, we thank you for the blessings you have given us in this past year, the trials you have brought us through, and the things yuou have taught us. We pray that in the year ahead you would give us grace, wisdom, and strength. May your name be hallowed in us and through us. May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

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My Heart for 2015

Dear Lord ~ I don't want to wrap and pack neatly in a box the Nativity Scene on my coffee table.  Packed away for another year, I choose this year to leave them out, to reflect on the meaning of John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God."   And verse 14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." 

Lord in this New Year, I long to have even a greater awareness of what that verse really means.  Who you are, and what it meant to leave the glory of heaven to become flesh, dwell on this earth and show us how to live, and then die on that cross to redeem us.  I want to know you better in 2015 than I did last year.  Lord teach me.  I love you.  Amen.


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2015 Hopeful New Year!!!

Hebrews 13:5-6 (NLT)
   5 ….. God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” 6 So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear….”

Father sometimes people look at a new year as standing on a precipice facing a future that is unknown, uncertain and unpredictable. We live in a world of stress and distress as a common experience and wonder if the New Year will just be filled with more of the same.   

Father, we cannot allow ourselves to be pessimists. Nor do you want us to be people with such a low view of life.  Father you have given a promise, provided a plan and established a purpose for our lives and you always keep your word and accomplish your will. So we can face the New Year as people with confidence knowing that: “….God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)

And remembering Father what you said in Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” So then Father it is not only Happy New Year but much more a Hopeful New Year because you are the God of all hope enabling us to be people of hope who have a promise and a future.


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That we may share in the song of the angels ...

Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

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This week we watched a Youtube of Al Andrews reading his book "A Walk One Winter Night".

Since that I've been reflecting in a very different way about the typical Nativity Scenes.

You will be blessed if you watch this Youtube.

Dear Lord, you used the reading of this simple but profound book to stir my heart anew this Christmas.  Lord Your birth was not pristine clean as the perfect figures are placed on our coffee tables, or in front of our Churches.  There was nothing perfect about that night except YOUR BIRTH.  The stable was dirty, Mary young and scared, having her son in a stall, laying him on scratchy hay.  Joseph, wishing he had clean blankets, a basin of clean water.  You came in humility, but all of us that come like a child and put out faith in Your work of salvation on the cross, will reign with and behold the majesty of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  How we love and an adore you.  Amen.


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What’s So MERRY About Christmas?

Father, because I live in such a dysfunctional, disillusioned, and depressing world it sometimes gives me pause to wonder and ask “What’s so merry about Christmas”’? Then I recall how Jesus in his first sermon in Nazareth quoted the prophet Isaiah and said: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19 (NLT)

 Yes Father this is the time of your favor, a time to tell the good news which gives power and passion to the word MERRY, and why this word should be used to describe the effects of Christmas

Mercy because that is given unmerited to undeserving sinners.

Encouragement because that instills hope in a life surrounded by despair.

Redemption because that restores relationship with a holy God.

Renewal because that brings meaning and vitality to life.

Yearning because that motivates the heart to share the “…..good news that will bring great joy to all people.” Luke 2:10 (NLT)

Yes Father it is and always will be MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NLT)


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To the Bearer of Men's Burdens

Lord Jesus, Bearer of men's burdens, Comforter of the sorrowful, we would bring to thee all whose hearts are sad.

Help us mediate thy strengthening sympathy to others, but grant we may be so continually refreshed by our companionship with thee that we may not be crushed by the world's burdens.

Thou art the burden bearer - not we. Thou alone, O Christ, canst in thy strong heart carry the woes of the world.

In this faith, teach us to do our duty day by day as we see it to be thy will, and save us from the depression of those who try to carry more than man was made to bear, and ever to look to thee, O Lamb of God who bearest the sins of the world.

... from "The Will of God" by Leslie D Weatherhead

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Third Week of Advent

Jesus, we rejoice when we look back on your coming to save us from our sins. We rejoice as well when we look forward to your coming again to set all things right. Amen

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Matthew 1:23  "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 working of our planet and all that live here 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, Immanuel, are indeed "God with us". We love You.  Amen.


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Luke 2:8-11 (NLT)
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.

9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!

Father how stunning must have been the experience of the shepherds on that silent night in the hills of Bethlehem when suddenly the glory of the Lord engulfed them in majestic splendor. We can imagine the fear that gripped them, uncertain of what such an unearthly presence might mean. Yet it was not an announcement of judgment the angel brought but of salvation: “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem

Father, there has never been such a proclamation that has brought greater hope than what those shepherds heard.  And in our dark world today I pray that the light from that glorious news will shine brighter than ever. Such news for us may not be sudden but it will be life changing for all who believe even as it was for the shepherds.


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Our help

"Our help is in the name of the Lord, 
who made heaven and earth." 
(Psalm 124:8)

Over and over, in the Word of God, we see the vast importance of prayer in the lives of Chrisitians. His Word tells us to look up! It tells us to cry out! It tells us that He and He alone is our help! So, why do we neglect this powerful gift that comes from Him? 

We need to understand that prayer is the greater work of the church and the people. We also need to understand that a working knowledge of the bible is extremely valuable and utterly important to our prayer life.

 How necessary is prayer in our lives? We will accomplish little of eternal significance apart from prayer. It is indeed an awesome responsibility in our lives, but it is an even more exquisite honor. An honor that we need to treasure and cultivate and use to bring glory and honor and praise to our God and King. 

May the Lord show us the power of prayer in our lives in a new and enlightening way this week!

Lord, we lift up humble hearts to You today and ask that You impart upon our spirits the importance of communing with You continually! May our hearts be drawn to Your side and may we truly recognize You for who You are. Our God and our King, Our very present help. Our Creator and our Lord. Empower us today, Oh God, to be prayers warriors who seek You in all that we do and say.


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Second Week of Advent

Jesus, as your people hoped for the coming of their King, so we live in expectant hope for your coming again to make all things right. Keep us watchful and ready. Amen

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The Miracle of Mercy

John 1:1& 14 (ESV)
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

……….14 And the Word became flesh……

Father this is a miracle that has infinite dimensions and finite implications.  It is that which is eternal coming into that which is temporal. It doesn’t even seem possible. How could such an event even take place?  Even Mary the mother of Jesus was concerned and confused about this. Thankfully Father you sent the angel Gabriel to explain this Mary and to us.

Luke 1:34-35 (ESV)
    And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

John 1:14 (ESV)
   And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Thus Father the glorious prophecies of Isaiah were fulfilled.

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)
   Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
   For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Thank you Father for the wonder of Christmas, the gift of your Son, the miracle of mercy for all who believe.


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For the Sick and Hurting

Dear Lord Jesus,
You have seen in Your great wisdom and mercy to put into our lives those who are great prayer warriors and encouragers, people who always take the time to stop, look us in the eye, and take genuine care for our bodies and souls. This day, Lord, I thank you for Doug and all he has meant to the many who know and love him. He has been a source of strength and encouragement to so many and we bring him before your throne today asking for mercy. We beg healing for his body, but especially healing in his relationship with his daughters and mercy on their souls. Thank you, Jesus, for Doug.

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First Week of Advent

Jesus, we live in a world of uncertainty, with pain and suffering all around us. We long for you to come and bring peace and wholeness to your creation. Thank you for the hope you give us that you are making all things right, and will finally bring your kingdom to its fullness. Amen

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Proverbs 4:18  "The Path of righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day."

Thank you Lord, for Your light of truth that makes my way both safe and pleasant.  With the light of Your presence You warm my heart.  With the light of Your wisdom You enlighten my mind.  With the light of Your Word You illuminate my path.  How I long for the full light of that great and glorious Day when we, Your people, will reach our destination around Your throne.  There we will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for You, O Lord, will give us light.  And we will reign with You forever and ever.  We love You.  Amen.


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Best Buy

“.….. darkness fell across the whole land…..”  Luke 23:44 (NLT)

Father, yesterday was Black Friday and there were supper sales all over the place, people standing in line for hours to make the best buy. My heart and mind goes back to the original Black Friday, 2000 years ago, when the best buy of all time was purchased at an infinite price.

The Apostle Peter reminds us: “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NLT)

Father, in the darkness on that day so long ago Your Son paid the price of the greatest gift ever offered to the human race. Colossians 1:13-14 (NLT) says it so well: “….he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins."

Indeed Father, that was the best buy ever and all who trust in Jesus for their salvation will be eternally grateful.


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Dear Lord,
My heart is heavy. Help me know how to roll my burdens upon You for You have promised to carry them if I will only let them go.

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Create in me...

"Create in me a clean heart, O God;
And renew a right spirit within me"
(Psalm 51:10)

What an amazing prayer that Kind David uttered to God when pleading for forgiveness, cleansing and restoration of fellowship with Him. What an amazing and pertinent prayer this should be on the lips of every Christian! 

The word create in this passage is the Hebrew word 'bara' which means 'to create or to make'. But the beautiful thing about the word is that this verb is of profound theological significance. Truly the word 'bara' is a verb that only has God as its subject. It expresses creation out of nothing as we see first in Genesis 1:1. 

So, as we encounter this word in this Psalm of David, we must understand that David knew that the work on his heart which was needed and desired could only be accomplished by His God. Our hearts need a touch by our heavenly Father. God and only God can create in us that clean heart with forgiveness and cleansing and restoration. May this prayer be on our lips and in our hearts every day of our lives. 


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Prayer of Thanksgiving

Father, we give you thanks for your gracious blessing to us. Thank you for providing what we need. Thank you for your mercies which are continually refreshed. Thank you for guiding us. Thank you for the great salvation accomplished on the cross. We pray for those who struggle physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Let them know your love and goodness to them and encourage them. Help us to remember those who are less fortunate. Amen

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"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us and we are his, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter the gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.  give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."  Psalms 100

The Lord through His Holy Word has shown us how to pray a prayer of Thanksgiving.  He is our model for life and practice.

image from


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Just Two Words

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 of all the words that come to mind this Thanksgiving Season the commercial theme of Nike “Just Do It” describes those words well. And those two words are “Give Thanks.” As we consider and call to mind the abundant blessings graciously bestowed on us it certainly is with the deepest gratitude and heartfelt praise that we acknowledge and remember your goodness. And your goodness is the infinite reflection of your thoughts toward. The Psalmist reminds: ”How precious are your thoughts about me (us), O God. They cannot be numbered!” Psalm 139:17 (NLT)

So Father we just want to Give Thanks to you for “your wonderful deeds, to sing praises to you and worship you.”

1 Chronicles 29:13 (NLT)
   “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!


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He is the same!

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, 
and today, and forever." 
(Hebrews 13:8)

Thank you, Lord, that you never change. Thank you for being ever-living and never-changing. Help us to rejoice in the truth of this with power from the Holy Spirit.  If we begin to comprehend this, we will begin to see the power and testimony of the early church surface in our churches today! Thank you, Lord, for your eternal and unchanging Word.


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Dear Lord, you have blessed my life in so many ways, and today I must thank you again for "Family".  Family is your idea, and when we enjoy the love and joy from children and grandchildren, we remember how much you love us and adopted us into Your family.

Thanks you for this good day, a family gathering at Elijah's last Water Polo game.  Thank you that the family could celebrate it together and help us all to remember where our blessings come from.  I love you Jesus, and want to say again, thank you for my family.  Thank you that they have chosen to follow You.  Amen.


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Philippians 1:3-4 (ESV)
   3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

Father, in our journey through life there are those you bring alongside to be a comfort, counsel and confidant to encourage and enable us in the life mission you have given us. Yes Father you have given us all a life mission and we need help to accomplishment it. Thank you for family and friends that stand with us in this journey. Some are near, others are far but all are essential in the support you give us through them. You never leave us alone you never leave us without help. Your presence is reinforced through their prayers, fellowship and sometimes sacrificial intervention. So it is with joy Father that I remember them today. It is a remembrance written on my heart out of appreciation for each and every one.


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Praying Psalm 11 | I will not Run Away

I take refuge in you Lord.

I will not run away from my problems or from the enemies of my heart.

Your word is my foundation. I will embrace what it says about me!

You LORD are in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne.

You observe the sons of men. Your eyes examine them.

You test the righteous LORD and opposes the one who loves violence.

Father please reveal yourself to us all.

Help us all to repent and not be judged.

You are righteous Lord.

You love righteous deeds.

The upright shall behold your face.


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Monday Prayer

This is from a congregational prayer said in our gathering yesterday.
Jesus, make it my highest joy to study you, meditate on you, gaze on you, sit like Mary at your feet, lean like John on your breast, appeal like Peter to your love, count like Paul all things but dung. I believe, help my unbelief. Amen.

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Today Don and I stopped at IN-N-OUT Burger after running a few errands.  I knew they have John 3:16 stamped on the bottom of their beverage cups, but today I turned over the little container of fries and it had Proverbs 24:16 stamped on the bottom.  We are all familiar with John 3:16, but do you know what that verse in Proverbs says without looking it up.  I didn't but was impressed with it.

". . .for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity."

That's the difference of us that claim the righteousness of Jesus Christ in our lives.  We have difficult circumstances, broken relationships, death of a loved one, financial loss, and we falter and fall.  But we don't stay times....we claim His power in our lives, and we get up feeling His strength and we learn from the fall.

Dear Jesus, we do falter and fall, give us Your strength to keep getting up and continuing to be the example of your righteousness working in and through our lives.  Thank you for Your Word that it is always true and for the instruction it gives on how to live our lives.  We love You.  Amen.


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God’s Good Will

Psalm 91:14-16 (ESV)
   14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Father, six times in this brief passage of Scripture you affirm your good will toward those who hold fast to you with loving affection and know your name with personal attention. It is an intimate interaction of the soul with the Sovereign God. Thank you Father for making this relationship possible and we can affirm the summation of the Apostle Paul in relation to your will, that it is indeed “….good and acceptable and perfect.”

We sing the words of the Psalmist: “The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made”. Psalm 145:9 (ESV)
Thank you Father for your good will that was given to us in the gift of your Son, our Savior and Lord, Jesus.


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if you love Me

"If I obey Jesus Christ, the Redemption of
God will rush through me to other lives,
because behind the deed of obedience is the
Reality of Almighty God"
(A.W. Tozer)

Lord, help us to be obedient vessels for You! Help us to cling to Your standards and Your commands. Help us to see that our love for You is made evident by our level of commitment to Your WORD! Draw us closer and closer to Your side and give us a desire like no other to be submissive to Your will and to obey Your Holy Word.

"If you love me, you will keep my commands" (John 14:15)


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 Almighty and merciful God, It is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer
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"Lamb of Glory, I am humbled that You ask me to remember You ~in spite of my wandering heart and habitual need for pardon.  But gratefully I take Your cup of mercy in the company of others.  Together we worship, beckoned by grace to Your side, where we eat, drink and remember Your sacrifice.  We love You.  Amen."


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1 Peter 2:16 (NLT)
     …you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.

Father you remind us that freedom is not the right to do wrong but the responsibility to live wisely, discretely and with accountability. Wise in our approach to life, discrete in our life decisions and accountable because of how our lives affect others.
Thank you Father that the freedom we enjoy includes the right to vote for those who will serve you and us in the still honorable venue of public service. Help us to exercise this peculiarly glorious freedom in a way that enables better leadership for our nation and a better legacy for our children.


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Ever wake up and the first thing out of your mouth is a mistake, and you want to take it back, but it's too late.  Like toothpaste ~ once it's out of the tube there is no putting it back.  Life can be messy like that, can't it.  (Guess you know how I woke up this morning.)

". . . .As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent. . . . "  Revelation 3:14-22

What's He saying to you today?
To live a life that pleases Christ.
It's crucial to obey His voice;
When He reveals our sin to us,
Repentance is the wisest choice.

Repentance restores and renews our intimacy with the Lord.  Thank you Jesus.  I love You.  Amen.


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Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
   Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Father there are times when the load of suffering is so heavy that we cannot bear it alone. And there are people today who have lost loved ones through murderous assaults that have no reason except for the hatred of the perpetrators. For those in the agony of grief heavier than they can bear, we pray for your grace to sustain them in their loss, strengthen them in their faith and guard them with your peace. It is especially for times such as these that prayer can have such a profound effect and your grace make such a personal difference.

Thank you Father for hearing our prayer and for your gracious compassion. In Jesus name, Amen.

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prayer and faith

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


Faith and true prayer are like two sides to the same coin - they are inseparable!

Man can certainly pray and have no faith, but it is almost unthinkable that man 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 in faith. An invitation to prayer is an invitation to omnipotence, for prayer engages the Omnipotent God and brings Him into our human affairs. The bible tells us that we have not because we ask not. It doesn't take much wisdom to determine our next move. It is to pray and pray again until the answer comes! Not necessarily the answer we are looking for, but the answer that is God's perfect will for our lives. Let's be effectual and fervent prayer warriors!

"Thank you, Father, that You are a God who welcomes dialogue with His children! Help us to continually remain in a state of prayer with You and move in our lives in significant ways today!

(Adapted from 'Mornings with Tozer" devotional)


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In Thy will, O Lord is my peace;
In Thy love is my rest.
In Thy service is my joy,
Thou art all my heart's desire.
Whom have I in heaven but Thee?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides Thee.
I love you.  Amen.


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Isaiah 41:8 (NLT)
   “But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from
Abraham my friend,”

Father, it is almost incomprehensible that you would call any man friend. I sense the inadequacy of the Psalmist who said: “What are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?” Psalm 8:4 (NLT)
Yet it was of a mere man you said: “…… Abraham my friend…. How extraordinary this man must have been. And yet this special relationship is within our reach through the same faith that Abraham exercised.

James 2:21-23 (NLT)
   21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God.

Father it was through Abraham’s faith that your friendship with him was formed. As I meditate on the word friend this acrostic comes to mind:

Faith is the trust of a friend. Reliable is the consistency of a friend. Intimacy is the passion of a friend. Educate is the learning aptitude of a friend. Not perfect is the honesty of a friend. Dedicated is the abiding strength of a friend.

Father through our faith in you we desire to be such a friend. And thank you Father that this friendship is possible and personal through our relationship with your Son Jesus, our Savior and Friend.


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prayer is worship

"Be careful for  nothing; but in everything 
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
 let your requests be made known unto God'
(Philippians 4:6)


The word prayer in this passage of scripture is the  Greek word "proseuche". It is a general term for making requests to the LORD.

It also denotes the following definitions: to pray to God; to pray earnestly; to make prayer; supplicate; worship

So many times, we focus on prayer being a time to run to our Father and ask Him for things. We run to Him and make requests of Him. We do this when we are in crisis or have a deep need for something. 

I think it is highly important that we look at the last definition of the word prayer.  Worship. Prayer should always carry with it the idea of adoration, devotion and worship. Prayer ought to be our first course of action. Our first instinct. But not prayer in the requesting sense, but prayer in the sense of worship. 

We need to practice running to our Father and desiring to get into His Presence simply to do one thing. Worship Him for who He is. Worship Him to see His goodness and His mercy and His grace.  We need to eagerly approach His Throne with deep reverence for His power and sovereignty and with grateful hearts for what He has already done for us in our lives. 

If we spent more time on our faces praising Him, we wouldn't have to spend nearly as much time on our knees making requests of Him. Simply put, prayer is Worship. Let's practice that and be ready to be astounded at the change in our hearts and our lives!


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Autumn Prayer

Father, thank you for the beauty of the season, the colors and the smells. As the weather changes, we are reminded that we will soon be celebrating the birth of our Savior. As we gather with family and friends to celebrate the changing of the seasons, help us to remember that all the beauty we see comes from you. Amen

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To Remove Blinders | Praying Psalm 10

Why, O Lord, do you seem to stand far away and hide yourself in times of trouble? Why do you allow the arrogant the wicked to hotly pursue the poor? Bring justice and let the wicked be caught in the schemes that they have devised.

In their pride the wicked does not seek you; all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”

Though it is folly, the ways of the wicked prosper at times; yet your judgments are on high, out of his sight. He foolishly says in his heart, “I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”

Lord please turn the heart of the wicked from cursing to blessing ... from deceit to integrity ... from oppression to compassion ... from mischief to obedience ... from sin to righteousness ... from murder to love ... from covetousness to generosity.

Open the eyes of the wicked to see the folly of saying “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it” and “You will not call him to account” ... remove the blinders from their eyes dear Lord.

Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted.

The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land.

O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.


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Patience Beyond Our Need

Nehemiah 9:29-31 (NLT)
   29 “You warned them to return to your Law, but they became proud and obstinate and disobeyed your commands. They did not follow your regulations, by which people will find life if only they obey. They stubbornly turned their backs on you and refused to listen. 30 In your love, you were
patient with them for many years. You sent your Spirit, who warned them through the prophets. But still they wouldn’t listen! So once again you allowed the peoples of the land to conquer them. 31 But in your great mercy, you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!

Father, degenerate, deplorable, despicable, disgusting, and destructive fittingly describes the attitude and behavior of your people who were the beneficiaries of your miracles, mercy and abundant grace. They forgot your goodness and were mired in their greed. This consequence of self-centeredness is the result of their own choices.

Yet in your grace you did not abandon them and in your mercy you forgave them. The greatness of your love is truly infinite and your patience reaches beyond our need. Help our nation to remember the source of our blessing and to never take them or YOU for granted.


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Prayer for Faith and Faithfulness

In our gathering yesterday morning, we prayed this. It's adapted from a prayer by Scotty Smith.

The most fundamental change we need is to become like you, Jesus. With the knowledge that one day we'll be as lovely and as loving as you, we gladly surrender to the work of the gospel in our lives. You are making all things new, right now--right before our very eyes, if we have eyes to see and a heart to accept. Because of your life, death, and resurrection, we're destined for a place, family, and eternity in which everything will be the way it's supposed to be, forever. Hasten that magnificent Day. Until then, Jesus, may we love you with abandon, trust you with gladness, and serve you with passion. In your name. Amen.
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A Stronghold for the Oppressed | Praying Psalm 9

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

I rejoice that the enemies of my soul turn back in your presence.

You rule the nations O King of kings. You rule with righteous judgment. You are Lord over the nations. You are just in your reign.

Though nations rise and nations fall and man remembers them no more, you O LORD are enthroned forever. You have established your throne for justice. You judge the world with righteousness. You judge the peoples with uprightness.

Yet you LORD are a stronghold for the oppressed, a fortress in times of trouble and those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

We sing praises to the LORD who sits enthroned over all. We remember you and give testimony of your deeds! For you are for us God and are ever mindful of us - you do not forget the cry of the afflicted.

Be gracious to me, O LORD! See my affliction from those who hate my soul, O you who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the faithful I may rejoice in your salvation.

I look and see that the nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid their own foot has been caught. You LORD have made yourself known but all nations that forget God shall stand before their Maker.

For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.

Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations bow before you! Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men!


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True Leadership

Nehemiah 4:14 (NLT)
   14 Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”

Father, as I think on the life and times of Nehemiah I long for that kind of leadership today. His character, his courage and his counsel were invaluable for the hope and future of his people. He was truly a man who understood the challenges that confronted him, a man of encouragement. reminding his people who God is, and a man who inspired others by offering the motivation needed for defending what was most precious to them.

Father, in Nehemiah you have given us an example of true leadership that excels in having the right priorities of God, family and home security.  Please Father raise up men like him for us. How we long for such noble leaders.


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