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

A Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may
reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator,
Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour,
and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you
and remain with you, this day and forevermore.


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Middle East

Father, we pray for the folks in the Middle East, both Israeli and Palestinian. We pray for an end to the fighting and for your shalom to be known by both sides. Bring healing to those who have been injured and comfort to those who have lost loved ones. We ask in the name of the Prince of Peace. Amen

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Every morning with a cup of coffee I read this Diary of Private Prayer as I sit on our Tree House balcony.  In the quiet of the morning, and the soft breeze in the air, God always speaks to me through these old English style prayers.  Today I want to remember how to use each of these circumstance we face on a regular basis.

"Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sins.
Let me use disappointment as material for patience:
Let me use success as material for thankfulness:
Let me use suspense as material for perseverance:
Let me use danger as material for courage:
Let me use reproach as material for longsuffering:
Let me use praise as material for humility:
Let me use pleasure as material for temperance:
Let me use pains as material for endurance."
~A Diary of Private Prayer - John Baillie


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John 9:25 (NLT)
   “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But
I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

Father, so much of life is lived in the uncertainty of “I don’t know”.  As much as we may think we do know, there is much more we do not know. In fact, Father sometimes I think life should be spelled with a question mark: L?fe.

I am sure this blind man’s life was lived in a ? mark because of the many unanswered questions that surrounded his life. Yet there was that glorious day when the question mark became an exclamation mark expressing the certainty of a new life through the miracle of new sight. What a wonderful transforming difference Jesus makes in a person’s life. And Father what joy to share in the exuberance of this man who could say with total confidence I know this….

Father not unlike the blind man Jesus gave sight, I am so glad to say with the certainty of the Apostle Paul: “…..I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”  2 Tim.1:12 (NLT)


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In you do I take refuge | Praying Psalm 7

O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save and deliver me from evil, lest like a lion it tears my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver me.

O Lord my God, cause me to do good to others with my hands and help me to encourage all with kind words.

Arise, O Lord, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of the enemies of my soul; awake for me.

Cause your peoples to be gathered about you in sweet worship ... the kind that makes evil run.

O Lord hide me in your righteousness and cause me to live according to the integrity that is in me.

Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous — you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!

I proclaim that my shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.

I confess that God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

Thank you for your goodness that leads us to repent and for being patient in mercy.

I ask you to open the eyes of the wicked man who conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. Help him to stop digging a pit of destruction.

I will give to you Lord the thanks due to your righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.


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Two Word Prayers

Calm me, quiet me, settle me...

Steady me, balance me, ground me...

Plant me, root me, embed me...

Support me, sustain me, protect me...

Forgive me, pardon me, free me...

Refresh me, restore me, heal me...

Enfold me, embrace me, hold me...

Lord, hear my prayer today!

... copied from A Concord Pastor Commnets.

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 Father, thank you that are a loving, merciful Father who delights in giving good things to his children.  Thank you that we can know that your heart is good to us. Amen

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Psalms 10:4  "In his pride the wicked does not seek him.  In all his thoughts there is NO ROOM FOR GOD."

Dear Heavenly Father, help me not to be caught in the schemes and devices of the evil one.   Give me wisdom and discernment to know the truth.  Lord, I want you to have room in my life.  I pray for people who can't see you, or won't see you that are victims of Satan's lies and make no room for you in their thoughts or lives.  Help me make a difference where I am.  In my home, with my family, in my church, in my neighborhood.  You are welcome in every room of my heart and life.  I love You.  Amen.

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Hebrews 2:1 (NLT)
     So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.

Father thank you for reminding me that in this noisy, distracting and changing world we must be careful not to lose attention to your Word by ceasing to read, meditate and obey it. Even as you gave a similar word of encouragement through Moses to your people long ago:

   These instructions are not empty words—they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life……” Deuteronomy 32:47 (NLT)


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Greatly Troubled | Praying Psalm 6

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.

My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord.. how long?

Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.

For in death there is no remembrance of you; when I die I can no longer live a life of praise.

I am weary with my moaning; I often cry and do not know what to do.

My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my trials.

Depart from me, all you tempters of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.

The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.


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greatest need

"God forbid that I should sin
against the Lord in ceasing to 
pray for you: but I will teach 
you the good and the right way"
(1 Samuel 12:23)

The Word of God and prayer go hand in hand. The greatest need our nation has is prayer. The greatest need our churches have is prayer. The greatest need of our children is prayer. The Word teaches us over and over that prayer is the key to a right relationship with God. If we keep ourselves in the Word and we maintain an attitude of prayer with our God at all times, we will be strengthened in our faith and able to withstand the wiles of the devil, and we will be victorious in our Christian walk. 

We must read the Truth and we must practice the Truth, but the only way we will be able to be empowered to do so is by talking to our Lord and Savior. It is only by our intimate prayer time that we will gain wisdom and strength.

Lord, help us to keep ourselves in a continual state of prayer. Help us to see that our greatest blessing will come from a relationship with you that is developed in our personal prayer time. Give us the desire to communicate with you and then fill us with your Holy Spirit as we do so.


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Do you pray over "little" things?  Sometimes those little things are the biggest answers.  This past week I thought I lost my cell phone at the Costco parking lot.

"Dear Lord, You know where my cell phone is.  It's a little thing to You, but very important for me.  I'm asking, seeking and knocking as you have told me to in the Scripture.  Please help me locate my phone.  I love you ~ Amen."

This was the prayer I was praying constantly  from Monday when it went missing.  Today my prayer was answered as I found it in a pocket in my slacks that I had hung in the closet, and didn't realize the phone was in the pocket.

God is good all the time...and really is interested in the "little" things in our lives.  Ask, Seek and Knock...and then expect an answer.


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Psalm 23:5 ……… my cup overflows.

Thank you Father that my life overflows with your infinite resources of love, mercy and grace. This reminds me so much of the song that expresses the magnitude of your unlimited care and provision in meeting the needs and concerns of your people.

"He Giveth More Grace"

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

[Refrain] His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will up bear.



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Our strength is from Him

"He comforts us in all our affliction, so that
we may be able to comfort those who
are in any kind of affliction, through 
the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
(2 Corinthians 1:4)


Our strength certainly doesn't come from within our own selves. Our strength is completely dependent on the strength of our God in us. We tap into that strength that we didn't even know we had, when we rely on Him in times of trial. When we let Him handle the situation for us. When we place our trust in Him and only Him. And it is that strength that He then uses in us that will enable us to minister to others in need. 

Lord, help us see that our strength is truly in You. You are the one that enables us to endure trial and tribulation. You are the one that empowers us to minister to others. You are our strength and our comfort and for that we are grateful. Thank you, Lord, for wisdom and discernment to be able to minister to others in their time of need.


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"God of my forefathers, I cry unto Three.  Thou hast been the refuge of good and wise men in every generation.  Through all the ages Thou hast been the Lord and giver of life, the source of all knowledge,  the fountain of all goodness.

The patriarchs trusted Thee and were not put to shame:
The prophets sought Thee and Thou didst commit Thy word to their lips:
The psalmists rejoiced in Thee and Thou wert present in their song:
The apostles waited upon Thee and they were filled with Thy Holy Spirit:
The martyrs called upon Thee and Thou wert with them in the midst of the flame:
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.

Forbid it, Holy Lord, that I should fail to profit by these great memories of the ages that are gone by, or to enter into the glorious inheritance which Thou has prepared for me; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.  ~John Baillie ~Diary of Private Prayer

*Image from


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Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)
 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,   because the LORD has anointed me to preach …… proclaim freedom……………

John 8:36 (NLT)
   So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

Father, there are three freedoms I am so grateful for:

1. Freedom of the soul to pursue YOU.

2. Freedom of the spirit to pursue Life.

3. Freedom of the body to pursue the natural senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching.

These glorious freedoms are your creative gifts that come through your immeasurable grace. Father they demonstrate your love for us. How could we know and experience anything without them. What a wise and holy God you are, and totally worthy of our praise.

Indeed, praise God from whom all freedoms flow!!!


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Consider My Groaning | Praying Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning.

Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.

Thank you O Lord, for hearing me when I pray.

Thank you for being a pure Father, one with absolutely no evil.

Give me grace O Father to be humble ... pure in heart ... a truth teller ... a forgiving one ... a man filled with honesty.

Praise be to Your name for Your steadfast love.

I worship You with much awe.

Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness; make your way straight before me.

Cause me to be one with truth in my mouth; and not flattery on my lips.

Give me wisdom to live in a sinful world and to shine before others.

Help me to bless those who do not know You and lead lives that rebel against Your word.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may exult in you.

For You bless the righteous, O Lord; You cover them with favor as with a shield.


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Prayer and holiness

We, as the church, are losing ground in our spiritual walks. It is largely due to the decline of prayer. With this decline of prayer, we also suffer a decline of holiness in our lives. We can make excuses for it but the truth of the matter is that it's a reality. The church is not producing praying men and women because we aren't focused on and intently engaged in the greatest work of holiness- prayer.

If we desire a move of a God in our churches, we must get back to actively engaging in prayer which will lead our hearts back to holiness! Let's be men and women of prayer for the glory of God!

"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; 
without holiness no one will see The Lord" 
(Hebrews 12:14)


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Set Apart | Praying Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!

You have given me relief when I was in distress.

Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

Thank you that You have set me apart for Yourself and You hear me when I call to You.

put my trust in You, O Lord.

Lift up the light of your face upon me, O Lord!

You have put more joy in my heart than when I was young and things were easier.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.


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