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THE HIDDEN PERSON OF THE HEART





 I Peter 3:3-4  "Your adornment must not be merely external ~ braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of the Lord."

Dear Heavenly Father, as I read and meditate on this passage, I realize you are not saying I should have bad hair, not dressing nicely, or wearing jewelry.  That is just the out side.  That is temporal, and will all fade away.  You are concerned for my heart attitude.  Help me to think more about my gentle and quiet spirit, and spend more time cultivating those characteristics than being so concerned about my outward appearance.  Father, I want to please you on the inside and outside too.  I love You.  Amen.

****Billy Graham was once ask if women should wear makeup....I loved his answer.

"Even an old barn looks better with a coat of paint."   God want's us to look nice, but he's more concerned with our hearts.









Amen

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Truth that Transforms





1 John 4:8 (ESV)
      …….. God is love.

Luke 18:19 (ESV)
   ………..No one is good except God alone.

John 3:33 (ESV)
   ……… God is true.

Psalm 99:9 (ESV)
   ………. God is holy!

Father as I meditate on these verses, they tell me everything I need to know about You. That You are love tells me about Your heart. That You are good tells me about Your character. That You are true tells me about Your integrity. That You are holy tells me about Your nature. In your love you accept me, in your goodness you forgive me, in your truth you protect me and in your holiness you justify me.

How can I not say with the Psalmist: “My whole being will exclaim, "Who is like you, O LORD? ….."   Psalm 35:10 (NIV) 

Thank you Father that you have made yourself know to me not only in your creation and in your Word, but especially and particularly through your Son. Through faith in Him, Jesus, I truly and personally know You. To meditate on this is not only inspiring, it is life transforming.

Amen

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Prayer for Help in a Dark Place

Lord, if you call me into the wilderness, I will embrace it because You are there with me. Sometimes it feels the supports I have depended upon are yanked out from under me. Help me not to be afraid, but to lean on You alone and walk in faith knowing You go before me. Shine Your light on the path I travel and help me to fully trust You are with me. Forgive me if I murmur and help me to have a grateful heart and a good attitude so I can arrive at the destination You have for me. Amen.

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grace to be willing

Lord, you were rich
yet, for our sakes, you became poor.
You promised in your Gospel
that whatever is done
for the least of your brothers and sisters
is done for you.
Give us grace to be always willing and ready
to provide for the needs
of those whose parents have died
or whose homes are broken,
that your kingdom of service and love
may extend throughout the world,
to your unending glory.
Amen
... a prayer of St Augustine

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caught in the undertow


Today, LORD, I lift up all those who are caught in the downward pull of the undertows of life. I ask that you minister deeply to the minds and spirits of those who feel the waters of the enemy closing in around them. God, help them to fight their way to the surface. Help them to fight their way to the shoreline. Give them strength that only can come from you. Give them boldness and courage to go against the currents of this temporary life and to swim in the direction that you have ordained for each of them according to your divine and perfect will. 

Grant us all peace for the journey. Strength for the fight. And vision for what lies ahead.



Amen

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a prayer to die to self



Father,

I've never been fond of how Jesus calls us to take up our cross. Not because I don't want to follow him, but because the cross is a symbol of death. And that means I know you have called us to die to ourselves.

Dying daily. That's what you've called us to do. A complete and total surrender to all that we want and desire if it does not line up with your will. A death to our sinful self and a birth to new life in you. But see, sin is fun. So that's why we struggle.

But Father, we also acknowledge that you know better than us. Help us to trust in who you are, and not in what we do. We must trust in all that you have done and not in all that we want to do. Help us to see what you'd have for us... that is so much great, bigger, richer then we could ever want. But also, help us see it that way: as bigger, better, and richer.

Help us to die to ourselves and live victoriously over sin in a new life. Help us to want what you want for us. Help us to walk strong in this truth.

We praise you, O Lord, for all that you have done and all that you will do. For all that you are and all that you are helping make us become.


Amen

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Help Us to Remember

Father, help your children to remember who we are in Christ. Remind us of your love for us. Let us know that our sufficiency is not in ourselves, but that our identity comes from being the children of the Creator of the universe. Let your love flow out of us onto those around us. Amen

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Deliverance




 Galatians 1:3-4 "Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of or God and Father to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


O Father, I live in a world that worships wealth and power and success.  But when You saw that I needed to be saved from the seductive idols in my heart, You sent a Savior.  And when You saw that I needed deliverance from my own sin, You sent a Deliverer.  The One You sent was Your Son and my deliverance cost Him his life.  Still You did it for me.  This was Your will, Your delight.  I worship You with all my heart.  I love You.  Amen

Maranatha Worship Bible
googleimages.com









Amen

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Peace on our Time


James 5:16 (ESV)
            “………pray for one another, that you may be healed…………”

Father there is no need for us to inform you of the evil, hypocritical and hateful times that our society is drowning in. We have become corrupted and defiled by preying on each other instead of praying for each other. May our nation be reminded of your great promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Father may you put in our hearts the love, compassion and burden of prayer that will bring about the spiritual healing our country so desperately needs. “Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.” Psalm 130:2 (NLT)


Thank you Father for your loving forgiveness that is available to all who seek you. Amen.



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surrender


My God, I give you this day.

I offer you, now, all of the good that I shall do
and I promise to accept, for love of you, all of the difficulty that I shall meet.

Help me to conduct myself during this day in a manner pleasing to you.

Amen.

... a prayer of St Francis de Sales

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deepest grief



Lord,

Father, you are so faithful to us. So giving and strong. You are worthy of our time, attention, love, and worship. Only you, Father. Only you.

We come with hearts who love you but also love the world. We know you are all-knowing and powerful, all-loving and gracious, yet we chose to love other people and other things more. This is quite often the cause of our heart ache, and Lord, we turn to you in our sorrow.

We are sorry for impatience, temper, deaf ears, and loose tongues. In our days of deepest grief, we often don't see how much you love us. You are truly the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Thank you for teaching us about you in our grief, and how to share comfort to those also grieving. Help us to to not assume we fully understand your timing or reasons. Help us to understand and believe that you know best.

Help us to trust in who you are and not in who we think you ought to be.


Amen

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Post Florence Prayer

Father, please bless all those impacted by the hurricane this past weekend and it's continuing effects. Grant safety, healing, comfort and provision as they face a future that has changed radically. Let you people show your love and grace to their neighbors. Amen

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A CALL TO DUTY




In Psalm 113, the psalmist calls us to a duty:

Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
Praise the name of the LORD!
Blessed be the name of the LORD
From this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its going down
The LORD's name is to be praised.
The LORD is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.

Then the psalmist asks a questions"

Who is like the LORD our God, Who dells on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?

Make this my prayer O Lord!  I love You.  Amen.








Amen

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Praying for Others



1 Samuel 12:23 (ESV)
     ”Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you.”

Father, Samuel’s great example and commitment to you and the people of Israel is his faithful and prayerful intercession for them. And we are reminded of Paul’s admonition to the Church: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,” 1 Timothy 2:1 (ESV)

Father you have not ask us to be eloquent, extravagant or wordy in our prayers but rather to “….. come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Father, not only do we pray for mercy and grace for ourselves but especially for those we love and care for. Thank you for the astonishing privilege to come into your very presence seeking your guidance, and your will for them. Thank you that we can participate in the great spiritual moments and events of their lives through our prayers for them.

Father in our prayers for them may we ever be reminded: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”  James 5:16 (ESV)

Thank you Father, in the name of Jesus, for the privilege and power of intercessory prayer. Amen.



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Awesome, omnipotent, Creator God.
We worship You as One…
who laid the earth’s foundations.
who marked off its dimensions,
who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,
who made the clouds its garment,
who fixed limits for it, and
who said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’.
We remember when You watched Your disciples struggling in the storm on Galilee, then walked across the water, climbed into their boat when they called out to You, and commanded the wind and waves to be still. And they obeyed!
As Hurricane Florence threatens the East Coast, we are asking You to look on the residents there. We cry out to You on their behalf. We know that the wind and the waves still know Your voice. Command them to be still. Please. For the glory of Your great name.
Even now, we ask that You comfort those in the path of the storm; give wisdom to the local, state, and federal officials; encourage neighbors, friends, and families to meet this threat together. Grant them mercy. Save them. Keep Your promise, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”
You are Immanuel. God with us. Facing this storm. Now.
We cling to You.
In the name of the One whom the waves and winds still obey…JESUS.

Amen

From Anne Graham Lotz

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Friday Thanks

Our Father God, we sing our praises to You and thank You for the untold number of blessings You have blessed us with. Your works of creation are awesome. We are Your people and what a privilege it is to belong to You. We repent of our sin and ask You to forgive us our sins. We will not put You to the test, but want to follow Your Son in the way of faith and obedience. We entrust our lives to You knowing You will keep us until the day You call us. Home. May we live our lives to know, love, enjoy and glorify You! Amen

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Tune my heart Lord

Come thou Fount of every blessing;
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above,

Praise the mount; I'm fixed upon it:
Mount of thy redeeming love.

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love,

Here's my heart. O take and seal it;
Seal it for thy courts above.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!

Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.

Here's my heart. O take and seal it;
Seal it for thy courts above.

Amen



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a prayer for calm hearts


Father,

We rushed out of the house this morning. Just like many mornings. We packed lunches with haste, we got dressed in a furry, and we gulped down our coffee in hopes that we would gain enough energy to get through the day.

Our hearts are racing. Thinking about all that we have to do. All that we need to accomplish. All that must be done.

Father, you are great and wonderful. You keep your promises, you are powerful and gentle. We can see this in creation. In the beauty of the trees and the wonder of the sky. We can see in humanity, as we are all created in your image. Help us to slow down and see the wonder of all that you have done, O God.  For your power stretches from sky to sky. Your gentleness is seen in the intricacy of a leaf.

Ease the anxiety in our hearts as we rush, rush, rush. Calm our spirits and help us to see all that you are and all that you have done. Holy Spirit, remind us to breathe in and out, finding joy and contentment in each moment.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

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GOD'S COVENANT


Image result for Abraham






Genesis 15:1  The Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:  
"Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward."



Oh God, You are my shield, my helper, my fortress, my deliverer, my strength, my refuge.  You are my glorious sword, my eternal protection, my loving God.  You are the horn of my salvation, the rock in whom I take refuge, the One who gives glory and lifts my head.  My heart trusts in You and leaps for Joy!  I love You.  Amen.

The God of Abraham praise,
Who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days,
And God of love.
Jehovah, great I Am,
By earth and heaven confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred name
Forever blessed.
                                                                               ~Thomas Olivers (1770)





Amen

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Friend




Many people will walk in and out of your life,

but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

Eleanor Roosevelt
 
A friend loves at all times, Proverbs 17:17 (HCSB)
There are many things we can say about a true friendship. It is faithful, loyal, honest, devoted, sacrificing, sometimes painfully confrontational, on rare occasions disappointing. But true friendship is always looking out for your best interests. Above all loves at all times.
What is unique about this friendship is that it takes work and time to develop. Such friendship is built on the brutal reality of honesty. It is forged in the fires of disagreement. It is sealed by the power of unconditional love. Friendship of this kind is enduring as well as endearing. It is one of life’s greatest treasures and at death one of life’s greatest losses. There are fewer words in human language that have a deeper meaning than the word friend.
I dedicate this prayer to Tom, my dear friend, who for over 45 years was a friend in the truest sense of the word.
Thank you Father for all of the wonderful people you bring into our lives to encourage us. How lonely and unlivable life would be without there support. Especially for those unique people we call and claim as friends.  For Tom I give you thanks, a brother in Christ, a colleague in calling, a counselor in life and a friend at all times. Thank you Father for the memories, in the name of Jesus, the best friend we will ever have in time and eternity. Amen!



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Our Hope

We rejoice in the hope of You, God. Your Holy Spirit has caused our hearts to overflow with Your love. This hope You have given does not disappoint. It is a confident hope because it is based on our faith in You and Your promises. Not one of Your good promises have ever failed us and because of this we know we can rely on the love You have for us. 

We pray that our love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, and that our hearts will be strong, blameless, and holy to stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.

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The Other Serenity Prayer

God, grand me the serenity to stop beating myself up for not doing things perfectly,

the courage to forgive myself because I am working on doing better,

and the wisdom to know that you already love me just the way I am.

Amen
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Just pray


When we don’t know where else to turn. What else to do. How much more we can take....

Just pray. 

Just commune.

Cry out to the Father and let Him work. Let Him move. Let Him lead.

“I cried out, ‘I’m slipping!’
but your unfailing love, O LORD, 
supported me.”
(Psalm 94:18)


Amen

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a prayer to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit



O Father, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast given me to Jesus,
to be his sheep, jewel, portion;
O Jesus, I thank thee that in fullness of grace

thou hast accepted, espoused, bound me;
O Holy Spirit, I thank thee that in fullness of grace

thou hast exhibited Jesus as my salvation, implanted faith within me,
subdued my stubborn heart,
made me one with him forever.
O Father, thou art enthroned to hear my prayers,

O Jesus, thy hand is outstretched to take my petitions, O Holy Spirit, thou art willing to help my infirmities,
to show me my need, to supply words, to pray within me,
to strengthen me that I faint not in supplication. O Triune God, who commandeth the universe,
thou hast commanded me to ask for those things
that concern thy kingdom and my soul.

(from The Valley of Vision)


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Labor Day

Father, we thank you for the work you have given us to do. Thank you for allowing us to be co-creators with you, to work for the good of others, to strive for justice, or to make our cities and towns better places to live. Remind us each day that our work is noble and is a part of your good purpose. Amen

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MY HEART, YOUR HOME





 Isaiah 66:1-2  "This is what the Lord says:  Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.  Where is the house you will build for me?  Where will my resting place be?  Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?  This is the one I esteem; he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word."

And what kind of habitation pleases God?  What must our natures be like before he can feel at home within us?  He ask nothing but a pure heart and a single mind.  He ask no rich paneling, no rugs from the Orient, no art treasures from afar.  He desires but sincerity, transparency, humility and love.  He will do the rest.    ~~A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Oh Lord, give me a heart that looks like a home to You.  I love You.  Amen!


Amen

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A Prayer for Baby Timothy



“ Some people brought infants to Jesus to have him hold them. Luke 18:15 (GW)
 And “bless them and pray for them.” Matthew 19:13 (GW)

Hello Timothy:

It was such a pleasure to meet you the other day. You are a beautiful, healthy boy and such a treasure and priceless gift from God. Your parents and your family are so enriched by your presence and the joy we all share is overflowing.

Timothy I pray for you that our loving heavenly Father will protect you on your life journey, give you wisdom and understanding in life’s decisions, and grace and peace when life’s challenges come.

Timothy, God has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. I pray you will grow to know, love and serve Him. God is for you, loves you and will always be with you. And Jesus will be your best friend. You can always trust Him.

Well Timothy, I hardly know you, but you captured my heart and touched my soul in a unique way. You will always be in mine and Wanda’s thoughts and prayers.

With love, appreciation and gratitude for you Timothy, Pastor Don.
Amen

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