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

First Week of Advent

Father, as the Jews of old looked in hope for the Messiah, so we look forward to the return of our King to set all things right. We anticipate with a hope that will not make us ashamed, a hope that is sure. May that hope be rekindled in our hearts this season. Amen
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What a loving Faithful Father,
Mighty God who knows each need.
All His paths are truth and kindness
When we daily let Him lead.

Father God, I stand before You,
Pardoned, cleansed, and reconciled;
Help me live as in Your presence
Caring Father.  Your trusting child!
~Ken Bible(1984 c)

Maranatha Worship Bible

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The Good Life

“….my cup overflows."  Psalm 23:5 (ESV)

Thank you Father for the good life that overflows with, not just your promises and blessings, but especially for your presence that fills every part of it. It is a new birth into a new spiritual life in Christ.  It is in total contrast to the natural life in which we may obtain some good material possessions, but is not life itself. The spiritual life, which is ours through faith in Christ, is true life itself. Father you have given us so many Scriptures that bear out the comparison and distinction of both. 

Ephesians 2:1 (NIV)
     ”As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…..”   
This is the natural life that makes dead toward God. 

Luke 12:15 (NIV)
      Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."  
This is the deception of the natural life that distracts us from God. 

Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
     4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved
.  This is the spiritual life which makes us alive to God.

1 John 5:11 (NIV)
      And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son;”
  This is everlasting life. 

John 10:10 (NIV)
     ”I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  This is overflowing life.

John 17:3 (NIV)
      “…..this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ,”   
This is relational life.

John 10:28 (NIV)
     ”I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”   
This is secure life.

2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
     ”By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.”  
 This is practical life.

Father throughout the Scriptures you give multiple details of this good life. All we can do is to gratefully say the Apostle Paul: “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!”  2 Corinthians 9:15 (NLT)


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with thanksgiving

Teach us Lord to see the world as your sanctuary.

Help us Father to walk as people who are thankful.

Open our eyes Jesus to all that we have in our lives.

Lead us Holy Spirit in the ways of thanksgiving.

We offer our bodies and our minds to your service.


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On this Thanksgiving Day

Dear God, on this Thanksgiving Day,

I want to pause and thank you for the blessings surrounding me.

For another day, for family, friends, for food on the table.

You are the source of all good things and praise you for the simple things that bring us joy.

Help us keep our eyes on you this day and everyday so our lives may be filled with praise and joy.

-prayer from Christianity Today

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True thankfulness....

So often our thankfulness is based on good circumstances. Positive outcomes. Pleasant situations.

But truthfully? Our hearts of thanksgiving should be focused solely on Christ and Christ alone.

True thankfulness is not based on anything other than the fact of God’s goodness. 

True thankfulness is not based on anything other than the knowledge of God’s mercy and grace. 

True thankfulness is simply knowing that regardless of any situation or trial, we serve a loving and merciful and good God... and that He is all we need in our lives.

For that alone, we can give thanks...

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ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end.  Amen
Book of Common Prayer 1662

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Psalm 139:5,6,10,11
"You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.  Your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."

Oh gracious Father, Holy Shepherd, how grateful I am to be one of your sheep.  To know your care and passion for me.  That you know my name.  That you have laid your hand on me, and your hand will guide and hold me fast.  This knowledge is truly too wonderful and lofty for me to understand or comprehend.  But I take it by faith, and will rest in your arms and feel secure.  I love You.  Amen.

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“…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father

in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Ephesians 5:20 (ESV)

 Psalm 100:1-5 (NLT) 

     1Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth!  2Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. 3 Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. 5For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Father I am excited about giving thanks to you in spite of difficult circumstances and because of difficult circumstances. This is because you assure me that in both situations your purpose for my life will be accomplished: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 So, Father, for everything and in all things I will celebrate “Thanksgiving Day” praising you in my Church, with my Family and for your Glory. As the Psalmist reminds us: “Praise the LORD! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting! Psalm 147:1 (NLT)

 In the name of Jesus who saves us so that we may sing the songs of salvation to our gracious and glorious Triune God. Amen.

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giving thanks for love and goodness

Love and goodness, they describe God at a very core level.

For these two words we give thanks to you Lord.

You are good. 
When we hurt, we can know that you have not caused the pain.

You are love. 
When all have abandoned us, your loving presence remains.

You are good. 
In times of great trial, we know that your plans for us are good.

You are love. 
In moments of doubt and confusion, you love brings clarity.

You are good.
Evil and temptation, in the end, will bow to your goodness.

You are love. 
Hate cannot stand against you. Love never fails.

Lord, we have hope because of your love and goodness.

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giving thanks for each other

I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. (Romans 1:8)

So often we all take the ones closest to us for granted. I know that pain has often caused me to neglect the giving of thanks for those who regularly bless me. In this simple verse Paul tells us to not neglect the giving of thanks for the faithful.

Father, I am sorry that I am so often preoccupied with myself and do not say thanks for those you have placed in my life. Thank you for them and the many others in the world who are faithful to You - even when life is so difficult for them.

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Rush in!

Today, let’s rush into the Presence of God and desire Him with all that is within us! Let’s rush to His side and cling to Him in expectation of an encounter with the Almighty One! 

Let’s purpose in our hearts to seek more. Pray more. Study more. 

It’s time that we make Christ our priority in all things...

He is worthy!!

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

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only light.
Sun of righteousness, arise.
Triumph over shades of night;
Dayspring, From on high, be near,
Daystar, in my heart appear!

Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief:
More and more yourself display
Shining to the perfect day.
     ~Charles Wesley

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.  I love You.  Amen!

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LEAVEN: A small portion of fermented dough used to ferment other dough and often symbolizing a corruptive influence.
Holman Bible Dictionary.

Galatians 5:9 (NLT)
      This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!

Matthew 16:11-12 (NLT)
11 Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’” 12 Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Father one of the great spiritual dangers we face today is the influence of false teaching. This ancient tool of Satan, which he used from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, has permeated the human race and perverted your truth in every generation. It is insidious, invasive, and impairing to spiritual health that affects our whole being.

Father we know the defense against falsehood is Your Word. Help us to never forget or neglect the value of Your Truth revealed in Your Word.

Psalm 19:7-8 (NLT)
7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.

Father help us to remember the protection, power and purpose of Your Truth. Help us to rededicate our lives to Your Word. Help us to have the mind of Jesus in knowing You, the submissiveness of Jesus in obeying You and the determination of Jesus in serving You. We know this will guard us from the false teachers and the false teaching with which they endeavor to deceive us and by which they even deceive themselves.

Father may it be said of us: “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.” 3 John 1:4

We ask this in Jesus Name and for Your glory. Amen.

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a prayer to work together

If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. [Romans 12:18 MSG]

Work at getting along with each other and with God. [Hebrews 12:14 MSG]

These words sounds like something my parents used to say to me and my siblings.
Sadly we humans do such a horrible job. I think that 'getting along' begins with prayer.

Heavenly Father we need you! Help us to return to you. Cause us to love each other.

Jesus have mercy on us. Help us to accept your mercy. Cause us to be merciful.

Holy Spirit comfort us. Help us to receive your comfort. Cause us to comfort others.

Lord give us the wisdom of love. Cause us to lead others in the wisdom of love.


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the blessing of keeping grace

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them." (Numbers 6:22-26 ESV)

Here is the way that John Gill comments on the phrase "keep you":
from, the evil of the world, from the evil one Satan, from the evil of sin, and the power, prevalence, and dominion of it, and from falling totally and finally by it, and keep in a state of grace unto everlasting salvation.
I love the way he speaks to grace being a state. The blessing of grace is what keeps us - it is God's grace that causes us to stand when we are tempted to bow to temptation. It is complicated though because, as in the Lord's prayer, we must ask for grace to stand against temptation.

Father, we come to Your throne of grace today with thankful hearts. Please shower mercy and grace on us that we might stand in the face of temptation ... that we would triumph as our faith is tested ... that endurance would be sown deep in our souls.


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Don’t fear the storm...

Powerful words from a beautiful song help us to understand the importance of a strong PRAYER life.

“I don’t want to fear the storm just because I hear the roar...”

We will always have storms in our lives. We will always have situations that seem unbearable and overwhelming.

But just because we hear the sound of an impending storm...

Just because we hear the roar of its approach...

We don’t have to fear. We don’t have to be afraid. We can know that God is near. He hears our cries. He feels our pain. And He is there.

The sound of a coming storm is a call for us to draw near. To pray. To cry out to the God who created us and loves us above all. 

“Oh peace be still,You are here so it is well.
Even when my eyes can’t see, I will trust the voice that speaks.”

We can know His voice. We can TRUST fully in who He is. 

When the storms rise, we must simply pray. It is a very  powerful weapon against the enemy of this world. 

Today... whatever the problem... pray and let God work.

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a prayer for healing


We call out to You today as Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, The great God of healing, the God of power and grace. Our bodies are tired, our hearts are sick, and we need You. We need Your healing power in our lives and in this world.

Lord, may every cry of ours go forth, giving way to our grief, knowing You have heard each groan, gathered each tear, and are holding each cry close to Your heart. As we come to the end of this year of trials, though we do not know what is to come, may we know You are near. We ask for Your mercy. Heal the racial strive in America, heal hearts that are prideful for their skin color and hearts angry for how they have been marginalized. Teach us, Lord, how we can be a soothing balm to heal those whose open wounds are raw from all that has happened this year and so many years past. Teach us a new way forward that honors You.

Jehovah Rapha, heals bodies broken from COVID. Cross this planet with Your mercy and bring about compassion and empathy for one another, wisdom for scientists, health care workers, and governing leaders as the virus continues to rage. Retrain it and us, O Lord. Call us to serve one another with humility and remind us that the freedom You give us as Your children is to be used to serve each other.

Heal the bitter hearts between Democrats and Republicans, in those governing and in those living in houses next to one another. Help us to find more common ground than differences, acknowledge where we are wrong, and see how we can live united. Teach us to love well.

Call us back to You, Lord, to our knees in worship and submission to all that You have called us to be. Give us eyes to see those who do not know You, and the willingness to be in relationships with those who do not know You so they may see Your light and be drawn closer to You and not further from You.

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                                        2 Corinthians 5:7 "We live by faith, not by sight!"

Dear Father, In uncertain times, we need to remember what real faith is.  Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Lord, we know we do not see things as they really are.  True spiritual sight is reserved for the day when when we will see as we are seen.  Faith is for this world, sight for the next.  You bless those who believe without seeing,  Oh Lord, give us strength to walk by faith until that great Day when we will truly walk by sight.  May our faith prove stronger in uncertain times.  I love You.  Amen

Maranatha Worship Bible

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Overwhelmed? No!

Psalm 8:3-4 (ESV)
     3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

 4  what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

Father the perplexity and pressure of human problems do at times feel overwhelming. From our finite and feeble view there are circumstances beyond our comprehension and control. But these are the moments when we need to remember Psalm 113:5-7 (ESV) “Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, 6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? 

7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,”

Again Father you remind us of the knowledge and compassion you have for us in Isaiah 43:2 (ESV) ”When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;”

Father there is never really a time when we should feel overwhelmed, whatever the condition, if we keep our focus and faith on you. Your power is true, your promise is faithful and that is why we can rely on 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Thank you Father that you not only hold the universe in your hands, but that you especially hold our lives in your heart. And that nothing can touch us without your will, for our good and your glory.

Through Jesus our Savior we pray and praise You! Amen.

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for renewal

Renew your church, Lord,
your people in this land.

Save us from cheap words
and self-deception in your service.

In the power of your Spirit transform us,
and shape us by your cross. Amen.

- South African prayer

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for times of transition

    God of Love,

    You are with us in every transition and change.

    As we enter into this new era with excitement and even some anxiety,
    we recall your deep compassion, presence, and abounding love.

    We thank you for the gifts, talents and skills with which you have blessed us.

    We thank you for the experiences that have brought us to this moment.

    We thank you for the work of others that gives breadth and depth to our own work.

    Be with us as we move forward, rejoicing with you and supporting one another.

    We ask this in your Holy Name. Amen

- Joseph P. Shadle

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Simply pray...

Today, simply PRAY a and TRUST in the God of all creation. He always has a plan...

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In Whom Do We Trust?


On a day when many of us will feel uncertain, either in the outcome of this US election or in how we cast our vote, teach us to lean into a deeper trust in you.

Remind us that if our candidates win, we ought not to gloat... for that means someone we love may be hurt and grieving. And that doesn't mean we ought to love them less. because you don't love them less.

Teach us to comfort those who will be hurt, not with unhelpful platitudes of "God is still in charge" - though God - please know we still believe this to be true! But show us a better way to comfort those who are hurt, realizing that sometimes even true words aren't always helpful. Help us point others to the truth of Jesus, the truth of the gospel, and to acknowledge pain and sit with people in their grief.

If our candidates lose, Father, may we resist bitterness that will try to rise in us. May the hope you promise break through and settle into our hearts. May we not feel forgotten by you, because God we know that you remember us - that way you remembered Noah, remembered Abraham, remembered Rachel, remembered Joseph. You do not forget your people.

Lord, we put not our trust in political candidates or man-made systems, but in you alone.



In Whom Do We Trust?

"I trust," says the Christian, "in a triune God. 

I trust the Father, believing that He has chosen me from before the foundations of the world;
 I trust Him to provide for me in providence,
 to teach me, to guide me, to correct me if need be, 
and to bring me home to His own house where the many mansions are.

I trust the Son. Very God of very God is He--Christ Jesus.

I trust in Him to take away all my sins by His own sacrifice, 
and to adorn me with His perfect righteousness. 
I trust Him to be my Intercessor, to present my prayers and desires before His Father's throne.
I trust Him for what He is, for what He has done, and for what He has promised yet to do.

And I trust the Holy Spirit--who reveals and convicts me of my sins each days.
I trust Him to drive them all out; I trust Him to curb my temper, to subdue my will, 
to enlighten my understanding, to check my passions, to comfort my despondency, 
to help my weakness, to illuminate my darkness; I trust Him to dwell in me as my life,
to reign in me as my King, to sanctify me wholly, spirit, soul, 
and body, and then to take me up to dwell with the saints in light for ever."

Oh, blessed trust! To trust Him whose power will never be exhausted, 
whose love will never stop, whose kindness will never change, 
whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom can never be matched
 and whose perfect goodness can never know no boundary.
Have peace, dear one, if this trust in God is yours.
Rest in the trust that He holds you fast, 
and that the truth of His faithfulness will never end.

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Please visit The Prayer List and pray with us.

All Saints and Election Day

Father, we in America are about to choose who will be President for the next four years. Our nation is divided and we don’t know what the next few days will hold. Let the celebration of All Saints Day remind us that your Church has stood for over 2000 years and the gates of Hell have never been able to stand against it. Help us to trust that no matter what happens, your Kingdom still stands strong and you are still in control. Amen 
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Acts 17:11 "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

Oh God, we live in a culture without a moral compass, lost in a desert of relativistic notions.  Your eyes look to and fro across our land, searching for those noble ones who eagerly seek truth and test it against Your unchanging Word.  For Your Word, Lord, is the measure of all truth.  May we, Your people become courageous defenders of Your Word in our generation.  I love Your Word.  I love You.  Amen.

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