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

Holy Week

Almighty God, whose dear Son went not up to joy but
first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he
was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way
of the cross, may find it none other that the way of life and
peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen
Book of Common Prayer
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 Mark 11:7-10  "When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw  their cloaks over it, he sat on it.  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,


Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"

Hosanna in the highest!"

No pomp, high flying banners or red carpet for You my King.  Your retinue were peasants.  Your banner were palm branches.  Your welcoming carpet was coats strewed on a dusty road.  So You entered Jerusalem: God on a donkey.  Here is humility that will imprint itself on my heart forever.  Here is the character of God.  Lord, remove every trace of arrogance from my soul.  Make me like You.   I love You.  Amen.

Maranatha Worship Bible

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Timing is Everthing

"...when the right time came, God sent his Son,..." 
Galatians 4:4 (NLT) 

Father in your divine providence. at just the perfect time, your brought to fulfillment the prophecies that spoke of Jesus suffering and paying the price for our redemption.

You remind us Father through the Apostle Peter: "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)

Thank you Father for not only such precise providential timing but especially for the infinite greatness of your love for us. " But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8 (NLT)

How Deep the Father's love for us. [Verse 3]
Stuart Townend 

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Thank you Triune God, which words alone cannot express. Amen.

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a prayer of contrition

O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.

To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.

O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God. Amen
- excerpted from the book of Daniel

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drawing near

I love this passage of scripture. It says that we can present our prayers with confidence. What you may ask can we be confident of? The answer is simple. When we pray we can be confident that we will receive mercy and find grace to help us. Notice that it did not say that our prayers would always be answered the way we prayed them. Just that mercy and grace would be given.

We bring ourselves to you today dear Father. We bring our hurts to you. We bring our health to You. We bring all of our needs to you. We trust You with our prayers and thank You that You will give us grace and mercy. Amen

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His Image

I was headed to my daughter’s house yesterday and the beautiful song “Image of God” by We are Messengers came on. 

And I was really listening to the words and not merely singing them.

And I was struck by message of the whole song. It is so gorgeous as it touches so many truths in the lives of all of us who profess Christ as our Savior.

And then the strains of the chorus began playing again and this time my HEART heard the words rather than simply my ears...

We are made...
Made in the image of...
Made in the image of God.
Beautiful shades of love.
We are made...
Made in the image of...
Made in the image of God.
That's where the light comes from...

And it hit me. Hard.

We are made in the Image of the HOLY and PERFECT God. We are made in His LIKENESS. We are fashioned after the CREATOR. The sustainer of LIFE. The PURE ONE. 

We were made in His IMAGE..

We haven’t REMAINED there.

We have strayed from that image. We have pushed back from that image. We have turned our backs on that image.

We have not stayed in that place we were created in and created to be.

My heart broke when I came face-to-face with that reality.

I was made in the IMAGE of a HOLY and PERFECT God. And I want to remain there.

I want to reflect Him.

I want others to see Him within me.

I want to look like Jesus.

“Then God said, “Let us make man in Our Image, according to Our likeness...” (Genesis 1:26)

May our hearts and spirits be awakened to this truth today and begin living our lives to reflect the beautiful IMAGE of God.

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simply loved

Sometimes my inner critic 
and the voices of the outside world 
speak much louder to me than You do, O Lord

Maybe I'm messy. I know I sin. 

Maybe I'm mixed up most of the time. I know You are not.

 I seek Your heart, but I most often fail.

 I accept Your love, but often fail to give it to others.

 I understand Your grace but rarely live in light of it.

 I call myself Your child, but usually live like an orphan. 

I'm complicated. I know I don't always get it right.

May I be reminded this day that I am simply loved.

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To the Cross

Jesus, you set your mind on going to Jerusalem, even though it meant going to the cross. As we draw near to commemorating your sacrifice for us, help us to remember that you have called us to take up our cross to follow you. Amen
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How profound Lord, that Your ultimite gift to us ~~ Your body and blood ~~is symbolized in a simple piece of bread and a cup of wine.  As I eat and drink at the communion table, those elements become a part of me.  They identify me with You and with Your body the church.  They become my declaration  that Christ is in me and I am in Christ.  O Lord, may I be a person through whom you can speak and act and love and care in this broken world.  I love You! Amen

painting by Wanda
Maranatha Worship Bible

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Peace in the Storm

“..I will trust, and will not be afraid...” 
Isaiah 12:2 (ESV) 

Mark 4:37-40 (ESV) 
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 

Father it appears that the storm did not cause the disciples fear but rather exposed their lack of faith which resulted in them being afraid. The storm was great, their fear was great and the calm was great.  

Father like the disciples we face fierce storms in life that sometimes come without warning. In those stressful experiences in which we have no control we need the peace Jesus spoke of in John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.... Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." 

I am so thankful Father that we don't need to wait till the storm is over to have peace. Rather in the midst of the storm, while it rages around us, You give peace as we trust You. Your promise is real and powerful. "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."  Isaiah 26:3 (ESV) 

Father may we have the conviction and confidence of Isaiah: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2 (ESV)  

In the name of Jesus who is our peace, Amen.

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Talking to God

Help us Lord to find a way to center ourselves in prayer.

Teach us to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Cause us to be people who regularly talk with you.

Grant us patience that we might hear before we speak.

Give us ears to hear what you are saying in our hearts.

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teach me to pray

When I am joyful, teach me the ways of thanksgiving.

When times are tough, teach me how to wait on you.

When my days are dark, teach me to see your light.

When I feel good, teach me to pray for those who do not.

When I am wounded and hurt, teach me to forgive.

Above all Lord, teach me to follow you at all times and in all places.

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Fear is a liar

LORD, our prayer today is for anyone who is believing the lies of the enemy. Anyone living in fear or uncertainty.

We pray, oh God, give us minds to know the deception of satan and not be bound by the chains that those lies perpetuate.

Help us to tap into the mind of Christ. To feel His strength and His truth within us. Help us to cling to the promises of Your WORD and place our hope and our trust solely in you. 

We cast out the lies. We cast out the deception. 

Fill us instead with TRUTH. Fill us with Your WORD.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:1

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a prayer for weakness and strength


I never pray for You to make me weak.

Yet Your word tell me that Your power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) and that You gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

There is strength in this weakness. So may I not be afraid to ask for it. Give me the courage to lean into, Father. 

And remind me of the strength You also provide. For Your word says You will strengthen and help us (Isaiah 41:10) and that YOU are our strength (Isaiah 12:2

My weakness allows Your strength to show through even more, so I am a vessel for You to use. For as my weakened self is shown as powerful beyond comprehension, the world sees and knows it cannot be of me, but only of You.

So, Lord, make me weak.

And may I look to Your strength always (2 Chronicles 16:11) and not try to do it in my own.

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Prayer for Those Hurting

Father, we ask for your help and comfort for those who are hurting. Please lift them up, comfort them, and encourage them. Be with those who are caring for them, helping them to minister effectively. Amen
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I Peter 1:13-16  "Therefore prepare your minds for action; be self controlled; set your hopes fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy because I am holy".

Holy God, how can I be holy in all I do unless You first, by Your grace, make me holy in all that I am?  For there is no real holiness apart from Your grace -- only self-righteousness.  So I set my hope fully on Your grace and ask that You make me holy.  And then help me to cultivate that which You planted in my life, so that I may bear the fruit of holiness for Your glory.  I love You.  Amen!

More like You,
Jesus, more like You.
Fill my heart with Your desire
To make me more like You.
Jesus, more like You,
Touch my lips with holy fire
And make me more like You.
~Scott Wesley Brown (c1997)

Maranatha Worship Bible

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"Our purpose is to please God...."  
1 Thessalonians 2:4 (NLT) 

Father it is apparent from the example of Enoch, the life of Jesus, the exhortation of Scripture and the prayer of Paul that pleasing you is to be the primary purpose of our life. 

Enoch's walk: "By faith Enoch...had this testimony, that he pleased God." Hebrews 11:5 (KJV) 

Jesus' Life: "..I do always those things that please Him. John 8:29 (KJV) 

Scriptures' exhortation "..we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God..."  1 Thessalonians 4:1 (NLT) 

Paul's prayer  
"...we have not stopped praying for you... We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord..."  Colossians 1:9-10 (NLT) 

Oh Heavenly Father may it ever be the passion of my heart, in what I think, say and do, pleases You. Father may we all be able to say: "Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. 2 Corinthians 5:9 (MSG)

Through Jesus our Lord we pray. Amen.

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when we are depressed

O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.

Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.

- prayer by Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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a franciscan blessing

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

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

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

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give me Your eyes, O Lord

Gracious and merciful God, You have searched me and You know me. You know the depths of my heart and all the parts of me that I don't see and don't want to see. You see the parts of me, good and bad, that I am blind to and struggle to be honest with myself about.

When I am slow to see my sin, I am quick to see the sin in others. I am far slower to see the Imago Dei in others, failing to see their good, failing to see their need. Give me Your eyes to see others. Give me your ears to hear their hurt and pain. Give me Your heart to empathize with their situations, give my your head to know what I can do to help. 

Give me Your Spirit's direction to serve where I am needed to serve, go where I am needed to go, and love where I am most needed to love.

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I Peter 1:3,5  "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade ~~kept in heaven for you..."

I am chosen and cherished by God, but a stranger in this world, Lord Jesus, by Your blood.  You cleansed me by your mercy, You saved me by your death and resurrection.  You give me hope by Your faithfulness and by your power you protect me in a fallen and polluted world.  By Your wisdom You sustain me through the fiery trials that must refine my life.  How can I help but give you my praise. Thought I do not see You, I love You more than words can say.  Oh what shall it be like when I see You fully on that Day!

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What Love is This?

Thank you Father that when it comes to You loving us there is no pause or delete button on your computer. There is no limitation nor separation from your love. 

No Pause or Deletion - Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT) 
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love..." 

No Limitation - Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT) 
"...may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully..."  

No Separation - Romans 8:38-39 (NLT) 
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

The lyrics of Stuart Townend's song: "How Deep the Father's love for Us" expresses so profoundly the infinite wonder of God's love.

"How deep the Father’s love for us, How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss – The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One Bring many sons to glory."

Thank you Father for this eternal, faithful and sacrificial love. In the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen.

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for integrity, humility, patience and love

O Lord and Master of my life, 
spare me from the spirit of apathy and meddling, of idle chatter and love of power. Instead, grant to me, your servant, the spirit of integrity and humility, of patience and love. 
Yes, O Lord and God, 
grant me the grace to be aware of my sins and not to judge others, for you are blessed, now and ever and forever.
- a prayer of Saint Ephrem   

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that we might see and hear with our heart

Lord, open our eyes
that we may see you in our brothers and sisters.
Lord, open our ears
that we may hear the cries of the hungry,
the cold, the frightened, the oppressed.
Lord, open our hearts
that we may love each other as you love us.
Renew in us your spirit.

Lord, free us and make us one.


-a prayer of Mother Teresa   

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Oh, the power of prayer...

Never underestimate the POWER of PRAYER.

It is the key to spiritual survival.

It is of the utmost importance in our Christian walk.

It is how we tap into the power of God. How we tap into His STRENGTH. 

It is vital to our intimate relationship with Christ.

Pray often. Pray fervently. Pray expecting.

“ unceasing and persistent in prayer...” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

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