Category Archives: prayer

praying for blessings

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Seems life has been like riding a rollercoaster the last few months.
Up . . . Down . . . Twists . . . Turns . . . Upside-down . . . then, right side-up.
Catch my breath . . . then hold on for the ride.
I pray.  I continue to pray for
peace . . . comfort . . . healing . . . clarity . . . relationships . . . restoration . . . fear to leave . . . understanding . . . patience
  . . . protection . . . suffering to cease . . . 
I know God hears each word I’ve spoken . . . But today, my heart asks . . .But what tone does God hear in your voice?

Does He hear the same tones that I hear in the voices of others?
The tone in my own voice as I speak?
You know the ones that fuel all the negative emotions.
Of course, He does.
He hears the discontent . . . grumbling . . . complaining . . . whining . . . disappointment . . . self-righteousness . . . 
anger . . . muttering . . . indignation . . . displeasure . . . doubt . . . betrayal
I know He hears each word  and that He knows my every need . . .
and today, He reminded me that often times I let my fear take the joy away.
So today, I’m not white-knuckled or feeling my stomach in my throat, or letting out a blood curdling scream as I ride the rollercoaster.  This time, I am facing those fears that want to steal the joy away from me and seeing the trials as Mercy in disguise.
Blessings
by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise


2015

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Another year has come to a close.  In closing this chapter, the reflections of this past year are full of many blessings.  Blessings from wonderous new beginnings, new joys in the journey, steps toward dreams coming to fruition . . .  all of which draw us closer to God.  And this year has also been marked with disappointments, hurts, confusions, rejections . . .  these too have been blessings which draw us closer to God.  I put these high moments and these low moments in the vault of past Grace.  Knowing that each of these events are part of His plan to grow me, to teach me, to use me.

So as this new year begins today, as this next chapter opens up clean before me, I want to come with a teachable spirit.  I look forward to the future with faith and confidence that future Grace goes before me.  

My prayer for this new year is to not walk clinging to old ways, but to walk each day seeking His face with an open mind and an open heart.

Lord, I need You!! Renew my mind, continue to change my life. By testing, give me discernment what is good and acceptable and perfect…Give me Your will. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2


aim purposefully

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Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
Hebrews 10:24

It’s a good afternoon for a walk.  The rain has stopped for now and the pup is longingly looking at her leash.  The weatherman says there’s a cold front coming our way making the skies to the north dark and grey, so we decide to take advantage of the break in the rain and head out to enjoy the outdoors.

Walking through the neighborhood, the dead leaves are crunching beneath my boots.  Suddenly the wind begins to gust by us, ushering in another blast of cooler air around these parts.  The lifeless piles of leaves seem to come to life dancing around in circles.  The wind blows them this way, and they go this way.  Then the wind blows them that way, and they go that way.  They swirl and twirl, they bounce and skip, they tumble and glide wherever the wind aimlessly carries them.  Aimless and lifeless . . . full of motion, but void of life.

How many days have I walked around just like those leaves?  Full of motion, going here and there, drifting aimlessly through my day.  How many times have I let the circumstances of my day determine what I do, how I respond?  Do I wake up, roll out of bed not even thinking seriously about the hopes of my day?  That’s not how God intends my day to be.

Instead I need to take time, time to be purposeful about my day.  I need to take the time, time to focus and time to aim myself intentionally asking for His guidance and His strength for every moment of my day.  Remembering, I was created in his image by Him and for His Glory, I was not created to wander about my day aimlessly like those leaves that dance across the street ahead of me.  I was created to be purposeful in His Love. 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2


revival

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2 Chronicles 7

The call for revival is echoing throughout our churches and our communities.  With the distorted, upside-down view of our society and culture, so many people are calling out for the “bad to be fixed.”  The “bad,” – you know the ones. Those with the “messed-up” values, those “down-right wicked” people, those “pathetic lost souls”. . .  You know . . . THEM!  

I’ve seen a lot of finger-pointing, fist-pumping, Bible-waving going on in the world around me.  And yes, I find myself guilty of the same.  If not in my actions, for sure in my thoughts.  Today was a turning point for me.  Our pastor, Gregg Matte, has been teaching a series called “Words with Friends” and today’s word is REVIVAL.

How many times have I heard the scripture from 2 Chronicles and said yes that’s what “we” need to do and then things are going to have to get better.  So what’s wrong with that?  The problem is for all my life I’ve focused only on that very familiar verse 14 . . . and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.  

Go back and read the verse in the whole context and see the overwhelming sense of God’s presence.  That’s where this verse has taken me today.  It’s not the “we” or the “them” . . .  it’s me.  Revival has to begin with me.

I have to humble myself and pray.  Pray . . .  not finger-point at “them” but look inward.

I have to seek His face and turn from my own sin.  Confess . . .  not coddle my own sin.

The healing needs to start in my own heart.  Revival must start in my heart.

And so it must be with each of us.

Revival:  The church awake.  Lost saved.  Society changed.   ~Gregg Matte

And then we can come and see . . .  Come and see what God has done.  

 


meet me in the timelessness

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 Life has different stages of waiting.

There is that gnawing demand on the mind as we wait.

It seems like so much of time we are sitting in a waiting room – that place where I tend to become frustrated with inefficiency and inaction.  With myself, with others.  And yes, at times . . .  even God.

Some of the times of waiting are in anticipation of something good happening – the birth of a new little baby.  The excitement of looking towards starting a new chapter in life.

Some times it is that vast area of waiting for God’s timing in a specific situation or circumstance in my life, the lives of my family, of my friends.

Then there is the  waiting room where I kneel praying for the Prodigal.  It’s often a very lonely place where well-meaning people seem to slip in and out of as time wears on.  It is a seemingly ending vastness of time ticking away – time slipping away.

And yet another sweet reminder comes that God meets me in the timelessness . . . 

and in that time of waiting, He continues to bless me with strength, and joy, and power.

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
—Micah 7:7

 

Wait patiently with Me while I bless you. Don’t rush into My Presence with time-consciousness gnawing at your mind. I dwell in timelessness: I am, I was, I will always be. For you, time is a protection; you’re a frail creature who can handle only twenty-four-hour segments of life. Time can also be a tyrant, ticking away relentlessly in your mind. Learn to master time, or it will be your master.

Though you are a time-bound creature, seek to meet Me in timelessness. As you focus on My Presence, the demands of time and tasks will diminish. I will bless you and keep you, making My Face shine upon you graciously, giving you Peace.
(from Jesus Calling)

 


an extra cup of Grace

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A good cup of hot, fresh coffee to start the day.  That is, after asking for an extra cup of Grace.

An extra cup of Grace because I know I’m going to need it again and again today.  His Grace.

Grace because somebody . . . something . . .  some situation . . . is going to make the journey difficult today.

Grace because I want to be strong . . . but I know I am weak.

I’m asking for an extra cup of His Grace . . . it is guaranteed to last longer than the caffeine in that second cup of coffee.

 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

 


You promised!

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First the clouds started rolling in from the west . . . then the winds picked up . . . followed by the spring rains.

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and then the sky poured out a double rainbow . . .

Our reminder of His Promise . . .

 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all future generations: I have placed My bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
Genesis 9:12-13

and a reminder to pray His promises. . .

Your promises build my faith and give me hope.
They help me remember your kindness and give me strength to go on.
Your Word makes it clear that Your promises can be trusted:
“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man that He should change
 his mind.  Does He speak and then not act.  Does He promise and not fulfill?”
You keep your promises!
Because You are absolutely perfect, it is impossible for You to lie.
Your Word is filled with promises, I want to pray again and again . . .
You tell me to have faith when I pray . . . 

And the rain fell to the earth that spring day last weekend.   And just as the cleansing rains fell to saturate the ground, to nurture the earth – making it bud and bloom before cycling back to the heavens again . . .

I can rely on your Word because you are reliable.
You said about your Word,
‘It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I
desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it’ Isaiah 55:11

Thank You that I can rely on your Word because You are reliable.


helpless

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Helpless was the cry I heard. The other day I spent a few hours with my sweet teaching partner and her precious six-week old baby boy.  When she answered the door, the sounds of her precious little one’s petitions were crying out.  Readily taking him into my arms, I thought about how this little infant couldn’t tell his momma exactly what he wanted or needed at that moment.  He was calling out the best way he knew how.  All he could do was cry, but we understood his demonstration of need.  His helplessness, his dependence touched this mother’s heart.  

So it is with our Father. My helplessness, my dependence on Him is what He desires of me.

So many times I feel helpless in my heart, as I cry out to Him.  It seems that at times I don’t even know what to pray. The words are frozen on my lips.  It’s in those times of helplessness that my heart calls out best to my Abba Father.  My prayers and my helplessness go hand in hand to the One who knows me.  The helplessness of my heart is heard even if I can’t say a word out loud.  He hears and He listens to my heart as I call out to His heart, even in the silence.

He hears today the prayers of this mother’s heart in its helplessness.  The prayer that is stronger than the loudest cry.

Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26


every time I remember you

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I thank my God every time I remember you. ~ Philippians 1:3

Memories. As I looked at the date on the calendar today, a smile burned deep in my heart. Today would have been my grandmother’s 98th birthday.  To all of her kids she was known as Memi and she was adored by all.  And so today as I look all around me and our home, there are all kinds of physical reminders – from pieces of furniture to collections of antique glassware to handwritten recipes – of this precious lady who loved Jesus with all her heart and made sure her four girls, and their children, and their children knew it.  Life was not always an easy road for her, but she was confident that no matter what her circumstances it was not a road she walked alone. I can still hear her say, “Oh honey, God’s got this one!

So today I whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for my grandmother who helped shape my life . . .  through her encouragement, her advice, her sense of humor, her genuine love were such blessings in my life, and her memory continues to bring gratefulness. Gratefulness for the threads her life wove into the tapestry of my life, each one helping to make me who I am today.

Gratefulness for the peace from these sweet memories.

 


never alone

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A few nights ago my sweet man was working on some video stuff and downloading music.  When I heard this new song, Wide as the Sky, by Matt Redman, my memory took me back a number of years ago . . . to a time that I had buried deep in my heart.  

. . . There was something holding me back from opening up myself to worship . . .  I mean . . .  Real Worship.

I’ve always loved singing [in and out of church], but I would watch vicariously as others would open themselves up to unashamed real worship.  And then one day, it happened.  It was a rare occurrence, the three of us – my middle son, my daughter and me – sitting all together at the late worship service.  Admittedly, I was in the throes of walking through a dark season in my life.

Life was falling apart.

As the 11:11 worship band was playing [sadly I can’t remember what the song was], my eyes were fixed straight ahead.  But to each side of me, I saw the hands of a son and daughter raising up. It was in that moment, I no longer felt the constraints holding me back.

Life was falling apart.  And my hands were reaching up, so my heart could begin to open up.

I did not know where this battle in the dark season would take me.  As alone as I may have felt, I knew I was not walking it alone.

Looking back over the last 10 plus years since that day, I know . .  . Never once did I walk alone.

CLICK TO LISTEN:  NEVER ONCE by Matt Redman


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