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Showing posts from 2015

A Prayer Against Fear

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Dear Father,
My heart is heavy with worry and anguish over the hate and fear building in this country. Even among Christians, the pressure to retaliate and fight confuses my desire to be a light in this dark world. Why am I afraid? Because I look around me and see sinful men and sinful reactions. I see fear everywhere, and I know that when I am afraid, my trust in You vanishes like the morning mist. I pray now against fear and anxiety. God, make me brave. Make me strong and courageous. Then give me a passion to love others. Give me confidence in YOU and in the weapons you command me to use--praying in the power of the Holy Spirit and speaking the Word of God, which is sharper than any sword. Pierce me first, then pierce the darkness of this culture with the Light of the World. In You I trust. You are my deliverer, my safe haven, my stronghold. I will wait on You. I will not be afraid what men can do to me.
In Jesus' holy and powerful name, Amen.

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9 Prayers for Christmas Hope

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Below is an insightful post by Bob Hostetler, from Guideposts Dec. 15, 2015. A week before Christmas, our joy over the holiday and our fear and stress over a dark political climate can make faith seem impossible. These prayers might help.
The Christmas season, for many, is a time of family, friends, memories, beauty and warmth. But for others it can be a time of struggle. They may grieve a loss or feel lonely. Or the holidays may stir up difficult memories. Christmas peace and Christmas joy are not automatic, and neither is Christmas hope. Hope can sometimes surprise us, but it can also be awakened. It can come, even to those in difficult circumstances, as a fruit of prayer. Here are nine prayers drawn from the Bible that can help foster an attitude of hope, not only at this time of year but all year long: 1)  Hope for the Whole Day
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (Psalm 25:5, NIV). 2)  Hope to Have a Need Met
God, I know…

10 Prayer Books Every Regular Person Should Read

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Why read a book about prayer? Do regular people read books on prayer without falling asleep?

I'm guessing prayers like "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" and "God is Great, God is Good" won't be able to sustain your prayer needs for the duration of your life. These rote prayers don't have the juice to carry you through sickness, grief, indecision, and worry. Okay, add in "The Lord's Prayer." Now you're making progress. After all, Jesus wrote that one. But are these prayers enough?

Although 85% of Americans pray daily, only 20% feel that prayer is an intimate, satisfying experience. Maybe we just need to know a little more about how to pray and why.

Over 100,000 titles on prayer are in publication today. If you, as a regular person, read just one good prayer book every year from age 30 to 70, that would only be 40 books on prayer. Just scratching the surface, and yet that's a tall order for most regular people who just want to get their p…

Hate or Love in Paris?

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Paris has always been a city of love. A terrorist attack doesn't have to change that. Let's take love to a new level.


Prayer for Paris

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Jehovah-Rapha, the God of healing--
We ask for your power of love and hope to reign down on France, particularly the families traumatized by Friday's terrorist attack. We know you will bring good from this tragedy, although it's hard to see how. Inspire the Christians in Paris show the love of Jesus to their hurting city. I pray for the world to show support and fraternity to France, to lend aid, and to share the love of God. May this tragedy also draw all of us into closer relationship with You. We ask you to heal hearts, to convict evil-doers. and to help the suffering to search for You.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

image from architectboy.com

5 Prayers for Veterans

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This blog is reposted from Guideposts, written by Bob Hostetler. As a daughter of a veteran killed in active duty reserve training, I can concur with the value and significance of these prayers. Thanks, Bob, for your discernment and compassion. 5 Prayers for Veterans by Bob Hostetler, Nov. 10, 2015, Guideposts Though it began as Armistice Day in 1919 (celebrating the end of World War I), November 11 has been celebrated as Veterans Day in the United States since 1954. Many people observe the day with ceremonies and parades that honor the sacrifice and dedication of those who have served in the armed forces of the United States.  There may be no better way to honor a veteran than in prayer. Whether it is offered in a religious service, or privately, or silently as a parade passes by, or in a personal card or note, prayer can connect you, a veteran and God in a meaningful and productive way.     Here are five specific kinds of prayers you can pray for veterans (or, with a few small chang…

At War

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It's easy to forget that I am in a daily battle. I'm at war. And I'm not talking about fighting with my kids over their homework or the dry cleaners over pants that have vanished. I'm talking about real spiritual warfare--the kind that's kicking me in the butt. I know a spiritual war is going on because I am praying against stuff that sometimes happens anyway. If I didn't know better, I'd say that my prayers weren't working. But I've been at the Christian life for awhile, so I know that's not true.  I'm just at war. And in a war, nobody wins all the time. War always creates setbacks and casualties on both sides. Everyone emerges with scars. Spiritual warfare is the reason that life is hard. So this spiritual war between good and evil becomes the reason that I pray, whether I realize it or not. My desire to push in against the enemy, to take back ground I've lost through wrong choices, to conquer new territory in my heart and mind--these …

Praying Around the House

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Today this devotional of mine was posted by Guideposts online.


Does sitting in a chair praying for people (even those you love) produce droopy eyelids or wandering thoughts? It can be hard to concentrate on praying, even with a list or journal in your lap. You want to be an active prayer warrior, but somehow, you just can’t focus. Have you ever considered praying in motion? Doing something while you pray? This habit began for me during my baby-rocking years. Although I loved sitting in the rocking chair, feeding my baby or lulling him to sleep, I couldn’t help but add up the “unproductive” hours in my head. In an effort to multi-task, I took to praying over him. I prayed over my baby’s eyes to see good and shun evil, his hands to help people, his feet to carry him to mission, his mind to know the Word, his heart to believe in Jesus. As my children grew and became more mobile, I prayed around the house. While doing the laundry, I prayed over the pants and socks and shirts—that their we…

In Jesus' name, Amen

A Thankful Heart

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You can't fake a thankful heart, even if you say "thank you" or send a "thank you" note, (which, by the way, is still an excellent idea, even in the age of technology). Thankfulness permeates why you do things and how you do them. It emanates from a spirit of contentment rather than entitlement.

Thankfulness makes statements like--
"You are so thoughtful!"
"I can't believe you did that!"
"You make me feel so special!"
"I'm the luckiest guy in the world!"

Thankfulness and humility go hand-in-hand. They expect nothing, appreciate everything, and value everyone. Thankfulness comes from the heart, creating pure joy.

Col. 2:6-7--"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

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How to complain the right way

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I know how to complain. You do, too.

This isn't fair.
I will never dig out of this.
Nobody appreciates me.
I wish I had nicer things!
Why can't I make any more money?
I don't have any friends.
Why is this happening to me??

It's all really pathetic on paper yet pretty important in our heads and hearts. We want to give credence to our feelings, so we express them to a friend, a spouse, social media, or some unsuspecting car at a stoplight. Does it help?

Some. Verbal statements seem more accurate than fleeting thoughts, so it's nice to express how we feel. The hard part comes next--how to be positive. So we give our complaints the respect they deserve, and we speak them out. We're frustrated that God's not doing a better job of meeting our needs, and we don't see any escape routes.

In times like these, I turn to the Psalms. David wrote at least 20 specific laments, and he's a doggone good complainer. But here's the interesting thing--David complains to Go…

Lament about Oregon shooting

Below is a blogpost on Guideposts, by my friend Bob Hostetler. He writes extensively about prayer, and uses laments on his prayer blog to show his readership how to call out to God when times are terrible. Last week proved yet another example of when and how to lament. I've copied his blog below, as well as the source material.

AFTER OREGON'S TRAGEDY, PRAY THE PRAYER OF TEARS
by Bob Hostetler

Another shooting happened last week at a community college in Oregon. Nine innocent people died, adding to our collective sense of grief and frustration. Since then, of course, airwaves and the internet have been filled with anger and argument, outcries and opinions of all kinds. Such things are understandable. They can even be healthy. Though few people—if any—would suggest that prayers alone are sufficient at such a time, prayer is critical. And particularly the prayer of tears. The psalmist David cried out: Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. (…

Thoughts about gratefulness

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How to have a good Pity-Party

Some days are meant for pity-parties. I mean it. Some days, you just need to throw something or cry into a pillow because life is too hard. You know how to have a good pity-party. Just let somebody try and stop you. Two boxes of tissues, 2 candy bars, and maybe some uncontrolled behavior.

The downside to a pity-party is the aftermath. On top of feeling overwhelmed, pitching a fit provides very temporary relief; it might even reinforce your feelings of desperation.

I love reading the book of Job on those occasions when life seems unfair because you can't read about Job's life without feeling a little bit of relief. You just can't. Job had it worse than anybody I know, and it happened in one fell swoop. Talk about unfair.

Let me share one of Job's laments with you, so you can feel at least justified in having Biblical tantrum. I must point out one interesting fact, however. What makes this lament usable is that Job is taking his frustration to God. He's really not ta…

Do we really have to forgive everyone?

Today I read a great post about forgiveness by Gwen Theilges, appearing on Rodney Coe's website "Lift up your day," for which we both guest-write. I wanted to share it below: I’ve knelt at an altar, placing the names of people at His feet before. I’ve felt anger and betrayal, and if I told you each story, I’m willing to bet you’d agree that I’m justified in feeling wronged in at least a few of the situations. But, here’s the thing. Well, the things…First of all, there have been people kneeling at literal and figurative altars placing ME at the feet of Jesus before. I’ve wronged people. Sometimes I had the best of intentions, but unfortunately did something to hurt another person. And other times? I just got it wrong. No, let me use the real word – I sinned. And therefore sent someone directly to an altar trying to forgive me, or worse yet, directly in the opposite direction – where bitterness increases and peace is elusive…that place where we go to not lay people at the …

Confessing self-righteousness