Monday, October 31, 2016

Thank you for my heritage

Dear Lord, Jehovah Jireh,
the God who provides--

Thank you for providing me a heritage.
No background is perfect,
and no family is without pain and suffering.
Yet regardless of present circumstances,
my heritage is a provision from You
to shape me and direct my attention
toward You
and toward Your never-failing, no-strings-attached love.

Thank you for providing me a life,
imperfect and filled with pain,
yet bursting with opportunities for growth.
You stretch me and challenge me
because You love me.
You have plans for me.

These are just some aspects of Your unimaginable provision.
Thank You, Jehovah-Jireh.
Let me never forget or minimize the depth of your care,
even when I don't understand it.

Amen.

image by K Whiteford 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Praise and Comfort

A Paraphrase of Psalm 66


Almighty God,

The whole world will shout with joy to You and testify of You,
telling everyone about the amazing things You've done for mankind.
We worship You! How awesome are Your dealings with us!
Your enemies cower under Your majesty.
They cannot hide from Your power.

Everyone,
Take notice of God's care:
He miraculously interferes in the natural causes of the earth and rescues us, miraculously.
He controls and oversees mankind, even while evil men rule the earth.
They will not win over Him.
Everyone, praise the Lord! Tell others of His powerful deeds!

He keeps us from demolishing our own lives, if we let Him.
He challenges our faith by leading us through difficult circumstances.
He allows us to be tested, persecuted, and oppressed.
Yet He endures affliction with us and brings us out into a sunny place.

Then we worship Him,
because we see Him for who He is:
great, powerful, loving, and just,
a God who can be trusted.

Everyone, come and listen to my testimony:
I have endured a desolate place of sadness,
yet I see God everywhere.
When I feel hopeless, I hope in Him.
When I feel lonely, I lean on Him.
When I am anxious, I rest in Him.

God alone, who created the heavens and the earth
somehow has time for me.
I will pray, even if I haven't prayed for awhile.
I will sing, even though I don't feel like it.
I will worship because I cannot enter His presence and not.

Praise the Lord, who hears my prayers,
who does not hold my humanity against me.
If I cover up my sin, He won't listen,
but if I uncover the secret places of my heart,
He will come and and rest and fellowship with me.

I am overwhelmed by Your love, O Lord!

Amen.


image by Lilla Frerichs














Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Prayer for the future

Dear Father, who transcends time and place--

My hope is in You.
I will not fear, regardless of what the world says and does.
I will not judge, regardless of the way people treat me.
My hope is in You.
I will not worry, regardless of the uncontrollable situations around me.
I will not pout, regardless of disappointed dreams.
My hope is in You.
I will not complain, because You give me more than I deserve.
I will not lose heart, because You give me courage.
I will not give up, because You give strength for every circumstance.
My hope is in You.
You, alone, wipe away the past.
You, alone, are my present joy.
You, alone, give me a future.
My hope is in You.
I will trust Your plans because Your will is central to my life.
I will trust Your will because You are good.
I will look forward and not backward.
I will set my affection on heaven, not earth.
Then I will have hope.
You did not make me for this present world.
You made me for Yours.
So give me hope for that future, where perfect joy and peace will finally be realized.
My hope is in You.

Amen.

"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You."--Psalm 39:7

image by Robert Nacke

Friday, October 7, 2016

A prayer for my children's hearts

I just read 2 Thess. 3:5 this morning on my Bible app. This is what is says, in a few different translations:

ESV--"May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ."

NIV--"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance."

NKJV--"Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and the patience of Christ."

This passage sounds like a prayer to pray over my children.

Dear Lord God of heaven,

Your grace and providence astounds me. I thank you for my children and the rich challenge and reward that parenting them brings to my life. Use me to be an effective and authentic example of your love and grace. Somehow, let them catch a glimpse of You through me, even when I'm messing up and beings so profoundly and sinfully human.

And now I pray that you will direct and guide their hearts on a course toward loving You completely and whole-heartedly. As they experience Your love in their lives, give them an urgency to respond to You and a passion to serve You. And as they love, give them patience and perseverance to love others with godly grace. Give them tenacity to remain faithful to You and Your calling on their lives. Give them courage to work at their faith and to never be ashamed of the gospel.

I pray these boldly, in Jesus' name, and I believe that You will answer these requests, above and beyond what I can hope for, because You are Jehovah. Nothing is too hard for You, and You want nothing more than to see Your children walk in truth. Thank You for answering these requests!

In Jesus' holy and precious name,
Amen.