Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Prayer for 2017

Lord, God of Time and Eternity--

A year is passing, and a new year is beginning.
This is no big deal to you,
because You've watched a millennia float by,
neither rushed by it nor slowed by it.
But we humans are obsessed with time;
we can't get enough of it.
Yet You give us exactly what we need
to do exactly what You've decided we should do.
(If only we would follow Your plan,
we'd always have enough time for everything!)

That's why I'm praying.
I'm tempted to ask for a better year,
but I know that's selfish and short-sighted.
So instead, I'm asking for Your will,
Your guidance,
Your discipline,
Your conviction.
Make me more like Jesus this year.
Please.
I need more of Him and more of You
and more of the Holy Spirit.
I need the Trinity at work in me.

I suspect that endeavor will use up all the time I have.
It will be time well spent.

Thank You for investing in me!
Thank You for blessing me!
Thank You for creating a way for me to become eternal.

In Jesus' precious name,
Amen.

image by Vera Kratochvil

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thank You for my Marriage

Dear Lord Jesus, the Bridegroom of the Church,

You understand everything about marriage, even though you were never married.
(You created marriage, after all.)
And you created me and my husband,
so you fully anticipated the areas where we would clash
and the areas we would jell.
Thank you.
Even when we disagree or become irritated, because of you, we grow stronger.
We grow deeper in love and appreciation for each other
and more awed by your love and grace.
Thank you for my marriage--for all of it--
for the good days and the difficult days,
for the joys and sorrows,
for the realism of living my whole adult life with one person.
I am the luckiest girl alive.
You have blessed me so much!
Thank you, thank you thank you!
I love you,

Amen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Come, Lord Jesus, Come


O come, O come, Immanuel.
Come thou long-expected Jesus.
Come, thou Fount of every blessing.
Spirit of the Lord, come.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Just come.

I can't manage trying to live without You.

"The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'"--Luke 1:35

Praise the Lord, He came!


image from George Hodan

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seeking Jesus in a Christmas Prayer

Lord Jesus, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace--

Let me not overlook you during the Christmas season
or tag you on to my festivities, like a novelty or a dessert.

You are Peace. You are Life. You are Lord.
Help me, in my selfishness and weakness, to seek you.

I want to seek you like Joseph, who gave up his dignity.
I want to seek you like Mary, who gave up her security
I want to seek you like the shepherds, who gave up their identity.
I want to seek you like the wisemen, who gave up their wealth.
I want to see you like Anna, who gave up her time.

I want to seek you at Christmas and every day.
Reveal yourself to me anew,
and help me to see you for who you really are
and see myself for what I really am.

Lost. Desperate. Dependent.
And so incredibly blessed.

Thank you for your love and sacrifice.
I live in joy because of Christmas.

Amen.

image by Vera Kratochvil

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A prayer to find answers

Dear Lord God Jehovah,
I'm having a heavy heart kind of day.
I've been remembering sad things,
things that make me feel disappointed and hopeless.
I want to crawl into a corner and shut out life.
That's where You come in.
You've showed up many times during my life when the joy of living has vanished and memories haunt.
And You feel what I feel, at the moment when I feel it.
Even though I feel alone, You are with me.
I must remember who You are and what You
do--
what You have always done for me.
You fill me with unexplainable comfort.
You cradle my heart with warm hands and soothe the heavy space inside that hurts.
You're the reason I pray.
I don't pray because I want answers.
I pray because You are the only Answer.
Thank you for doing Your work in me,
through pain, through confusion, and through thanksgiving.
Thank You for the memories of You.
Amen.

Friday, December 2, 2016

A prayer for students

Dear Rabbi-Teacher,

You understand the intricacies of the mind--of learning and believing and feeling deeply. You have given us the ability to investigate, acknowledge, believe, and reject you. You are comfortable with leaving the decision to us. You are great and powerful, and I cannot take You in. But You are still the Rabbi, the teacher of students who just don't "get it."

Lord, I pray for increased understanding and acceptance for who You are and what You want for my life. I ask for you protection over the hearts and minds of students everywhere. I pray for them to recognize truth through the power of the Holy Spirit and receive the Truth, Jesus Christ. I ask for boldness and discernment and wisdom and compassion.

Make our students fierce defenders yet humble messengers of Your truth. May their actions bring glory to You, instead of bring shame on the followers of Christ. Give teachers a passion for integrity and an understanding of truth. Help us, who can shape education, focus on mentoring students to carry Christ wherever they go, rather than to expect Christ to be present wherever they are.

Make our students revolutionaries for the gospel. That is the point of education. So teach us and send us into the world to share Your truth.

Amen.

"Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God." (John 3:2)


image by Lynn Greyling