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Showing posts from August, 2017

Counting my blessings

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Dear Lord,

Thank you for all the beautiful, ordinary blessings that are not so ordinary.
Thank you for my home (which has issues),
my vehicles (even when they don't work),
my food (even when I complain about cooking),
my family (even though I take them for granted).

I am so blessed.

Thank you for my country (even though it angers me),
my freedoms (even though I complain about not having more),
my work (even though I want more and want to be more).

You have blessed me beyond measure.

My world is gorgeous, and I live in it.
My home is loving, and I live in it.
My dreams are attainable, and I live them.

Why do I forget how blessed I am?

To whom much is given, much is required.

Everything I have is yours,
and it's all extra.

Lord, teach me to number my blessings, as well as my days.

Amen.


Prayer for Charlottesville

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Lord, Comforter and Redeemer,

Take these troubled times and bring good from them.
Somehow, throw your spirit of comfort like a mantle over the grieving,
over those traumatized by the Charlottesville rally,
and most of all over those injured and killed there.
Infiltrate their homes and their conversations--
let your spirit be felt.
Comfort those grieving for loved ones lost through senseless violence.

Bring justice, swift and sure.
Not revenge. That is not your way.
But justice, peace, and sanity
to a situation raging out of control.

May this tragedy in Charlottesville wake up a sleepy country
to the ravages of deep-seated prejudice and hatred.
Somehow, draw us toward your spirit of wisdom,
fill us with a desire and determination to be
loving, forgiving, compassionate, determined.
Give us the courage to stand for righteousness,
to shirk stubbornness and pride,
to abhor hatred.

Change us.
And even while you work so great a miracle,
lighten the heavy hearts of those closest to the traged…

Intercession for our country

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Dear Lord,

You are the King of Kings, so you understand kings.
You are not surprised by the world's presidents, generals, dictators, prime ministers, shahs.
You understand power, corruption, responsibility, greed, pride, and ambition.

Please influence our leaders.
Give us grace when our leaders make foolish choices.
Give us grace when we make foolish choices, when we elect godless leaders and when we pretend like it's not our fault.
Give us a chance to learn and correct our mistakes.
Protect us from evil--from wanting it, from protecting it, and from excusing it.

Make us a thinking, active, and responsible people.
Forgive us our sins.
Forgive our leaders of their sins and place God-fearing individuals in their paths to influence, challenge, and show them the love of God.
Please give us another chance to serve you better--more fully--more sacrificially.

May the church rise up--not as a political force--
but as the hands and feet of Jesus!
He is the only one who can bring peace …

How to pray a prayer of anguish

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Have you ever felt emotionally raw and desperate? Angry, even? My first response in these situations is either to rage at God or someone else. God is a better choice. The best response is to pray a prayer of anguish. To lament. It's one of the ways that God responds to human desperation.

Grief, when directed at God, is a prayer. It's a lamentation that expects a response. Anguish can prompt the most beautiful and heart-felt prayers we ever pray.

Maybe you're not sure what to say. That's okay, too. The Holy Spirit hears the groaning of our hearts and responds to us with grace and love (Romans 8:26-27).

I go directly to Psalms when I need to groan. I start at Psalm 3, and I just keep going until I've said enough. I've underlined a lot of verses about anguish and fairness and deliverance in those pages, so I pray those verses back to God. Somehow, reading the Psalms give power to my prayer and assuage any guilt I'd have for expressing my pain and misery.

Prayi…