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Showing posts from May, 2019

A quick prayer for busy people

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Lord,

Give me energy.
I have a lot to do.

Help me prioritize.
I have a lot to do.

Give me awareness of my surroundings.
I have a lot to do,
which means I may ignore
or accidentally hurt people.

Keep me from hurting people
in my quest to do good.
(You know I have a lot to do.)

Soften my spirit.
The things I have to do
are not nearly as important
as the people I'll pass along the way.

Give me compassion while I'm busy.
You know I want to get things done,
but I want to help people, too.

Okay, you can have my day.
I'll only do what you tell me
and help the people you bring to mind.

Ho-hum.
I was going to do a lot today.
But now I guess I'll focus on the kingdom of heaven instead.

You can't check that off a list,
but it's good stuff, anyway.


In Jesus' name,
Amen.


"Keep yourself in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some, have compassion, making a difference."--Jude 1:21-22

How to pray when you're overwhelmed with loss or sadness

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A day like Memorial Day stirs emotions for military families. (Read my personal blog about Memorial Day here.)

Perhaps it even affects regular families who sit with an empty chair at every dinner table.

Grief is stirred both by remembering and by trying to forget. (Read about remembering grief here.)

What should you do when you're overwhelmed with loss or sadness?

You should lament.

Just complain, vent, rage, mourn, grieve, cry, blubber. To God. Ask rhetorical questions. Make accusations. Just do it with a dependance and faith on God's love for you. Do it with the awareness that you are not and cannot see the whole picture of your life. Understand that grief and loss always blur reality.

With or without immediate answers, when you lament, you must choose to trust in the unseen. That is faith, after all.

For more about the lament, read my recent full Guideposts blog on lamentation here. A brief excerpt is below:

Here are a few things you can include in a lament: How you feel—why…

A prayer over the graduate

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Dear Father,

Thank you for the privilege of raising this child
who is now an adult,
graduating onto new and bigger things.

I ask your blessing and protection over my graduate.
I ask for your Spirit to hover over him and around him,
to speak truth into his mind and courage into heart.
Please give him divine appointments with professors,
employers,
roommates,
friends,
and a future spouse.
Help him to meet the right people at the right time
with a heart that's right and ready to obey your will.

Give him a life of impact and purpose.
Happiness and joy.
Lord, help him to see the positive
and fight the negative
and to be an accurate reflection of your love and grace
to everyone he meets.

He will make mistakes.
He will fail.
He will grieve and have heartache.
But I pray for him to cling to you--
to always lean on you and look to you
for guidance, comfort, and direction.
Remind him to be courageous and try again.
To get back up.
To confess, forgive, believe, and give.

Thank you for allowin…

I really messed up this week: a prayer of awareness and repentance

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Well, Lord,

I messed up this week.
I got upset about an injustice that was done to one of my kids--
which of course, felt like an injustice to me--
and I went all Mama-Bear on some well-intentioned people
who, however unintentional their behavior was, hurt my child.

So I messed up right back at them.
I was nice about it,
but I hurt them with my well-crafted phrases.
I feel terribly convicted,
even though what I said and how I said it may not have been so terrible.

I don't know anymore.
I just know I didn't leave this at your feet.
I didn't turn the other cheek.
(It's my kid, after all!)--
but I guess you know about that better than I do!
I took the bait.
I was less than Jesus about the whole thing.
I lacked grace and wisdom.

Please forgive me for not representing you well.
I've reached out to those I've offended--
I've affirmed them and explained myself--
but I guess I need to boldly ask their forgiveness,
with more groveling and more humility.

Maybe this wh…

What to pray when you feel yourself shutting down

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It's happening--the emotional shut-down is coming!

Have you ever felt this way? I have.

Here are a couple suggestions and a prayer:


Pace yourself to prevent feeling overwhelmed; plan down-time, with non-productive or creative activities.Pray and read your Bible. You need God's presence to re-orient you within a world that never stops pressuring you.Talk to a professional or wise friend or mentor. Venting only feels good temporarily and then reinforces your negative outlook. Hearing the truth and believing it will set you free.Hang out with affirming close friends & family. Your tendency when life is tough will be to isolate yourself; that's when the negativity grows. And now a prayer for renewal:
Dear Lord Jesus,
You understand what it means to be tired, overwhelmed, depressed, and frustrated. That's how I feel.
Please guard my heart and mind, Holy Spirit,  from believing the lies that I'm not enough, that I can't do this, that I should give up, hide, shut down, lash …

Prayer of Focus: Turn Your Eyes On Jesus

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Lord Jesus,

Clear away all the darkness from my mind,
all the petty jealousies and regrets,
the self-doubt and self-loathing
(aka. the pride),
the insecurity and fear,
the ambition and greed,
the self-absorption and self-promotion.

Holy Spirit,
Help me focus on Jesus only.
His love.
His sacrifice.
His calling.
Only He matters.

Amen.

Read these beautiful words from the old hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" by Helen Howarth Lemmel and/or listen to Lauren Daigle sing the song on her album Look Up Child. (2018)

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
and the things of this earth will grow strangely dime
in the light of His glory and grace."


A Prayer following Rachel Held Evans' death

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The death of a good person generally doesn't make sense. It's never the right time. Someone is always too young. No answer to your "why?" is ever sufficient, if it gets answered at all.

Grief is always unbearably hard.

Rachel Held Evan's death doesn't make sense. It wasn't a good time. She was too young. She was accomplishing so much.

When something tragic happens, all I know to do is pray (which is sometimes simply a rhetorical "why????" and that's okay.)

If you're grieving, give prayer a try.



Dear Lord,

Comfort Rachel Held Evans' family, friends, and readers at her sudden death.
Comfort those of us who grieve whenever we feel another's loss fresh with pain.
You can't make us understand,
so just help us to trust you with our loss and our grief.
Use this and every sorrow to bind us closer to you
and find solace and faith in trusting your love for us
and your continued plan to prosper us as your children.
Help us to only depend …

A prayer of spiritual warfare over children's health

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Dear Father-God,

You know what it is to love a son,
give a son,
and lose a son,
so you know what parents go through
when they're worried about losing their kids
spiritually,
emotionally, or
physically.

There are so many ways,
so many paths toward harm,
so many intersections of peril
where the world and the enemy in it
try to snatch up our children,
where the devil speaks lies about our love for them.

I pray your power, love, and dominion
over my children's lives.
You have them,
and you have a plan for them,
even if they don't follow you or your plans.
You will make beauty from the ashes in their lives.

But, oh, I hate the ashes.

Help me trust you with my children.
Help me trust you with my friends' children.
Help me to lament and request in faith,
knowing you love them even more than we do.

On behalf of hurting children,
I pray for patience in affliction,
healing from sickness,
relief from pain,
comfort in sadness,
hope in hopelessness.

In Jesus' name, I pray again…