Posts

A confession of bitterness & a decision toward grace

Image
  "Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of  bitterness  grows up to trouble you, corrupting many." (Hebrews 12:15) An observation: If we care for one another,  God gives us grace . If we don't care for one another, we don't get grace from anyone. Bitterness is a weed that overtakes a garden until it has choked out every plant that was once beautiful and productive until the garden becomes useless and ugly. Bitterness prevents blessing . A prayer: Oh, Lord, I confess my bitterness  and my lack of trust in you to direct me in all things. I've resented you allowing weeds into my life. My heart has not been fertile or  productive lately. It has been a garden of weeds instead of a garden of flowers. Please forgive me and help me develop the courage to rip out every weed and prune back every thought and habit that doesn't honor you . I confess holding grudges, distrusting your care, and prote

Praying to be a peacemaker

Image
Oh, Lord, the Prince of Peace, Instead of praying against stress -- instead of praying for a calm, peaceful life-- Lord, make me a peacemaker. I crave peace, but I don't often make peace. I find the problems, I criticize the results, I blame the victimizers. But I don't try to make peace , I don't wish blessings on those who oppose or hurt me. I don't cultivate kindness, grace, and generosity in unjust situations. I don't forgive enough. I accuse too often. I excuse my own sins. I cover up what's bad in my and expose what's bad in others. That's not peacemaking. Lord, I want to see you work in my life. I want to know you and become like you. So that means I MUST become a peacemaker. Lord, help me see people how you see them. Help me give up for the greater good. Help me to live for eternity, to sacrifice for the gospel, to protect the church, to love the world, to pray for my family . Help me to work for solutions  rather than fight over problems. I con

Blessings go both ways

Image
  Oh, Lord, I bless you name and your promises. You are great, and you act justly in my life. You don't withhold good things from me, and you lead me in the path that you want me to take. You bless me abundantly. I don't deserve your grace ,  but you give it freely. I will praise you to everyone. When I go to sleep praising you, I wake up praising you. May you always be on my heart and mind-- when I'm working, struggling, relaxing, worrying. When I praise you, I am aware of how much you give me! How enormous is the sum of your blessings on my life! They are more vast than the stars in the sky. I cannot count them all. Give me the perspective and grace to bless my family , my church, my government, and even my enemies . Fill me with your magnitude of your presence, and may I always sit in awe of you and the astonishing actions you perform on my behalf! In Jesus' name, Amen. "I will bless the  Lord  who guides me;  even at night my heart instructs me." ( Psalm

Will God answer your prayers?

Image
Will God answer your prayers? Sometimes, it doesn't feel like it. Actually, a lot of the time it doesn't feel like it, right? Because we keep asking about the same things, and it seems like nothing changes. That's a clue. Not that God isn't listening, but that I'm not listening. Usually, in those situations, I haven't been reading the Bible enough. I haven't been worshipping enough. I haven't been responsive to Jesus' calling enough. My prayers come from a narrow perspective, where I think I know what God should do. I can only see one suitable answer. I'm looking for a genie instead of God. But God knows better. He always has my best interest in mind. He takes the long look and plans for our futures. He is not motivated by fear, like we are.  To quote from my book Soulspeak: Praying Change into Unexpected Places :   "You can't ask God for too much. God wants to answer your requests." (98) Really. God's nature is to give. He ga