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Showing posts from April, 2021

How to get wisdom: a hint and a prayer

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"If any  of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,  who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." ( James 1:5) Wisdom is a super-helpful characteristic. It keeps you from saying things you shouldn't. It keeps you from making the wrong decision . It gives you courage to say and do things that are hard but right. It helps you anticipate the future and adapt accordingly. Wisdom is valuable. It's not luck.   “Take hold of my words with all your heart;  keep my commands, and you will live.    Get wisdom, get understanding  do not forget my words or turn away from them.    Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;  love her, and she will watch over you." ( Proverbs 4:4-6 ) This is what the Apostle Paul told one of his churches: "My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding , in order that they may know the mystery of God , namely, Christ

How can I serve someone today?

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Lord Jesus, How can I serve someone today? How can I be YOU to someone else? Maybe a stranger needs a smile and friendly hello. Maybe a neighbor needs flowers from my yard. Maybe my community needs my participation . Maybe my child needs encouragement instead of correction. Maybe my spouse needs affirmation and appreciation instead of my complaints. Maybe that person who hurt me needs to hear that I've forgiven the offense. Lord, you have put people all around me that need to see you in me. How is that so easy to miss? You have put me here to serve others, not make a better life for myself. Lord, forgive me for my selfishness, resentment, and criticism . I want to serve someone today because that's what you do. I want to be Jesus today. No one needs to thank me, notice me, or appreciate me. Only let them think about your great love . Thanks for calling me to serve. In Jesus' name, Amen. "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your serant, and whoever wan

How to pray the right words

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If you worry about what to pray or how to pray, try this prayer. It is filled with actual verses from the Bible about WORDS. Yes, God has so much to say about words themselves. In fact, Jesus calls himself "the Word." So don't worry about if you're praying the right way. Just speak Jesus' words back to him, and let him speak his words into you. Everything will change! What you believe. What you think. What you say. What you do. Everything! Oh, Lord God, the Word of Life-- I praise you for your words, for our holy Scriptures , and especially for the red letter words in the Bible.  Thank you for speaking to me, day after day, minute by minute, whether I'm listening or not. You're always there, speaking in a whisper , speaking life . Praise : Your words are sweet to me; they give nourishment and joy. I can always trust them ( Psalm 119:103 ). Your words are flawless--they are like gold refined by fire. I cannot improve on them ( Psalm12:6 ). Before time be

Speak, Lord; I'm listening

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The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." And the Lord said to Samuel, "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle." (1 Samuel 3:10-11) Lord of Heaven, You are standing here, right next to me,  waiting for me to recognize you. Speak, Lord, I'm listening now. I won't argue with you. I will obey whatever you tell me to do, no matter how frightening or impossible it seems. I'm listening . You are about to do something new that will make everyone stop and take notice . And for some reason,  you've invited me into the process. You want to use me. How can I say 'no' to that? You have all power and authority in my life. So tell me what you want from me. I'll do it. In Jesus' name, Amen. How is God speaking to you? What is he saying?

Lament and confession over gun violence

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Oh. Lord, There's been another mass shooting. I can't imagine how your heart hurts to see your creation turn on itself. End the violence in our country. I intercede, Lord, for the victims and the victimizers that live in this country and call themselves Americans. I am sick of the violence, shamed by it, grieved by it, astonished by the normalization of mass shootings. We have blood on our hands. We may not have personally committed these atrocities, but many times we have shaken our heads, cast judgment, and gone about our day anyway. Lord, show each of us how we can help change this problem. Massage our hearts toward compassion, justice, and care. Give us discernment about the gun-violence problem, the sin-problem, and the mental-health problem that must be addressed and corrected. We are a country--and a world--filled with desperate people  who cannot find a way to solve their own heart and mind issues except to lash out against one another. We gossip, we malign, we injure,

20 things you should pray for

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  On March 17, I posted a blog " What you should pray against ." This is a response to that blog: 20 Things you should pray FOR.  1. For believers . "Be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." ( Ephesians 6:18) 2. For salvation . "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." ( Romans 10:13) 3. For wisdom . "For  any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,  who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ( James 1:5 ) 4. For humility. " Seek righteousness, seek  humility ; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the  Lord ’s anger." ( Zephaniah 2:3 ) 5. For grace. " The  grace  of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters." ( Galatians 6:18) 6. For love. " And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love." ( 1 Corinthians 13:13) 7.  For bold and truthful words . "Pr ay also for me, that

I messed up again

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                       Dear Lord, I messed up again . I let someone's words and attitude anger me, make me defensive, and feel upset. I didn't lose my temper or act rudely-- but I wasn't gracious, either. I  said things  that were unnecessary--and who's to say that I wasn't offensive? I wasn't kind because I didn't put myself in their shoes. I didn't  empathize . I didn't ask questions. I just challenged, argued my point, and decided to view them as  arrogant, stubborn, or at best, difficult. But I was all those things. I see that now, and I regret it. Sin is so subtle and tricky-- it seeps in through insecurity and pain  and defends my right to feel offended by another person's words or actions. Sin makes me guard myself and defend myself even when I'm not in danger. It makes me feel misunderstood, alone,  abandoned, and discouraged. Probably like this person felt. Being  wounded  in the past makes me feel wounded all the time. That's wh

Lord, make me new

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  Lord God, Creator and Regenerator of all things new , Bring newness and freshness into my life through the power of your Holy Spirit. Keep me from looking for a new fix through new relationships, new church , new causes, new addictions, new distractions, or new indignations. This is not the newness you want growing in my life. May I pursue righteousness because you are doing something new in my life. You want to change me-- to make me new , each and every day -- by offering up my pride and my insecurities to you and letting you change anything you want, introduce anything you want, tear down any idols you want. That's how you make me new. You save me, then you keep redeeming my carnal mind and heart every day if I stop fighting you. If I stop protecting all the things I don't want to change, all the comfort, all the traditions, all the safety nets, all the presuppositions. As long as I hold on to these things, I will never be made new. I will just change what I want to an

A Holy Saturday lament: While Jesus lay in the tomb

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Oh, Lord Jesus, This is a Holy Saturday prayer-- remembering the silent Saturday that your body lay in a tomb, guarded by soldiers, celebrated by your enemies. While your friends and followers mourned, shocked and sickened with grief that somehow your enemies killed you . And you let them. You let them  betray you, lie about you, taunt you, torture you, and kill you. How often I am like your disciples from long ago-- I sit  grieving,   despairing, questioning, pleading, raging , shaking in fear , sobbing in solitude, hiding in shame because I think you've left me because you're silent. What a tangle of complex emotions we feel when we think you can't hear us-- when you're not here-- when we act like you're as shocked and traumatized by the world as we are. How agonizing was it to feel the sins of the whole world? To succumb to death, when you have always existed? To offer yourself to every single human being, whom you created in your image, knowing each of us, even

Jesus, will you carry me?

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Lord Jesus, I'm weary .  Will you carry me for awhile? Wherever you want. Just hold me tight. Amen.