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Showing posts with the label joy

A prayer of joy (and why joy works in a messed-up world)

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Oh, Lord, I rejoice in your lovingkindness, your love, your goodness, your faithfulness, your patience, your forgiveness , your gentleness, your justice, your generosity, your righteousness, and your discipline. Your works and your ways are mysterious, but I trust them because you have always shown yourself to be trustworthy . You are good, and you only do good. Thank you for the history of the world: because in the midst of chaos, suffering , and victimization, you have always shown yourself loving, just, and faithful. You have always redeemed those who seek you. You have always blessed those who follow you. You are father to the fatherless (that's me)! You defend the widow (that was my mom)! You put the lonely in families (that's so many of us)! You free the prisoners (that's justice). You shake the world with your might and power. You paint it in brilliant colors, and you give it to us to enjoy (everybody can see your works!). Praise

A prayer of hope for the holidays

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Christmas is hard for people who grieve. They remember other Christmases filled with memories and laughter, and grief becomes overwhelming. Or perhaps Christmas is their loneliest time, without any cherished memories, which makes it that much harder to be festive. Is Christmas hard for you? Does it make you feel hopeless? Just since December began, I've attended one funeral, watched one on television, and revised my family, whom I haven't seen since my mom died. Collectively, grief is strong and real. But I do not grieve as one without hope ( 1 Cor. 15:18-20 ). Perhaps that is why we sing the "Messiah" at Christmas. Hope began with the birth of a baby, but hope continues through Jesus' resurrection and  his predicted triumphant return. Hope culminates with the " Hallelujah Chorus ." (Turn up the volume--it's the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!) This Christmas, pray this prayer of hope. Hope dispels grief. Hope gives suffering a context and a

Seeking Jesus in a Christmas Prayer

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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.

A prayer to find answers

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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.

Why should I thank God when I'm grieving?

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Dear God of all comfort, Thank you. I'm grieving, but I thank You for everything. Thank you for creating the church, which functions like a family. I can't explain how people I've never met or hardly know can send me a prayer or encouragement, and I instantly feel loved and no longer alone. Thank you for making prayer a way to express grief, joy, fear, and frustration. I don't know why it works, but it does. Thank you for the opportunity to serve You by serving other people. I don't know why loving someone else when I need to be loved fills an emotional hole, but it does. Thank you for growing my faith through trials. I don't completely understand how suffering can produce joy in my life, but I see it happen all the time. Thank you for asking me to be generous. I can't explain how we can give away so much and still pay our bills, but remarkably, it's true. Thank you for a million other blessings--for every sunset, for every flower, for

Praying my mother into eternity

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Dear Lord of heaven and Lover of our souls, My soul is grieving, my heart is heavy. My tears are many. Yet you stir the truth in me. You urge me to have perspective about life and death. Death is not the enemy; it's the pathway into your presence. Give me the faith to not lose heart. while my mother's earthly body wastes away; help me feel your renewal day by day. Our present troubles are light and momentary compared to the greatness of living eternity in your presence. Your glory outweighs the heaviest of earthly pains! Show us your glory by leading us through this valley of longing and loss. I will fix my eyes on the unseen because it is eternal, rather than on the things I see here: the pain, the deterioration, the separation. These are temporary; they are joy-robbers and faith-robbers. I was not made for this earth, and neither was my mother. Eternity calls her, and she deserves to go there. Give her peace, joy, and eternal satisfaction. There she wil

9 Prayers for Christmas Hope

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Below is an insightful post by Bob Hostetler , from Guideposts Dec. 15, 2015. A week before Christmas, our joy over the holiday and our fear and stress over a dark political climate can make faith seem impossible. These prayers might help. The Christmas season, for many, is a time of family, friends, memories, beauty and warmth. But for others it can be a time of struggle. They may grieve a loss or feel lonely. Or the holidays may stir up difficult memories. Christmas peace  and  Christmas joy  are not automatic, and neither is Christmas hope. Hope can sometimes surprise us, but it can also be awakened. It can come, even to those in difficult circumstances, as a fruit of prayer. Here are nine prayers drawn from the Bible that can help foster an attitude of hope, not only at this time of year but all year long: 1)  Hope for the Whole Day Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (Psalm 25:5, NIV). 2)  Hope to

A Thankful Heart

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You can't fake a thankful heart, even if you say "thank you" or send a "thank you" note, (which, by the way, is still an excellent idea, even in the age of technology). Thankfulness permeates why you do things and how you do them. It emanates from a spirit of contentment rather than entitlement. Thankfulness makes statements like-- "You are so thoughtful!" "I can't believe you did that!" "You make me feel so special!" "I'm the luckiest guy in the world!" Thankfulness and humility go hand-in-hand. They expect nothing, appreciate everything, and value everyone. Thankfulness comes from the heart, creating pure joy. Col. 2:6-7--" So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,  continue to live your lives in him,   rooted  and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,  and overflowing with thankfulness." image by   edinboroonline.com