Category: Scripture

Return America!

O Father, I pray that America will return to You.

foundingfathersprayI pray for my country, my family, myself. Judgment and punishment are at our doorstep, and our only hope is to return to You.

Help us return to You to acknowledge and praise You!  Reveal the wickedness and godlessness that has led us so far astray from the godly, moral values we were founded on.

Father, as in Jude’s time, many men have “slipped in among us” to lead us away from You.  In Jude’s words, “godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny You” as Sovereign and Lord. Jude 1:4

Who is JesusI believe this has happened in America. And we have fallen for their deceptions. They claim a righteousness, but it is not Yours. They divide even the faithful – like wolves wearing sheep’s clothing.

Show me how to see these people, these philosophies for what they really are, and not be misled by them.

I see what Hosea recognized: “Hear the word of the Lord, America, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: ‘There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.   There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.’” Hosea 4:1-2

usa-flag-830720_640Solomon also knew the people well.  Even as You inhabited the Temple, and Your Glory shone all around, he knew Your people would turn away from You.  He prayed for Your forgiveness and mercy, and You answered with a promise we can claim today.

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked waysthen I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Father, I humble myself before You.  I have not measured up in so many ways.  I do not deserve the blessings You pour out on me.   Show me where there is wickedness in my life: my words, my actions, my attitude.

god-2025655_640Forgive me when I have spoken but should have held my tongue.  Forgive me when I held my tongue but should have spoken.

Forgive me when I have acted and should not have, or should have acted, and did not.

I have allowed fear to dictate when I was willing to stand up for You when it was easier not to.  I have allowed my comfort to set the limits of my generosity when it comes to giving of my time and talents and treasure.

Lord I seek Your face to bring a spiritual awakening and revival upon my country.  Renew the Biblical values this country was founded on.  Let Your people once again know Your presence, Your power and Your blessing. And not accept politicians any longer who offer counterfeit blessings!

Father, bring America together in unity, across boundaries of race, politics, faith, status, income.  Help us join together to seek the common good and Your direction for our lives and our country.

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Oh Lord, hear and act!  For Your sake, my God, do not delay. Let this vote be a turning point in America’s people waking up to the lies and deception of politics, and turn back to You!  Amen

america-870087_640Would you say a prayer right now for America…thanking GOD for our freedoms, for His protection

Pray for our elections…for our people to be protected from violence…for any who plan violence to be stopped…

for godly leadership…for healing in families – communities – political parties…for revival!

In the Battle again

virus-4937553_640If you didn’t read the last blog, please do, and see how in this time of “refraining from embracing” (Ecclesiastes 3:5). I’ve been “embracing” God’s will, God’s direction, and God’s purpose for this time of my life.

question-mark-g8f50bac14_640I believe God has put on each of our hearts something we cannot do alone…something we need His help, His strength, and His direction to accomplish. Something God-sized! What does that look like in your life?

If you’re not sure, ask Him. He’ll tell you.

gratitude-1251137_640Things have been going so well and moving forward as God has led me to publish now 4 books on prayer, and pray for and with so many people going through difficult times. And though my kidneys are close to failing, God has brought hundreds to pray for me. It has been so encouraging! And now He has brought a Living Donor forward for me after being on the transplant list for 2 years. We don’t match blood types so matches for each of us are being located.

So many things have come together that God has had a hand in and I have been feeling extremely blessed and so grateful, giving God thanks and praise for all of it.

But guess who is not happy about that and the credit God is getting?

lion-1605295_1920Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) And comes to steal and kill and destroy. (John 10:10)

And just when we think things are really going well, Bam! We are under attack!

rope-ga6630b4d0_640Have you felt like this? Things seem to be going so great, and then Bam! With just a few well-placed words or thoughts, the devil has you in knots.

Put on your Spiritual Armor every day – so that you can spot the schemes and lies of the devil. When things are going bad, and when they are going good.

Even when you least expect it – like I did this week!

Out of the blue, I was under attack, and it worked…for a few hours. But God’s armor protected me and I recognized the attack. Calling out to God, He formed this verse to help me remember what happened. He will help you too!  Call out to Him!

Oh Lord I’m in the battle

And the enemy I face
Speaks lies to me
And leads me to
A cold and darkened place

He tells me how I’ve failed You
How disappointed You must be
That I’m not worth the effort
Or the blessings given me

He drags out all my failures
Piles them on me one by one
Till I am overwhelmed
And he thinks his job is done

I sit with the emotions
Shame and Grief and Fear
Feeling so unworthy
But then I sense You near

Through the lies and misdirection
I can see the Truth
It was never about my worthiness
But always about You!

You have armed me for this battle
For the enemy I face
And I know that in the end
You will put him in his place

So I pray and seek Your comfort
As I put my faith in You
I thank You in advance for help
trusting You will see me through

Until this siege is over
And the enemy moves on
I have your strength and healing
The battle’s as good as won

Laura Fail Shaffer © 10-22-2022

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing…Ecclesiastes 3:5

virus-4937553_640Well, the pandemic has certainly given us a time to refrain from embracing. Hugs, for a time, were done very creatively, with plastic liners to keep from spreading our germs. Especially to those loved ones who were older, weaker, or immunocompromised. Or hugs were done virtually, or on Zoom calls, or with a kind of sign language.

youth-child-friend-unity-interaction-hugs-807617-pxhere.comMany are back to hugging again now – embracing our loved ones and others who we’ve just missed.

But another kind of embracing, we’ve been free to do all along.

We can embrace God’s will, God’s direction, God’s purposes for our lives. And I am happy to say, that while I have had to refrain from embracing people for a while, I have been able to, and enjoyed listening to and embracing what God has shown me.

A good friend, Eric invited me on a journey to write and publish 40 Day Prayer Guides. And during the pandemic we turned out 3 books and have another coming out this week! With 2 more hopefully by the end of this year. To sample Eric’s writing just type “Eric” into the search bar to find the guest blog here in July. And psst…he’s also the “friend” who captured the rattlesnake in the September blog!

To be honest, Eric’s idea came out of the blue. But it came at a time when, due to everything else going on in the world, I didn’t have much else happening. It had long been the desire of my heart to share the prayers God had given me with others. And doesn’t God have a way of bringing something great out of something not so great?

question-mark-g8f50bac14_640Is there something that you have had on your heart for a while now? Something maybe you haven’t exactly known how to do? Or where to begin?

Ask God to direct your path. To lay something on your heart or give you a godly desire for something great.

I believe we were designed to want to be a part of something greater than ourselves. Something God-sized that we can’t do alone.

blur-gd89b880ea_640I had been praying for a long time for God to show me how to do what He had put on my heart to do. There is so much of the publishing business I still don’t understand. So I asked God to help me learn or bring someone who already knew it to help me. I took classes. Went to conferences. I was doing my part but the learning was so slow and I still didn’t catch on to all I need to know. But God was working when I didn’t even know it. And brought Eric at just the right time. With his vision of these books. And I was blessed to be invited to be a part of it all.

God is working in your life too. You may not see it happening right now. But now can be a time to embrace the goodness God has for you. Embrace your dreams…what He’s already put on your heart.

pexels-luis-quintero-2351723If you don’t know what it is, ask Him! He wants you to be blessed.

If you know what it is, ask Him to bring it to you, and be prepared to wait – patiently, prayer-fully, and praise-fully. God knows what you need, and He will provide it.

NOW is a great time to embrace the goodness, the greatness God has for you.

The answer is The Son

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A friend got a frenzied call last week. It was a couple of young women he knew who found a rattlesnake had gotten onto their porch and wouldn’t leave. And they couldn’t get out of their apartment!

rattlesnake-gbbafc4e27_640My friend is a white water rescue raftsman and He went over in his van was able to coax the snake into a cooler and with a kayak paddle! They were overwhelmed with thanks and offered him dinner for a job well done.

When he left, he drove up into an uninhabited part of some mountain terrain, far from any trails to let it go. But as the evening had grown colder, the snake had become comfortable in the cooler, and refused to leave, rattling a lot to be left alone. So he put the lid back on securely and went home with the snake in his van.

CoolerThe next morning he went back to the uninhabited area, but once again, the snake refused to leave. With the lid back on he sat the cooler in the sun. After a little time, the morning sun heated up the cooler, and when he heard the rattler again, he pried the lid open, and stepped way back. The snake slithered out and took off quickly for parts unknown.

As he’s telling me all this, I’m thinking that this is just what the devil does in our lives.

hide-g0ec3d5d47_640He waits for us, right outside our door, and freezes us from taking action. He shakes his rattle to scare us, and remind us he’s there, waiting to attack if we move in his direction.

When we get help and think we’ve trapped him, he makes his home there and refuses to leave. Even in a sealed box, he is a threat we have to deal with.

clouds-gdac75cead_640In this instance, it took the power of the sun to finally convince the snake to leave.

crosses-gc040f60c5_640In our lives, it takes the power of the Son.

Genesis tells us that he, the devil, will strike His heel, but He (the Son of God) will crush his (the devil’s) head. (Genesis 3:15)

That crushing is the devil’s ultimate defeat.

Has the devil rattled you in some way? Has he frozen you to inaction?

Call a friend when you need one. And call on God’s Son.

There is power in the name of Jesus.

Memory is a blessing

I saw my mother yesterday. That wouldn’t be so unusual, except that she’s gone. She passed away ten years ago.

I was walking into the lab to get my blood drawn. And before passing through the sliding glass doors, I looked up…

Staring back at me in the reflection, was my mother. Our features are similar…dark hair – even into our late 60s, and similar body types as we both have a genetic kidney condition where our kidneys have enlarged to be about the size of footballs.

Most of my life she wore her hair long and put up in a French twist. Mine is longer, and today I had twisted it up with a big clip in the back and a bit of it stood up, much like her French twist used to.

AtMyPlaceMotherWhen she passed away I inherited a few of her clothes. Yesterday I happened to put on one of her shirts – a cool green plaid with ¾ sleeves that exposed my arms for an easy roll up blood draw. I had slipped on a matching pair of green leggings, which I don’t wear often because green isn’t really my color… And there she was.

Liz Higgs the big 40One of my favorite humor authors is Liz Curtis Higgs.  She wrote a book I got when I turned 40 – Forty Reasons Life is More Fun After The Big 4-0  One of the reasons is that your mother comes to visit every day – in the mirror!

I didn’t see that happening then, but this kind of took my breath away. I used to hate being told I looked like my mother. Now, it seemed a kindness.

I used to be the age where a lot of my friends’ parents were passing away. Then it was older cousins. Now it’s our husbands and wives.

elephant-1090834_640I’m asking God to help me remember the good times, the memories of all I’ve learned from those who have gone before me. And to let me use those to make positive memories and pass on what I’ve learned to my children and grandchildren.

question-mark-g8f50bac14_640What good time memories do you have that you can duplicate with your friends, your kids or grandkids?

What have you learned that had a positive impact on your life that you can intentionally pass on to the next generation?

Take some time to make a list of some of those things that made wonderful memories for you – – and pass them on!

bible-g6b1dd5adc_640Deuteronomy 32:7
Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.

Proverbs 10:7
The memory of the righteous is a blessing,