Tag: prayer

Waiting on the Lord Part 2

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Are you still waiting?

Chances are you are waiting on something. And yes, it can be encouraging to know that other people are waiting too, that all this waiting is actually part of our being human. But knowing there are some things that just aren’t within our control doesn’t make the waiting any easier.

Can you remember a time before we all had cell phones? I was very pregnant and traveling with our 4 and 8 year olds, coming home from visiting my parents. Very long flight. My husband had said call when we got in to the airport and he would pick us up.

airport-2123274_640I found a pay phone and called to say we were here, and went to get our bags, then we all walked to the passenger pick up and waited with our luggage outside exhausted. The kids were tired and hungry and hot but we waited; standing, sitting, chatting…

After waiting an hour, I was worried. The trip from our house was usually only 45 minutes. At the risk of missing him, I gathered the boys and our bags and went inside to find another pay phone. My husband hadn’t even left yet! I just about collapsed.

Even leaving right then, it would take at least another 45 minutes to get to the airport – then another 45 minutes to get back home!

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Nothing else to do but wait.

So I decided that to keep the boys engaged and in better spirits, we would make up games and silly songs to fill the time. We made up a new song called “It can be fun to wait.” In the song we counted, marched, sang our ABCs. We made a memory.

Now, when I am waiting alongside other people, they all pull out their cell phones and focus on them. Me, I turn to prayer. There are always people or circumstances on my mind that I can talk to the Lord about. And now that we wear masks in many public places where I wait, I can even pray quietly and no one can see my lips moving.

Through this, and so many other times I could tell you about, God showed me that time spent waiting can be purposeful. It can be prayerful. It can be “praise-ful.” And all those things can help us be patient.

blur-1867402_640Later He gave me this song. I still sing it when I’m challenged to “wait on the Lord.” It helps remind me that I need to use whatever time I have to praise Him. For who He is. For what He has done. When I use waiting time to pray, it helps me be patient. I feel like there’s purpose in it.

Try praise and prayer next time you find yourself waiting for something.

Chorus 2 X:  I can wait patiently

I can wait prayer-fully

I can wait praise-fully

For God knows what I need and He provides for me

As I wait I will praise my God

and the wonderful things He has done

I will praise Him for all creation

The earth and the stars and the sun

As I wait I will praise His name

Holy and Mighty is He

I thank Him for sending salvation

Salvation for you and for me

Chorus 2 X:  I can wait patiently

I can wait prayer-fully

I can wait praise-fully

For God knows what I need and He provides for me

And sometimes I even still sing the silly “it can be fun to wait” song too.

Because, sometimes, now, it can be fun to wait!

Are you praying Apples or Potatoes?

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I’ve been praying a LOT lately – maybe you have too.  So many things happening in my life, my family, with Covid-19, in our nation, the world!

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And I trust and thank God that He hears all of my prayers, and your prayers too. Whether we are singing out in praise, calling out thanksgiving, whispering out our needs, or crying out in brokenness, I know that God hears and answers every time.

I love it when I can see God’s hand at work in the relationship or situation I’m praying about.  It’s so encouraging! It’s like watching an apple tree:  you can see the leaves appear, then the buds come, the blossoms open and then fall off, and you can see the tiny fruit form.  The apple grows and matures on the tree right before your eyes.

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An apple farmer can see his harvest before he ever starts collecting it.

Some prayers are like that. You get to see how God is working and preparing the answer for you right before your eyes. You can see change in the person or the situation, or in yourself.  It is so rewarding.

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Other prayers are like potatoes. We keep praying and praying for a person, relationship, or situation but see no change, no growth, no hint of an answer on the way. The potato plant is like that: the leafy vine can be seen.

But the fruit or tuber, the part we eat, is formed underground. The vine remains unchanged above the ground as we water and fertilize. All the while the fruit, the tubers are developing and maturing under the ground where we can’t see.

digging-for-potatoes-1319302-640x480It is only by faith that a potato farmer begins the harvest, trusting there is a crop there under the ground!

Potato prayers are harder because you feel like nothing is happening in the situation you’re praying about.  When the truth is God is surely at work answering your prayer, just not in ways visible to the human eye.

Both kinds of prayers yield an amazing and fulfilling harvest. Both have the same promise of an answer from God. And both will build our faith.  If you are praying an Apple Prayer, thank God that He is allowing you to see His hand at work in the person or situation. Be encouraged.

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If you have been praying a Potato Prayer, thank God for being at work beneath the surface.  And be encouraged!

Trust in God and in His timing and purpose. We are the workers but the harvest belongs to the Lord!

people-2604834_640And especially for those Potato Prayers, Father, help us wait and not fall into discouragement, self-pity or giving up.  Keep our faith strong and our trust in You solid; so that at the end of the waiting, we will sing of the wonders of the Lord!  Amen

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

What a season!

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What a season we are in! And I don’t mean winter.

question-mark-5470199_640human-5480043_640We are in a season of media frenzy and we have been for some time. Stories pop up on my phone constantly, and call for me to read them. Many inflame and upset my heart and my mind and bring confusion to my thoughts. So many issues seem unjust, unfair, just plain wrong. And they offer no solution.

My solution, is to be still to listen for God’s voice. I take a walk and lift my eyes to the mountains or to the sky. I watch the clouds, or the pine trees bending in the gentle wind. I watch the geese wintering here from Canada.

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I sit quietly and read scripture. Some I read out loud, looking for the truth of who I am, created by God; and who He is and His love for me and every individual He created in the world. And I let the truth wash over me.

praying-5406270_640From within the truth I look out onto the world with compassion and I pray for it: its leaders, its people, the issues that so perplex and confuse us because of the false news and misinformation being propagated.

I pray for the hearts of men and women and children to be turned to the Lord. And for God to speak to those in power who control governments, the media, the militaries, the corporations, the churches, synagogues and mosques, and the field of entertainment – and for those people to listen.

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For me, it has become a season of prayer.  And of listening more intently for God’s Voice.  He does speak.

And especially now, I’m listening.

Need some Traction?

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Ever since I heard the word “Paraclete” I have thought of the Holy Spirit as a “pair of Cleats.”

The Holy Spirit gives us traction in our walk with the Lord.

“Paraclete” is the Greek word that translated, is used to describe the Holy Spirit.  It comes from “para” meaning close or beside, and “kaleo” a legal advocate who makes a right judgment; an advisor, or helper.

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It comes to light in a picturesque way in the verse in James 1 where he says “each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”

Pair that with 1 Cor 10:13 where Paul is speaking of temptation and says God will “provide a way of escape.”

Now we have a picture of a believer walking with the Holy Spirit, (their “pair of cleats”).  And when temptation comes along and tries to drag the believer away, God has provided these cleats so the believer can dig in and have the traction and power to resist and not be dragged away.  That’s the Holy Spirit!

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With our “pair of cleats” we can go farther, climb higher, get a better grip on the trail of life.  Our “Pair of Cleats” will take us places we wouldn’t be able to get to on our own.

adventure-1850912_640The Holy Spirit will stick by our side no matter the circumstances – through storms, harsh terrain, cold, heat – more literally challenges, temptations of every kind, hardships, even elections and pandemics.

All these things can make our way seem dark and slippery.  But we have a partner on the journey – teaching us, guiding, course correcting, encouraging, strengthening us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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Praying for you, that you will make use of your Pair of Cleats in your daily walk.  That you will listen to the Holy Spirit and dig in when temptations and challenges come.

That as you walk through life, you will recognize your walking partner’s voice and knowing that you are never alone, you will be encouraged, instructed, equipped, advised, counseled, guided, strengthened and protected.

Praying THROUGH the Pandemic

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Praying THROUGH the Pandemic

 

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Take one letter of the word THROUGH each day for a week, and pray the topic that starts with that letter.

I have written out a prayer for each topic you can pray aloud, or use it as a springboard for your own words to pray.  The Lord may draw you to other topics as well.  Listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you in your prayer time.

This is certainly not all inclusive, but I believe it’s a way God has shown me is a good place to start.

T – Total Control

Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that no matter what the circumstances here on earth look like, or how they seem to us, that You are in Total Control.  Even in the midst of this pandemic that has spread over the entire world, You have not forgotten us.  You are not wringing Your hands wondering what to do.

Thank You that You are a loving, sovereign God who we can come to in prayer at any time.  And thank You that Your presence can be anywhere and everywhere at the same time  – so You can be with each one of us to hear our prayer and lend support: encouragement, comfort and discernment when we need it.

Thank You that even when things around us seem to be chaotic and discouraging, just Your presence can bring us peace.

Father, help us see Your hand at work in each of our lives.  Bring each one of us answers to our prayers.  Give us understanding of how to live and make decisions in these unusual and difficult times.

While we face this huge challenge, remind us that You, who created the universe and each one of us, are still on Your throne, still love us and are in Total Control.

H – Health

Lord, so many people have become ill with this Covid-19, and so many have died, that it is easy to be fearful.  We are asking You to safeguard our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  And that of our loved ones.

Protect our bodies.  Some of us are pretty healthy but worry over the effect this virus might have on us should we contract it.  Others of us are older, more fragile with failing immune systems and diseases that make us much more vulnerable physically.  Fight for us against this virus that would ravage our health and put our lives in danger.  Keep us safe from exposure.  Provide whatever medical support we need to arrest any infection or corona virus activity.

Father, mentally and emotionally this pandemic is taking a toll on us and our loved ones as well.  So many are dealing with anxiety and depression again or for the first time due to the extreme isolation, lack of close support of family and friends, and loss of jobs, income, and the routine of life that kept them going.

Please provide the needed support for those who have been side-lined by mental issues that further strip them of the ability to work and cope with the challenges of life during this pandemic time.  Lead them to the medical guidance or counselors who can help them with appropriate medications or therapies.

And still many are battling trying to reconcile their faith in light of this pandemic. It seems so much has gone wrong all over the globe, they are questioning where You are in all of this?   Do not let the devil get a foothold through this.  Rekindle our faith – remind us of Your faithfulness to us in the past.  Remind us of Your promises in the Bible.

R – Relationships

Father, show us how to maintain our relationships with those who matter to us and have influence in our lives.  Thank You for bringing us friends, co-workers, neighbors, who impact us on a personal level.  For our churches and neighborhoods and families who keep watch over us and care for us.

When person-to-person contact isn’t wise, remind us to reach out to others in ways that keep us connected and close.  A lot of people have been using Zoom and Face Time and other advanced technologies, thank You for that.  But remind is to also make time and reach out with phone calls, emails, texts, and old-fashioned written letters or cards that we can hold and feel a tangible sense of someone’s care for us.

Some of us have kept working – many from home – so we are still busy trying to get work done with the complications of being at home with all the distractions and less-than-optimal working conditions.  For those there doesn’t seem to be as much time in the day to keep up social relationships.

Some of us have lost jobs and have time on our hands but no real interest in discussing our situation while trying to deal with the stress of making ends meet and the depressing state of our lives.

Some of us are retired and also have time on our hands but have gotten into new routines that no longer include socializing, so remain detached from friends.

At some point Lord, we pray this will all be over and life will get back to “normal.”  But until then, please show us how to maintain connections with our friends and family members so we don’t lose the closeness and positive impact they have on our lives.

O – Others   

Father remind us of the truth of what has been said over and over again –“We are all in this together.”  Let that be a guiding influence on the decisions we make in how we respond to the medical advice we get that show how we can all beat this virus and move forward.

Thank You Father, for those people who make our lives work by putting themselves at risk.  Thank You for the doctors and nurses, and healthcare workers, administrators and the cleaning teams who keep the hospitals and medical and care centers running. Thank You for those who keep our utilities – water and electricity and gas – supplied to our homes and businesses.  And who collect our trash and deliver our mail.

Thank You for all those who allow us to get the food we need – grocery store workers and restaurant workers.  And who protect our communities; our police and fire and emergency responders.

Lord, there are so many people who work behind the scenes who we don’t often see to recognize.  Bless them.  Father, protect all these people who continue to serve, from this virus.

Even those who seem to be the most fragile among us, have lived lives and served in their own way, and have value.  Do not let them be overlooked as a disposable generation.  But impart to us all, the value that every life has.

None of us gets through this life alone.  We all depend on others to help us along the way; encourage us, pray for us, teach us, correct us.  Thank You for putting people in our lives to help us and for us to help.  Let us see how we all impact one another with the decisions we make.  And let us consider others and build on that as a strength as we all fight this pandemic.

U – Unity

Father, there has been so much dissent and disunity over issues regarding this pandemic.  Simple things that would have had a more powerful impact, like quarantining, limiting social contact and wearing masks have become so politicized.  I don’t understand it.  It seems simple, logical science.  Yet misinformation has spread like wildfire in the name of personal rights and freedoms.

Help us join together to seek the common good rather than insult and tear each other down.  Help us see that the virus is the enemy – not our Facebook friend, church member or political party.  Help us be teachable, patient, and make every effort to be at peace with each other as we fight the true enemies we face:  this pandemic, and disunity.

Lord, please bring sense and order out of the chaos.  Bring the truth to light.  Dispel the darkness.  End the strife between political opponents who seek to further their own agendas.  Before it is too late and we lose the battle for life and health in our families, our communities and our countries.

G – Governments

Father in heaven, help all the national leaders and government heads who make decisions about the care of the people in their jurisdictions.  Bring them wise counselors to advise them, who have an understanding of the reality of this pandemic situation.  And the steps needed to fight and conquer it.

Help governments have an honest concern for their people, and communicate truth to them, without political motives.  Show them how to instruct and motivate their citizens to do what is best for their health and economies, to end this pandemic sooner rather than later.

Give the local and world health organizations the wisdom they need to make the best recommendations, supported by science, in a non-political way so that treatments can reach around the world helping everyone.

Let doctors and scientists and governments and corporations all work together on a worldwide basis to find an answer to this pandemic.  Do not let money or national boundaries or political ideologies get in the way of progress for a global solution.

Father, do not let political agendas or abuse of power be tolerated when the lives of people hang in the balance. Let the evil of the wicked come to an end.  Intercede for those whose governments are corrupt.  When treatments or vaccines are offered, ensure that everyone gets them.

H – Heart

Heavenly Father, make this a time in history when the hearts of men, women and children are turned to You.

It‘s so easy to turn away from pain, poverty, disease, and injustice in the world.  We put our heads down and try to make it through one day at a time with our own problems and challenges.  But this is a time in history when the focus of the world IS the world!  And how this pandemic has spread across national boundaries, political regimes, and affected people of all languages, economic statuses and beliefs.

Father, as we come face-to-face with the probability of illness and death, turn our thoughts to eternity.  Give each person on earth a glimpse of their standing with You and how they will spend eternity.

Send dreams and visions all around the globe that reveal an understanding of who You are.

Put Bibles in the hands of people in languages they can understand to spell out Your way of salvation.

Call to people’s minds scripture and truths they learned – recently or long ago, maybe as children – that taught them of heaven and hell.  And of Your great love for them that sent Your Son to die on the cross and make a way for them to believe and receive the free gift of a salvation for an eternity spent with You.

Ezekiel tells us You will remove our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh.  With the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.  Father, go into every place where this pandemic has reached, and soften every heart.  Show every person who You are and how to be saved.

And those of us who are already believers, soften our hearts to understand Your purpose for our lives during this time.  Give us a unity of Spirit to see where You are working, and work alongside You.

Strengthen our hearts to follow You wherever You are leading us, and to do all You show us to do.  Our lives are different in this pandemic.  Show us how to use this time to honor and worship You.  Give us undivided hearts to bring glory to You.  Amen