Who Hears Prayer

The Psalms are filled with praise and encouragement.  This one starts with praising God and recognizing that He is worthy of worship.  Then we are reminded that God is the one Who hears prayer.  For Almighty God to be willing to listen to us is an amazing thing.  God is in charge of the universe, but He still wants us to come to Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that I can come to You and bring my requests. Thank You for your leading in my prayers.  I ask that You would be at work in hearts so more would cling to You and bring their requests to You. Thank You that You listen to all who come to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Tears and Joy

I know many who have shed tears in recent times.  There are all kinds of reasons for those tears.  The Psalmist had many trials and difficulties. He took them to the Lord to find the help he needed.  We don’t know when we will have the shouts of joy – sowing tears can seem like a long process. 

I know that God always does what He promises.   While the tears are heavy and the suffering can seem long, I know that we will reap with shouts of joy!

Dear Heavenly Father, please help those who are shedding tears while sowing for You.  Please strengthen them.  Help them to remember they will reap with shouts of joy.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Willing to Receive

Lord,
I am willing to receive what You send,
lack what You withhold, 
relinquish what You take, 
suffer what You inflict;
To do what You command and
To be what You require.

Elizabeth Elliot

I know I much prefer receiving the “nice” things in life.  Something that warms my heart like a friendly greeting or good news.  I find it much harder to receive difficulties.  Going through appointments and surgery for a pre-cancerous tumor hit my introverted personality hard.  There were many difficult things along the way.  However, I spent so much more time praying.  I have also been convicted to watch for and write down the joy God sends throughout the difficulties.  I have found it fun to share the stories of the blessings.  I found it easier to make it through the tough times by looking for and enjoying the positive things.

I want to be willing to say what Elizabeth Elliot did – to be willing to have what God wants.  I know God’s gifts are always best.  Prayer and thanksgiving are two great ways to receive what God gives.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many blessings You send my way.  Thank You that the difficulties are a gift to help me draw closer to You. I ask for help as I continue to navigate the challenges of life.  Please help me to share hope, love, and faith in You with those around me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

All Sufficiency

God’s grace is an amazing gift.  2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us that God’s grace gives us all sufficiency…in all things…at all times.  All is a big concept in a little word.  All or nothing is rarely true – it IS true when talking about God.  Only God can be that consistent. 

When times are tough it can feel like we don’t have enough.  Worry and fear set in and we don’t respond well or do well in trials.  I want to live this verse especially in the next week as I have pre-op appointments and surgery.  There will be plenty of challenges, but my God is bigger than the challenges and my fervent prayer is that God’s name will be glorified through my life. 

Dear Heavenly Father, please show Yourself strong in the upcoming week.  I want to see and show others that Your grace will give all sufficiency in all things at all times.  I know You will as I give my circumstances to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Little Gifts, Big Rewards

“To the great mind, nothing is little.” – Sherlock Holmes

Every week since I shared my diagnosis of DCIS, I have received cards, text messages, and other encouragement from friends.  While the big gifts are very nice (I received a large gift basket from coworkers), I also enjoy the “little” things.  I have received several cards of encouragement from friends.  I am working on how to post them at home.  I am running out of room.

I think we focus too much on the bigger things.  When we are able to work together, we can come up with bigger gifts.  Not everyone is able to do that.  Each person who has put the time to send me a card has put effort into encouraging me.  I get to re-live the encouragement every time I see the cards. 

If you have the chance, please consider giving a “little gift” for someone who might be in need.  It might make their day.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many gifts You have sent my way. Thank You for the people who took time to encourage me.  Please help me to do the same for others.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

So Many Choices

Two weeks ago, I talked about the many things outside of our control.  Today I want to focus on what is within our control.  We have many choices to make and the Bible tells us that there are natural consequences to our choices. Galatians 6:7-8 reminds us that fleshly choices bring what is bad.  Choices made with the Holy Spirit’s help bring eternal good.

Bad choices come easily to our sin nature.  However, we can have hope that God will take care of us and direct us towards good choices.  We still need to allow God to lead.  I think too often Christians assume they are doing what is right without allowing the Holy Spirit to lead.  My friend, please make sure God is leading you.

Dear Heavenly Father, we struggle with the choices we do have.  Please guide us to the right choices for Your honor and glory.

I pray this in Jesus name.

God is so good.

Happy Joyful Noise

Has 2020 been an easy year to sing praise and be thankful?  I have often found it difficult.  It is too easy to fall into complaining.  That is why I wanted to spend extra time expressing gratitude this month.  The Bible often tells us to be glad and rejoice. Even when there is a difficult time, there is reason to praise God.  God would not have asked us to praise Him if there was not.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the Bible with reminders to be joyful.  I want to serve You with gladness and to sing in Your presence.  You are so good!

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving

I find it sad that few people know the story of the Pilgrims sailing to Massachusetts in 1620 on the Mayflower.  They had a very difficult 2 month journey from England.  The Pilgrims left England, because they were not allowed to worship as they believed God wanted them to.  When they arrived in Massachusetts they had to face a tough winter.  Over half of the original 102 passengers died.  That spring they had help from the Wampanoag tribe to plant crops.  The harvest of 1621 was a good one.  They invited the Wampanoag to join them in celebration and thankfulness to God for His provision.

We don’t have recorded transcripts from their conversations, but it is known that the Pilgrims practiced thankfulness on a regular basis.  I think they might have read Psalm 9.  This psalm talks about God’s provision during tough times.  

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the example of the Pilgrims. Thank you that they spent time regularly declaring thanksgiving. Please help me to follow their example.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Hesed – Steadfast Love

Today I am thankful for God’s steadfast love.  In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Hebrew word is hesed.  It is an interesting study.  Sometimes it is translated mercy, kindness, goodness.  The point is that God has offered such great love that does not waver.  I cannot even begin to describe it in a short blog post.  Please know that God is very good.  He is loving.  He has given the most loving gift possible in the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sin.  I pray if you don’t know Jesus that you will soon.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of your steadfast love.  I know am unworthy, but You chose to love me anyway.  Please help me to live in a way that shows this same love to others.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.