Be My Shelter.

Dear Lord,

I come to you today feeling empty and alone.  I cannot put into words how I feel, but I know you know the feelings I am struggling with.

You tell us that you will never leave us, and I believe you.  You are there for us no matter the time or the situation.  But please help me to feel your presence during these times of loneliness.  I ask you to be near me and to take control of those feelings that consume me.

Please by my shelter during these times of storms; walk beside me as I wonder down this road.  Give me strength, Dear Lord, to carry on even when I’m down.

I ask you to also touch the hearts of others who may be struggling with loneliness.  For we know that you have unfailing love.  Allow us to use your love to love others.

In your name I pray,
Amen.

Advertisements

Lord, Give Them…

Dear Lord,

I pray for the families, near and far, who have lost loved ones over this past week.  They are suffering from pain that many cannot relate to until they go through it themselves.  Allow these families to face each new day with new hope.  Allow their memories to be joyful and a place where they can find solace.

Help them keep sight of all the wonders that you do; even when those wonders are hard to see at times.  Grant those who are struggling with understanding different events with clarity.  Allow them to see the work of your hands.

Give those who are weary rest.  Help them to find joy in You, for your joy will become their strength.  Allow them to trust in you as they begin the healing process.  Give them peace, hope and joy.

May these families sense your presence with them as they begin this new journey.

In Your name I pray,
Amen.

Give It Up.

Dear Lord,

Today, I am lifting up to you those individuals who are suffering in different aspects in their life.  I ask that you be our comforter in our time of need.

It’s during times like these that we are impaled with thorns and it feels like we will never fully heal.  It feels like day after day, we get stuck with a thorn.  However, you bore the cross wearing a crown of thorns.  You suffered greater pain than we ever will in this lifetime and for that we are grateful.  You wore that crown so that you could withhold the thorns in our life.

Even though we may be suffering loss, your loss was greater.  You gave your life so that we may live a life full of unfailing love and forgiveness through you.  You will give us a new life within you; one where pain and suffering does not exist.

Grant us the strength and courage to throw ourselves upon your mercy and give up our sufferings to you.  You know how much we can handle and you allow us to unite the rest with the sufferings that you have endured.

Allow us to trust in you no matter what suffering may come our way.

In your name we pray,
Amen.

By My Side.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today, my heart is heavy.  I am beginning to feel a new sense of loneliness and I have begun to feel overwhelmed.  I need you.  I need you every day but especially today.

I ask that you be by my side and to help me to feel your presence and allow it to fill me up until I am content.

I will begin to miss that human touch, the sincere hugs, the better half of me that I can have conversation with and the calming voice saying that it is all going to be alright.  I am asking you to place your hand on my shoulders, embrace me and calm my fears as I walk the next five days without my husband by my side.

I know you will never leave me nor forsake me, but the human feelings overtake what I know in my heart, soul and mind.  I know that you have sent your love and peace towards me, but help me to feel it in my soul.  Help me to not be consumed with sadness but instead, allow me to keep busy and accomplish tasks that need to be done and find happiness within them.

Allow this time to be a time for personal growth in faith as well as in each other.  Circumstances are not ideal but we know that it is what needs to be done; his duty has called.

Please stay with us Lord, as we embark on this journey.  Allow us to get a taste of how You will continue to be by our side.  Allow us to learn how to handle times away, especially when he is required to leave for weeks at a time.  Allow us to feel your presence and allow us to understand that we are never alone.

In your name I pray,
Amen.

My hero is my supporter, my comforter, my best friend, my husband.

Break Free.

Dear Lord,

I come to you on behalf of those who cannot find the strength, those who are struggling to find the courage, or those who are struggling to find the words.

There are people in this world that are struggling with addiction.  There are so many different avenues for this wicked disease to take and it may take victims by surprise.  For some, it has a strong hold and they cannot break free.

We pray that you are able to come into their lives and be able to help heal them.  We pray that you are also able to show them your light so that they may come to know you and understand all of the wonders that you have done for us.

Give them hope as they may struggle with sobriety and the challenges that come with beating addiction.  Give them strength in moments when they may be fearful, experiencing grief, having anxieties, or become resentful.

Allow them to hear your call and to follow your way, Oh Lord.  Fill their hearts with your word for your word is life.

In your name I pray,

Amen.

Honesty Is Key.

They say that honesty is the key to happiness.  However, being honest is the hardest thing to do; especially when we fear judgment.  We are so scared of what others think of us that we tend to hide who we really are and conform ourselves into some one who we aren’t.

We being to talk like the people we are around, we tend to drop hobbies that we once loved and pick up ones that we can do with our friends/significant others instead and some of us may go as far as to dress like those around us so we blend in stead of stick out.

I wish I could say that I haven’t done this, but I have.  High school is a time where people are trying to find their own personality.  You go through cliques as fast as you go through outfits in a week.  You try to find that group that compliments your personality while introducing you to new and exciting things.

Moving onto college, you now have a sense of who you were, but you feel it’s time for a change.  You begin to drop the “best friends” you had in high school and start a search for a new crowd.  Once again, you find a new group of friends that reflect who you think you would like to become.  You are on your own and branch out to find a lifestyle contrary to your upbringing.  You experiment, you test, and you push your limits.  But those friends you’ve made are by your side every step of the way… until you need them.  Then they are nowhere to be found.

Graduating college, you see that who you have been in the past really isn’t you at all.  You make a list of the qualities that you feel you should have; honesty, patience, understanding, accountability, a high self-image, etc.  Not to mention goals that you may have set; full-time job that uses your degree, get married by 23, have your first child by 24-25, buy a house at 26, have a second child at 27, so on and so forth.

That last paragraph is the timeline I had set in my mind.  Those were the ages I felt that I had to have things done, and I WAS going to achieve it no matter what.

I started out on a path that I can only view now as a sign from God.  I settled for a job in gas station management.  I justified the use of my degree since I did “some” financial work as well as daily paperwork.  I then started dating a young man who changed me in every sense.  I stopped all of the hobbies I enjoyed (reading, being outside, being on the farm, etc) and picked up his “hobbies” (sleeping in until 11:00 AM, playing video/computer games, watching countless hours of TV, etc)  We didn’t attend church much together.  I either went alone or not at all.  He had become a road block to my growth in faith.

It evolved into a form of emotional and mental abuse.  I was ‘trained’ to apologize for anything that was out of line, I was told to dress in loose-fitting clothes because I didn’t have the “body” for anything more than a pair of jeans 2 sizes too big and an XL tee-shirt or sweatshirt hanging off my petite frame.

I felt like my “timeline” would be destroyed if I didn’t settle.  So, when he proposed, I said yes.  But in the pit of my stomach and in the back of my mind, I knew this wasn’t right.  I wasn’t being honest with myself with what I wanted out of this life.

I read in 1 Peter 3:10-12 “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.  They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  It was then I knew that I had to start being honest with myself and with this significant other and begin finding my true path.

After the relationship ended, I spent months working on myself.  I stayed close with only a couple of friends who had been there to help me through my struggles.  I set personal goals for myself; get rid of the too big clothes and unpack the clothes that fit, begin going to church again and start to grow in my faith, find a real job that used my degree and wasn’t in the gas station world, and find a life mate.

I began building and repairing myself.  I began by repairing my relationship with the Lord.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.'” ~Jeremiah 29:11
But how could I embark on these plans when I wasn’t allowing Him in for so long?  If I was going to turn my life around, I needed to have Him be the biggest part of it.

It didn’t take long before things started to look up.  The only thing that I hadn’t worked on was a relationship with anyone.  I felt that before I could expect anyone to love me, I had to love myself 100%.

It didn’t take long for me to see that I was never going to be able to honestly love myself wholly. There were always going to be little things I wished I could change or things that I could improve on.  That’s why we are given our soul mates, so they can love every imperfection that we have, so that they can build us up and help us grow and heal, and so that we can return the favor by loving them wholly and unconditionally.

I was so focused on myself that I’m not sure how many opportunities had passed in front of my face; but I was ok with that.  I was growing frustrated that I had put in so much time and effort but yet my search was coming up dry.

I threw up a “Why me, God?  Why allow me to completely turn my life around but yet you still don’t have anyone for me!  Why?!” prayer one day at work.  I was brought to tears of frustration as I had been honest with myself for the first time in years and it felt like now I wasn’t good enough.  Within seconds, there was a rapid knock at the door – 3 knocks to be exact.

I opened the door and saw a glimpse of my future.  That man standing at the door with a surprised look and grin on his face gave me a sliver of hope.  Maybe, just maybe, I was good enough for someone.

It took a couple of months before we were able to begin a journey down a new path.  But, it didn’t take long for God to show us that he had been saving us for each other.  Everything just seemed to fit together too perfectly.  Our stories leading up to our relationship were much too similar; a lot of the same feelings, emotions, and experiences.  We knew what we wanted for ourselves and what we wanted in a partner.

If we were going to make this work, we needed honesty.  That’s all we gave.

We are now happily married 11 months later and loving every minute of it.  We have no one other than God to thank for that.  Without Him playing an active role in both of our lives, none of this would have happened.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Rebuilding.

Heavenly Father,

We live in a world where it is all too easy to become the center of attention; even if we don’t want it.  There are situations on the Earth that happen and we don’t understand why.

In those times, it may feel like we want to just give up.  We become so overwhelmed with human emotion that we reach a point where we can no longer carry ourselves.  We ask that in those moments, you are there to help carry us.

Your gentle hand gives us a breath of fresh air and helps us keep focus on you and your wondrous works.  You offer us solutions and help us adapt to the changes in our lives or our surroundings.

You offer us a sense of peace in the midst of chaos.  We have breakthroughs instead of breakdowns.  You heal us just when we feel as if we have been completely broken.

Today, I lift one particular family up to you in our prayers.  For you know how broken-down and weary they are.  I just ask that you continue to do your work in them as they continue this difficult journey that they are on.  Offer them guidance and clarity on the struggles that they are facing.  Continue to give them faith not only in You, but in themselves as well as each other.  Do not let them give up; carry them.  Turn their foundation from cracked and crumbled limestone into a foundation held sturdy with you as the cornerstone.

Give the members of this community the strength to not slander when they do not know the struggles.  You tell us in 1 Peter to build up one another instead of knocking each other down.  Help us to build up this family instead of knocking them down with words and actions.  If you are for us, who can be against?

Lord, we ask that you continue to give us direction and the strength to continue down paths that are pleasing to you.

In your name we pray,

Amen.

Organized Chaos.

Heavenly Father,

You tell us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

However, we have not been good about sending our requests in God’s directions.  We feel that we can handle Earthly things on our own and tend to get ourselves in deeper than intended.

We ask that you give us your grace so that we are able to relax and get rid of the anxiousness.  We lift our petitions towards you and allow you to take control of the things in our lives that we have no control over.  Bring order to the different areas of chaos, bring beauty into ugly situations, heal those who are grieving, allow us to forgive those who have offended us, bring a sense of content and calm among those who have jealousy and envy, and bring sanity to us who are wandering around confused.

We ask that you continue to give us wisdom, knowledge and strength to handle the situations that we do have control over.  Allow us to handle them with your level of understanding and love.  For it is through those traits that we will be able to minister to those who may need you at the point in their life.

We ask that you continue to be with us today, Lord.  Calm our fears, fill our hearts with love, and encourage us to embrace one another.

In your name we pray,
Amen.

Be My Guide.

Heavenly Father,

I come to you today knowing that, as a human, I have my flaws and my limits.  There are things that just do not come naturally to me.

Help me to be able to place all my insecurities in you and allow you to show me the way.

Show me how to be slow to anger and be filled with love. Allow me to gain patience and understanding.  Allow me to have love, peace, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and compassion towards others.  For I am to be a living example of you.

May you prepare me to be forgiving – not only towards others but towards myself as well.  For I do not know the struggles of someone other than myself, but grant me the courage to pray for their healing.

While I may struggle with these things at times, I ask that You place Your guiding hands upon my broken shoulders and show me Your way.

I’m asking you to guide me because I know I cannot do this alone, for surely my feet will fail.

In your name I pray,

Amen

We’re On Our Knees, Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We know that the challenges and the trials of this Earth can become overwhelming.  Often times we get so caught up in our Earthly life that we tend to forget that you were the one that created this Earth, the one who created our lives.

We are grateful that whenever we do lift our troubles up to you, that you hear us and deliver us out of those troubles.  You give us a sense of peace, happiness, and joy.  Thank you for calming the waters when we feel like we have been left out at sea during a storm.

Lord, you carry our burdens when the load becomes too tough.  You bring rest upon our souls.  Today, we lift up those who feel weary, doubted, defeated, or sad.  Even though they may be surrounded by rough waters, you will calm the storm and you will relieve them of their pains.  Please give them a peace of mind and declare that their hearts will no longer be pained.  Remind us that even though we struggle, you have also struggled.  For you were betrayed by your followers, you were tortured, and you were crucified for us.

Jesus, we ask that you replace any feelings of doubt with assurance, sorrow with joy, weariness with enthusiasm, and defeat with victory.  Allow those feelings to help us focus on Your blessings in our lives.  Help us to not become conformed to this Earthly life but transform us by renewing our minds and our spirits.

Allow us to put on your armor as we prepare to face the battles and the feelings that are headed our way the rest of this week.

In Your name we pray,

Amen.