The author collected topics for confession from Ash Wednesday services and then wrote prayers based on Scripture. Each day has a prayer of confession for a different topic with Sundays offering a prayer of praise.
When God created the earth, the seventh 'day' was allocated for rest. The 10 commandments specify that we should keep one day holy by not doing any work. With the pressures of today, this becomes a difficult command to obey. The question is, do we trust God enough to stop working and enjoy the day of rest we were given?
We are in the season of Epiphany, which comes between Christmas and the beginning of Lent. This year, Lent begins on February 22, 2023. If you do observe Lent, these prayers may enhance your practice. If you haven't "done Lent" before, it is an easy way to get started. These prayers of confession are taken from Scripture, and cover many of the challenges that confront us daily. After six weeks, we will be ready to joyously celebrate our Lord's victory over sin and death.
As we come to the end of the Lenten season and celebrate the wonders of Easter, we can offer this prayer of praise. As we have looked at our lives and discovered those areas where we need to make changes, we can sense our need for God's mercy and grace. We thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, but even more, the power of the resurrection, victory over death and the grave. We have so much to praise God for.
Did you know that Sundays are not counted in the 40 days of Lent? Why? Because Sunday always is resurrection. So, we give God our thanks and our praise on Sundays. It is a wonderful time to remember all the amazing blessings we have as children of God.
Recently, I was summoned for jury duty in criminal court. As I looked at the defendants, all men in these cases, I couldn't help but wonder what influences or lack thereof had resulted in their being in that courtroom. Today's prayer of confession concerns the sin of self-indulgence. We like to take care of ourselves first, to be comfortable, to say what we feel, even at the expense of others. When this becomes a pattern, we feel entitled. With entitlement comes the expectation that we are the only important ones in the world. Others are expendable, and if carried too far, we end up in court. If we don't face a court here on earth, we certainly will face God's court in the future. Let's keep our perspectives clear.
The people of Ukraine were just like us a few weeks ago. They had homes, families, jobs, education for the children. Then suddenly their world turns upside down. Millions are now refugees, separated from husbands and fathers. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Our response today may influence how others respond to our needs one day. We are not immune to disaster. So, let us show compassion to the poor since we can do something. LORD, forgive us our apathy and inaction.
I have burned out several times. On one such occasion, a doctor told me, among other things, to be sure to rest at least one day a week. I needed to do something completely different on that day, get away from my routine. That advice sounded familiar. The Bible teaches we need a day of rest. We were made to need it, but how often do we fail to take it? Let's not cheat ourselves out of a great blessing.
We like to think we are good people, doing our best in the midst of challenges. But are we? Or are we fooling ourselves? Do we hope God won't notice when we say we are innocent, but know we are guilty? Will God overlook that lie or lustful thought or angry response or the claim that we are self-made? Our pride gets us into all kinds of trouble, so now is a good time to confess our misdeeds, ask for forgiveness and prepare our hearts for the celebration of Easter.
I find myself looking back on my youth and wondering why I did certain things. There's a country song that says "I knew what I was doin', but what was I thinkin/" Some of those memories come back to haunt me, often at night. How do we get rid of those thoughts? How do we get forgiven? God tells us it is in Repentence and Returning to our LORD. The good news is, we can come again and again and we are always welcome. Prayers of Confession for Lent offers an opportunity each day, for 40 days, to come and find forgiveness.
These days, we seem to hold our opinions so tightly that we can't even stand to hear when someone disagrees with us. We quickly resort to violence and hatred instead of extending grace to others. We have received God's grace and forgiveness, why are we unwilling to offer the same to others? We have much to repent for and Lent is a wonderful season to begin that process.
We live busy lives, and if we aren't careful, years will slip by without an evaluation. Lent is a great time to take a few moments to consider how life is going for you. Are you fulfilled? Do you find joy in your faith and life? Are you worried or anxious? The prayers offered in Prayers of Confession for Lent focus on one aspect of life for each of the 40 days. As you reflect on the topic, you can determine if you need to make changes or you are doing well in that area. "The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates.
I used to find Lent challenging because I didn't have a structure for this sacred time. At Ash Wednesday services, the minister reads off lists of sins we need to confess. I felt these lists needed more consideration, so I wrote Prayers of Confession for Lent. Each day, I took a different topic and found some Scripture that addresses it. Then I turned those verses into prayers. There are prayers for each of the 40 days of Lent and prayers of praise on Sundays.
We face many issues in our world today that we don’t really know how to pray for: addictions, illness, depression, loss, leadership, refugees and persecuted communities, natural disasters, racism, sexual abuse as well as violence and terrorism. This book aims to offer prayers based on scripture for these issues, praying God’s Word.
We have returning leaders at state and federal level that need our prayers. There are new legislators arriving and finding their feet in their new posts. We need to pray for honesty, faithfulness, and care for those they serve. Can we make a difference? YES! Our God is BIG and can solve BIG problems. So, let's regularly take our petitions on behalf of our leaders to our powerful, loving God.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, so I have included a prayer for healing. We need to "unblind" our eyes to this heinous problem. We must pray for those caught up in this practice, whether victims or perpetrators. Sometimes we think of prayer as a last resort when it should be our first. Prayer is powerful, and God is concerned about each person. Let us join with God to pray for rescue, healing and restoration.
In the Christmas season, as we enjoy special meals and treats, there are thousands of people starving. I'm particularly aware of the famine in East Africa since I lived there for many years. Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Kenya are all affected. Less than 50% of the money needed for aid has been promised. What do parents tell their starving children? So, while we feast, let's pray for provision for those in dire need.
In this 3rd week of Advent, the focus is on Love. We want to show our love to friends and family by sending Christmas cards and buying gifts, making special foods, and getting together. It is also a time of giving, a time of compassion for those in need. We need to show our trust and faith in God by living out our love by what we do.
The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are chaotic at best. There are presents to buy and food to prepare, travel plans to make, parties to attend. It's easy to lose focus on what is really important - like love, joy, peace, hope, giving,. The LORD is our refuge and strength, always ready to help us when life spins out of control.
In my home area, an organization has started a safe house for underage girls rescued from sex trafficking. Hard to think about, isn't it? What if your daughter was lured into that situation? How do we pray for an incident where a man pretends to be a teenager on the internet, and then convinces a 15-year old girl into revealing where she is. He then goes across the country to meet her, kills her family and burns their house. How do we pray about that? The Scriptures give us words, even for these unthinkable situations. We have a powerful God and we need to pray BIG prayers for our broken world.
We have many things for which to be grateful. Even when times are challenging and inflation is high. But we also know that many are struggling with intractable problems and need a helping hand. That help may be food or shelter and may include justice, freedom, or restoration. So in this season of Thanksgiving, let's consider our blessings and how we can be a blessing to others.
I have been house-bound with various illnesses for the past two months. It has given me greater sympathy for others who are suffering and facing discouragement and loneliness. This has been a time for me to trust God in new ways and to experience God's loving presence. So, this is an appropriate prayer for those you know who are suffering. And God will do more than we would ever dare to ask or imagine.
We've had a chance to vote for our preferred candidates. Now it is time for those elected to get to work. As the Bible says in Matthew 12:25, a house divided against itself will not stand. We need to pray fervently for the peace of our cities, our country and our world.
We grieve with the people of Puerto Rico, Florida and South Carolina as they've recently experienced the ravages of these powerful storms. Homes and businesses lost, lives lost, survivors whose lives are upended. We can make financial contributions, but we also need to pray. But what can we say? Praying for BIG Things offers a beginning for our prayers - words from Scripture so we pray God's own words back to him. How can we go wrong?
Do you want people to be nicer? More open to new ideas? More kind? More centered on God? Do we want to be more like Christ? We are called by God to be children of light. Let's pray that we and our neighbors will be more open to the Spirit, open to the truth, using helpful speech, showing kindness and forgiving each other as God has forgiven us.
Do you feel helpless in the face of floods, fires, drought, famine, war? It all seems too much to bear, and it is very easy to fall into despair. Using God's own Word, we pray for those facing despair - others or ourselves. We need hope to get through times of trouble, and that is what God offers in abundance. As the all-powerful God, there is nothing he can't overcome. What's more, God's forgiveness is unlimited. Yes, even in times of trial, we can have hope.
Our prayers are often about our own needs and concerns. But we need to be faithfully praying for our pastors and other church leaders. They are people just like we are, with problems, conflicts, ailments, and the burden of shepherding God's people. Let's not forget to pray faithfully and thoughtfully for these men and women of God.
Floods destroyed lives and property in eastern Kentucky. Famine haunts the people of northeast Africa. Ukraine is in chaos. Maybe your life is in chaos as well. How do we pray for ourselves, for others who find themselves in hopeless, anxious circumstances? Praying for BIG Things helps guide us using Scriptures as the basis of our prayers. What more can we do than pray God's words back to him?
For several years, I've traveled to Africa to teach on a course. As I'm leaving, I often see many young African women dressed in hijabs on their way to the Middle East. I don't know what they've been promised, but I often wonder what will happen to these innocent young women. From stories I've heard in the past, they may experience some serious difficulties. Will they be allowed to return home if they so choose? I've overheard the immigration officer question if the woman actually wants to go. Most say "yes". Hopefully all will be well. For those caught up in something more sinister, let's pray.
When we are blessed to live in a country where we can choose our leaders, we need to take that opportunity seriously. But in every case, we can pray for our leaders, that they will choose life so that the people they lead will live and prosper. May our leaders choose to obey God and firmly commit themselves to following God's commands, for this is the key to life.
Russia attacked one of the world's food baskets, the Ukraine. Now we see shortages of food impacting many, many people.In addition, climate change has meant less rainfall in many areas of the world, resulting in food insecurity. These events are largely out of our control or the control of the people facing the challenges. But there is One who is still in control, and we offer our prayers to God. We pray for provision and even more for hope.
God wants the best for us. But to find God's best, we need to give up some of our deeply held, but still sinful beliefs. We are broken people, but we want to think we are perfect,. We lie to ourselves and to God. It is time to stop and confess so that we can live out the way of Christ.
Decisions are made that we don't agree with. Those we choose as leaders sometimes make laws or decisions that make us angry. How do we respond? Do we send wrath-filled letters or emails? Do we forget God's command to show respect and obedience toward those in authority? We need to be gentle and show courtesy to everyone, even those with whom we disagree. In this way, we can set an example of good behavior that will honor God. We have choices. Let's make good ones.
I like to be in control and have everything go according to my plan. How about you? I suspect we all have these feelings at least on occasion. But we soon discover that we are not in control and it seems our worlds are just running wild. Chaos and confusion are everywhere. But today's prayer reminds us that whatever things may look like here, God is in control and God's purposes can never be shaken. Hold on to that truth and live into it.
Someone makes us angry and immediately we want revenge. Maybe the act was intentional or perhaps not. Even so, too often we don't take the time to calm down and investigate, we just want to get them back. Our scripture today says to leave such vengeance to God. Instead, we are to be kind and gracious to our enemies. We are to conquer evil by doing good. That's a very difficult assignment. May God help us to follow the path of peace.
In this last week, the course I'm teaching on (43 staff and students) have been sent away from our booked accommodation because other customers will pay more than we can. We had paid the deposit and been promised many things. But in the end, we were told, "We can't do anything for you. Pack up your things and go wherever you can find." We had less than 24 hours. We found something for a month, but the next month is still a question mark. We want justice. God has promised justice, so we are praying for God's provision and also conviction for those who have failed to honor their promise. Where do you need God's intervention?
There are many times in our lives when we feel lonely. We may be with lots of people or we may be alone, but regardless of our situation, we are lonely. There is no one who seems to understand or is willing to listen. The person we need is waiting for us to notice his presence. We are never far from him, we are just blind to him. God is faithful and patient, waiting for us to come so he can show his love and compassion. Let's pray faithfully for those who are lonely and need to know God is present for them.
We grieve with the families and friends who lost loved ones in the recent mass shootings in NY and CA. Whatever the cause, the results for those left behind are much the same: fear, sorrow, loss, anger, emptiness, helplessness. As we pray for these experiencing loss, and for ourselves as we debate what to do, let's ask God to provide a sense of safety. Only God can calm the storms raging about us, only God can change the hearts of people filled with hate. May God bring us to a place of safety and peace.
The Supreme Court has been in focus this past week because of the pending decision on Roe vs. Wade. We need to pray for our leaders as they face complicated and challenging choices. We don't all see "justice" in the same way. But God is just and God's wisdom and authority take into account all our positions. Instead of getting anxious, angry, or self-satisfied let's do something positive and pray for God's wisdom and discernment to be given to our judges.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the western United States is experiencing the worst drought since 800 C.E. That's 1200 years! Do we just shrug our shoulders and sigh or should we DO something? Do what? PRAY. People are being affected by the lack of food. Animals suffer from lack of rain. Our God will hear our cries and answer. Let us not fail to ask.
How often do you remember to pray for your pastor? We often have high expectations for those who lead our places of worship, but we are not always so careful to pray for their welfare. The apostle Paul knew the importance of praying for the pastors and teachers he had trained. We should follow that good example.
A home recently opened near where I live to house and re-establish dignity and worth to minors rescued from sex trafficking. I'm grateful for a place like that, and for the staff who will be helping these girls. But how did we come to the place of needing a resource like this? What if one of those girls were my daughter? We have become a depraved people in so many ways. Clearly, we need to be praying for God's convicting power to change hearts, minds, and actions.
We may wonder if prayer is really effective. Have you watched the news of Ukraine? Kyiv did not fall in 3-5 days as expected.The Ukrainian army has repulsed the Russian invasion to such a degree that Russia has changed its plans. Were these events just chance? I don't think so. People prayed, and we need to continue to pray. How should we pray? We can pray for the earth to be at rest and quiet once the tyrants have been removed. Yes, God hears and answers our prayers. Let's be faithful.
In our politically divided world, we urgently need to pray for our leaders. They don't know the future any more than we do, yet they must make decisions that will affect that future. Today we pray for our leaders to realize their responsibility before God, and the importance of maintaining the high values of honesty and impartiality taught in the Scriptures. Let's pray for our leaders regularly rather than always criticising decisions with which we disagree.
As Christians, we know we should pray, but sometimes our lack of faith gets in the way. We are asking the all-powerful God of the universe for something. Why not ask BIG? So, in these days of strife, conflict, and war, we need to pray for peace. God promises our prayers, prayed in faith, will have great effect. May true peace come in our time.
As our world leaders meet in Brussels to discuss what steps to take for Ukraine, they need God's guidance. As they debate various options, they need God's wisdom, protection and fresh ideas. They need strength to carry out their resolutions, while considering the cost. Let us uphold them with our prayers.
What would you need if you suddenly had to leave your country with only one suitcase? Peace and safety would be high on my list. We are grateful for the neighboring countries who are showing compassion and care for those fleeing Russian aggression. Let's offer our prayers for those in distress that God will provide places of safety for each person. As they receive care, may they also know God's peace in the midst of their loneliness and despair.
Two million refugees have left Ukraine in the past two weeks. Our hearts go out to them. Many are sending aid to help them. But what they really want is to go home and live in safety. Somehow, amid this disaster and chaos, God has a plan. We don't see it now, but we will later. Therefore, we hold on to the promise that God is in control and that brings hope to us all. Let's join together to pray for refugees around the world, that they may soon return to their homes and live in peace.
The world watches in horror as the devastation in Ukraine continues. We feel helpless and hopeless. BUT GOD. We believe in prayer, but hardly know what to pray. That is why Praying for BIG Things is so important for today. The topics cover some of the darkest in our modern world: war, terrorism, devastation, loss, addiction, leadership. Prayers are based on Scripture, so we can pray God's own words back to him.
As we watch the disaster in Ukraine unfold, we have many feelings. We are angry, sad, sorrowful, frustrated. For the most part, few of us can actually intervene to help refugees or stop the invasion. But we have a resource more powerful than sanctions or weapons, more resourceful than The Red Cross or UNHCR. We have a powerful God who invites us to pray. This situation did not catch God by surprise. We can pray for protection, provision, for an end to fighting. We have more power than we imagine as we enter the throne room of God.
In a recent study, researchers found 75% of addicts recover and live meaningful lives. The substance causing the addiction didn't matter, alcohol or drugs. Even the severity of the addiction didn't change the statistics. The challenge was to keep the person alive long enough for the change to happen. On average, the addict needs 10 years to come to the point of health, and will likely experience multiple failures along the way. This prayer is offered to support those seeking and those who have found freedom from their addictions.
We enter a new year with our hopes and dreams for a better future. However, our worries, fears, sorrows and challenges come with us from this past year into the new one. That is why we need a prompt to remind us and those we care about to pray. Jesus told us if we ask anything in his name, he will do it. Why don't we ask? Ask the Good Shepherd to walk with you into and through 2022.
We hear about Russia massing troops on the border with Ukraine. Presidents are talking to each other, trying to find a way forward. We sit by, feeling helpless. But we are not without resources because we have a mighty God who controls this world. We can PRAY. Here is a prayer that we can pray for the people of Ukraine.
In these contentious days, some people are more apt to respond to others with whom they disagree with harsh words and angry emotions. We can get so convinced that our viewpoint is the ONLY legitimate one that we fail to listen to each other. The Bible teaches us to be respectful, gentle and courteous to everyone. Praying for BIG Things contains prayers based on Scripture to help us pray God's words back to him.
Our leaders need our prayers. We must uphold them in their difficult roles in our communities, states, countries and world. There are many pressures. Good leaders who serve the people they represent are hard to find. Those who advise them should be honest and wise. So, let's use this prayer to guide us as we pray for those who seek to lead us.
Good leadership is vital to any organization, business, or country. The success or failure, perhaps life or death, result from leaders who work together or tear each other apart. As Christians, we need to pray for unity, and that they will make a commitment to do what is best for the people being led.
In the aftermath of hurricane Ida, rescue teams are assessing the vast damage and trying to find victims. We can pray for the rescue effort, that God will give strength and success.
As we watch the horror, chaos and despair of the people of Afghanistan and other places in the world, we long to do something to bring relief, but find ourselves powerless. What we can do is pray. Here is a prayer from Praying for BIG Things, for peace and safety. There is a whole section of the book offering prayers for those who are refugees, displaced people, or migrants.
COVID-19 and the Delta variant are causing everyone to think again about how to stay safe. With schools starting back, we are concerned for the safety and welfare of our children. This prayer expresses some of those fears and asks for help from the One who can provide it.
The Still Small Voice of Love is a devotional book. It includes a brief Scripture reading in the text as well as reflections from that reading in the form of a dialogue between the Beloved and the Lover. Then there are Scriptures that reflect what the Lover (Jesus) has said and an opportunity for the reader to do their own meditation.
Life can be daunting, and so often we feel inadequate. The imposter syndrome is very real for most of us. But in this passage, we find hope. God promises us a crown of beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. We can trust in God's strength and endurance to enable us to accomplish what is before us. God will not let us down, even when we fail. God sees the big picture and invites us to be partners in bringing glory to God.
How many times do we hear our inner voice blaming, condemning, telling us how bad we are or how much we fail. Those negative messages may well be a sign that we have not chosen to live out our forgiveness in Christ. God can forgive us as we trust in Jesus. But if we continue to beat ourselves up, we are not living out our forgiveness. So, choose to live as forgiven and dearly loved children and find JOY.
Are you experiencing a time of weakness? It may be physical or emotional. It is difficult to be out of control, unable to carry on one's "normal" life. It's easy to be angry and frustrated. I'm in one of those places right now. This reflection was a good reminder to me, and perhaps to you, that God controls our times and our strength. We are called God's Beloved, not for what we do, but simply for who we are.
None of us likes to think we are sinners. We like to appear to be good people, always with the best of motives. But that isn't really us, is it? The only way to get rid of sin is to confess it and find forgiveness. Yes, it's uncomfortable, unpleasant, hard. BUT the reward is amazing. When we own our sin, then we can be forgiven, and God has forgiveness in abundance. The result of that is peace, joy, and blessing Come clean and be free.
For years I felt unworthy to belong to a loving God. I tried to be perfect, lying to myself about how "good" I was. Yet, I knew my heart and what I was really like. How could God really accept and love me? But finally grace intervened, showing me my righteousness was not based on what I did, but on Jesus' sacrifice. Now, I'm just learning bit by bit how to have a relationship with the God who loves me. My lesson was: stop trying to win God's love. Realize I already have it and enjoy it. This gift is for you as well. Stop trying and accept this precious gift.
Our goal in life, as a Christian, is to bring God joy, glory and honor. But are we missing out on that opportunity? I was, and sometimes still do. I fail to recognize my own sin and rebellion, pretending all is well. As long as I do that, I'm unable to receive forgiveness and healing. I'm cheating myself. I'm missing out on the wonderful and settling for the inevitable. My sin holds me back. My fear of letting my true heart be known to God - when God knows me completely already - prevents me from finding healing. The only one I'm fooling is me. Can you relate? Thankfully, there is hope because God is ready and willing to forgive and restore.
Why would God want me to be part of his family? I'm not that special or good. In fact, I often feel unworthy of such a position. But he delights in having each of us become part of the family of God. I believe God is even more pleased as we deepen our relationship with him and our brothers and sisters around the world. We are never alone. We always belong. It's personal and it is very real. Rejoice and be glad.
Sometimes I just get wrapped up in plans for the future or thinking about the past. The present seems to have no purpose, and yet, all we really have is the present. We have NOW. Do we want to continue as we began? Have we learned some lessons that could make life better if we changed our attitudes? Are we looking so much to the future that we forget to enjoy where we are now? I confess, I do. God is always in the present. God always loves us. I want to love back in the here and now. How about you?
What is God doing in your life? Are some old ways changing? Are you faced with challenges you don't know how to handle? Maybe God is doing something new, but you can't see what it is quite yet. Perhaps you have created a bit of a wilderness for yourself and need to find a way out. We get into bad habits and need to be reformed. When he is at work, we can be confident God is moving us for our own good. We are moving through a dry wasteland in order to be refreshed.
When I was growing up, "No" was not an answer I could give to any request made of me. It runs in the family. But as I grew older, and burned out several times, I realized I needed to learn to say "No" sometimes. But when are those times? Can I be confident that I've chosen the right ones? Staying in close touch with God is vital to understanding what belongs to me and what doesn't. God gives me permission to rest when I'm tired. He allows me to say "No" when the request fails to meet my gifts or my timeframe. Can you say "No"?
In this excerpt, there is a dialogue between the Lover (God) and the Beloved (me). As usual, I'm the doubting one, unsure of the way ahead. Ever feel like that? But God assures me that there is a plan and if I keep my eyes focused on him, I will have the help and courage that I need. How do you hear a conversation with God. Listen. When I finally get quiet and still, I find God has a great deal to say, all of which I need to hear.
Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are? I have. I feel so inadequate at times. Today's passage tells us that God didn't make a mistake in the way I was created. I have works to do that God prepared in advance just for me. Sometimes I have to be pushed out of my comfort zone to do them, but I'm gifted for those tasks. And guess what! So are you.
Are you feeling worried or anxious about what's going on in the world today? In your life? I recently saw a quote from Hannah Whitall Smith, "there are two things which are more utterly incompatible than even oil and water, and these two are trust and worry." Those words spoke to me, and I think they can speak to you. The Still Small Voice of Love offers an opportunity to reflect on the Scriptures and let the God of the Bible speak peace into our hearts. We can trust God, but we often don't really believe that. It's time for positive action.
Is one of your resolutions to spend more time in God's Word? Here is an interactive study that prompts you to listen to God and then respond to what he is saying to you. You, too, can discover his deep and abiding love for you, not only by reading what I have to say, but what God has to say to you. Try it!
Do you want to experience God's love in a new way during this Advent season? As we consider the birth of Jesus and what it cost him to leave the glory of heaven and come to earth to live as a poor carpenter, we realize the depths of his love for us. His love for me and for you. No matter our circumstances or our past, God wants us to know about and accept his generous, abundant love.
It's easy to become discouraged with politics, the pandemic, the social issues. The Still Small Voice of Love offers a different perspective, one of hope, of being loved and cared for. So, in this season, give the gift of hope to someone you care about.
During this pandemic, most of us have felt alone and afraid. We can't get out and do our normal activities, see our friends and family, or even go to work without fear of becoming sick. Today's reading assures us we are not alone. We have a loving Father who cares deeply about us. Being with him gives us both great pleasure. Enjoy a few minutes of stillness with the One who loves you best.
Are you looking for a devotional book for this season? Feeling in need of God's love and companionship, then look no further. Life is difficult these days, but God wants to assure us through the Word that we are loved and cared for. We don't need to be perfect. We don't even need to be good, just open to the One who loves us most. God is always there and always cares.
The Still Small Voice of Love is a devotional book. It includes a brief Scripture reading in the text as well as reflections from that reading in the form of a dialogue between the Beloved and the Lover. Then there are Scriptures that reflect what the Lover (Jesus) has said and an opportunity for the reader to do their own meditation.
Feeling overwhelmed? Exhausted? Too much to do, but too little time? When I get in this mindset, I realize I've taken on more than what really belongs to me. God has promised not to overload me, but I've taken on more out of guilt, external pressures, or just a failure to say "No". I need a reset. I go back to the One who loves me most to find out what is on God's list, and then let the other things fall away. Life becomes manageable once again, and my burden is lighter.
I used to worry a lot. I was anxious and fearful of many things. Then I read in Scripture that God says we shouldn't worry. But how do I stop? In my own strength, I can't stop. But putting faith in God to take care of me, as promised in this verse, I can work on that. Do I really believe God is able and willing to take care of me? Am I willing to give up control? Will I accept that things may not work out the way I want them to? Do I want to seek my kingdom or God's kingdom above all else? Sometimes worry seems easier, but is it really helping?
Sometimes I'm afraid to try something, so I say, "I can't" But what I really mean is "I won't" I won't take the risk, I won't try because I might fail. Sometimes, I can't even believe what I know to be true, like the depths of God's love for me. Are you ready to let God whisper words of love, forgiveness and grace to you? Reflecting on the Scriptures, just taking some time to listen can make all the difference. I dare you to try.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Has your life spun out of control? It seems each day can add small things, but nothing seems to go away. Then a big thing comes along and WHAM! Or maybe it is just another little thing. In either case, I feel out of control. These verses remind us that God wants us to cry out in our time of need. God has offered to be our refuge, strength, fortress in the middle of the storm. We need delivering, and our God is willing and able to do just that. Call on God today.
Ever feel stuck? In limbo? an outsider? I get like that now and then, but I've found the root of my problem. My focus has gone to other people or a problem, and I've stopped keeping my eyes on the only One that matters. I need to move forward toward what God has instructed me to do, and stop worrying about what others think of me. Ultimately, their opinion doesn't matter - only God's opinion does. Keep moving and the rest will get sorted in time. May God bring you to a place of peace.
The Apostle Peter's life often reflects my experience. At one moment, I'm bold, the next moment, I'm filled with doubt, fear and uncertainty. Like Peter after he got out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus, I start to sink. Ever feel that way? But this passage called me to reflect on God's faithfulness. As I looked back, I saw God had never abandoned me, though sometimes it felt like it. I'm reminded not to focus on my circumstances, but to keep my eyes on my Savior.
If God knows what we need before we ask him, then why ask? We believe God knows everything already, so why do I need to bring situations to his attention? I found the answer to these questions rather intriguing. God wants to share what he;'s doing with us. I think God wants to pull us out of our self-centered worlds to see the bigger picture of how all things can work together for good to those who believe. God wants us to get to know who he is and what he's up to. That's what families do. That's what friends do.Let's open our eyes and our hearts and celebrate the majesty and wonders of our God.
As long as things are going well, I'm comfortable asking God for some things. But to ask with shameless persistence? That's a whole different level for me! I don't want to make a nuisance of myself and make God angry with me or tired of me. But the parable Jesus told about the neighbor who kept bugging his friend for some bread did get what he needed. Jesus encouraged us to do the same. He uses these opportunities for growth. Let's begin to ask God for important things and see what happens. We can ask without fear and with shameless persistence.
I am my own worst enemy. I can find more ways to get in to trouble than I can find my way out of. How about you? I confess my sins, but sometimes the guilt hangs on because I don't forgive myself and fail to believe that God can forgive me. Ever feel like that? Thankfully, God is very patient and doesn't push me faster than I can go. As our reflection verses tell us, "change the way you think." Then we will know what is good, pleasing, and perfect in God's eyes.
There are many ways to be paralyzed besides physically. There is emotional paralysis, relational paralysis. In my case, I could not forgive myself for past actions and words. Then I understood from the passage mentioned here, that God wanted to free me from my paralysis. God wanted me to forgive myself and then I could be free from my past. We no longer need to sit in our self-selected cell to suffer. We can get up and walk out and live the full life God intended for us. Thanks be to God!
When I planned my life, my goals were small and simple. Even then, things fell apart fairly quickly, and I was discouraged. Then I gave God control, and while life has not been easy, it has been eventful, purposeful, and full. God and I still have places to go and things to do. But I don't fear the future. God is with me every step and nothing will ever go to waste. How about you?
How many invitations have you missed? How many times have you failed to show up, even when you accepted the invitation? When it happened to me, I was embarrassed, and apologized profusely. But when I don't show up to meet with God each day, I find myself offering excuses. "I was really busy." "I was too tired to get up in time, and now have to rush off to meet someone else." Sound familiar? God has so much to give us, if only we have time to receive it.
The LORD God, King of the Universe decided to adopt me! That is incomprehensible! And to beat it all, God wanted to do that and doing it gave him great pleasure. There's no point in trying to get God to love me more. He already does. Now, I want to do things to please him because of all the amazing deeds he has done for me. That's a very different scenario. I'm not unworthy and neither are you. We are deeply loved and valued.
We are so caught up in our physical world that we can easily forget the reality of the spiritual world. We need reminders to bring us back to our spiritual reality. Communion is one way to do this, daily Bible readings are another. The Still Small Voice of Love is a different way to interact with Scripture. The text prompts readers to interact with portions of Scripture and to listen to what God is saying to them.
In these times of masks and social distancing, we all need to feel we are loved - that someone cares what is happening to us. In this reflection we see how God receives us when we return, empty and broken. He lavishes his love on us. Then we realize, we should have come home sooner.
Most of the time, we prefer not to think about how we may have been wrong. However, the season of Lent gives us an opportunity to acknowledge our own short-comings and receive God's forgiveness. What a great time for "heart-cleaning".
In our busy lives, we often fail to show up to meet with God. God is there waiting for us, but we are too tired, under too much time-pressure or dealing with too many demands to respond. God calls us in love to come and enjoy the feast prepared for us.
Prayers from the Holy Bible for Christians to pray for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Koran specifies the type of fasting required for Muslims. But is doing without food and drink during daylight hours really what God wants? We learn in Isaiah that true fasting is giving to those in need, releasing the oppressed, and setting prisoners free. Let's pray that our Muslim friends will find the true meaning of fasting during this last week of Ramadan. Let's also consider if we should be doing some fasting of our own.
As the second week of fasting comes to an end, with two more weeks to go, we want those who are truly seeking God to find him. There is nothing we can do to earn God's favor. We are too broken, too blind to our own faults to come close. But God in his grace has made a way for us to find forgiveness. God's ways are not our ways, so we pray for open hearts and minds and that God will reveal truth to those who seek.
Remember the old saying "Actions speak louder than words"? It's true. If we show resentment, fear or hostility to those we engage, the message will be clear that we do not love them. Anger never conveys love, but it is only through love that we can truly show others the way of Christ. This prayer is offered for us to get our attitudes and actions in order so that when we converse with those who believe differently, we can communicate in love. By your love they will know to whom you belong.
Are you ready with your prayers? We cannot effectively force anyone to come to faith. Each person needs to have a personal experience with the God of the universe. Let's pray for Muslims seeking to know and hear from God during this season of fasting. May they have dreams and visions. May they see the love of Christ in Christians. May they find the confidence and assurance of eternal life and forgiveness that they are seeking. Let's pray to that end.
The Gospel = The Good News. We are unable to do anything to become right with God. We are too broken for that. The Good News is that God made a way, through Jesus, for us to gain eternal life. With great love and compassion, God sent Jesus to take our place, to die the death we deserve. Then God raised Jesus from the dead, and those who believe are no longer under the curse of sin and death. What a wonderful message for everyone to hear.
How do we respond when we see a woman with a head covering identifying her as a Muslim? Do you feel love? fear? anger? sadness? God clearly tells Christians that we should love those around us. We are to be at peace with our neighbors. Our prayer focus for this day during Ramadan is to pray about our attitudes. God says they will know we are Christians by our love. May God help us to express his love to all those around us.
When we love people, we want the best for them. Fear can keep us apart. Prayer can bring us together. As Christians, we can support our Muslim neighbors by praying for God to speak to them during the season of Ramadan. They are praying for that. Let's join them so that they can be open to hearing of God's love and grace for them.
Are you aware that during the month of Ramadan Muslims are seeking to hear from God? Yes, they are also obeying one of the 5 pillars of Islam. Having lived in a predominantly Muslim country for many years, I wanted to find a way to pray for my Muslim friends during this season. Prayers of Faith and Hope was written to help guide us in this endeavor. Join me this season to pray for Muslims around the world.
Having lived for 20 years in the Sudan, I came to love and respect many Muslims. I've shared Ramadan fatuur (breakfast) during the month of fasting, and have enjoyed wonderful hospitality. It is a difficult month, especially with temperatures over 100°F. As a Christian, I wanted to pray for my friends while they are fasting, and so wrote this book of prayers to stand with them. While our beliefs differ, we can still support one another.
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