Monday, December 26, 2005
There will be no more Prayer Pals until after the New Year. Please feel free to re-read past Prayer Pals from my archives.
My verse for the Prayer Pal Ministry next year is:
Jesus said, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
It is my prayer that through the Prayer Pal, I will be a witness in my community, country and the whole world! If you have been blessed by the Prayer Pal, please place a comment on my blog and tell me where in the world you are reading. I would love to know how far reaching this ministry is.
Merry Christmas with love from The Prayer Pal.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Father in Heaven~
Your extravagant love is amazing! It’s a wonder that You love a worthless, wicked world so much that You gave us Your One and Only dear Son. He is all we really need this Christmas!
Today I open my hands and gratefully receive the incredible, indescribable gift sent personally to me from heaven. Claiming this costly cargo saved my life. Sunken in the scratchy sack of straw is Your sweet Son, my Savior
I opened the door and brought You into the dingy, dark, dismal room in my heart. You came in to my mixed up, messed up life and promised to stay there with me forever. Wretched, naked, and poor, You lovingly chose, adopted, and accepted me. I became Your dearly beloved child. You bathed me in the fragrant fountain of forgiveness, washing away every blemish and blot until I sparkled with beauty. You gave me an elegant robe of righteousness to cover my shame. You cleared the clutter from the messed up room in my mind, and lavished me with good and perfect gifts.
Joyfully, I received the Good News that a room is reserved for me in Your heavenly home where, as an heir, I will live and worship You forever. It is paid for in full, guaranteed by your rich redeeming grace. This Christmas I will celebrate my abundant, everlasting life with You.
Realizing the extent of Your excessive love, I can’t help but explode with excitement! When I exhibit the manger on the mantle of my mind year round, I will remember to eagerly extend the extreme gift of grace to an imperfect, immoral and impious world. With the Star of Heaven hovering over my heart, every day will be Christmas. You will be glorified in heaven on high and I will demonstrate peace on earth good will toward men. Wise and wondering people will follow the Light, find the Savior, and worship You.
Thank You Father, for giving me Your Son! He is all I ever need and it is through Him I pray. Amen.
I hope the prayers from my heart resonate in your heart this Christmas. All we really need is Jesus!
If you’ve never opened the door of your heart to Him, He is standing out in the cold, knocking, waiting to come in and give you all these glorious gifts. Open the door and invite Him in by praying a simple prayer: "Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. Right now I open the door and invite you to come into my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me an eternal relationship with you."
Whatever is going on in your world this Christmas, there is no greater gift you could give yourself than to receive the One who came to earth for us.
If you prayed this prayer, I would love to hear about it!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
When it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
You are an all-inspiring, all-knowing and all-wise Advisor. The depth of Your wisdom and knowledge is incomprehensible. You are always right – never wrong. In the classroom of my heart, You patiently teach me valuable life lessons repeatedly until they penetrate my brain. If I pay attention to The Book of Ancient History, I will receive the wonderful treasure of wisdom. Bound with boldness, stitched with faith, I will heed your warnings no matter how ridiculous they seem! I will remember Noah, who when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear, built an ark to save his family. How foolish he looked to the world, but in the end his reward was the richness of his life.
You will always steer me away from trouble if I will just slow down, humble myself and listen. Your Word is my directional map to the hidden treasure. When I wander off the highway of holiness, Your commands are the compass that correct me. Your laws illuminate the way and lead me. Your instructions are the gauges that guide me. Your promises protect me on the journey.
All I really want for Christmas is the wonderful treasure of wisdom wrapped in the richness of Your Word. Open to Your intelligent insight and superb suggestions, I too will boldly choose to take the unfamiliar, alternate route trusting You as my reliable Co-Pilot. Listening to Your commands, I will avoid danger, disaster, and even death.
Following You down the highway to heaven, I will shine with the brightness of Your glory leading others on the Journey to Jesus, for Yours is wisdom, knowledge, and understanding forever. Amen.
God has graciously given you the treasure of wisdom, The Book of Ancient History, The Bible. Will you take it off the shelf, dust it off, and follow Him? It may require that you take an unfamiliar detour, but the rich reward of life will be worth it.
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of heaven.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
Holy Child of God-
I have seen Your splendor and majesty brilliantly beaming down from heaven on high. Under the glowing streams of glory is the wonderful gift of worship. In awe of Your radiant reflection, I joyfully fall on my knees in adoration to worship You in the splendor of holiness. I praise Your great and awesome name!
Rose of Bethlehem
Son of God Most High
Light of the World
Prince of Peace
Lover of My Soul
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
And, my Best Friend
You are the worthy of the best I have to offer.
Generously, I give you the tarnished gold of my life. Purify me. Remove the grime, and I will glitter and glimmer becoming incredibly valuable to You. Selflessly surrendered to You my King, I will sparkle when I sincerely worship You with a life of service.
Freely, I offer You my fragrant frankincense of faithful prayers flowing heavenward. The sweet sound of the song in my heart will be a pleasant perfume of praise to You, O Sovereign God.
Boldly, I bring to You the bitter myrrh of my brokenness. In the shining strength and splendor of Your sanctuary, You graciously accept the sacrifice of my suffering and shame, restoring my righteousness with heavenly healing.
All I really want this Christmas is to worship You with all my soul and strength like the star-guided strangers. After a long strenuous journey through darkness, I have found You in the home of my heart. Now I want to open the glowing streams of glory, take out the wonderful gift of worship, and triumphantly sing in exultation, "Glory to God, all glory in the highest." Hallelujah! Amen.
If You have found the gift of the Christ Child in your heart, will you bow down and worship him? Give Him the tarnished gold of your life. He can make it beautiful. Present him the sweet scent of your prayers and praise. Offer him the bitterness of your suffering and sorrow. Then find someone who needs the heart of Christmas and offer them the Child of Christmas.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.
O Lord, my Lord, the majesty of Your name fills the whole earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. Gazing at the night sky I see the magnificent work of Your fingers. You spoke and the heavens were made. One breath from Your mouth made millions of individual, inimitable stars. One of them shined brighter and more beautifully than all the others. It was the Bright Morning Star, blazing like a diamond in the sky. It gave brilliant light to the Magi, leading them to the Star of Heaven, the Child of Christmas. Great are You Lord and mighty in power!
All I really want this Christmas is the Star of Heaven to light up my heart. You are the light of the world. When I follow You, I will never fumble and stumble through frightening darkness. Your Word is pure illumination for my cloudy eyes. It is the dazzling ray that leads me to the Christ child. Following the radiant beam of Your holy face, I will be morally pure, patient and peaceful. Loving and serving others without complaining or arguing, I will twinkle like a star in the universe for You. Whether I’m hustling and bustling to entertain family and friends, hurrying and scurrying to buy the perfect present, or meticulously decorating and dressing my home in holiday finery, I want to sparkle like the Bright Morning Star so that others will see Jesus glowing in me this Christmas. To God be the glory for radiant gift of Light! Amen.
In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, is the Star of Heaven lighting up your heart? You may have to slow down. Entertaining friends and family is meaningless if Christ isn’t present glowing in the preparations. There is no present like the gift of Jesus. Rather than rushing to the mall, consider giving someone the gift of your time, talent or treasure. They might be more appreciative and you might be less stressed. A beautifully decorated home is dark if God’s peace and patience isn’t ablaze. Plug into the Power Source that will light you up like a beautifully bejeweled Christmas Tree, and lead others to the Treasure of Christmas.
Philippians 2: 14-16
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life.
Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
Monday, December 19, 2005
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
I see him, but not in the present time.I perceive him, but far in the distant future.A star will rise from Jacob;a scepter will emerge from Israel. NLT
Wondrous Star of Heaven-
God’s pure and perfect Light, Balaam an ancient sorcerer prophesied You1400 years before You broke through the night sky. This was not to make sorcery acceptable, but to show that You are in control, and that good can come from evil.
All I really want this Christmas is knowledge of Your Holy Book. The Bible is more than a collection of creative fables and fairytales about princes and paupers in far away places. It’s Your very word, clearly and concisely written by holy people to speak to me. It’s an incredible love story! Within it are inspiring stories about real people, majestic poetry and songs, direct messages and prophesies, and most importantly Your story of visiting earth in the Person of Jesus. Thank You for making this incredible gift available to me.
At the Living Word Academy, held in the classroom of my heart, I will begin to understand the mysteries of Your will. With the Holy Spirit as my Teacher, I will learn that You are altogether authentic, totally truthful, and really reliable. As I spend time researching and studying, I will start to comprehend Your magnificent splendor. When I’m paying attention, Your words will leap to life and light the way, answering life’s deepest and most difficult questions. With problems and pressures crushing me, I will fearfully remember Your decisions, discipline and deliverance. Reverently, I will recall Your promises, wonders, and blessings.
Full of knowledge, I will be like the Magi who knew and remembered ancient history, recognized and believed prophesy, and willingly left their familiar surroundings to follow the Wondrous Star of Heaven.
O Star of Wonder, Star of Light, Star with royal beauty bright, westward leading still proceeding, guide me to Your Perfect Light. Amen.
The Bible clearly prophesies that Christ will return to reign as King over all the earth (Revelations 22:7). Do you know and remember ancient history well enough to recognize the fulfillment of this prophesy? It’s not too late to attend the Living Word Academy. The only textbook required is Your Bible, the Living Word of God. The Teacher is the Holy Spirit. Open The Book and start studying so that you won’t miss the signs.
2 Peter: 1: 16-21
16For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again. We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes. 17And he received honor and glory from God the Father when God's glorious, majestic voice called down from heaven, "This is my beloved Son; I am fully pleased with him." 18We ourselves heard the voice when we were there with him on the holy mountain.
19Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place--until the day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves 21or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.
Friday, December 16, 2005
20An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 22All of this happened to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet:
23 "Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and he will be called Immanuel
(meaning, God is with us)."
Holy Child of Bethlehem, You were sent down from our Father in heaven to be with me today. There is no gift more impressive than immortal, invincible Immanuel, Your beautiful baby boy born to be with me. He is the glorious gift of grace and treasure of truth.
You sent this lovely package to me when I was still Your enemy. I was hateful, fearful, and prideful when You knocked on the door of my heart. Inconvenienced and irritated by the interruption, I objectionably opened the door to find Your gentle hands reaching out to give me a valuable vessel of love. The glow of the gift You extended to me extinguished the anger, arrogance and apprehension. I couldn’t resist receiving it and inviting You in to be with me.
In the living room, I cautiously opened Your container by the flickering flame in my heart. By the heat of the hearth, I received each poignant promise You offered me. You promised to live with me and be my faithful, forever Friend. You showed me that You are greater and stronger than any one or any thing I have ever known. Trustworthy and dependable, You came to defend me. With You on my side, no one could be against me! Because You live with me, all fear is gone.
Immanuel, You are with me and You are all I really want this Christmas. Since You came down from above and breathed the air that I breath, experienced the pain that plagues me, and suffered the sorrow and sin that suppresses me, You can sympathize with me. You promise to hold me up by Your mighty hand. Because You live with me, I can triumphantly face tomorrow’s tough times and tragedies.
When the decorations are dismantled, and the daily difficulties of life resume, I must not forget the valuable vessel of love I received one Christmas in the blazing fire of my heart. Daily I must cling to Immanuel, celebrating my Mighty God who will be with me until the very end of the age for it’s through His glorious gift of grace that I live and pray. Amen.
If you have received the impressive gift of immortal, invincible Immanuel, celebrate that God is with you always! Because He is with you:
- You can face suffering
- You can face devastating loss
- You can face a broken heart
- You can face financial difficulties
- You can face legal challenges
- You can face persecution
- You can face betrayal
- You can face your cross
Jesus said, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."
Thursday, December 15, 2005
36There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38Coming up to them (Mary and Joseph) at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
1 But now, this is what the LORD says …
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior …
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you …
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you
Redeeming Child of God~
I will never leave the temple of my heart! Day and night I will worship You. Ceaselessly, I will give thanks to You for Your rich redeeming grace. With Your life, You have made a hefty deposit for me in the Kingdom of Heaven. My room is paid in full and guaranteed, signed and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Blessed assurance!
Continually, I will praise You by telling everyone my story of Your redeeming love:
- You paid a high price for my freedom
- You called me by name
- I belong to You
- You will be with me through all kinds of trials, troubles and tragedies
- You are my Savior
- I am precious to You
- I am privileged
- You love me
Graciously accept God’s promised gift of redemption this Christmas. Praise Him for it by telling others what He has done for you.
13And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
16The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed.
I feel the energy and enthusiasm of the shepherds as they rushed off to find the Holy Child, Lamb of God, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. When they saw him they exploded with excitement. They could not contain the Good News! It erupted from their hearts with great force. People were amazed! Jesus Christ was born! The long awaited Messiah. The promised King. Their Redeemer and Saving Grace had been born to set them free! The greatest event in history happened right before their eyes. They witnessed a miracle. The miracle of Christmas on an ordinary night.
A tender baby in the manger of my heart
A studious boy in the temple of my heart
An intellectual man in the classroom of my heart
On the cross suffering for my heart
Resurrected to save my heart
This Child has been born in me! All I really want for Christmas is the supernatural energy and enthusiasm You gave the shepherds to go tell the Good News to all those around me! Jesus Christ is born! A miracle has happened before my eyes and I am exploding with excitement. I have seen Your shining glory and heard your gentle voice say, "Do not be afraid. I bring Good News of great joy that will be for ALL people." Holy Spirit, open ears to hear this Good News and may someone find Jesus through me this Christmas. Glory to God in the highest! Amen.
Ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of energy and enthusiasm to share the excitement of Jesus with someone this Christmas.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."
Today I received the most beautiful greeting card from You, my Father in Heaven. When I was walking through a dark valley, a brilliant array of brightness burst through the night sky, stunning me. An angel, surrounded by the radiance of Your majesty and splendor, joyfully delivered a magnificent message to me. The good news was that the promised Messiah was born in the Bethlehem of my heart to save me from my sin! My soul sings for joy because You chose to send this glad greeting to me.
All I really want for Christmas is the joy of my salvation! Because You chose and adopted me into Your royal family, a room is reversed for me in Your heavenly mansion! You will be my Father and I will be Your dearly loved child forever. You have lavished me with knowledge and wisdom, illuminating the highway to heaven where I will find joy in Your presence and eternal pleasures.
Upon arriving in the hallowed halls of heaven, You will wipe every tear from my eye. You will crown me with forgiveness, clothe me with a robe of righteousness, and cover me with the priceless jewels of Jesus, purchased with His blood. I will be made new. My heart leaps for joy at the very thought of my rich rewards.
Until I get there, I will be seized by sin, suffering and sorrow. I will be attacked by anger, anxiety, and anguish. I will be stripped by shame, stress and stupidity. I will be flogged by fear, and beaten by bitterness and boasting. I may even be shackled and sent to prison for my passionate pursuit of righteousness. In the midst of my misery, I will rejoice and give thanks to You for accomplishing Your will in my life. Singing sweet songs of salvation in my sadness, and powerfully pleading for patience during pain, I will smile when I feel like crying. Then others held hostage around me will hear my heavenly hope, their chains will come loose, and they will be saved and set free when they choose to believe.
Lord, You and You alone are my joy and delight. Your joy is my strength. No one can ever take this treasured possession from me. Please put a smile on my face that reflects the joy in my heart this Christmas because of Jesus! Amen.
This good news of great joy has been delivered to you too. You can choose to open it or put it away. What is one trial that causes you the greatest grief, excruciating pain, and deep depression? Unwrap the Word of God, write down three of Your favorite promises, remember them, and rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. Celebrate that you’ve been chosen by God to receive the good news of great joy!
Read how Paul responded to adversity in Acts 16:16-40.
Monday, December 12, 2005
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Beautiful Baby Jesus,
On a busy night in Bethlehem, You left Your throne and crown in heaven to come to earth for me. Because of the hustle and bustle of the season, there was no room for you at the village inn. No one in the crowded community recognized You as God. Rejected, You were offered the dark and dirty stable.
Not much has changed in 2000 years. We’re still too self-absorbed to notice You in our midst. Caught up in consumerism, we’re busy buying presents, baking cookies, trimming trees, and hosting parties. We’ve forgotten the reason for the season. Today, You’re rejected at the inn of our hearts, left outside in the cold dark world.
All I really want this Christmas is room in my heart for You. Please come in and warm up. Every room in this heart of mine is available to You. Some of the rooms have been tightly locked for years. Behind those dark doors that won’t budge are hurt, confusion, and sorrow. I’ve been avoiding the mess in these rooms for a long time. Cleaning and removing the rubbish is hard work. I’d rather be doing fun things like shopping, baking, decorating, and entertaining.
Today, I’m inviting you to enter those secret chambers. In the hallway of hurt, wash my wounds. Show me the hidden treasure in my pain. Soak my sorrow in Your sweet solution of comfort and love. Turn my mourning to joy. Plunge beyond the locked door of my past. Purify me in the fountain of forgiveness. In your ceaseless compassion and mercy, I will discover peace in my pain and power in my problems. In this room, I will allow You to carefully pick up the shatter pieces of my past and masterfully restore my radiance.
As long as I keep You out of these dark and dirty rooms, I am rejecting You. This Christmas, I am inviting You to enter into all of my life. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal for thy courts above. Amen.
Where do you have the Keep Out sign posted? What messy room in your life has been tightly locked for many years? This Christmas give Jesus the key and let Him in. He will clean it beautifully.
Friday, December 09, 2005
39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers."
56Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
This is a beautiful picture of blessed fellowship. Bewildered, Mary, having just received the incredible news that she would deliver Your Son, the Holy Child, into the cold dark world, ran to find an empathetic friend, Elizabeth. I can only imagine their mixed emotions, confusion and elation as they warmly greeted one another.
Elizabeth who was blessed with her own miracle wasn’t jealous that Mary’s miracle was superior. Instead, filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, she welcomed the young pregnant virgin and blessed her with encouraging words. Her baby leaped within her as she exalted You, Most High God.
Mary responded with her own magnificent blessing – even greater than Elizabeth’s! Together they worshipped, glorified and praised You for their astonishing wonders! What an amazing model they are for Christian fellowship!
All I really want this Christmas is the cherished gift of fellowship! Father, You have lovingly welcomed me into Your spiritual family. Being in Your family is the highest honor and greatest privilege. Nothing else comes close! In the protection of Your presence, we observe true humility. There, like Mary and Elizabeth, we learn to appreciate our own value in Christ and recognize our unique purpose. Secure and assure, we can gladly celebrate each other’s successes, knowing that You bless each of us in different ways at different times.
Father, I will demonstrate a tender Christmas heart when I weep with those who weep. I will show a humble Christmas mind when I rejoice in the blessings of others as though they were my own. I will lend strength to my family by seeing them for what they can be, not for what they appear to be now because I know by One gift You are making each of us perfect forever. Amen.
Who’s knocking on the door of your heart, seeking support and encouragement this Christmas? Open the door and warmly welcome them even if they look or speak different than you. Show them the warmth of Christmas love. Give them the precious gift of fellowship.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God."
38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."
45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
God of Wonders-
You never cease to amaze me with the things You do. The world was expecting the long promised King to appear with pomp and circumstances in a plush palace, born to a rich virgin princess. Instead, the Promised One came in an unadorned package to an ordinary girl with an extraordinary princess heart, in the rural countryside, far from the royal palace.
You revealed Yourself to this normal young girl who could have been my own daughter. Though she was only a child, she had faith to believe You. I can only imagine her fear when the angel appeared with the incredible news that she would give birth to the Son of God Most High. Yet she did not waiver in her faith. She simply believed that nothing was impossible for You. She humbly accepted the gift You gave her, and the responsibility that came with it. Then, she found a faithful friend and worshipped You with a joyful heart.
If You are pleased with me and want to grant my request, all I really want for Christmas is the faith of Mary to believe You. I want to recognize the no-frills, fabulous, fruitful gift of faith. When You speak to me through Bible study, prayer, friends, and circumstances I want to marvel at the mysteries of Your will. Confidently and graciously, I will accept the unembellished box believing in the beauty of its contents. With the humble faithful heart of a servant, I will accept the responsibility entrusted to me by delivering Jesus, the Holy Son of God Most High to a cold, dark, dreary world.
With a merry melody in my heart, I worship You, my adoring Heavenly Father, for offering me the fabulous, fruitful gift of faith. Amen.
Have you truly received the gift of faith? If so, the angel of God Most High has spoken to you. Deliver the Holy Child to someone this Christmas … share the Good News with a lost soul, serve someone needy, love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable, reach out and give someone Jesus.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
35Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. NLT
Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found out the great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."
Merciful and Patient Father~
As the holidays approach, many things will get under my skin and irritate me. Amid the masses of panicked shoppers, I will inevitably go insane! Belligerent bargain hunters will bowl over me. Cantankerous consumers will make me crazy with their constant complaining, and mad merchants will make me miserable. Impatient drivers will give me dirty looks and obscene gestures. In their hate and haste, they’ll steal parking spaces, and carelessly ding and dent my car. Unappreciative friends and relatives will grumble about the gift that I painstakingly selected. Ungrateful guests will grouse about the grub I serve at our holiday feast. So much to do in so little time and I, dear Lord, will need a lot of patience this Christmas!
Please leave the priceless Pearl of Patience under the Christmas tree for me. Wearing it around my neck I will remember Your infinite mercy and grace. You’re slow to anger and abounding in love. Publicly displaying the symbol of purity and perfection will remind me to love those who annoy me. Quietly, I will endure the pain they impose. Instead of responding unpleasantly, I will pray continuously. Rather than quarreling, I will be tolerant and tenderhearted. Use the irritations that get under my skin to make an unusually elegant Pearl of Patience. Let it capture the attention of greedy people and guide them to the gift of Jesus, the One and Only Pearl unmatched in beauty and splendor.
To Him who will greatly reward me in the kingdom of heaven through the priceless Pearl of Patience, be the glory in all I say and do this Christmas. Amen.
Ask God to give you the Pearl of Patience this Christmas. Wearing it, you will graciously endure irritating people and circumstances this holiday season. .
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
1Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him. NLT
3Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus' feet with it and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with fragrance. NLT
Extravagant Lord of Love,
I am excited to receive another extraordinary gift from You! Delicately wrapped in a soft blanket, exhibited in an extremely simple wooden box, was the most exceptionally expensive Jar of Jesus, Heaven Scent. It contained an unusually costly ingredient – Your life. To experience its heavenly fragrance, the elegant Jar of Jesus was delivered to a young girl with a princess heart, in a smelly stable. It became her most precious possession. Until one day, at Your exact time, the beautiful Jar of Jesus was broken to extend its sweet contents on a putrid world.
Lord, all I really want this Christmas is Your extravagant love poured onto me. Bathe my heart in Your sweet essence. Purify me with the fragrance of Your hallowed presence. Possess me with Your pleasant perfume. With Your costly cologne emptied on me, I will experience peace in my pain and power in my problems. With the sweet heart of Jesus Heaven Scent, I will exude a delightful aroma attracting others to You.
Washed in Your extravagant love, with a wonderfully white Christmas Heart, I will humbly, let down my hair. Without hesitation, I will gratefully break the bottle of my body and pour out my most precious possession for You. Selflessly serving family, friends and others this Christmas will be a pleasing act of love and worship. Any time, any place, any price, I will invest all of my life in You so that the sweet fragrance Heaven Scent, will fill my surroundings. My love and adoration will beautifully honor You as Christ the glorious new born King.
Bathe your smelly heart in the sweet essence of Jesus so that others will detect the delightful odor and be drawn to Christ the glorious new born King.
Monday, December 05, 2005
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Hope of Heaven~
You are my heart’s desire! I’m thankful for the precious, priceless, perfect gift of peace I received the hour I first believed. Accepting it placed me in a position of privilege in Your presence. Unwrapping it, I found, hidden within the package of peace, the Jewel of Jesus, my Hope of Heaven. My eyes glisten with glad tears as I gaze upon Your glory. Through the lustrous allure, I see the brilliance of Heaven coming down from the heart of God. Shining brighter than the summer sun on my soul, I’m not disappointed in the incredible gift You’ve given me! Picking it up, I place it on the platform of my heart.
With the Hope of Heaven in my heart, I can cheerfully embrace problems. Your power will give me patience to persist through the pressures of sin, suffering and sadness. Pain will purify and perfect my personality, making me a pleasing platform to display Your power and grace to a watching world.
Dear Lord, all I really want this Christmas is the Hope of Heaven sealed in my heart through love, so that others will be drawn to the Jewel of Jesus glittering me in. No matter how busy, frustrated, or tired I am this holiday season, please help me to keep smiling and respond with patience and kindness. No matter how sick, lousy, or hurt I feel, give me a cheerful heart and a desire to serve others in love. Make my heart a shimmering showcase to display the precious jewels of Your character reflected in me. Please dear Lord, let me sparkle this Christmas, so that others will see the Hope of Heaven and be blessed for Your name sake. Amen.
What a priceless gift! How will you choose to display the Hope of Heaven this Christmas?
Romans 8:17 And since we are his children, we will share his treasures--for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Friday, December 02, 2005
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Jehovah-rapha, Healing Lord,
How great You are! There is no Doctor like You in heaven or on earth! You compassionately and lovingly take care of Your patients who pursue You with all their heart. Thank You God for my heart transplant. Through intricate surgery, You made a Most Holy Place in my heart for Your Name. When my heart was open, You placed Your sacred laws in me. God, I rejoice that You will dwell there forever.
Divine Doctor, as I spend time with You this week, examine my heart. Find the diseases that are devouring me. Make a diagnosis. Open my mind to receive it with acceptance. Then, let the medication of Your glory fill my sick soul this Christmas. Breathe new life into me. Resuscitate me and I will follow Your prescription for healing:
- Humbly, I will admit that I am ill and in need of Your care.
- Prayerfully, I will ask You to wash my wounds and heal my hurts.
- Continually, I will seek Your advice by spending time in Your Word, the Holy Bible.
- Daily, I will bring my afflictions to You.
Open your heart for examination, listen and accept the diagnosis, no matter how painful, and you will receive the healing balm sent from heaven.
Deadly Diseases from A-Z
Abscess of Anger, Arrogance, Adultery, Alcoholism
Blisters of Bitterness, Boasting
Cut of Criticism, Complaining, Complacency
Disease of Death, Deceit, Divorce, Disrespect
Epidemic of Envy, Evil Tongue
Fever of Fear, Fornication
Gash of Gossip, Greed, Gluttony, Gambling
Hemorrhage of Hate, Hypocrisy, Homosexuality
Irritation of Immorality, Impatience, Idolatry, Impurity, Irreverence
Joints that ache from Jealousy, Judging
Kink of Killjoy, Knavery
Lesion of Lying, Laziness, Lack of Love, Lust
Malignancy of Murder, Misplaced Priorities
Nausea of Nagging, Nastiness
Oppression of Oblivion, Obnoxiousness, Obstinacy
Pain of Praylessness, Procrastination, Pride, Pornography
Queasiness of a Quick Temper
Rash of Rebellion, Retaliation
Sting of Sorrow, Selfishness
Toxin of Temptation
Ulcer of Unforgiveness, Ungratefulness, Unbelief
Virus of Vanity, Vengeance
Wounds of Worry, Wrong Friends, Worldly Entertainment
Yaws of Yelling
Zits of Zero Time With You
Thursday, December 01, 2005
The angel told Joseph, "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
15And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift. NLT
Luke 23: 33, 34 … they crucified him, along with the criminals. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
My Faithful Father and Friend-
You are the giver of all good and perfect gifts! Thank You for the fabulous gift of forgiveness. It arrived when I was wondering aimlessly, staring death in the face, and hell was hard on my heels. I didn’t know which way to turn. Desperately, I cried out to You for help. In Your ceaseless compassion and mercy, You heard my prayer and answered, giving me Your Son.
Laying down all the shattered pieces of my life, I knelt at the foot of the cross. There, Your precious Son shamefully hung in excruciating pain, exhausted, and asphyxiated. As the crimson blood and pure water dripped on me from His open wounds, He begged You to forgive those who drove the nails into his hands. Sadly, I was one of them! It was my sins that held Him there!
Let those Words, "Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing," penetrate the hollow of my heart and sink deep into my brain this Christmas. No matter what I’ve done in the past, I am completely forgiven. At the foot of the cross, You gently, meticulously and painstakingly picked up each devastated piece of my life and masterfully restored my lustrous allure.
All I really want this Christmas is to accept the fabulous gift of forgiveness. This present comes with a huge responsibility. If I accept it, I must give it away. Because You bought it for me with Your bruised, battered, and broken body, You expect me to pardon people who have inflicted me with pain. No hurt I endure on earth can compare to the agony of Your death on the cross.
Thank you, Father, for giving me Your Son to save me from my sin!
Since my sins have been forgiven in Your name, please empower me to pass the present of forgiveness to someone undeserving this Christmas for the honor of Your glorious name! Amen.
Because I have accepted Your gift of forgiveness, I will forgive ______________________ for the glory of Your name. Fill in the blank and obey, for it is written: "if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." Matthew 6:14
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 8: 31-36 31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
33They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"
34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
Living Word of God,
I stand in awe of You today: Jesus, Creator of the Universe, El Elyon who came down from the hallowed halls of heaven becoming fully human and yet absolutely holy to represent Your true image, the Immortal, Invisible, Almighty God.
In the beautiful box today is the blessed Belt of Truth! You sent Your Son to set me FREE!
Free from death’s grip
Free from Satan’s snare
Free from fear
Free from selfish desires
Free to be Your dearly beloved child
Free to live with You forever
Free to love and serve others
Free to bear the sweet fruit of my salvation
Free to be all that You intended me to be
The shackles of sin are gone and the Belt of Truth is on! I’m free to stand up and walk in holiness. I’m free to make right choices and spread the Gospel of Peace. I’m free to BELIEVE You! Hallelujah! I am FREE indeed!
Please dear Lord, teach me the truth and give me faith to BELIEVE so that I can walk in the freedom of the cross every day of my life. I am forever Yours because of Jesus, the One and Only Source of Truth! Amen.
Claim the gift of freedom this Christmas by removing the shackles of sin and putting on the beautiful Belt of Truth, the Word of God sent from heaven.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. NLT
Matthew 1:19, 24
Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
You are the triumphant gift of righteousness given to me with love by my Father in Heaven. Sincerely sent when I was slick, slippery and slimy from sin, it was a surprise to receive such a splendid parcel. Naked, exposed and ashamed, I eagerly opened the box.
A soft smile curled from my lips when I saw the contents. There in the unadorned, wooden box, packed in straw was the most beautiful, elegant robe made by the most famous Designer of all time, You, Jesus. No amount of money could buy such a costly coat. Instantly, I tried it on to cover my shame. Admirably, it was just the right size! A perfect fit!
All I really want for Christmas is this beautiful robe of righteousness. Clothed and unashamed, I will stand up for what is right even when it’s painfully difficult. Wearing this gorgeous garment, bought with Your priceless blood, I will show Your glistening glory, gentleness and grace to the grumpy and grouchy. Zealously zipped with love, I will forgive my foes, as You have forgiven me. Even when the pain is excruciating, I will follow Your example and exercise self-control. You are the perfect example of righteousness and You are all I want this Christmas.
Please dear Lord, allow me to receive and open the unadorned box sent from heaven. By Your grace, I will take out the beautiful Designer Robe of Righteousness, Jesus, packed in straw, and bought with blood. Wearing it with humility, I will love and serve others for the honor and glory of Your righteous name. Amen.
The unadorned package has been sent to you. Don’t let it go unnoticed and unopened. Graciously receive the robe of righteousness and humbly wear it for the glory of the One who sincerely sent it.
Monday, November 28, 2005
You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
John 14:27 Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Jesus, My Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Thank You for the precious, priceless, perfect gift of peace. It’s mine when I choose to walk hand-in-hand, day-by-day, minute-by-minute trusting You. This world gives me trouble, turmoil and tribulations, but You leave me with the pleasant present of peace to guard my heart and mind. I unwrap it by:
- Receiving it from You, my heavenly Father, who lovingly adopted and accepted me into the royal family of God, bestowing me with bountiful blessings.
- Trusting the power of the Holy Spirit, the endless ribbon that securely ties the package of peace to my heart and mind.
- Believing the Truth of Your Word, sincerely written by a devoted Father to his beloved child as a beautiful gift card.
- Accepting You, God’s own dear Son, sent directly to me from the heart of my Father to pay the ultimate price for it.
Dear Lord, all I really want this Christmas is blessed quiet and holy peace to guard my heart and mind from the swirling storms of strife surrounding me. Supported by Your love, secured to the endless power source, I just want to trust Your promises, and enjoy the precious, priceless perfect gift of peace purchased specifically for me by You, Jesus, God’s own Son. Amen.
Unwrap the gift of peace: Receive it from the Father, trust in the ribbon of the Holy Spirit, believe the Words He’s written to You, and be thankful that Jesus paid the price for it.
Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Today and every day we have so many reasons to be thankful. I would encourage you to read, reflect, and respond to 1 Chronicles 16:7-36. In this praiseworthy psalm there are four elements of Thanksgiving: remembering what God has done, telling others about it, showing God’s glory to others, and offering gifts of time, talent and treasure. If you are truly thankful your life will show it![a]
Little did I think when I was writing the Prayer Pals for the past two weeks, that they were a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Today’s Prayer Pal is a summary of them, giving glory to God’s name. It will be the last Prayer Pal until Monday, November 28th. With a thankful, reflective heart, I encourage you to ponder two points each day for the next five days. You can read the original Prayer Pals in the archives of my blog.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
1 Chronicles 16: 34-35
34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
35 Cry out, "Save us, O God our Savior;
gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
that we may glory in your praise."
Lord of Love,
I come to You with a thankful heart. You have been so good to me. Your love endures forever. With holy hands lifted heavenward, I offer a sacrifice of praise to Your holy name. You are …
- Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. I am in awe of Your fine fingers that set the moon and stars in place, and me a little lower than them to serve You here on earth. The works of Your hands overwhelm me. I marvel at Your creativity and my responsibility.
- My Rock & My Refuge, You are a perfect, powerful and prominent pinnacle of unimpeded protection. I sing a soft song in the safety of Your shelter.
- Glorious River of Life, there’s perfect peace in Your pristine presence. Thank You for gushing over me, cleansing me, quenching me, reviving me. Surrounded by a steady stream of Living Water is sensational!
- Prince of Peace, You came in shining armor to rescue me. Breathing a blessing of peace on me, You pampered my precious feet, fixing them in the fountain of forgiveness. Now I can dance joyfully to a sweet sonnet with my Savior, the Lover of my Soul.
- Adonai, You are my Magnificent Master! I will glory in serving You with wholehearted devotion and look forward to living happily ever after with You, in the rich kingdom of heaven.
- Amazing Author, Wonderful Writer, and Super Storyteller, You have written my brilliant biography. With love on my lips, I will never tire of telling the wonderful story of my dramatic rescue and recovery!
- King of Compassion, show me the harassed and helpless hordes crying for release. I will follow You and do the things I see You doing to bring glory and honor to Your name.
- Truthful King, I offer my life as a living sacrifice, fully committed and surrendered to You and the work of Your kingdom. I want to accomplish great things for You, but first, need faith to believe in Your Almighty Name.
- King of the Savior’s Smorgasbord, I celebrate the never-ending feast You offer. From the bountiful buffet, I can eat all I want and be satisfied. Redemption, riches, and relationships. Forgiveness, friends, and fellowship. Salvation, security, and sympathy. Healing, honor and a hero. Love, life and laughter.
[a]Life Application Study Bible
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
How beautiful on the mountains
I want to ascend the Most High and Holy Mountain into your pristine presence. I want to worship You on the perfect pinnacle of peace. My feet are sore and swollen from sojourning through sickness, suffering and sin. I don’t have strength to climb. If I have found favor with You, may I please have an appointment at Your Beauty Bar? I’m in dire need of a powerful pedicure!
Please pamper my precious feet! Prepare me to scale the steep slope. Soak my stinging feet in the fountain of forgiveness flowing with pure water from the wound in Your side. Scrub away all the dead sin cells. Use the buffer of Your blood to buff away the brutal bunions, burrs and blisters of bitterness. Cut away the calluses, corns and cracks that clog my cold heart. File away the filthy foot odor from the discomforting fungus of unforgiveness.
Massage my aching feet with the sweet fragrant oil of the Holy Spirit. Stimulate them until they are soft and smooth. With a silky new layer of skin, alleviated of ailments, and improved circulation, my feet will be strong enough to safely and steadily climb to the pinnacle of Your presence.
From the Most High and Holy Mountain, I will joyfully dance. I will shout the good news about how You found me and fixed my feet in the fountain of forgiveness. I will sing praise to the Prince of Peace who pampered my feet. My glad greeting will lead others to the fountain of forgiveness where they too will experience extravagant, exfoliating grace. With new heavenly souls, together, we will thankfully, joyfully celebrate our healing.
Please dear Lord, bless my beautiful feet. Shape them for service and set them on a perfect path pleasing to You, the Prince of Peace and Pamperer of my precious feet. Amen.
Make an appointment at the Beauty Bar for a Perfect Pedicure. Let the Prince of Peace pamper your feet so that you will be ready to climb into His presence. What good news has He given you to state publicly?
Monday, November 21, 2005
11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven."
Thank You for the promise of bountiful blessing when I choose to do what is right to follow You.
- The kingdom of heaven is mine!
- Great is my reward in heaven!
- Not now, but later ... eternally, forever!
I admit that I am fearful of harassment, criticism, and rejection. It frightens me to be tested, ridiculed and mocked. It scares me to be scorned, criticized, and misunderstood. I’m afraid of being spat upon and beaten. FEAR is the obstacle that hinders me from making right choices and sharing my faith.
I want to live a life pleasing to You. I desire the rich, abundant treasure You promise in heaven. It’s mine to keep forever! Breathe fresh power on me. I want to serve You, my Master, with wholehearted devotion. I want to diligently work the fields, plant the seeds, water the crop, weed the thorns, and reap the harvest for You. I want to conscientiously serve You even when the scorching summer sun is searing my soul, and the wicked winter winds are wildly whistling, "worry". I want to have the heart and resilience of beautiful Queen Esther who in the midst of her difficult circumstances said, "If I perish, I perish." (a)
I know how the story ends! If I thoroughly do my job, I will receive a fortune beyond my imagination when I arrive at my destination in the kingdom of heaven. People may think they’ve killed me, but when You call my name and I arise to claim my priceless prize, they will watch in bewildered wonder. Please give me a resilient Spirit so that I can focus on the end of the story and the riches of Your glory. Amen.
Claim the two promises: the kingdom of heaven, and a great reward. They are yours when you set aside your fears and labor for the Lord.
(a) Esther 4:16
Friday, November 18, 2005
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service.
Most High King of Heaven,
You have chosen and adopted me into Your royal family. Because You have made me righteous, I have no defects. All of my deformities were made perfect at the foot of the cross. The ashes of my sin were made into beauty. You have lavished me with wisdom and understanding to know the mysteries of Your good, pleasing and perfect will. I am qualified to serve You, my high and heavenly King.
This world is not my home. My home is in heaven. Like Daniel, I am a foreigner in an unfamiliar place. The language I speak is uncommon here. The literature I’m familiar with is unavailable. I must learn the language of my new community and adapt to their lifestyle.
You’ve brought me to these strange surroundings to spread the Good News that Your majestic kingdom is available to everyone who believes. I can only do that by earning the trust and respect of those who reside here. Give me the desire to be like Daniel. I need to go beyond the pleasant walls and protection of Your palace and immerse myself in their corrupt community. Clinging to my faith, trusting in Your power that is in me, I will infiltrate people with the truth about Your kingdom in their own language. When I clearly communicate with them, I will build bridges for them to come to You.
Please dear Lord, give me a heart to follow You beyond my perceived limitations. Give me extraordinary wisdom and knowledge to fluently learn a foreign language. Use me to connect Your kingdom in the community where I am wandering for the praise of Your glorious name. Amen.
Ask God to give you the wisdom, knowledge and courage of Daniel to boldly live out your life in your neighborhood. Find a non-church related group and begin interacting with them.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
Prince of Peace,
It’s comforting to know that no door can shut out Your presence. There is no lock strong enough to keep You out! Blessed assurance! I cherish the moment when You came, stood in the living room of my heart and spoke a blessing of peace to me.
What a joy it was to see Your mighty nail-pierced hand and feel the warmth of Your amazing love. It’s the hand that was hammered to the cross to blot out my blemishes, erase my errors and fix my flaws. It’s the hand that forever changed me and gave me new life. There is precious peace in Your pardon.
I rejoice at the sight of the spear-torn flesh in Your side. From it spewed the innocent blood that made me holy, pure, and blameless in Your sight. A fountain of water flowed from Your wound to heal me of mine. Because of Your torn flesh, nothing can separate me from You – no grief, no fault, no fear. There is peace in Your presence.
Finally, You breathed on me and filled me with Your Spirit. You empowered me to go persuade people to drop their differences and pursue friendship with You. I am required to confidently and courageously tell the life-changing story of my extreme encounter with my crucified Lord. There is peace in Your power.
Please dear Lord, come stand in the living room of my heart today. Breathe a fresh blessing of peace on me. Renew the Holy Spirit power within me and remind me of my mandatory mission. Then, I will go speak a blessing of peace to others for the praise of Your glorious kingdom. Amen.
Have you seen the nail-pierced hand and spear-torn flesh of Jesus? If so, go tell others the difference it made in Your life. It’s not optional.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
My heart is heavy this week for our Christian family. I live only a few miles from Lititz, PA where our brother, David Ludwig is suspected of murdering his girlfriend’s parents, Michael and Cathryn Borden, on Sunday morning. While I do not know either family, my heart grieves for all the shattered lives. With two teenage boys, it could be my family – but by the grace of God …I am acutely aware that none of us are immune! No matter how hard we try, our children can still make wrong choices with costly consequences.
Tonight at 7:00 there will be a prayer gathering for those affected by the weekend’s tragedy. I would encourage you to set aside that time to pray for these distraught families in your home. Both families profess to be Christians. Kara Beth was just baptized as a believer in October. The kids were homeschooled and loved by their parents and church families. Still, something went terribly, tragically wrong! The five precious Borden children, three still dependent on their parents, are suddenly orphans. The Ludwig’s must deal with the loss of their son and brother, and the consequences of his sin. 14-year old Kara Beth Borden faces the consequences of her own sin – minimally disrespect, dishonor, and disobedience resulting in the death of her parents.
Let this be a wake up call for our kids! Parents, I plead with you to take advantage of this opportunity to talk to your children about choices and consequences. Whether your kids are home-schooled, Christian-schooled, or public-schooled, they are not untouchable! It could be a matter of life or death - yours, theirs, or someone else's.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Prince of Peace,
I boldly come to the throne of grace with a heavy grief-filled heart for the hurting families of David Ludwig and Kara Beth Borden, two teens who made terrible choices resulting in tragic consequences. In their reckless rebellion they desecrated Your Most Holy Name. Merciful Father, forgive them!
Life is like a crystal ball. If it’s not handled tenderly, gracefully, and carefully it may drop and shatter into a million fragmented pieces. This week two teens played with the ball and broke it. They’ve shattered not only their lives, but the lives of their families. Gently, meticulously and painstakingly pick up each devastated piece and masterfully restore their lustrous allure. Please turn their tragic loss into triumphant victory. a
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, just like David and Kara Beth. Everyone reading this Prayer Pal at one time or another has made the choice to go his or her own way, disappointing, disobeying, and disrespecting You, our loving Father. We have intentionally made unwise and ungodly choices. b Each of us was, at one time, Your enemy. c And, anyone who has ever spoken angry, hateful words has killed. d
Graciously, You have made a way for our broken balls to be brought back through Your bruised, battered, broken body on the old rugged cross. We deserve the death penalty for our own hateful hearts, but You kindly took our punishment and died in our place so that we can truly live. That’s amazing love!
At the foot of the cross please pick up the fragile lives of Your children, shattered by tragedy. Comfort their crushed spirits with a crimson blanket of peace. Heal their hurts with the precious, priceless blood from Your wounds. Restore to them the pleasant prosperity of Your presence.
Hear my voice and be merciful to Your beloved children. Do not hide Your face from them. David and Kara Beth need Your healing grace as much as their loved ones. Please don’t turn away in anger. They are just kids who made foolish choices. The consequences will haunt them forever. Desperate and distraught, these families need You, their Prince of Peace, to come to their rescue. I am confident they will see Your goodness in the midst of their mess. Though they walk through trouble, reach out and touch them. Make Your face to shine on them and restore to them the joy of Your salvation.
God Most High, I know You have a plan to prosper and not to harm Your dearly beloved children. Your plan is bigger than I can understand. Please give these children a hope and a bright future in Your glorious and majestic kingdom. To You who saved me when I was Your enemy, be the glory and honor forever. Amen.
What has the Father asked you to do? Love a difficult person? Forgive a past hurt? Seek forgiveness? Go, share the Good News? In light of this situation, and His Holy Word, I would encourage you to obey the Father in order to avoid the consequences of disobedience, disappointment, and disrespect.
a. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
b. Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
c. Romans 5:10 When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son.
d.Matthew 5:21-22"You're familiar with the command to the ancients, "Do not murder.' 22I'm telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother "idiot!' and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell "stupid!' at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill." MSG
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus, You are the King of Compassion!
If I follow You, I can easily see what You have doing. The problem is I’m prone to wandering! I’m distracted by my own agenda. With my mind focused on finishing MY mission, I’m oblivious to the swarm surrounding me. Forgive me for my lack of compassion! Open my eyes to the lost souls entangled in the rush of life. Give me a sensitive spirit to stop and set them free. You’re not asking me to sell church. You’re asking me to:
- Teach them by the example of my peaceful lifestyle what it means to know the Shepherd and be sheltered in the safety of His arms.
- Preach the God News by telling them the story of how You rescued me from Satan’s snare and brought me to the safety of the sheepfold.
- Nurse their wounds caused by the disease of despair and sickness of sin.
Please give me a heart like Yours to teach, preach, and heal. Please fill me with fresh faith and Holy Spirit power to notice the harassed and helpless hordes crying for release. I will follow You and do the things I see You doing to bring glory and honor to Your name. Amen.
Ask God to put the name of one lost sheep on your heart and in your mind today. Begin to pray specifically for their release.
Monday, November 14, 2005
15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
I can hardly believe my ears! You promise that I will do even greater things than You did! That’s an overwhelming oath. I will go places Your feet never went. I will claim new territory for Your kingdom, captivating people for You. I will witness unbelievable miracles. How can that be? I am merely human. You are God and You are everywhere!
I’m thankful that You lay out the plan for me:
- Believe what I say is true
- Ask in my name
First, I must claim Your promise that I will do what You’ve been doing by saving lost souls. Then I must believe You when You say whatever I ask for in Your name You will do. And, finally, I need to believe that the Holy Spirit power lives in me, will never leave me, and will enable me to carry out the plan.
This sounds like a simple strategy. My Spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. Please dear Lord, give me more faith to believe and claim Your precious promises. I want nothing more than to be fully committed to You and the work of Your kingdom. I want to accomplish great things for You, but first I need faith to believe in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Are you willing to follow God’s 3-step plan to bring lost and lonely people to His kingdom? Do you believe God? Do you love him enough to obey?
Friday, November 11, 2005
Jesus, You are an Amazing Author, Wonderful Writer, and Super Storyteller. You have written the brilliant biography of my life. It’s a fantastic novel of drama, power, romance, and intrigue – all the stuff of best-selling books. I love to tell my story of Your extravagant love!
You found me in my pathetic condition and called me by name to come forward. I was crippled and bent over from humiliation, shame, and rejection. I could not stand up straight for many years. My back ached horribly. I was dirty and smelly because I could not clean myself properly. I was helpless! In Your gracious, compassionate, rich love You focused on me, and fixed me. You mysteriously cured and restored me. You washed me with Living Water and purified me.
The story doesn’t end there. It turns from a dramatic rescue, to a beautiful romance. After, You found me and fixed me, we fell passionately in love. A faithful lover, You’re true to all Your promises. You uphold me when I fall down. You lift me up when I’m weak. You supply my needs and satisfy the desires of my heart. You’re the lover of my soul. I’m deeply and eternally devoted to You. Because of Your incredible love for me I will live happily ever after in Your glorious kingdom!
I will proudly tell of the dramatic, life-changing power available to everyone who believes You. The intriguing story of my remarkable rescue and miracle makeover will lead others to Your everlasting kingdom for a touch of greatness. Please show me someone who needs to hear a marvelous love story today, and I will share mine with them for the praise of Your glory! Amen.
Spend some time today reflecting on your dramatic love story, and then share it someone who needs to hear about the extravagant love of Jesus.
Reflect on the words to the hymn I Love to Tell the Story.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Sovereign King of the Smorgasbord-
Forgive me for craving the wrong things! I think more about nourishing my body than my soul. Please fill me with so much of Jesus that I will desire nothing more. There is an endless line of hungry people right behind me if only I’d open my eyes and notice!
People are starving for something more! I have been indulging in the never-ending feast of Bread and Water without consideration of the destitute and diseased following me. They will perish without proper nourishment.
Empower me to do Your will and share the Bread of Life, Living Water, my Sweet Jesus, with the hordes of hungry and throngs of thirsty begging for something better. Let me serve them passionately, persistently, and pleasantly, making it my personal business. It’s hard work but the wages and benefits are eternal. No other employer offers an eternal life insurance policy. No other business in town offers forgiveness, redemption, and healing. No other place serves all-you-can-eat love and compassion. Only at the Savior’s Smorgasbord will people eat and be satisfied.
The hours are limited, closing time is near. I must urgently accomplish the mandatory mission to feed the multitudes by giving them Jesus. Open my eyes to see discouraged, dissatisfied, and disgusted individuals:
- Ravished for redemption, riches and relationships
- Famished for forgiveness, friends and fellowship
- Starved for salvation, security and sympathy
- Hungry for healing, honor, and a hero
- Longing for love, life and laughter
I will immediately bring them to Your Smorgasbord where they can gorge themselves with grace and be satisfied with the name of Jesus. Amen.
There’s a starving society surrounding you! You’ve been given a mission – to do the will of Jesus, feed them. Will you obey?
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
They will be called the Holy People,
the Redeemed of the LORD;
and you will be called Sought After,
the City No Longer Deserted
High and Heavenly King,
Hearing Your Holy Word thrills my heart! It stirs my soul to hear you say:
- I am chosen
- I am royal
- I am holy
- I belong to You
- I am redeemed
- I am sought after
- I am no longer abandoned
I praise You my Savior for finding me in the dark dungeon of despair. My Knight in Shining Armor, You rescued me and brought me out into the luminous light.
- I was saturated in sin when You sought me.
- I was chagrin with the crimson stain of shame when you chose me.
- In my ripped rags, you made me royal.
- My heart was hard and heavy when you made me holy.
- Deep in debt, You redeemed me, purchasing me with the precious blood of Your Son.
- I am jubilant that a broken, unbecoming being like me, would be belong to You!
To You who loved me enough to seek me, chose me, redeem me, and make me holy – be the glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
Claim your God-given identity and go in the power of the Holy Spirit on the mandatory mission to save souls!
Monday, November 07, 2005
6He alone is my rock and my salvation,
7My salvation and my honor come from God alone.
8O my people, trust in him at all times.
A Mighty Fortress is My God! A Bulwark never failing! I peacefully wait in the presence of Your upright, unmovable, unshakable shelter. In the safety of Your infinite protection, I calmly, quietly, patiently sit until the scary storms to pass.
The temptation to abandon Your safe refuge can sneak up on me as a luring whisper of doubt in my despair. In my grief I will firmly grab Your almighty grip of grace. Prayerfully, I’ll pour out my heart to You. I will hear Your vibrant voice pronounce, "I am here. Take courage. Do not be afraid." In the clutch of compassion, at Your command, I will trust You. My hope is in You, the One and Only, Bulwark never failing. Amen.
Are you waiting in the never failing Bulwark of Almighty God for a scary storm to pass?
Friday, November 04, 2005
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction
8 You have not handed me over to the enemy
9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
10 My life is consumed by anguish
14 But I trust in you, O LORD;
Jesus, What a fantastic friend You are! You share all my sins and sorrows. You’ve seen the trouble and temptation that terrorizes me. Scooping me up in Your strong arms, You surround my sad soul with Your love. You kindly carry me and set my feet on solid, spacious soil.
My head was a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears. Weak and weary from the weight of worry, my body and soul were withering away. I was dying from distress and despair. Sadness was smothering me. Misery and mourning drained my might. I was severely wounded and wasting away when You found me! Just like a faithful friend, You focused on me!
Thursday, November 03, 2005
2We were filled with laughter,
3Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us!
4Restore our fortunes, LORD,
5Those who plant in tears
6They weep as they go to plant their seed,
How Great You are O Sovereign King! There is none like You! There is no God but You! I have heard You with my own ears.
Lord, overwhelming sorrow tries to take me away from You. Battered and bruised by the battle with death, a fountain of tears flow from my eyes. Wounded and worn out, I weep, lamenting my loss. Gripped by grief, I’m a miserable mess. In anguish I cry out to You: "Here I am. Rescue me! Restore my fortune! Swing wide open the heavenly gates! Bring me back to Your pleasant palace."
You answer me and restore me to the prosperity of Your presence. You tell me to sow the seed of Your Word in the ground around my grief. You promise a huge harvest!
Obediently, I will plant kernels of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and discipline in the soil surrounding my sadness. I will water them with the steady stream of tears that flow down my soft face. And, then I will patiently wait through the season of sorrow for the promised heavenly harvest. When I joyfully return with baskets full of bountiful blessings I will share a foretaste of glory divine with those around me. They will see that You have done amazing things for me! Together, we will laugh and celebrate my yield of sweet succulent spiritual fruit. I believe that You will turn my hard situation into an enormous reward for the praise of Your glory! Amen.
What has taken you away from your Sovereign King? It could be sin, addiction, false teaching, idolatry, ministering to someone needy, a new job, busyness, or love to name a few. Identify the thing that holds you captive and break free! Plant the seed of His Word in the soil of your situation, water it with your tears and patiently endure while it grows. Then reap the bountiful blessed harvest and celebrate the amazing things the Lord has done!
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
For this is what the LORD says:
Glorious River, Teeming with Eternal Life,
There’s perfect peace in Your pristine presence. You are a steady stream of Living Water that gaily flows down from above and into my heart. You meander through the dark valleys and deserts of my life. Sometimes You’re a rushing torrent, other times a quiet trickle.
My heart dances when the precious flow of Your priceless blood gushes over me, cleansing me, quenching me, reviving me. O how long I long to linger on this river shore, climb on the rocks and bask in the bright Son where despair cannot drown me, fear cannot flood me, and worry cannot wallop me. When I’m slipping, I cry out to You. Your unfailing love supports me. When doubt fills my mind, the Your warm comfort covers me with hope and cheer. On the high and heavenly rock of Jesus Christ, the Son shines graciously filling my heart with promised perfect peace and rest.
Go to the Glorious River of Peace and let it flow over you today!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
3 For you have been my refuge,
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever
I praise You for majestic mountains. In the breathtaking beauty of nature, I see pillars of glory and feel the extraordinary glow of Your existence. You are a perfect, powerful, and prominent pinnacle of unimpeded protection. I want to climb the spectacular summit and secrete in Your sanctuary forever where:
Calamities cannot crush me
Death cannot devour me
Sadness cannot suffocate me
Pain cannot press me
Anxiety cannot attack me
Thank You for making the Rock accessible to me through Jesus Christ. My heart is weak. I am depending on You to be my strength and my shield. With Your help, Almighty God, I will climb Your pristine peak and find persistent protection. Peacefully, I’ll rest in the safety of Your presence because You alone are my Rock and my Salvation. Amen.
A mighty fortress is our God! Run to Him for protection!
Monday, October 31, 2005
Father in Heaven,
You are omnipresent. I can worship You any time and any place. You don’t care where I worship. You’re interested in how I worship. With Your Spirit hovering over me, I can worship … in the driest desert, the darkest valley, on the highest mountain, in the quiet country, in the busy city, in my home or in my car … wherever I am, You are there helping me worship. How do I know?
- You have given me Your Holy Spirit and filled my heart with love. (Romans 5:5)
- You have sent the Holy Spirit to teach me all things and remind me of everything You’ve ever spoken to me. (John 14:26)
- When I don’t know how to pray, when I just can’t find the words, You help me in my weakness, by searching my heart. Without ever uttering a Word, the Holy Spirit speaks on my behalf according to Your will. (Romans 8: 26-27)
Everything you do can be an act of worship when You are filled with the Holy Spirit and the truth of His Word. Worship Him today with everything that’s in you.
Friday, October 28, 2005
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
There is one thing I ask: that I may live in Your holy house all the days of my life and gaze upon Your beauty. I will seek You in the temple of my heart. In Your glorious presence, I will be safe from trials, tragedy and trouble. Your power and promises will divinely protect me. Securely perched high on a rock, I will offer You a sacrifice of praise.
When I seek Your face at the throne of grace, and look into Your beautiful eyes, You mercifully hear my voice and answer me. You are tenderhearted. When my earthly friends and family cannot help me, You are there. It’s Your divine guidance I seek. As I look to You Lord, I see Your goodness in all my circumstances. In Your gracious presence I can be still and wait with a calm and quiet heart. You are my strength. I give You my heavy load and You willingly carry it. Eternal life is my hope, peace and joy. It keeps me from fainting under tragedy. I desire nothing more than to live in Your presence all the days of my life. You are my Father and I simply want to live in Your blessing where You will be glorified all the days of my life because of Jesus. Amen.
If you are facing trial, tragedy or trouble, gaze into the beautiful eyes of your loving Father. Talk to Him and He will hear You. In His presence You will be blessed.