July 11th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Matthew 12:25

Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”

 Dear Heavenly Father,

We lift up to you our divided nation and pray for healing. Self-interest and thoughts of power permeate many who lead us, and even those in the general population. Help us remember our common interests and work together to solve our problems in a godly way. Help us to embrace and celebrate our similarities as well as our differences. That is where solutions will come from. Remind us daily that we all your precious children and we are better together.

Amen.

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

July 7th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Psalm 102:15

Nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.”

Heavenly Father,

We know it is You who has provided everything we have. That includes the nation in which we live. Remind us to give You reverence and respect at all times. Help us also remember that every good gift is from You and to not take You and Your blessings for granted. Instead, help us use those blessings wisely. We thank You for your constant provision and granting us freedom to choose to worship You. As a people, guide us back to You, to give You the place in our hearts, and the praise and honor You deserve. Touch the hearts of our leaders to become the example of how to be obedient to You, honor You, and love You.

Amen.

July 1 ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Psalm 33:12

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”

Lord God,

We thank You for creating this nation where we have the freedom and right to worship You openly, and we give You praises for all Your gifts and goodness. We thank You for your many, many blessings upon this nation as evidenced by our prosperity. We ask Your forgiveness for ignoring You and Your Word and taking You for granted. Help us Lord to repent and honor You as a nation and call You our God. We ask You to bless us with Your wisdom and guide us as a nation. We are in awe of You and give You the love and respect You so rightfully deserve.  Help us to be a blessing to others.

Amen.

 

Image: google images

Scripture: English Standard Version

Prayer Challenge for July


pray for America

The Great American Experiment was founded by people with Christian ideals (The Heritage Foundation). Those ideals influenced the creation of our nation and founding documents. Our prosperity is evidence that God has greatly blessed America. We are often the envy of other nations. However, our world is constantly changing and the state of our country is often discouraging. Natural disasters, violence, and disobedience are on the increase. Those in authority often violate God’s Word, even mocking our Heavenly Father. In other areas, our founding documents are usually ignored, or taken to mean something entirely different than intended. This world frequently makes no sense. But we are called to trust God, and pray for our nation and those in authority. For the next month, as we celebrate our freedoms, will you join me in praying for America, your community, and our national and local leaders?

Daily, for the next month, I will post a verse and short prayer to guide us as we pray for The United States of America and our leaders.

2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

 

images: google images

Scripture: English Standard Version

 

 

The Precious Gift of Sight


eyes

Psalm 146:8

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

Saying, “The gift of sight is precious” sounds cliche, and it is an over-used phrase, but it is true. I recently learned how wonderful the gift of sight is and how much I have taken my vision for granted.

I woke up from a nap one lazy Sunday afternoon, to discover darkness over a part of my field of vision. Fortunately, my ophthalmologist had warned me I was susceptible to a detached retina and instructed me on the warning signs. My husband took me to the emergency room where, after numerous tests to confirm I was not having a stroke, I was sent to an eye specialist. That specialist sent me to a retina specialist where I had emergency retina surgery on a holiday weekend.

The recovery from surgery required that I not drive, read, text, type, or anything else that required the use of my eyes. My vision was also very blurry and my eye was swollen. Using one eye meant my depth perception was incorrect and I needed help to get around. I was dependent on someone else for a few days. It’s very hard to not be able to be rely on yourself for routine tasks.

Of the five senses, I believe sight is the most precious. The sense of smell, taste, hearing, and touch are very helpful and allow us to enjoy God’s creation. However, the ability to see allows us to be more independent, to read, and take in the beauty of landscapes, sunsets, and the faces of those we love. In fact, sight is responsible for four-fifths of the information our brain receives (Sightsavers.org). Sight is possible because of the complex way light enters your eyes, touches the retina, and sends enormous amounts of information to your brain, instantly. The ability to see should point us to God and remind us how fearfully and wonderfully we are made (Psalm 139:14).

how signt works

 

Please join me in praising and thanking God for the gift of sight, and how he made each of us with so many ways to enjoy Him and His Creation.

Blessings on your day!

GRIEF


Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

        Haydee

We all experience losses; some are more devastating than others. The loss of a parent, or close friend can shatter our world. The loss of a child is probably the most devastating loss to deal with. There are other losses that are burdensome such as job loss, or surviving cancer but dealing with the lifelong issues that result from the lifesaving surgeries. Even moving to a new state brings the sorrow of leaving friends and everything we are comfortable with. When you experience loss of any kind, there will be grief and sorrow. We must all deal with these emotions as a part of life.

As I write this, my mother-in-law has just been laid to rest. She had a series of strokes followed by other declines in health, and eventually Alzheimer’s disease. Since that first stroke she wasn’t the vibrant woman who raised my husband. In many ways Gerry has been mourning the loss of his mom for years.

There is such finality to death. This truth can shake our faith. Even when death is expected it’s always catches us unprepared because it is final. There are no second chances. No more holidays or conversations. No more photographs. Even when a loved one is ravaged by an illness that leaves them bedridden and unaware, we mourn the loss.

On April 15, 2000, my husband rushed me to the emergency room where I lost a baby girl. We were devastated. We loved Hailey from the moment we started planning for her. I blamed myself and I felt the loss was unfair. Other women were experiencing the joy of growing their families while I had empty arms. People would say the oddest things to me to attempt to comfort me. Their words usually added to the pain. The grieving process shows us that life isn’t fair.

Psychologist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross explains there are five stages to the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As you deal with your grief you will move back and forth between these stages in a unique way. You won’t necessarily move from one stage to the next, to the next, and suddenly be in the acceptance stage because the grieving process is not usually predictable. In fact, grief can take us on a whirlwind ride of emotions. Our journey through the grieving process may change us in other, more subtle ways.

When dealing with grief, remember that it is a process. Your passage through grief and healing will not look like someone else’s journey. It takes time to accept the loss so spend some time remembering. Be grateful for the time you did have. Spend some time with cherished memories and old photographs. Eventually, you will try to balance the pain of loss, while coping with the struggles of everyday life. Allow yourself time to heal and experience the emotions you have. Seek out family and friends as you go through the process. Know that when dealing with grief you may experience physical symptoms such sleeplessness, changes in appetite, not wanting to participate in favorite activities, and changes in mood. This takes time, but If you have been grieving longer than a few months, seek professional help from a godly counselor.

It’s easy to blame God when there is a loss, especially the loss of your child, but we must remember that the Lord is mourning your loss too, and offering you peace and comfort. We live in a broken world. Death is a part of the circle of life; eventually it claims us all. But knowing this truth doesn’t make the pain any easier to bear. When confronted with grief, let the Lord wrap His loving arms around you. Accept Our Heavenly Father’s peace and comfort. In His Word, there are many passages and verses we can turn to help us cope and deal with our loss, and feel God’s healing presence.

The Psalms

 Ecclesiastes 3

 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Psalm 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

There is a song that became popular as I was struggling with my grief and helped me thorough my healing process. Some of the lyrics to “Blessings” by Laura Story (Capitol Music Group) are below:

“What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise.”

 Let the Lord comfort you and give you peace in your time of loss.

An Ash Wednesday Prayer


Ash Wednesday

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today we begin a season of self-examination and inner reflection. Open our hearts to see the truth of our words and our actions so that we see our lives through your eyes. We open our souls to your presence and ask you to change what needs to be changed. Lord, grant us the grace to emerge from the season of Lent with a more profound understanding of Your mercy and grace. Let your love wash over us, and seep deep into the broken places, healing and restoring our souls. Prepare our hearts for the joyous celebration of Easter.

Amen