Tag Archive | challenges

What Have You Learned?

As I was coming out of a deep sleep this morning, I heard this question “What have you learned?”   I had to completely wake up to really start processing what I heard, but the question was clear.  Well, I’ve had my morning coffee and I’m still processing how to answer the question I heard.  I’ve tried to capture part of my answer in this blog post.

In the past few months we have learned and/or heard so much about COVID-19, a pandemic, social distancing, and racial injustices, just to name a few.  In a time when we should become more unified, it appears we are becoming more divided.   As I start to put together my answer, I do know this, God is God and He knows how to get our attention. There have been past events that have impacted different parts of the world before, but these recent events of 2020 have captured the attention of the whole world and impacted all of us.

However, in all that has taken place, I don’t think God was necessarily telling me to look at the whole world, as much as He was telling me to look within. Then, He wakes me up this morning and I hear the Holy Spirit asking ” what have you learned?” The teacher is silent and the question is before me waiting on a response.  I read II Chronicles 7:14 -15 in the NIV Bible which says “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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”

This was one of the first scriptures I was drawn to read once everything started to spiral in late February and early March of this year.   If  I’ve learned anything, it is that as one of God’s people that I must look within first.   I must look within my own heart to remain humble. I must talk to God daily and I must seek Him in all parts of my life.  I thought I was doing this before, but it seems different now.  Perhaps this is why I heard the question. The scripture in II Chronicles then goes on to say turn from wicked ways, which means I have to get rid of what is unclean and unrighteous in me.  I have to seek God’s forgiveness.  It doesn’t say I should try to fix others in their uncleanliness first.  It says that as one of His people, I have to turn from my own wicked ways.  Psalm 139 is one of my favorite Psalms and I often pray verses 23 and 24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is anything offensive in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

I’ve learned to ask God more to keep me humble, to hear my prayers and to forgive me of my sins.   I believe we are in a season where we have to make our relationship with God even more personal than it was before; we have to seek His face.   II Chronicles 7:14 to some, can be a suggestion; to some, words of warning, and to some, words of instructions.  I’ve learned to use them as daily instructions for me because I want God to hear me from where He is in heaven.  I want Him to forgive me and I want Him to heal every part of me and to heal this land we all live in.  This land He created just as He created each one of us.

I will definitely continue to pray for others and ask God to help them just as He helps me. However, there has been such a shift in what is going on in the world today that I have to take time to really focus on who I am in Christ and what He wants me to do.    He wants me to humble myself, AND pray AND seek His face AND turn from my wicked ways.  He wants me to call myself one of His people so that when I speak, He will hear me.

So I ask you the question I heard this morning, “What have you learned?”

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Dear Lord, we need You more than ever before.  Somewhere along the way we’ve made a mess of things, we’ve missed the mark and we’ve fallen short of what is Your perfect will and perfect way.   We ask now that You will help us to stay in a posture of being humble.  We pray for You to hear our prayers as we seek to draw closer to You.  We pray You forgive us of our sins and You cleanse us from within.  We pray Your ears are attentive to our prayers; we pray You hear us, and we pray You heal our land.  Thank You, Lord, that Your word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Please have mercy on us and show us the way.  We pray this as people who are called by Your name, and we ask this in the mighty name of Jesus!

 

Thankful 2B Thankful

 

Be Thankful!     The other morning as I was saying my prayers, I said “Lord, I know I tend to be thankful for the same things over and over again. I thank You for waking me up. I thank You for my life and allowing me to see another day.  I thank You for keeping my children, siblings and friends safe. I thank You for the followers on Broken-2b-Restored. I thank You for a roof over my head and food on my table.” I said, “Lord, I know I sound like a broken record and that I am always thankful for the same things.” But then I said, “Lord, I am just thankful to be thankful!”

Thankful to be thankful! This made me realize that I have not always told Him Thank You. As a young person in college, I would just get up and take everything for granted.   As I became a full time employee, wife, and mother, I would wake up and maybe say a brief Thank You, but then I would just go on about my day.  Reflecting on this and how He has kept me over the years, made me realize even more how thankful I am.

Like most, I have been through my share of  ups and downs.  I have had some major disappointments and personal challenges that weighed heavy on my heart, my body, and my mind. I have wondered how the bills were going to get paid: how was I going to free myself from a verbally abusive and controlling spouse, or how I was going to be a good mother to my children.  And today, when I look back on where I was and where I am now, I am so very thankful.  I am thankful to be thankful, because of how God has kept me.  He has protected me from the seen and unseen dangers.   He has kept me and my children safe; He has clothed and fed us; and He has always provided us with a roof over our heads.

As I grew closer to God and I learned to ask Jesus to intercede on my behalf, my perspective on being thankful changed. I stopped taking it for granted that I just woke up each morning.  I know that God’s mercies towards me are new every morning, even when I tend to thank Him for the same people and things over and over again. I know I can repeat these words of thankfulness and also add onto it as each day passes, because He waits to hear from me. I know He has always provided for me and that He will continue to do so.  Yes, I have continued to experience the ups and downs that come with living this life here on Earth, but I’m thankful for every day, every blessing, and every lesson learned.   I am thankful to be thankful.

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Dear God, thank You for keeping me and my family covered under Your mighty protection.  Thank You for continuously blessing us and showing us how much You love us.  Thank You for my life, health and strength. Thank You for allowing me to see how good You have been to me, and for teaching me the lessons to be learned from heartbreaks and disappointments.  Thank You for Your grace and mercy towards me. Thank You for Jesus and Thank You for The Holy Spirit. Lord, I am just thankful 2b thankful! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV

Every good and  perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of fristfruits of all he created. James 1:17-18 NIV

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. John 3:16 NIV

Do not be anxious about anything, but  in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13 NIV

 

 

What Will You Say To Your Mountain?

 

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Matthew 17:18-21(NIV) tells us ” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.  Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why, couldn’t we drive it out? He replied “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

A mustard seed of faith against a mountain?  Can you visualize that picture?  Do you know how small a mustard seed is and how big mountains can be? And when you look at what Jesus said, that is exactly what he meant.   Yes, a mustard seed is very small.  Yes, mountains are huge.  However, if you trust and believe just a little bit, you will be surprised as to how things can move mightily in your circumstances!

When challenges and frustrations start to overwhelm you, speak to them just as Jesus said to speak to the mountain.  When you feel you are under attack, rebuke the schemes of the enemy just like Jesus did over the little boy.  So often, we see how God blesses and/or delivers others and we don’t understand why our prayers did not manifest into the blessings and actions we spoke.  Could it be we have focused too much on our mountain and not enough on our faith? Today, I encourage you to focus on your faith, no matter how small or weak your faith may be, speak to your mountain and believe it can be moved. Sometimes the mountain is not as close to you as you think it is, and when you keep trusting God the mountain starts to get smaller and eventually disappears from your circumstances.  All you have to do is have a mustard seed of faith and believe that nothing is impossible.  Can believe in your faith in God enough to move the mountain? What will you say to your mountain?

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Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you today with just a mustard seed of faith.  And, with this tiny seed of faith, I believe that my situation is already better.  I believe that mountain of frustration is moved; I believe the financial obstacle is no longer in my way; I believe that all manner of sickness and disease in my body is gone. I believe the enemy is under my feet and no longer in my way. I believe you are taking my mustard seed of faith and showing me that nothing is impossible, and that I can speak to the mountain in my life and it shall move. Right now I am telling the mountain with my mustard seed of faith  to move!  In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen and Thank You!

 

 

 

What Now, God?

It’s been well over a year since I published a post on this blog.  Many things have occurred in my life since I wrote ” Moving Forward”.  I have moved to another state, gone through a divorce, become an empty nester and most recently, I celebrated my 55th birthday!  Over these months, I have thought about writing, I have wanted to write and I have been blessed with many topics to write about. However, for some reason, I have not been able to write. Even when I have tried to write, I could get no further than a few sentences.  In fact, I am in awe right now that I have finished a complete paragraph.  Praise God!

I have been asking God when do I get to write again?  I have been asking, what now, God, for so many areas of my life which also include continuing with writing this blog. Over and over again, I kept hearing, “be still” or “not yet”.  I have been spending quite a bit of time alone talking to God and trying to declutter my own thoughts so I could clearly hear Him. From my own spiritual perspective, I felt like I was stuck! I’ve been reading the Word of God, listening to message after message, reading devotional after devotional, playing worship music and trying to utter prayers in hopes of moving things along. As much of this as I have done, I kept feeling like I was stuck, like I was not really moving forward.

So today, the question, “What Now, God”, arose in my spirit again. After I left church service and thought about the Word that was ministered to us today, I kept asking “what now?”  This was not the theme of today’s message at church, but as I thought about some of the things the pastor said, I kept thinking what now, God?  And now, this evening as I powered on my laptop, and I started to draft this post, I started to read 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20 verse 12 when Jehoshaphat said “we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You”!  Jehoshaphat was surrounded by his enemies. He was stuck, but yet He knew something had to be done.  He felt powerless, but yet he knew he could go to God and ask, what now?  (Of course, that’s not quite how he phrased it.)

And the Lord answered him with don’t be afraid or dismayed at how great the multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s!

Are you feeling powerless? Stuck? Is your back up against a wall? Heavy burdened? If so, it’s ok for you to ask, what now, God? Then, listen for His voice to say, my child, you don’t have to feel stuck, you don’t have to feel like I have left you alone, you don’t have to think that I brought you this far to leave you!  The Lord is saying to you, stop thinking that you won’t be healed, or you won’t overcome the depression or you won’t be delivered from the addiction or you won’t be set free from the shame or guilt.  Stop looking at how  the enemy has come at you with health issues, bad thoughts, family troubles and financial burdens.  Don’t let the enemy make you feel like you can’t finish school, or that you won’t get the job or the promotion. Let God work all of that out for you, let Him fight the battle for you!

In verses 16 and 17, God gave Jehoshaphat clear instructions about the next day. God said, tomorrow go down against them, you will see them coming up against you. God said, but you don’t have to fight, just position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!

Did you get all of that?  When you feel surrounded by the attacks on your life, when you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, when your flesh is getting weak, ask God “what now” and get in position for your breakthrough! Your enemy is not prepared for your “what now” prayer!

God says, He is going to ambush those attacks coming against you. He is going to move you from that place of being stuck to victory!  He is going to defeat your enemy and scatter your naysayers.  You need to start praising HIM this evening for what HE is going to do tomorrow!  In verse 21,  Jehoshaphat appointed some to sing  for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of His holiness.  Their praise was “give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love endures forever.”

This is your notice, you have been appointed to praise Him!  Tomorrow is your day of victory!

When we ask, what now, God?   He answers with  “This is not your battle, this is the Lord’s battle and God will fight for you!”

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Dear Lord,  I thank You for my “what now” moment and that I can look to You for guidance, protection and a strategy for my circumstances. I thank You for letting me know this is not my battle, but Yours.  I thank You for getting me out of this place of being stuck and surrounded, and for ambushing my enemy!  Lord, I am going to praise You right now for the victory!  Lord, because You are fighting my battle for me, I have a great expectancy for tomorrow!  In the mighty name of  Jesus, Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

2015: Taking My Praise With Me!

As we approach 2015, I have read quite a few posts about what people will leave behind. Naturally, they want to leave the hurt, the pain and sorrow, disappointment, betrayals and all negativity behind.    I also started to ponder over what I would leave behind, but then I started to consider what I would take with me.   As I enter into 2015, I am taking my praise with me!

I am entering 2015 with praise and I am excited about all God has in store for me.   2014 has been a great year for me even in spite of some challenges and circumstances that came my way. Through it all, I made the decision to trust God and give Him praise even during the times when I was struggling, hurt and brokenhearted.  In the midst of tears flowing and wondering why I was going through what I was going through, I would tell God that I trusted Him and that I was going to praise Him no matter how I was feeling!  As down as I would feel at times, I would continue to praise Him because I knew that my joy was on the way. I knew that He had never left me or forsaken me. I knew He was restoring what was  broken and He was still blessing me.  I continued to praise Him even when I didn’t feel up to it and I continued to praise Him even when I thought He was silent in my circumstances!

I am definitely taking my praise into 2015. My praise gives me hope and peace. My praise tells God that I trust Him in all areas of my life.  My praise allows me to rejoice in Jesus who died just for me.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

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I pray, in the wonderful name of Jesus, that you enter 2015 with praise, and that you have a Happy and Blessed New Year!  I pray you shout for joy, because His love endures forever!

Didn’t You Hear Me?

The past few weeks have been very challenging to say the least.  It seems like I get over one hurdle and before I can get one foot on the ground, another hurdle is before me!  Today, when I got home from work I had to get to my prayer closet to have one of those heart to heart conversations with God.  Our conversation went like this :

Me:  Lord, what is going on?  Why do I feel like I am in several battles at one time?  Why do I feel that I am under attack?  Why do I feel such a heaviness is on me?

God: My child, you feel this way because you have not laid your burdens down. You have not trusted me to fight your battles!

Me:  Yes, I did turn all of this over to You!  Didn’t you hear my prayers the other night when I was crying out to You?  I laid it all down, every challenge, every struggle, every disappointment.  I gave it all to You.  You must have heard me!

God: Yes, my child, I most certainly did hear you crying out to me.

Me: Well, what’s the problem?

God: My child, as soon as you finished your prayer and said in the name of Jesus, you went right back to worrying about everything you prayed about!

Me: Did I do that?

God: Yes, you did do that! In fact, you did not give me a chance to let you know that I got this! I am God all by myself! I can fight all of your battles.  I can lift every burden!  I can wipe away all of your tears.  I can mend your broken heart.  My child, I can guide you safely through every storm!

Me:  Wow!  I didn’t even realize I picked my burdens back up.  Forgive me?

God: Of course, my child, I forgive you!  But now I need you to do something for me.

Me:  What would that be?

God: Trust me!  I got this!

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Dear Lord, I am trusting You with everything!  (The good and the not so good.) I am trusting You to work everything out.  I release all of my worries and struggles to You.  I release every distraction and stumbling block to You. I  put all of my trust and confidence in You to fight all of my battles! I declare peace in every area of my life!   In Jesus’ name I thankfully say, Amen!

I Am Still Here!

photo (2)  Today, November 2nd, is the two-year anniversary of Broken-2b-Restored.com!  I am grateful to all who have continued to read my posts and thankful for when you have shared them with others.  I appreciate every comment and every word of encouragement! I am thankful for all of the new followers of my blog! God blessed me to publish my first post two years ago on my birthday and I am praying for His continued inspiration as I move forward!  I am thankful to my Lord and Savior, because I know He has richly blessed my life.

Today, I am celebrating me and the 52 years He has given me! I am so glad He woke me up this morning!  Even with some hurts and disappointments I have had to endure, I am still joyful!  I still have a great expectancy as to where God is leading me!  Because of His love for me I am still here! Thank You, Jesus!

Psalm 18

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Release (Let Go)

In the beginning of 2013, I wrote three words down in one of my journals.  They were Release, Restore and Rejoice!  Although I try to stay away from making New Year’s resolutions,  I guess I could consider these words as my resolutions for this year.  As we enter into the last few months of 2013, God has reminded me of these words in order for me to reflect on where I am now.  Today’s post is on the word Release and upcoming posts will tie in Restore and Rejoice!

“Release” means to escape from confinement or to be set free!  It also means to allow something to move or to flow freely.  Ask yourself this question, what or who are you holding on to that is not allowing you to move freely in your relationship with God?   What is restricting you from moving forward? Notice that I asked what are “you” holding on to!

Sometimes we find ourselves trapped  because we continue to hold on to what is familiar or what feels comfortable in our lives.   Our mindset is not to change because we feel everything is okay just as it is.   We hold on to crutches such as past hurts, failures, disappointments, and rejections.   Sometimes we think just because we messed up in the past that we can’t do any better or that we are not deserving of anything better. We, unfortunately, allow ourselves to think that just because we have failed  a few times in this life, that we will never get it right. Or we allow ourselves to think that just because it is comfortable or familiar to us, that we do not need a change.  So, what do we do?  We continue to do the same things and we continue to hold onto the past as if there is no hope for a better outcome or a better future.

God does not want us to hold on to past hurts and failures.  He does not want us to feel restricted or confined.   It is time to release and let go!  There are times we will not forgive ourselves even though God has already forgiven us!  It is time to forgive ourselves, forgive others and move on!  It is time to walk freely in the blessings God has for us! God wants us to lean and depend on Him. He wants us to draw closer to Him; to feel His love and feel His presence in our lives.  How can we do this if we continue to hold on to things that weigh us down or hold us back?  Jeremiah 29:11-13 says:

“For I know the thoughts and plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, ” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart.”

God has a future filled with His promises just waiting for you.  Are you hindering yourself from receiving all of your blessings?  Are you holding onto some things you should have released a long time ago?  Release and turn them over to God. Psalm 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” 

As we get ready to close out another year in just a few short months, think about what it is you need to release.  Spend time in prayer and meditate on God’s word.  Are there some  issues and fears that you don’t need to take over into another year with you?  Fears, doubts, hesitations and past failures will restrict you from moving forward.  It’s time to release and let go!

crutches

PRAYER

Dear Lord, grant me discernment and guide me as I let go of those things that are restricting me in my walk with You.  Set me free from things that I am holding on to that are preventing me from moving forward.   I am releasing the crutches of failure, hurt, negativity and disappointment.  I am leaning, depending and trusting on You. Lord, help me to forgive myself. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace and mercy in my life; thank You for forgiving me.  Today, I am releasing and letting go. I am moving forward!  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed! (John 8:36)

Jesus said “Peace I Leave With You”

7 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. John 14:27 NIV

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This is what Jesus said to the disciples before He was to be crucified. He said. ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you”!  Jesus left  peace with the disciples knowing peace would comfort them and encourage them along the way.

This is what the Lord wants you to have as you embrace this New Year. He wants you to know that He has blessed you with peace.  He tells us His peace is not the peace that comes from others in the world.  His peace is more than a parting  greeting of good-bye; it is more than an ” I will see you later. ”

What the Lord wants you to know is that He has left you with peace during the good times, peace during the bad times, peace during your struggles, peace when you face disappointments and yes, even peace when you have to confront your enemy and your own negativity.

In 2012, most of us faced some hardships and a few challenges.  However, in order to move forward and to prosper in the New Year, we need to have the peace the Lord has left just for us. There are some negative people and even negative mindsets that we should have left behind and not allowed to enter into the New Year with us!   We can’t erase bad things that have happened and it may even take time for us to forgive others and to move on. But God wants us to be blessed! He wants us to be encouraged and He wants us to be victorious.  He wants us to have peace in all that we do and in all that we may go through in this New Year.

Philippians 4: 7 says ” And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  In all the trying and hurtful times we have gone through in 2012 and in all we have held onto from past years, we should not allow the enemy to rob us of our peace. We must embrace this gift of peace and take it with us wherever we go in this New Year and in this life.  We must take it with us on our jobs; we must take it with us to our schools; we must take it with us to the malls and theaters. Wherever we go, we need to take the peace of God with us. The peace of God should be deep within our hearts and minds.  And as Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”  He said this because He was leaving us with peace to handle whatever comes our way.

In the Book of Numbers Chapter 6 verses 24-26 the Lord gave Moses a blessing to give to Aaron and his sons.  I will leave you with my edited version of the words from this blessing.

“May the The Lord bless you and keep you in 2013. May the Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you in 2013. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace in 2013”.

As you face each day and as trials come your way, do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  He has already given you peace in every situation.

A Light Within The Tunnel

Are you going through something right now?  Perhaps some challenges and frustrations  at work or at home?  Are you experiencing any brokenness because you don’t know how to get things under control in your life? Did you get a bad report from the doctor?  Are you about to undergo a major change in your lifestyle? Have you had to deal with the recent death of a loved one? Or did you just come out of a bad relationship?  Do you feel there is darkness all around and there is no light at the end of the tunnel?

Perhaps you are not going through at this present time, but there probably has been a time when you felt something similar to one of the above situations.

If you have had to battle any sickness or disease, who did you call on for your healing?   Have you come close to losing your home or been unemployed for a while and struggled to pay your bills?  Who made a way for you when it seemed like all else had failed?   When depression set in and your thoughts were not His thoughts, how did you make it through? For some, the better question might be, how are you making it through?

 Who do you call on late in the midnight hour? When there is trouble all around, who hears you crying?

Call on Jesus!  Let Him be your light in every dark tunnel.   Trust in the LORD!  Allow Him to lead you through.  He is the One who can lead you through the darkness and bring you to the light.  Whatever your issue or your circumstance,  you can make it through this!  Trust Him and believe that He can work it out for you.  You might feel you are about to break beyond restoration.  You might feel you are all alone, but you are not.   Trust in the Lord,  He is the light while you are in your tunnel.  When you are going through, go to God!

Psalm 91:14-16 (The Message) ” If you hold  on to me for dear life, says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.  I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me.  Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side at bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.  I’ll give you a long life, and give you a long drink of salvation!”

Prayer

Dear LORD,  I am in a tunnel right now.   I trust You to bring me out. LORD, I need you to guide me through this brokenness and to bring me closer to Your light and Your way.  I refuse to give up because my hope is in You.  You are my light while I am in this tunnel; You are my light when I am going through.   Please forgive me of my sins.  Create in me a clean heart.  Even as I go through, I am already victorious because of You.  LORD, I love You and I honor You. In Jesus’ name I pray,  Amen!