Tag Archive | Prayers

It’s As Simple As That!

Preview

God is great; God is good!

Let us thank Him for our food!

Bow are heads and all be fed.

Give us Lord, our daily bread!

This is a simple prayer I was taught as a child to bless my food before eating.  This is the same simple prayer, 30 some years, later I taught my three young children.  A few evenings ago, I was blessed to see how this simple prayer had impacted my 17-year-old son’s life.

When my son, Isaiah, came home from basketball practice the other night he was tired and hungry (or better yet, hungry and tired!)  It was still some time before dinner, so he made himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a snack.  When he sat down to eat his sandwich, he bowed his head and blessed his sandwich.  As simple as that, he said a prayer over his snack!  I know that his prayers to bless his food have changed since I taught him the simple prayer cited above. The point is that he is still giving God thanks for his food, even if it was just a snack!  It touched my heart to see him bow his head and give thanks for something that most of us would take for granted, because it was of course, just a small snack before dinner.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 tells us to “pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  This means in all you do or in all you may be going through, that you are to be in constant prayer and thankfulness.  It does not matter whether it is a snack or a full course meal.  It does not matter whether you are in a good place in your life or in a not so good place.  It does not matter whether all your bills are paid or whether they are all past due.  What matters is that you are giving God thanks for His current and future provisions to you.  What also matters is that you are taking all of our requests and needs to Him in prayer and being thankful as you wait for God to move in your circumstances.  It’s as simple as that!

My son was praying and giving God thanks for a snack.  He had an expectation that God was going to give him more to eat later on that evening.  However,  he gave God thanks for what he had available to him at that time as he patiently waited to receive the bigger blessing later on!  It’s as simple as that!

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Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for always giving me the opportunity to come to you in prayer.  I am thankful that I can make my requests known to You and You are an ever present help in my life.  I thank You for the small blessings as well as the bigger blessings.  I thank You for all You have done for me!  In the name of Jesus, Amen!

It’s as simple as that!

 

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)

Where Did The Time Go?

Just a few months ago I was eagerly anticipating my youngest daughter’s graduation from high school.  When that day and that moment arrived,  my heart was filled with mixed emotions.  I was a proud mother to see her stand before her graduating class and deliver the commencement address; but I also knew it was time to let her go.  I kept asking God where did the time go?  It seems like You just gave her to me and now. . .

And now, here  we are already in September and she has completed 2 weeks in college.  Where did the time go? I now have two in college and one beginning  his Senior year in high school.   I have watched my three children grow from babies into young adults and I can’t help but to marvel as to how the time has flown by.

It seems like it was just yesterday when I was taking them to  daycare and kindergarten.  I must admit the thought of my children not being home every night has been tough at times.  Over the years I have gotten comfortable in knowing they were safe and secure in their rooms and close by if I needed to look in on them.  Now,  I’m watching my son go out in the evenings to hang out with his friends knowing that within less than a year he will also be on his way to college.  There is so much going on in the world these days, that it’s only natural you want to protect your loved ones at all times, especially your children.  You want to keep them close by as if nothing could happen to them at home, school,  church or in places we call familiar.

The Sunday afternoon I had to leave Cecily at a college 4 hours from home, I had my emotions in check (or at least I thought I did!) I was so busy running around trying to make sure she had everything she needed before we left, that I did not have much time to think about getting emotional.  Just two years before I had taken her sister to school and figured I know how this works now; I can handle it! I’m a big girl! I’ve got this all under control!

Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened. As soon as it came time to give our hugs goodbye, I realized this was it. This was the moment of letting go!   Where did the 18 years go?  When I saw Cecily hugging her brother and sister goodbye, the tears just started to flow.  I could not stop them!  As I hugged her and the tears continued to flow, I said another prayer over my child and her new journey in life.  I gave thanks to the Lord for blessing me with her.  I  told Him that I was trusting Him even more to keep watch over her.

 You see, I needed this reassurance for me more so than I needed it for Cecily. For the past 18 years I’ve known this day would come. I’ve known that my assignment was to raise Cecily as best I could and to encourage her to have her own relationship with God.  He tells us in Isaiah 55 (NIV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

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Cecily Elise Matthews, although I am marveling at how fast the time has flown by, I know you are in God’s hands and you will continue to flourish.  He has a greater purpose and plan for you and it will be fulfilled.  Because of this, I am ok with the letting go and allowing you to grow and prosper according to His divine will. You are a blessing to me and I am blessed because you call me mommy!

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The link below is a post I had the opportunity to write when my oldest daughter graduated from high school 2 years ago. The words “Take Courage” still resonate within me today.  Thanks, to my sister Change Agents, Renee and Roslyn! Love you both!

http://doubleportioninspiration.blogspot.com/2011/06/take-courage.html

He Knows All About Me!

13 For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139)

Psalm 139 is one of my favorite Psalms.   It clearly tells me that God knows all about me.  He knew me  even before my mother and father met.  When I really take time to think on that, I can’t help but to be in awe of how amazing my God is!  The scripture above  tells me that He knit me together in my mother’s womb.  The word knit means to unite, bond, fuse or even to mend.  To me, that means He took the time to consider how He wanted me to look physically; not just at birth but as I would grow older.  He  took the time to consider how He wanted me to sound when I would speak.  He knew what He wanted my smile to look like on my face.  He decided the shape of my eyes and what color they would be.  He took time to consider my height and how I would walk.  He took the time to make me just the way He wanted me to be!

Psalm 139 states He created my inmost being!  Not only did He knit me together in the physical, He also took the time to consider my behavior, my thoughts, my dreams and my desires!  He went so far as to put me together to know how I would deal with  a broken heart, neglect, abandonment and abuse.  Even before He allowed me to be birthed, God reached down into the depths of my soul and He created me!

He created me in such a fashion that I cannot hide from Him.  I cannot hide from His love even when it is hard for me to love myself.  I cannot hide from His grace and His mercy, even when I mess up along the way.  I cannot hide from His comfort, when the tears are streaming down my face.  I cannot hide from Him when I am angry or disappointed, because He is the One who is always there to give me peace.   He knows all about me!

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful,  I know that full well. (Psalm 139)

Dear Lord, I thank You for taking the time to create me the way You want me to be.  I know that I am still a work in progress, but you already know what the finished product of me will be. I am thankful that You were mindful of me and you have given me this life with all the joys and heartaches to make me stronger in You. I am thankful that you are always with me and that you know my thoughts even before I think them.  Father, I am thankful that I cannot hide from you because where would I be without you on my side!  Thank you Dear Lord, for letting me know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made!  You know this because You know all about me!  You created me to be your daughter! In Jesus, name I am forever grateful!

The Lord’s Special Day!

Don't give up

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to dinner with a dear friend and her 8-year-old daughter, Layla.  Before our food came to the table, I asked Layla if she would say the blessing.  Without hesitation she gave me this big grin and asked us to bow our heads.  It was if she knew I was going to ask her to pray.   We bowed our heads and Layla proceeded to thank the Lord for His special day.  She said it was a great day and everything was good because it was His special day.  You could hear the joy in Layla’s voice telling God about His special day.  I can’t tell you how many times she said to the Lord that it was His special day but as you can see it was enough for me to write about it. ( And, yes, she did eventually bless the food!)

The Lord gives us a new day every morning when He so graciously wakes us up.  With each day, He gives us another chance to correct the wrongs we have done and seek forgiveness. Everyday, He gives us another chance to let our family and friends know that we love them.   He gives us another chance to spend time in His presence and to worship Him.  For the last couple of weeks, I have looked at each day differently.   I knew before that particular evening that I am not promised each new day, but something hit deep inside me when Layla kept saying it was the Lord’s special day.  It was not just another Monday.  It was not either of our birthdays.  The restaurant where we were dining was not at all spectacular.  But, as Layla so eloquently spoke it, it was the Lord’s special day!  We were blessed to be enjoying each other’s company.  We were blessed to be able to talk about the Lord. And most importantly, we were blessed because it was the Lord’s special day.

The Bible says

Genesis 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Lamentations 2:22-23  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.

Psalm 19:1-2 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night uttereth knowledge.

Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which He made. And God blessed the seventh day, sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

Psalm 118:24  This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it.

The Lord blesses us with His special day every morning! We need to embrace each day with joy and gratefulness.  Mondays should be no different from Fridays simply because He creates each day.  I am thankful each day that He wakes me up no matter what comes my way.  Each day is His special day and He gives me another opportunity each time He wakes me up in the morning.

At the end of our meal, Layla, asked to pray again!  She still had more she wanted to speak to the Lord about His special day. This time she prayed for her parents, her grandparents and all of her friends, and she prayed for me.   It was obvious Layla had a good day and although it was about to come to an end, she was excited about the next day.  She was excited about the next day because she knew it was going to be the Lord’s special day!

Try Jesus!

  Do you ever give any thought to the fact that you are not promised tomorrow?

 Try Jesus!

 You don’t know the day or the hour when your time on this earth will cease to exist.

Try Jesus!

Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour is the best decision you can make in this life.

 Try Jesus!

 When you  feel alone and think you have no one to talk to about your problems,

Try Jesus!

When someone you have loved breaks your heart and you feel you don’t know what love really  is,

Try Jesus!

When the doctor’s report gives you no hope of a complete healing,

Try Jesus!

When your friends turn their backs on you and your enemies are waiting for you to fall,

Try Jesus!

When your money runs out and there is no food on the table,

Try Jesus!

When your own negative thoughts and lack of confidence are tearing you down,

Try Jesus!

When you feel like you can’t go on any more,

Try Jesus!

When all else fails,

Try Jesus!

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John 4:6-7  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well . . .”

Father, in the name of Jesus, I am praying for someone who does not know You.  I am asking You to speak to their hearts and let them feel Your love.  I pray they will know You are a forgiving God and You will accept them just as they are right now.  I pray they understand that they don’t have to try to fix themselves up or do better before they can come to You and ask You to save them.  I pray they will trust You with their brokenness and allow You to give them strength and hope for better days ahead.  I pray they will realize Your love is unconditional and You are waiting for them with open arms.  In the mighty and wonderful name of Jesus, Amen and Amen, again!

Wouldn’t you rather put your hope in knowing that you are heaven bound?

Try Jesus!

Finding Serenity

 The Serenity Prayer

“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can,

and the Wisdom to know the difference!

Living one day at time;

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it:

Trusting that you will make all things right if I surrender to your will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with you forever in the next!”

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There has been some dispute in recent years as to who may have authored this prayer.  Most say it was written by a Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr who was a theologian in the 1930’s  and 1940’s.  There are some accounts that Dr. Niebuhr may have read this as an obituary and credited an earlier theologian from the 1800’s.  Nonetheless, the words and the meaning within this prayer are so profound.  This prayer asks God for serenity, courage, and wisdom. Then it goes on to say that we know we must endure some hardships in this life, but if we surrender to God and trust Him that we can be happy for the time we have on this earth and then even happier when we are with Him in heaven forever.
There are some things in life and some people in our lives that we cannot change.  No matter how much it might hurt, no matter how unfair it might seem and no matter how badly people might treat us.   Once we come to this realization and move on, then we can go forward in our own lives and receive the blessings God has for us.
The word serenity is defined as being calm and tranquil; the state of being peaceful.
Whenever, we are in the midst of a struggle or even struggles, our main prayer or thought is normally for the struggle to be over!  Then when we realize we might be in a struggle for a while,  the next thing we desire is for peace as we go through.  We desire peace so that we won’t  be so anxious and so that we don’t become overly frustrated.  We desire peace so that we can rest better in the night and focus on other things during the day.  We desire peace so that we won’t be influenced to make rash and wrong decisions as we go through our struggles.
The bible says:
“Weeping may remain for a night,  but rejoicing comes in the morning!” Psalm 30:5
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ” Matthew 11:28-30
 “For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  2 Chronicles 20:15
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous fall.  Psalm 55:22
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6