Prayers for the Parched: Graduation Blessing

Congratulations to the Graduate

Congratulations to the Graduate

Graduation Blessing

All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace.  Isaiah 54:13

I declare fearlessness for these graduates

I declare courage for them

Put your hand upon their heads and give them life

Put your word upon their heart

Give them the desire to pursue your will

When the enemy comes, they will Stand!

They will stand and lean into you

Anoint their feet

…To walk in your pathways

…To walk in your steps of righteousness

…to not walk in any compromise

Compromise is to the past, while victory is to the future


Prayers for the Parched: Spirit of Gratitude

Let us join the Heavenly Hosts on Praising you

Let us join the Heavenly Hosts on Praising you

Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.  Colossians 2:7

Lord,

I pray for a spirit of gratitude

Develop in me an attitude of gratitude

I pray for a willing heart to say thank you

Forgive me for my grumblings and murmurings

Teach me to speak in thankful terms at all times

Help me change my heart so I can change my words

 

Lord, it is your goal for me to be firmly rooted

You are instructing me on how to be established in Christ

In all things, I am learning to give thanks

Thank you for the privilege of giving thanks

May you be glorified in this process


It’s All About the Bragging Rights Part 1

Parents Love to Brag About Your Students

Parents Love to Brag About Your Students

Have you ever been at a red stop light behind a car with a bumper sticker that says, “My Kid was #1 at Main Street Elementary?”  People brag about their children.  They brag about their nationality.  They bear bumper stickers and clothing about the college they attended, or about their favorite sports team.

Taking it up a notch, there’s family reunion moments.  This is when it really is about who’s the smartest of all the kids.  The youth outdo each other at sports contests. Kids will make up a sport or push a rock to prove who’s the strongest. And the adults quietly talk about stocks going public, housing values, and retirement accounts.  Apparently, people have been doing this for thousands of years.

The Bible says, “Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

My extended family doesn’t compete with each other about how much about the Lord we know or understand.  We may share stories of what God has done in our lives or the lives of others we meet. We may talk about answered prayer requests.  We may talk about our churches or a good Christian book we’ve read lately.  There’s always more to learn about God.

To continue, see It’s All About the Bragging Rights  Part 2


Prayers for the Parched: Reverential Fear and Awe

Who Makes the Clouds?  Who Makes a Cloud Give Rain?

Who Makes the Clouds? Who Makes a Cloud Give Rain?

He will bless those who fear the Lord – small and great alike.  Psalm 115:13

 

Lord God Almighty

What a a privilege it is to come before you

Your holiness produces in me reverential fear and awe

Forgive me when I lose perspective of your glory behind the familiarity of friendship with Jesus

May I not forget the cost of Jesus’ sacrifice as I bask daily in the benefit of relationship

Restore unto me the balance between walking in your grace and love and walking in reverential fear and awe.

Amen


Our Words of Praise Invite the Presence

"Ask the Lord for rain in Spring"  Zech 10:1

“Ask the Lord for rain in Spring” Zech 10:1

“For He draws up the drops of water,
They distill rain from the mist,
28 Which the clouds pour down,
They drip upon man abundantly.”

Job 36: 27-28

When we speak, words come out as breath.  In cold temperatures one can see our breath as a vapor.  Every time we say something, we are creating a vapor, whether we see it or not.  Our words evaporate and go up to heaven.

Water also evaporates and then a mist forms around this vaporized water and the mist forms a cloud.  The clouds eventually pour down as rain.  The rain drips on man abundantly.

We can enter into this cycle by uttering words of praise.  These go up to God and His Spirit forms around these words forming a cloud.  Spiritual clouds rain down abundance.

This is what happened at Solomon’s temple dedication ceremony.  They priests praised God along with trumpet sounds.  God’s presence surrounded this like a dark cloud and the abundance of God’s presence filled the temple.  This proved to be a dedication ceremony to remember for the ages.  “All the Levitical singers…with cymbals, harps and lyres, and 120 priests blowing trumpets in unison, and the singers make themselves heard with one voice to praise and glorify the Lord saying “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”  Then the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.”  2 Chronicles 5: 12-14. For the full story, read all of 2 Chronicles 5 and 6.

Abundance fulfillment starts with the vapor of our praise words going up to heaven.  Praise is different than thanksgiving.  We praise God for his qualities that never change, even as our circumstances are subject to change.


The Newest in Church Clothes

These Are My Church Clothes

These Are My Church Clothes

My husband and I had the privilege of serving the Homeless the Saturday before Easter.  Over 150 men and woman acquainted with street life showed up for BBQ Beef lunch, a free concert, free haircuts, first aid,  port-a-potties, and prayer for healing.  Located in the parking lot of a business in the warehouse district of San Jose, people flocked from many forgotten corners of the city.

Also present were about 75 volunteers to cook the meat, cut hair, bandage wounds, serve food and pray.  Food was brought to every person seated at rented round tables generating conversation.  Appreciating ran high.  Some engaged in conversation, and some just sat in the safe place, enjoying the concert.

I  prayed with a man named Don.  His clothes were stiff.  His deep hacking cough brought up mucus.  I left to find napkins to serve as handkerchiefs.  He nodded his thanks.  He didn’t really want to talk much.  I offered to pray for the cough and his health.  I thanked God for his beautiful eyes, and for the purpose that God had for his life.  I asked for the cough to be healed.  Again, he nodded his thanks.  His hardened eyes were softer.  I noticed the knife mark on his neck and wondered when he had acquired it.  I refrained form asking and smiled instead.  I met several other people, but found myself remembering his face as we drove home to a house.  I prayed once again that Jesus would be allowed to bring him to heaven.

I snapped a photo of one of the fellow volunteers that worked with the sound booth.  He had on a great leather vest.  Underneath the patches that said, “Jesus is Lord” and “Black Sheep,” he had a patch that read, “THESE ARE MY CHURCH CLOTHES.”  Truly this day felt like the heart and spirit of Easter 2014.

 


Prayers for the Parched: Celebrating the Sabbath

Celebrate the Sabbath by Taking Time to Enjoy God's Nature

Celebrate the Sabbath by Taking Time to Enjoy God’s Nature

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work, neither you, not your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, not the alien within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

When I grew up, stores were closed on Sundays.  As a nation, we actively took a day to rest.  For me, it was time to spend with the family, include Sunday dinner.  Now, Sundays are another day to do errands.  It’s not necessarily even for church, with churches offering services on Friday or Saturday evenings.  Honestly, I’m grateful for the flexibility.  Taking a Sabbath day isn’t about a particular day of the week.  Pastors don’t rest on Sundays.  It’s about incorporating a time of rest into our schedules.  If we don’t celebrate the Sabbath, our mental and physical health suffers, and it’s easier to lose perspective.  As always, God’s commandments are for our good.

Lord,

I praise you for your plan of Sabbath

For one day of rest and focus in every seven

Forgive me when I neglect to schedule this time in my life

When will I learn your pace?

In your pacing is peace and rest and Godspeed

Your plan gives energy for living life

Come and show me how to set your pace in my life.


Prayers for the Parched: Incorporating God’s Goals

Learning to Incorporate God's Goals Into Our Goals

Learning to Incorporate God’s Goals Into Our Goals

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do; and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 2:11 (KJV)

Father,

Like Jesus, we live in a word focused on selfishness

I am surrounded and encouraged to…

Pursue my goals

Fulfill my Will

Work for my purposes

Be true to my convictions

as they make sense to me

Look out for myself first

Act independently

Bring me to Yourself

as each of these dictums fails without a spiritual core

as each proves to be vanity

I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.  God does it so that men will revere him.  Ecclesiastes 3:14

Thank you for the model Jesus gives us

Jesus sought only to pursue your will

He sought only to please you

With these single-purpose goals

Jesus changed history and eternity for all mankind

Paul exhorts us to become more Christlike

I want to be more Christlike

So Lord, amidst the complexities of our

Individual and global worlds

Show us what it means to seek only your will and to seek only to please you

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.  John 5:30

Let me behold the principles in your word for my life

Order my priorities

Reshape my perspectives

Show me how to incorporate your goals as my goals

In so doing

I walk in your presence

Even as my feel walk through the daily paths

Position me to receive the flowing waters of the everlasting life

And my life will become full with your delight

 


Have You Tried Pursuing Holiness Recently?

Revenge is a TV show that airs on Sunday nights

Revenge is a TV show that airs on Sunday nights

The next time you watch a movie or turn on TV, see if any of the following themes are prevalent:

1.         Accusational humor

2.         Abounding sexual innuendos

3.         Profuse profanity

4.         Blatant disregard for God

5.         Senseless violence

6.         Themes of curses and hexes, revenge, hatred and retribution

7.         Social acceptance of sexual Biblical perversion including fornication

We need not wonder what is happening in the world when we look at the trends of the entertainment industry.  There are consequences for filling our minds with these things.  It can be hard to live in God’s balance.  Some shows require a prayer to cleanse our minds of certain images.

In the midst of this, both in the 1st century and 21st century, God calls us to His standards of holiness.  “As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”  1 peter 1:15  In Godly cultures, Goldly people don’t stand out much. In Godless cultures, people pursuing holiness start to stand out.  Like stars, they become visible in the darkness.

I know I do not see myself as always holy, or even as living up the best I could be at all times.  What I do try to do is surround myself with people that hold me accountable to Godly standards.  I try to fill my mind with things that are positive and constructive toward leading a holy lifestyle.

Paul challenges us to “walk as children of light.  For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”  Ephesians 5:8-10

Becoming people of mature faith is the process of inviting the Holy Spirit into our decisions of conduct.  Adhering to His standards for our lives puts us on a journey toward holiness.

Lord, show me where and how I can pursue holiness in my world today.


Prayers for the Parched: Ready and Steady

Lord, Ready and Steady me for the Day Ahead

Lord, Ready and Steady me for the Day Ahead

Ready and Steady

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;   1 Peter 5:2

Father,

Ready us, and

Steady us

For the tasks at hand

 

Once again this prayer helps me when I’m juggling 15 different projects and 3 different hats trying to lead, manage, serve both at work and at home.  Life can be full and good.  This Ready-and-Steady us prayer works well when we are facing unknown situations.  The Lord goes before us and gives us the peace of mind and the tools to handle whatever situation comes our way.  It feels good to know that as I do all I can do, God steps in to do all He can do.