Prayers of My Heart

Follow Your Head

04/15/2022

The word “but” is an important word and has significance. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, the apostle Paul encourages believers to imitate him. However he is quick to follow his statement in 1 Corinthians 11:3 saying, But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man,….”  In other words, Paul explains that he only tells us to imitate him because he is imitating Christ, who is the HEAD OF EVERY MAN. Christ is the One we are to follow. Isn’t it wonderful that we have Christ as our HEAD and He shows us and tells us how to live? Now to Paul’s point, to what degree do we imitate Christ in our daily lives?  I’m reminded of Peter’s words that we have the Divine Nature (2 Peter 1:4) once we become Christians. Are we living by Christ’s Divine Nature? Are we known to those closest to us as being like Christ because we imitate Christ and follow His lead? Ephesians 5 begins, “Be imitators of God…” I just reread the chapter and recorded in my journal ways I want to be mindful of imitating Christ and following His headship. Here’s a snapshot. (Sorry about the poor handwriting. I had Prayers of My Heart on my lap.) What about you? Would you want to also open Ephesians 5 and make your own list of ways you might better follow Christ, your Head? 

Lord Jesus, HEAD OF EVERY MAN, convict us of ways we need to better submit to Your headship and imitate You. Fill us with Your Spirit so we live by Your divine nature and bring glory to You. 

If You’re Wondering What to Do About Something

02/22/2022

Are you at your wit’s end? Do you need someone to talk to who can help you sort out your concerns, problems, and worries?  God understands. Our Heavenly Father is the original COUNSELOR.  Isaiah 9:6 says that not only is He our Counselor, He is a “Wonderful Counselor.”  Our Heavenly Father and Jesus are wonderful counselors because they are excellent listeners and know us inside and out. We can talk to them and know that they hear us. When we are quiet in their presence, we position ourselves to receive what they place on our heart.  Talk to your Wonderful Counselor, then follow His counsel. I record what God prompts me to do in my journal, Prayers of My HeartIt helps me follow through because I can reread what I’ve recorded that He put on my heart. What do God’s prompts sound like? His prompt might be, “Open your Bible and read a Psalm.” It might be, “Stop procrastinating and tackle the task I’ve placed before you.” His prompt might be, “Instead of wondering how someone is doing, call them.” Or, “Do _____ today.” A wise Christian will talk to their Wonderful Counsel then follow up on how He prompted them. Are we wise? 

LORD, You are the WONDERFUL COUNSELOR. Increase our sensitivity to Your Voice. Help us take seriously Your counsel and follow through on what You lead us to do. 

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Perks of Prayer vs Perks of Pets

01/19/2022

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Did you know there are health perks to having a pet? But what if your idea of a pet is a pet rock? Are there other ways to become healthier? Yes! Studies show that people who keep a journal of their prayers experience health benefits such as less anxiety and more positive moods. They also tolerated pain better. And, for those who are married, findings show that when people pray for the well-being of their spouse when they feel a negative emotion, both spouses—the one praying and the one being prayed for—report greater relationship satisfaction. Journaling our prayers increase our awareness of God’s faithfulness and therefore increases our peace. So, sure, take your pet for a walk, but also walk prayerfully with God. Prayers of My Heart journal will get you started.

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Finger Pointing, Rock Slinging Reversal

01/08/2022

Peace between people. Is it a dream? Is it a far-fetched wish? Is it an impossibility? It seems to be. Why? Because although we aren’t perfect, we expect others be perfect. Now, think about something with me. What if that’s how Jesus related to us? What if the Father, Son, and Spirit demanded our perfection 24/7? What if when we didn’t live up to their expectations, we were out the door, banned forever, with no path of reconciliation? I hope and pray that each of us can in at the least the tiniest of ways have a deep appreciation that God treats us differently than some people treat one another. In fact, not only does our Lord not hold our sins over our heads, it’s important to Him that we live free of condemnation. Remember when the Jews were itching to stone a woman caught in adultery? They had the rocks in their hands. Their self-righteous arms were wound for throw. But when Jesus confronted them, when He invited the one who was sin free to use his rock to pellet her, the self-righteous slunk away. What did the Lord of Lords then do? If you said, pellet her with rocks because she was guilty and deserving of punishment, you’re right and you’re wrong. You’re correct in saying she was deserving of death according to the Law. You are incorrect, however about Jesus’s response. He told her He didn’t condemn her and for her to go and sin no more. Jesus wants the same for us. He is our Advocate, as 1 John 2:1 explains,

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

There it is.  The Bible is our guide on how not to sin and hopefully, we’re asking Jesus to help us walk in His steps. When we have mis-steps, which we will, what a blessing that we have the full assurance Jesus is our Advocate just as He was for the adulterous woman. Only when we arrive in heaven will we fully appreciate the magnitude of Jesus winning our court case by taking our guilt on Himself.  

Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Advocate. Help us be mindful of Your Word. Help us walk according to it.

Your character trait of God to record in Prayers of My Heart and for which to praise Him: Advocate.

Anticipation: Do You Have It

01/05/2022

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One day while writing, I wondered in anticipation what words the Lord would give to me next. How ready are you for God to work in your life? What are you doing that shows your readiness and your anticipation? Knowing that God sees us and responds to our drawing near to Him should encourage us to live anticipatory lives. We anticipate Christmas. We anticipate Easter. Why not anticipate God? I believe the disciples lived anticipatory lives. They had seen Jesus do miracles so why should He not continue them? If you want to live a more anticipatory life where you see God working, begin recording the daily praise from my email devotional, “365 Days of Praise” in Prayers of My Heart.  Ask God to make His character more real to you. Watch for how He’s working in your life. Go through your day in anticipation of what God is going to do.

Happy New Year

01/01/2022

Happy New Year! By the way, who was it that decided time would be marked by years? Hmmm – have you ever thought about that and that when we celebrate a new year, we’re celebrating what our Almighty Creator established?  Yes, Genesis 1:14 states that at the creation of the world, God said,

Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years. 

“Year” and “years” are mentioned over 800 times in the Bible. The Bible records the number or years people lived, the years people were in captivity, the number of years rulers reigned, and on and on. In God’s eyes, the first day of a new year is not simply another day. It has past, present, and future value.  Consider a sampling of how God keeps note of years:

Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.

Genesis 18:14 Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

Leviticus 27:24 ‘In the year of jubilee the field shall return to the one from whom he bought it,

Numbers 10:11 Now in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth of the month, the cloud was lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony

2 Kings 25:27 Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah

1 Samuel 27:7 The number of days that David lived in the country of thePhilistines was a year and four months.

Isaiah 6:1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, …with the train of His robe filling the temple.

Years have significance to our Heavenly Father. He ordains events for certain years. He marks them. He takes note of them and uses people who are sensitive to His call. Rather than letting today come and go with perhaps some passing thoughts about resolutions, let’s pray to our Heavenly Father with anticipation about what He has in store for this year and how we can be a part of what He is accomplishing.

Heavenly Father, how exciting that You, Creator God, set years, months, and days in which to accomplish Your will. Use us! Let us be a part of the unfolding of Your eternal plan.  

Prayers of My Heart

God of Joy and Love

12/27/2021

It’s a new day, but let me ask you something. Are you short on joy today? It can happen. We race toward special days or live expectantly of something and then it comes and goes. Or, things don’t go as we expected or wanted. What do we do when that happens? We have a choice. We can get down and discouraged. We can dwell on the negative. Or, we can go into God’s presence and talk things over with Him. We can be mindful of Jesus’s love for us and how He longs to fill us and be our companion. I encourage you today to choose to see life today through His eyes and that every day is a gift. Use today to express gratefulness to Him for every single blessing before you: a place to live, family, work, the blessing of a ministry, friends, your health.  Thank God for the freedom to live in a country where you can worship with other believers…if that is the case. I know some of you who receive this worship under oppressive circumstances. Thank God for those partnering with you and the protection God has given you to continue the work you do. In whatever circumstance you find yourself, ask God to fill you with His Spirit and joy. Yield to His divine direction throughout the day. Be a Christian who is known by your love and joy. Meditate on and live by the following:

You (God) will make known to me the path of life;
*In Your presence is fullness of joy*; In Your right hand there are
pleasures forever. Psalm 61:11

By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another. John 13:35

Prayers of My Heart journal can help. I speak from experience. The habit, the discipline of beginning every day focusing my mind on what I’m grateful for that God did the day before is a powerful mind and thought shaper. It begins my day thinking on the positive and God’s powerful sway in my day and life. Writing is a proven brain changer. There is no reason to go into the next year with the same ole negative thought patterns when God tells us what to not do – be anxious and what to do – be thankful and to think on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good report, excellent, and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8

Who Can You Believe?

11/27/2021

Do you ever wonder who you can believe? One person says one thing and another claims the opposite. Yes, it can sometimes be difficult to know who to believe, but not in the case of Jesus’s words.  Revelation 1:5 describes Jesus Christ as “the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood-” Jesus is a faithful witness. A witness of what? He witnessed to us about heaven, His Father, about angels, crowns of righteousness awaiting believers, resurrection bodies, thrones, powers, kingdoms, the judgment seat, forgiveness, redemption, His Father’s house, and about Satan. Jesus testified about the fact that Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Jonah were real people and the Old Testament is true. Our confidence in the Bible and its teachings solidly rests on Christ because He is a faithful witness to us that they are true.

Lord Jesus, we praise You, the faithful WITNESS! Thank You for the confidence we have in the Bible and You because of Your word.

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Thanksgiving Blessing

11/25/2021

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

One of the things I love about the change in seasons is it’s such a reminder that whatever we’re experiencing or whatever we’re going through, it is just that – a season. It doesn’t mean that things are always going to stay that way. We must never feel stuck. 

I’d like to invite you to join me in a Thanksgiving blessing. Regardless of where we are – alone or with family and friends, whatever our circumstance, Psalm 136:1-9 points out the things for which we can be thankful. 

In this Psalm, after each statement of thanksgiving, we’re invited to join in a chorus and say, “For His lovingkindness is ever lasting.” So please join me after each statement and say, “For His lovingkindness is ever lasting.”

Psalm 136:1-9

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Give thanks to the God of gods,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

To Him who alone does great wonders,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

To Him who made the heavens with skill,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

To Him who spread out the earth above the waters,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

To Him who made the great lights,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting:

The sun to rule by day,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

The moon and stars to rule by night,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

What a great truth from the Lord for us to remember during this Thanksgiving season when we may not have much else for which we can say, “I’m so thankful for this.” There are many things for which we may not be thankful. But for the things we just read as well as many other things, we can say, “Give thanks to the Lord for….”

During this Thanksgiving season, I invite you to join me in focusing our minds, hearts, spirits, and souls on that for which we can be thankful. 

We have a wonderful God who made the heavens and earth, who brings us the seasons that are a reminder that just as the seasons change, things in our life change. We can always know that God is constant, faithful, and above all rulers and all authorities. We we will one day see Him, and it will make this time on earth a blink in light of eternity. 

So, sweet friends, give yourself a hug from me and tell your Heavenly Father thank you for His loving kindness that is everlasting. 

God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving. 

If You Think You Have Nothing, Think Again

11/08/2021

LISTEN

When you were little, did you go on a treasure hunt? Today, do you put your treasured valuables in a safety deposit box? The Bible tells us that believers have a treasure within them. What is the TREASURE? Second Corinthians 4:6-7 explains that the treasure is God’s Holy Spirit. The treasure is the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God shining in our hearts. The treasure we carry about in our earthly bodies is God’s surpassing greatness of power. With humble reverence and boundless gratefulness we bow and worship God for the great gift of His presence in us.

Lord, YOU are the TREASURE men seek and whom we have in our hearts. Help us present You well to others and share with others the surpassing greatness of Your power.  We adore and worship You. 

“GOD… is the One who has SHONE in our HEARTS to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. For we have this TREASURE in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;” 2 Corinthians 4:6-7.

God is a TREASURE. I hope you are recording each daily attribute in Prayers of My Heart. As you do, your journal becomes a treasure of the names, titles, and character traits of God. Your journal becomes a treasure keepsake of how God has and is working in your life and the lives of those for whom you pray. Prayers of My Heart – a meaningful gift for everyone on your Christmas list. Buy now.