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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “Prayer

Our Map and Our Guide

For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. – (Psalm 48:14)

 

There is such reassurance in these words, as the companion chapter in my reading plan today included Revelation 13. In Revelation 13, we are told of the captivity and persecution that will happen in the end times for all who faithfully follow Christ. I find that to be a bit unnerving, yet there is such reassurance in this particular verse in Psalm 13. God will be our God and our guide unto the end. He will be our map and our Companion, leading, guiding, directing, strengthening and remaining present, no matter where we are called; regardless of what we may face. Our charge is to continue to pursue Him through the study of His word (our map), seeking Him in prayer, and to allow our hearts to be tender toward Him, so that we may hear His direction and guidance. All glory, honor and praise unto You, our God and our guide for all of our days.

 

For God is our God,Our Map and Our Guide

both now and always;

He will lead and guide,

for all of our days.

When the trials come,

He stays by our side;

our heart in His hands,

for our souls, He died.

Whatever we face,

His strength is enough;

His peace and presence,

the most hopeful stuff.

So, fear not my friends,

the evil around;

for in Christ we’re saved,

our hope has been found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our God forever, and that You will be our guide until the very end. Thank You that no matter what comes, nor what trials we face, You remain present, holding our hearts and our hands. Thank You that though harm may befall our bodies, our spirit is safe forever in You. Forgive us for our fears when we see all that is going on in the world that points to potential discomfort, and grant us Your strength and courage to trust in You and Your plans and purposes for us. May we love without limits, as You love us, and may those who know You not, come to know the hope found forever in You. Be glorified, O God, as we trust You to lead us and guide us all of our days. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

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Confession and Community

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. – (James 5:16)

 

Christ’s death on the cross took away the barrier that required us to go to a priest to confess. However, there are times when we need audible reassurance that we have indeed been forgiven, or perhaps a person present to keep us accountable so that we do not repeat the offense. Still other times, we must make amends with one whom we have offended with our actions. “In Christ’s kingdom, every believer is a priest to other believers.” (NIV footnotes, James 5:16) May we go forth keeping short accounts before God and everyone, so that hearts may be healed and our prayers become powerful and effective.

 

We must confess,

all of our sin;Who Do You See

before the Lord,

know peace within.

At times we need,

help of others;

to grasp the grace,

voiced by brothers.

Our healing comes,

when we’ve come clean;

point of release,

as sin is seen.

Those forgiven,

are called righteous;

their prayers are heard,

power, priceless.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the way for us to come to You directly when we sin. Thank You that we can approach Your throne of grace, no matter what we have done, and know that You love us and will receive us. Thank You too, that You call us to be in community together, and that when we struggle, You provide safe sisters and brothers in You, in whom we can confide to confess and go to for prayer. Thank You that when we are right before You, our prayers by Your Spirit within us, are powerful and effective. Forgive us for bearing burdens that we are not meant to carry, or for not reaching out to those who can help keep us accountable where we may struggle. Help us to invest in relationships that point our hearts heavenward. May we love, encourage and pray for others as You call us to do, and may many come to know the freedom that is only found in You. Be glorified, Lord God. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25


To Fight the Good Fight

Last summer, much of my free time was spent driving back and forth to Seattle to spend time with my dear friend, Anne, and to take her to various medical appointments. Anne had been bravely battling stage four cancer for nearly nine years. Many of those years had been extremely victorious. However, the unpredictable and ugly disease had spread its corrosive cells throughout her entire body. Though Anne presented a valiant fight, the cancer was finding a foothold that nothing could seem to stop. By summer’s end, she needed a place to stay where she would not be left alone for long stretches of time, but rather where there would continually be a person present in the home. God provided the perfect place – a home with a loving Christian couple and their eldest daughter, who happened to be an in-home care medical person. Additionally, the new location was a mere fifteen minutes from my home, rather than forty.

 

One of the many things that Anne loved about their home, is that they would talk with her and spend time reading the Bible aloud to her, as she requested. There was a verse that came to be very significant to Anne as she became increasingly frail, and barring a miracle, it was apparent that her end was near. This morning as I read through the passages in my daily reading plan, there was a hitch in my heart as I came upon that particular verse. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – (2 Timothy 4:7) Anne, although her days were far shorter than any of us would have liked, she fought the good fight, she never wavered in her faith, and she finished her race strong, even unto her final breath. It is my prayer that I would learn from her example, and that no matter what comes my way, that I would continue to fight the good fight and keep the faith. When my days are done, I want to know that I have finished the race He has set before me, with no regrets.

 

Whatever we do,To Fight the Good Fight

may it give God praise;

with all of our heart,

for all of our days.

To fight the good fight,

means stay in the game;

trust that He is good,

have faith in His Name.

We must run the race,

that He’s called us to;

for He’s qualified,

and equipped to do.

View not the struggle,

nor look to the task;

instead to the Source,

our Strength as we ask.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us numerous examples of those who have gone before us and have fought the good fight, have finished the race, and have kept the faith. Thank You that this is not something that we are meant to do in our own strength, but rather in Yours. Thank You that You supply all that we need to stand strong and stay in the fight for as long as we are meant to run our race. Forgive us for allowing weariness to let our hearts wander off course, and help faith to rise up as we grow in our understanding of who You are, and just how much You love us. Thank You that Your mercy is new every morning, and that Your grace is enough. May we stand strong in faith in the fight, and run our race as You call us to run. Let Your love be what people see in us, and may many come to know You as their Lord and Savior, as our path points people to You. Be glorified through how we are running our race. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

For the Lord your God will bless you, … and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

 

 

 


He Hears

This morning, the reading plan I follow, included Psalm 61. Each time I read one of the Psalms written by David, I find myself so encouraged, as he was readily transparent in his calling out to the Lord, be it in strength or in struggle – always knowing his ultimate need for God to intervene.

 

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.” – (Psalm 61:1-4)

 

He closes out the Psalm by saying “Then will I ever sing praise to Your Name and fulfill my vows day after day.” – (Psalm 61:8)

 

David, in the midst of his struggles, cries out to the Lord and asks Him to hear his prayers. He identifies his own feelings of weakness, and knows that in his own strength, he cannot stand. With God, David understands that his feet can be secured, despite what is seen, and the Lord is a space of safety – His very refuge in the midst of the mess. At the end of the day, David identifies the portion of the promises he has made unto the Lord, include offering praise each day, no matter what. We too, are meant to have a heart after God, just as David did. When we seek Him, we will find Him; and all of our praise ought to be offered up each day, regardless of our circumstances. God is good, even when life is not.

 

He is our help,He Hears

wherever we are;

no need to fear,

we’re never too far.

For His hands reach,

the ends of the earth;

His hands protect,

our infinite worth.

A strong tower,

refuge in the storm;

strength when we’re weak,

safety from all harm.

May we honor,

the Lord all our days;

do what He asks,

and give Him all praise.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hear our cries and listen to our prayers. Thank You that You are our strength in weakness and our shelter in all of life’s storms. Thank You that You lead us to safe spaces, and hide us in the shadow of Your wings. Forgive us for our fearfulness, as we shift our focus from You to the obstacle we need to overcome. Help us to fix our eyes securely on You, as You are our strength and our help, and the One who makes our path plain. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will more readily follow all that You ask. May we move mightily in Your love, as we are loved, and may many come to know You as their Maker and Mighty King. Lead us and guide us to honor You in all that we say and do, and may we ever sing praises unto You. Be glorified, O God. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ.

- Ephesians 2:4-5

 

 


The Mind of Christ

“As the Scriptures say, ‘Who can know what is on the Lord’s mind? Who is able to give Him advice?’ But we have been given Christ’s way of thinking.” – (I Corinthians 2:16 ERV)

Not one of us has the capacity to comprehend our Creator. However, by His Holy Spirit, those who commit their hearts and minds unto Him, are granted insight and understanding into some of God’s plans, thoughts and actions. In a sense, we are granted access to the mind of Christ. As we invest in an intentional intimate relationship with our Redeemer, He reveals more of Himself to us, by His Spirit. Time spent in His word, in worship, and in prayer, provide opportunities for us to grow closer to our Creator, as we learn more of who He is, and all that He has done for us.

Who can come to know,The Mind of Christ

the mind of the Lord?

Those who will invest,

choose time to afford.

Time spent with Jesus,

will not return void;

understanding comes,

when our heart’s employed.

Lean not on our strength,

but fully on Christ;

to know how He gave,

His great sacrifice.

Let our hearts receive,

all He has to give;

so by His Spirit,

we shall truly live.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and reveal to us, more and more of Yourself. Thank You that by Your Spirit, we may come to know Your thoughts, which are far higher and greater than our own. Forgive us for not investing our whole hearts, or for turning a deaf ear to what You are speaking to our hearts. Help us to give You our whole heart, and may our ears and hearts be open to hear and obey all that You are asking. Let us live in worshipful obedience, so that our love for You and for others is evident. May many be drawn unto You as a result. Let Your light be bright in us. Be magnified through all that we say and do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23


Show Me Your Ways

“Show me Your ways, O Lord,

teach me Your paths;

guide me in Your truth and teach me,

for You are God my Savior,

and my hope is in You all day long.”

- (Psalm 25:4-5)

These words, penned by David as part of a prayer for defense, guidance and pardon, demonstrate the complete necessity to turn to God for guidance in all things and at all times. Despite some desperately shaky seasons in David’s life, he knew that the solution to each challenge, was to call on the Lord, and trust in Him to provide wisdom and guidance in the way in which he was meant to go.

When we ask the Lord to show us His ways, what are we meant to do? He has provided a primary guidance system for us through His Word, and when we spend time reading it and asking Him to show us new things, He answers – unlocking new understanding and insight that we did not have before. The more we know Him, the more deeply we trust and place our hope in Him. As we become aware of the magnitude of His majesty, we cannot help but turn to trust. Hope begins to hold fast to our hearts as we hear His beat for us, individually.

Show me Your ways,Show Me Your Ways

as I seek to know;

all of my days,

O Lord, help me grow.

Let wisdom come,

understanding too;

from rising sun,

’til the day is through.

May my heart seek,

earnestly each day;

Strength when we’re weak,

our purpose to pray.

You are my hope,

God, Savior of all;

courage to cope,

as You hear each call.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are willing to show us Your ways, and teach us Your truth. Thank You that You have provided Your Word and the way to be in constant communion with You, through the gift of Your Holy Spirit, granted through the mercy and grace given as Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf. Thank You that our hope is held in You alone, and that You will guide us and teach us if we choose to trust You. Forgive us for our lack of faith, or for our failure to fully invest ourselves into our relationship with You. Thank You that You withheld nothing from us. Please help us to do the same. Teach us to trust You in such a way, that we are willing to allow You into every area of our lives, granting You the reigns. May we walk in truth, and love as we are loved by You. May many come to know the heavenly hope that is found in You alone, as we allow You to lead. Let our lives speak volumes of Your mercy and grace, to those who do not yet know You. Be glorified, Lord God. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.

Who, O God, is like You?

- Psalm 71:19


Supplied by the Spirit

Each of us, whether we are aware of it or not, has an assignment. God has created and gifted each one of us with something special in mind. However, we are not born with an instruction manual, nor do we receive a special guide book at our moment of redemption, thus we find ourselves in a space of needing to seek Him to find out what He has planned.

We do have an instruction manual of sorts for our lives, as the Bible shows us how to live in love and trust in Him, among other essential things found in a life formed by faith. Also, because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are able to call out to God in prayer, any time, and ask whatever we need. The critical element in helping discover our given assignments, is the gift of the Holy Spirit. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – (Acts 1:8) When we invite Christ into our lives, we invite the Holy Spirit as well. Just as the early disciples received God’s power to do as He had called them to do, we too, can receive the very same power to do all that He is asking of us.

Three things that the disciples did, that we must still do today, are: to join together with fellow believers, pray together in faith, and wait. It seems that the first two are the easier of the three to manage. In this instant gratification society, waiting is a tough sell. Patience and perseverance are characteristics that seem a rarity, rather than the norm. The standards that were established all those years ago, still apply today. All things that are worthwhile take work and waiting. We are told that the same is true with our walk with Him. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” – (Romans 5:3-5)

The disciples were told to go and wait after Jesus had ascended into Heaven. We also, are meant to wait on Him, when we need to know what comes next. As we are faithful to wait, the blessings discovered by spending time intentionally in His presence, are well worth the investment. He is faithful to answer as we ask, we simply must press in and persevere, trusting that He hears our every prayer.

Call on the Lord,Supplied by the Spirit

then faithfully wait;

for His answers,

not early nor late.

Patiently pray,

for the Lord is good;

He knows our need,

we are understood.

Allow access,

to both heart and mind;

trust Him to touch,

He is gentle, kind.

God will equip,

us to do each task;

know what He says,

and do as He asks.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the way for us to be in a relationship with You, and that the very same power You poured out on the early disciples, is available, ready and dwelling in the hearts of those who believe. Thank You that You equip us for all that You ask, and that You strengthen and encourage us as we listen and wait on You. Forgive us for forgetting to slow down, or for growing impatient in the waiting. Teach us to trust in the wait, and help us to persevere, so that we may hold the holy hope You have for us. May we live in love as we walk in obedience to all that You ask, and may many come to know You as a result. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.


Persist in Prayer

“Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” – (Luke 18:1)

“To persist in prayer and not give up does not mean endless repetition or painfully long prayer sessions. Always praying means keeping our requests constantly before God as we live for Him day by day, believing He will answer. When we live by faith, we are not to give up. God may delay answering, but His delays always have good reasons. As we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith and hope.” (NIV footnotes for Luke 18:1)

According to dictionary.com, persist means to continue firmly in purpose, especially in spite of opposition. In my experience, this is how faith is further formed, and hope is given way to rise up. As we face opposition or difficulty, what we choose to do in response, determines the development of our character. If Jesus instructs us to pray and not give up, then regardless of how things appear, that is what we are meant to do. Faith requires action. First and foremost, our petitions ought to be presented before Him. However, that is rarely the end, but instead, just the beginning. As we seek Him earnestly, He often gives instruction as to how we are to move further in faith; the what we are meant to do as we wait.

Never give up,Persist in Prayer

persistently pray;

trusting He hears,

despite seen delay.

He is faithful,

and always, He’s good;

let faith rise up,

our hope, understood.

When He says move,

do all that He asks;

answers await,

we grow in new tasks.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and faithful, always. Thank You that regardless of what is going on around us, You have our heart in Your hands, and You remain present. Thank You that You hear our every prayer, and that You instruct us to be persistent as we pray. Forgive us for our lack of fortitude in the fight, and grant us Your strength and endurance in all things and at all times. Teach us how to be persistent in prayer, without endless repetition or whining. Thank You that You are a patient and loving Father, Who loves us, and continues to help us grow in character, faith and hope as we seek You. May we honor You in all that we say and do, and may many come to know You through our love and persistent petitions before You. Be exalted, Lord. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.


Give Us Each Day

“Give us each day our daily bread.” – (Luke 11:3) Though a familiar portion of the Lord’s Prayer, I imagine the depth of the meaning is rarely considered. Jesus was not simply speaking of physical bread, but He was referring to the daily supplication of all that we need – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Also, He does not say give us this year, a fortune; but rather He tells us to seek Him daily, asking for the provision of what is needed for this day – not tomorrow nor beyond. He wants us in constant communion with Him, not to store up treasures, become self-satisfied and then cut off our communication with God. Our Heavenly Father cares for us, and will hear our every prayer. It is up to us to press in and continue to keep the lines of communication open at our end. He is always listening; are we?

A bit further in the same chapter, Jesus says, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” – (Luke 11:9-10) These verses reiterate that He wants us to be in relationship with Him. He is generous and kind, ever ready to hear our requests, if only we are willing to come to Him and ask. God does not care if we are eloquent in speech as we pray, but rather wants sincere hearts that seek Him. Conditions are not placed upon us in order to come before Him; He tells us that EVERYONE who asks, seeks and knocks, shall receive, find and have the door opened unto them. What a comforting reminder to recognize that He daily, wants us to come before Him. He longs for us to desire to be aware of His nearness. This happens, the more that we get to know Him through intentional seeking, knocking, asking in prayer, worship, and the study of His word.

Give us today,Give Us Each Day

all that we need;

strength and supply,

to You, may we heed.

Daily, let’s seek,

our Savior, King;

bringing Him praise,

of faithfulness sing.

Knock on the door,

He’ll be right there;

always ready,

to hear our prayer.

Ask of the Lord,

make your request;

He is faithful,

and loves us the best.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply, and that You are always present and prepared to hear our prayer and answer what we ask. Thank You for Your unending faithfulness as our Father and King. Forgive us for not asking, seeking, or knocking when we need to come to You first in all things. Teach us to prioritize our time so that we may daily invest in our relationship with You. Teach us how we are to ask, seek and knock for that which You would have be our daily bread. May we be ever grateful for the good gifts that You provide us each day, and for the life and breath that we have in this very moment. May our attitude of gratitude lead those who are looking to ask, seek and knock – so that they too, may come to be in a lasting relationship with You. All praise and glory to You, our great and mighty God! Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.


Remember Those in Need

With friends losing those they love, this is an especially hard time. Even when we know that their future is in God’s hands, the loss is hard and deep. Please keep them in your prayers.

c600x475 PrayerLord you know our every minute and hour, they are numbered and rest in your book of Life. We know that You love us each and everyone, we ask that You lend us Your strength to ease our pain and to remember that where they are going is a much better place. We ask this in our wonderful comforter’s name, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands” 2 Corinthians 5:1

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