Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

In 2005, in the last 6 weeks of his life my Daddy spent 3 weeks in the hospital, then nearly 3 weeks at home before he passed. The first week or so wasn’t too bad, and then it began to wear on me – physically and emotionally.  We went through such a “roller coaster” of emotions from “he’s not going to live through the night” to “we’re going home in a day or two…” And then, to couple this with only getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night, well it was taking a toll!

One day, when I was particularly stressed, one of Daddy’s sisters-in-law called me. Now, this lady is just special! And she… just encouraged me so much that day. So, after I hung up from talking with her, I wrote this piece that I titled “Running on Empty”.

Running on Empty

“God is ever gracious, ever loving, ever caring, ever teaching in every trial of our lives.

When my physical and emotional “tank” is on empty, He sends someone with a smile, a hug, a laugh, or a prayer that adds a little fuel to the tank and gives me a few more “miles” of strength.

Oh God, thank You that in this time of need someone came to me. Thank You, that in this time of need I saw so clearly how need-ful something like that is, and how helpful it can be.

Grant me, I pray, the “eyes” to see the opportunities to pour a little in another’s “tank” when they, too, are “running on empty.”

Thank You for this one You sent to me today.



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A poem written in the early 80’s when I was pregnant with our first child.


A Mother’s Eighth Psalm

The Psalmist said,

“What is man that Thou art mindful of him

for Thou hast made him

only a little lower than the angels.”


And I say,

What am I, that You are mindful of me?

For You have made me a woman

and capable of

creation myself.


And I have carried a child in my womb

and borne him into the world.

But today that child alone must choose

“Whom ye will serve…”

and only he can

“Confess with your mouth

and believe in your heart…”

for himself

I can’t do it for him…


Being a creator isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.



what did you feel

when You turned man loose

with Your creation?





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That “Thy Will Be Done” Thing

Sometimes “life” just blindsides you, doesn’t it? You think you have a plan – and then things change. It’s that way for all of us, I think. I recently had a situation arise that was completely unexpected – and I’ll admit – it sorta knocked me off my feet for a moment. (Ha! “Moment” nothing – for a good while!)

But – on the farm – chores still have to be done, regardless. So, as I was walking up the road toward the barn, I was praying. “Lord! How’m I gonna do this? How can I…” and I began naming off the things that I was (am) responsible to do. “What do You want me to do”? I cried. “I thought ‘this’ was what I was supposed to be doing… and now there’s ‘this’ added on… And I don’t see how I can do it all!”

But as I walked, head down and hands in my coat pockets due to the cold, the phrase “Thy will be done” came to mind and I looked up and said, “It’s that ‘Thy will be done’ thing, isn’t it?”

God’s will, will be done – the only variable is – what is my reaction to it. How will I say, “Thy will be done…”

In a Lenten study I wrote a few years ago we come to the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane. You know the story – Jesus enters the garden and takes Peter, James and John with Him – and as Jesus agonizes in prayer, Peter, James and John immediately fall asleep. But what we study in that lesson is how do we learn to say, “Thy will be done”?

William Barclay puts it this way:

“It makes all the difference in what tone of voice a man says, “Thy will be done.”

  1. He may say it in a tone of helpless submission, as one who is in the grip of a power against which it is hopeless to fight. The words may be the death-knell of hope.
  2. He may say it as one who had been battered into submission. The words may be the admission of complete defeat.
  3. He may say it as one who has been utterly frustrated and who sees that the dream can never come true. The words may be those of a bleak regret or even a bitter anger which is all the more bitter because he cannot do anything about it.
  4. Or, He may say it with the accent of perfect trust. That is how Jesus said it. He was speaking to one who was “Father”; He was speaking to a God whose everlasting arms were underneath and about him, even on the cross. He was submitting, but he was submitting to the love that would never let Him go. Life’s hardest task is to accept what we cannot understand; but we can do even that if we are sure enough of the love of God.

This morning, standing in the cold as I prepared to do “farm chores” I had to decide just how I would say, “Thy will be done…” and I choose to trust.

God is perfect. He is Omnipotent – He is all powerful. He is Omnipresent – He is everywhere – and He is with me… He is Omniscient – He knows every single thing – and He knows what is best in my life and He knows what will bring Him glory. And so I choose to trust Him. But now, that’s not to say that I didn’t feel every single one of those other emotions. It’s just that at this point in my life I know that the only answer is to trust. I know that to “trust and obey” is truly the only to be “happy in Jesus”.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy – it just means that I choose to trust because it’s that “Thy will be done” thing.

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You Have Brought Me to a Place

You have brought me to a place, Oh Lord, of dizzying heights; a place where my breathing quickens and my heart beats a little faster. I just can’t get my mind “wrapped around it.” It is… I don’t know how to describe it… hyper-awareness of Your Presence and Spirit. I just seem to be engulfed by Your very Being.

Oh God! Even as “life” goes on around it – the washer, the dryer, the telephone – the connection is not broken. I am thankful that it is not like the elusive butterfly, where the slightest movement causes it to flutter away. No, Your Presence is all encompassing, ever present, ever near. Thank You for allowing me to be aware of Your Presence – Your Spirit.

God, sometimes I think I’m crazy. Does anyone else in the world sense You as I do? I’m nearly afraid to speak of it; afraid to get “that” look. Either the “look” is a glassy-eyed stare of incomprehension, or a pitying look of condescension. It’s either “I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about” or “You poor thing. You really believe that, don’t you…?”

Yes, I do believe it, God. And I pray, my Father, that You will give me words to explain it.

In Jesus’ Name – Amen.

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In the Midst of This and That

Lord, as I bow this morning, I’m just silent, letting the Spirit “groan” in my place. I am so overwhelmed Lord – not just with burdens, but with blessings as well. I don’t know where to start.

You have blessed us “exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ask or think” and we are so grateful – so humbled…

But, we also know – “to whom much is given, much is required” and we’ve been given sooo much, and yes Lord, sooo much is required of us as well.

We used to pray, “we’ll study more as soon as ‘this’ is over” – “we’ll pray more as soon as ‘that’ is over”… But the longer we live Lord, the more we see that “this” and “that” is a part of life, and we must learn to seek Your face in the midst of this and that, or we’ll never see You.

We smile when we think of the phrase, and “hear” the nasally voice saying, “It’s always something…” but we must also admit the reality of that statement – for there is always “something” keeping us from time with You – there is always “something” to do.

And so Father, as I begin this day I pray, guide my hands, my feet, my mouth – and my “to do” list, that though it may never be written or spoken, that first on my list may be “seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near…” even in the midst of “this” and “that”…

In Jesus’ Name – amen.


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A prayer that I have adopted for my own says, “May I be willing, to be made willing, that Thy Will should be done.” (F. B. Mayer)

Morning Prayer

In a time of preparation for prayer one morning the following song came to mind. Many times we find that as we sing, we don’t really listen to the words that the Spirit would speak to us. So, this morning… listen as you read the words…

These precious words are inspired by John 20:22

Breathe on me,

breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love

what Thou dost love,

And do

what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me,

breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,

Until with Thee

I will one will,

To do

and to endure.

Breathe on me,

breath of God,
Till I am wholly Thine,

Till all this earthly part of me

Glows with Thy fire


Breathe on me,

breath of God,
So shall I never die,

But live with Thee

the perfect life

Of Thine eternity.


Dear Lord… what must happen in our world so that Thy Will is done – on earth, as it is in Heaven? What must happen in our churches, so that Thy Will is done – on earth, as it is in Heaven? My Father… what must happen in my life so that Thy Will is done – on earth, as it is in heaven? May I be willing, to be made willing, that Thy Holy and Perfect Will should be done in my life.

In Jesus’ Name – Amen.



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You Can’t Thumb Through a Kindle

Have you ever been thumbing through your Bible, turning to a particular scripture, when your eyes fell on an “underlined” passage that just “jumped out” at you and spoke to your heart? Well, we’re quickly losing that type of encounter in our society because…

You can’t thumb through a Kindle
Smart phone or I-Pad
There’s no “random” experience
In the latest gadget or fad.

“But” (the retort comes back)
“I’ve quit ‘chasing rabbits’
I’ve streamlined my time
It’s all at my fingers
The reason and rhyme

I’ve stopped the distractions
I’m focused you see
I’m in charge of my study
I’ll decide what I read.”

(But my friend, what you don’t realize is…)

There’s no surprise encounter
With the Word to be had
You can’t thumb through a Kindle
And what we’ve lost is so sad.


Yeah, it’s a hokey little poem (not my best literary work by any means) but it captures the anguish of my heart. (Though you may be reading this on an electronic device, still) I fear we are fast becoming a world in which God’s Word is not allowed to “speak” to our hearts. “WE” are too much “in charge” of our own study these days.

Mark up your Bible. Underline passages that speak to you. Make notes that you (or your great-grandchildren) will read in the future.

If you remember… folks died to make sure you had God’s Word, in print, in your hands…


Almighty God… El-Shad-dai… my All Sufficient One, thank You for this living, breathing Word in my hands. Speak to me today in my reading, and remind me tomorrow of what You have said.

When I am so troubled that I cannot read, may I “thumb through” and just read the “underlined” so that I remember Your presence, Your faithfulness in the past, and hold to that promise for the future.

I pray this in the Name of the One Who Is the Word made Flesh – Jesus Christ my Saviour – Amen.

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A Prayer for Everyone!

This morning I simply said, “Father, I pray for everybody.”

I didn’t pray that with a flippant or lackadaisical attitude to get “prayer time” over with quickly, but instead, I prayed it very seriously because I know that every – single – person has issues and struggles. Every – single – person faces each day with things that scare them, things that pain them, and things they are thankful for, whether they know God or not.

And so, at least for today, I wanted to lift “everybody” up to God; all of creation and all creatures great and small. For as we constantly see – worldwide – whether there are hurricanes or tsunamis, whether there are earthquakes, tornados or diverse disasters, Creation does indeed, “groan in travail” right along with the rest of us… Amen.



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Another Kind of Prayer

I used to say that I had to be in the “mood” to write… maybe that meant that I had to be “inspired” to write.

Maybe, I needed to be in God’s presence to write (although I didn’t know it at the time…) Perhaps now, I need to be in God’s presence to really pray.

“But, God is Omnipresent,” you say. “He’s everywhere. We’re always in His presence.” And maybe we are – but is He in ours?

Every time my mind is “still” (if even for the briefest of moments) my thoughts turn to prayer. I say “Thank You” or “Praise You” or I lift up a name that’s on my heart.

But, is that really prayer?

“Yes it is,” I argue. And I am right; it is a type of prayer. It is, what I call, “a prayer of aware-ance.” I am continually aware of the presence of God. But, in this prayer, “I” set the tone and “I” set the time. And I tell God, “Here I am! Let’s talk now.” And then I tell God when I’m finished, and I close the door and get on with “life.”

But… there is another kind of prayer.

And that is the prayer of immersion – where (most times unexpectedly) I feel myself engulfed, surrounded, enshrouded by His Presence. Where God doesn’t just poke His Head into my world, but instead, I am allowed entrance into His Court.

It’s like a fog slowly rolling in. At first, I barely “see” it. And then before my mind fully comprehends what is happening, I am embraced with such wonder that first catches my breath, and then makes me want to breathe deeply, and be filled as completely within by His Aura, as I am enveloped without, by His Arms.

At times like these I want to cry out, “Oh God! What an awesome gift of Your Love. Thank You for tearing that curtain down!”

Do we really realize what a privilege we have been given? No, I don’t think we do. At least, not very often…


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Today starts a new section in my book “Put Your Hand to the Plow – and Pray!” These are a collection of prayers and devotionals from the farm. This section is titled “How to Pray”. It is introduced with the following scripture:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2


Prelude to Prayer…


“Lord God Almighty,” not the “oh my god” of the sitcoms; not the god of the late night comics, nor of the movie screen. Neither the god of the philosophers or the debaters – but “The Lord God Almighty” – maker of heaven and earth, the creator Word, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, the very One Who Jesus called “Abba, Father”, and Who knows the number of the hairs on my head… it is to You that I pray…

The Hebrews would not even say Your Name, it is so holy, and I am speechless in acknowledgement of Your majesty. There are no words to express the awesomeness of Your magnificence. With a Word, You spoke the world into existence. At Your breath clay becomes man, and at Your breath, man becomes clay…

David’s cry of “O LORD my Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth” becomes my song as well. “Oh Jehovah, my Adonai,” “Oh Eternal, ‘my God’,” “Oh Unspeakable, my Personal” “Oh Father, my Abba…” “Oh Without, my within,” how excellent is Your name(s) in all the earth…

And… You… want me… to pray… to You…?

ah…. My knees buckle at the very thought…

God, we pray at our “prayer times” and we pray “thought prayers” all the day long. We see a beautiful scene and instinctively pray “Thank You, Lord…” We see a need or hear a plea and send up an immediate prayer for deliverance or aid. And even expect an answer…

Yet as Christians, we almost take for granted that You are there; that You hear our every cry, that you care for every condition of our hearts, our souls and our physical needs. We know that we can come to You at any time, but O Lord, sometimes we fail to grasp the unspeakable, unfathomable, immeasurable, fullness of Your Glory.

But indeed, how can we? For we are just man – and You… are God.

You are the Lord God Almighty. And it is to You, that I pray…



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