40 Days of Lent – Reflections #3, A Series

This past week in The Prayer Journals’ 6-Week Lenten Series to spiritual awakening with daily fasting, prayer with a prayer journal prompt for personal reflection, there was much to pray upon – kindness, humility, judgement, forgiveness, enemies, and tragedy.
40 DAYS OF LENT - Series #3

A National Day of Prayer: COVID-19

As I draw closer to God so I can now Him better, there are times that I am dismayed. Sometimes it seems the more I get to know Him, the more I do not understand. At this point, I realize the distance between us. The goal of knowing Him better seems further from my reach. What makes these times unfamiliar is when I do not understand the tragedy around me like the current national emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic.

19 DAY - 40 DAYS OF LENT

Many people are naturally fearful of getting sick, fear of dying from this illness, and fear of being isolated from family, friends, and the outside world in their self-quarantine. When I read the entirety of 1 John, chapter 4, I am reassured beginning in verse 14 and ending in verse 19 (GW):

“We have seen and testify to the fact that the Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God lives in those who declare that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them.

God’s love has reached its goal in us. So, we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment. While we are in this world, we are exactly like him with regard to love. No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love. We love because God loved us first.”

I hold on to my faith in Jesus Christ.

When I give in to something like the bad habit of fear, I soon realize the tremendous control is has over me. Even though I may say, “Oh, I will not give in to it,” I know I can’t when I willingly give in to it.

“Lord, help me to turn off the outside world when it panics and turn to You instead.”

I belong to God. God, who is in me, is greater than anything in this world. Misery comes when tragedy tackles me; and I become fearful. Whatever befalls me, God assures me He loves me. When darkness comes and I am isolated, I endure because I know God is with me. Whether I live another day to love, or die to live forever in love with Christ, everything is possible with God, Mark 10:27 (GW), who loved me first.

“God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 (GW)

On this day, March 15, 2020, may we all turn to the God of peace and “trust the LORD with all (our) heart, and do not rely on (our) own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (GW).

When I pray

I encourage you to periodically refer back to the initial invitation for this 6-week Lenten series, 40 Days of Lent – An Invitation for further journal writing guidance for the daily prayer journal prompts for the reflection topic. Please know that I am praying for you in this spiritual awakening journey toward the Easter celebration. You may reach out to me by email at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

Getting to know God

I have been writing in a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. Are you waiting for answers? Draw closer to God.

I hope you will join me daily on The Prayer Journals Facebook page during the Lenten season (and beyond) for spiritual growth. May I also ask that you share this blog post on your Facebook page and other social media, as well as, the daily Prayer Journals Facebook posts?

I appreciate your participation and value your prayers.

I am praying for you!

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts. If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved

A Courageous Heart

A couple of weeks ago I wrote on my blog, The Blogging Owl, my three new words to live by in 2020. I added three action verbs to existing words from 2018 and 2019 that will motivate me to get on with my purpose by using the talents God has gifted to me. My three action words are silence, commit and fulfill.

Living by faith means expecting the best.

As I look forward to a new year in the next few days, I look back in my prayer journals to see how God has blessed me throughout this past year. There are highs and lows in any given year and my brokenness – that which breaks my resistance and self-reliance in my journey to looking and living out God’s will for my life has and will not always be easy.

As I read through the pages of my prayer journals covering this past year (and those of past years), all that was intended was not accomplished. As I have drawn closer to God and getting to know him better, I have gotten to know my own identity better too. Knowing God and knowing myself better has helped me to define my responsibilities in all ways. It has helped me to silence self-doubt, commit to God’s control, readying myself to fulfilling His plan for my life.

When I listen to God and follow His will and not my own, I receive His very best for my life. Not only does God’s Word tell me so, but the pages of my prayer journals reflect how God has answered or still has me waiting for His best. When I fully reflect on this past year, I have experienced the greatest joy and unimaginable fulfillment when I lived out my responsibilities with my God-given talents. When I live this way, I no longer feel directionless and anxiety.

Three Verses

While I carry the entire Word of God with me today and into the New Year, I especially pray these three verses.

Psalm 31: 24 GW – Praying the Scripture:

“Be strong, all (I) who wait with the hope for the Lord and let your (my) heart be courageous.”

2 Corinthians 12:6-10 GW – Paul writes:

“If I ever wanted to brag, I wouldn’t be a fool. Instead, I would be telling the truth. But I’m going to spare you so that no one may think more of me than what he sees or hears about me, especially because of the excessive number of revelations that I’ve had.

Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, I am forced to deal with a recurring problem. That problem, Satan’s messenger, torments me to keep me from being conceited. I begged the Lord three times to take it away from me. But he told me: “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So, I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ’s power will live in me. Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It’s clear that when I’m weak, I’m strong.”

Romans 14:12 GW – Paul writes:

“All of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God.” 

Job 23

My Prayer

Dear Lord, where there was darkness in my life you have given it light. May that light continue to shine today and in the coming days so that only You will be reflected against the darkness of this world. I cling to all Your promises. As written in Isaiah 40: “You give strength to those who are tired and give strength to those who are weak… and the strength of those who wait on the Lord will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary. They will walk and won’t grow tired.” The journey of looking and living out Your Will for my life has not been easy at times. I pray Lord, that you will renew and clarify within me the purpose you have planned for me. There is no faith without risk. Silence any fear and let my heart be courageous to fulfill the purpose you have given today and always. I pray this in Jesus’s name. Amen

May You have a Joyous New Year!

I encourage you to start your prayer journal today if you haven’t already done so. Prayer is the most important conversation you have each day. You will be amazed as you too look back and read the pages of your journal how you heard, felt and saw God’s presence in your life.

I am grateful that you have taken the time to read and follow The Prayer Journals blog. If you have specific prayer request, please email me at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com. The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts.

Blessings on Your New Year!

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

 

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved