God is working in me

When I attended catechism classes in 7th and 8th grade, I distinctly remember two lessons. I do not remember which lesson came before the other, however, I have thought of these lessons often over my lifetime… even if I didn’t always believe or abide by the pastor’s instructions.

God stands beside me

Pastor Etzel said to our catechism class, “God stands beside you. Be careful of what you say and do because God hears and sees you.” This must be a common lesson in the catechism instructor’s book. My friend of 38 years, Mary, who is nine years my senior and who also was instructed in another Missouri Lutheran church this same lesson on how we should ask ourselves the following question before we act:

“If you knew God was standing next to you, what would you do (or say)?”

“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.” Galations 6:4-5 NIV

Proverbs 16

Daily disappointment

I am certainly God’s daily disappointment. Even though I try to ask myself that question, my actions and reactions are often done without a moment’s hesitation. I like to think, however, my intentions always come from a good place, but I know that isn’t always true.

“Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5

God has a plan for me

The other lesson from pastor’s catechism class was that God has a plan for my life. In fact, the pastor said, “God has a plan for you and it is already written.”

“Really?” my younger self said at the time. Even today as I look back on my life, I am beginning to finally understand what the pastor was trying to tell his impressionable class.

Last week’s reading of God’s Word revealed the following annotation next to Genesis chapter 11, in part:

“Although there is no scriptural reference to Job during this period of time, there is compelling evidence to believe that an important historical figure named Job should be included come the ancients. His home is in the land of Uz…. Job is a righteous man… However, disaster strikes Job when a series of disasters strikes him…. Even worse, all his children are killed, he is stricken with a terrible, painful disease… Job nevertheless maintains his faith in God. As a result, his wealth is restored to double its original worth, more children are born to him, and he dies a happy man.” (This excerpt is taken from page 22 of The Daily Bible in Chronological Order, NIV translation, Harvest House Publishers, © 1984.)

The author of this annotation, compiler, F. LaGard Smith writes in the same annotation that Job’s story is a story of great faith, and his apparently successful struggle with the reason for his struggle is one that has comforted generations of fellow-sufferers. “That fact alone might well have something to do with why he was called upon to experience such adversity.”

Could God’s plan for my life be a source of comfort to others?

While Job’s life ended well for him, will my story of faith end as well as Job’s?

What am I doing with my life?

“Work hard to show the results of our salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in You, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” 1 Corinthians 4:5

My Rainbow

Dear Lord, I give You all the praise and glory. Help me to break free from the selfishness in thought, word and deed that prevent me from reflecting your holiness. I pray for the light in my darkness that my life may reveal a story of great faith for others who may also find comfort in You.

I pray this in the name of Christ, who is the true light. Amen

May I pray for you?

The Prayer Journals is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction to writing my spiritual memoir. My posts in 2018 are a series of posts relating to this theme. If you have just joined The Prayer Journals, I hope you will take the time to explore previous posts on this site.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be a master writer. Perhaps you are an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. Use your gifts to communicate with God however you wish in your prayer journal.

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

Other ways to connect with The Prayer Journals

Facebook:      https://www.facebook.com/PrayerPrompts/
Twitter:         @PrayerPrompts
Email:            Hoot@thebloggingowl.com

© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

 

A lamp for my feet

Journal writing has always been a part of my lift since I was about 10 years old when my grandmother gifted me a baby blue diary with a tiny key to open the lock on it. But a prayer journal is more than listing and discussing the day’s events.

A prayer journal is the collection of love letters.

When I was growing up I had a pen pal with a girl my age that used to be classmate until we moved to the other side of the farming county. For several years until we both reached the age of boyfriends and school dances, we wrote to each other often. I don’t remember the content of those pen pal letters, but I do remember anxiously waiting for the next letter to arrive.

Could God be waiting for my letter?

Several years ago, when life upended itself, I began to cry out more earnestly than ever to God to answer me. I had a revelation and that is when I turned my daily journal into a prayer journal. Although I thought of myself as a faithful Christian, I had taken my prayer life and communication with God for granted.

As I cried out, “Where are you??”

Deep down I knew he had to be there because he told me as much; but where was he?”

“A person’s soul is the Lord’s lamp. It searches his entire innermost being.” Proverbs 20:27

My prayer journal became a scrapbook of my daily communication with God.

Praise, tears, anger, love, it didn’t matter, my prayer journal was a collection of statements, announcements, questions, photos, inspirational cut-outs and poetry. I re-wrote God’s word, verses that I loved, and verses that I fought with in trying to understand him.

All the while screaming the question, “Where are you?!

“O Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord turns my darkness into light.” 2 Samuel 22:29

image

God lit my path and continues to do so into the new year.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105

And as I continue down this path, my question in search of the right true faith is this:

Is Jesus Christ, the epitome of God’s wisdom, at the center of my life’s decisions and actions?

tree of life

Every day I make choices on the path to the tree of life. Do I have the courage to make these fundamental choices when confronted with the driving force of my life?

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

     Lord God, You revealed in Jesus Christ that Your foolishness exceeds the wisdom of men, and Your weakness is greater than their strength. Give me the grace and wisdom to understand that in Your gentleness there is power, in Your kindness there is might, in Your forgiveness there is life. Keep me from the folly of relying on my own power or my own purpose. Help me to see the wisdom is born and grows to maturity through faith in Christ. Grant me confidence in Your mercy and hope in Your promises.

     I pray in the name of Him who is Wisdom.  Amen

~ Lutheran Book of Prayer

May I pray for you?

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be a master writer. Perhaps you are an illustrator, a painter, a poet, or a lyricist. Use your gifts to communicate with God however you wish in your prayer journal.

My extended prayer is that you will continue to read along in 2018. I don’t know where God is leading me, but I know He is with me. Whatever your journey, I know God is with you too; and you, my readers are listed on the back pages of my prayer journal as I pray for you.

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

Other ways to connect with The Prayer Journals

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/PrayerPrompts/
Twitter:       @PrayerPrompts
Email:          Hoot@thebloggingowl.com

 

© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved