Three things I pray

Day by Day,” is a folk-rock ballad from the 1971 Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak musical Godspell. The refrain’s origin has been ascribed to the 13th-century English bishop Saint Richard of Chichester.

Refrain:

“Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day”

I was 10 years old in 1971. And then over the years I would sing this song to myself whenever I was anxious and scared. I often think about the many times in the middle of the night I would hug my younger self singing this song in my head eventually falling asleep.

That song always comforted me. It still does today. Perhaps this song was the seed planted all those years ago that is now become The Prayer Journals. I hadn’t thought about that until now.

God’s perfect timing

While I have written in journals over the years, my prayer journal did not become a consistent practice until about eight years ago. I cannot imagine not going a day without my daily writing and praying visits with God.

“To see thee more clearly”

Even on the cloudiest of days my prayer journal has helped me to see God more clearly. The practice of reading God’s Word every day has given me new insight on His presence and asking Him to show me His presence in the darkest days. Because no matter how much I rely on my faith, there are days I when I feel the raindrops of doubt are the ones I do see Him more clearly.

1 John 4:12-15 (GW)

“No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.  We know that we live in him and he lives in us, because he has given us his Spirit.  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.” 

Acts 2:32-35 (GW)

“God brought this man Jesus back to life. We are all witnesses to that. 33 God the Father used his power to give Jesus the honored position—the one next to him on the heavenly throne. Jesus has also received and has poured out the Holy Spirit as the Father had promised, and this is what you’re seeing and hearing. David didn’t go up to heaven, but he said,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Take the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne
until I put your enemies under your control.”’

“To love thee more dearly”

On some days when it is difficult to love myself or others because this world seemingly becomes more hostile and unforgiving, God’s Word and my prayer journal are my refuge for reminding me of God’s love and the power of His peace that only He can provide me. It’s my place where I talk it out whether with tears of anger, hurt or hopeless, I know I am loved. But it isn’t just on the difficult days, it is every day that I praise Him for His many blessings and I find that I love Him more dearly.

Luke 10:27 (GW)

“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.’”

Luke 1:77-79 (GW)

“You will make his people know that they can be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
A new day will dawn on us from above
because our God is loving and merciful.
He will give light to those who live in the dark
and in death’s shadow.
He will guide us into the way of peace.”

“To follow thee more nearly”

This third thing is often the most difficult to do because I want what I want when I want it. You too? And when I find myself being bitter about not receiving the thing I want or something not happening when I think it should happen, I go to the prayer journal and I write:

“Lord, I only want to be where you want me to be. I only want what you want me to have and when you want me to have it and not a minute sooner.”

God lifts the burden and I feel His peace.  It never fails to amaze me the feeling that comes over me. “I follow You more nearly, Lord.”

Deuteronomy 32:4 (GW)

“He is a rock.
What he does is perfect.
All his ways are fair.
He is a faithful God, who does no wrong.
He is honorable and reliable.”

1 Peter 4:19 (GW)

“Those who suffer because that is God’s will for them must entrust themselves to a faithful creator and continue to do what is good.”

These things I pray

Dear Lord God, I pray for the grace and wisdom to understand that in Your gentleness there is power, in Your kindness there is strength, and in Your forgiveness, there is life. Keep me from relying on my own power, my own purpose and the love of this world instead of my love for you. Help me to understand that wisdom is born and grows to maturity through faith in Christ. Grant me the patience and confidence in Your mercy and hope in Your promises. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who is Wisdom. I love You. Amen

A Psalm.JPG

May I pray for you?

The Prayer Journals blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir. My posts in 2018 are a series 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. God enjoys hearing from you and you will be blessed!

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

Connect with The Prayer Journals

Facebook: Facebook/ThePrayerJournals/PrayerPrompts
Twitter: @PrayerPrompts
Email:    Hoot@thebloggingowl.com

© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

Getting to Know God Series – A Ministry

(This is the fourth post in a 30-Week Series – Getting to Know God.)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 

Easier said than done, right?

On the outside I was confident I was following God’s direction by starting a contracting business in the spring of 2010, but inside I was weak with anxiety and insecurity. I reasoned that I had no choice since after literally hundreds of unanswered online job applications and circulating my resume, my family would soon be teetering on bankruptcy. My pride could not allow that to happen. And neither could my pride allow accepting government assistance so with a sizable withdrawal from my 401(k) retirement plan, I set out to earn a living on my own… of course it could not have happened without God and His “angels.”

The Value of Prayer

The temptation to give up is often easy when there doesn’t seem to be a way around a circumstance. When Jesus started his ministry, he encountered Satan in a series of temptations that are representative of what faces each of us. Satan confronted Jesus when he was most vulnerable. Satan does the same thing to us in our vulnerability.

Jesus was led by the Spirit

Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights Jesus was hungry. Satan would tempt Jesus three times.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” Mark 4:1-11

I didn’t know at the time if starting a business would be my wilderness, but I followed Jesus’ lead by relying on the value of prayer. And with every temptation to give in, give up, or give out I immersed myself in Scripture, so I could be reminded of the truth and wisdom in the face of Satan’s temptation and lies.

Jesus’ begins his ministry

Although Jesus did not hold an official position nor was he specifically trained to be a priest, he began his ministry wherever common people were found. He taught and performed miracles around the Sea of Galilee and throughout the entire area. It is here that Jesus was rejected in Nazareth.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 

22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. 23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’” 

24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land.

26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” 

28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.

30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” Mark 4:16-30

Rejection

As I have mentioned in previous posts in this series, I relied heavily not only on prayer and Scripture, but the angels God had placed in my life as I started to learn the industry I was endeavoring, making contacts for work assignments, and my many years in sales positions. Was I a fake as I thought earlier after my layoff? Only time would tell.

Had I never learned about Jesus or if I had stopped reading Scripture after Jesus’ experience in Nazareth I may never have learned in starting my own new venture that Jesus’ life teaches each one of us about rejection and acceptance. My faith would be the key to my success.

I was rejected by prospects and I was also accepted by others to keep going with my new line of work. I just kept praying that enough work would come along and that my clients would be paying me timely. My husband and I were trying desperately not only to catch up, but not fall behind further in our bills. Would my faith pay off? Only time would tell.

Trusting God

A prayer from my journal

Lord of my life, bless me Lord, my daily life and especially my work. May my work reflect Your goodness in all I say and do. Help and guide me so my work does not turn toward selfish purposes. Forgive me when I fail. Lift me up in your Word.

Lord of my life, help me to remember You are still in control when I feel discouraged and useless or when I am anxious and angry. Help me to realize that all good comes from You when I am satisfied and pleased with my work.

Lord of my life, take my work into Your own hands and bless not only the work but the people involved. Use what I accomplish to be a benefit not only for my family but to others and that it further Your purpose and will for my life and others for Jesus’ sake, I pray. Amen

May I pray for you?

The Prayer Journals are my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir. My posts in 2018 are a series 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

Connect with The Prayer Journals

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

© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved