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

Getting Our Attention, A Faith Series #4

What if God had not gotten my attention with the meltdown of 2009 and ended my career in the summer of 2009?

What if God had not pleasantly surprised with the unforeseen expectation of marriage so soon after publishing my personal ad in the local newspaper in January 1992?

What if I didn’t recognize all the people who unexpectedly came to my rescue, influenced and encouraged me throughout my life as one of God’s angels?

Would I have recognized God?

Would I have recognized He had answered my prayer or when?

When the answer to prayer is “no.”

Has God answered all my prayers?

What happened when God didn’t answer my prayer? Or did He?

In 2006, my husband and I listed our house for sale. We wanted to move to a bigger house, preferably further out in the country and closer to my mother and her husband. Since my father had died prior to my marriage and having a family, my mother’s husband was my son’s grandfather. We all loved him. At the time, he was battling multiple myeloma, bone cancer; and we wanted to be near them in case they needed us.

We spent many weekends searching for a new home with little action on our current one. We were losing heart that we would be able to move. Finally, after many months, we took our home off the market and resigned ourselves to remaining in our current home. Sadly, in June 2007, our sons’ papa passed away.

It would be two years later that our financial house came crashing down when I lost my job that summer of 2009. Looking back, my husband and I were relieved that we had not moved because we surely would have lost that home possibly due to foreclosure. We found ourselves barely able to hold on to what we had as it was since our current home had lost all its’ value and was “underwater” in terms of our mortgage.

“When you get what you want, that is God’s direction. When you don’t get what you want, that is God’s protection.” (Unknown)

The answer to my prayer was a resounding, “no” from God. God knows our past, present and future. While we went through financial pains after I lost my job, it would have been much worse if we had sold our house and moved to another one. Now when my prayers are not answered, I know either God is delaying because He has something better in mind for me, or He is protecting me from something.

“I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Gentlest Souls

My Prayer

Dear Lord, You can create out of nothing. I confess I am often blinded with doubt and my heart falls into despair grieving that you have not answered my prayer. You have shown me time and time again that you provide and protect far beyond what I can even contemplate at the time of my prayer. Forgive me Lord for doubting and not trusting You. Thank you for knowing me. Thank you for working on my behalf. Thank you for loving me that I may know Your presence and the joy of salvation through faith in You. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Getting to know God

I have written 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 encourage you to begin a prayer journal today so you can know Him too. When you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. Is He trying to get your attention today? Why not draw closer to Him?

Getting Our Attention – A Faith Series is a four-part series. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read the fourth and final post in this series. I pray you will continue to follow The Prayer Journals blog.

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