Prayer Keep Our Eyes On The Cross

Over the last couple of years I have written prayers. Some of these prayers were written out of response of how God spoke to me through Bible Study. Other prayers, are simple petitions that were placed on my heart during my quiet time.  From time to time, I will be sharing these prayers with you. 

I wrote the following prayer October 24, 2017.

 

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Father God,

Thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus who came to show us how to love, forgive, and to live as Your Kingdom people on earth. It is when we accept Your Son, Jesus into our hearts we are given the blessed assurance of the day we stand in Your presence. Until that moment we ask that You to fill us with the Holy Spirit. Open our eyes to those You place in our path that are hungry to hear the gospel of Jesus and about the gift of salvation.

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As we enter each new day, may we clothe ourselves in Your mighty armor.  Along with clothing ourselves with Your armor, may clothe ourselves with compassion, humility, kindness, and discipline. If someone speaks out of turn or has bitter words towards us, may we speak with grace. May we be willing to forgive just as You forgive us of our offenses. Most of all, as we walk out the door each day, may we put on the love of Christ. We know we are to walk in the footsteps of Christ’s love. As Ambassadors of Christ, we are to express who Christ is through our words, actions and how we respond to others.

"The cross before me, the world behind me."

We pray that we keep our eyes on the cross and know the Truth that You have written. It is my prayer that Your Word is imprinted on our hearts. Keep our hearts tuned to the Holy Spirit’s leading. May we join in with You and the work You are doing around us.

This prayer is lifted up to You in Jesus’ precious name that is no like other name.

In Jesus Name

Amen

 

 

 

 

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Unbearable Obstacles

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

If you are familiar with this movie, Here Comes The Boom, you know that Kevin James’ character is a school teacher that decides to prize-fight to keep the arts/music program in the school where he teaches. In this scene we see that Kevin James’ character is being pushed to his physical limits.

In life, there are times when we are pushed to our physical limits and are faced of what we think are unbearable obstacles. Within these moments we hear, “follow my voice, you can’t give up”.  Then there are other voices telling us that enough is enough and to give up. We are pushed to the point that life becomes blurry.

life blurry

It is in that blurred moment where we have two choices. We can follow The Voice ( God) and take a moment to sit down and allow him to help us continue. Or, we can listen to all the other voices of the world and Satan tell us it is no use and at to just give up and throw the towel in the ring.

Kevin James Here Comes The Boom

It is in the most unbearable obstacles where we can be someone else’s inspiration. Just as Henry Winkler’s character pointed out how Kevin’s character had already been an inspiration to the students. He saw an obstacle and he was determined to remove that obstacle. He was determined that the sound of music from the orchestra room would still fill the halls. Thus, teaching the students there is nothing in life too hard to fight for that is worth fighting for.

There have been moments in my life time where I have sat on the sidelines and watched someone go through what seems to be an unbearable obstacle. It is in my observation that I stand amazed of how they kept going. They live life as nothing wrong is going down. Yet, they continue to take punch after punch.  They seek the voice that says; “follow my voice.” In other words, they keep their eye  on the prize, Christ Jesus. These people have inspired and taught me to stay focused in my times of unbearable obstacles.

signs of obstacles

Personally, the above video clip speaks to me. In the last couple of months, life has handed some things to me that I viewed as unbearable obstacles. I won’t mention the nature of these obstacles. Yet,  I will say that as punch after punch took place, I heard that still quiet voice within me telling me to follow His voice. It is sitting down at His feet to rest in the midst of the fight where He shows me the blessings that have already taken place. He assures me that no matter the outcome He will still be with me.

prize fighter

In between the rounds of a fight/boxing match, the fighter goes to his/her corner. As they sit on the stool to allow their team to take care of them, a towel or blanket of some sort is placed over them until the bell rings for the next round to start. A couple of weeks ago something similar happened to me.

 I went to my small group for the first time in several weeks.  There was no denying that I had come battle worn and life was getting a little blurry.  For me, this was my corner that I went to and go to when I need to catch my breath in between the punches life has and/or throws at me and to gain my focus back on the true prize, Christ Jesus.

prayer holy spirit

 On this particular morning as the meeting came to a close, my small group friends surrounded me and draped a prayer shawl around my shoulders. They knew I was battle worn and yet when I left there were still going to be rounds I had to face. As they draped this shawl around me, they began to lay hands on me and prayed for me and my family. It was a sacred moment and I did not just feel their hands around me but I felt one hundred times more than what were actually there. It is without a doubt the Holy Spirit and all of God’s angels were surrounding me at that moment. It was in that moment that the unbearable obstacles became bearable. And, just as Kevin James does in the movie, I got back up and re-entered the ring to continue the fight.

There are many of you right now facing unbearable obstacles. Some may be dealing with a family with a terminal illness such as cancer, some it may be caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, loss of job or it may be a troubled relationship. No matter what the situation is at the moment, know that it does not have to be an unbearable obstacle.  Instead, use these moments to sit at the feet of Jesus when you need renewal, allow the Holy Spirit to drape around you and fill you up with what you need. Make the choice to follow The Voice and block out the voices of the world that are telling you to give up and it’s no use. It is in doing this that your unbearable obstacles  become bearable. 

Last but not least, know it is in following the voice of Jesus Christ and keeping our eye on the prize that we become an inspiration to others.

Jesus Came Last Night

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation , by prayer and petition with thanksgiving

present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds

In Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

God,

Thank you for the blessings of the day.

Please be with Jim and me as we walk our journey with you.

Surround us with your Holy Spirit as individuals and as a couple.

Place your Holy Spirit around our home and in our home so that those who

encounter us or pass our home will experience a peace that passes ALL understanding.

I share this portion of  a prayer that I pray each night before going to bed.  For me, there is no going to sleep or peaceful night’s sleep until I have said my prayers to God and place the night and the day ahead into his hands. Last night was no different with the exception that I was to the point of exhaustion that I literally just collapsed into my Father’s arms as I prayed.

life

In this process of  prayer time and writing, I am awaiting tests results. Life is happening with its twists and turns.  I haven’t felt well for most of the summer. Thus, prompting a visit to my doctor. Over the years we have known that I was border line lupus. Jim and I knew that there was a possibility that one day that those lab numbers could/would cross the line and a new and not wanted diagnoses would occur.  It is something that I am still trying to understand and get my head around.

On top of me not feeling well, we have found out that Jim’s father’s cancer has begun to be active again. Thus, Jim is taking more time off from work to go to take care of his Mom and Dad and to be with them at doctor’s visits. Neither Jim nor me begrudge Jim having to make these trips. It is just what you do for the people who brought you into this world and who have loved, nurtured and stood by your side in growing up and in watching you raise a family.

challenges

With both of these scenarios taking place simultaneously and trying to keep up with the activities we participate in with our church, small groups, work and community, it has become overwhelming at times.  Jim and I both have had to say no to some activities and put some things on hold until we can get a handle on all that is happening in our lives right now.  Yet, we have and will keep the faith and look up. There are days that our strength is nothing but the Lord’s doing and working in our lives.

Gods hand

As I said earlier I collapsed into my Father’s arms with exhaustion.  I poured out my heart to him and in doing so I was reminded of the two scriptures from John 14:27 and Philippians 4:6-7.  Despite all that is going on in the Hawkins home and the possibilities of what may come I know there is no need to be anxious because I have a loving Father walking by my side. This same Father is walking beside Jim as well and us as a couple.   Last night, I closed by asking the Father to allow me to fall asleep in his arms, and to feel that peace that he promises us in John.

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Then the indescribable happened.  laying on my side asleep facing Jim, I felt these arms wrap around all around me. As these arms wrapped around me, I felt this indescribable warmth. The arms that came around me and hugged me tight. This  was a hug I have ever experienced on this earth. I wish I could describe the way the arms felt and the warmth felt.  Yet, it is all beyond any words I can say or write. It is beyond comprehension. Though this hug is indescribable and beyond comprehension, I can say that there was that peace that passes all understanding promised from our Father that wrapped around me as I felt this hug.

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This morning I tried to tell Jim of this experience. There was a struggle for words to describe what I had felt in the night. As I struggled to describe the indescribable, I simply looked at Jim and said; “Jesus came last night. He hugged me. I felt His peace.” This morning I didn’t wake up healed or feeling different physically but I woke up with a new joy in my life despite all that is happening right now.  I don’t know what is in store for me or any of my family members in the days ahead.  However, I have been affirmed that Jim nor I are walking the journey alone. My Father who hugged me in the night is right there placing peace in ALL situations. And, it is a peace that passes ALL understanding and comprehension.

His eye is on the sparrow and I KNOW He watches me.”

If that one moment of peace and hug last night was indescribable, I can only imagine what it’s going to feel like when I meet my Father face to face. Holy Goose Bumps!

We Need To Bow Down

bowing before God

” I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like fire; brilliant light surrounding him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I feel facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.” Ezekiel 1:27-28

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This description of what Ezekiel is experiencing in the presence of the LORD just gives me chills.  I can only imagine what Ezekiel was thinking and feeling at this moment of time.  The study notes in my Life Application Bible say this; The glory of the LORD appeared like fire and brilliant light to Ezekiel. Ezekiel fell facedown, overwhelmed by the contrast between God’s holiness and his own sinfulness insignificance.”

it's in the waiting

In one of the Beth Moore studies that I participated in with my small group, Beth shares the importance of bowing down in the presence of God and being present before God.  Throughout the study we were encouraged to literally get on our knees, bow before God and present ourselves, our hearts and  prayers to Him. Wow! What an experience of God’s presence I experienced when I actually got down on my knees and bowed before God.

I admit most days my prayer life are prayers said from the chair as I read a daily devotional, prayers said as I lay down at night and those that are breath prayers that I say as I go through my day. It is in those prayers that I am reminded that God is walking with me in my day-to-day life. Through these prayers I have invited God to be a part of all that is going on in my life. Yet, the times where I have truly experienced the awesome presence of my Father is when I actually get down on my knees and bow before Him.

the-power-of-prayer

In the moments of bowing before God, I am totally relinquishing all control I want to have over my life to God whom is in control. As I bow on my knees, I am showing God that I respect Him and His will for my life. It is in the getting on my knees and bowing that I feel a Holy presence like no other. There have been times when I have been on my knees before God where I felt a presence standing behind me, surrounding me  and a hand touching my shoulder.

There is no question in my mind of the presence behind me and the one touching me because I know it is God’s Son/My Savior who is also in the presence of the Father. The presence that is surrounding me is the presence of the Holy Spirit.  It is in these moments when I empty myself before God and allow Him to fill me up.  There is a peace that passes all understanding that comes over me as He listens to me empty myself and as I allow Him to fill me up.

fill me up

We live in a fast paced world. Many people are burden with many things these days. Some are burden with terminal illness. Others are burdened with finances or some other family crisis. The list of things people face today is long. Yet, in the midst of the illnesses and the crisis, we must remember to go to God and carry it all to Him in prayer.

seek God

What is heavy on your heart today?  I encourage you to get down on your knees and bow before God. Relinquish the control you want to have over the situation and allow God to lead.  As you are on your knees, feel His might presence, feel His Son touch your shoulder with assurance and feel the Holy Spirit wrap around you. Trust me, it is in the bowing before God is when you will feel a peace that passes ALL understanding.

I encourage you to watch this clip from the television show, Touched By An Angel.

Blessings

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Good Morning!

it's in the waiting

I received this letter via email several years ago. It is a letter that I keep in my bible. And, it is a letter to be shared with others. Have a wonderful day!

Good Morning,

I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, DO NOT attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFDJTD (Something For Jesus To Do) Box. It will be addressed in MY time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution. Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest my child. If you need me, contact me, I am a prayer away.

Your Father,

God

crown and heart

It’s In The Waiting

waiting

Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones sings a song about waiting for a friend. Brad Paisley recorded a song; Waiting on a Woman where Andy Griffith is sitting on a bench with Brad giving him advice about waiting on a woman. Everyday it seems that most of us  are waiting in some sort of line, in traffic, waiting for an appointment, anticipated phone call or waiting for a prayer answered.

microwave

Today, we live in what I call a microwave world. We don’t want to wait for anything! Instead, we want our answers right now, we want to hurry up and get to where we are going and NOT sit in traffic. We arrive at our scheduled time for an appointment where we may not actually be seen for an hour passed the appointed time and we grow inpatient and grumble that our precious time is being taken away.

it's in the waiting

It’s in the waiting where while I stood in line waiting my turn that I have met the neatest people and had the most interesting and sometimes entertaining conversations.  There have been times when sitting in traffic where I look over at a sign that says something I needed to hear or it’s something that makes me chuckle that gets me  through the rest of the day.  It’s in the waiting on an appointment, I have listened to someone share their concerns about a loved one or of something they were going through. It’s in the waiting for that phone call that I was able to think things through and pray a little more before responding to the call that would be coming in.

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Waiting is a season in life. All of us go through this season at some point and time. There are those of us who go through this season of waiting many times throughout our lifetime. In this season of waiting, we sometimes feel as though God is not there but in all reality he is there.

From my experience, I sincerely believe God makes us wait so we can experience him all the more. Remember the saying;  great things come to those who wait”?  This quote is true but it is in the waiting where God is showing great things all around us.

But those who wait on the LORD

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

count your blessings

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Our Journey

walking with others

We are all on different journeys taking different roads in life, but in the end the road will take us all to the same place….heaven. In the words of Michael W. Smith….”Pray for me and I’ll pray for you.” Enjoy your day and may you feel God’s presence on journey.