Friday, December 30, 2011

Look Back

Dear God,

Remembering our past can be difficult, especially when we have memories of broken dreams, painful ordeals and unresolved conflicts. Help us to remember that in the midst of the darkness there was also the light of your grace. The moments when life seemed to offer nothing became occasions of discovering that you are everything.

When we look back today, we can see you working behind the scenes transforming our difficult moments into a means of grace. Thank God, weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning!

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sue Burton

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Going Deep

“All night all day angels watching over me my Lord!”

Hope of my present and future, I thank you for my experiences today. In the morning I praise you for new mercies and in the evening I thank you for grace. Thank you for the high positive moments and thank you for standing with me as storms cloud gathered. I can't help but thank you for your presence and care in the deepest struggles of my life.

May the experiences of today produce in me the deepening of my faith, strengthening of my love and affirmation of my Divine purpose. Thank you for every good and perfect gift and the favor you shared that was so undeserved.

In the name of Jesus, grant me perfect peace and perfect rest tonight, Amen.

VMM

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Knock Knock

Eternal Spirit, come knock on the door and give us grace to open. Come to us in stimulating thoughts, clear insights, and illumined faith, in moving gratitude that makes us humble, in penitence that cleanses us, in a sense of vocation, that challenges us. Come to us in a fresh vision of Christ, his grace and mercy, his call to our consciences, and his appeal to our strength.

Let the light shine on all of us today, making plain some answers to our questions, some assurance for our doubts, some strength for our weakness, some vision for our duty, and may we be the more valiant and triumphant spirits because we have worshipped, in the Spirit of Christ, Amen.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

Monday, December 26, 2011

We're On Our Way

Prepare us Lord to begin a new year. Lead us to do those things that help our hearts and minds to be receptive to a fresh start.

Today:

We will begin by discarding thoughts, attitudes, and habits that are not compatible with an abundant, beautiful and excellent life.

We turn away from negative people, places and things and turn towards that which is positive and uplifting.

We let go of whatever caused past discouragement, disappointment, or disagreement.

We reach for those things that encourage, support and nourish my body, mind and spirit.

We stand boldly on your Word that tells us you shall do a new things, bring water to parched places and cause the wilderness to bloom.

We are open and receptive to new ideas, activities and relationships. We are on our way to a new year!

In Jesus name, I pray, Amen

VMM

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Take The Journey


In times of instant travel, the notion of “a journey” may lose its symbolic significance. Yet each of us knows that whenever we have an experience; times of transition in our lives, whether they be individual transitions or transitions in our families or communities, no instant arrival at a new way of looking, knowing, valuing, or believing is possible. Internal and external conflicts signal that the old ways of understanding and making sense of our lives no longer hold us together. We have indeed set out, but we have yet to arrive at the place of our destiny.

T.S. Eliot writes, “Emptied, the Magi come to the place where the star reappears brighter than before. Not a moment too soon, the Magi entered into the stable and “they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage.” (Matt. 2:11) The desert or (wilderness) journey prepared them for this moment of seeing, of encountering the Holy Mystery of God in the very midst of human experience. Indeed, the Magi could not grasp themselves to be grasped by the Holy Mystery revealed in this moment. Nevertheless, they worshiped the one they had been led to find and they found joy.

In this season, let not the fear of the disruption of our normal lives cause us to miss an opportunity to gain a deeper connection with our greater self and find the joy that rest in us when we follow the our star. Fear attempts to distract us and hinder us from arriving at the place where the star will lead us. Remember, at the end of that journey lies our destiny and no matter how dark the journey, when we arrive, we will be illuminated.

Rev. Nigel Felder, Louisville, Kentucky

O Lord, help us not to be too lazy to take the journey to participate in kingdom events. Prepare us to bring the necessary gifts to honor you and demonstrate our love. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Silent Holy Nights


Nights are rarely silent and holy in too many places in the world.

Let us pray:
Lord, help us to carry a little bit of silence within us as we meet the busy rush of crowded streets, malls and agendas, tinkling brass and sounding cymbals. Help us to enter into the chaos with your silence to encourage others to be still and know that you are God. Help us to be holy because you are holy in thought, word, and deed. Help us to have extra calm so that wars and worries won’t capture us today.

And when the night comes, may we sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace. Amen.

VMM

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Know, Love and Praise

Grant to me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what delights thee most, to value what is precious in thy sight, to hate what is offensive to Thee. Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men; but to discern with true judgment between things visible and spiritual, and above all things to inquire what is the good pleasure of thy will.

Prayer of Thomas a Kempis

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's What You Pray


I said to the Lord this morning,
O God, yet another phone call about tragedy, loss, poor prognosis, emergency surgery, tumors, pain and suffering. What can I say?

There is yet another sound bite of misfortune and misspent opportunities. What can I say?

There are yet too many crises in too many places with too many people we care about and a multitude of people we do not know. What can I say?

God said to me, Daughter, it’s not what you say it is what you pray.

So, I prayed, God of grace and glory, hear the cries of your people. Where healing is needed, dispense it now, in Jesus name, where help is needed, give it now in the name of Jesus. Where shelter is needed, provide now in the name of Jesus, and where there is a need for sustenance, supply it now, in the name of Jesus.

In the name of Jesus, let your healing waters flow, let your love abide and your mercy endure forever in this Advent season. Amen.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Staying Focused

"Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, watching at the posts of my door."

Proverbs 8:34 KJV

Have you ever looked up at the sky and watched the clouds move from one place to another? Watching the clouds assemble into figures that seem to be recognizable can cause you to become focused on the beauty of God’s glory.

In our daily lives, we rely on our eyes to help us see and focus on the glory of God. Have you ever taken your eyes off of God? Have you allowed your focus to be consumed by hatred, jealousy, bitterness, prejudice, gossip, malice, or worldly things?

Examine yourself today and see when you have taken your focus off God’s divine way as you progressed throughout your day. Staying focused takes discipline. If we keep our focus on God, we will be able to see how God is moving the clouds out of our lives, clearing our vision so we will be able to see and focus on the glory of God and his righteousness.

Let us pray:

Lord, when we are consumed by our daily events that we cannot see you clearly, please help us to regain our focus on you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Rev. Sheilah Y. Robinson,

Itinerant Elder

Quinn Chapel AMEC, Louisville, KY

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Do Unto Who?

A friend of mine took her life in her hands and braved the holiday traffic to shop at a big mall. She said once she got off the interstate at the mall exit, it took 30 minutes to get to the entrance and another 30 minutes to find a parking space. Words like crazy, insane and I-will-never-do-this-again-on-a-Saturday ran through her mind.

It was all worth it. She was going to shop for a senior who lived next door to her. The senior had mobility challenges and mall shopping was like walking an obstacle course. The trip was long but the list was short. In the end, my friend felt like she honored God’s call to serve with more than pious gestures or empty words building community with those around her.

Let us pray:

Fountain of life, we thank you for the gift of another day. Forgive us of our sins of omission –the things we didn’t do and should have done. Forgive us for the sins of commission- the sins we do that so easily beset us.

Help us today to offer thanks to you, not in pious gestures or empty words but by living faithful to your call to serve. Enable us to bear the fruit of thankfulness by serving others. Empower us to reach beyond our comfort zones to build community with those around us. Help us to willingly accept the love and friendship of others.

We know that you are with us and for us everyday. In Jesus name, we offer this prayer, Amen

Monday, December 12, 2011

Restart The Vision

“Come, Thou long expected Jesus 
Born to set Thy people free;
 From our fears and sins release us,
 Let us find our rest in Thee.”

Charles Wesley

God of promises made and promises kept come again into our hearts. Come in such a way that our fears do not stand a chance against faith. Come, thou long expected Jesus in a way we need the most. Help us rejoice again for divinity clothed in human flesh.

Open our hearts so that we will continue to rescue the lost, strengthen the weak and support your call to this ministry of reconciliation.

Awaken old discarded dreams, restart the vision and reset the goals for the coming new year. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Shake It Off!

"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

Romans 13:11

Amazing God, thank you for this Advent season where we can once again engage in activities of spiritual preparation. It is exciting to hear the call to draw closer to a love that gave the ultimate sacrificial gift so that we can enjoy by faith through grace eternal life. Thank you for this season where we can stir up the gifts that are within us to apply them according to your will. Thank you for these days where we can shake off a lethargic faith that has been lulled to sleep by delays and disappointments.

Help us to emerge from slumber and sleep to shake off the apathy that keep us disengage from the things of God. We know what we do matters to you, O Lord, and to those we live and work with. Therefore, in Jesus name help us to keep a spiritual vigilance over our words and deeds, as we are no longer children of the darkness but children of light. Amen.

VMM

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Receive

Beloved, it’s hard to believe but there are many among us who have a hard time receiving. Give them a compliment and they may tell you it is so undeserved. Give them a helping hand and they will try to do it on their own. Give them a break and they will doubt your motives. Give them the love they are looking for and they will deny its authenticity.

Let us pray:

Lord, help us to receive as much as we love to give this season. Help us to receive the good and perfect gifts that come from your hand. Help us to receive the answers we have been awaiting for with joy and gladness. Help us to receive forgiveness of our sins, deliverance from our infirmities and morning mercies as we continually give our lives to you.

Now Lord, help us to tell the testimony of how You did the impossible, fixed what was broken, solved what was problematic, straightened what was disfigured, and restored what had been taken away. In Jesus name, Amen.

VMM

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Divine Protection

"The Lord is your protection; you have made God Most High your place of safety. Nothing bad will happen to you; no disaster will come to your home. He has put his angels in charge of you to watch over you wherever you go.."

Psalm 91: 9-11 NCV

My first pastoral charge was 99.9 miles toward West Tennessee. My two children traveled with me at all time.

On one occasion following a late afternoon program, we started back to Nashville on State Highway 100. Since it was getting late I decided to take a road that would lead us to the interstate. The road I chose was a narrow rural highway with many curves and no lights.

Without warning, a group of fawns (baby deer) appeared on the highway in front of us and went into the field on the right side of the road. The children and I were already afraid because of the late hour, dark road, and the presence of the fawns. I didn’t strike the fawns and we made it back to Nashville safely.

I am reminded that the Lord is with us at all times. He is our shield and protector. The Psalmist says that God is our protector if we dwell in him and believe in him. God will send ministering angels to guard us in all of our ways.

Let us pray:

God, may you always be our divine protector in all situations of our lives. Let us continue to lean and rely on you, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Rev. Pattie Hardimon

Itinerant Elder, Tennessee Annual Conference

Monday, December 5, 2011

God With Us!

Have you ever been in God's presence and hardly noticed it? Have you ever suddenly realized that God had been with you long before you knew God was there?

The good news of Jacob's story is not simply that there was a stairway to heaven or that Jacob was a special kind of man despite his deceitful ways. The good news is that God comes into our lives even when we don’t deserve God’s presence. For surely the Lord entertains us and we do not even know it.

God will surprise us by turning our greatest afflictions into sources of strength and healing. God will surprise us by converting moments of pain into stripes that heal. God will surprise us by changing a time of death into an eternity of glorious life. Yes, God is in our lives, even when we do not know it.

“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

Genesis 28:16

Let us pray:

Lord God, help us to know that you are here to bless and heal, comfort and guide, change and transform, and help and reassure us. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor, III,

Editor The Christian Recorder

AME Church

ADVENT

Today, do not allow the crush and crises of a hectic holiday season blind you to the presence of God in your life. God is with us!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Come Now, Again!

What are your Advent memories? I remember as a child that December seemed to be the longest month of the year. Christmas Day couldn’t come fast enough. I remember that we celebrated the Lord’s birthday with lots of food, fun and family. It wasn’t MY birthday but I got lots of gifts.

Here is something to pray about today. What are you going to give to Jesus as a birthday gift this year?

Let us pray:

“Come thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.”

Charles Wesley, 1744

Hymn: Come Thou Long-Expect Jesus

Dear Lord,

There is a longing in our hearts for the more you have to give us. The more you give cannot be bought in a store or purchased on the Internet. It is Your love, salvation, peace, joy and hope that we long to receive.

Come and clean out the closet of our hearts where we have hung bitter feelings and unpleasant memories. Come into the living room of our spirits, which has been littered with disappointments. Come into the dining room of our minds, which has been set with complacency and apathy.

Come thou long-expected Jesus and set us free from all of our sins, doubts and fears. Come and dwell with us again. We will give you our souls for saving, our sins for forgiving, our minds for renewing, our hearts for cleansing and our service to you now and forever more. Amen.

VMM

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Behold!

It's Advent! This is the four-week season to prepare us spiritually for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The sounds of Christmas will be everywhere. Carols will be sung in church, heard on the radio and while shopping in over crowded malls.

The sound of Advent is the sound of prayer, fasting, study, meditation and worship that seeks the face of God. The sound of Advent is a longing for God to appear. It is the anticipation of the arrival of God's promise and at the same time looking beyond what we can see.

This is the time of year when I seek to increase my prayer time. I listen intently to the voice of God seeking instruction for the celebration preparation as well as guidance for the coming new year.

Advent is more than which grinch will try to steal Christmas or how many sugarplums should be dancing in our heads. It is a concerted seeking season to dig into the Word of God, increase prayer time, worship abundantly and practice authentically your Spiritual Disciplines.

Start with Praycation, a companion for those who want to go deeper in Christ and practice spiritual disciplines, now through Christmas. Stay with Praycation in the coming new year to grow stronger in the things of God. Many people will watch faithfully a favorite television show, football or basketball game. It only takes a minute to stick with Praycation daily. Make it a part of the regular devotions. Seleh: stop here before moving forward!

VMM

“ Be not afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all people; …”

Luke 2:10

Let us pray:

Behold! Lord you have our undivided attention. We confess that we have been so busy with the minutia of life that we failed to hear again the good news you have for us all. We have been so caught up in black Fridays and cyber Mondays that we missed the good news about our Christ being born again in our hearts.

Lord we want to see what matters to you in this Advent season not what merely matters to our financial status. Open our eyes to see beyond the natural to behold the wonder of the good news you still have for us. Prepare our hearts to anticipate the gift of the Christ child. Cultivate within us a deeper spiritual attentiveness so we yearn to learn to love you more than decking the halls. In Jesus name, amen.

VMM

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Running Low


Gracious God, I confess that I have often run ahead of you. I have run in so many different directions that I've become road-weary. I've rushed by others trying to find my own way. I've failed to stop long enough to build relationships with you and others. I find myself alone in the corner of life unable to speak or act having lost all hope. I've allowed the running to drain my inner spiritual landscape. I'm running on empty.

Fill me and forgive me again! Order my steps so that life will no longer be a blur of too much to do in too little time. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and help me today to rediscover the joy of your love. Help me to shed aimless thinking, speaking and doing. Help me to walk the path you have set for me. In the name of Christ I pray, Amen.

D. Carr

ADVENT

What are you doing to spiritually prepare for the celebration of Christmas. Advent is an excellent opportunity to make more room in your life for Jesus Christ. Share your thoughts, holiday traditions, prayers and blessing at praycation2@gmail.com.

Monday, November 28, 2011

At The Right Time

You say, “I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge with equity. When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm.”

Psalm 75: 2-3

Wonderful Counselor, we join the multitudes that praise you for who you are and for what you continue to do for all creation.

I yearn to know You, O Beloved, to abide in the Peace of Love; I choose to turn from the ways of the world, where ego separates and divides humanity.

At the set time, which you appoint, you will judge with equity. Have mercy upon us. When the earth totters with all its inhabitants, you are the one who keep steady the axis. Hold us steady and safe both day and night.

You say to the powerful, “Lead with justice and mercy.” And to the greedy, “Share your abundance with those in need. Let no one see your acts of mercy or know your works of charity.” Help us to be a better blessing to those around. In Jesus name, amen.

Friday, November 25, 2011

As I Live and Breathe!

Have you ever tried to bless God every chance you get? Try it this weekend from first thing in the morning to the last thing at night. It doesn't matter whether you're busy with the activities of the day or making pretend you have nothing to do. You can do it audibly or silently in your heart. Just do it - bless God every chance you get.

Let me know in the comment section how you handled today's assignment!


“I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. I live and breathe God; if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy:”

Psalm 34: 1-2 The Message

Let us pray:

Eternal God, this is a wonderful day to share our thanks and praise of you with others. We are glad to tell of your greatness. We are glad to declare to all, today and everyday of your mighty acts and glorious splendor.

We bless your name for it is by your mercy, our sins are forgiven. It is by your grace, we are saved. It is by your love we are accepted. It is by your peace that surpasses all understanding, we remain calm in the midst of chaos. It is by your power, that the impossible happens everyday. Thank you Lord, there is nothing impossible for you...not just today but everyday!

VMM

ADVENT

Remember to share your prayers for peace, hope and joy along with your holiday thoughts and traditions in preparation for the coming celebration of God coming to the world to dwell among us at praycation2@gmail.com.



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy “Thanks-living” Day!

Happy “Thanks-living” Day! Today reminds us that thanksgiving is a 24/7 lifestyle choice. We will be with friends and family or join others to cook meals for those with limited choices. We will worship and witness about the goodness of the Lord either in church or reverently bowed over the turkey!

Whatever you do today make room for the Lord at your table and in your life. Don’t wait for an invitation invite someone to join you!

"O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his loving-kindness endures forever."

Psalm 118:29

Let Us Pray:

Open our eyes today to see all that we should be thankful for even if at the present moment our problems, pain or need might lead us to believe that we have no thanksgiving. Open our eyes to your unfailing goodness. Help us to see that you are working behind the scenes of our lives to usher us into a season of restoration and reconciliation... and for this, we are thankful. Enter our hearts and clear away anything that prevents an attitude of gratitude.

With eyes wide open we see that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Every good and perfect gift has graciously come from your hand. Thank you Lord, for all you have done for us. In Jesus Name, Amen.

VMM

ADVENT

The Advent season, the days prior to the celebration of the birth of Christ is a crucial time of preparation. It is more that presents and pomp and circumstance. It is a journey where we remember that God came to dwell among us. The Word was made flesh!

Share your prayers, thoughts, holiday traditions and prayer experiences with us. Just email them now for consideration after Thanksgiving to praycation2@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Timely Shelter

“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”

Psalms 9: 9

Trouble comes knocking at the door of our lives often unexpected. Trouble comes in uninvited and takes a seat in the living spaces of our hearts and minds. Trouble puts it feet up on the table of our resources refusing to leave in a timely fashion. Troubles acts like it never heard “This too shall pass.”

David was acquainted with trouble. He experienced trouble from the palace to the battlefield yet he was able to praise God for being a shelter for the oppressed and a refuge in times of trouble.

Let us pray:

Lord, thank you for being there for us in unsettling seasons. You didn’t abandon us when the unthinkable happened. Your love never wavered. Your protection was assuring. Your grace amazingly showed up when trouble took up residence in our lives.

We give thanks today because we can find shelter in you when trouble comes calling. In Jesus name, we trust our lives to the one who can help us and our troubles to the one who can solve them. Amen.

ADVENT

I have been out of the USA for the last several days on a journey with a group of ecumenical bishops to visit the Holy places in and around Jerusalem. I'll share the prayers for peace in subsequent months. Thank you for your prayers for a safe journey.

The Advent season is beginning soon. Please share your prayers for the coming season of Advent. This is the time of the year we celebrate the coming of the Christ child again. It is a season of hopes and dreams. It is a season of giving ourselves to Christ once again. Keep Christ the focus of your Advent season by sharing your prayers and prayer experiences. Email your prayers and thoughts to praycation2@gmail.com.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Can You Praise God Enough?

Have you ever praised God so much that you ran out of words? You strain to offer more praise and thanksgiving but you find yourself at a loss for words. You are not alone. All of us have had that experience especially after the Lord has done the impossible or the miraculous for us.

The Psalmist had the same experience. When he recounted all the moments when God didn’t utterly destroy Israel even when Israel had proven unworthy of God’s love. How can you ever praise God enough for when the Lord has done for you!

Let us pray:

“Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him enough”

Psalm 106: 2

Today we lift our voices to join the chorus of those who are continually praising your name for your acts of kindness, your goodness and your mercy towards us. You are good and your faithful love endures forever!

We can exhaust ourselves in radical praise and it still won’t be enough. We can come to end of the lexicon and it still won’t be enough. We can empty ourselves in thanksgiving and it still won’t be enough because who can ever praise you enough?

Take our praise offering as just the beginning….in Jesus name, Amen.

VMM

PRAYING THROUGH THE PSALMS

Join us in Praying through the Psalms during this transition season between autumn and the liturgical season of Advent. Pray a psalm a day or pray your favorite psalm. Share this psalm discipline with others on FB, twitter or via email. You can always subscribe by clicking on the icon on the lower right side of the home page. Let us pray together and watch God work wonders in our lives!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Divine Defender


Why, LORD, do you stand far off?

Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

Psalm 10:1

Dear Lord,

There are times when we feel that you are so far away. When we can’t hear you, we want to runaway. When we can’t see you, we seek other sources of relief to our own detriment. When we feel insecure, we lash out at those who may be weaker than ourselves. When evil triumphs and justice is ignored, we feel abandoned.

Forgive us Lord. It is not You who moved. We allowed our fear to move us where faith would have held us. You alone know the depth of our anguish. Breakthrough the trampled levels of faith so that your love overwhelms are fears once again.

We place our lives into your hands because it is there we find strength and comfort. You are the defender of the helpless and the oppressed. Help us today to live with integrity as examples of your loving presence in the world.

In Jesus name, Amen.

VMM

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's Yours!


the world, and all who live in it;…”

Psalm 24:1

The Earth is yours, O Lord. You have given the world life and everyone who lives in it with fullness and glory. You have founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Help us today to take better care of the seas, rivers and the life that lives within it and beside it. Equip us with new wisdom and knowledge to overcome environmental negligence. Please help us in this hour as the seas and it creatures are being spoiled by pollutants that may change the world you so carefully created forever. In this hour of need we pray in Jesus name, Amen.

VMM

PRAYING THE PSALMS

In this season of transition from autumn to winter, let us pray together the Psalms. It is a wonderful book filled with joy and lament, excitement and sorrow, poetry and prose that speaks to the depth of our souls. Let’s see what God wants to say to us!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Dawn's Early Light



Orchestrator of the Universe help me this morning and every morning that you grant me life, to come to you in the quiet of dawn's early light, before caffein, rush hour, the opening bell, the punched clock, while there is a hush all over the house. Before I take on too much of the day or before the day takes me on, I come before you to hear Your voice telling me which way to go.

I present myself, my soul and body as a reasonable sacrifice. I bring you praise and thanksgiving before I lay my needs before you. I bring the possibilities of the day and ask you to use it for your glory. I bring whatever patience I can gather to wait, wait to hear your voice in every matter. In Jesus name, Amen.

VMM

PRAYING THE PSALMS

Sometimes we are not sure where to begin when it time to pray. Start with the Book of Psalms! Join us during this transition season between autumn and winter to pray the psalms. Let this time be your jump start into your daily devotions or pray it as a sustaining moment during the day.

Let me know if you will be praying the Psalms with us as well as what is your favorite Psalm?

VMM

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why God?

“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?”

Psalm 2:1

Let us pray:

O Lord our God, we are overwhelmed with questions today. We are inquisitive children. We seek to know the unknowable.

Why do the nations rage? Why do people plot against each other in vain? Why do they desire to stand together against You and your anointed?

Show us how to navigate between those who are distracted by greed and those distracted by arrogance. Remove from us the desire to join their plots. Forgive us when we have submitted to our own selfish motives. Forgive us when we have become the they.

Help us to love what is right in such a way that wrong will not be tolerated. Help us to speak truth to power and speak it in the way of Love. In the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.

VMM

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stand Strong

Praying Through the Psalms

We are living between the golden glow of autumn and the icy glare of winter. Many of you have already tasted the snow or cold menu that winter provides: the early morning chill has given way to plummeting temperatures; jackets are shed, coats dug out of closets, boots located, snow covered the not yet fallen leaves, planes diverted and travel plans changed.

In this transition, I asked the Lord what should we do. The answer came back, pray the Psalms. The Book of Psalms offers us an opportunity to transform this transitional season into powerful encounters with God. You can turn each psalm into your own personal prayer or testimony. We may not pray through all 150 psalms by Thanksgiving and the genesis of the Advent season. We will however touch upon several Psalm-subjects from anger to zeal, fear to power, oppression to joy and healing to guidance.

  1. Center your attention on God in your prayer space.
  2. Assume your prayer posture whether it is standing, sitting, lying prostrate or simply lifting your face towards heaven.
  3. Be still while invoking the presence of God
  4. Read the Psalm of the day or a portion thereof.
  5. Pray the Psalm and discover its power.

Let's try this prayer discipline. Let me know in the comment section is you will join the journey.

Let us pray:

“And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit, in due season.”

Psalm 1: 3

God of all seasons, I desire today to walk hand in hand with your goodness, stand strong beside virtue and sit in the seat of your Truth. I delight in your Word and will dwell on it day and night.

Position me in a place where I can grow and flourish like the trees planted beside the streams of waters. Stretch me beyond my comfort zone so that I may produce good fruit in due season. Even in the uncertain seasons of transition, cause me to prosper in whatever I do today.

In Jesus name, Amen.

VMM

Monday, October 24, 2011

Good Morning!

Let's pray together:

Good Morning Father. Thank you for awakening me to brand new mercies. I can’t wait to see what you are up to today. You are awesome! I worship you!

You are my shelter and my safe place. You’re my peace in the midnight hours; my strength when I am frazzled, my wisdom when I don’t know what to do. You are my healer when doctors have no clue! There is no God like my God!

Teach me your ways, for your ways are above my ways. Your ways are righteous and just when I would seek to right, or strike back at a wrong. Your ways bless others when I can get preoccupied with myself.
Lord show me your path. Your path leads to hope, salvation, and peace. In Your presence is truly the fullness of joy!

Thank you for not dealing with me according to my transgressions—for I do sin and fall short of your glory! I miss the mark and overstep your boundaries. On my best days, you know I am prone to err. So create in me a clean heart. Start me all over again. Protect me from the works of the devil.
I praise you for victory in Christ! Prosper the work of my hands that you may receive glory and your people are built up.

I ask all these things in the marvelous, matchless name of Jesus, my savior, Amen!
(Inspired by Psalm 25:4-7)

Rev. Dr. Rosalind P. Denson
Associate Pastor
West Side Missionary Baptist Church
St Louis, Missouri
http://afruitfullife.blogspot.com

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rest vs Rush

“Rest. Rest. Rest in God’s love. The only work you are required now to do is to give your most intense attention to His still, small voice within.”

Madame Jeanne Guyon

Lord, we live in a world of rush, busy, do, demand, now, stress, test, tiring and more rush. Rest has been taken out of the lexicon of the 21st century. Role models of rest are limited. Paradigms of rest are few. Rush and rest wrestle for control of our agendas.

Help us today to begin to prayerfully cultivate a life where rest, renewal and restoration have a place. We release the cares and woes of this week into your hands. We relinquish worry. We exchange the jangling discords church, community and country for the rest of soul and body in the solitude of our desert wanderings. We silence ourselves to sit in the holy hush of your presence. Speak Lord, for you servants are listening.

VMM

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Money Can't Buy

It’s amazing. Sometimes that the things we want and need the most seems to elude us. It is not that we don’t have the financial capability to purchase it. Money cannot buy everything. Who can buy peace of mind, a clear conscious or salvation?

Let us pray:

Lord, you promised if we confess you would be faithful to forgive. We come today confessing that we have sought fulfillment upon the altars of culture and possessions. Our happiness does not lie in knowing the right people, or having more money, power or prestige. Bigger houses, cars and land doesn’t satisfy the soul nor more than ‘striving after the wind.’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13) Our salvation lies in knowing you in the pardoning of our sins.

You have given us freedom. Help us to use it wisely everyday. Draw us closer to you so that we will not be pawns in the hands of the enemy of our souls.

We place you again at the center of our lives. Strengthened us in our weak places and when we have been strengthened, we will strengthen others. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

VMM

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn Majesty

I looked out of the window and saw a magnificent display of colors from a deep golden glow to a resplendent red and deep rich browns this morning. The leaves are turning on the trees. God is showing off again.

Don’t be in such a hurry today. Walk a little slower. Breathe in the smells, sights and sounds of this transition. Take a different route home so you can enjoy the majesty of the season.

Let us pray:

Great Creator God, we come to you today in the quiet mystery of early morning dew and the majesty of autumn’s splash of color. Help us to treasure your creation with the same intensity as we treasure our Creator.

We lift before you those who have experienced a loss in their lives – the loss of a friend or family member, the loss of employment or health benefits, the loss of sleep or the loss of peace. Help them to let go just as the leaves are releasing their hold upon the branches of the trees to make room for hope and healing. Guide those who can comfort and correct to be visible and vocal on their behalf.

Now, may the plans you have for them, plans not to harm but to prosper them be greater than the pain of the moment. In Jesus name, Amen.

BREATHING PRAYER

Have you forgotten the breathing prayers we learned over the summer? Remember when we are stressed, we tend to take shallow breaths. Breathe and do it deeply in prayer. Try it today.

Exhale: Lord I need you. Inhale: Lord I receive you. Repeat.

VMM

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Be Faithful

Remind us anew today that you are always with us; that circumstances surrendered to you become stepping-stones to high purpose; that crushing blows left in your hands do heal and become teaching tools for our survival both in this lie and the lie to come; that illness may weaken and even destroy the body, nut will not destroy our soul. Help us to trust you more fully and to remain faithful in all circumstances, as did those first followers whom you taught through Christ to pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come, 
your will be done, 
on earth as in heaven Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. 
Lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil. 
For the kingdom, 
the power and the glory are yours. 
Now and forever.

Amen.

Henry Fields

Monday, October 17, 2011

Above Our Circumstances

Let us pray together:

Thank you Lord for being all beginnings and all endings. In the morning you cradle the world and in the evening you heal our wounds so we can fight another day; You are the morning dew and the evening mist; You are the early morning sun kissing the potential of a new day and you are the twilight whispering promises yet to come.

We sing of sorrows and laugh at mistakes; we dance in the rain and laugh at the wind; we dream of things yet to come and believe the things we hope for, the evidence of thing unseen.

When our faith falters and our hopes crash upon the craggy rocks of ambition, renew our strength; let us be caught into your loving arms when we faint and lifted up as we struggle to rise above circumstances that seek our demise. You are a great and mighty God who helps us to live above our circumstances.

It is in the name of Gratitude we pray, Amen.

VMM

Friday, October 14, 2011

Strength For Today

Let us pray together:

O Lord, in this time of change and promise, strengthen us. You are our strength and our shield; You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. We know, Gracious God that your eyes go to and fro throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts long for you. We often grow weary, but our hope is in you to renew our strength, courage and vision. We do not fear, for you are with us. We are not dismayed or overwhelmed, for you are our God. We know you will strengthen us and help us; that you will uphold us with your righteous hand. We abide in your comfort. In the matchless name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Dr. Lance Watson

St. Paul Baptist Church

Richmond, Virginia

Prayer Quote

"Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life. Of all the Spiritual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father. Meditation introduces us to the inner life, fasting is an accompanying means. Study transforms our minds, but it is the Discipline of prayer that brings us into the deepest and highest work o the human spirit. Real Prayer is life creating and life changing."

Richard J. Foster

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Late In The Season

Tucked away in the corner of my backyard is a small square of earth called my Salad Garden. Lettuce, zucchini, and tomatoes were neatly planted in a place where it could get sunshine all day long. The harvest was delectable!

The other day, I went to my Salad Garden to prepare the ground for winter. There among the yellowing lanky plants was one last green tomato. It hung by itself. It hadn’t ripened yet and the cooler mornings and cold evening had damaged it.

Just like my last rose of summer, which is still a brilliant red by the way, it was hanging on late in the growing season. There was still a chance it may ripen before the first frost.

Let us pray:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”

John 15: 1

Dear Lord,

Help those of us who take a little longer to reach full maturity in the things of God. Protect us from the elements in life that can stunt our growth. Surround us with a love that will keep us until we are ready for the next level of faith.

You are the vinedresser and apart from you we can do nothing. Even when there is a change in the atmosphere, grant us a grace to hang on a little while longer. Prune away the dead growth to make way for the new. Resource us so that even if it is late in the season, we can bear much fruit. In Jesus name, Amen.

VMM