Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blessings and Praise


My weekend was filled with the brighter side of family gatherings. Family from several different states came together to celebrate a 60th wedding anniversary for my in-laws and the 2nd birthday for our grandson. For a brief moment in time, we marked those special occasions that serve to remind us of our connection to each other. We celebrated God’s blessings.

I recently celebrated my birthday as well and received a beautiful card from one of my sisters. The words expressed God’s blessings upon His people using Scripture. It read:

May God.....
     .....refresh your life with His love. Zephaniah 3:17
     .....renew your life and sustain you. Ruth 4:15
     .....satisfy you with all good things. Isaiah 58:11

The completed verses are below. I pray you will read them and receive God’s blessings. Then give praises to your Heavenly Father (with Psalm 33 below) for His preservation over your life. Receive blessings from the heart of your Heavenly Father and offer Him your heartfelt praises.

“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NASB)

May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age... Ruth 4:15 (NASB)    
“And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 58:11 (NASB)

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright. 
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy. 
For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation. 
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.


The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.
The king is not saved by a mighty army;
A warrior is not delivered by great strength. 
A horse is a false hope for victory;
Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.
      
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness, 
To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name. 
Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.
Psalm 33 (NASB)


The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’
Numbers 6:24-26 (NASB)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jesus, Our Advocate


I’ll pray for you—it’s a phrase we sometimes say with meaning or maybe at times with little thought. We have family and friends suffering from stress, disease, relationship problems, dissatisfaction with work, or a multitude of other earthly problems. Our desire is to help out in some way and usually, if a Christian, our first response is I’ll pray for you.
Okay, let’s be honest, do we always follow through with our prayers? Of course, our intentions are good, but do we really pray for them? Yes, at times we fulfill our pledge, praying for a time or possibly several times. Other times we unintentionally forget to offer our prayers as we declared—I’m guilty of that failure (yet God forgives and helps us remember our promises when we seek Him). With good intentions and a sense of urgency, we promise a prayer, and sometimes we forget. All the while someone is despairing and truly desiring for us to lift her up to the Lord. What if we’re the person depending on those prayers?
Even with the best of intentions, we are forgetful human beings. But thanks be to God, we have a Friend who is faithful and never forgets. His name is Jesus and He is faithful to do what He says He will do. He intercedes (pleads, mediates, intervenes, petitions) for us at the right hand of God.....Christ Jesus who died is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:34). Jesus, our Advocate, is praying before God for us and our needs—right now. Give Him thanks and praise......O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting (1 Chronicles 16:34).
Not only does Jesus intercede for us in heaven, He promises to be with us while we live on earth, offering comfort, peace, and support. After His resurrection, He delivered a message to His disciples as He departed from the earth, saying surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20). His message of faithfulness translates to us through His Holy Word and is accomplished through His Holy Spirit.....the Holy Spirit will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you (John 14:26).
Know and believe the following facts. 1) God loves you so much He sent His Son Jesus to offer you abundant life on earth and life eternal. 2) Jesus Christ is at God’s right hand daily interceding for you. He hasn’t forgotten about you and your situation; He is praying. 3) The Holy Spirit is always available to you and ready to supply your every need—He’s only a prayer away. 
We may forget to follow through with our pledges of prayer, but Jesus never forgets. He sits at the right hand of God and He is also right by our side. He’s our Advocate and He offers daily intercessions for us. He is faithful to His promises; we can trust Him! The proof is in His Holy Word......
Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:34 (NIV)
......and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.Matthew 28:20 (NIV)
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NASB)

Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 (NASB)

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.” 
My times are in Your hand. Psalm 31:14-15 (NASB)

Jesus says, “I’ll pray for you!”

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Overcome With Christ



We are overcomers in Christ Jesus and we must live in His victory! Use this prayer to increase your faith in the One who holds you in the palm of His hand. Trust Him with the lives of your loved ones. Believe and stand firm on His living Word!



PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, we come before you right now, proclaiming your honor, glory, and power. We give you praise for who you are. We love you, Lord God, and we cry out for your peace. Come, Lord Jesus!

Lord God, you have called us into righteousness and our children you have also called into righteousness. You offered to take our hand and daily walk with us, but we would not. Instead we turned away and chose  idols, looking to other people and things to satisfy our hunger. After much seeking and many mistakes, we desire to return to you. You are the one true God and you deserve all our praise and honor (Isaiah 42).

God, you said you had plans for us, plans that would prosper us and give us hope. But Lord, we chose poorly and now we are desperate for you. We are crying out to you, Father God. You promised to listen, Lord; hear us, we pray, and answer our call. We turn to you and seek you with our whole heart. We want to know you more and learn from you (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

Jesus Christ, remind us that You are who You say You are—the Great I AM. Your path leads to the Heavenly Father as you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Through the cross, you defeated sin and death and with your resurrection, you gained life eternal for all who would believe on your mighty name—JESUS. Forgive us, Lord Jesus, and free us from the things that bind us. Your Word says when you set us free, we are free indeed. We trust you as we hold tightly to your teachings (John 8:31-36).

Holy Spirit, comfort us in our distress with your peace. Help us when we doubt your presence and your word (“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24). Remind us of the price you paid for our sins; your victory covers us! When we repent, seek with our whole heart, and believe on your name, we will walk as overcomers in Christ Jesus. You’ve given us authority to overcome evil and we take authority over our life situations in Your name. Assist us, Lord God, in overcoming evil with good (Luke 10:19,  John 1:5, John 16:33, Romans 8:31-39, Romans 12:21, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 1 John 5:4-5).   

We stand firm on your holy Word, mighty Savior, and cling to your promises. All your promises are “Yes” in the name of Jesus. And so in Jesus’ name, we give you thanks and praise, with a loud “AMEN” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Come, Holy Spirit, and let it be so!


SCRIPTURE

They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:19 (NIV)
I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 15:20 (NIV)
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18 (NIV)
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 (NIV)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV)

I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:14 (NIV)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 (NIV)
....for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 (NIV)
Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:5 (NIV)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Let's Talk, Lord!



Let’s Talk, Lord!

Lord, everything’s a rush; everyone’s in a hurry.
I’ve got so much to do; my mind is in a whirl.
It seems the harder I work, the more I get nowhere.
Help me, Lord Jesus, I need you.

Suddenly He said to me, “Debbie, be still, calm down, what’s the rush? Come sit on my lap and let’s talk awhile.”

“Okay,” I said as I sat down and picked up my Bible. 
With a huge sigh, I prayed to Him, releasing my weariness.
I began to sing a song to Him with words of surrender. 
“I’ll surrender all, Lord, but I need you help. 
How do I let go of all my burdens?” I asked Him.

He held me tight and looking into my soul,
Began to tell me His story, 
How He surrendered a heavenly life for an earthly one,
And how He came to fulfill His mission,
Of saving His creation from sin and death.
Instead of giving us the sentence our guilt deserved, 
He decided to stand in our place,
To take upon Himself our ugly sins,
Our heavy burdens, and even our death.

“Wow, You would do that for us.......for me,” I asked,
And His words began to sink in.
He answered with a smile and a huge hug, “Debbie, I love you. You can trust me. Come meet with me everyday and give me those things weighing you down. Learn from my example. I promise to give you my peace and strength.”

The release was immediate. 
I let go of my worries,
Already wrapped in a package, I handed them to Him.
The tension in my head and shoulders disappeared with His hug.
The sigh I expelled took with it my emotional aches and pains.
His peace washed over my heart and soul like living water.
Strength filled my body like a rushing flood.

free, Free, FREE; I suddenly felt free. I surrendered, 
While my heavy load dissipated within Him.
I saw my scars on His forehead, His hands, and His feet.
But He wrapped them with love, a hug and a smile.

Instantly we were dancing and laughing, laughing and dancing, 
I KNEW, in that very moment,
My Daddy God had loved me from the beginning,
And I believed He would loved me to the end.

Without warning, I stopped dancing.
I kneeled and worshipped. I said,  
"Thank you, Jesus, for your complete devotion to me.
Holy Spirit, help me to follow your lead, your every step. 
Day by day may I serve you with gladness until eternity unites us."

Deborah Crawford 3/5/14



Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care. Psalm 95:1-7 (NIV)


Lord God, I surrender my all to you; why wouldn’t I? You surrendered your all for me and I give you thanks. Jesus Christ, I love you because you loved me first, giving your life’s blood for me. Thank you. Holy Spirit, I praise you for your comfort, peace, and joy. Thank you. Humbly I bow before you, Heavenly Father, and give you all the glory and honor due your holy name. Thank you and may I serve you until the end. In Jesus’ precious name, AMEN.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Remember to Forget



The Lord declared, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34 (NIV)

I walked back to the pantry.....again. Earlier while scouring my storeroom for ingredients to make a cake, I realized which item I needed from the grocery store. By the time I set everything down on my counter and pulled out my mixer, I forgot which ingredient I was missing. So I retraced my steps to retrieve a memory. 
The older I get, the more I forget. Sticky note pads fill a drawer in my kitchen and in my desk at work. Whether it’s an event I must attend or several food items needed for dinner, notes to myself are written all over small colorful pieces of paper. My lists seem to grow longer by the day. Without my lists, I soon forget.
Why is it we forget those things involved in our daily endeavors? Routine should help us to remember, but sometimes the busyness of life causes us to forget. The day-to-day living becomes usual and we easily forget the ordinary. But oh, how we remember the extraordinary, especially when it’s imposed wounds in our hearts. Those terrible words spouted off by a supposed friend in an argument two years ago—they cut deep into the soul, weighing us down with a memory of bitterness. Or the negative impact inflicted upon a daughter by an ex-boyfriend—grudges intensify as we hold onto resentment. Maybe we hang onto memories for the sake of revenge or maybe we simply waller in the hurt. Whatever the motivation, we don’t forget the wrong done to us. We remember every painful detail and it impedes our relationship with God and man. Does forgiveness involve some form of forgetfulness? 
The Lord spoke through Jeremiah about forgiving the sins of Israel and no longer remembering them. Israel had continually sinned against God, but they were later sorry and repented (Jeremiah 31:18-19). God then covered their sins with His mercy and grace. He declared, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (verse 34). When we repent and turn away from sin, He declares the same to us. He remembers no more! His “forgetfulness” is the beginning of a repaired relationship with Him. 
What about our relationships with other people, the ones who hurt us? Do we hold onto animosity or do we forgive and forget? If Jesus is our Savior, then we are to follow His lead and forget those sins done against us. In other words, we are to offer forgiveness and remember their sins no more. Relationships are then repaired.
The busyness of life sometimes causes us to forget things and we have to write it down in order to remember. When it comes to relationships, we tend to never forget the wrongs done to us; we remember them to the point of ill feelings. But God desires for us to turn and repent, forgive and forget. As He remembers to forgive and forget our sins against Him, may we also forgive and forget to remember the sins of others against us. 

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
Our Father in heaven,
    may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
    as it is in heaven. 
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
    as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
    but rescue us from the evil one.
Matthew 6:9-13 (NLT)
For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. AMEN.