Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Glimpses of God's Handiwork


“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

FEAR, WORRY.......sometimes the essence of those words drip from our minds down to our stomach and fill every appendage. We even feel it in our toes. Why? Because we allow it.

What has you constantly worried? Does fear have you in its grip? World and local news surrounds our lives, filling our minds with anxiety and our souls with distress. A family situation unsettles us, leaving us disturbed and almost broken. Or death envelopes us, causing us to feel like dying as well. 

God says, “Fear not and do not worry, I have overcome the world. You will have trouble in this world but in Me you can find peace” (John 16:33). He is the peace giver—the world is not.

We have only two responses to God—yes or no. So what’s your answer? “No, Lord, I’ll focus on all the things of this world and stress as it spirals out of control,” or “Yes, Lord, I’m choosing to trust You with my life in all my circumstances.”

It’s our choice, but the world’s creator is in control. He is God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. He created this beautiful world and man under Satan’s rule is attempting to destroy it. God’s creation tells of steadfastness as the sun rises daily, as the moon rotates around the earth monthly, and as the seasons come and go annually. God Himself is faithful and true—He never changes (Psalm 33:4, Revelation 3:14, 19:11 Hebrews 13:5). HE CAN BE TRUSTED!


If He can create the mountains and the seas and take care of the birds and flowers, don’t you think He can take care you and your problems? Our Sovereign God is over all and is available to all that call on His name. Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, is the God of all the earth (Isaiah 54:5).  
           

Do you fearfully look at your constantly changing circumstances or do you gaze assuredly at your unchanging, trustworthy Lord God (Hebrews 13:6)? He says, “Do not be afraid; don’t worry. Look to Me.”


Whenever you need a glimpse of Father God, the certainty that He is with you, look up. His heavens constantly declare His presence. His artistry expresses He is at work every day. His divine nature and eternal power are visible in His handiwork (Romans 1:20). Daily He takes care of His creatures and He’ll take care of you. The Lord God Almighty is in control. He is faithful. Trust Him with your life—He loves you. 


If you are encountering any type of trouble and need some help, I encourage you to find a Bible and read the Scriptures mentioned in this post. Go a step further and read more of His Word. Allow His words to fill your mind. Then go outside and study the skies. He’s speaking to your heart and He’s awaiting your call.

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)




This is my prayer; please join me in praying it........

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
    I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.

Save us and help us with your right hand,
    that those you love may be delivered. 
God has spoken from his sanctuary:
    “In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
    and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.
Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;
    Ephraim is my helmet,
    Judah is my scepter. 
Moab is my washbasin,
    on Edom I toss my sandal;
    over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

Who will bring me to the fortified city?
    Who will lead me to Edom?
Is it not you, God, you who have rejected us
    and no longer go out with our armies?
Give us aid against the enemy,
    for human help is worthless.
With God we will gain the victory,
    and he will trample down our enemies. 
Psalm 108 (NIV)



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ark of Deliverance—Arc of Promise



Violence glutted the earth, wickedness escalated, only depravity filled the minds of men. 
The Lord grieved.
Unbridled and widespread sin triggered regret for His creation,
And clouds gathered.

God thought to eradicate the evil from earth, wash it away in a flood of water, 
Except for Noah.
A righteous man, Noah walked with God, finding favor in the eyes of the Creator,
Yet clouds gathered.

Construct an ark, God said to Noah, to save you and your kin.
Noah did.
According to the Lord’s command, he built the ark to save himself and his family,
Creatures of every kind, male and female, sauntered to shelter.
All whom God called, trekked into the ark,
Entering the salvation of the Lord
While the clouds gathered.

Protected and secure, they waited,
For seven days they waited.
Then it happened.
Clouds burst forth and poured down,
For forty days and nights.
As Noah, his family, and animals were buoyant in the ark of the Lord,
Storm clouds besieged the land with rain. 

While waters fell from heaven, Noah offered thanksgiving to the Deliverer.       
Shielded from the horror outside the ark,
The family rested in the love of the Rescuer,
Preserved by the cloud Creator.

The ark floated as the deluge continued, 
Covering the land, washing away sin.
A new beginning, God’s plan,
And clouds hung in the sky.

Time ticked by, 
Days slowly wore on,
Months elapsed over half a year.

God never forgot the ark’s inhabitants.
With authority, He shut the floodgates,
Powerfully He pushed back the waters,
Time passed
Amidst scattering clouds.

In the surety of safe refuge,
The ark of salvation settled upon nature’s peaks,
Daily drudgery exchanged for a mountain top encounter.
His safekeeping surrounded them
While wind gusts lifted moisture.
God at work breathing new life into creation, 
Restoration and regeneration received,
Blue skies pressed through the clouds.

From the window of the ark flew several birds—raven, dove.
Several attempts and days later, dry land appeared
And the dove glided above the ark.
Through sun rays, Noah spotted vegetation dangling from its beak.
As the dove alighted on his arm, Noah beheld an olive branch.
Speaking for God, the dove offered peace and forgiveness.

Forgiveness, peace.......
A heavenly arc of color cascaded from a billowy cloud.
Noah paused and pray.

God of the clouds, wind, storm, rain,
God of forgiveness, grace, mercy, peace,
God of creation and destruction,
God of the present and eternity,
God of love and comfort,
GOD—spoke with Noah, offering new life.

The ark doors opened, 
Out walked the occupants into a pristine land.
On dry ground, Noah built an altar—they worshipped God Almighty.

“Be fruitful and multiply,” the Lord God said,
“And I will establish My covenant with you and your descendants.”

The colorful spectrum radiated east to west,
As fluffy clouds dotted the blue-gray sky.
The Creator God uttered a promise to His creature Noah,
Establishing a covenant with he and his sons.
Never again would all flesh be cut off by waters of a flood.
Never again would floodwaters destroy all of earth.

He offered a sign, one for all generations, 
Sign of a bow in the clouds.
A reminder of the Sovereign God.

When clouds gather and the rainbow appears,
Both God and man remember the everlasting covenant of promise.



You got me when I was an unformed youth, God, and taught me everything I know. Now I’m telling the world your wonders; I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray. God, don’t walk off and leave me until I get out the news Of your strong right arm to this world, news of your power to the world yet to come, Your famous and righteous ways, O God. God, you’ve done it all! Who is quite like you? You, who made me stare trouble in the face, Turn me around; Now let me look life in the face. I’ve been to the bottom; Bring me up, streaming with honors; turn to me, be tender to me, And I’ll take up the lute and thank you to the tune of your faithfulness, God. I’ll make music for you on a harp, Holy One of Israel. When I open up in song to you, I let out lungsful of praise, my rescued life a song. All day long I’m chanting about you and your righteous ways, While those who tried to do me in slink off looking ashamed. Psalm 71:17-24 (MSG)


I’m thanking you, God, out loud in the streets, singing your praises in town and country. The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness. Psalm 57:9-10




Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Generosity of Our Loving Creator

Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you; never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee. Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair, like rings on your fingers. Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you, don’t go along with them. If they say—“Let’s go out and raise some hell. Let’s beat up some old man, mug some old woman. Let’s pick them clean and get them ready for their funerals. We’ll load up on top-quality loot. We’ll haul it home by the truckload. Join us for the time of your life! With us, it’s share and share alike!”— Oh, friend, don’t give them a second look; don’t listen to them for a minute. They’re racing to a very bad end, hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on. Nobody robs a bank with everyone watching, Yet that’s what these people are doing— they’re doing themselves in. When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens: the more you get, the less you are. Proverbs 1:8-9 (MSG)

                 


God, do you weep
As you look around your world?
People everywhere, seeking anything,
Attempting to fill the barren hole 
Created by Your absence.

Drugs, disaster, death, devastation,
Stolen souls and wounded hearts.
Pride, lust, glory, money,
Hurting people hiding behind society’s trappings.
It’s fleeting, Lord, the worldly goods,
Perishable stuff.
Selfishness in overload,
Poor choices significantly vast.

Sometimes I can’t bear it, Lord,
Bad news voiced.
Heroin overdose, a captive life dead,
Teen suicide, why Lord?
A mother with empty arms wails for a child,
While a father silently sobs.

I considered my Heavenly Father
And I knew He wept.
Death brought tears to Him
When He stood at a friend’s gravesite.

But He overcame death!
Through a miracle and resurrection,
Life returned.

And I asked—
Father God, what can I do?
Jesus, how can I help?

Be a light, He said to me, show the best way.
Proclaim grace flowing from My heart.
Shout out good news of forgiveness and restoration.
My world of peace and truth.

I bring freedom and favor,
I supply strength and beauty,
I bestow blessings of mercy.

I desire to fill deadpan souls, 
Chosen hollow holes.
Lost mortals drifting through life,
Searching, striving, 
Come to Me, just as you are!
Come to Me, all you weary ones!
Come to Me, if you desire rest!

Give assurance of My love,
Its lavish scope,
My life given for all.
The stripes inflicted upon My back,
Bled sins from everyone.

Blame and burdens,
Offer up to Me.
Trade them in for My righteousness,
Deliverance and freedom.

I yearn to know you all,
Repent and turn to Me.
I desire to be known,
Repent and turn to Me.

I’ll wait, He said, as you labor 
For My kingdom here on earth.
Heaven finds Me interceding, daily on My knees.
Will you bow before Me and intercede with Me?


My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (MSG)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Christian Warfare Prayer



JESUS CHRIST,
Lord God Almighty,
I’m facing you as I prepare to war.
I need you.
My family needs you.
My friends need you.
Even my enemies need you.
Train me, O Rock of Ages, to fight against the enemy.

I desire to join Your mission to free people,
Telling Your good news of the gracious gospel of Christ Jesus,
Healing broken hearts,
Offering release to the captives,
Declaring Your mercy and love.
I personally give You thanks and praise!

With You all things are possible—You said it, I believe it. 
In faith I offer myself as Your hands and feet 
To do Your will on earth.

The battle wages in the heavenlies and You are there,
As we feel the backlash, You are here with us. 
Thank You, Holy Spirit!

Even though the struggle of good and evil remains on the earth,
We can shout victorious praises.
You won the battle with Your submission to Your heavenly Father. 
You were crucified and died, but You conquered death.
Your cross is a symbol of the fight you fought and won.
Now I stand before you, 
Believing You will go with me.

Before I head to the battlefield, I put on Your armor. 
I begin by firmly fastening the belt of truth around my waist, 
Your Truth encircles me, O God of my salvation.
Embolden me with Your true words of integrity.

Fill my heart as I put on Your righteous breastplate.
It completely protects the wellspring of my heart,
Guarding the inflow and outflow.
You keep my emotions intact.
I trust You with my life.

Truth and righteousness invade my soul,
As I lean over to put on my shoes of peace.
Strapping them on, I am ready to stand firm,
Believing in Your powerful gospel of love, 
The gospel of Jesus Christ.
I can overcome anything with You by my side.
Thank you, Jesus.
Empower me to tell others about Your good news of peace.

I cry out for more of You, Lord.
When I cover my head with Your helmet of salvation,
Make my mind steadfast.
Satan uses many distractions to take my eyes off You,
Captivate my thoughts—quiet the conflict in my head.
You have saved me and I believe.
Lord, help my unbelief!

I take up my weapons and make provision for war.
Worry, distraction, death, discord, evil, fear......
All these and more assail me in this life.
Your Word warns of trouble on earth,
Yet You also said, “I will never leave nor forsake you.”
I stand on Your promise.

Grasping the shield of faith,
I deflect the stings, arrows, and spears of the enemy.
Under Your protection,
I take the offense with Jesus, the powerful Word.
I mightily use Your Sword of the Spirit,
Pushing back the enemy,
Piercing through the darkness with Your truth,
Overcoming with Your Holy Spirit!

Peace reign down and flow like floodwaters,
Swaying wounded hearts,
Liberating captured souls.
FREEDOM in Christ!
Thank You, Lord God Almighty.


Below are some Scripture references I used to write the warfare prayer above. I pray you will read these Scriptures and allow Christ to emboldened you with His mighty words. Be at peace in His Name and let’s stand firm together, interceding with Christ for the lives of His people. Come, Lord Jesus!

Psalm 144:1, 25:5, 24:5
Isaiah 61:1-3, 26:3-4
Mark 10:27, 14:36, 9:24
Matthew 27-28
Luke 22:42
Ephesians 6:10-18
Proverbs 4:20-23
John 3:16-17, 8:32, 16:33, 14:26
1 John 2:5
1 Corinthians 2:16
Philippians 1:27, 4:7
Hebrews 13:5, 11:1
Galatians 5:1