Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book 2 - Day 24 Michal

On one’s wedding day, there is a celebration. A celebration of two becoming one, families united to bless the couple, food and drink spill forth with toasts, appreciation and adoration. When the party is over, the couple lavishes themselves with a honeymoon and months to years in lustful, loving romance. As time wanes on, the job, family, married life, bills, expenses and challenges can become burdensome. That lustful, loving romance, with bedroom laughter and pleasure is almost non-existence, those sweet glances seem ages ago and those date nights once filled with flowers, wine and tantalizing whispers are but an afterthought. What has happened? Where did the joy, the love and the desire for one another go? Where is your marriage heading?
            “Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. ‘I will give her to him,’ he thought, ‘so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.’”
            David’s opportunity to marry Michal came with a heavy price, one hundred Philistine’s foreskins to revenge Saul’s enemies. David was thrilled to become the king’s son-in-law, accepted the challenge and killed not one, but two hundred Philistines (1 Samuel 18:20-30).
          Michal was enraptured with David. He was no ordinary man, this son of Jesse.  He was a valiant warrior, fought to marry her and carried in her heart the only man who defeated a giant. Yes, Michal was captivated by his bravery, his warrior status, the love he had for her brother Jonathon and his potential as king. Her father, Saul, was not so beguiled.
Saul despised David attempting at every opportunity to kill the young soldier.  Michal, learning of another scheme to kill her handsome combatant, she warned him, “If you don’t run for you life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. Quick thinking and witted, Michal took an idol, laid it on the bed, covered it with a garment and put some goats’ hair at the head. When Saul’s men burst through to capture David, there they found only the idol (1 Samuel 19:1-16).
Days became months, months into years all the while Michal maybe waited for her hearts love. Alas, her father married her to a man named Paltiel. Paltiel was deeply in love with Michal or was deeply in love with her status for when David demanded her back, “Her husband went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim (2 Samuel 3:16).
Reunited with her long-lost love, Michal, maybe having been used as pawn, was not so enchanted by her once young, gallant soldier. For when David brings the Lord’s Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, Michal looks on in embarrassment and distain concerned more for how David looks, than to God’s achievement. Michal is recorded in 2 Samuel 6:23 as having no children, no lineage to the day of her death. How quickly and how sorrowfully marriages can take a swift turn from joyous to treacherous by our own hands or by the hands of the ones who led us down the isle of matrimony.

 How long does it take to notice the marriage is not what it used to be? Today’s youth, if not satisfied, will take quick action to end a marriage regardless of the consequences or people involved. My question is, how do we follow through with marriage, a love burning in our hearts, to a bitter divorce waving the dagger menacingly towards one another?  Where and when did the love grow cold?
 Woman, it takes a will to protect your marriage. All marriages ride the roller coaster of epiphany highs to theatrical lows, while you may hang on for dear life. During these ups and downs, it is what we as a couple do with these character enhancing situations as to whether or not our marriage will last; built on the rock or built on the sand. My own marriage has experienced these euphoric highs of births to monetary gain then spiraling downwards to bankruptcies and the lustful advances of a “Gomer”. These are the moments we should draw close to one another, not pull away. 
 I think part of the problem with the ever declining desire to stay committed is our own contentment in life. Paul exhorted the Philippians to learn contentment in whatever the situation experienced.  Of course as Christians, our contentment should come through Christ our King, not the highs and lows of earthly pleasures, challenges and proposals. I think what Michal wanted to say in her heart was, “Why did you leave me so long?” “Was I not worth waiting for or coming back for?” “Why did you allow my father to give me to another man?” “Did you not love me?” These are questions which may arise from a broken heart in your own marriage, “Why would you do that?” “Why did you choose these things over me?” “I am sorry; this is not the life I thought I would have.”
 Michal never experienced the joy of contentment; the joy of a loving marriage, for her father, Saul, would never allow such a thing. I pray you have the encouragement of your own family towards your spouse. The sand, or we could say the straw that may break the camel’s back, which can wither away during rough weathering seasons could be from the very hands that gave you away in holy matrimony. Woman, I encourage you to never demean, disrespect or gossip about your husband. This will end a marriage very quickly for the longer you talk, the more you may agree with yourself or the person slandering the man of your house.
 We have to pray about our marriages. My desire is to always have the love in my heart for Tommy. Of course, they love is different today than it was fifteen years ago. My lustful, loving romance love can not compare to the love of being parents together, can not compare to the love that lifted each other out of a muddy pit after financial loss and can not compare to the encouraging love my husband gives as I write our testimony of God’s saving grace. The love is there, it has just changed and enhanced over the years.
 Please, do not give up so easy on the one you’ve spent years with; press on towards the goal God has placed in your heart. Lay your husband at the cross; be his helper, his armor bearer, the one God has placed in your life to love and respect.  If you feel the Lord leading your marriage for counseling, pray who to see and let the Lord move you. Ask God to give you fresh eyes to see your husband in a new light.  Ask the Lord for eyes to see him as Christ sees him.  Ask the Lord for the romance you had when you first enjoyed one another, to show you what you can do to enhance the marriage so it never grows cold. Work on what you can do and God will do the rest. May the Lord bless your marriage, may it be fulfilling, joyful, loving and grow each passing year

Let us pray out loud and CONFESS the Word of the Living God
a prayer to be your husband’s armor bearer

Abba Father,
            I come to you as your daughter; bend your ear and listen to my prayer. May it glorify Jesus Christ, enhance your Kingdom and strengthen my marriage. I know you have a plan for our marriage. I know it is to prosper and not fail; to grow and not wither, to strengthen and not weaken. I pray to be this godly Christian wife you’ve called me to be. I have been given the gift of being a helper to my husband (Genesis 2:18). I thank you for this precious calling on my life; help me to cherish our marriage with great respect, never to take it for granted and strengthen our bond year after year. 
            Father, I want to be a godly woman who desires the things of you (2 Timothy 2:22).  I pray you keep my eyes on things above and not below, Christ seated at the right hand of the Father (Colossians 3:2).  I pray to put off my old self and ways, asking you to help mold and shape me to fit this season of my life, renewing my mind daily (Romans 12:1-2).  Whether I was taught the ways of the Lord or have just come to the faith as a new believer, I pray I learn to be a respectful, helpful, encouraging, loving wife, taking me into a deeper revelation of my purpose (Ephesians 5:33). I understand the spiritual warfare against Christian marriages, may I be a wife who continually prepares her husband for battle with the armor of the Lord (Ephesians 6:12). 
            Lord, fill my life with godly women, elders to glean from, groups to pray with and other women who will encourage and lift us up in prayer (Philippians 3:16-17).  When the tests and trials of marriage come, I pray to lay them at the foot of your cross, pleading your precious blood of our marriage. May you guard my mouth lest I sin against you (Psalm 19:14); and when the time comes to bring a sensitive issue to light with _________________ (husband) may I pray about it at least three days (Esther 4:16), seek the advise and counsel of seasoned elders and have your peace of knowing I am being respectful, loving, gentle and filled with the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). 
            I pray to read your Word daily (Psalm 1:1-3). May I be a woman with a deep understand of the things of God, the plan for my life, adaptable to all situation with my husband, helping him where needed and encouraging him during his walk (Ephesians 3:12-14).  If I have yoked myself to a non believer or God, you have changed my life first before _______________ (husband) then I pray for the strength to stay committed, loving him and trusting you to change him in your perfect will and timing (1 Corinthians 7:13-14). I pray my behavior, in which is being molded into your image, glorify you, find favor in your eyes, and soften my husband’s heart to see your goodness (1 Peter 3). I pray that no matter how long, the prayer life I commit to will never waiver, increase with my perseverance, determination to run this race, to not quit on ________________(husband) (2 Peter 1:5-8) and to know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to your purpose (Romans 8:28).
 I pray our marriage never grow boring, dull or conform to the ways of this world (Hebrews 13:4-5).  I pray ___________ (husband) and I are sensitive to each other’s needs, never withholding ourselves from one another sexually, never manipulated each other into undesirable tasks, but challenging ourselves to come up higher, giving God an open door to all areas of our marriage (1 Corinthians 7:5). I pray to never gossip, slander, and demean my husband; not to covet or desire another woman’s husband. May I be a woman who can be self controlled in her mind and body, turning off the lure of pornography, lustfulness, or longing for another man instead of my (husband) ______________(1 Corinthians 6:12-20). I know you have brought Christian’s to a high standard when Christ said, “I tell you that anyone who looks at another woman (man) lustfully has already committed adultery with her (him) in his heart.”(Matthew 5:28).  I pray to stay committed to the Lord in my inner most being, striving to never break your commandments of adulterous thoughts, committed to this man and the marriage you have planned for me (Exodus 20:14). 
Father I thank you and give you all praise. Thank you I am redeemed under the Blood of the Lamb and we can have a marriage that is godly, pure and holy. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, amen.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Book 2 - Day 23 The Daughter's of Zelophehad

Have you ever felt the desire for vindication? Robbed in wrongdoing, someone has treated you harshly, gossiped behind your back, stolen monetary treasures, taken the promotion you tirelessly worked for or an idea, song, a story you’ve intrinsically imagined, then to have it copy-written, pressed as another’s genius work of art? God, where is the vindication?
            Many have asked the very question you have. Psalm 73:3,12 read, “For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. This is what they wicked are like – always carefree, they increase in wealth.” Job asked, “Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?” (Job 21:7) Jeremiah complained to God, “You are always righteous, O Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?” (Jeremiah 12:1)
            Zelophehad’s daughter’s desired vindication. In the book of Numbers 27, God redeems their land as the inheritance to the daughters of a man who had died in the wilderness. “The daughter’s of Zelophehad son Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Micah and Tirzah. They approached the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly and said, ‘Our father died in the desert. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.’
            So Moses brought their case before the Lord and the Lord said to him, ‘What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and turn their father’s inheritance over to them.’
            Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, turn his inheritance over to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give his inheritance over to his brothers. If he has no brother, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan that he may possess it. This is to be a legal requirement for the Israelites as the Lord commanded Moses.’” (Numbers 27:1-11)
            Woman, we have a God who is just and judges impartially (1 Peter 1:17). He will take your case and judge fairly. If we take apart this story, here is what we find: God knew the daughter’s names, the Lord knew their hearts and the words were true, the women took their case and laid it in front of the altar, God judged impartially and fairly. The Lord told Moses because of their case, apparently the first of its kind, he stimulated what was to be done in circumstances such as this. Hebrews 4:16 scribes, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Yes! These women boldly approached the Lord, in front of all the people, and presented their case. The Lord confirmed their boldness and rewarded them with justice and righteousness!
 I myself have had several instances were I desire vindication, redemption and Truth. Completely transparent, I pray and lay it before the Almighty with an open heart and exactly how I feel. At times my prayer has been as I weep, “Father, my heart is broken. Why would he/she say these things? Why have he/she spoken such lies against me? Why are they acting this way? Vindicate me Lord.” Yes, I have experienced the brunt of vicious gossiping from Christians.   Other times, I have brought my case before the Lord in frustration and annoyance.  Fresh in my mind from this past week of having paid a medical bill in full, yet the company denied such a claim, I lay it before the Lord, “Uhhhh, Lord please, I have done what is right! I have paid my bills, why is this company not adjusting my balance!” I freely express my thoughts and feelings to the Lord, approaching the Throne of Grace.
Still, yet there is more, I have come before the God in prayer angry at the obtrusive, boorish and down right rude actions of Christians. Their crude, ill-mannered actions threw me on my knees angrily before the Lord, “Father I am angry! Why is he/she doing this! Have a done something to cause such an offense? I can not see in to the heart, only you can, so please judge this situation fairly and justly.”
My sister, there have been situations were I have placed a broken heart on the altar, as Mary of Bethany, crying and anointing Christ with love, adoration and seeking restoration only to be told I was sensitive. I was easily offended and should forgive. I have lifted up a voice in prayer crying out for Truth to the God who judges impartially only to have my case quickly resolved with an apology over wrong doing. Finally, my sister, I have sought vindication and am still waiting for God’s perfect timing.
I love that I have a God who can see into the hearts of men/women, “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10) “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Romans 8:27) I, for the life of me, do not understand people. The actions of those who cut to the core of your heart, deep scars you desire healed. Only the Lord can heal those wounds and vindication the wrong, bringing justice to a delicate situation. 
My mother and I had a disagreement, to say the least, which caused our relationship to be broken and unspoken for one year. It was a challenging time for; my mother as well, but God will mend any situation you give to him. I inquired of the Lord Truth; I knew I was right and at one point did not want to hear I was wrong. God did not respond with right or wrong, but instead, “You were not honoring your mother as I have commanded.” When we desire Truth, you better be prepared for the answer, especially if the answer is not what you want to hear.
For one year, I was laying my mother and our relationship at the cross. Little did I know she was doing the same. God rectified our relationship with Truth, apologies and grateful hearts for a relationship built on the Rock. I have had other disagreements or people completely dismissing my testimony as false when never once the thought of prayer or inquiring of the Lord has entered their mind. I have asked for vindication and restoration, an open heart to receive Truth with low and behold the book you are now reading. Woman, not all your complaints before the Lord will receive the outcome you desire, we have to humble ourselves before the Lord and seek Truth.  I encourage you, if God reveals you to be wrong, apologize and be thankful for Truth.

Jehovah-Shamah, The Lord is There,
            “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your Truth. I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites; I abhor the assemble of the evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O Lord, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds. I love the house where you live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells.
            Do not take away my soul along with the sinners, my life with blood thirsty men, in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes. But I lead a blameless life; redeem me and be merciful to me.  My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the Lord.” (Psalm 26)
            I believe I can boldly approach the Throne, confident you will judge fairly (Hebrews 4:16). I believe you are a just and righteous judge who searched the hearts and minds of men/women (Jeremiah 17:10). I bring my case before you and desire Truth. If I am wrong, I will quickly mend the situation in obedience. I am right, in your perfect timing, vindication me; redeem what has been lost, stolen, broken and wrong doing. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, amen.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Book 2 - Day 22 Salome

The crow’s caw echoed across the vast, open wilderness.  The soldiers’ laughter broke the deafening silence, causing her to cast her eyes down towards them.  Calloused hearts played lots for the cloth of the man condemned to die.  Her small hand gently reached down to find the weathered worn hand of her son.  Lifting her eyes once more, tears streaming down her face, Salome looked on as Jesus of Nazareth strained to breathe. 
            Her vision dim as her mind recalled the moment she pleaded for her sons to sit on either side of his kingdom.  Blurred from the salty wetness, dirt and wind, her eyes gazed up on either side of Jesus now.  Two thieves hung beside the Christ as he struggled for air; either side of him convicted men.  Her hand tenderly squeezed John’s hand as her heart compassionately broke from the excruciating pain being suffered, but thankful her sons were not on either side.
            “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
            ‘What is it you want?’ he asked.
            She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’
            ‘You don’t know what you are asking.’ Jesus said to them.  ‘Can you drink the cup I am gong to drink?’
            ‘We can’, they answered.
            When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.  Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” (Matthew 20:20-28).
            If anyone wants to become great, they must become a servant first. There is something you do not here in society today.  Some dream of the possible of having living in luxury, never lifting a finger; commanding and demanding the very best out of life.  Jesus came to serve and we as Christians are called to do the same.  As parents we want the best for our children.  We desire to give them all the things we did not have, but at what cost is it beneficial to the children to gain the whole world, but loose his soul?
            Salome sought the best for her sons, honorary positions beside our King, but little did she know what she was truly asking for.  I think witnessing the thieves on either side of the cross spoke volumes to her spirit.  Christ came to the ones who are sick and need help, those who need tireless service, compassion, sympathy and love for these are the ones who need a doctor.  Christ washed the feet of the disciples, peered in to the hearts of those seeking Truth, tirelessly preached and taught what love and forgiveness were.  He never seated himself in the palace, high positions, mansions filled with gold drippings of priceless paintings and art where in some time will be destroyed by rust and moths. 
            The Lord gives woman the miraculous living giving womb where his children are formed and molded in the secret place.  God has formed each one of his children in his chosen time and season; different gifts and talents; different unique personalities, eye color, thumb printed solely of each individual on this earth.  Our Lord’s creativity never ceases to amaze me, but what amazes even more is we tend to dictate to God what he needs to do with those gifts.  I am guilty of this my self.  Parents can encourage their children in what sport they like, “Well son our family as always played,…..” Grooming them to be the best in school, “Well daughter, no one in our family has ever received less than A’s, we’re doctors and specialists!  Groom our children to serve their country for that is what is passed down from generation to generation.  But, as parents are we asking the Lord and praying over his gifts, his children, what were they created for?  What is their purpose here to serve you? Help me as a mother, father or care-giver to see those gifts, encourage them and train them to use them in service.
            Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac for God’s purposes knowing he could bring him back if so chose to.  Hannah took Samuel to the Temple were God had graciously heard her pray for a son and promised to return him to the Lord.   Jochebed gave Moses back to the Princess to live in the Palace as redeemer for God’s people out of slavery.  What has your child been gifted for?
            Our eldest son loves to play soccer.  I know nothing about soccer.  During my youth, I was a swimmer; Tommy played baseball, enjoys football and bowling.  Neither of us had played soccer, ever! We see the potential in Nicholas, his desire and love for the game; instead of diminishing that desire, instead of making him play a sport he does not like or is gifted in and instead of snuffing out the gift God has given him, we encourage an attempt to learn what we can about soccer.  I have three different children, whom all look different, with different personalities, with different gifts and talents.  Just in my family along, God reveals his unique qualities in designing unique one of a kind individuals who can be used for his service.
            I encourage you as a mother, please do not force you own ideals on your children.  Salome had no idea what she was saying until she saw the two thieves on the cross.  I believe her heart desired the best for her sons, as are ours, but forcing your intentions, your own dreams and desires on a child that is not equipped for them will only cause misery and heartache.  I wonder how many people are in jobs they detest to carry on “tradition” in the family.  I wonder how many people have lost out on opportunities o witness in various regions of the worked, but attended, lived and resided in the college, city or country their family does because, “Well, that ‘s just where our family lives.” How sad for the kingdom of God to loose out on amazing opportunities to grow because “we know best.”

Abba Father, Adonai, Maker of Heaven and Earth,
Bend your ear down low and listen to your daughter’s heartfelt cries, our prayers and our thankful hearts. I pray the desires of our hearts are focused on your will and not our own. I pray you bring us into complete submission before you and the perfect plan you have for our lives. I pray we are as strong as Hannah, bringing all our requests and laying them at the foot of your cross. As wives, bring us into submission before you and our husbands. As mothers, open our hearts to bring each child to you for your service and purpose. May each of us sing a hymn of praise to you, a song full of joy and thanksgiving for your mercy and graciousness bestowed upon us. May you open the eyes and hearts of your daughters to your Word, the purpose of Salome’s story for our lives and give each of us a deeper revelation of you.
 Father, open the eyes of my heart (Ephesians 1:18) give me a hymn of praise to sing to you (Ephesians 5:19), encouraging others along the way (Ephesians 4:29). May I boast only in the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14) and His precious blood spilled as my High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). I pray the children you have given me or will give me are used in a mighty way for your kingdom, planting a harvest for you in the next generation (Colossians 1:6). May each grow to be in your service, a powerful voice as Samuel’s and may I be a mother who can let go, giving them to you for your perfect will and timing (1 Samuel 1:28). May I train them in the way they should go and when they are older they will never depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). I pray your laws, wisdom, guidance are tied around their neck like garland and each are quick to respond to your will (Proverbs 1:8-9).
Guard my mouth lest I sin against you (Psalms 39:1, 19:14, James 3:9, Job 2: 10) and believe in your promises, your Word and Truth will never return void (Isaiah 55:11). Your word says instead of the thorn bush, the pine tree will grow; instead of briers the myrtle will grow (Isaiah 55:13).You can open the womb with the breath of life, but until that time comes, I will rejoice and be thankful for the gifts and talents you’ve given me to use for your service. Open my heart for a deeper relationship of faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13, Hebrews 11:1-3). May I never be resentful, demand my own timing, provoking to another, jealous or covet what another sister of mine has (Galatians 5:26). I believe in the power of the resurrection, healing and hope of Jesus Christ for your word says he settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children (Psalm 113:9). I pray for godly women friends, counselors and sisters in Christ who are in the same situation as I am to comfort, pray and give thanks to you.  May we always lift your name on high and hope in the things we can not see (Hebrews 11-3).  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, amen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book 2 - Day 21 Sapphire

The bible says, “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:2). “He will bring to light what is hidden in the darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time, each will receive his praise from the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 4:5).  “For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you, On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Our motives are important to God.
Sapphire was a woman married to Ananias (Acts 5:1-11).  This couple was one of the first who gave their lives to Christ and were entrenched in spreading the Gospel with the disciples.  The backdrop for this couple is this, “All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.  With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace upon them all.  There were no needy persons among them.  For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.  Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas, which means Son of Encouragement, sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” (Acts 4:32-37).
The believers had received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.  Many were baptized and becoming Christians.  I love the Scripture, “All the believers were one heart and mind.” If God gave the believer the heart to sell his possession and give to the church, then the Christian did as such.  It must have been a beautiful display to see full of praise and rejoicing to help those who were in need and using this money to bring others to Christ with love for their fellow brethren. 
Ananias and Sapphire were Christians who witnessed all the acts of kindness, generosity and “power” the church, apostles and believers were exhibiting.  Maybe watching Barnabas receiving praise for his generous heart, laying the money at the feet of the apostles sprang to live a desire for acknowledgment by Ananias.  Maybe the desire to be noticed, commended and closer to the disciples laid the foundation of motives to sell property and give the money to the church.  The problem was this couple, once the money was in hand, did not want to give it all to the church.  Once holding the money in hand, he could not let go of it or maybe he thought it too much to give to the church.  Maybe he needed the money for himself to live, only the Lord knows what was in his heart, but what was there was also deception. 
“With his wife’s full knowledge, Ananias kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostle’s feet. Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received from the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men, but to God.’
When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died.  And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.  Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body and carried him out and buried him.  About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, ‘Tell me, is this price you and Ananias got for the land?’
‘Yes,’ she replied, ‘that is the price.’
Peter said to her, ‘How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.’ At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.” (Acts 5:1-11).
Now, many may see this as “harsh”, but remember, this is the spreading of the Gospel.  The first believing church and once witnessing what happened to this couple, a reverential fear of the Lord sprang to heart.  Men do not see in to the heart, but God does, “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10). Deuteronomy 8:2 reads, “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”
If the Lord had not brought justice to Ananias and Sapphire, what else would they have done to sabotage the church? The Lord can see our motives, thoughts and actions before we do them.  He can see if we get away “secretly” with one thing, we may test the limits in another.  God was not going to allow that with the spreading of the first church!
The “Sapphire Spirit” is alive and well in our churches today.  Sadly, I will admit my motives were not always pure and honest, glorifying the Lord. Ten years ago when the Lord called me back to the church, I still had the “world” in me.  The world says use those you can, manipulate if you get away with it and claw your way to the top.  It is hard for me to admit now, a decade later, that I would use anyone for personal gain, but I did.  Obviously God would not allow the friendship to last long or the “meeting” to further into a friendship, because my motives for meeting “leaders in the church” were not pure.  I had a desire to teach the word, but in those baby-Christian years where I was drinking milk and not meat, were years God was humbling me in the wilderness.
I have a desire for Truth.  Over these years, I have prayed for the Lord to reveal ALL things within my spirit that are deception.  I want to know what is in my heart.  I can not help others, pray with others or encourage others as long as my heart and motives are wrong.  Maybe it could be as watching another believer tithe more than you.  Your heart desires to give to the Lord, but you want to impress the “leaders” by tithing more and receiving praise.  Maybe you’ve heard a prayer warrior pray and many come to that person for prayer.  You want to pray and have the respect from the body, but when “prayer time” comes, your heart truly is not there to pray and lift the body up to the Lord.  Maybe God’s given you the desire for ministry. You try to “befriend” those in the church who can help you get there quicker than the Lord’s plan.  Woman, I am telling you now, it will not work.  If you desire the Lord’s plan, then you have to patiently wait, especially until your motives and heart are to glorify God.
I ran out before the Lord, attempting to “hurry” my calling long, falling in to the trap of Sapphire and the Lord NOT allowing my plan to work.  It was embarrassing, and still brings painful memories.  I encourage you to check your motives.  Are they truly for the Lord or for your own gain? Are you prepared to work hard, pray for the body of Christ, fast for the “ministry” God has placed in your heart or do you just want acknowledgment?  Come, let us reason together and place this at the foot of the cross! (Isaiah 1:18-20).
Let us pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God;

            My heart’s desire is to have pure motives; motives that reflect your glory and not my own.  I want your glory to shine through me, to bring broken hearts to your kingdom and fulfill my purpose.  I may make plans which seem innocent to me, but I know my motives are weighed by you (Proverbs 16:2).  I desire truth in my inner most being, so open my heart to reveal any part of me that is being deceived.
            I know you will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of my heart (1 Corinthians 4:5, James 4:3). I am not afraid to hear the truth, nor have my past dictate to me what is truth.  I know my faith will continue to grow as I hear and pray the Word of God (Romans 10:17). 
            I desire to be a woman approved by the Lord; trusted with the precious seed of Christ and plant a harvest for your Kingdom (1 Thessalonians 2:4).  I do not want my appeal or the presentation of the Gospel to be from impure motives, my recognition or applause from men, but to shine the light of Christ until the whole world hears (1 Thessalonians 2:3, John 5:41-44). 
            I pray to be a woman who studies and prays your Word.  For the more I know, the more I can compare my beliefs to yours.  I can be renewed by the transforming of my mind and know the perfect, pleasing plan of the Lord (Romans 12:2).  I understand that fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7).  May I always crave meat and not milk, may my motives be in line with your will and not my own.  I praise you Lord for you goodness, mercy and grace.  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, amen.

Book 2 - Day 20 Naomi

            The passing of a loved one reminds us all life has an end.  For Christians, that end should be one of hope, joy and peace knowing we are children of the Most High, have a place prepared for us in Heaven and will be met by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  For those of us left behind, the hurt, pain and loneliness are real.  In the book of Ruth, a woman is so overwhelmed with grief, she professes profusely to call her by her own misery or bitterness, Mara.  Naomi had lost her husband and two sons (Ruth 1:1-5).  To her daughter-in-law Ruth who refuses to leave her side she cries, “Don’t call me Naomi, call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life bitter.  I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.  Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” (Ruth 1:20-21).
            Naomi had lost all hope (Ruth 1:12).  She assumed her life was over and there was nothing more to it but loneliness, bitterness and affliction.  Although having experienced much sadness and suffering, the Lord has a plan for Naomi.  See, it was through her marriage vow to Elimelech in which she inherited a relative named Boaz for which Ruth was destined for.  Although Ruth had lost a husband and Naomi a son, both were about to gain from the loss. 
            God used a Moab woman, Ruth, in the linage of his son Jesus Christ, for Ruth is the great grandmother of King David.  God’s plan is interesting and never seems to follow our time lines.  Naomi did have hope in God, but could not see it for her clouded, shrouded vision. “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife.  The he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.  The women said to Naomi, ‘Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer.  May be become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.  For your daughter-in-law who loved you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.’” (Ruth 4:13-15). Christians have a kinsman-redeemer as well, Jesus Christ.
            Our hope as Christians is found in the Lord.  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13). “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). “But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.” (Psalm 71:14). “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37). “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 43:5). “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.” (Job 14:7-9). “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4). Are we getting the picture?  For these scriptures are just a small portion of the grace bestowed on all who believe and hope in Jesus Christ.
            Woman, do not think your life is over at the loss of a spouse.  There will be a season of healing, but then a season of renewing.  I like the scripture in Job 14, “For there is hope for a tree if it be cut down.” It may seem your life is over, but there is hope. Once the healing begins, prayer on bended knees and tears are wiped away by the gentle hand of Christ, “Thought its root grows old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.” Oh beautiful the Words of comfort and security knowing God has a plan no matter the season in life.  The water, this “living water” provided by Jesus Christ gives us hope, revival and a new life! Lay beside the one who makes the quiet waters and green pastures.  Lay beside the one who can give you Manna from Heaven at just the right time and restore your soul (Psalm 23).
            Come, let us pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God, drink from the Living Water and restore your soul;

            My loss has broken my heart.  The years I have spent with ______________ replay through my mind and I need you.  I know we need to spend time together for the healing to begin.  So, I will follow the shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, and I know I will not want.  I know you will lie next to me beside quiet water, filling my spirit with Living Water which bubbles forth to never thirst again (Psalm 23:2 , John 4:13). I will follow you into green pastures where I can lie down and eat the supplied nourishment for my soul (Psalm 23:2, Mark 6:31).
            I am thankful for the hope in the next season of life.  I know you have plans for me to succeed and not fail (Jeremiah 29:11). But when my soul is downcast and saddened, help me to lift my hands in praise for there my hope will remain (Psalm 43:5). For this faith I have is being sure of what I can hope for and certain of what I can not see now (Hebrews 11:1). 
            I do know when I am tempted to remain in the pit of sorrow, depression or pity you will lift me out of the mud and the mire, helping me to set my feet on solid ground giving me a firm place to stand.  Lord, you will put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to you.  I pray many see my joy and put their trust in you (Psalm 40:1-3). I praise you for loving me, I praise you for your goodness and knowing ______________ has seen you face to face.  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen.

Book 2 - Day 19 Peter's Mother-in-Law

I once read a story where a woman had recently lost her husband.  Her four grown daughters, three in which lived in adjacent cities and one flying in for the funeral of her father, were surrounding to comfort their mother and their own broken hearts.  When the older sibling and her husband arrived in her childhood home, she was shocked and surprised to find small, white tags on pieces of furniture, pictures, silverware, jewelry, clothes and things of such minuscule value.  Each one of these labeled tags had one of her sister’s names etched in ink, already staking claim to what was entitled to them. 
            During the evening dinner, the mother was quiet, solemn and racked with sorrow.  Completely oblivious to their mother’s needs, the three sisters ate unconsciously aware of their older sibling unable to swallow food.  The younger of the bunch turned to face toward her sister with a smile, “Did you tag your name on anything?” The older sister, stared in disbelief as her husband stood up from the table, walked over to his mother-in-law and placed his hands on her shoulders, “We tag this piece.”
            The loss of a spouse is difficult, especially one where you have grown together, loved together and hope together.  Baring children, watching them grow, loving every sporting event, cheering alongside one another, proud parents indeed.  Standing side-by-side in sorrow or pain as you wait to hear the news of your little one who is sick and needs medical care; sitting together meticulously, eyeing ever bill and savings you’ve spent a lifetime accruing, only then to stand alone at the funeral of the beloved one past while you remain.
            The thoughts must circumvent through the mind, “Where am I going to stay?” “How will I be able to afford living without him/her?” “Who will take care of me?” The pain only deepening when the ones you have loved, cared for, supported and encouraged leave you behind.  This may have been the experience of Peter’s mother-in-law.  We know nothing about her except she was in his home, sick and Christ healed her.  We can infer Peter had a big heart.  He may have been a little rough-around the edges, but he loved this woman enough to take care of her.  I love reading the bible where many opened their arms and homes to their extended family. It inspires me to open my own arms to those God has place in my family as relatives and those closest to me.  I am thankful to the Lord for these simple, one-lined Scriptures for these small verses can say so much if we take the time to read between the black print
This was also the experience of another woman in the bible named Naomi, but it was the love of daughter-in-law who repudiated to leave the woman she had come to love.        Having lost her husband and sons, two daughter-in-laws hold onto their mother-in-law refusing to leave her.  So bitter, saddened and depressed is Naomi she wants her name changed to Mara encompassing the bitter feeling she is experienced, the dark depression of losing all those you have loved.  One daughter-in-law profusely declines to leave the woman she has fallen in love with.  This maternal figure has been all she has known for some time, her heart loves as if this woman had given birth to her as her own mother.  Ruth, loving, kind and generous, rejects and rebuffs her mother’s intentions of walking alone (Ruth 1).  She insistently expresses her love and “tags” Naomi as her own entitled piece.
I have known my mother-in-law for fifteen years now.  When I first met Tommy’s family, his grandmother loving known as “Red Hair”, was living with his parents since his grandfather had died eight years prior.  Red Hair as passed on at the ripe old age of eight-four, but I learned a valuable lesson of what dedication, adoration, respect and true love is all about.  See, my in-laws took care of Red Hair for twenty years.  She lived with them, ate with them, traveled with them and relied upon them for medical treatment.  Obviously there were times of frustration, irritation and aggravation, but the love exceeded those nuisances. 
After nineteen years of a daughter loving her mother, Red Hair was taken to a hospital the last year of her life.  Every day for one year, 365 days, my mother-in-law walked to see her mother.  Every day sat and talked with her and the nursing staff.  Everyday she walked, cold, rain or shine, she would not leave her mother alone.  She had “tagged” Red Hair.  Our Father has his own tag upon his precious daughters as well.
            God loves the widow.  His Word testifies his own belief in taking care of those who are left behind, “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, given him food and clothing.” (Deuteronomy 10:18).  “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27).  “Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” (1Timothy 5:3). “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12).
            Sadly today’s generation does not look toward their elderly, parents or grandparents in this way.  The words burden, annoyance, disturbance and irritation are the “tags” labeled on these antique pieces.  Paul tells Timothy in the last days, children will be disrespectful towards their parents, lovers of themselves, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful, without love, not lovers of good, rash and proud (2 Timothy 3:1-5).  I read this list and we all can see how it finger points to our society and culture’s immediate gratification, self seeking, pleasure-only-please world. 
            I pray I have the ability to take care of all my parents.  I pray when one may lose another I tag them, for I choose not to store up “stuff” where rust and moth destroy, but serve as Christ came to serve.  I do understand the inability to care for a loved one with medical needs that only a hospital can administer.  But if the “burden” of your parents, boils down to a heart issue and not a physical issue, then hears lays the problem.  My prayer for you is to put yourself in the place of the one alone, of course that requires an act of empathy many choose to ignore.  I also pray that when I myself am of age to maybe lose my own spouse, my children will “tag” me instead of lifeless, “stuff” surrounding me.
Let us pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God;

            I want to know love as you.  I desire to have a love for all of those you have place in my life and family.  Help me to be generous, kind, thoughtful and caring to those in my family.  I rebuke any ungratefulness, disobedience, unforgiveness, or harsh treatment towards them for I do not want to be as the people Paul pointed his finger in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-8).  I desire to express all the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
            If any of my family is without their spouse, alone and in need, please help to support, encourage, serve and love them.  I want to honor my parents so my own life is long to praise your precious name (Exodus 20:12).  Your Word says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27).  “Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” (1Timothy 5:3).  If I have the capability and the means to provide, open my heart even more to those who are in need.
            Father, if I have family in the hospital or medical facility, graciously provide the time to see them, love them and remind them how much they are loved; help me to “tag” them as my own and love them as you do.  I pray to have the character as Ruth and the love as Peter to open my home, serve and care for my parents.  Show me how to honor them even more than I do now.  I do know that one day I will be in the same situation; help me teach my own children your Word and precepts for they are good.  I pray that I too may experience the same love and generosity from my own family as I express to those who are elderly in mine. Thank you for showing what true love is. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Book 2 - Day 18 The Persistent Widow

“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
 For some time he refused.  But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’
And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’” (Luke 18:2-8).
Webster’s Dictionary defines persistence as “the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people; the state of occurring or existing beyond the usual, expected or normal time.” (  The widow in Luke 18 was persistent.  Luke explains “Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1) What I like most regarding our Savior’s words, “will he find faith on the earth when he comes”. 
If you desire anything in life, the task at hand will require persistence.  The problem with our society is people expect an easy way out.  With technology, buttons, fast-food, drive-thru, purchasing online and immediate self-gratification, waiting has become a chore, a challenge and one in which people will not adhere to do.  Many can get frustrated in the grocery check-out line.  Huffing, puffing and stamping their feet all the while glaring out the check person or one in front causing the traffic jam.  If we have to wait to long in a restaurant, our waitress/waiter does not precisely fulfill the order correctly, the tip, huh! Non existent! Our easily offended, delicate sensibilities fail to recognize a new employee, first day on the job or a pressure to perform correctly can cause these discrepancies in grocery stores or restaurant gaffes. 
            Christians are supposed to act and handle themselves differently than the world.  Paul encourages the Philippians to conduct themselves worthy of the gospel in whatever happens or we could say, in whatever situation you are in (Philippians 1:27).  I try to remind myself when I am in the situation, usually with little eyes and ears around, this is a perfect teaching and training moment for my children.  Christians have the mark of the Holy Spirit, a seal, a promise, a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession (Ephesians 1:13-14).  Now, the fruit of the Spirit inside each one of us, this mark, this promise and deposit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
            Having these character qualities available to us when we accept Christ into our hearts as Savior and Lord over our lives, why do we not see more Christian’s behaving or living lives worthy of their calling? There are many reasons, different for each Christian, but focusing on the persistent widow, some walk away from the faith because the promised life, promised possessions or promised expectations were not the person thought.  For example, I came back to the church after a post-partum depression.  It was an actual vision of Jesus Christ that saved my life from a dark pit.  There was no light, “universe”, Allah, Buddha or “good, positive” feeling that saved my from such emptiness, it was Christ alone.  I knew in that moment he was real, loves his people, the church and there is a life I can have other than what the “world” tells me is there. 
            Coming back in to the church from living in the “world” where ANYTHING goes with whatever makes a person “feel good” must be ok, I had so much to learn.  As a wife, I did not expect the Lord to touch Tommy’s life seven years later with a dream.  I expected if God changed mine, then he would change Tommy’s life just as quickly; not so.  I have been asked, what happened in the seven years of waiting for Tommy to desire the Lord, come to church, worship and pray with our family? Persistence!
            I have a “do not quit”, determined, “I’m going to win” attitude.  I would never quit on the Lord, my marriage or my prayer life.  When I read how persistent this widow was, our Christ expects us to continue knocking, seeking and asking, I was going to do just that (Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9)  This act of persistence will require a few things such as submission to God’s will (Matthew 26:42, Luke 22:42), for we are no different than Christ.  If the Savior of this world called on the Father during prayer, his will be done, then how much more should we be in prayer for our Father’s will, not our own.
 Humility is not a buzz word.  Obedience and humility go hand in hand and to be persistent, you will be humbled. “Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6). “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10). “If my people will humble, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).  And one of my favorite scriptures, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” (Psalm 25:9).
The book of James gives us a little insight into why persistence is so important to the Lord, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:1-5). Peter encourages believers to “make ever effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you for being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8).
 Our faith needs to be purified and refined.  Our faith needs to be grounded in the love for our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven.  Our faith needs not be one of hidden agendas or self ambitions, but one that glorifies something greater than our own small lives. How else is the Lord going to reveal our true nature, how else are we to learn what we truly can accomplish and how else are we to know the love of a Father unless we go through trials, temptations and sufferings? If we profess love for one another, but are unable to forgive, then what kind of love do we have?  If we loose all of our possessions learning we have a selfish heart, bringing our reliance on our Father to provide than monetary treasure, then was the suffering worth the pain? If a painful experience enables us to stand in front of tens, hundreds or thousands, repeating a testimony of heartache to love, would the painful experience be worth the price to help others who may be in the same situation?

If rejection of man brings you closer to the Lord from a broken heart, learning he has made and formed you in to womb for this time and this season, will never leave you nor forsake you, was the rejection worth going through? How else are we to truly know what is in our hearts or more importantly, what we are capable of if we do not suffer some sort of trial for just a little while?
Persistence for truth, persistence for Jesus, persistence of peace, persistence of the demolishing of strongholds and worldly desires kept me continuing drawing closer to the Lord.  I knew he was there and I knew the life my family could have if we humbled ourselves, sought his direction and my prayers continued in believe in something I could not see, but knew was there (Hebrews 11:1).  What is your faith made of?  Is your relationship with the Lord strained as you wait for a loved one to come to the Christ?  Do you feel you have prayed long enough for something? Have you asked the Lord if this is the right person for you? Have you ever given the Lord a timeline and expected him to follow? Have you quit many times over, but find yourself back in the Word searching for answers the world can not provide?
 We have a God who judges justly and impartially.  I trust him completely and my prayer is you feel the same.  I encourage you to persist in your prayer life.  Do not give up on someone God has asked you to pray for.  Do not quit when the goings get tough, but use the situation to strengthen your character and faith.  Come, let us reason together and CONFESS the Word of the Living God;

 Lord, I have given my life to you as a servant of Jesus Christ.  I desire to know you with the wisdom and revelation given by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:17).  I pray the eyes of my heart may be enlightened in order that I may know the hope to which I was called (Ephesians 1:18).  Give me the persistence as the widow in Luke 18.  I know that persistence, perseverance must finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4).
 I believe faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do no see (Hebrews 11:1).  I understand the sufferings and trails I endure will only last but a little while; during this season, increase my faith (1 Peter 1:6, Luke 17:5) Show me how to submit before your will and not my own (Matthew 26:42, Luke 22:42).  I desire truth in my inner being (Psalm 51:6), so bring forth any hidden agenda, self ambition that is not of you.  While I wait for _______________, if it your will, increase my joy!  Give me the self-control to study, grow in the knowledge of you and have a peace that surpasses understanding (Galatians 5:22, Philippians 4:7). I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, so help me stay on course and confident in the work in which you began will be carried out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13, 1:6).
 I pray for a humble spirit that will bow before you where in due time you will lift me up in honor (James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6). I know you guide the humble in what is right and teach them your ways.” (Psalm 25:9). I desire to submit before you and know your thoughts are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8).  Help me to rely solely on you.  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen!