Remember to pray

On Wednesday I asked for all of us to come together on Friday March 20 to pray over the COVID-19 pandemic. As believers, this is our first line of defense. We know God Almighty is completely Sovereign over this worldwide virus. It hasn’t taken Him by surprise. With that said, I believe it is our privilege and duty to pray right now. Here are a few things we can pray for:

-Quick recovery for those infected by COVID-19

-Physical health of our society

-Wisdom for leaders

-Stamina and resources for healthcare workers

-Daily living supplies available for all (food, toiletries, etc.)

-Mental health for all in quarantine

-Vaccine treatment for Coronavirus

-Christians will be obedient and discerning to help others as needed

-Spiritual revival

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This is not a comprehensive list so if there is anything else you would like to add, feel free to leave your suggestion in the comments so everyone can see. As those who are hidden in Christ fear does not have to be our response. Using sound judgment we can take health precautions, stay informed, and rest in Who holds the future. Our God is Greater, our God is Stronger, He is Higher than any other as the song goes. 

This is a unique opportunity to tell others about the Lord. Make no mistake how we respond to this crisis as Christians matters. The people you influence are watching. Please consider faithfully praying over this issue. God is with us.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; He utters His voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, how He has brought desolations on the earth. 

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the chariots with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

-Psalm 46

Grace upon grace,

April

Becoming who you already are

Do I love Him?

Do I love Jesus deeply? Is He becoming what I treasure most?

Becoming…

It is a life long transformation. On one side we are instantaneously made righteous, redeemed, adopted. On the other side the Lord is patiently working out our salvation, growing our faith and love for Christ every day.

It’s the broken hallelujah being restored living in the middle of “already and not yet”. Jesus Christ has come and died and rose. My Hope is made real the more I see, the more I love the unseen. My eyes begin to adjust to the Light as I am washed in His Word.

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We have one foot in this world and one foot in heaven. It can be hard at times to live out the resurrected life. But it is ours for the taking. We have the Holy Spirit’s power to wield into our every day lives.

How do we do this exactly? In reading through the Scriptures you start to notice themes and commands that serve as the backdrop to all of life. It goes something like this:

Take your sin seriously because we offend a Holy God. Pursue personal holiness even when trials come. Commit your way to the Lord.

We stumble. Grieve our sin, repent, seek God’s unending storehouse of mercy. We do not live as one condemned. Lean into our freedom as sons and daughters of the Most High. This is the rhythm of Christianity.

Becoming…

You already belong to God as a believer. Jesus made this possible. We live on the other side of the cross, complete with the canon of Scripture to read whenever we want. I need these reminders too. We have to preach the Gospel to ourselves not just on Sundays but every single day of the week.

This is my prayer and offering to you-

Father, 

Let Your truth fall fresh on us. Captivate our hearts and minds with Love so Divine, demanding our soul, our life, our all. Help cultivate within us deep joy and abiding faithfulness today, tomorrow, into the rest of our eternity when we will see You face to face. Our hallelujahs made fully complete.

Grace upon grace,

April

Growing in grace

If you haven’t noticed, on Fridays I’m taking time to post short reflections or prayers. Hopefully you are encouraged by them. This is a prayer from the Valley of Vision. It would make a great Christmas gift for someone, or for yourself 🙂

May you grow in God’s grace today. Blessings to you.

Spiritual Growth

“May I be consistent in conversation and conduct,

the same alone as in company, […]

May I never be satisfied with my present

spiritual progress, […]

May I never neglect what is necessary to constitute Christian character, […]

May I cultivate the expedient,

develop the lovely, adorn the Gospel,

recommend the religion of Jesus,”…

 

 

Grace upon grace,

April

 

 

Because I’m difficult too

It’s funny how we tend to think of ourselves as “normal” and everyone else as quirky characters. If we could be on the outside looking in, we might see it a little differently. The people in our lives: friends, co-workers, family (especially the people who live with us) either refine or bless us. But there is no getting around that God uses our different personalities for us to personally apply truth each day.

So I have a prayer for you and me as we head into today. Because whatever you do, I’m almost certain you’ll run into another human being which requires you to interact. If you’re like me, this can be challenging, but also a blessing. Usually when I have a perspective shift my attitude toward how I’ll view and treat others changes also. So here are words you might need to say back to the Father too.

Father, 

Today will be hard because there will be people in it.

Let me use those opportunities to be refined like Christ,

practicing self-control over my tongue and heart.

Help me to be gracious in speech, slow to anger, quick to listen, supernaturally loving the difficult or hurtful.

Protect my thoughts from comparison, envy, or self-righteous judgment.

I ask to have the freedom to show compassion and patience no matter how different the person might be.

Bring me to my knees in prayer when I think wrongly of someone else- pray for blessings toward them and not an ill will.

Grant me a humble spirit and a love for You that overflows into my everyday life. 

Let Jesus be the reflection when I look in the mirror.

You cover me in Your grace when I fail and rejoice in those small spiritual victories. 

Thank you for choosing me, loving me even when I’m difficult to love- help me do the same when I meet another face today.

Grace upon grace,

April

Deep breath- it’s Monday

Part of the goal for Redeemed In Grace is to help you extend grace to yourself, as you learn to do this for others. And let’s face it, Mondays are the worst day to practice grace for most of us. The beginning of another week is a true gift, but it can also feel like the start to the daily grind. In order to help each other shift our gaze from the mounds of paperwork, laundry, phone calls, (fill in the blank), to an eternal mindset I have written a prayer for you today.

Because I believe that when our perspective changes so can our hearts. Gratitude begets a gracious spirit. So while the responsibilities and circumstances of life in general may not change, our attitude toward those tasks can. And hopefully you can discern this as a sincere effort to encourage you and not preachy. Because that is my prayer for you-  to be encouraged here in this little online space.

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Father,

May we rest in our salvation and pursue satisfaction in You.

Knowledge, love and faith are all gifts from Your Hand.

We acknowledge that our greatest gift is Jesus-

Prophet, Priest, and King.

He is worth following, worth living and dying for.

Christ is worthy of our worship at all times

from every nation.

Let us taste the fullness of joy that we already have in Jesus.

May we make You known by our choices, speech and actions so that this world sees the light of truth in us.

Awake us from the things that deaden our spirits and grace Your Church with zeal under the banner of Love.

Teach us to remember Your truth so that we sense Your Presence in this day.

In the strong Name of Jesus,

Amen

A prayer to persevere

A prayer as you enter this week, a new season, or stay put right where you are. May you cultivate a heart of contentment and gratitude in the joys, the struggles, the ordinary. I offer this to you to live fully in the present, not looking over past mistakes or future worries. Jesus said today’s troubles are enough. He gives you peace, He is your peace.

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Father,

Keep Your Beloved humble, aware of Your set and unfailing love over us.

Let our love for You continue to grow as the hope we have in Jesus becomes deeply rooted to the very core of our being.

May our spirits be inseparable with Yours so that others can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.

Transform these restless, half-hearted desires to love what You love.

Let our private worship be the same as our public adoration.

We pray to never be ashamed, but always willing and ready to share the blessed hope that is ours through Your Son, Jesus Christ.

Give us urgency in the Gospel for souls that are lost, wandering, angry, indulgent, apathetic, asleep, dead.

We need compassion and patience toward their unbelieving hard hearts.

Help us remember that they cannot act contrary from their given nature.

All of us were once against You too, as objects of wrath.

We confess that the costly effects of our depravity often escape us, when we take our salvation for granted.

Forgive us when we become prideful because of our spiritual gain. Puffed up in knowledge without love. Given to our sentimentalism without doctrine.

Open the eyes of the blind. Give life to what is lifeless. Establish freedom and peace for those who have yet to taste the real thing.

Only You can move and redeem and transform.

 

Forgive us when we don’t live like You changed everything.

We are often distracted by the baubles of this world, choked by the trials, asleep to the needs of others.

Make Your family worthy of the calling: Image-Bearers and Ambassadors for Your Honor.

Help us remember all You have done for Your Bride –

You are rich in mercy,

Filled with grace,

Demonstrated untold kindness,

Faithful,

Pouring out Your love.

By Your power, in the Spirit’s strength, enable us to remember, imitate, remember.

We pray to be the most humble, grateful and joy-filled people in all the earth!

Let us live into the identity You created us for since the beginning of time.

Grace upon grace,

April

 

Jesus our Rest

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Here is a little prayer I wrote for you and for me. I can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the unraveling of society in the anti-Christian culture we live in, along with so many other daily distractions that threaten the believer’s focus. When I find myself in a fog, I sit quietly and ask God to realign my thoughts…once again. Maybe you have been here too and need a prayer like this. Blessings to you today.

 

Lord of heaven and earth,

 

Free my mind from the cobwebs of lethargy,

complacency and spiritual stupor.

Help me to see You again clearly,

eagerly.

I pray You remind me of the simple

truths I know so well and still

forget each day.

Let me walk in Your footsteps,

as a child trails behind a parent –

trusting and unafraid.

 

You are Light covered in flesh.

How amazing that Hope met us

in our desperate, hopeless state!

Transform and purify us in joy,

eager to do the good works

You redeemed us for.

Help us recognize grace upon grace today

in thousands of ways,

multi-faceted like a million

diamonds on the jeweled sea.

 

Jesus is our treasure and delight.

We find God in His rich Word

which feeds the Beloved

like sweet manna –

bread from heaven.

The simplicity of the gospel

is deep seated

in mystery, wisdom, and beauty.

Help us to comprehend the sacred

privilege of salvation

and walk in this hour

with confidence in who we are,

resting in Jesus

our Eternal Sabbath.

 

Amen.

 

Grace upon grace,

April

To the God who sees me

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Sovereign Father,

 

Sometimes I think You don’t care

and You must not be listening.

I get swallowed up in a

sea of humanity

and my troubles seem so

insignificant

in the grand scheme of things.

So I sorrowfully resign

that You must be too busy

to notice.

 

But then I remember

the many times before

You have proved Yourself

Faithful and Loving

even though

I am small in the cosmos.

Not only do You care,

but You love Your Beloved deeply.

You weep when I do.

You rejoice at my happy news.

 

El Roi,

The God who sees me.

Our fellowship is unbreakable,

sacred, a work of grace.

Forgive me when I doubt

Your Goodness.

Help my impatient spirit

to wait

when You seem far away.

 

Let Your Truth take root

in my mind,

as Your peace washes over

my anxious heart.

Because You are

the God who sees me

when I run after You

and when I stray.

Hold my gaze steady on Jesus

in the certain and uncertain times.

I will put my trust in You, El Roi.

 

Amen.

 

Grace upon grace,

April

 

Further devotion: Genesis 16

Let us not become weary in doing good: a prayer

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God our Father,

 

Let us not become

weary in doing good.

Let us not assume

Satan has won the war

and give up the fight.

Let us make Your Name

Famous

above all other names.

Help us remember who

we are

the seal of approval over us;

Redeemed, it says.

Forgiven proclaimed.

Adoption confirmed.

 

Keep us low

filled with praise and awe

over incomprehensible Yahweh.

Give us our Daily Bread

in Jesus

and let us not be ashamed

of the Gospel.

Raise up mighty warriors

in Your Powerful Name.

Equip this generation to

march boldly and joyfully

sharing the Hope within us,

spreading Light until

no darkness is left to hide.

 

You are our Treasure.

You are our Delight.

Strengthen us for today,

arm the beloved for warfare.

Go before us we pray.

Lead in grace.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,

Amen.

A prayer for the weary

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Let us admit when we are

exhausted from

spiritual burn-out.

 

Keep us in the dry seasons

when we feel we have nothing to offer.

 

Refresh the sapped and jaded with the Spirit of Truth,

create margin for intentional

Sabbath rest.

 

The works of the believing are stifled if they

are grounded in duty rather than love for Jesus.

And we have so much in us

that can be used to make Your name known.

 

Father, give us a renewed desire

and a fresh vision

for the calling You etch

in our hearts.

 

We are here to testify to

Your greatness.

Let the dimness of our light

begin to beam again.

 

Lead us tenderly.

We are Your servants

and You are our God.

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30)

Grace upon grace,

April