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Praying the Scriptures -A Prayer on Resurrection Sunday-

 31.3.13

The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection by Eugène Burnard


God of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of Glory, give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may fully know Jesus. Enlighten my eyes that I may know what is the hope to which You have called me, what are the riches of this glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of Jesus' power toward me and my brothers and sisters, toward us who believe, according to the working of the great might that worked in Christ when you, Father, raised Him from the death and seated him at your right hand in heavenly places.

Thank you for your grace, for your rich mercy, and the great love with which you have loved us. Thank you because you made us alive with Christ! Just like today we remember and rejoice that the tomb is empty, that death was conquered, so today we rejoice that we are alive in Him! We are no longer dead, because of the power of the Resurrection, we are alive in Christ! Oh what a Glorious Grace that brings life through death! What a glorious Grace that conquers sins and through the power of the Resurrection gives us victory over the sin that once enslaved us!

Thank you because you have raised us up with Jesus and seated us with him and in Him in heavenly places. I pray that we may be a grateful and obedient people that proclaims a risen Christ and the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us, sinners.

Father help me live as you have taught us, knowing that my sinful nature has been crucified with Christ, that it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Thank you, because now, by grace I can live a life by faith in Jesus, who loved me and gave himself for me.

I praise you Conquering King!

In Jesus' name,

Amen



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A prayer based on Ephesians 1: 15- 23; 2:1-10, and Galatians 2: 20-21






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Praying Ephesians -Ephesians 2-

 30.3.13

"None of us will have any more spiritual understanding than the Spirit gives us; but then he will give us as much as we seek by earnest and believing prayer. To grow in grace, and in knowledge, we must consult both the book and its Divine Author: the one by study, and the other by prayer."  John Angell James

@Annie Pliego Photography

Father, this Saturday morning, a day before Resurrection Sunday I come in prayer before you to give you thanks for your glorious Grace displayed on the Cross and the Resurrection. 

Father, it is beyond all my comprehension that when I was dead in my trespasses and sins in which I once walked -and loved-, when I was following the course of this world without any objections; when I was a daughter of disobedience, of wrath, living in the passions of my flesh and carrying out the desires of my body and mind. When I thought I was seeking you but in reality I was only looking for the gifts that only You can give, when I was hopeless in this fallen world, Jesus died for me on that cruel cross and after three days rose again from the death conquering sin and death, taking on himslef all my guilt and curse, and giving me Life.

Your are rich in mercy, Oh God, the love with which you have loved your own is greater than the heavens. Always reaching to the sinner, to the hopeless, to the sinner. Lord, thank you for giving us life in Christ. Thank you for the power of the resurrection and for all the kindness that in Christ you have shown to us. Thank you because we are now in Christ, now my life is hidden within Him. What an amazing Grace that saves through faith hopeless sinners like me! Thank you for giving me the gift of faith to believe. Thank you because my salvation does not depend on me, on my will, on my choices "for you," because I am sure I would have never chosen you. Thank you because you saved me by grace through faith and even now, in  my daily walk,  you sustain me by your grace and the faith you give me to endure the trials  and temptations that each day bring.

Thank you, Father, because the salvation of your children is not by works. Thank you, thank you! Thank you because the only work that was perfect was Jesus' and it has pleased you to bestow upon me the righteousness that comes from His work.  Thank you because it has pleased you to give me the salvation of my soul, which is the most wonderful gift that one could ever receive!

Help me to live with a humble and grateful heart that loves to obey your Word. Help me to walk with wide open eyes to see the good works which you have prepared beforehand for me to do.  Help me to live giving and walking in Grace.

Lord, help me to walk my Christian life remembering that once I was not saved, that I loved walking in the flesh, that I was not in the Covenant. That I may never forget what it was to be separated from Christ, what it was to live having no hope in this fallen world. I don't want to forget how dark the pit in which you found me was, so that I may always have a heart full of compassion towards those who are not in your family yet. Help me, Lord to preach the gospel that saves. I pray for ______________ that you may bring them near to you by the blood of Christ. I intercede for __________that may come to know what true peace is.

Father, I come to you through Jesus giving you thanks because I am no longer a stranger, but a fellow citizen with the saints and a member of your household. Thank you because every day you continue to build my life on the foundation of the apostles and prophets; a strong building that stands against all storms because Christ Jesus is the cornerstone. Thank you for your Church, O Lord, help us to grow together in your Truth, encouraging one another not to fall into sin, or in the deceptions of this world, but to walk in the faith, established on your Holy Word. Help us to walk humbly, knowing at all times that we are where we are because your Grace has reached toward us, helpless sinners.

Praying in Jesus' name whose Name is above all names,

Amen

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The Giving of Thanks and My Obedience

 29.3.13

@Jim LePage Crux Sola Project
"The giving of thanks can only begin when the gift of the divine Word is acknowledged; indeed, only when I am immersed in the study of the divine Word. How could one begin to give thanks to God and not concern oneself with his Word? What kind of thanks would it be to receive the gifts but refuse the required obedience to the giver? It would be a pagan thanksgiving, which is indeed widely practiced.
That is not a giving of thanks to the Lord God, but rather to an impersonal fate or fortune to which I am in no way obligated. Thanks to God that does not proceed from an obedient heart is presumption and falsehood. Only when God’s revealed Word has made our heart want to obey him can we thank God for earthly and heavenly gifts... 

I thank God because I want to learn and know what he requires of me, but I thank him as one who is still only learning, who still lacks everything when measured by God’s righteous judgments. So thanksgiving leads me back to the giving God and then forward to the commanding God, in order finally to find in him his righteousness, which I experience anew as righteousness given to me. “Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God” (Ps. 50:24)."

Bonhoeffer, Meditating on the Word (emphasis mine)


Today as I fix my heart on the Cross, and I am drawn to give Him thanks -over and over again- for His perfect sacrifice, for His atonement, I am also drawn to pray, "Lord, help me to show you my gratitude through my love and obedience to your Word."


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Praying Ephesians -Ephesians 1-

 28.3.13

We make the Scripture ours by reading it, studying it, meditating on it, living it, and praying it. 

 "Prayer is the most tangible expression of trust in God." Jerry Bridges, Trusting God
@Shiloh Photography (used with permission)



Father, thank you because you made a way for me to become yours. Thank you for your immeasurable Grace and its perfect fruit: Peace. Lord, when I see beyond the many physical gifts, all wonderful and undeserving, that it has pleased you to bestow upon me; when I lift my eyes to the heavenly realms and see all the gifts that are beyond all comprehension, I fall on my knees and bless your name. Lord, thank you for calling me, for choosing me in love to be called your own, to be adopted by you, Father. Thank you for each spiritual blessing, for the promises of eternal life, for the miracle of the Cross, for the hope of the resurrection, for that peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you, O Lord!

Father, I praise your glorious grace with which you have blessed us in the Beloved, in Jesus. I praise you, Father, for Jesus because it is in Him that we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of all our sins, according to the riches of His Grace. O what a wonderful, glorious Grace!

As I see the cross and the blood of the Lamb, I see your wisdom and insight making known to us, your children, the mystery of your will: to have for yourself one Church united in Jesus. How I long for that day!

Thank you, Father, because it is in Jesus, In Him alone, that we have obtained our precious inheritance. Only in Him can we possess the gift of Eternal Life. Only in Him, when we heard the word of Truth, the gospel of our salvation that pierced our soul, and revived our dried bones, only when you made us believe in Him, is that we were sealed with the Holy Spirit. This is just glorious, Lord! That no one can rob that inheritance from us! That the salvation of our souls is assured by the seal of the Holy Spirit and not by our own feeble efforts is wonderful! Thank you, Lord! I praise your glorious Grace!

For this reason, for the faith that you have given me, I now come before you to pray for my children. Give me a heart that is inclined to intercede with all kinds of prayers and supplications for my sons and daughters all day, every day. That I may not cease to fall on my knees on their behalf, that I may not fall in the sin of worrying and being anxious for them and their future instead of trusting that their life,  all of it is under your sovereign, loving hand. Give me the faith that trusts that your will for them is that they may know You and your perfect will. Father, I pray for the children that you have given me and for their future spouses. I pray that you, Gracious God, may give them a spirit of wisdom and of revelation so that they may know You. Lord, that they may seek you in the days of their youth and grow in the wisdom that is only found in the Scriptures. Father, draw them to your Word, keep them from the evil one, from all false teachers, from all deceptions, from their own sinful desires. Father, enlighten their eyes that they may know what is the hope to which you have called them. I pray that you will deliver them from all the false hopes and all the false promises that the gods of this age offer. Deliver them from setting their eyes, their efforts, and their heart in the riches that will perish, that are vain and leave men and women empty. Strengthen them so that they may be able to stand firm in the days of trial, in the many times in which they'll have to face fierce temptations. Call them by name, O Lord, show them what are the riches of the glorious inheritance that we have in You; let them see with the eyes of their soul what is the immeasurable greatness of your power toward us who believe in You. Open their eyes that they might understand the power of the cross and the resurrection and live a life that will bring glory to your name.

Father, draw us to you, to Jesus. Apart from you we can do nothing, we can go nowhere, we are lost, and fruitless. Help us today to live by Grace, with our eyes fixed on the cross and the power of the resurrection. Help us today to build your Kingdom and build up for ourselves treasures in Heaven.

I pray trusting that you hear me because of your steadfast love.
In Jesus' perfect name, 

Amen.




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A Prayer and a Reflection for the Week -Based on Psalm 143:8-11

 24.3.13

"Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should walk, for to You I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for you are my God; may your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground. For Your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble."    Psalm 143:8-11


J.R. Miller wrote a wonderful reflection on this Psalm which I would like to encourage you to read today, the Lord's Day, and mediate on it through out all the week (you can find it here).

"He who lives without prayer—lives without God. He who lives a life of prayer—walks with God by day and by night. The more we have to do, and the more care we have—the more do we need to begin our days with prayer! No day starts well without its morning prayer. We need to get the touch of Christ's hand upon us, to give us calmness and strength as we go forth" J.R. Miller 

Praying that the Lord will help us to abide in Him today, tomorrow, and the days to come.


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Stories of Endless Grace

 6.3.13



It is when I see my sisters in Christ
   who have lost a child,
   a husband,
   a dream.
Sisters who have been betrayed,
   abandoned.
   Who have heard many times
   that they have the "right" to be mad
   to be bitter,
   to be anger.
But by God's Grace
   are still clinging hard to
   God's Word,
   to His Perfect love,
   to the Cross,
That I learn the most
   about trusting God.

These women, these sisters,
  Who have lost the most precious gifts,
  Are the ones who have their hands
  And hearts full.
  Their cup is overflowing.
God has filled their emptiness
    With His prescence.
They now know Him as the God
   who satisfies all of our needs.
They have walked with Him
  through valleys
                and shadows and
  have embraced the blessed gift of
  His Peace which surpasses all
       understanding.

These women don't name and claim promises.
  These women bow down and
  Glorify God in the abyss.
  When silence is everywhere,
  and no answers are found,
  they cling to the Word of God,
  and hide under the Shadow of the Almighty.

The lessons learned in the furnace,
   in the missionary field,
   in the trials,
   in the hospitals,
   in the cemetery,
   in the court,
   in the office,
   in the kitchen,
   in the prayer closet,
   are all invaluable,
   all of them rich.
   All appointed by God,
   to draw them closer to Him.

How they stood firm through each battle,
   how they have persevered,
   how they have glorified and thanked God
   when they could have cursed Him.
Oh! It is only through Grace...
  Grace that flows from the Cross,
  Grace that knows the power of the Resurrection.
  Grace that calls each one of us by name.
  Grace that doesn't let us go
                       or die,
                       or despair.

And we all know this,
       the school of sanctification is not easy.
And we fail at times -many times-
       but we persevere,
       we have not been chosen to perish.
It is not about us,
      about will-power,
      about our own capacities,
      or strength,
      or godliness.
It is neither about our sin,
      how big it is,
      how low we have been.
It is all about His Saving Grace,
         Grace that saves,
         Grace that helps us fight,
         Grace that brings us all the way to the finish line.

And I have heard my sisters say,
     "I never thought I could possibly live through such a trial...
      and yet God's grace sustained me through it all."

I close my eyes and try to swallow hard.
Isn't this the testimony that we need to hear?
      The Doctrines of Grace,
      The Catechism,
      Our Creeds,
      Worn as our daily robe?

As one man said,
               "Stories are catechisms 
                 with flesh on."
I believe it.
I have heard the stories my sisters have lived.
I have seen them being sustained by
    the faith that is found in the marrow of their bones.
Their scars are real.
      But so their smiles.
      So their joy.

All is Grace and
   each story hides in it many mercies.
   And each one draws us near to our Father.
   Beautiful stories of unending Grace.
         mercies adorning their days.
         Day after day...
         New mercies which never fail to come.

God's blessed joy has come in the morning,
     His peace has guarded their hearts,
                          their minds.

And I look at each one of them,
      how beautiful they are!
      How strong
               and meek they are.
      How much like Jesus they have become.

And I give thanks for each one of them,
       And always remember them in my prayers,
     
        

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Who is Becky?

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Becky
If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
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Borrowed Words

"It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven... to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?"

Jonathan Edwards

"I am still pondering God's greatness in His creation. I have so many questions that I would like to ask the Lord about the universe, creation, the fall of man... But when I'm in heaven, I wonder if I will even remember them. At that time, being in the presence of God will be enough. I'm thankful that I can look forward to that day."

-Persis

“Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”

- Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart



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