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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Childlike prayer

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We pull into the turning lane to enter our neighborhood and I start to tense because he does. Jesse, my four-year-old son with autism, hates stopping in traffic. The onset of cars rushing toward him on one side and whizzing by on the other is sensory overload for his system. I can’t say I blame him. Jesse starts to scream, and kicks the center console from his car seat. He cries, “Pray!” And then there is a whimpering, almost begging in his voice, “pray?” My heart splits right in two.

So with my eyes still on the road I lift up my son’s fears to the Lord, asking Him to bring calm and peace to Jesse’s heart. He quiets and settles down a little, and the two of us turn into our familiar street leaving the chaos of the road for another day.

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I’m often convicted of my anemic prayer life after hearing my son ask for prayer. He prays about everything. I taught him the singing one, “God our Father, God our Father, we give thanks, we give thanks, for our many blessings, for our many blessings, Amen. Amen.” So now whenever he is fearful, in trouble, about to eat, or thankful Jesse puts his little hands together in prayer.

I want to be more intentional, and frequent like that. When we cry out to God offering our pleas or praises, the heart calms. The reason we are admonished to “pray without ceasing” is that our spirits need reminding of Who is in control. I am helpless and needy. It is when I pray that I feel even closer to the Lord. He designed it that way.

Communion in prayer and fellowship with the Father depend on how often I’m speaking to Him in prayer as His Spirit speaks to me through His Word. It doesn’t have to sound super spiritual or stifled with formality. We have the freedom to speak from the heart and plainly present our requests, like a child. God knows what we pray before we even say it, but He also knows that prayer forms belief. It is for our benefit.

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Prayer allows us to see God at work on a personal level. Intimacy blossoms with the Lord as we get a front seat view to His power and faithfulness in answering our petitions. We experience God in those moments. Also, when we don’t get the answers we want, it doesn’t mean the Father is absent or a hard God. It simply means He has a better plan in mind, meant for your good and His glory.

No matter your situation, big or small, nothing is too insignificant or too hard for our Great God. I’m learning to pray and praise God for the everyday things, not just go to Him with emergency crisis prayers.

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Jesse asks to pray again when we get home. This time it’s because he’s thankful. I can learn from him about how to pray. To be dependent on God through the power of prayer is an opportunity to grow deeper in love and trust with the One who knows us best. It is only then that I understand what it means to have the faith of a child.

Grace upon grace,

April

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