So many people I know could use a prayer today. For anyone who needs it, I offer this:

I pray you are confident.

“In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).

Feel certain that you are important to God and he has you in his care.

I pray you are trusting.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

Know that God has a plan for you and you can believe in him to complete it.

I pray you feel peace.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:7).

May God give you quietness and rest on your anxious and busy days.

I pray you find strength.

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29).

May you feel him give you power to persevere and succeed.

I pray you experience joy.

“Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).

May you be blessed with great happiness, today and always.

Please share a prayer with someone you know. I pray you are richly blessed each day.

What is your prayer this morning? What are you asking from God today?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Last Saturday my daughter and I headed to the mall for a day of snacks and shopping. We dodged roaming packs of teenagers and moms pushing strollers. We browsed through racks of clothes, cards, and candles, jewelry, shoes, and handbags. Somewhere between the shrieking crowd of kids climbing around the plastic play area and the shifting mass of humanity outside the Apple store, I considered that the noise and chaos of the mall has something to teach me about slowing down and enjoying life.

Move slowly and carefully, but always keep moving. In the mall, if we move too fast we collide with obstacles, too slow and we disrupt traffic. In life, if we travel cautiously and stay constantly in motion, eventually we will reach our destination.

Temptations are not always opportunities. In the mall, bold SALE signs called from every display window declaring bargains too good to resist; but when we looked at tags on individual items, the prices were not always the great deals we had hoped. In life, it is important to watch for signs showing us our options, but investigate each choice closely before deciding what to take home.

What we want most cannot be bought from a store. The message of the mall is that all we desire can be plucked from a rack and purchased at a cash register. On Saturday, I enjoyed spending time with my daughter, talking about her job, her hopes for a home, and her plans for the coming week. What I value in life is engaging conversation, some company on a busy weekend, and a caring connection with family and friends. We can experience much of life by visiting the mall, but the most valuable gifts are available to everyone for no cost at all.

What have you discovered in the crowded areas of your life? What are you shopping for today?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

As I greet 2018, I’m looking forward to a prosperous year ahead. I know this will be a year of action and change, and I’m ready for all God has planned.

I pray 2018 will be a promising year for all my coworkers, family, and friends. I hope that we feel the presence of God and see the evidence of his power at work in our lives. I ask that the new year brings many blessings, much joy, and abundant peace to all who share our world.

I pray we trust in God’s timing for all the good that lies ahead, we rely on his power to give us courage, and we remember his strength is made perfect in our weakness.

I pray we grow in faith, in hope for the future, and in confidence as we take the next steps on the path ahead.

May you be generously blessed in 2018. Know God is with you every day of the year.

What is your prayer as you begin the new year? How will you know God is directing your steps throughout the days ahead?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

This Christmas I’m considering the journey of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and what her faith says to all women who follow God. While Mary walked the long and winding miles to Bethlehem, her faith didn’t waver, and she encourages all of us to believe and trust in the God who leads the way.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).

God is aware of our worries. He knows all we need, and he promises to give us the courage and strength to continue on our travels.

God will answer our prayers. He wants us to pray, to express our uncertainties and fears, and he always addresses the concerns we bring to him.

God will be with us on our journey. He stays alongside our every step and guides us to the destinations we seek.

God gives shelter throughout the night. He promises to bring us to safe places, and he protects and provides for us when the road ahead seems unclear.

Today I encourage you to believe that God is watching over you. Trust that he loves you and always knows where you are.

How is God taking care of you today? How do you know God is aware of your needs?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Christmas carols play on store speakers and my car radio. This year “We Three Kings” caught my attention. (Click here to read the lyrics of this classic carol.) While I listened, I considered what those wise men were seeking when they traveled to find the infant Christ and what their visit symbolizes for us today.

“Behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him’” (Matthew 2:1-2).

The kings symbolize a journey of faith. The kings traveled for many miles following a beckoning star, not knowing when they would arrive or what they would find when they got there. Their faithfulness reminds us that sometimes we must continue despite uncertain outcomes because we believe the journey is worth the sacrifice.

The kings symbolize the sharing of gifts. The kings traveled for many months carrying their offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Their generosity tells us that we are all blessed with gifts we can share and give to others.

The kings symbolize the search for truth. The kings walked across countries to be closer to God and worship him. Their commitment inspires us to leave our safe places and strike out for new destinations where we will find the hope and joy we seek.

This Christmas, I am remembering the journey of the kings and praying you find the peace and purpose you are looking for. Where is your journey taking you this holiday season?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

As usual, I’m avoiding the mall and spending my Christmas in quiet contemplation, but there are a few gifts I have been grateful to receive.

Peace. At Christmas I will take all the time I can to relax and rest, to put my feet up, reread The Long Winter, and be grateful that I have a safe and comfortable home, warm central heating, and enough food to eat.

Hope. As 2017 ends, I am particularly excited about the future. I know 2018 will be a year of action, and I’m looking forward to all the positive changes ahead.

Purpose. This year I am grateful for the sense of meaning this season brings. I give thanks that I feel God’s presence in my life, and I know he is guiding the next steps I will take.

Friendship. Today I thank God for all the special people I am blessed to know. I am thankful for my loving and supportive family and the positive, encouraging friends who share my life each day.

Treats. One goal I hold for 2018 is to make better food choices, but the occasional indulgence reminds me that life is sweet. It should be savored and shared.

This Christmas I hope you receive everything you wish. What do you hope for this holiday season?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Christmas can become a hectic and tiring time, even for those of us who try to keep the festivities simple.

Today I pray we take the time to rest and reflect on Christmas. I pray we consider the true meaning of the season and ask how we can contribute to the peace and joy of others.

I pray we are inspired to help and give to others, to share our gifts and resources, and to bless and serve the people in our care.

I pray we are confident in God’s concern for us, that we feel his presence throughout the year, and that we know he gives to us from the abundance of his love.

This holiday season, I pray you receive everything you wish. May God’s blessings fill your life and spirit this Christmas.

What is your prayer this holiday season?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail