Tag Archives: focused

Prayer and a Good Grilled Cheese

Father, thank You for a good night’s sleep and for gently waking me this morning. Your love is such a constant in my life. It is a river of peace and encouragement which never runs dry. What an awesome source of refreshment and sustenance! Help me to drink from it throughout this day. Remind to “jump in” when I need to be revived. Enable me to be a beacon shining bright, so others may share in this great Resource, too!

Colossians 4:2 (<<click here)

“Devoted to prayer”  “alert mind”  “thankful heart”

Some of the best things in life are not complicated. We can make them complicated but at their core, they are quite simple, sort of like a grilled cheese sandwich. Even I can make a good grilled cheese. All it takes is bread, cheese, and butter. It’s not that difficult.

Prayer – it’s not that difficult. Paul’s recipe is quite simple – devotion, an alert mind, and a thankful heart.

Lord, help me to pray. Sometimes we feel like it has to be this huge list of requests that are tough to get through and we just can’t take the time to go through it in one sitting. Paul elsewhere directs us to “never stop praying” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and our initial response is usually “I can’t pray all the time – I have way too much to get done!” When Paul says to “devote ourselves to prayer” it’s more of a mindset. “Lord guide and direct me throughout this day.”

Prayer is not just about talking – it’s also about listening. Getting in the habit, devoting ourselves to prayer helps us to be more attuned to hearing God’s voice of guidance. And that’s where an alert mind” comes in. Lord, we have to pay attention! So many things distract us! And we have to be alert because as Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8 our “enemy the devil prowls around like a raging lion looking for someone to devour” Prayer helps us to pay attention to do good and to avoid and/or stand up to evil.

The last ingredient then is a “thankful heart.” There is nothing better to keep us focused in life. Humble gratitude enables us to realize that we didn’t get where we are through sheer talent and hard work. Those are surely elements but they are also gifts our Creator has given us. Understanding that keeps as focused on Him – we need His support and guidance to get us through this life. Being thankful also goes a long way to keep our own pride in check. Acknowledging God’s generosity in our lives keeps us humble. This makes us better servants, too. We all are part of God’s loving creation and we are called to love each other.

Lord, this day and in all the days ahead, may I be devoted to prayer, help my mind to be alert to You and what’s around me and help me to give thanks when it is due and to humbly serve You in my interactions with others. Amen!

July 2nd, 2015, Thurs, 6:59 am

That’s a Wrap

This day, Father, is from Your gracious hand and I give myself to You. Fill this empty vessel and use me to impact the world in a mighty way for You and Your kingdom. Amen.

1 John 5:13-21 (<<click here)

As the Apostle John is wrapping up his correspondence, he touches on the assurance of eternal life and the confidence we can have in coming to You in prayer, Lord. We are admonished to avoid sin and to hold firm to the indisputable fact of Your deity.

These things are all truly important, hence John’s reminder. But his final statement catches my attention.

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” v21

keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

  • keep away – avoid, don’t even get close
  • anything – all inclusive, no “what about this?” questions
  • might – even if it hints at the possibilities, no matter how innocent
  • God’s place – reserved for God and God alone, nothing else suffices, nothing can usurp His rightful place

Sin and the enemy of our souls can both be very sly and subtle. We must be wary. We must be alert. He will use and throw across our path whatever will trip us up.

Lord, help me to remain true to You. May I avoid those little things that I think don’t hurt anything. Enable me to keep my eyes and my heart focused on You. Amen.

May 23rd, Tues, 6:40 am

Be Prepared

I continue to be in awe, Father, that You love me the way You do…so many things flood my mind just writing that statement. No one else gave their one and only Son so that I, and all of humanity, could once again have an intimate relationship with You. That act in and of itself is mind numbing! But to realize that we don’t even come close to being worthy, much less deserving Your act of love. And that is universally huge! But then to think that You care enough to gently wake me this morning. You love me so much that You do so every morning, regardless of when I need to be up, You are there for me. Father, thank You for Your love. Help me to lift Your name up so that others may see You for who You really are. Help me to live the life You have so freely given me in all its abundance!

2 Timothy 3:1 (<<click here)

Lord, Your imminent return was a driving force for Paul and all he did. Even almost 2,000 years ago in the midst of the beginnings of the church sin was having its way. So much so that Paul felt it of utmost importance to warn Timothy.

End times mentality is rampant in the church today. The internet is full of those proclaiming “Repent! The end of the world is near!” And it truly is. Lord, help me to not be overwhelmed by its closeness or to be overly distraught over the deluge of sin and the great diversity of wickedness in the world. I would ask that I would be discerning of the situations in which I find myself and that the right amount of urgency is in place to say and do what is best in Your eyes Fill me with Your wisdom. Help me to be focused and diligent as You would be. Amen.

Nov 18th, Wed, 6:30 am

Prayer and a Good Grilled Cheese

Father, thank You for a good night’s sleep and for gently waking me this morning. Your love is such a constant in my life. It is a river of peace and encouragement which never runs dry. What an awesome source of refreshment and sustenance! Help me to drink from it throughout this day. Remind to “jump in” when I need revived. Enable me to be a beacon shining bright, so others may share in this great Resource, too!

Colossians 4:2 (<<click here)

“Devoted to prayer”  “alert mind”  “thankful heart”

Some of the best things in life are not complicated. We can make them complicated but at their core they are quite simple, sort of like a grilled cheese sandwich. Even I can make a good grilled cheese. All it takes is bread, cheese and butter. It’s not that difficult.

Prayer – it’s not that difficult. Paul’s recipe is quite simple – devotion, an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Lord, help me to pray. Sometimes we feel like it has to be this huge list of requests that is tough to get through and we just can’t take the time to go through it in one sitting. Paul elsewhere directs us to “never stop praying” I Thessalonians 5:17 and our initial response is usually “I can’t pray all the time – I have way too much to get done!” When Paul says to “devote ourselves to prayer” it’s more of a mindset. “Lord guide and direct me throughout this day.”

Prayer is not just about talking – it’s also about listening. Getting in the habit, devoting ourselves to prayer helps us to be more attuned to hearing God’s voice of guidance. And that’s where an “alert mind” comes in. Lord, we have to pay attention! So many things distract us! And we have to be alert because as Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8 our “enemy the devil prowls around like a raging lion looking for someone to devour” Prayer helps us to pay attention to do good and to avoid and/or stand up to evil.

The last ingredient then, is a “thankful heart.” There is nothing better to keep us focused in life. Humble gratitude enables us to realize that we didn’t get where we are through sheer talent and hard work. Those are surely elements but they are also gifts our Creator has given us. Understanding that keeps as focused on Him – we need His support and guidance to get us through this life. Being thankful also goes a long way to keep our own pride in check. Acknowledging God’s generosity in our lives keeps us humble. This makes us better servants, too. We all are part of God’s loving creation and we are called to love each other.

Lord, this day and in all the days ahead, may I be devoted to prayer, help my mind to be alert to You and what’s around me and help me to give thanks when it is due and to humbly serve You in my interactions with others. Amen!

July 2nd, Thurs, 6:59 am

Definitely check out the movie, War Room, it’s a great motivator for prayer!

Measure Up

I sure regret not getting together yesterday. You even reminded me as the day progressed and for whatever reason I ignored You. Father, please forgive me… Help me, please, to realize how imperative our times together are. To remain strong and focused, determined and driven in regards to my life in You, I have to have regular time with You. Please help me to remember. Help my love for You to increase to the point where it would crush my spirit to do anything that would hurt You.

Ephesians 4:11-16

As a pastor I am responsible for equipping the church, i.e. the body of Christ to do His work – so I must be growing and maturing in my relationship with Christ if I expect the body to be. In doing so we all can then “measure up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” If we do this we won’t be redirected by the slightest breeze to believe things that are not true. We’ll be able to ascertain the truth even if an overwhelming amount of people embrace things that are not truth. Sometimes to keep the Church moving forward the truth needs to be spoken in love. There needs to be a balance – truth and love. We need both because either one without the other will not bring the best outcome. If every part of the body will do this we will mature and grow. If we don’t our “body” will not be healthy and our love, which is so critical (essential), will be sorely lacking.

Lord Jesus, help me – help us – to be more and more like You. We are hopeless without You.

May 1st, Fri, 6:08am