Tag Archives: struggle

Prayer Struggle

Father, You have blessed me with so many wonderful things, a family being one of them I am so grateful to have people in my life who love me and care for me. And I am also grateful that I can love and care for them as well. We are blessed to have each other. We accept each other (for the most part) for who we are – warts and all. Thank You for Your wonderful blessing of family.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (<<click here)

Lord, no matter which way we look at it prayer is foundational in our daily walk with You – or at least it most certainly should be! I must confess I struggle to pray. If You would have me evaluate myself, the place where I have the most opportunity for growth and improvement would be my prayer life. I have made some headway in latter months but I know I can go much deeper and wider in my intimate interaction with You. I realize prayer is more than “grace” before meals and praying from the pulpit. These are very important, as well, but if my personal prayer life isn’t what it should be every aspect of my life is inhibited.

How can I effectively pray asking You to “enable [others] to live a life worthy of [Your] call.” v11a if I struggle with prayer? I can only be more effective by persevering. I cannot give up! I benefit myself and others by that perseverance.

Help me, Lord, to do so that You will give me the “power to accomplish all the good things [our] faith prompts [us and others] to do.” v11b Then only because of Your grace in our lives will Your name “be honored because of the way [we] live…” v12a

Lord, help me to be drawn to You throughout the moments of my day.

August 18th,  2015, Tues, 5:49 am

Not Just Thoughts but Faces

I am eager to see what You have in store for me today, Father, both in our time here this morning and throughout the events of this day! Enable me to hear Your voice and to act upon Your direction. It’s exhilarating to realize that You choose to use me! Thank You for the privilege.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (<<click here)

Lord, there is much in these last few paragraphs of 1 Thessalonians and I don’t want to miss any of it! In these two verses, Paul speaks of honoring our leaders in the Lord’s work. I feel the people I serve do so but I also strive to honor the other leaders of my churches as well. I am definitely not in it for the money but I am compensated well enough. The other leaders of my churches are volunteers. I respect them, I cherish their input. I look forward to worshipping with them each week and for the most part even enjoy our time together even when we must conduct the “business” of the church.

I work to live out my relationship with You, Lord, before them. I learn from You each and every day and want to pass that learning on but their lives teach me as well. My leaders pull weeds and scrub pews – servant leadership is a lifestyle for many. I watch as they struggle with difficult situations of aging parents and wayward children – yet their faith holds. I see them valiantly fight against cancer and remain strong though death pulls loved ones from their arms.

Lord, as each of these examples goes on paper, they are not just passing thoughts. Each one has at least one face that fills my mind’s eye – sometimes there are several faces. These scenarios involve those who are still with me today but I can think of many others that involved those who are no longer with me but with You.

Your faithful followers continue to build Your church and all of them deserve to be honored and respected. I do my part but most assuredly I have not and cannot do it alone. Lord, give us Your direction and fill us with Your love to carry on. Amen.

July 29th, 2015, Wed, 7:06 am

Lifting Each Other Up

Father, the ebb and flow of life sure make it challenging. I truly believe You use all of my ups and downs to help me to grow – to stretch me. Right now life, in general, is on an even keel but my spiritual life is a little wonky. I want to spend time with You but part of me keeps throwing things into the works to hinder me. I’m not waking up early enough to do this and so I don’t. I feel like You are saying, “Its time to grow up. I love You, but it is not in your best interest to continue on as a child. I am here, and I always will be, but it’s time for you to take responsibility. I want to spend time with you but you need to take the initiative to take action.” Father, I know You believe I can – help me not to let You down. Help me to grow up. Amen – so be it.

1 Thessalonians 3:6-10 (<<click here)

Lord, I realize that getting together with fellow believers is of utmost importance. Your word encourages us to not give up meeting together” Hebrews 10:25 But just as important is what we do for each other in the in-between times. Our remaining strong in our faith encourages the believers to remain strong in their faith. “It gives us new life to know that [others] are standing firm in the Lord.” vs.8

Lord, help me to pray for my fellow believers, those that are near, those that are far and for those I don’t even know. Help me to be grateful for them – may they be inspirational to me to keep on keeping on. Help me to pray faithfully for them. And, Lord, help to pray for more than just physical things – though they are important as well. But help me to pray for their relationship with You. I struggle spiritually and I know that I am not alone. We all struggle. Our world and our very nature are constantly attempting to pull us from You. We want what we want. We want the easiest path. We’re tired and worn out and just want to crash…and rest… and sleep. Help us all to get that “new life” by encouraging each other to remain strong in our faith.

July 21st, Tues, 7:48 am

Down the Bunny Trail

I didn’t get right at it this morning, Father, and just remembered that I had yet to get with You today. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to do so. May I hear clearly what You have for me today. Amen.

A few weeks back at our Bible study, we talked a little about getting off on bunny trails. Bunny trails are when we are walking along the paths that God desires for us and something distracts us and off we go down a bunny trail. Now sometimes our tangents are unintentional and other times we do so out of disobedience.

I’ve never had a trained dog. The dogs I have had in the past were all ones that for the most part would have darted down any bunny trail after the smallest of distractions. For the most part, I could have called them and yelled until I was blue in the face and they would only return when they were good and ready to do so or when they were hungry enough to do so.

I have read stories and seen videos of dogs who are trained to be obedient. Though they may be tempted to the extreme, they do not yield. They do not want to go against their master’s wishes. Some dogs have even died rather than disobey, much to their master’s dismay.

Lord, why, even with all the training that many of us have had, do we allow ourselves to be distracted? Why do we so readily run down the bunny trails? I realize that You are patient…and loving…and forgiving…but why do I disobey? I know what You want of me but often I ignore it or drown out Your voice with busyness. Sometimes I may not hear You but other times I hear and trot on down the bunny trail.

The Apostle Paul wrote of this struggle – and it was his struggle, too.

15I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:15-20 (<<click the green)

Lord, forgive me for my wanderings. May I learn to obey my Master. May I not be so easily distracted. May I avoid the bunny trails – no matter how enticing they may be. Amen.

Aug 24th, Thurs, 8:07 pm

RAGE!

Father, I cherish Your presence in worship. I love how all the components of our services have Your touch upon them. I remember times when I have searched for a certain song or whatnot and have finally decided on one, thinking that it doesn’t really fit and, low and behold, in the middle of the service, it does! You truly do make all things work together for [our] good! Romans 8:28

One thing that I struggle with in life is trying to decide whether I should run away or whether I should stand and fight. This can apply to many areas of our lives but for me, one particularly difficult area is driving. Routine driving isn’t usually the problem. It’s when traffic gets snarly and the roads get full. For that matter, I guess it gets to me when someone pulls out in front of me then drives 10 miles below the speed limit.

Running away, for the most part, keeps me from encountering it. But I have to get to work, so it’s difficult to avoid. I could benefit with personal and spiritual growth if I could stand and fight but way too often my fight results in, not a win, but in a sound defeat! I’m not one for cursing but “idiot” and “fool” rise to the surface way too frequently.

Lord, what is the best way to combat this problem? You would handle it much better than I but in the heat of the moment I am all up in arms and – I’m sorry to say – You are the last one on my mind.

How can I say I love others and act like I do while driving? In Matthew 5:21-22, You make it very clear that I will but subject to judgment if I would murder someone, and rightly so. But You go on to say that even if I call someone an idiot or a fool that I am subject to judgment as well.

What needs to happen is that You need to be the first thing on my mind and not the last. The first thing that pops into my head to help me with that is to put a sticky note on the dash of my truck that will remind me of You. Maybe a WWJD? Or just Your name? I need to start somewhere and I best start with You. Help me, Lord! Amen!

Apr 2nd, Sun, 12:08 pm