Worthy is the Lamb: A Prayer for Maundy Thursday of Easter Week

Worthy is the Lamb

Worthy is the Lamb |A Prayer for Maundy Thursday of Easter Week | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 38

Today’s Reading:  Revelation 1 – 7

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”  (Revelation 5:11)

Dear Gracious God,

This is my prayer today. To stand in awe of ultimate excellence—to admire Jesus Christ the Son of God—Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of kings, and Lord of lords. Time is drawing near. Create in me a clean heart. Help me to believe. You were once dead but now you live forever. I would fall down dead to stand before you and gaze into your holiness, in all of your glory and brightness. Yet you welcome me to your throne and tell me, “Do not be afraid” (Revelation 1:17). I repeat those four words, do not be afraid and I am overcome with worship and praise because you hold me firmly in your tender grasp until the final moments of my life. You have robbed the grave of victory and taken away the sting of death. Please free me from fears to live more fully for the praise of your glory.  

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”  (Revelation 5:11)

In your holy and powerful name, I praise and pray.

Worthy is the Lamb 2

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

 

Blessed Be God : A Prayer for Tuesday of Easter Week

To set my hope on Christ

Blessed Be God |A Prayer for Tuesday of Easter Week | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 36

Today’s Reading:  1 Peter and 2 Peter

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,   1 Peter 1: 3-4

…set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ…through the living and abiding word of God 1 Peter 1:18, 23 

Dear Lord Jesus,

I begin this prayer by saying, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” I am moved by your great mercy in saving me. Blessed be God! How thankful I am that you are the living hope in my life of trusting you as savior. “Blessed be God!” is my response to you today and should be everyday, moment by moment. What a gift you have given! An inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading. Blessed be God! … You are keeping this inheritance secure…for me.

When I comprehend this amazing truth, my heart kicks in with gratitude, praise, brokenness, gladness, joy, repentance, wonder. Blessed be God! My soul explodes with worship when truth about God settles deep into my mind.

I place my hope in too much of the wrong things. Wrong things that will perish, fade away and will never satisfy. You are my living hope…never dead, because you are alive. I have done nothing to deserve your favor of mercy and grace. I have done nothing to receive a living hope of eternal life, it is all because of you, God.  Blessed be God!

Because I am made alive through Christ, I have a living hope and a living faith. I set my gaze and hope upon your glorious grace. Blessed be God!

In your holy and loving name, I praise and pray.

To set my hope on Christ 2

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

To Be Nearer: A Prayer for Monday of Easter Week

Near to GodTo Be Nearer |A Prayer for Monday of Easter Week | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 35

Today’s Reading:  James 1 – end

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8

Dear Lord Jesus,

Just yesterday I was waving a palm branch high over my head…melodies we raised. I felt overwhelmed with the reality of your love and my soul was flooded with the bitter sweetness of you giving yourself…an extreme sacrifice for me.

I pray now that I would not forget the yesterdays of holding a branch of praise and singing hosanna’s to the King. Please help me to want more of you. Show me what it means to “draw near to you.” Help me to love you for no other reason but for your own sake. Please give me the faith to constantly believe that you are drawing nearer to me, you fill the void, you fill up the emptiness to overflowing.

Please do not hide your face from me when I forget the yesterdays of waving that branch, worshipping you with abandon. My life easily becomes an “all-about-me” existence. Help me to draw near to you and to make this day, all-about-you. Please God, constantly reveal the chasm of our separation from my unrepentant heart. Please fill me with hunger pangs to feast on your word. I pray to want nothing more than to draw near to you.

In your holy and loving name, I pray.

Near to God 2

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

 

I Dabbled in Paint and Found Rest

Blue Bird Rest copy

 I Dabbled in Paint and Found Rest | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 33

Today’s Reading:  Titus and Philemon and Hebrews 1 – 7

The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people. God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God. Hebrews 4:9-10 

Our life is a day by day, hour by hour trusting in the promises of God to help guide us and rescue us and bring us to a place of rest. There is a gift held for us today. God is still holding out an offer of salvation rest.

I think it takes work to settle into God’s rest. I’ve asked myself what manic or compulsive hours will I give up in trade for the equivalent time to be still. Sometimes, you don’t get to decide what to give up in order to slow down, to discover rest. Sometimes life happens and you are forced to stop and search for rest.

I used to paint quite often, until it became too painful to hold a brush and to bend over a canvas. The pain was so great that it was hard for me to experience God’s rest. I struggled to count it all joy, and I fought against unbelief.

I’ve come to believe that God’s promise of rest happens everyday, hour by hour no matter how difficult or how gloriously happy life happens to be. It is true that God cannot lie and he will not break his promise and so I made the choice to take him at his word…to believe.  And there was rest through the pain.

And now with days and hours between then and now, I realize that rest may look differently to me from day-to-day, but that doesn’t nullify the fact that God’s rest never changes. That concept of God’s rest being constant, regardless of how I feel or how the day is going totally awakened and rejuvenated my thinking. I can enter into God’s rest everyday. He extends it to me and I need to receive it.

I experienced rest through pain and I experience it now as I begin to paint again. To relax and settle into a conversation with God, with brush strokes of praise, thanking him for the promise of rest this day and at this hour and forever more.

Be Still Rest

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

A Sincere Faith

A Sincere Faith

 A Sincere Faith | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 32

Today’s Reading: 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 2 Timothy 1:5

I looked at our family genealogy tree, tracing the branches and limbs from generation to generation. I stopped at a large limb with the names of my parents written in bold black ink and in smaller letters, written on thin branches growing from the limb, are the names of their four children, my siblings and me.

My parents modeled a strong faith in the Lord and loved the words in God’s book, taking great delight in reading and thinking about it throughout the day, so much so that God’s words became their language in conversation with us. They demonstrated to us what a sincere faith looks like, not only in how they lived but the way they taught us kids. This is a beautiful legacy to pass on through generation to generation! The roots of my parent’s genealogy tree are spreading out wide and growing deeper into a better story of trusting God.

It’s a beautiful thing to look at our own genealogy tree become deeply rooted in Christ and growing strong limbs of faith…our children. It’s an amazing thing to add small branches, our grandchildren, growing from those limbs and to imagine more grand and glorious trees with roots spreading out wide and growing deeper into a better story of faith in God.

I love that my children are able to talk about the genuine and sincere faith that they remember about their grandmother, my mom and the conversations they continue to have with my husband’s mom. I’m so thankful for the legacy our children have…for all of those conversations that were and are seasoned with grace and the fragrance of Christ.

It is a beautiful gift to watch our tree grow stronger, to add little branches of faith sprouting from those limbs.

A Sincere Faith 1 About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

A Benediction Full of Promise

 

Benediction 2

A Benediction Full of Promise | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 31

Today’s Reading:  1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you [and] may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.  1 Thessalonians 5:28 and 2 Thessalonians 3:16

I woke up this morning repeating a benediction full of promise. I Thessalonians 5:28 and 2 Thessalonians 3:16 are the last words of each letter Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. The last words are a benediction to remind them of what they have in Christ.

Sometimes when reading a novel, my impatience to know the ending gets the best of me, so I read the ending first to know where the story will take me. Upon reading the end of these two letters first, I discovered a benediction full of promise. Knowing the ending, made we want to discover the beginning and all of the other details written between.

I have to admit that I’ve taken this benediction for granted the first thing in the morning. Every morning it’s the same routine. I shuffle down the hall towards the kitchen for a cup of eye-opening brew and then maybe I’ll be deliberate to recall that I have a brand new day of experiencing God’s grace and peace. Unlike discovering the end of a story first, I seldom consider the end of a day first. I think more about the beginning of the day and all of the details in the middle without much thought of the way it should end.

The beginning, as well as the end of this day is to know that the grace of the Lord will be with me and His peace that I long for will fill and satisfy in every way.  May I become wiser to plan ahead for the end of my day, remembering it is a benediction full of promise.

Benediction

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

The Discipline of Peace and the Secret of Contentment

The Discipline of Peace The Discipline of Peace and the Secret of Contentment | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 30

Today’s Reading: Philippians and Colossians  

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.   Philippians 4: 4-12

He writes about rejoicing and praying with thanksgiving. He writes about a transcending peace and learning the secret of being content when he’s imprisoned in chains.

Often, we want to intercept all of the rough stuff happening…to just stop thinking about it and to do something else to replace the anxious thoughts. But when we chase after a false peace, its like chasing after butterflies. The butterfly never stays in one place. It flits here and there and there and here and stays only for a moment in search for sweet nectar.

I believe we all are searching for some measure of peace, a sweet calming nectar to quench the sorrow, the fears, the anxiety in the fray. I hazard to say that peace will not be found without the discipline to pursue Jesus. Because the rough stuff will not miraculously disappear and all our efforts to circumvent it will be short-lived.

Where is contentment and peace found?  It’s found in the doctrine of the gospel. It’s found in worshipping Jesus. It’s found in Christ alone. It has nothing to do with what I do but it’s all about what Jesus will do and has done. The discipline of peace is learning who God is. The rough stuff may not go away for a long, long time…but the never-ending peace of rejoicing and thinking and loving the King of Kings will strengthened this humble soul to learn contentment.

So, I reach for real peace: To rejoice in the Lord always, praying with thanksgiving, thinking about words that will transform my thoughts, and to love the pure, lovely and admirable truth of the Lord. Through this discipline of peace, I will, by God’s grace, begin to learn the secret of contentment.

The Discipline of Peace 1

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge
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