He is Risen | Sunday Respite | 40 Gifts of Lent 2014

He is Risen 1

Photograph by Donna Harris of Lake Wylie, Charlotte, NC

He is Risen| Sunday Respite | 40 Gifts of Lent

COME! And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Revelation 22:17

The resurrection of Jesus changes everything! His death is the death of death, and His resurrection is the resurrection of all things. He died for our sins and is raised for our justification. Oh, the wonder, marvel and gratitude that fills our hearts today. We are forgiven, we are beloved, and we are His!

He is Risen 4

Photograph by Donna Harris of a fountain in Charleston, SC

He is Risen

Photograph by Donna Harris 

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
Jumping Tandem
Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

The Alpha and Omega: A Prayer for Silent Saturday of Easter Week

 

The Alpha and Omega 1 copy

The Alpha and Omega | A Prayer for Silent Saturday of Easter Week | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 40

Today’s Reading:  Revelation 17 – end

It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Revelation 21:6

The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”  Matthew 27:62-64

Dear Lord Jesus,

I confess, that in the past, I’ve had a wrong understanding of grace. It’s not that I didn’t believe in grace, because I believed in grace a lot. I just didn’t believe in grace alone. My faith was built on a wrong belief. My faith in you was all about me…how much sacrifice can I make for you rather than the sacrifice you made for me. How much do I love you, rather than how much you love me.

Once again, I am astonished on this Silent Saturday when I remember your sacrifice of giving ultimate goodness and grace on Good Friday. You are the great “I Am”…the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. You are the first and last and there are no other gods but you and in you we live and move and have our being. Grow my faith to be all about you and less and less of me.

The tomb was sealed out of fear that your words are indeed true. The seal was placed by finite men…it was all about them. How foolish when the promise from you, the infinite God is that your seal is upon us by your grace alone. How foolish we are to keep you inside the tomb with unbelief and doubt that your word is true.

Why do we continue to doubt that from the very beginning, before the reality of beginning ever existed that your plan all along was to rescue us, to give us life everlasting? Why do we continue to doubt that you broke free of the tomb to crush the head of the deceiver, rendering him dead once and for all?

The staggering truth is that you are the absolute Alpha and you are the absolute Omega. Our story begins with you and our story will end with you. Help us to continue to be astonished that you rescued us, for the full story of Easter to become a reality that our life is all about you.

In your infinite name, I praise and pray.

 

The Alpha and Omega 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

The Goodness of Good Friday: A Prayer for Friday of Easter Week

The Goodness of Good Friday

The Goodness of Good Friday | A Prayer for Friday of Easter Week | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 39

Today’s Reading:  Revelation 8 – 16

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. Revelation 11:17

Dear Lord Jesus,

Where do we begin to offer our gratitude, love, and praise in response to what you did for us on the cross? We refer to today as, Good Friday yet we cannot fully fathom nor comprehend the immense goodness of your love for us.

You cry out for God to forgive us as God forsakes you. The vast goodness of this day is that we are fully forgiven because you were fully forsaken. Open our hearts to see you as Savior, to believe quickly…receiving your grace and a living hope just as you promised the robber hanging on a criminal’s cross next to you.

You came to rescue us, to give us life by giving up yours. “It is finished”, was your cry. The old has passed away and the new has come.

Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. (Revelation 15)

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

The Goodness of Good Friday 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

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

 

Kept in God’s Love: A Prayer for Wednesday of Easter Week

 

Kept in God's Love 1Kept in God’s Love |A Prayer for Wednesday of Easter Week | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 37

Today’s Reading:  1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Jude

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1

Dear Heavenly Father,

How thankful I am that you are my heavenly father. How thankful I am to be named a child of God. You are so gracious and so very generous with lavishing your love upon your children. You love us unconditionally, inviting us to sit with you around your banquet table. We come filthy and wearing dirty clothes; and you wash the dirt from our feet and dress us in clean and pure garments of righteousness. You serve us bread that is broken by you and we eat of it until we are full and we drink of the living water you pour into our cup until it overflows.

We are adopted by you into your forever grace and our lives are forever changed because you rescued us once and for all through your son, Jesus…yet you continue to rescue us again and again by making a way for us to escape and to break free from strongholds that want to devour and destroy the peace and joy that comes with being a child of the King.

I pray for my children and grandchildren to comprehend the love that you have for them. For the gospel of grace to be deeper and deeper into their hearts, transforming them into the likeness of Jesus; and freeing them for a life of caring, serving, and worshiping you.

I pray for my friends and family who have yet to discover your safe haven of grace. I pray that you would create situations to help them discover their need of Jesus, the magnificent beauty of being kept by you.

I am reminded that our children are comforted by the unconditional love we give them. They are kept. We will never let go of them. How much more awesome it is to thank you, gracious God for never letting your children go…we are kept.

With a joyful and humble heart I pray.

Kept in God's Love

 

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