I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
[Psalms 121:1-8 ESV]
I love this prayer that I came across – from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It’s my prayer today (and everyday) and I share it with you to pray as well…
O God, early in the morning I cry to you. Help me to pray; and to concentrate my thoughts on you; I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness, but with you there is light; I am lonely, but you do not leave me; I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help; I am restless, but with you there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience; I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me. . . .
Restore me to liberty, and enable me to live now that I may answer before you and before men. Lord, whatever this day may bring, your name be praised.
God help me this day, for you are my shade at my right hand for You have THE place of honor in my life. To You be all glory and honor, through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.
Creator God, this day is Yours – masterfully designed and purposed by You. I am Yours – wonderfully knit together in my mother’s womb and purposed by You. Bring me together with this day and send me forth empowered for Your purposes and Yours alone.
May I seek no glory for myself but seek to display Your glory.
May I make much of You and less of me.
May I decrease and You increase.
May Your will – Your purposes – be done.
Creator God, Creator of this day and me, You beautifully created both and for that I will praise Your holy name – my purpose in life.
In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior I pray, Amen.
You are mighty and strong.
You are the Creator.
You are my refuge and strength.
You are my Vindicator.
Nothing of this world can shake me when You are the One who holds me.
Nothing of this world can scare me when You are the One in whom i’m free.
Satan takes his best shot, but he always misses the mark.
Satan fights the fight, but You have victory over the dark.
My life is Yours and thus I will rest secure.
My life is Yours, through the Spirit You reassure.
And so I praise Your holy name through Christ Jesus my Lord.
My God, You will be forever adored.
My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord .
Psalms 26:12 ESV
You have placed me on level ground, oh God, through Christ Jesus my Lord.
You have placed me on the firm foundation of Your Word.
You have given me hope beyond this life.
You have placed me upon the Rock.
And i give You thanks and praise – in the assembly and through my life.
Oh God, I honor and worship You,
On level ground.
This world proclaims a message that sits precariously on shaky ground.
It’s hope is false and death-ridden.
But You are my God and You alone, for through You i am on level ground.
I never feel like I’m running up hill.
I never feel like I’m spinning my wheels.
I never feel like I’m running into dead ends.
For with You i am on level ground.
And so I will praise You in the great assembly and I will praise You with my every breath.
I will praise You with my brothers and sisters, and I will praise You in the midst of the world.
Thank you for placing me on level ground through faith in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for saving me.
Thank you for holding my life.
Oh God I praise You –
On level ground.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
[Psalms 46:1 ESV]
Oh my Mighty Fortress,
I wake this morning in peace,
For You are my Refuge and Strength.
You are my very present help in trouble.
No matter the size,
You are my Defender.
My skin may be thus destroyed but so be it –
You hold my life.
My name my be sullied and dragged through the mud but so be it –
You have given me Your family name through Jesus.
My body may be weak and in pain but so be it –
For Your grace is sufficient for me.
The powers that be may roar and show their teeth but so be it –
You are my Shepherd.
The very earth may crumble and fall a way but so be it –
I am secure in You.
My Mighty Fortress, my God,
I praise You that You are my Refuge and Strength for it gives me courage to go forth into this day.
Affliction may torment me but You are my Life, Fortress and God.
And thus I shall live forever, in peace, with You.
Thank you, God, for being my Mighty Fortress.
As I survey our current political scene, I need to remind myself over and over again that God is in control. No matter who holds elected office, God’s plans will not be thwarted. Yes, Satan is running wild, deceiving and leading many away but he is not king. There is only one King and He reigns forever. Let the politicians – the kings of this world – fight it out, but you, let’s praise our Father and King…
Hear my praise as i rise this morn,
oh God my Father and King.
and Redeemer of my soul.
You are the One who i adore.
There is none other worthy of praise,
for You are the One who reigns.
The kings of this world vie for position,
striving for their honor to be conveyed.
But i’m not going to follow the false kings,
them i refuse to raise up.
They lead for their glory and not for You.
Their praise i refuse to sing.
For You are my King who forever reigns.
It’s Your praises that i want to proclaim.
You and You alone are worthy, oh God,
For in the end, You are the King who remains.
So receive my praise as i rise this morn,
Your mighty acts are to numerous to name.
You have saved me through Jesus Christ my Lord,
And through him i’ve been reborn.
The rainy season seems to have arrived in Western Washington (and no, it does not rain here every single day like my mother-in-law thinks). The summers are beautiful and therefore it is a very sad thing when the sun seems to go into hibernation. The gloom yesterday started to catch my imagination and I started to contemplate (as I like to do). This morning as I was praying, I started writing this prayer but had no idea it would take this poetic turn – weaving the outside gloominess with the Son. As I know that another beautiful spring and summer are coming to Western Washington next year, so I know that Jesus reigns, always and forever. I just love how the Spirit captured this one. To God be the glory.
Bright and shining is the day,
despite the gloom in the air.
The rains are falling and the sun is hiding,
but You reign here and there.
I can’t see the sun, but I know the Son sees me.
I can’t feel it’s heat but the Son’s love is all around me.
The clouds and gloom seem to rule the day,
but it’s not the final word.
Jesus my Lord is King forever,
and he is the only Word.
So may I enter this new day,
with hope and a smile that is bright.
The gloom is in the air but Jesus is everywhere,
so Satan can just give up the fight.
Holy God, may I shine with the radiance of the Son that others may see Your light and come to know the Truth. Amen.
i am up and ready.
My coffee is in hand.
My busy schedule is before me.
There is much to be accomplished.
So there is part of me that selfishly asks that all may go well for me and my family, but,
i ask even more than that – that i would glorify You in my busyness.
As i go on my way this day may the busyness not distract me from You.
May i not forget to glorify You through my words and deeds.
May i not forget to receive people as i would receive Jesus.
May i not become overcome by my schedule, so much so, that i forget to show the love of Christ to others, including to my own family.
May i not get caught up with thinking that this is MY schedule, but rather it is YOUR schedule.
May i go through this day with the peace of Christ in my heart.
May i go through this day in patience – looking for mission opportunities that You create for me.
Oh God, may i not let Satan make this day just about me.
This day and every day is about You, and so here i go.
I am up and ready – with coffee in hand.
To You be the glory, this day, and always.
I wrote the last stanza of this poem yesterday morning as a short prayer as I prepared for worship. This morning, I share it with you – with a couple more stanzas. To God be the glory!
Hold me with Your grace.
Bring me from disgrace.
My sins please erase.
For Your glory!
For Your glory!
Hear me when I pray.
Each and every day.
With You I want to stay.
In Your glory!
In Your glory!
Jesus is my King.
What an awesome ring.
My heart will loudly sing.
Your great glory!
Your great glory!
Bless me as I preach.
Guide me as I teach.
Many souls may I reach.
To Your glory!
To Your glory!
As the morning sun rises above the horizon, shining it’s life-giving light for the world to see, may my rising this morning shine the glory of your love and grace.
As the birds sing their beautiful song, filling the air with joy and peace, may I sing Your praises of joy and peace that comes only through Jesus my Lord.
As the flowers open to receive the sun’s light, soaking up every ray, may my heart be open to receive Your Word, soaking up every promise.
As Your creation is faithful in returning praise to You, may I not cease to worship You and thus be put to shame by the rocks crying out.
And so, as this new day begins, fill me with Your Spirit that I may join the creation chorus as we joyously sing Your praise in beautiful harmony.
To You be the glory, oh God, this day and always.