You know my pain, frustration, and sorrow so much better than I do myself. As I travel down this rocky path, please give me the strength to reach out to help others rather than staying totally absorbed in myself and my own problems.
Help me to control my anger and disappointment. And, please help me not to take my frustration with myself out on others. Make me thoughtful and introspective, but not moody and cross. Help me to take the time to thank my loved ones for all their patience and kindness.
Please help me to forgive those who have harmed me, so that my life will not be consumed by bitterness and helplessness. Help me to keep silent about my head injury, aches, and pains, knowing that others must get tired of their recitation.
In the Name of Jesus Christ and through your Holy Spirit, I believe that you will improve my memory. But, until then, I will settle for the humility to realize that when my memory clashes with the memories of others, I may be mistaken.
Help me to accept the changes in me, knowing that Your love is warmly surrounding me. Please help me to focus more on tomorrow than on yesterday.
I ask a special blessing for those who do not dwell on my mistakes but rather are willing to overlook them. I pray that I will always remember to treat others with respect and kindness, knowing how badly it hurts to be mistreated and ridiculed.
Guide me in finding new goals and direction. I do not want the rest of my life to be spent wallowing in the past glory of yesterday.
Please help me to take my inadequacies and turn them into strengths. Help me to take adversity and turn it into knowledge and guidance for myself and others.
No matter how disheartening the day may seem, help me to perceive goodness, beauty, and joy.
I especially thank You for sending special people into my life who, in their sincere acceptance of me, are helping me to learn to accept my new self. And give me, Dear Lord, the grace to show appreciation for their support and help.
May I always remember that I am not alone ... because You are always by my side.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
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Ice Cream for the Soul
Published in the May 5, 1998 issue of The Stanford News.
Last week, I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads, he said, "God is great. God is good. Thank you for the food. And, I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And liberty and justice for all. Amen."
Along with laughter from customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!"
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?" As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer." "Really?" my son asked. "Cross my heart." Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I'll remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile, he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes and my soul is good already."
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:13-18 NASV)
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This is a statement that was read over the PA system at a football game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee by School Principal Jody McLoud, on September 1, 2000. I thought it was worth sharing with the world. It clearly shows just how far this country has gone in the wrong direction.
"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games to say a prayer and play the National Anthem to honor God and Country.
"Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law.
"As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it an alternate lifestyle and, if someone is offended, that's okay.
"I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity by dispensing condoms and calling it safe sex. If someone is offended, that's okay.
"I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a viable means of birth control. If someone is offended, no problem.
"I can designate a school day as earth day and involve students in activities to religiously worship and praise the goddess, Mother Earth, and call it ecology.
"I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depict people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as simple-minded and ignorant and call it enlightenment.
"However, if anyone uses this facility to honor God and ask Him to bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, Federal Case Law is violated.
"This appears to be inconsistent at best and, at worst, diabolical. Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone except God and His Commandments.
"Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules to which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best and, at worst, hypocritical. I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression. For this reason, I shall "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's" and refrain from praying at this time. However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank God, and ask Him in the Name of Jesus to bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that's not against the law ... yet."
AND ... one by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another, and began to pray. They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand. And they prayed in the announcer's box. The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America ... the seat of "justice" in the one nation under God.
Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee remembered what so many have forgotten: we are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion. Praise God that His remnant remains!
Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father." (Mark 8:38)
And I say, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
~ Author Unknown ~
"Battle Hymn Of The Republic"
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When minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities. But, what they heard instead was a stirring prayer, passionately calling our country to repentance and righteousness.
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. But, in six short weeks, the Central Christian Church had logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only a few of those calls responding negatively. The church has received international requests for copies of the prayer from India, Africa and Korea. Commentator Paul Harvey aired the prayer on "The Rest of the Story" on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.
Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe on those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism. We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn children and called it a choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it political savvy. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called a Christian nation that fears the Lord!
Please teach me, Lord.
I want to know
Exactly how to pray.
I need some words.
Which ones are right?
Please tell me what to say.
I've bowed my head,
I have knelt down,
But, should I be upright?
I've closed my eyes,
I've raised my hands,
Or should I fold them tight?
Do I stand up?
Should I sit down?
Dear Lord, what do You like?
Are lights turned on?
Or are they off?
Or maybe candle light?
Wear my glasses?
Take them off?
Be at my desk or table?
Should I whisper?
Speak out loud?
Do I quote the Bible?
What do You think
About the time?
Do You prefer the dawn?
Should I pray fast,
Or keep it slow?
Better short or long?
I'm new at this.
What are the rules?
I want to do it right.
How do I know
You'll even hear
That I am in Your sight?
And while I sat there quietly,
Waiting for some sign,
I heard a gentle voice say,
"Oh, dearest child of mine,
Do you think I really care
About the time of day,
Or whether you are standing up,
Or kneeling when you pray?"
"I don't care about your posture,
Or about the place you choose;
Just open up your soul to Me,
I have no other rules.
Tell Me what is in your heart,
And tell Me what you seek.
Tell Me of your sorrows,
And of things that make you weak."
"Speak to me in private~ Virginia Ellis ~
About what concerns you most.
I know about your good deeds;
You have no need to boast.
My child, you don't need lessons.
Just talk to Me each day.
Tell me anything you want, dear child,
Anyone can pray."
I asked the Lord to bless you
As I prayed for you today,
To guide you and protect you
As you go along your way.
His love is always with you,
His promises are true
And when we give Him all our cares,
You know He will see us through.
So when the road you're traveling on
Seems difficult at best,
Just remember I'm here praying
And God will do the rest.
~ Author Unknown ~
(Contributed by Shirley Whanger)
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