Grace like a game of hearts

In cards,

when you find yourself losing a game of hearts,

you can secretly decide to accept it-

it’s called shooting the moon.

If you manage to lose completely,

you actually win-

it’s a path to victory.

In faith,

when you find your heart aching from the trials of life,

you can secretly decide to accept it –

it’s called surrender.

If you manage to fully let go,

you can embrace God’s plan-

and stand with Him in victory.

Lord, thank You for calling us ever deeper into Your mystery. Please give us the grace to let go of our attachment to the physical to more fully embrace Your spiritual presence in our lives.  

Related Scripture

Luke 17:33 Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.

Tinsel Prayer (For those, who are grieving loved ones during the holiday season).

Like the shimmering transcendence of tinsel on the tree,

this season I pray your spirit

is decorated with a pristine spiritual sense

of the Lord’s loving presence with you through every tradition.

May your family be covered with the gorgeous glory of His grace,

joy and infinite peace.

I pray you feel a sweet mystical connection

with Your loved ones, who are celebrating Christmas with Him in heaven.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

Are you grieving the loss of a loved one this holiday season? Comment below, and we’ll lift you all up in prayer! 

 

God opens the most random and beautiful doors

When my son Dylan was miraculously healed of chronic kidney disease as an infant, I remember being completely blown away by the way it happened. When doctors didn’t have a cure, a friend advised us to take him to a retired priest named Monsignor Marvin Mottet, who lived in a retirement home near our house and was known for having a spiritual gift of healing. He himself had been miraculously healed of kidney disease on his death bed and now had a reputation for miracles throughout our community.

I figured it was worth a try! And I’m glad I did because Dylan was indeed miraculously healed by God through that priest in a dramatic way. His nephrologist couldn’t believe it.

This was life changing for me on many levels. For one thing, it increased my faith in the power of prayer to a dramatic degree. Also, due to spiritual experiences I had after being prayed over by that same priest, I was able to experience the mystical dimension of our faith for myself, which changed my perception of how present the Lord is with us in our daily lives.

Also, after being jaded by the status quoa cynicism that was surrounding me in day-to-day life at the time, I was blown away that such a magical thing exists in my neighborhood: a real healing priest! I though that was the coolest thing.

The whole experience re-energied my faith, idealism and hope. It opened my mind and heart to possibilities of God’s real and miraculous presence in our lives.

I’ve been even more of a moth to the flame of the Holy Spirit ever since. Eight years later, my own prayer life has expanded to dramatic degrees, and I am literally surrounded by people with faith that moves mountains every day. I never cease to be amazed by the wonderful people in my life and all the ways they glorify the Lord with their work. I’d love to share their stories on my blog now that I’m writing more.

But first, I have to tell you about what happened last week because it brings me full circle around on this topic.

Throughout this year, I’m participating in the Marvin Mottet Leadership Academy, which was the dying wish of the priest, whose prayers healed my son. He was also a powerful warrior for social justice in our community and wants his legacy to live on through this training.

When a deeply faith-filled woman I met at training invited us to participate on the prayer team in front of the court house in downtown Davenport, something in me said a big yes.  This made me SUPER nervous thinking “who would say yes to getting prayed over by strangers on their way into court? This is going to be awkward.” But this grace-filled woman named Ethelene was leading, along with a national prayer team that travels the country starting these types of ministries through Courtside Ministries, so I trusted them. I’m always up for learning  and experiencing the power of prayer in a new way.

It turned out to be a grace-filled experience! I couldn’t believe how many people were open to receiving prayer from strangers. I was deeply touched by the way those, who did accept prayer’s countenance softened with smiles, gratitude and praise of God. I was also blown away by the comfort level of the prayer team, along with their prophetic words of insight and encouragement from the Lord for each individual they prayed over. They were truly gifted, along with being some of the most joyful spirit-filled people I’ve ever met. I smile just thinking about this diverse group of dynamic personalities.

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Though I did not expect this: Every member of this team of prayer warriors prayed for me too. Each of them had gifts and words that were the exact encouragement I need to hear at the time. It was truly remarkable and such a gift from God. They seem to have this wild idea that God is going to perform miracles through my prayers at some point. My prayers? Really?? Okay, why not I think! I figure I’ll just keep following the Lord and see what happens. LIFE is a miracle if you ask me. If He does decide to use me to perform more dramatic miracles, it will be all about Him and nothing to do with me-that is one thing I know for sure because there have been many times in my life, where I’ve experienced my own powerlessness in the face of struggle.

My heart’s desire is to glorify the Lord, and I’m certainly open to what St. Teresa of Avila called “the infinite possibilities of faith.”

The point I’m trying to make is: experiencing the miraculous healing of my son was only the beginning of my adventure of faith. As awesome as it was to discover a healing priest in my neighborhood, He’s not the only magic trick God has up His sleeve for my life or yours. Now I realize and passionately want to share that God has servants everywhere. True followers of Christs are all around us, waiting in the wings to bless our lives when we’re ready and open to them. I hope my words can help us find each other and work together to increase faith and social justice like Fr. Mottet did, while he was alive.

God bless anyone reading this to have an increased sense of the “infinite possibilities born of faith.” Help us really believe in You and experience the awe and wonder of Your majesty, while we walk the earth. Bless us with lives filled with miracles that are reflections of Your Victory and Your Glory! Thank You and Amen. 

Healing prayer for those, who are tempted to violence

Jesus, we are seeing an increase of malicious violent acts in our society, and it is terrifying. It’s tempting to label the people, who commit these horrific acts as being monsters.

But Lord, You are the Father of forgiveness, and You are the father of us all. No matter how hardened these people’s hearts are by sin, we know they are your beloved children, and You have beautiful plans for their redemption.

You know the poor choices they have made, and You also know wounds that have festered to make way to this temptation to murderous rage and hatred. You know all the wrongs that have been committed against them, which have steered them down this dark path that most of us can’t begin to fathom. You know the evil influences, which are shaping their mindsets in horrific ways.

You are the father of compassion and mercy, and we love You. So today, in Your name, we pray for healing of the hardened hearts of those, who are capable of perpetuating acts of violence on innocent people.

Shield them from dark influences.

Dissolve the hatred in their hearts with Your love.

Give them the grace of true repentance deep in their hearts, and start them back on the path toward Your truth and light.

Fill their minds with an insight of Your goodness that will redirect the course of their lives in a dramatic fashion.

Inspire them to seek the professional help they need, and give them the courage to stick with an effective program of rehabilitation.

Provide their professionals with the guidance and insights they need to reshape their personalities.

Surround them with people, who truly love them and can support them on their path to healing.

Illuminate their minds with more positive influences, to replace the voices of temptation.

Lord, You are the King of hope, mercy and miracles. In all of Your creativity and miraculous ways we can’t imagine, prevent those, who are tempted to violence from ever doing harm to anyone, and heal their hearts to come back to You as Your beloved children of the light.

In Jesus name, we pray.

Amen

Do you have a loved one, who has committed a violent act or who you think is capable of such a thing? Please take courage to report suspicious activity to the authorities. And share your story in the comments, so we can lift your entire family in our prayers.

Scripture

Isiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 6″Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27″I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.…

Related links

Prayer for peace (after yet another shooting)

Prayer for lives shattered by violence

Shareable

Lord, You have the power to create light out of darkness. change the hearts of those, who are tempted to violence. Transform their hatred with your love.

 

Lord, You are the King of hope, mercy and miracles. In all of Your creativity and miraculous ways we can_t imagine, prevent those, who are tempted to violence from ever doing harm to a

Fall leaves prayer

I’m trying to be graceful about letting go of each leaf,

as it detaches from my branches

and floats gently down to earth.

But, even as I stand tall and strong for the world to see my core,

inside I’m struggling.

I had grown accustom to each one’s beauty, shimmering shelter and company –

Now I’m getting colder every day.

Winter’s coming, exactly like God planned-

It’s time to let go of comfort and deepen my roots…

I know this is a natural cycle of life,

and spring will come in all her glory

at the perfect time-

But that doesn’t stop me from feeling vulnerable right now.

Lord, give me strength for this season of surrender.

Fill me with hope in Your resurrection and mine-

give me the grace to grow closer to you through every trial.

Amen.

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Embracing ordinary

You don’t have to be anybody in the eyes of the world.

You can be an ordinary woman with extraordinary faith,

and that is more than enough.

No one even has to really know what’s going on inside you.

While you go about your daily business,

with a simple prayerful invitation-

You can bring the Creator of the Universe along with you

into every interaction and location.

His majesty will be reflected in your smile, your choices

and your heart-centered presence.

His love will be felt deeply by those around you.

Even if no one notices or thanks you,

He’ll infuse your soul with a realization

that you’re doing something worthwhile, 

without doing anything. 

All you have to do is invite His royal presence

into your smile, your thoughts, your words

and your actions …

Take a breath and allow His creativity,  joy and wisdom to flow

into the atmisphere around you.

You don’t have to be anybody in the eyes of the world

to be somebody, who glorifies the Lord.

How to be bully proof

How can we protect ourselves from a world of criticism and cruelty?

I think the answer is simple: We need to be happy with who we are.

When we’re truly confident, for the most part, bullies leave us alone. And when they do choose to put us down, their insults pour off of us like water off a duck’s back without taking anything essential from our core of self esteem.

So how can we learn to be truly confident and happy with who we are, when we have so many flaws as human beings?

This answer is simple too: We need to put our confidence in the Lord.

As He showed us so perfectly on the cross, He forgives us all our shortcomings and affirms our dignity, even with all our imperfections. He loves us unconditionally and wants the best for us. He is our strength and our protection, our fortress and our shield.

Once we realize this and trust Him at the core of our being, we can become much more resilient in the face of criticism. Even when we are hurt by the cruelty of others, the more we trust in the Lord, the more quickly we can bounce back by reminding ourselves of our inherent worth as children of the One True King.

The saints are great examples of this. They were so full of God’s love, they were able to stand strong in faith through incredible trials, never losing their personal dignity or confidence in Christ.

Prayer
Lord, help us to realize our dignity as your your beloved children. Fill us with a sense of Your strength and Your unconditional love of us, so we can be immune to the harshness of the world we live in. Fill us with an unshakable sense of self worth, so we can represent You well and glorify You with our lives always, Amen.

Related scripture
Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you.”

Journalling topic
Do you have areas of vulnerability, where people are able to frequently get under your skin and hurt your feelings?  How could Christ heal that area and fortify it with strength and protection, so you can be more resilient in the face of criticism?