We Can Do It! Really, We Can!

Let’s face it. There are some things in life that are easier said than done.  One of those things is forgiveness. It’s the infamous ‘F word’ that has prevented many from enjoying a full and peaceful life.  I would even dare say that forgiveness is the miracle-working medicine God designed to cure and heal our families, communities and the church worldwide. But still, interestingly, easier said than done.  Why? Because the hurt, harm and pain one inflicts on another, intentionally or not, looks and feels differently for each of us on the receiving end. It digs in and rests in uncomfortable and sometimes volatile places and anchors there, allowing for no attempts of rescue. The idea of actually forgiving that someone or forgiving some group of people, organization, entity or even forgiving yourself may be repulsive to you, scary or offensive even to your spirit. The offense was too much, too major, too big of a deal to forgive. You may even be thinking, ‘If you knew my story you would understand why I just can’t do it…not now.’ Understood. I get it. If you prick me, I’ll bleed too. And then one day my weakened spirit got a transfusion from God’s word. God reminds us all in scripture, as Jesus hung on the cross, dying, with the unthinkable sins of the whole world upon Him,

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)

What an example of forgiveness! I had always read that scripture from the context of Jesus’ resurrection, the chronological events of his death and rising, but never from a context of how to forgive others. Jesus endured so much from those who intentionally did Him harm, yet He still pleaded for God to forgive His offenders.  His offenders had not accepted who He was, who His Father was, nor had they accepted or understood what was to come. They truly did not know what they were doing! Yet Jesus was genuinely, not facetiously, concerned for them. We are expected to do the same and, surprisingly, when it seems we can’t, we actually can – in God’s strength! He is our Father and we are His children. God reminds us in Matthew 6:14-15,

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

This week’s Prayer Assignment:

Pray – God, let me strive to be more like You and extend forgiveness to others. I realize now more than ever that by doing so my life will be better and it will be pleasing to You too.

Prayer works! Complete the prayer assignment and watch God move in your midst. You can do this!

This week’s Helper is written in accordance with My church’s weekly Lenten devotions centering on healing and deliverance in seven areas during the Lenten season. This week’s devotion is on forgiveness. 

 

Just To Be Close To You

During the season of Lent my church is intentionally participating in a season of meditation and directed prayer and fasting. I have committed myself to these Lenten Season efforts also. Therefore, I will devote my Hump Day Helpers to the same subject matters highlighted for the weekly Lenten meditations.

This Week’s Prayer Assignment:

Subject of Meditation – “Intimacy”

Pray asking God to help you move your focus from self-serving desires to yearning for a greater and deeper relationship with Him. Pray earnestly for a fresh encounter with God that renews and strengthens your love and devotion to Him. Tell God how you never want to leave His presence. Tell Him how you want Him to be on your mind every second of every minute of every hour of the day.  Confess to Him that you are nothing without Him.  Tell Him there’s no one else who could take His place. Fall before God in complete adoration of who He is, recognizing His abounding love, grace and mercy toward you. Allow yourself to remove your colorful filters and come to Him just as you are. God has been patiently waiting to take your relationship with Him to the next level, which is personal and intimate fellowship. You’re gonna need it for the next leg of your journey. No more dragging your feet. He’s the real deal. He’s a Keeper!

Prayer works! Complete the prayer assignment and watch God move in your midst. You can do this!

Love Still Lives Here

During the season of Lent my church is intentionally participating in a season of meditation and directed prayer and fasting. I have committed myself to these Lenten Season efforts also. Therefore, I will devote my Hump Day Helpers to the same subject matters highlighted for the weekly Lenten meditations.

This Week’s Prayer Assignment:

Subject of Meditation – “Love”

Pray asking God for a new and fresh understanding of love, of loving yourself and others. Ask God to illuminate the lengths and depths of His love for you in a way that it obliterates any force that is positioned to challenge your thinking and believing the contrary. In your praying allow God’s convicting spirit to overcome you, to continue His transforming work in you, that you will no longer reserve your love for only those who love you back, but that your love will extend to those who have chosen to despise you, to those who have hurt you and without cause, to those who have disappointed you, and to those who don’t know how to love. Pray that God will strengthen you through that exercise of love, that it begins to form a new understanding of love in you – loving others as God has loved you. Commit your life to God, vowing your new love is a new commitment to serve Him better!

Now believe it and count it done. In the mighty, matchless name of Jesus. AMEN.

Prayer works! Complete the prayer assignment and watch God move in your midst. You can do this!

Within Earshot of a Blessing

This morning I sat in a waiting room within earshot of an older gentleman talking to who seemed to be a family friend. He shared with his friend a recent experience of getting hit with some challenging, unfortunate health news, twice, back-to-back. The gentleman’s friend seemed to be at a loss for words. His initial response was an uneasy groan. When the friend spoke he cleared his throat to muster out a ‘Wow’. Even I was a little choked up…and I was eavesdropping. The older gentleman’s wife joined the conversation and reiterated everything her husband said, however, with the love and anguish that only a caring wife could express. Yet, there were no tears, no anger nor attitude of defeat. What I could feel, sitting inches from them, was strength, rooted strength, in the midst of their circumstance. Then, suddenly, I felt the urge, the compelling, to pray – for a stranger. I closed my eyes and I prayed silently, intently, right where I sat. I prayed for the older gentleman, his wife, his loved ones and family. The spirit of prayer didn’t let go of me, there was still an urge to continue in prayer. So my eyes stayed closed and my heart opened a little wider and I silently prayed, right where I sat, for all those in the room, for their friends and loved ones, by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Before leaving the room, I felt a little lighter, not as heavy as I was when I first entered. And I was grateful. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:1,

“Here are my directions: Pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them; give thanks for all he is going to do for them.” (The Living Bible)

This week’s Prayer Assignment:

Throughout the week pray for those in your midst, strangers – on your job, in the grocery line, in the doctor’s office, at school, while in traffic, at a sporting event, in a waiting room. Pray for God’s goodness, grace and mercy to hover over them, to keep them, to spill over in every circumstance and situation they may encounter. And, as we do for ourselves, thank God in advance for all that He will do in the life of that stranger. Pray, intently, with belief. What a selfless blessing you will give that will yield much more than silver and gold! Go ahead, pray for a stranger.

Prayer works! Complete the prayer assignment and watch God move in your midst. You can do this!