Category Archives: Prayer

Just a prayer for those in the path of the storm <3

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Do you know what that is?

That’s the imprint of a butterfly wing on my Gdawg’s bug hunting finger.

He loves to catch them and whether he uses a net…

or his sweet little hands…

he gets the job done.

And don’t worry…

the butterfly lived because he’s just that good…

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pc/Rachel <3

I snapped the picture because I couldn’t believe the perfect imprint of the wings left such an impression on his skin.

I understand about imprints and the way living things can be impressed on us.

We have been to the places impacted by storms being reported in the news today.

Cuba…

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Florida…

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there are people all in the path of that storm who have left an imprint on our hearts.

There are people we have never met whose lives and home and stories are shattered by water and wind.

And those people have left an imprint on God’s heart.

And in the midst of it all we turn to Him because we know He could still any storm.

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Yet sometimes He doesn’t.

And we can ask why…but whether He answers or not…and how could we even understand if He did…

He is still God

He is still Sovereign

And even when we cannot understand, we can know…

He is good…

He is faithful…

and so…

like Job, I bow my head and lift up weak hands.

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And I pray….

Heavenly Father,

We asked you to calm the storm, yet it rages on. Homes are destroyed. Schools no longer stand. Businesses are devastated.

Not just in our own country but along small islands where they already had so little.

Our son-in-law just returned fresh from Haiti with pictures of a man smiling as he was handed keys to his brand new home.

And we hear of the island that is so very poor is now rocked with earthquakes.

We wonder…is the work that was done, now undone?

This world is wearing out Lord.

You said it would.

We see the signs and still think we can manage it with politics and technology and enough forecasting by meterologists and scientists and ideology.

But we can’t.

So we spread out our fallen and broken selves before you.

We ask for mercy Lord.

Mercy for ourselves.

Mercy for those who are walking amongst the rubble of what used to be the place of their existence.

And we pray God for eyes to see beyond the temporal of this world.

We have hearts and minds and souls that long for eternity.

In the pain and sorrow and fallen condition of this world, we pray.

Lead us to Your heart.

Amen <3

Of Nehemiah and battle plans and conferences and such…

I am preparing this week to attend the Declare Conference in Dallas again this year. In the summer, the leaders offered an opportunity for us to submit a devotion on what it means to be a warrior.

There was a word limit (oh mercy…help me!) and a time limit that hedged me in because the whole thing was happening as we were getting ready to leave for Cuba.

With work and packing and watching the grands one day, I did a lot of pondering and praying and then tapped it out and many thanks to my dear friend Cindie who edited for me on her phone so I could submit before we left.

I know the suspense is just too much, so it was accepted. I am honored. And here it is for you all to read today. Hope it blesses you in your battles:

A Prayer Warrior like Nehemiah <3

I remember the moment the hope was birthed in my mind that one such as I could be called, one day, a Warrior. 

I…

who avoid conflict at all costs…

who in my younger walk was more prone to compromise in order to maintain a semblance of peace…

could don battle gear and wage war for what mattered most to me. 

On a shelf in a Christian book store, I found a poem depicting someone who, on an eternal “here’s your life” screen, watched the events of his earthly days and noticed that at the greatest points of decision there had been a faceless and fierce warrior who had fended off evil on his behalf. 

Asking who this brave one had been, he was told it was his own mother and her prayers. 

The idea that a mother could wage war in the heavenly realms on behalf of her family was a new concept to me and I began to gather books on the subject of prayer and spiritual warfare. 

But in the pages of the Old Testament I found the model for everyday, ordinary, show-up-and-do-the-thing warfare. 

In Nehemiah I found the model for my daily strategy for prayer warfare. 

Nehemiah was serving the pagan King of Persia when he received word of the broken down walls of Jerusalem. With a heavy heart he sought the Lord. 

Prayer by prayer, he received blessing and provision as he was sent back to God’s Holy City on a mission of restoration. 

Nehemiah faced many challenges from those working against God’s best plan for His people. 

It is this same enemy who would keep me feeling weak and ineffective as I war in prayer for our family. 

He uses the same tactics on me as he did Nehemiah. 

Discouragement…

Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and moved the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samaritan officers, “What does this bund of poor, feeble Jews think they are doing? Do they think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap – and charred ones at that? Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him said, “That stone wall would collapse even if a fox walked along the top of it.”  Nehemiah 4:2-3  NLT

I hear my enemy hiss…

What are you trying to do? The tide of culture is greater than your efforts to raise your children to follow Jesus. The damage is too great. Your efforts are too small. You are trying to build out of wishful thinking and it will not stand. 

Fear….

 

Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply. The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, and this is what it said, “There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to revel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. He also reports that you have appointed prophets to problem about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’ You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest you come and talk it over with me.” Nehemiah 6:4-7  NLT

 The enemy delights to throw more on me than I can handle and then remind me of a history of past failures. 

Betrayal…

Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, “Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.:

But I replied, “Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save my life? No, I won’t do it!”

I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. The were hoping to intimidate me and make me sin. Then they would be able to accuse and discredit me. Nehemiah 6:10-13 NLT

 I can be thrown into confusion when the ones who should be supporting me attempt to convince me that God has abandoned the effort. 

Just as I was able to recognize the elements of the enemy’s attacks on my prayers for our children, I could look to the same passages in Nehemiah to see God’s battle plan to press on. 

I see a posture humility as he fasted and prayed. 

I see courage to stand against forces working against God’s plan for the people He loved. 

I find the seeds of a warrior’s prayer in Nehemiah 4:14.

I base my prayer on the words of Nehemiah and I battle on my knees.

Oh God, I will not be afraid. I will remember Your great and awesome power. I will press on. Equip me to fight for my family each day, knowing you are for us. Strengthen me when I feel weak and lead me daily into battle. All for Your Name and glory. 

Hello, it’s me <3

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Hello and happy Friday to you, 

I hope you have had a good week and you are enjoying some cooler Fall weather. 

Last night I was driving home from up north. It was time most people are home watching the evening news and preparing from bed. Across the prairie I could see headlights moving in the fields. I assume some farmers were working to get their crops in while the weather is good. I have a farmer friend and I thought of his wife maybe home waiting for him and the long day he had spent in that tractor. 

A plane flew overhead and I thought of the passengers going somewhere or headed home. I have been on those late night flights, trying to catch a little rest as you rub elbows with total strangers and the engine hum keeps you from really resting. On the other end, there would be baggage to collect and transportation to work out and either a hotel room or your own bed to collapse into.

I passed little towns and lanes where people I love live. In some of the homes are some great joys and in others deep sorrows. And in some just a little mixture of both in the midst of the daily normal that is this season in their home.

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There were other travelers out with me. Not a lot, but enough I didn’t feel alone. And there was the residual vigilance of watching the sides of the road for a deer that might decide to cross just as I was passing by. I hit one once and it has forever left its imprint on me when I drive through the farmland after dark. 

Thanks to satellite radio I had a steady flow of praise music and so it was inside that little black Toyota Camry I found a sanctuary of grace. 

I lifted prayers and praise for things I know and things I thought about.

Yet again. 

I drive that road a lot. 

Sometimes in stillness and sometimes listening to a sermon and sometimes with music. 

I mull things over and I talk to God and I wonder often…is this really prayer? Am I talking at God or to God? Am I hearing from Him or just working out of my own thoughts? 

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Then I pray with the teen prayer team and hear how they talk to God or listen to our daughter pray over her boys as they wiggle in between us after stories when I am helping get them down for the night or I hear the prayers lifted by my own husband while our dinner plates wait. 

And I hear their words, spoken in their own language and their own ways, expressing what is on the heart. Just talking to God for our needs, for the needs of others, for the stuff that is overwhelming us and the things for which we marvel at what He has done, the things we hope will happen and the things we fear that might happen.

Yes. This is prayer. 

Wordless tears and hard questions, many words or few…talking to God. Trusting and believing He is…and He cares…and He will intervene in ways beyond our understanding. Knowing, always, He is faithful. 

Our family has been on the receiving end of prayers answered many times that we know of and oh so many that we were unaware of. We are thankful for the prayers of our friends and our family and it is an honor and privilege to pray for others. 

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Prayer is not a burden or an obligation. It is a blessed gift of communication with our Father, who knows the end from the beginning and in all things, works for our good. 

I pray, sincerely and honestly, right now for each of you that you know His comfort and His presence and His love through the power of Holy Spirit today. 

I have been absent from the blog this week as other needs were pressing for my time, but you have been in my thoughts and prayers even as I have been away. I trust God is moving in each of your lives and I hope and pray today that you are able to see His goodness and grace and mercy poured out on you and those you love <3

For the long haul <3

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This week on the blog, I have been looking at a passage from Ezra that I came across in my daily reading through the Chronological Bible. 

In Chapter 7 of this book, Ezra has received the blessing of the pagan King Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. Ezra is given a letter of passage, provisions and the oomph to insure that the powers that be along the way also contribute to this band of people who are making their way back home. 

The focus of my thoughts though comes from the portion of Scripture found in Chapter 8, verses 21-23.

Because as Ezra and the people were ready to set out across around nine hundred miles…with women and children and elderly people…all they owned…he stopped, dropped and prayed. 

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He proclaimed a fast and cried out to God to protect them as they made their way.

They were toting a fair amount of gold, thanks to the King. 

They were vulnerable.

But they had been bold.

Ezra had told the King he didn’t need an army to go with him and the people. 

Apparently Ezra had boasted in God. 

And it wasn’t because he didn’t believe his God was able that he stopped. 

It was because as he and the people who had settled and made a life now stood with all they knew of their comfort zone behind them and the vast unknown before them, what they knew for sure was…they were vulnerable to attack. 

There were enemies along the way who had great interest in what they could pillage of their treasure and no interest at all in their well fare and safe passage.

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I am thinking this morning of some children I love dearly scattered across this vast country of ours. 

They carry a treasure of eternal value in their sweet little jars of clay. 

There is an enemy that desires nothing more than to sideline and strip them of it. 

He is powerful and crafty and has many agents working at his bidding. 

But I have boasted in my God. 

So this morning, I bend my knee to the God of heaven and I ask Him for safe passage for those I love as they cross the unknown turf of today and head toward the promise of tomorrow. 

Is the Bible relevant to us today?

Oh yes. 

It is indeed. 

Be blessed dear ones.

You are loved and your passage is being covered in prayer today <3 

Even if you are the only one <3

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I am a slow processor if you hadn’t noticed. So I hope you will bear with me as I finish out some thoughts and insights and musings from our recent visit to Cuba. 

I may just ramble on with this for the remainder of the week, so hopefully you aren’t getting bored.

One day between our work project and eating lunch, we were invited to sit and listen to the history of the church we partner with. 

We sat on the stone steps and I so hope I understood the interpretation of the story correctly and am sharing accurately.

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My understanding from our lesson is during the era that ushered in the current form of government in this country, many of the churches were closed and pastors were stopped from preaching.

There was some upheaval over ownership of all buildings and properties and to my understanding a time came when a church could maintain the deed of the building site IF they had an active congregation. 

However, circumstances being as they were; it was almost impossible to hold services. 

But one man came faithfully every week and prayed in that building. 

And so…as our endearing pastor expressed with a gesture of a wide open hand and facial expressions that clearly communicated even without the English words being added…there was “church.”

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One man. 

Praying ever week alone on those stone steps. 

For years. 

Three, I believe he said. 

Three years, going and praying faithfully in the face of opposition and persecution…one man. 

I sat there in that sacred place and looked around at the handful of teenagers who made up this youth trip that Russ had felt called to go along on and invited me to accompany him and I wept hot tears. 

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I thought how often I have prayed for Russ to want to do an international trip and God answered my prayer with more than I could have asked or imagined. 

Because many years ago, when our own three Reimers were teens in this same youth group, God laid on my heart to start a prayer ministry for the teens.

The basic group who prays with me once a month has, like me, moved on with our families and gotten busy. 

We have lost touch with who the youth even are, but we have never felt released to stop praying. 

Sometimes just one of us can be there and sometimes none of us can make it. 

For years we prayed daily over lists of names for which we had no faces.

And I had been asking God if it was time to stop this. 

Maybe the season was over and we should just pack it up and call it a good run. 

But God had a word for me as I sat there. 

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Who would benefit most if we stopped praying for the nameless faces of the young people who are being trained up in our church? 

I will not pretend to understand why God, who can do all things, invites us to participate in His marvelous work through interceding for others. 

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I will only tell you that He is most gracious and kind to allow us to partner with Him through our prayers. 

I will tell you that He so generously shares the joy of answered prayer when we are obedient to continue to press on even when we see no answers.

Are you praying for someone or something all alone?

For years and years on the hard stone steps of what appears to be a situation that has not hope of ever being changed?

Don’t.

Stop. 

Ever.

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With your last breath, cry out to God to come and to invade every corner of the place, person, situation you have been called to lift in prayer. 

For  your family.

For this country.

For a cause.

For the Church.

He worketh!!!!

Oh yes, He worketh…

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all things for our good and for His glory!