Posts Tagged ‘dailyprompt’

Written by Max Lucado, a contemporary pastor, speaker, and author. This is an excerpt from his book “Anxious for Nothing.”

Our aim — our only aim — is to be at home in Christ. He is not a roadside park or hotel room. He is our permanent mailing address. Christ is our home. He is our place of refuge and security. We are comfortable in His presence, free to be our authentic selves. We know our way around in Him. We know His heart and His ways. We rest in Him, find our nourishment in Him. His roof of grace protects us from storms of guilt. His walls of providence secure us from destructive winds. His fireplace warms us during the lonely winters of life. We linger in the abode of Christ and never leave. The branch never releases the vine. Ever! Does a branch show up on Sundays for its once-a-week meal? Only at the risk of death. The healthy branch never releases the vine, because there it receives nutrients twenty-four hours a day. If branches had seminars, the topic would be “Secrets of Vine Grabbing.” But branches don’t have seminars, because to attend them they would have to release the vine — something they refuse to do. The dominant duty of the branch is to cling to the vine. The dominant duty of the disciple is the same. We Christians tend to miss this. We banter about pledges to “change the world,” “make a difference for Christ,” “lead people to the Lord.” Yet these are by-products of the Christ-focused life. Our goal is not to bear fruit. Our goal is to stay attached. Maybe this image will help. When a father leads his four-year-old son down a crowded street, he takes him by the hand and says, “Hold on to me.” He doesn’t say, “Memorize the map” or “Take your chances dodging the traffic” or “Let’s see if you can find your way home.” The good father gives the child one responsibility: “Hold on to my hand.” God does the same with us. Don’t load yourself down with lists. Don’t enhance your anxiety with the fear of not fulfilling them. Your goal is not to know every detail of the future. Your goal is to hold the hand of the One who does and never, ever let go.


Written by Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991), a Spanish priest.


More than ever I find myself in the hands of God.

This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.

But now there is a difference;

the initiative is entirely with God.

It is indeed a profound spiritual experience

to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands.

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Written by Margaret Guenther (1929-2016), an Episcopal priest, spiritual director, and author.  This is an excerpt from her book “The Practice of Prayer.”

Spirituality is in the air these days, all too often as something to be caught, achieved, or marketed. Certainly, “spirituality” is a difficult word with lots of baggage for many of us. It is a word that challenges us and sometimes makes us uneasy, for it is nebulous, elastic, and potentially dangerous. It is a word we often suspect of covering up loose thinking or of providing an avenue of private escape from engagement with the pain, need, and injustice in the world. Unfortunately, there is some truth in such assumptions, but it is only a partial truth. It is important to remember that we all – even the most ordinary and least holy among us – have a spirituality. It may be bland, rejecting risk and adventure in favor of the safe and predictable…Our spirituality can be selfish, destructive, or even daemonic…Whatever its characteristics, every one of us has a spirituality, what Augustine called an “ordo amoris,” an ordering of our loves.  What do we most cherish? What do we most desire? What is the treasure hidden in the core of our being? Our spirituality is not what we profess to believe, but how we order our loves. That ordering may be unarticulated, sometimes even unconscious, but the resulting spirituality pervades our whole life and involves our whole person. Our stewardship of time, energy, material things, and relationships to our fellow creatures reflects the way we express that ordering of our loves…I have used “spirituality” as a broad neutral term thus far, not necessarily Christian or even religious. The spirituality of consumerism, for example, is all around us…Similarly, our culture offers a spirituality based on the avoidance of pain; we have myriad ways of dulling the sharpness of physical, emotional, and spiritual experience…Then there is the spirituality of violence, endemic in the American soul, although most of us would be ashamed to acknowledge it….These are just a few of our modern secular spiritualities and they are all rooted in idolatry. They have their own gods and their own liturgies…For Christians, however, “spirituality” is not a neutral term. No matter how far we might stray and how confused we might become, the order of our loves is ultimately clear: if we clear away the extraneous—even those things that are “good” – step by step and bit by bit, we know that ultimately what we want and what we love is God. We may not articulate this ultimate love easily; we may live for years, even decades, unaware of its source but deeply conscious of our love for the good things of God’s creation…As Christians, we know that our identity in Christ is our true identity. We know that the two Great Commandments shape and govern us: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.


Today’s prayer is from the Saram Primer, a book of prayers and Christian worship resources for the 1500s, collected at the Salisbury Cathedral.


 Hear us, O Lord, and in our troubles, pity us. Give us spiritual gladness, and give us eternal peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Written by Trevor Hudson, a contemporary South African pastor, author, and speaker. This is an excerpt from his book “Seeking God.”

Repentance is not a once-and-for-all experience. “Once converted, fully converted” is a deceptive slogan. We constantly discover new layers of self-centeredness and selfishness from which we need to turn. Our attachments to the idols of wealth, status, popularity, pleasure, power, being right, and success are much stronger than we usually think. Our collusion in the oppressive structures of society that rob others of their dignity and worth is both subtle and real. Thankfully, God is gentle with us, and only gradually reveals the depth of our sinfulness. Hence, repentance is not only the doorway into the life God gives; it is also the pathway along which we need to wall throughout our lives…Our sinful behavior represents only the visible tip of the iceberg. Beneath our external actions of wrongdoing lie many hidden layers of disordered tendencies. These need to be brought into the light, confessed, and healed. This is a lifetime undertaking that we always need to keep up-to-date on.


Written by Sam Kim, a contemporary seminary professor.   

 Father, we humbly come before your throne and wait for your mercy on us and the world. May the Holy Spirit access our hearts and minds so that He may expose our hidden idols and wickedness before God. May the Holy Spirit make us repent and return to you and to the first love for you. Amen.

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Written by Charles Stanley (1932-2023), an American pastor, writer, and founder of In Touch Ministries.

Most of us enjoy feeling in control of our own schedule and grow frustrated when things don’t go according to plan. Yet if we truly desire to walk in the center of God’s perfect will, we must become willing to cooperate with His time frame. Consider how you pray about situations in your life. Without realizing it, you may be demanding that God follow the schedule you’ve constructed according to your very limited human wisdom. Yet if we believe He is who He says He is, how can surrendering to His way not be to our benefit? Think about His unique, praiseworthy qualities: (1) His all-encompassing knowledge. Unlike us, the Lord has complete awareness about our world and the details of every individual life–past, present, and future. (2) His complete wisdom. God understands man’s every motive, whereas none of us are able to accurately discern people’s intentions. We make choices based on partial information, whereas He has the wisdom to take action based on truth. (3) His unconditional love. Our Creator is always motivated by love and constantly has our best in mind. Unless we trust His heart, our view of reality will be distorted. (4) His perfect sufficiency. At just the right time, God will provide us with everything we need to carry out His plan. Submitting to God’s timetable requires faith and courage. Believe in the goodness of His heart and His plans–and determine to wait until He gives the signal to move forward. Then, as you follow His schedule, you’ll experience the joy of watching Him make all things beautiful in His timing.


Written by Christina Fox, a contemporary author, counselor, and speaker.

Father, forgive me for all my doubts, worries, and fears. Forgive me for my impatience as I wait in this place. Forgive me for questioning the story you’ve written for me. I believe, help me in my unbelief! Help me to remember that it is good to wait for you. Grant me the joy that comes from knowing you. Fill my heart with gospel joy. I pray these things because of Jesus and in his name. Amen.

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Written by J. D. Walt, a contemporary pastor, speaker, and author.

We can know who we are and even where we are but if we don’t know when we are, we can miss the whole point. When are we? We are living in the age of the Holy Spirit, in the overlap, gloriously alive, empowered by Him, and participating by our own personality in the very personhood of Jesus, doing impossible things by faith in love.


Written by Ken Boa, a contemporary teacher, writer, speaker, and President of Reflections Ministries.

 Heavenly Father, You have chosen me to obey Jesus Christ by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. In Christ, You have granted me everything I need to manifest the fullness of life that is empowered by Your indwelling Spirit. I know that it is impossible to live out the spiritual life in my own resources and power and that only as I abide in Jesus and walk by the power of the Holy Spirit is it possible for me to display a life of godliness and righteousness. As I live by the Spirit, may I bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. May I be strengthened with power through Your indwelling Spirit so that I can live a life that will be pleasing to You and edifying to others. May the love of Christ overflow in my thoughts, words and deeds this very day.

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Written by John Wesley (1703-1791), an English cleric, theologian, and evangelist who was a leader in the revival movement known as Methodism.  This is an excerpt from his book “Christian Perfection.”

Beware of desiring anything other than God. Jesus said, ​“If your eye remains single your whole body shall be full of light.” Do not allow the desire for tasteful food or any other pleasure of the senses, the desire of pleasing the eye or the imagination, the desire for money or praise or power, to rule you. While you have the ability to feel these desires, you are not compelled to feel them. Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free! Be an example to all of denying yourself and taking up your cross daily. Let others see that you are not interested in any pleasure that does not bring you nearer to God, nor regard any pain which does. Let them see that you simply aim at pleasing God in everything. Let the language of your heart sing out with regard to pleasure or pain, riches or poverty, honor or dishonor, ​“All’s alike to me, so I in my Lord may live and die!”


Written by Betty Scott Stam (1906-1934), an American Christian missionary to China.

Lord, I give up my own plans and purposes, all my own desires, hopes and ambitions, and I accept Your will for my life. I give up myself, my life, my all, utterly to You, to be Yours forever. I hand over to You keeping all of my friendships; all the people whom I love are to take second place in my heart. Fill me now and seal me with Your Spirit. Work out Your whole will in my life at any cost, for to me to live is Christ. Amen.

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\Written by Arthur J. Schoonveld, a contemporary retired minister.

The well-known theologian Karl Barth was asked by a reporter, “Sir, you have written huge volumes about God. Tell me, how do you know it is all true?” According to the story, he answered, “My mother told me.” That’s a rather simple answer to a profound question. But this answer says a lot about the influence mothers have on the home and on their children. While both parents have an important role in early childhood nurture, it is usually the mother who makes the home and shapes the minds of little children. The mother is often the first one to tell her children about the Lord. As a child, the first person I looked for when coming home from school was my mother. After she passed away, our home life changed radically. My father did what he could to keep our home special, but it was never the same without our mother. If your mother is still living, tell her how much you love her and respect her. In the nine years I knew my mother, I never once told her that. Thank her for who she is, and for how she has shaped your life. And if she is gone, thank God for who she was in your life. If perhaps your mother is or was not the mother you wished you had, ask God to help you forgive her even now, and to give you the grace to love and accept her as she is or was.


Written by Arthur J. Schoonveld, the author of today’s meditation.  

Lord God, we thank you for our mothers. Help us to love and respect them. Help us to be loving children as well as loving parents and spouses, for your sake, Amen.

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Written by Ray Stedman (1917-1992), a pastor and author.

The great hindrance to having faith in God is pride, the pride that refuses to forgive. That is like a mountain that fills up your whole life. All you can see is that big mountain looming before you, and it is blocking the life of God in your life. You have the power to have that removed if, when you stand and pray, you will forgive those who have offended you. Because the only thing that stops us from forgiving one another is pride. We feel justified in wanting others to forgive us but also in feeling that we have to exact a price for the hurt they have caused us. So, in many ways—subtle, or direct and open—we insist that we will not forgive, that our offenders have to pay for what they have done to us. Somehow, we are going to make them crawl, make them beg or plead for forgiveness. And that, Jesus says, is a great mountain that needs to be removed, for it is blocking the flow of the life of God to your faith. 


Written by Richard Foster, a contemporary author and leader in the spiritual formation movement.      

O Lord, teach me the horridness, the awfulness of pride. Let this reality sink deep down into my consciousness. Cause my spirit to react instinctively to the very presence of pride and to flee from it. Purify my heart so utterly that no hint of pride is able to reside inside. This I pray in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.

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Written by Andrew Whitmore, a contemporary theology professor.

Virtue is timeless because human nature has not changed. As the saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Certainly, much is new in our world: new technologies, new challenges, and new opportunities. But what made people excellent a thousand years ago makes us excellent today—and will continue to make us excellent in another thousand years. So, virtue is always relevant. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.” How true this is today when seeking to raise responsible children, maintain good health, pursue higher education, and serve the impoverished. Pursuing virtue can be added to this list! Is it even possible to be virtuous in a sinful world?  Absolutely. With God, all things are possible (see Matthew 19:26). Fortunately, virtue is not an all-or-nothing proposition but admits of degree. What does this mean? It means that we can make incremental progress in growing in virtue…Virtue is possible. It is a process of self-discovery that is fun and exciting.


Written by Thomas Merton (1915-1968), an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion.

 In one sense we are always traveling, and traveling as if we did not know where we are going. In another sense we have already arrived. We cannot arrive at the perfect possession of God in this life, and that is why we are traveling and we travel in darkness. But we already possess God by grace, and therefore, in that sense, we have arrived and are dwelling in the light. But oh! How far have I to go to find You in Whom I have already arrived! Amen.

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Written by Amanda Idleman, a contemporary writer.

Intimacy is something that each of our souls deeply desires. Intimacy is defined as close familiarity or friendship; closeness. Intimacy in marriage includes physical acts of intimacy, but we yearn for intimacy in every close relationship we have in our lives… Our longing for closeness is a part of our design. We long to be close to our maker! We are created for relationships. Yet, we all know how difficult it is to create safe spaces for true intimacy in our lives. Humans are imperfect, and we so easily hurt each other. Hurt, disappointment, insecurity, and grief lead to walls going up in our hearts. Only God is made of perfect love that we can trust with our whole hearts. Nonetheless, we need each other and can’t give up on the work of tearing down the walls and trying again to build safe, long-lasting, and close relationships.  Intimacy requires a radical commitment to forgiveness. Please note that forgiveness does not mean you are called to remain present in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. Forgiveness is a daily requirement to remain close to other very flawed humans. You need to be forgiven too because you bring selfishness and brokenness to your relationships each day too!… I have to lay down my right to be right if I want to feel close to another person and embrace a life of radical forgiveness…God tells us that we are to interact with our brothers and sisters in Christ with a heart that seeks unity. He likens us to a body, each of us different in our skills, gifts, and uses but we all work together towards one mission which is to keep the body alive! We do not have to see eye-to-eye on every issue in our relationships to live in unity, but we do have to be humble enough not to let divisions grow among us.  Building intimacy requires time spent sharing the same space with open ears and having an open heart ready to connect. One tip for time together is to commit to making some of this time screen-free time. When we want to really hear our spouse, friends, family members, or children’s hearts, we have to remove distractions such as our phones so we can fully engage. We grow closer in our relationships when we are intentional about being present with each other when we interact. 


Written by Mark Roberts, a contemporary author and speaker.

Gracious God, thank you for the example of Jesus. Thank you for how he called the twelve to be with him in a special way, to share in life and work together.  Thank you, Lord, for calling me into relationship with you and into your ministry. Help me to “be with you” even as your first disciples were with you. By your grace, may I discover how to know you better as I live my life in relationship with you.  May I also follow your example by living and working in community with others. I thank you for those who share life and work with me: my family, colleagues, friends, and church community. As we follow you, may we share in your kingdom work and grow in mutual love and understanding. Amen.

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