i pray: broken hearts

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i pray

short podcasts to bring the sacred into your everyday

Do you only have a few minutes for prayer today? You’re in the right place! Try one of our new i pray podcasts. A few minutes is all you need to pray God’s word into any situation by interceding for friends, family, and yourself. 

Today we’re praying about broken hearts. While our emotions may betray us, we can’t always see the state of a person’s heart. Many of us, however, are walking around with broken hearts due to divorce, estrangement, a tragedy, the death of a loved one, or failed relationships. Whether you’re suffering or someone you love is, join Only By Prayer today in praying for the brokenhearted. God can bring about healing. We will be using Psalm 34:18 and Psalm 147:3 to pray.




The 12 Days of Easter: Day 10, Abundant Life

Easter 6

Day 10:Abundant Life

 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

abundant [uhbuhn-duh nt]

adjective
1. present in great quantity; more than adequate; over-sufficient
2. well supplied with something;
3. richly supplied, as with resources

Exploring the beachside at sunset, declaring “I do” to the one you love, laughing until your voice gives out – these are times when we truly feel alive. Everything in us bursts with life, and our hearts reverberate with joy.

Those moments are abundant life.

And, in the same breath, they’re not. Not entirely.

When I hear that Jesus came to give me abundant life, I imagine perpetual bliss. Perhaps you do, as well. While bliss is in the picture, it’s not the whole picture. The beautiful, sacred memories we treasure are a slice of abundant life. However, we can also experience abundant life in the midst of stress, pain, and frustration.

The truth is that abundant life isn’t defined by how good or bad life is going. Instead, it’s defined by my heart condition. How tender and open is my heart to God during the ups and downs of life?

The Easter story is the perfect illustration of this. While Jesus was preparing to be arrested and die on the cross, he pleaded with God: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). According to the Blue Letter Bible, the word “cup” is a metaphor for “One’s lot or experience, whether joyous or adverse … likened to a cup which God presents one to drink: so of prosperity and adversity.”

Abundant life is about drinking deeply of whatever cup God gives us. It’s about feeling to the fullest, all the while trusting that God will redeem our pain and enhance our joys.

Jesus didn’t turn on autopilot and cruise through life. Whether he was struggling with temptation or celebrating with his disciples, he invited God into every aspect of his day. His life was the very essence of “abundant” – rich, overflowing, and plentiful. Best yet, the abundance of His life spilled over into ours – bringing redemption, love, and grace into our dusty and dry souls.

Perhaps that’s the best part of living life abundantly – the overflow always spills into the lives of those near us.

Whether we’re having a mountaintop or a valley experience, let’s invite God in. I pray that Psalm 66:12b will be true of our lives: “We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”

points to ponder

How engaged are you in life currently?

What cup is God asking you to drink today?

What’s one way you can invite God into your joys or trials?

prayer

Jesus, thank you for your example of how to live abundantly. Help me to live constantly surrendered to you. When life is difficult and painful, let my trust in you endure. Redeem the hardship for your Kingdom. When life is beautiful, celebrate with me. Let me feel your love poignantly.

I pray you’ll fill my surrendered life with abundance. And I pray that the abundance will spill over into other’s lives and bless them.

Amen.

4555735b4e5338768812a93c15c0e222Thanks to our guest writer, Amber Miller, for writing today’s post! Amber is Jane’s daughter and Mary’s niece. Here’s how she describes herself: Board game fanatic, coffee enthusiast, and proponent of loud laughing. I Live in St. Louis with my incredible husband, trying to further God’s Kingdom one small step at a time. You can read Amber’s blog at LiveandLaughLoud.com.

 




Bible Scripture Art: The Heart Speaks by Mary Kane

“He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver—those who do every work and those who design artistic works. Exodus 3:35

Heart SPeaksOur God is a very creative God. In the opening verses of the book of Genesis,  we first meet God in the midst of creating. When studying Scripture, first mentions are very critical. Since God chose to open Scripture with the act of creation, we can assume creating is a very godly thing to do. Combining the study of Scripture and creating works of art is very pleasing to our Father.

The Heart Speaks is a very visual reminder of how the contents of the heart affect the words we speak. Whatever we store in our heart will be spoken by the tongue. As we go throughout the day we gather words, thoughts, and memories , good or bad, and choose to discard them or store them in our heart. If we decide to keep them, we will eventually speak them because, “Out of the treasures of the heart, the mouth speaks.

What does your heart speak? Does it speak words of hope and life or does it speak bitterness, complaints, and criticism? Do you hide God’s Word in your heart so you can speak grace and peace into your life and the lives of others?

Please join me a little Scripture and canvas, The Heart Speaks,  by clicking on the link below.

Bible Scripture Art: The Heart Speaks

 




New Year Prayer

New Year PrayerWith the New Year comes a fresh start free from mistakes, regrets, and failures of the past year. Hope and possibilities and expectations jostle  for space in my soul as I look to the future. Yes, if I’m honest, some anxiety too. But mostly excitement for what lies ahead. Like sojourners of times past, I want to welcome the Lord into these next 12 months. Or should I say, I with Him. I want to be sure the door of my heart is open to Him this New Year.

I recently read about an old Scottish tradition that placed much importance upon the New Year. Folks visited from house to house as the New Year rang in, wishing each other a good year while celebrating with food and drink. Once midnight passed, each household watched expectantly to see who would be the very first guest to cross the threshold of their door, thus portending what the next year would hold.  I can just envision a knock on the door and families gathered around the hearth to see who would take that first important step into their home.

To acknowledge this tradition, the Celtic Daily Prayer Book includes a “first-footing” prayer for the New Year, on page 238 called The Opening Door, in which the pray-ers welcome Christ to be the “first foot” into their home to bless them. What a lovely idea!

I was so taken with this thought that I wrote a short prayer myself to welcome Christ into my New Year.

Open Door

By Jane VanOsdol

I open the door of my heart this New Year …

to see Your glory all around me;

to hear the whisper of Your voice;

to smell the fragrance of Jesus in my life;

to taste the fruits of Your blessings;

to feel the presence of Your Spirit.

Welcoming your footsteps across the threshold of my heart,

Anticipating the gift of another year.

Amen.

I wonder if your heart is open to God this year? Do you feel the anticipation of new adventures waiting to be lived, or have difficulties of time past left you dreading the door before you? Open the door to Jesus so that He is the first one to set foot in your heart this year.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

May you experience the peace of Christ and the joy of living life with Him this year.

Pray on!

*Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net artur84




Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

God's word cloudEver since my daughter was a preschooler, she’s been able to memorize things so easily. She put this skill to good use when we enrolled her in Awana. Amber loved working on her Bible verses every week. It seemed as if the verses just effortlessly implanted themselves into her mind and heart and rolled off her tongue. Many of those verses stuck with her through the years, and now as an adult, they’ve become words of life that she is able to apply.

That’s why I love Psalm 119:11: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” When I stockpile God’s word in my heart, I can easily pull out the “ammunition” that I need at a moment’s notice.

If I’m feeling fearful, I can recall 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

If I am depressed I can recite Nehemiah 8 :10 “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

If I need wisdom I can meditate on James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

What are you in need of today? The Bible surely has something to say about it. God has given us a storehouse of supplies to draw upon everyday — and amazingly this stockpile is never depleted. The only thing that is limiting us is how often we go to it to replenish our own supplies. We need to read His words and memorize them so that we are fortified for our battle in this world.

Pray on!