To Stay on Track

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV)

God, examine me and know my mind. Test me and know all my worries. Make sure that I am not going the wrong way. Lead me on the path that has always been right. – (Psalm 139:23-24, ERV)

God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways – the path that brings me back to You. – (Psalm 139:23-24, TPT)

 

This is a powerful prayer for self-reflection. Though God already knows us and knows our heart and mind, the invitation is extended through our asking that He show us things that we need to change. It is an admission of our own need, and an acknowledgement of who God is and how He loves us so much that He is willing to show us the best ways to stay on track with Him. May we ever seek the Lord and His ways, allowing Him reign so that we follow the path that leads to a life in His love.

 

Search my heart, O God, To Stay on Track

Please show me the ways;

That are needing change,

Throughout all my days.

You know me so well,

My heart and my mind;

In love, You point out,

The wrongs that You find.

Not to embarrass,

To hurt nor cause harm;

But rather to lead,

Uphold in Your arms.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and ask You to show us what needs to change, You are faithful to lead us away from that which can cause harm and show us the best ways to walk in Your will. Forgive us for not seeking Your heart for direction. Teach us to trust You and know You always have our very best in mind. Show us how to love those around us in a way that points to the path paved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to lead us and guide us on the path You have prepared for us forever. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. – Psalm 25:4

Given Despite What We Deserve

“We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – (Luke 23:41-43, NLT)

 

This scene so perfectly depicts the mercy and grace that God is willing to give if we choose Him. Like the criminals hanging on the cross beside Jesus, we all deserve to die for our sin. Not one of us is sinless, and the promised punishment for sin is death. However, while we were yet stuck in our sin, just as those hanging beside Him, Jesus chose to bear the burden for all so that we could come to Him to have life everlasting. All it took for the criminal in his final hours of life, was the recognition and admission of who Jesus was, and how he deserved what he himself was receiving. In asking to be remembered, the criminal was granted the mercy and grace that is given to each of us who choose to do the same. When we come to Christ and call on His Name, admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior who are seeking His forgiveness and grace, He grants us the very same promise of eternal life that was given on that most remarkable day. May we remember the price Christ paid for our sins, and the love that leads us to life everlasting.

 

Criminal status,Shackles No More

All of us with sin;

Each destined to die,

‘less grace enters in.

Because of the cross,

We all can choose claim;

Christ as our Savior,

Find hope in His Name.

For it is by grace,

That we all may come;

Receive His mercy,

O Most Holy One.

So come one and all,

Seek mercy and grace;

Receive forgiveness,

Everlasting place.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to be restored to right relationship with You. Jesus, thank You for willingly taking our sin upon Yourself, so that we could be made righteous before You. Thank You for loving us despite our unworthiness. Forgive us for thinking that we or anyone else has to be qualified somehow to deserve mercy and grace. Teach us to love as You love, so that we would offer mercy and grace to all whom we meet. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love others as You have loved us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

Favored, Not Forgotten

Have you ever felt rejected or forgotten by God? Psalm 74 is a great reminder of what we ought to do when we find ourselves in such a space. Our God is big enough to hear our concerns, yet as we pause and reflect on who He is, we will begin to remember just how great He truly is. The first line of Psalm 74 begins with: Why have You rejected us forever, O God? A mere eleven verses later, the Psalmist writes: But You, O God, are my king from of old; You bring salvation upon the earth. As the writer continues to unpack the memories of God’s power and faithfulness, faith seems to rise up, and requests are made with confidence.

 

What can we do when we find ourselves in a similar space – a place where we feel as if we are out of the favor of our Heavenly Father? If we follow the example set before us in Psalm 74, first, we need to be honest with God and let Him know how we are feeling. He is a loving Father, and will not be crushed by our honest admission of frustration or doubt. Next, we ought to spend some time remembering times of His favor and faithfulness. As we speak of the great things He has done, faith rises up, and strength for the stretch ahead, seems to return. Finally, we are meant to ask the Lord for His help. If we are afraid, we need to pray for His courage to rise up within us. If we are weary and worn, we need ask for His strength to sustain. He is, where we are not. May we seek the Lord honestly, and remember all that He has done.

 

Seasons of silence,Do Everything in Love

quiet and alone;

feeling forgotten,

wanting to be shown.

Stop and remember,

the Lord’s faithfulness;

His grace and mercy,

in times of distress.

Time and time again,

His hand, evident;

He rescued and loved,

His peace swiftly sent.

Cry out to the Lord,

for He will give ear;

to all that we ask,

His presence is clear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that even when we feel like we are alone and abandoned, You are present and moving on our behalf. Thank You that our feelings are not indicators of Your working. Thank You that we can come to You and speak to You honestly and openly, wherever we are at, and You still love us the same. Thank You for Your faithfulness throughout the ages, so that we can look back and see and remember how faithful You truly are. Forgive us for doubting Your presence or Your willingness to intervene on our behalf because Your timeline is different from our own. Teach us to trust You and Your timing, and grant us Your peace in the waiting. May we persevere with confidence, trusting in You alone. Let us love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King as a result. Be glorified, O God, as we seek to trust You even when we are unaware of Your presence. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5