Pray Expectantly

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to You and wait expectantly. – (Psalm 5:3, NLT)

Every morning, Lord, I lay my gifts before You and look to You for help. And every morning You hear my prayers. – (Psalm 5:3, ERV)

In the morning, O Eternal One, listen for my voice; in the day’s first light, I will offer my prayer to You and watch expectantly for Your answer. – (Psalm 5:3, VOICE)

 

Most mornings, I am up long before the sun has risen. This is a treasured time of solitude in the silent stillness, where I am able to invest time in His word and reflect on God’s goodness. Though I am spending this time intentionally, my prayers are fairly familiar each day, as my main request is to be equipped to love well. The Lord is faithful and kind, and grants far more patience than I would ever have on my own. However, I imagine there is far more that I ought to be asking for. There are dreams and desires that He has planted in my heart that lie dormant and hidden, rather than being placed on the altar with anticipation before Him – hopes of mighty movement in lives, circumstances, and things yet to come, that I need to present before Him and watch expectantly for Him to answer. God is faithful forever, if we only choose to come before Him in trust. May we begin each day presenting our praise and petitions before our faithful Father, and watch expectantly for Him to answer, as He always hears.

 

O Lord as I rise, Approaching the Throne of Grace

I come first to You;

With all that I am,

Trusting Your word’s true.

Listen for my voice,

At the dawn’s first light;

I know You’ll hear me,

In us, You delight.

I’ll offer requests,

And all of my praise;

Watching for answers,

You’re faithful always.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You each morning and present our requests to You, and You hear our prayers. Thank You that we can pray anytime about anything, and You are available and willing to listen. Thank You that You long for us to be in communication with You. Forgive us for neglecting to bring forth the things that we keep hidden in our hearts, as You already know them anyway. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You for all things, and wait in expectation, knowing that You are moving on our behalf to bring answers. Guard our hearts from discouragement when answers do not come in the time frame we are hoping to see. Thank You that Your timing is perfect. Show us how to love and pray for those around us in meaningful and tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we lift our prayers and praise before You each morning, and wait expectantly for You to answer. Amen.

 

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

 

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

Don’t Let Worry Stand in the Way

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT)

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds. – (Philippians 4:6-7, ERV)

 

Always the truth of His word is timely. I love that He cares for us individually and so personally. Tomorrow is the day of my grandmother’s memorial. Though I am not a fan of public speaking, I agreed to share. What’s more, is I don’t read my poetry aloud. It is such a space of baring my soul, that it is too vulnerable and raw for this girl who so seldom sheds tears. That being said, a few weeks ago, on my way home from work, the first four lines of a poem were forming in my mind in memory of my Gram. I knew that they were meant to be written down and shared, so when asked, I agreed to speak, despite my disdain for standing in front of folks. The four lines became twenty-eight, and contain words I know that I am meant to share. I have been worried about not being able to get through the reading, as a lump forms in my throat when I barely whisper the words out loud on my own. Yet here I sit, this morning, and am reminded again, that I am not to worry, but rather I am to pray and tell God what I need and thank Him for all that He has done. As I began to do just that, I was reminded of His faithfulness the last time I had to speak at a memorial for my dear friend who had passed. His peace was present in a way that guarded my heart and mind, and I was able to speak when I feared I would be unable to say a word. May we ever give our worries to the One who is able to grant us peace, let Him know what we need, and thank Him for all that He has done.

 

Let not our worries,

Hold Hope He is Faithful

Come stand in the way;

Instead, seek the Lord,

In all things, choose pray.

Tell God what’s needed,

Thank Him for what’s done;

Our faithful Father,

Holy, gracious One.

His peace will meet us,

Guarding heart and mind;

Calm out of chaos,

This love we shall find.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t want us to worry, but rather You are ready and willing for us to bring our burdens and concerns to You. Thank You that we can tell You what we need and thank You for what You have done, and as we do, we experience Your peace that guards our hearts and minds. Thank You that we are Yours. Forgive us for allowing ourselves to get worked up and worried over things rather than bringing them before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be in constant communication with You, allowing Your peace, comfort and clarity to come, rather than our anxiousness. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers peace and comfort in places of worry, so that they can see Your peace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pray and give our worries to You, and thank You for all that You have done. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Consider Great Things

Life is busy; and busy, can be distracting. In the midst of all that moves us, we are meant to slow down and take time to reset and reflect, restoring our priorities to their proper place. As Samuel was nearing the end of his life and the people had asked the Lord for a king, to be like the nations that surrounded them, he offered much sound advice. A verse that stood out to me this morning, as a reliable reminder to keep our priorities in their proper place, is the following: “But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.” – (1 Samuel 12:24)

 

To fear the Lord is to stand in reverent awe of who He is, and to understand that He is God, and we are not. Serving Him faithfully with all your heart is to withhold nothing; allowing Him access to all that we are, and offering our whole selves unto Him. When we feel that tender tug on our heartstrings to do something to serve, we don’t think; we act. To consider what great things He has done for us, is to remember His faithfulness. It takes little looking to see how He has been faithful. Being awake and able to read His word this morning is just one small example of His unending faithfulness unto us. The sun rose, as it was meant to do, I draw breath, without effort… What an incredible God to give us the gift of life and love and His unending faithfulness!

 

Take time to slow down,Consider Great Things

to think of great things;

the gifts from the Lord,

that salvation brings.

His love and His grace,

freedom from demise;

His great strength to stand,

against all the lies.

Stand in total awe,

of our Mighty King;

serve Him faithfully,

as our offering.

Remember the Lord,

and His faithfulness;

all glory to Him,

God of Righteousness!

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are God and we are not. Thank You that You alone are worthy of all of our reverence and awe; for You created everything that is, and was and is yet to be. Thank You for Your loving kindness and faithfulness to us, though we deserve it not. Forgive us for getting so caught up in the chaos of life, that we don’t stop to remember all that You have done for us. Help us to remember Your faithfulness, and trust that You are still the same God today as You were before. May we have hearts that are willing to serve You completely, and trust You with our whole being. Let Your love shine through us as we seek to serve as You call us. May many come to know You as their faithful Father, as we honor You in all that we say and do. Be magnified in the midst of us, as we consider the great things You have done. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

 

 

Dispelling Discouragement

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.  The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:6, 8

*courage – the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain

*strong – of great power or courage

*forsake – abandon, deny, reject or renounce

Never, not ever,

image by Tom Norvell

image by Tom Norvell

will our Father go.

What He has spoken,

is what will be so.

He says be not scared,

in fear; terrified.

His presence remains,

we won’t be denied.

He goes before us.

He makes plain our path.

He’ll stay beside us,

shield us from hell’s wrath.

Be not discouraged,

may His strength rise up.

Extend heart and hands,

and He’ll fill our cup.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You we do not need to fear, for You are our Source of strength and courage.  Thank You that no matter what we do, You never leave nor forsake Your children.  Forgive us for being fearful and not relying on Your strength, and lead us to learn how to lean completely upon You.  Teach us to rise up and extend our hearts and hands to You, trusting that You will supply all that is needed to navigate each new obstacle.  May the strength and courage that we display in You, lead many in love to know what a faithful Father You are.  Amen.

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

Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gifts as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” – I Corinthians 1:7-9

All that we need to be found blameless before Him on the day we stand before His throne, has been granted to us through His Son.  He has given each of us spiritual gifts and strength in Him to grow our faith, edify the body, and endure until we see Him face to face.  God, who has called us each by name, is faithful to equip us individually, as we trust in Him.

The hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” is flooding my heart and my head, as my spirit soars at the reminder of the depth of His love and faithfulness to me.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,

There is no shadow of turning with Thee;

Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not

As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!  Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided –

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

(copyright 1923. Ren. 1951 Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188)

For complete hymn with music, go to: http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/h/19

If we abide in Him, we come to know His faithfulness, steadfastness, compassion, mercy, provision, love, and glorious grace.  From us, He wants faithful fellowship.  For us, He has salvation, spiritual gifts, strength, faithfulness and hope for the day we will join Him in heaven forever.  May we continue to seek our Savior, as we have been found by Him, our forever faithful Father.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we lack nothing we need to stand strong until the day You summon us home.  Forgive us for forgetting how truly faithful You are and for placing our trust anywhere outside of You.  Teach us to trust in Your faithfulness that knows no end.  Thank You that You call us and keep us.  May our strength in You, and our spiritual gifts from You, speak volumes to those who need to hear.  Use us as Your instruments so that we may be a sweet, sweet sound, in Your ear.  Amen.

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

Truth be Told

“The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at Him.  They said, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” – Luke 23:35

photo by Angie Lawlar

Boy, what a loaded verse!  People who did not know Him, yet despised Him, could not help but speak truth about Him.  Even in their sneers and spoken mockery, truth was told.  From their mouths: He saved, He is the Christ, He is the Chosen One.

Jesus, friend to sinners and physician to the broken, stood strong in His resolve to redeem us in our wreckage, despite the detestable display by those whose hands He allowed to beat His body and hang Him upon the cross.  Jesus saw past the junk, and kept His eyes on His Heavenly Father, knowing his mockers and murderers would soon know just how true their words had been.

He saved others.  You, me, and all who call on Him as our Savior and King, have been saved through the significance of His sacrifice for each of us, once and for all.

He is the Christ of God.  Sent as a baby, raised as a Son, gifted as a man, and at last returned to His rightful throne, seated beside God, the Father.

He is the Chosen One.  Set apart, yet among us, the only One to lead a blameless life, qualifying Him alone to be the Chosen One; the only One worthy to save our souls through His sacrifice on the cross.

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for our contributions that made the cross necessary.  Thank You that You provided a path for our redemption, restoring us again to a right relationship with You.  Teach us to treasure the gift of forgiveness that You have granted, and help each of us to hold You in the proper place in our lives and hearts.  May Your majesty move our lights to burn brightly, so that others too, might see the significance of those spoken words.  Amen.

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

Much to Even More

“He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.” – Luke 19:26

photo by Heidi Kay

“He said, ‘That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of.  Play it safe and end up holding the bag.” – (The Message)

To each of us, He has given.  For each of us, much is required.  We must be willing to be bold before both God and man, to share that which we have been granted.  We have all been given grace, so we ought to also extend grace generously.  The gift, that thing that He has planted uniquely in each of us, is meant to be shared, exposed, passed on, and presented; not hidden in the hollows of our hearts.  We must risk vulnerability, to reap the remarkable joy found in His favor.

He loves us wherever we are and in whatever we do, however, there is so much more!

As we step out in faith and surrender ourselves to His strength, the reward is always worth the risk.  If we fall, we learn how to get back up again.  Perseverance provides hope for us to hold.  If we do not waiver, and stand fast in our Savior, we are reminded of how we are to recognize His redeeming strength, and rely on Him completely.

The beauty of it all, the ultimate reward and blessing for us to behold, is found not in the gift, but in the Giver; when we at long last see Him face-to-face, and our hearts will hear the wonderful words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  The very thought of standing before Him and feeling His pleasure for me, a fallen and flawed kid, saved by grace, overwhelming!

No, our salvation depends not on what we do, yet the fullness of His goodness and grace is granted as we step out in surrender – exchanging our goals, strength, dreams and hopes, for His.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus, we each have been given much, with the heavenly hope of even more.  Lead us to love lavishly, as You have loved us.  Grant us the grace and the  courage to uncover the gifts You have given, that we have been hiding.  Teach us to trust You to be our strength and our song, and may we serve You faithfully, our whole life long.  May many be blessed by our faithful obedience to You, God.  Amen.

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

Acceptance As We Acknowledge

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.” – Luke 12:8

photo by Joan Davis

If we give honor and glory to God before the people around us, He will hold high our hands as His kids, before all of the heavenly hosts.

I find it easy and natural to talk or write about anything that is exciting to me.  When passion is present, it becomes contagious.

How much more easily ought I communicate about the Lover of my soul; my Source and Supply in every circumstance?

Sometimes, it does seem easy.  When conversations come, and it is clear that Christ has prepared each heart for a moment such as this – it feels as if every breath is ordained by God, and our very souls sing of His glory, as we speak freely of our forgiving and faithful Father.

However, there are times when wisdom eludes me, and weakness and weariness have found way into my walk.  The hurt of another heart threatens harm to all who hear, yet Jesus would still have drawn near.  He needed not an invitation to be present.  His touch, His kindness, His healing, and His provision, provided way to get to the heart of the matter, and guide lost souls toward a safe and forever dwelling place.

We can only acknowledge Him before others, if we know Him for ourselves.  We can only know Him if we hold fast to He who dwells in our hearts, and spend time in His presence, soaking in His word.

I don’t know about you, but the very image of God the Father being pleased with me and proudly presenting me as His daughter before all of the hosts of heaven, is such a sweet space of hope that I can hold.  It is not dependant on perfection; rather it is reliant of the receiving of redemption.  Freely He offers, and it is lovingly granted to every heart that asks…

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You know us each by name, and that You long for us to become Your beloved as we turn to trust in You.  Lead us in love so that we too, might love well as we share of all that our Savior has done before everyone whom You have prepared to hear.  Grant us wisdom and courage, grace and direction, so that we might share the story You have scripted on our hearts.  Let our very lives lead others straight into Your sweet and holy presence.  Amen.

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