It’s the Heart That Matters
“...The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him...”(2 Chronicles 16:9, NLT)
When Jesus chose His twelve disciples, He didn’t choose people who had it all together. He didn’t choose the Pharisees, who kept all the religious rules, prayed at the right time, and gave what was required but whose hearts were not right. He chose people who had lots of flaws, who came out of dysfunction and weren’t raised in a religious environment. Man looks on the outside, at the performance, the credentials, the background, but God looks beyond all that. He knows it’s the heart that matters. He chose those whose hearts were committed to Him.
God is not looking for people who have a perfect performance. He’s looking for people who desire to please Him. Your behavior, attitude, and character may need some improvement, but just as with the disciples, God is saying, “I know your heart is sincere; your heart is set to do the right thing. So I’m going to show Myself strong in your life.”
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that I can come to You with an open and willing heart. Search me and know me. I struggle and make mistakes, and there is so much I need to improve on in my character, but my heart is committed to You. Show Yourself strong in my life today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Prayer for the Day
Heavenly Father, I thank you this day for all that I have. Even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe.
Let me never take for granted these gifts of life, oh Lord, but always remember that they come from you; without you, no man could make the sun shine or the tree bear its fruit. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. In the name of Christ I pray,
It’s Not about Your Performance
“...Now this wonderful statement—that he was accepted and approved through his faith—wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was for us, too, assuring us that God will accept us in the same way he accepted Abraham...”(Romans 4:23–24, TLB)
Too often we get our performance mixed up with our identity. You ask somebody, “Who are you?” and they answer, “I’m a nurse.”
But the truth is, that’s what they do, not who they are. You are a child of the Most High God. That’s where your value, your worth comes from—your who, not your do. You may do some wrong things, but that is not who you are. Nothing that you do changes your value because your value comes from your Creator.
So feel good about who you are. When you’re positive toward yourself, you’re in agreement with God. If you make a mistake, the moment you ask God to forgive you, He not only forgives you but He forgets it.
Quit remembering what God has forgotten. Quit listening to all the accusing voices telling you what you’re not. Your performance isn’t perfect, but you are accepted and approved through your faith. That’s what matters to God.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that You are the God of Abraham and my God as well. Thank You that You accept and approve me because of my faith and not because of my performance. I declare that I feel good about who I am and ask You to help me become my best. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
“...So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife…and she gave birth to a son…Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David...”(Ruth 4:13, 17, NIV)
A young widow named Ruth left her home country and moved to her elderly mother-in-law’s home to take care of her. They barely had enough food to survive. Ruth went into the fields to pick up the leftover wheat that the workers missed.
One day Boaz, the wealthy man who owned the field, noticed Ruth and told his workers to leave handfuls of wheat on purpose for Ruth. Now she didn’t have to work nearly as hard. God was meeting their needs, and she was so grateful.
But God is full of surprises. Just when you’re satisfied and think you’ve reached your limits, God has something bigger in mind. Boaz fell in love with Ruth, and they got married. Now instead of working in the field, Ruth owned the field! And on top of that, their great-grandson was named David. Ruth went from barely surviving to ending up in the family line of Jesus Christ.
God has something big coming your way!
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that You know every hardship and hurt, every unfair and difficult situation I have faced and will face. I choose to believe that You have more blessings and favor for me than I can dream. I believe that something big is coming my way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Prayer for the Morning
May all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul and revive my tired spirit: be with me today. Be at my side and walk with me; be my support, that your hand may be seen in every action I take, that your goodness may be in every word I speak, and that your spirit may inhabit my every thought. Make my thoughts, my work, and my very life blessings for your kingdom. In Christ’s name I pray,
"come, hide in your houses for a while until God's wrath has passed"
just here to say God isn't all sunshine and rainbows and lolipops. God is also a god of Anger and Revenge. after all God is the all consuming fire. kasama ako dun. kasama ka dun. kasama tayong lahat dun.
yes I am indeed implying that this covid is "god's wrath" and the CCP virus is merely used as a vehicle to spread His wrath. don't like it? maybe stop praying to God then. after all hihingi ka ba ng tulong sa taong mismong nag o-oppress sayo? hihingi ka ng tulong sa rapist or murderer mo? sira ulo ka ba?
God Loves Imperfect People
“...While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him...”(Luke 15:20, NIV)
Most of the time, we believe that God loves us as long as we’re making good decisions, resisting temptation, and treating people right. But there will be times when you compromise, times when you have doubts, times when you fail. When we don’t perform perfectly, it’s easy to think that God is far from us.
I say this respectfully, but sometimes religion pushes people down. It says, “If you make poor choices, you’re on your own.” But the truth is that when you fall, God doesn’t turn away from you. He comes running toward you. When you blow it, God doesn’t say, “Too bad. You had your chance.” Rather, He comes after you with a greater passion. When you make a mistake, God loves you so much that He pursues you. He won’t leave you alone until He sees you restored and back on the right course. That’s the mercy of God coming after you. God loves imperfect people.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that Your love and forgiveness are not based on my performance but upon the fact that I am Your child. Thank You that You love me, imperfect as I am, and that every mistake I’ve made and ever will make has already been paid for in full. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Prayer of Faith
Holy Jesus I am coming and coming to you, because you are my only refuge, my only certainty, my only hope. You are the remedy for all my ills, the comfort for all my miseries, the reparation for all my faults, the supplement for all that is wanting in me, the certainty of all my questions, the infallible and unfailing, inexhaustible source for me of light, of strength, of constancy, of peace and of blessing.
I am sure that you will never leave me and you will not stop loving me, you will never tire of helping me and of protecting me, because you love me with an infinite love.
Have pity on me, Lord, according to your great mercy; and make of me, in me, and for me, all that you wish. Because I abandon myself to you with full and entire confidence that you will never abandon me.
Who Told You That?
“...But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ...”(2 Corinthians 11:3, NIV)
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were living confident and secure with God. They knew they had His blessing and favor. But one day the enemy deceived them into eating the forbidden fruit, and immediately they were afraid. They ran and hid. When God called out to Adam, “Where are you?” Adam said, “We’re hiding because we’re naked.” God asked, “Who told you that you were naked?”
God is asking us today, “Who told you that you’re not good enough? That you’re just average? That you can’t accomplish your dreams?” Those negative thoughts didn’t come from our God. Those lies open the door to fear, insecurity, and shame. They focus on what we’re not, on the mistakes we’ve made, on what other people have said about us. Don’t let the enemy deceive you. You are a child of the Most High God. You are not average or mediocre; you are royalty. Keep your crown on.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that You have given me a crown of glory and honor and even the enemy does not have the power to take it from me. Thank You that I am covered by Your grace and made in Your image. I declare my confidence is in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Prayer for Forgiveness
Lord, I have betrayed you by following my own way; I have denied you by fearing to follow yours; and I have mocked you by not taking your death seriously. I sometimes feel like I am lost. Let your forgiveness find me. Hold me in your strong arms and give me your new life. Live in me and with me this day, that I may by your power find forgiveness and be made ever anew, reborn from above, living fully in your Spirit every minute. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray,
No More Weak Prayers
“...You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures...”(James 4:2–3, NKJV)
When James says “you ask amiss,” the word amiss means “sick, weak, miserable.” When we ask to just get by and endure, that’s a weak prayer. That’s asking amiss. God is saying, “I created the whole universe. Don’t come to Me with a weak prayer, asking Me to help you live in mediocrity. Ask big, knowing that I’m the God of more than enough. Ask Me to show out in your life, to heal you from that disease, to accelerate your goals.”
When you ask big, God calls that a healthy prayer. That’s when He says to the angels, “Go to work. Release My favor. Open new doors.” Ask to be the difference maker. Ask to set a new standard. When you say, “God, I don’t have the funds for this project, but I want to thank You that blessings are chasing me down,” that’s your faith being released. That’s what allows God to do great things.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that You want to do great things in my life so that You will be glorified as the God who is more than enough. Help me to pray healthy prayers that release Your favor and open new doors. I declare that am taking the limits off You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
For Those Praying with Me
Heavenly Father, there are people praying with me, right now, whom I will never meet. I don’t know their names, or what country they live in, or what they may look like, but I will know their souls, for we are brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that we might be united in the Holy Spirit, and that I will know and feel the kinship and love, in my spirit, of those who share these prayers with me.
Marked by Honor
“...Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling...”(Proverbs 20:3, NLT)
A lot of times we think winning a fight is a mark of honor. We walk away from an argument thinking, I won that fight. I told them off.
That’s not winning. You fed your ego, but it didn’t strengthen your relationship. You may have won the argument, but how much damage was done?
When we say hurtful things, it exacts a heavy price. The real way to win is to avoid it and walk away. That’s a mark of honor. It takes humility. Pride wants to argue and have the last word.
There’s a right way and a right time to address your differences. Do it calmly, express your concerns, and then leave it there. If it starts getting heated, walk away. When you do it God’s way, He’ll fight your battles. He’ll change what needs to be changed.
Do what you can to keep the atmosphere loving, kind, and peaceful. Be a person of honor and avoid the fight.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You for calling me to be a person marked by honor. Help me to know the right way and a right time to quietly and calmly address my differences with others. I want to do it Your way and leave it to You to fight my battles. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Prayer of Purpose
Lord, I believe you have placed me on this earth for your own divine purpose. Father, open my eyes to see it, let me walk in your plans for me. Show me this purpose, oh Lord, and let me daily live in it. Just as a stone does not see the ripples it makes when it is cast into a pond, we may not see the fruit of our devotion in our lifetime; so do not let me wallow in the illusion of despair, mighty God, for to believe that my life is without purpose is to doubt Your wisdom.
The Lamb of God
“...The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!...”(John 1:29, NKJV)
In the Old Testament, the only way to have forgiveness for sins was to sacrifice an animal. Every year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would offer a sacrifice for his sins and the sins of all the people. If the sacrifice met all the requirements, their sins would be taken away, and they would be covered until the next year’s Day of Atonement sacrifice. This was an ongoing process of temporary forgiveness.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who actually takes away our sin. Now we can live with the confidence that all our sins—past, present, and future—have not just been covered, but they have been washed away by the power of His blood and death on the cross. We have an everlasting release. The price has already been paid, and you are forgiven. Don’t go around feeling guilty, condemned, trying to pay God back for your mistakes. Receive His forgiveness, receive His mercy, receive His love.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that I am forgiven, thank You that I am redeemed by the blood of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You that the price for my sins has been paid once and for all. I receive Your love and forgiveness and refuse to live under guilt and condemnation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
<click here for link>
A Prayer of St. Basil the Great
I bless you, O God most high and Lord of mercies, who forever works great and mysterious deeds for me, glorious, wonderful, and numberless; who provides me with sleep as a rest from my infirmities and as a repose for my body tired by labor. I thank you that you have not destroyed me in my transgressions, but in your love toward mankind you have raised me up, as I lay in despair, that I may glorify your majesty.
I entreat your infinite goodness, enlighten the eyes of my understanding and raise up my mind from the heavy sleep of indolence; open my mouth and fill it with your praise, that I may unceasingly sing and confess you, who is God glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, the only-begotten Son, and the all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Be Steadfast and Immovable
“...Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord...”(1 Corinthians 15:58, NKJV)
To “be steadfast and immovable” is a powerful choice we need to make. “I am not going to be moved by my circumstances. I’m not going to let what others say about me steal my joy. I’m not going to live worried about my finances. I’m going to do my best and trust God to do what I can’t do. I have the grace from God to handle anything that comes my way.”
As long as you’re allowing circumstances to determine your peace and joy, your life is going to be like a rollercoaster ride that’s based on what goes your way. That’s surface living. God is saying, “You have to go down deeper in your faith.” Rather than try to use your faith to control your circumstances, use your faith to control yourself in the midst of those circumstances. When you stay in peace, that’s a place of power. You know that no weapon formed against you will prosper.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You for Your peace and joy as I put my trust in You. Help me to be steadfast and consistent, unmoved by the ups and downs of life. I believe You have given me the grace to handle anything that comes my way today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Saint Francis’ Prayer of Praise
You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong;
You are great.
You are the Most High,
You are almighty,
You, holy Father, are
King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One,
Lord God, all good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love,
You are wisdom,
You are humility,
You are endurance.
You are rest,
You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches,
And you suffice for us.
You are beauty,
You are gentleness.
You are our protector,
You are our guardian and defender,
You are courage.
You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith,
Our great consolation.
You are our eternal life,
Great and wonderful Lord,
(Saint) Francis of Assisi, ca. 1210
“...Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful...”(1 Peter 3:10, MSG)
Our mouth gets us into more trouble than just about anything else. You can’t go around telling people off, saying hurtful things, and expect to step into the fullness of what God has for you.
Many times, it’s not big things that are keeping us from God’s best; it’s not some big sin or big mistake. It’s the small things. The apostle Peter said that if you want to enjoy life and see good things, say nothing evil or hurtful. How much higher would we go if we didn’t have to have the last word or have to be right, but just quietly keep honoring God, being respectful, staying on the high road?
When David faced a lot of opposition and had plenty of opportunities to lose his cool and tell people off, he prayed a great prayer in Psalm 141: “Take control of what I say, O Lord, and keep my lips sealed.” Make that your prayer every morning.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that I can embrace life and see my days filled with good by taking control of what I say. I choose in advance to watch my words carefully today. I ask You to help me keep my lips sealed when I’m tempted to complain and argue. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
For God’s Blessing
O marvelous God, who is my light, my life, and my salvation; Grant to me, I pray, such fullness of faith and such a consciousness of your love and goodness, that your blessed Spirit, dwelling within me, may give me health of body, peace of mind, faithfulness of heart, and holiness of life and being; through the mercies and merits of the same, my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Faith Gets God’s Attention
“...In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked.He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed...”(Acts 14:8–9, NIV)
We all have difficulties and reasons to be sour, but we can’t let those things talk us out of what God wants to do. In today’s Scripture, Paul could see an expectancy on this man’s expression that he had the faith to be healed. Paul stopped his message and said, “Stand up!” The man jumped up and began to walk for the first time.
The question is, can your faith be seen like this man’s was? Can anybody notice that you’re expecting to go to a new level? Are you talking like it’s going to happen, thinking like it’s going to happen, acting like it’s going to happen? There should be an expectancy that you’re ready to be healed, ready to be free, ready to go to a new level. “What I’ve believed God will do for me could happen today!” When your faith can be seen in your attitude, in your expressions, in how you talk, that’s what gets God’s attention.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that I walk by faith and not by sight. Thank You that Your power can turn impossible situations around, open the right door, and bring an abundance of unexpected favor. I am living with a sense of expectancy that You will do great things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Prayer of an Aging Jesuit
Dearest Lord, teach me to grow gracefully. Help me to see that my community does me no wrong when gradually it takes from me my duties; when it no longer seems to seek my views.
Rid me of my pride in all the “wisdom” I have learned. Rid me of the illusion that I am indispensable. Help me in this gradual detachment from earthly things to grasp the meaning of your law of time.
And please, Lord, let me still be useful, contributing to the world my optimism, adding my prayers to the joyful fervor and courage of those who now take their turn at the helm.
And now, finally, may I have a clear, a deep understanding of the joyful destiny you have prepared for me, guiding my every step from the first day of my life.
"Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."
~ James 4:14
Our Hibiscus plant is beautiful when it blooms. The ephemeral blossom looks like a bright pink trumpet with yellow tentacles coming from its center. If one is not there the day it blooms, one will not be able to enjoy its grandeur because by the end of the day the blossom will fall to the ground. This spectacle lasts for only one day.
The Bible says that this is the way our lives are, and we who are older adults will attest to this. We still recall when our skin was taut and muscles vibrant, but now the wrinkles and sags have replaced these things to make outward beauty less desirable in the eyes of the world. Shakespeare agrees with his words, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage. . .” Yes, to me it seems, metaphorically speaking, merely an hour ago I was young, strutting and fretting my millisecond on the stage of life.
We really do not know about our tomorrows, we only have the memories of our yesterdays. But we have also learned great lessons through Christ from our yesterdays. The biggest lesson is not to worry about our tomorrows. We are like a little vapor that appears one day and vanishes the next; however, there is no hopelessness in the seemingly- inconsequentiality of it all.
Our little, vaporous lives are worth eternal value to God. Like the ephemeral Hibiscus blossom who does not fret about its beauty lasting for only a day, we have one short life to live, one chance to get it right. There is no time to fret about tomorrow, but we can get our today right by letting Christ make us strikingly radiant. He will redeem and make us new, in His likeness. We will shine like the stars in heaven for the whole world to see His glory in us. God does not want us to worry about things that have not yet come to pass, but to trust Him to make our future eternally beautiful indeed.
Thank you, Christ Jesus, for making me eternally beautiful in you. Amen.
~ Jenny Calvert
Balancing Your Books
“...I will give them back everything they’ve lost. The last word is, I will have mercy on them...”(Jeremiah 33:26, MSG)
In accounting, the term balancing the books means making up for a loss. If an account has a deficit, when you balance the books, you have to first take all the losses, all the deficits, and total them up. Then you know how much you need to add to balance it. When the books are balanced, nobody can tell there’s ever been a loss.
In the same way, God has promised that He will balance the books of our lives. We all go through things that put us at a deficit—a rough childhood, the loss of a loved one, something that doesn’t make sense. If nothing changed, we would be out of balance.
Life is not always fair, but God is fair. You may go through seasons when you’re out of balance, but God is going to settle your case. He will add up all the losses, the disappointments, and the heartaches, and He will pay you back.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that You have seen the hurts in my life, and You feel my pain. I may be unbalanced right now, but thank You that You have promised to balance my books. I believe that You already have a way to settle my case and pay me back. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
To Witness Boldly
Dear Heavenly Father, I lower my head before you and confess that I have too often forgotten that I am your child. Too often, I carry on my life as if you do not exist, falling far short of being a bold witness to You. For this, I ask your forgiveness, and I pray that you will give me strength, courage, a clear mind and an open heart when you call upon me to witness to your mighty love. Remind me always to strive to be who You would have me be, no matter where I am, or what I am doing, or who I am with. Make me into your lantern, precious Lord, and let your light shine through me so bright that all can see it.
Rise above the Challenges
“...But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint...”(Isaiah 40:31, NKJV)
In today’s Scripture, it compares a believer to an eagle. It’s interesting how an eagle handles challenges such as a crow. When the eagle is out flying, the crow will come up right behind it and pester it, doing things to annoy it. Although the eagle is much bigger, it can’t maneuver as fast. Instead of getting upset and trying to fight with the crow, it simply spreads out its seven-foot wingspan, catches the winds and rises higher and higher. The eagle can fly at heights the crow cannot.
We all have some crows in life—people who try to pester you into conflict, situations that tempt you to lose your peace and get upset. The good news is, you’re an eagle. You can go up higher. You can fly where crows can’t fly. But if you stay down at their level, get upset with every crow, get involved in battles that don’t matter, those are distractions. They’ll keep you from your destiny.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You for Your promise that I can wait upon You to renew my strength and enable me to rise up with wings above the challenges that come against me. Help me to walk in peace and not allow others and situations to get me involved in battles that don’t matter. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
For Each of Us in Our Work
Almighty God, heavenly Father, who makes it possible for me to work and who gives every creature its food, declaring your glory and showing your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in my work, from coveting material goods, from falling into the temptation of serving mammon and putting money in the forefront of my life.
Help me to perform the work which you have put at my hand, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men as well as myself; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lived and died only to serve us.
Who’s on Your Side?
“...By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me...”(Psalm 41:11, ESV)
In today’s Scripture when David looked at where he was as the king and thought about all he had gone through to get there—King Saul trying to kill him, people betraying him, armies attacking him—he recognized that God was behind the scenes the whole time, not letting those enemies defeat him. It gave him a boldness for he knew the Lord was on his side.
All of us have some of these “by this I know” experiences. When you look back at how you survived that sickness, how you put yourself through college, how you broke that addiction, you realize it was only by the grace of God, and here you are. When you know the Lord is on your side, it gives you a boldness. You don’t fall apart when opposition comes. Your attitude is, “You’re messing with the wrong person. I may look ordinary, but I have a secret: the Most High God is on my side.”
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You for the history I have with You and for every time You have not allowed the enemy to triumph over me. Thank You for all the times when You’ve shown me that You are at my side. By this I know that I will triumph. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Lord God, Thee Almighty Father! In the name of your Beloved & Divine Son and our Savior Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Spirit! I Entrust my Faith unto Thee. So that Your Will shall be Done according to Thy Word. Glory, Thanks and Mercy be yours, Amen!!!