In my Guided Life Ezines I’ve mentioned many times that I watch very little television and rarely watch the news. It was hard to get away from the horrific events and senseless tragedy that transpired in Newtown, Connecticut with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
A recent post I did was on how we are all connected. As the body, the Apostle Paul says,
“When one member suffers, all of the members share the suffering.”
As the body of Christ, we truly share in the suffering with these victims and their loved ones.
There is no way to comprehend why something so senseless can happen. This event confirms that we don’t know how long we will have here.
We need to make each day count in the way we love and do our part to make our world a better place by practicing love to the fullest. I Corinthians 13:4-8 says,
“Love endures long and is kind; love is not jealous; love is not out for display it is not conceited or unmannerly. It takes no pleasure in injustice but sides happily with truth. Love never fails.”
Truly, this act was the furthest thing from love.
My heart goes out to the victims and their families. There will be awful days ahead as loved ones have to pick up the pieces of shattered lives and struggle to put the pieces back together for a long time to come.
Join me in prayer for not only Newtown, but for our troubled world. I pray that if you have been affected by this tragedy or have other losses in your life, that you will find the peace and strength to carry on.
In God’s love,
In my ezine, The Guided Life, I share my personal journey of how I continue to learn how to trust God. Many of my readers share their stories with me. It is such a blessing to hear how God is guiding their lives too! You can join the journey with me by filling in your name and primary email address. Your information will never be shared. I look forward to sharing our journey together!
Loneliness is a feeling that can overwhelm us whether we live in a remote area or in a crowded city. Sadly, loneliness can exist in relationships with two people living under the same roof. There can be a gulf of hurt, anger and resentment so wide that feelings of loneliness and isolation fill that gulf.
If you are feeling alone, know that you are not alone. God created us to have a relationship with us.
The disciples felt alone as Jesus told them that he had to leave them. To assure them that they weren’t alone, he said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:18
Jesus went on to say, in John 16:32 and 33, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Here is a prayer to help you feel God’s presence, right here, right now.
A Prayer for Loneliness
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help me to feel your presence.
My heart aches and I feel so alone.
I miss a human touch, someone to take my hand or give me a hug.
I long for someone to tell me everything will be alright.
Please send your Comforter to me and take this loneliness away.
Help me instead of feeling empty, to feel full of the love you have for me.
Help me to know in my heart and remember that according to your Word; I am never alone because you are with me.
Your love and peace is with me, right now, in this moment. I feel it and I am not alone.
We thank you for the gift of life.
We thank you for our own life and for the gift of our children.
We thank you for the miracle of birth, whether we carried a child in our wombs or a child was carried to us to call our own.
We thank you for this precious gift.
We thank you for the gift of instincts to care for our children with the gentleness of a lamb and to protect them with the ferocity of a lion.
We thank you for our mothers who provided us with the love and values we needed.
Two of my favorite Bible verses are Psalm 121:3 & 4 – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Stated simply, God’s door is always open.
If you’ve never stopped to think how important you are to God, think about this. We have access to God, the Creator of the Universe, 24-7. In business terms, let’s just say that God is the CEO of everything.
Have you tried to get through to a CEO? It’s not easy. There are gatekeepers all along the way. You might have something valuable to say, a good business proposition to offer, but you may never reach the decision maker because of all of the people down the ladder that block access to their door. When we fail to receive a response after multiple attempts, we usually assume that we aren’t important enough to warrant a response.
We have instant access to God twenty-four hours a day. We don’t have to go through a gatekeeper. He’s there ready to listen because we are important to him. We can receive help from God 24-7.
Almost every night when the house is dark and quiet and I lay my head on my pillow, I acknowledge that no matter how late it is, God is there. I find myself going over the happenings of the day with him and asking him for help in areas where I need it. I also remember others who have needs and express those concerns. Most of all, I am grateful to know that while the world sleeps, God is there watching over us.
There is a book that a friend gave to my husband years ago. When we were clearing out some clutter I came across this book. It’s a daily devotional guide written by “two listeners” as God speaks to them. The book is God Calling. I have reread this book for the last three years because I believe it contains simple but powerful wisdom.
One of the day’s writings is called – Rule the World. It has to do with the subject of prayer. Since praying is so easy to do, we may think that it’s such a little thing. After reading this writing, prayer is one of the greatest powers that we possess.
There is the saying, “strength in numbers.” The Bible says in Matthew 18:30, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” I believe that we can gather as the children of God, even if we aren’t physically together. We can combine our strength to make our requests known.
A Prayer for Guidance
I was doing some spring cleaning the other day in my office when I came across a yellow piece of paper. It was folded neatly into four parts. On the outside were hand written words in pencil:
A prayer for Jackie
I suggest you say this prayer, or at least, touch this piece of paper anytime you are going to talk about “the issue” in the next days.
I opened up the piece of paper and saw the date – July, 2004. I vividly remember the reason for the prayer and who gave it to me.
At that time I was in my first relationship after having been divorced. My life had completely changed. The divorce had been very painful and I went through years of healing. “The issue” was the struggle I was having in this new relationship.
This note came from my choir director. We had become very close and he had been a stable, spiritual influence in my life. I talk about angels coming to help us when we need it and Marcos was certainly one of those for me.
The prayer was as meaningful today as it was in 2004, so I wanted to share it. If you are seeking guidance, keep this prayer handy to help you stay on the spiritual path. “The issue” can be anything that you are struggling with as you seek a life guided by God.
I can only move my feet one at a time. And I can only move my feet in the direction my eyes lead me. Be the guide of my vision, turn my face to the path you have prepared for me and keep calling my attention, tapping on my shoulder, whenever I start staring towards my own illusions and delusions.
In the name of Christ, the Light of the World, who illuminates our souls.
Each December I let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season steal my joy. Not this year! This year I am celebrating Christmas with a new idea every day.
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. When I talk about prayer, I mean talking to God. I am not talking about saying The Lord’s Prayer or a standard, memorized prayer. I have to confess that I have taken my definition of prayer for granted. My definition of prayer is talking to God – just as I am talking to you through the words on this page and through my video on the home page. I have come to understand that “my” definition is not the same as others. Here’s a story to explain what I mean.
In seeking a life guided by God, I have experienced the most profound understanding of God’s love for me after venting raw emotions. Take for example last summer going into the fall.
I had to have some surgery done on an out-patient basis. Everything went well and I was feeling good by the fifth day until I received a phone call. It was my eighty-eight year old mother telling me that she had fallen and had broken her wrist. I wasn’t supposed to drive and the good news was, my husband, Robert, was at a rare meeting in town as opposed to being sixty miles away on a typical work day. We picked her up and took her to the emergency room. More good news was that she had broken the left wrist and she is right handed. That would be the end of the good news.
Four weeks later I received a call that my brother had collapsed on the running trail and needed to have open-heart surgery. One week after that announcement, my mother called telling me that she fell and had broken the other wrist. (No wonder I hate answering the telephone at home!)
My mother is fortunate to be healthy and lives on her own. But with two broken wrists, arrangements needed to be made to put her in a care facility until she could use her arms again. So, for weeks I shuffled back and forth, doing laundry, visiting her, sometimes taking her meals, and making sure she was getting the care she needed. During this time I was also trying to launch a business.
Thank goodness I had my constant companion of ten years, Duffy the Golden Retriever. After coming home from running all of the day’s errands, I would be physically and mentally exhausted. Duffy would always burst through the door to greet me with tail wagging and full of adoring love and affection. He had gotten me through the most difficult times of my life and this was ranked up there as one of the worst.
My brother came through the surgery with flying colors. After repeated visits to the nursing home, I was more confident that Mom was being taken care of and she was doing as well as could be expected. Things were starting to look up – that is until Halloween.
From a weather standpoint, It was one of the most beautiful days ever. But at 11PM that night, Duffy got sick and wanted to go outside. He tried to throw up and couldn’t. When he came in, he had doubled in size. I called the animal hospital emergency room and they told me to get him in right away – that his stomach had turned. Robert and I raced the five minutes to the hospital. I wasn’t crying, I was wailing. We got Duffy comfortable and were given the options. We decided to do everything to save him which would mean surgery.
I was fortunate to see him. Duffy had been sedated and wasn’t suffering anymore and he recognized me. I got to say good-bye. I knew in my heart that he wasn’t going to pull through. The doctor said they would call us in a few hours.
At this time it was well past midnight. We drove home and I chose to wait out the time on the patio looking up at the stars. I was SO angry with God. I know that I pleaded for God to save him, but I knew given Duffy’s age that it was probably hopeless. As the hours ticked on, I knew that too much time was going by without a phone call. I yelled. I screamed. I shouted. How could God take Duffy away from me now after all that I had been through? Why of all times now? I don’t ever remember being so angry at God.
It was 4:00AM by the time the doctors called. They discovered that Duffy had cancer of the liver when they did the surgery. He was not responding well. We had to make the decision to put him to sleep.
After my anger with God, the next day I realized that God is a God of mercy. The situation and the alternatives became clear to me. Duffy had cancer. He had been slowing down on our walks and was starting to look old and thin. I could tell that something was wrong. With being ten years old, he was already within the standard 9-12 Golden life cycle. If he had lived, he would have suffered as the cancer would continue to take its toll. I would have never been able to watch him suffer.
That Halloween, Duffy had the perfect day. He spent the day doing what he loved the most – being with his family, walking and meeting people. When it’s our time, we should all have such a perfect day.
I believe that God knows what is best for us. I also believe that God wants us to be real with him. That night on the patio, I was very real. These verses illustrate this well taken from Revelation 3:15 & 16:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Perhaps you are angry at God for something that has happened in your life. It’s okay to be angry with God, he can take it.
In our busy and demanding world, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Take a moment and read the following prayer. In this moment, know that God is here.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for being the God who never sleeps.
Thank you for always being here for me, even when I’m not always here for you.
Thank you that you are Love and that you want the very best for me.
Thank you for your promises and that you never change.
I am feeling totally overwhelmed.
Please help me.
Help me to rest in the fact that you know what is best for me.
Forgive me for turning away from you and trying to control the outcome in situations in my life.
The Bible says that you are not the God of confusion but of peace.
Help me to rest in your love and to feel the peace of Christ which passes all understanding.
Help me to feel your love and comfort.
Help me to be still and know that you are God and that you will take care of me, just like any loving parent takes care of their children.
Your Word says to cast all of our anxiety on you because you care for us.
I turn all of my burdens and concerns over to you.
Please guide my every step and help me to be attentive to your loving direction.
In name of your Son and our Savior Jesus,
If you want to receive encouragement and guidance as you walk on this spiritual path called life, join our community by subscribing to The Guided Life Ezine. There is no cost. Simply go back to the top of this page and put in your name and primary email address and you will receive an email filled with true stories of faith, courage and additional resources to help you live the life God intended you to live.