Prayer Devotional: Day 243

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8 NKJV

Justice, mercy, and humility are all things that can guide human behavior.

It’s normal to feel angry, sad, or frustrated, and surely Jesus felt those emotions, too, but He did not sin.

Sometimes mercy means showing mercy towards ourselves. We can give ourselves a break because we are not perfect, and God is the only one who is.

Humility doesn’t mean that we never accept a compliment. It is okay to achieve things, and as long as we don’t let ourselves and our ambitious overshadow what Jesus wants for us, bettering ourselves is fine.

The Lord knows that we are human, and He loves us flaws and all. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 242

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. – Romans 8:1 NKJV

God doesn’t point out everything that we do wrong. He does not condemn us.

Instead, God loves us and sent His son to atone for our sins.

What does it mean to walk according to the Spirit?

When the Holy Spirit guides us, our choices become more clear. Our focus shifts from ourselves to loving others.

Treating others with love is not always easy, especially if they don’t treat us nicely to begin with, but God can give us strength to walk away from conflict and to be at peace with all people as much as possible. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 241

For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord. – Habakkuk 2:14 NLT

God is everywhere, and He is inside us as well.

The water in the sea covers a vast area, yet it doesn’t cover all the earth.

Not everyone is aware of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Maybe they grew up believing in another religion, or perhaps they may not believe God exists.

We can’t assume that all our friends already know who Jesus is, and it’s one of our callings to share the good news.

If we haven’t already, we can devote just a little time each day to share our love for Jesus. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 240

And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. – Luke 1:17 NIV

John the Baptist prepared people to hear what Jesus had to say.

God gave John power to influence.

When someone we respect speaks, we pay extra attention.

We sometimes don’t realize how much influence we have with our own words.

We can plan and prepare, but God determines our steps.

We never have to feel lost because Jesus knows the Way. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 239

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? – Matthew 6:25 NKJV

I have had severe food allergies since I was 16 years old, and for years I have been very careful about avoiding soy, peanuts, hazelnuts, raspberries, and water chestnuts (to name a few).

Because of my allergies, I been conscious of what I eat, not because I don’t think I can afford decadent meals, clothing, and possessions, but because if I eat something I am allergic to, I have about 30 minutes to get an EpiPen and Benadryl, or else I might go into anaphylaxis.

I have only ended up in the ER three times for anaphylaxis, but each time, I had hives all over my skin, plummeting blood pressure, and breathing problems. One of the symptoms of anaphylaxis is a feeling of impending doom, and I have actually experienced that.

Do I worry about what I eat? Yes.

The good news is that God is the Great Physician, and He always provides a solution.

Over six years ago, I found out about NAET, which is an alternative allergy elimination technique, discovered by Dr. Devi Nambudripad in the 1980s. The method, although tested by only a few double-blind studies, is based on acupuncture, acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines that have been around for years.

In short, I go to an acupuncturist and endure the needles in order to get relief from my myriad of food allergies and sensitivities. After a treatment, I avoid the allergen for 25 hours, and if I “clear” it, I can eat the food without reacting as much.

God gives us illness for a reason: to teach us. Whenever I feel like complaining about a food that made me “crash”, I also remind myself to thank God for the patience and lessons He is teaching me.

It’s not always fun, but God gives us life, and for that we can be grateful. We can savor each bite of food we eat, for those foods we can eat. We can clothe ourselves comfortably. We can live a life, knowing Jesus saved us and cares about every detail of our lives. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 238

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. – John 15:9 NKJV

Jesus loves us, flaws and all.

When we mirror God’s love, we can love everyone, not just the people who already love us back.

Our assumptions and pride can sometimes get in the way of loving other people as Christ loves us. Our past hurts are in the past, yet they find their way to our present thoughts more often than not.

Mindfulness and being present is a tool that God gives us to redirect our thoughts towards love and away from resentment. The breath is an achor and a gift from God.

Jesus can direct our work, our home, and even our hobbies if we let Him. We need not control everything. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 237

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; – Matthew 6:19 NKJV

My husband and I bought a 40-year-old home in New Mexico, so it is no surprise when we find problems.

I found in our side yard an antique cast iron pot, covered in rust. Not sure if it is salvageable.

The other day our plumber discovered that we have a massive amount of mold under the old water softener, so probably a whole wall will need to be torn out and replaced before a new water softener can be installed. The assessment alone of the mold damage was pricey, and we haven’t even begun repairs.

This earth is our temporary home. The Lord is getting a mansion ready for us in heaven, where there is no mold, rust, or decay.

The things of this earth will pass away, but God’s Word will never pass away. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 237

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

One of the four agreements is to be impeccable with your words. Although the four agreements come from Tolec traditions, the Bible tells us very much the same thing.

My Grandpa Joe put it this way: “be careful what you say, how you say it, and whom you say it to.”

I have a tendency to get “hangry” — hungry plus angry. If I am hungry, I am more likely to speak before I think, which is not a good habit.

Because our words are a matter of life and death and hold more power than we know, we can make it a habit of pausing and praying before speaking. Eating a snack before any potentially difficult communications is not a bad idea either.

The Lord knows that we are not perfect, and He can even give us the right words to say if we ask. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 236

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

It has been a while since my husband and I had a date night, so we jumped at the chance to get dressed up, leave our child with a babysitter, and attend my friend’s wedding on Saturday, May 7th.

It seems like my husband and I rarely get to hold hands and enjoy each other’s company, uninterrupted by a little boy demanding juice, candy, and a pet bunny.

Our Lord strengthens and blesses married couples just as much as He does those who are single.

When we get distracted by the news and its endless stream of war, doom, and gloom, we can easily forget that God is with us and we don’t need to feel dismayed. He comforts us. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 235

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV

To all the mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day, and to anyone who does not have kids, I hope you enjoy your Mother’s Day with your mom.

Love, especially parental love, requires a great deal of perseverance.

I was watching my little boy play at an indoor play area at a mall the other day, and about ten minutes before the mall closed, the other kids calmly put on their shoes and went with their parents.

Not Jacob. He proceeded to put on his shoes and sprint away from me, and I power walked behind him, all across the closing stores, occasionally calling out in a frustrated voice, “Jacob, stop!”

Mall guests smirked at me as my little boy evaded my grasp.

After chasing after my toddler for an exasperating ten minutes, I called my husband, angerly told him that he needed to help me, because I literally couldn’t catch up with our son, and my husband finally cornered our escapee kid outside of the See’s Candies store.

Needless to say, I didn’t feel like a successful mom.

After I caught my breath, I was eventually able to calm down, and at my next chance to access WiFi, I downloaded a free Kindle book on mindful parenting.

Motherhood is easily one of the hardest jobs around, and we can trust that God will give us the strength and perseverance we need to get through whatever comes our way. Amen.

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