It May Look Like I’m Surrounded

It May Look Like I’m Surrounded

It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You.”  

The song, “Surrounded,” by Elyssa Smith, is a cherished Sunday-morning stanza among some in my church family.  The lyrics remind us that we are surrounded, indeed. The Bible states that God is not only beside us, but He is covering us, He is our rear guard, and He goes in front of us as well.

     He is with us:  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

     He is covering us:  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

     He is our rear guard:  But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isaiah 52:12

     He is in front of us:  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 31:8

When we realize God is beside, covering, behind, and in front of us – providing, protecting, prodding, and paving a path for us – it gives us a calm assurance we cannot gain from anything else in this world. 

Problems and enemies that we feel surrounded by will decrease and ultimately disappear in comparison to what we are truly surrounded by – our Almighty God!

When we contemplate God’s steadfast, surrounding presence in our lives, it can surely compel us to enthusiastically sing of the enormous blessing of being enveloped, encompassed, and embraced by our Heavenly Father – to joyfully sing the powerful truth of that song. 

Thank You, God   — “It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You.”

New Prayers for a New Year

New Prayers for a New Year

As we prepare to begin a new year, it is a perfect time to thank God for being a God of new starts, second chances, and redemption. How incredibly blessed we are to be loved and protected by Him!

For the New Year, I would like to share three passages and a prayer that goes with each one of them. I’m including a printable for you as well: Click here

Happy New Year, Friends! May you strive toward a deeper faith and a wider witness!

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Dear Lord, I thank You for making me a new creation. In Your strength, I can choose to let go of old behaviors, thoughts, and mindsets that do not glorify You. With Your help, I can embrace the new heart You have given me –  a heart that longs to put You first in my life, to proclaim Your power to a hurting world, and to make known Your love through my words and actions. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”  Lamentations 3:22-24

Dear Lord, I cannot fully express my gratitude to You for loving me with a steadfast love. Your love is perfect, and though I am not worthy to receive it, You declare that I am worth it. I am thankful for Your mercies being new every morning and that I can depend upon Your grace and Your second chances. Your faithfulness is beyond compare, and I ask You to help me to trust You more fully. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

Dear Lord, when I am weary and cannot clearly see how You are working in my life, help me to trust Your love and Your desire to refresh and revitalize my life. I thank You for being a God who pursues my heart. You are not a passive God – You play an active role in our lives and desire to make a way for all of us. Open my eyes and heart to Your Presence and Your guidance. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

Let’s Live Loved

Let’s Live Loved

You are loved. So very loved. He loves the you that you are now…He’s not waiting for you to become a better version of you so that He can love you more.

When we grasp that He loves us, really loves us, we long to discover who He created us to be. To nurture the gifts He gave us and to use them for His glory. To allow His light to shine through the unique personality He entrusted to us.

When we grasp that God lavishes us with true love, (not the cheap, watered-down version of love that this world has embraced, but the authentic, sacrificial, genuine love that God Himself created) we are compelled to take hold of the identity He has given us. Old desires fade and desires He placed within us increase. Our tightly held grip on who we think we should be loosens until we surrender and therefore ask Him to shape us into who He created us to be. He won’t love us more. It’s simply not possible for Him to love us more than He already does. But we will be in His will, and there is no better place to be.

Let’s celebrate that we are perfectly loved by our perfect God. Let’s live loved.

A Thanksgiving Prayer for Your Loved Ones (Free Printable)

A Thanksgiving Prayer for Your Loved Ones (Free Printable)

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

I am sharing a Thanksgiving prayer for your loved ones. Let someone know you are thinking of them and praying for them this Thanksgiving season!

You can download a free printable of this prayer right here!

Have a great day, and may you strive toward a deeper faith and a wider witness today!

For her:

Dear Lord, please touch my loved one in a special way this Thanksgiving season. Give her a grateful spirit as she counts her blessings and thanks You, the Giver of each one. 

Remind her how important she is to you. Help her to believe that her life holds sacred value. May she know in the very depths of her soul that You have entrusted her with Your purpose, Your power, and Your peace.

Enable her to have an enjoyable and memorable Thanksgiving. In the midst of potential differences of opinion and belief, may she be a shining example of positivity and unity. May she sense Your love and Your presence going before her, guiding her with every step. 

May others see You in all she says and does. 

In Your holy name I pray, Amen. 

 

For him:

Dear Lord, please touch my loved one in a special way this Thanksgiving season. Give him a grateful spirit as he counts his blessings and thanks You, the Giver of each one. 

Remind him how important he is to you. Help him to believe that his life holds sacred value. May he know in the very depths of his soul that You have entrusted him with Your purpose, Your power, and Your peace.

Enable him to have an enjoyable and memorable Thanksgiving. In the midst of potential differences of opinion and belief, may he be a shining example of positivity and unity. May he sense Your love and Your presence going before him, guiding him with every step. 

May others see You in all he says and does. 

In Your holy name I pray, Amen. 

He is Already There (Deuteronomy 31:8 – Jesus Is Beside Us)

He is Already There (Deuteronomy 31:8 – Jesus Is Beside Us)

Ever since I was little, I have pictured Jesus beside me when encountering a situation that caused doubt or dread in my mind. The image of Him walking alongside me has provided a boost of bravery and boldness. And lately, a thought that has produced even more confidence is that while the Lord is undoubtedly right beside me, He is ahead of me making a way as well.

Even though we may be facing uncharted territory, the Lord knows it like the back of His hand. Unknown to us are the results, ramifications, and potential rewards of obediently following Him into unfamiliar terrain, but He is ahead of us and knows all about them. 

The Lord leads us but does not leave us. It is not consistent with His character to forsake us or to leave us high and dry. When He beckons us into waters that are deeper, difficult, or demanding, He has already navigated through all those waves and will lovingly lead us.

Continue reading “He is Already There (Deuteronomy 31:8 – Jesus Is Beside Us)”

Miles of Blessings

Miles of Blessings

When my alarm sounded that May morning, I strongly considered rolling over and going back to sleep. A quick check of the weather app on my phone confirmed that I, along with a few thousand other participants, would be competing in our respective races in the rain coupled with a brisk temperature that I usually avoid running in. However, I pep-talked myself out of my comfortable bed and made the hour-long drive to the event location, motivated by the rewards of checking off another running goal, the dryness, warmth, and variety of sugary treats found at the indoor finish line, and sipping a steaming cup of coffee on the drive home. 

When the 10k race began, I settled into my pace and eagerly anticipated the aforementioned rewards. Usually, the finish line is where my focus remains fixated, but on this particular day, God opened my eyes to blessings along the route.

The first blessing was being able to spend time in prayer as I ran. I prayed for endurance, thanked God for recent answers to prayer only He could orchestrate, lifted requests to Him, and listened for His voice. The second blessing was perseverance. He provided strength and stamina for each step through less-than-ideal conditions. The third blessing was the people God placed in my path. I appreciated the supportive fans who cheered for us, particularly the children who enthusiastically offered high-fives as participants passed.

If I had concentrated only on the finish, I would have missed miles of blessings along the way. The truth is, whether we are running a 10k or experiencing a challenging waiting season in life, we will fail to appreciate God-sent gifts along the journey if we aim all of our attention at attainment.

The blessings God provided while I ran can be found in life’s waiting seasons as well. Just as the 10k was a perfect time to enjoy the blessing of prayer, waiting seasons are also a perfect time to spend meaningful time in prayer, drawing us closer to God. Similar to how He blessed me with the gift of perseverance as I ran, He will also develop perseverance in us when we are sustaining a waiting season. Perseverance proves to us that His strength is all we need in the present and gives us confidence that it is all we need for our future. And the 10k blessing of appreciating the people God placed in my path can likewise be experienced during waiting seasons when we intentionally take our eyes off ourselves. Consequently, our relationships are enhanced, and we have more opportunities to display the love of Jesus to a world in desperate need of more of it.

While we wait for the blessing, let’s not miss the blessing in the wait. Next time we are in the midst of a waiting season, may we not become so focused on the finish that we miss out on the miles of blessings God lovingly provides along our route. 

Monday Morning Prayer

Monday Morning Prayer

Dear Lord, it’s a new day and a new week, and I look to You to be Lord over all of it. I thank You for being not only able, but also willing to supply the strength, courage, and wisdom I need for new challenges. You promise to be beside me, and You are also before me, making a way. Help Your indescribable love to overflow out of my life. Help it to touch the people You have placed in my path. Direct my words and my actions so that they are a reflection of that same love. Continue reading “Monday Morning Prayer”