My Earnest Prayer

By Sharon Chiellini

In the quiet morning hours I seek you Lord and you wait for me as always. I seek to love as your heart loves. I long to be able to forgive and forget as only you can do. I seek to learn your ways and manifest your Spirit. May the things that break your heart also break mine but may the heartaches of this world never envelope me so completely that I cannot keep my head above the water. May my eyes always be able to find your face. How dark a world this would be without your peace, your strength and your protection.

Fill me with courage to stand when those around me fall so that your power may be seen to those who do not believe. Give me strength to face my fears and continually remind me that you have already conquered them all. May my adversaries flee as far as the east is from the west because they know that you are forever with me. Through the power of the shed blood of your son on the cross, they will flee from my family members, my friends and my neighbors. They will flee from my home and my daily path. Like water flees a drop of oil, may those who seek to harm my inner circle know that your hedge of protection so solidly shields those I love that not even a hint of darkness may penetrate it.

Open the eyes of my children and grandchildren and protect them. Fill them with holy wisdom to seek your will because they have seen with their own eyes how the enemy seeks to destroy. Teach them that the battles of this world are not of flesh and blood and that you have already defeated the evil in their world.

Until the prayers of another day and until I come into your presence may I bless you with my heart and soul and cause not your holy heart to grieve.

A New Day - A New Dawn

By Sharon Chiellini

Life is full of twists and turns. Rarely does a conscious moment pass us by that we are not called to make a decision about something large or small. I have pondered the notion from time to time how different life would have been if I had made a different decision at a crucial time. If only I had done this or said that. If only my relationship with the Lord had been more intimate at that time, I would have saved myself from walking through the fire yet again. It gets to a point where you just get tired of smelling like smoke and you want to stay as close to the living water as possible. So once you've restored yourself into right standing with God, how do you make right what your decisions have made all wrong?

"Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing...Joel 2:12-14

Our church had the privilege of having Evangelist Kelly Green in the pulpit this past Sunday and his reference to the book of Joel gave me one of those "A-ha!" moments that filled an empty space in my theology. After speaking about coming through a long and difficult span of time in the life of his family, he noted that in Joel chapter 2 it says "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten..."
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten - the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other." Joel 2:25-27

Now having been a Christian since the age of 9, I have known for as long as I can remember that the Lord forgives us of our sins and washes us white as snow through the blood of Christ. But I have also been painfully aware of the fact that we still have to live with the consequences of our sin even after having repented and been forgiven. But to know that if we return to him with our whole heart he will not only forgive us and bless us but will also give us back the years we have lost? This was huge for me and brought immeasurable healing to my soul. I pray it does the same for you. So stop feeling like it's too late. It's never too late to plant a new crop and harvest a new life for yourself. Now don't get me wrong, you can't go back in time but the Lord can make the years you have left seem like a whole new lifetime.

Until next time,
Strength and Honor in Christ