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Living in Prayer: Talking to myself, or to God?

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Talking to myself, or to God?

In the Word

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

Of the Word

Do you talk to yourself? Someone jokingly answered, “Of course I do. That’s the only way I hear the right answers.” Seriously, however, people caught talking to themselves might be thought to be a bit deranged.

The psalmist talked to himself, asking, “Why are you so hopeless? Why are you so depressed?” He also gave himself a solution: Put your hope in God … (Psalm 43:5b).

In the wee hours of the morning when infomercials reign, all kinds of self-help programs are advertised to a bleary-eyed audience. All make big promises, and some do offer helpful insights, but there is no substitute for the real thing: in the face of hopelessness, we have a sure and present hope given to us through faith in Jesus Christ.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, when I am downcast and discouraged, help me turn to You. Help me to remember that You are my help, my hope and my salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Prayer. Written by 2003-2005 LWML Christian Life Committee. 22/31 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Living in Prayer: Expect the unexpected!

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Expect the unexpected!

In the Word

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

Of the Word

In this busy, high tech, over-involved world, it’s hard to feel connected to people, let alone feel a connection to God. But Scripture gives us many examples of God listening and answering His people, no matter what their situation was.

God heard Paul and Silas’ prayer from a jail cell (Acts 16:25), Samson’s prayer from captivity (Judges 16:28) and Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the whale (Jonah 2). In what might seem to us as impossible situations, God not only heard the prayers of His faithful children, but He answered in great and mighty ways. Paul was freed, Samson was given one last ounce of strength and Jonah was expelled. Freedom came to each of them according to God’s design. God used these His servants to do the unexpected. He will use you, also, to do His will. Expect the unexpected!

Walking with my Lord

Lord, You hear my words and my innermost thoughts. Help me learn to pray confidently, expecting You to answer in ways which might seem unusual to me. Teach me to expect the unexpected and to follow Your leading. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Prayer. Written by 2003-2005 LWML Christian Life Committee. 21/31 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Faith-filled Parenting: Repentance

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Repentance

In the Word

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Revelation 3:19

Of the Word

Why are the words “I’m sorry” so difficult to say? Is it our pride that keeps us from admitting when we are wrong? We sin daily and our sin separates us from God. We mistakenly think we can fix this situation on our own. God knew this was not the case, and He provided the solution by sending His Son Jesus as our Savior. He asks His children to repent of their sins, to turn away from pride, and to find peace and forgiveness in God’s Word.

Parents need to repent just like everyone else. They need to put aside their pride, acknowledge their mistakes, and say “I’m sorry.” When parents model repentance and receive forgiveness, children, the ultimate imitators, see the blessings of forgiveness lived out in their family.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: Encourage your child to go beyond a glib “I’m sorry” and add the words, “… and I’ll try not to do it again.” Remind them that Jesus forgives them.

Walking with my Lord

Forgiving Redeemer, I am sorry for the times I have failed You and others. Thank You for suffering and dying for me that I may repent and receive Your life-giving forgiveness. Please make repentance and forgiveness the rule in my family. In Your merciful name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 14/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Living in Prayer: Think big! Ask boldly!

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Think big! Ask boldly!

In the Word

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20–21

Of the Word

“To boldly go where no man has gone before” were words that opened a popular sci-fi TV show, but they could explain a Christian’s prayer life as well! Think of Hannah who wanted a child so much she prayed fervently and hopefully. When God granted her prayer she knew it wasn’t that she had “won” a prize, but that she had been given a gift out of God’s gracious loving heart. (1 Samuel 1:27)

In his letters to the Colossians and Ephesians, Paul spoke of his unceasing prayers for the followers of Jesus. He was bold in his prayers to ask for God to give these new believers knowledge of His will and the strength of the Holy Spirit so they might lead a life worthy of the Lord. (Colossians 1:9–10 and Ephesians 3:16–19) When you pray, do so boldly knowing that … with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26b).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, I come before You today boldly claiming the promises You made through Your Son Jesus — promises to bless me and guide me in all my ways. When my faith is small and weak, fill me with Your Spirit so I may learn to live according to Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Prayer. Written by 2003-2005 LWML Christian Life Committee. 19/31 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Faith-filled Parenting: Kindness

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Kindness

In the Word

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Of the Word

The loving mother held her daughter as she tearfully wailed, “Mom, I just can’t stop crying!” As she hugged her daughter tightly, the mother softly reassured her, “I love you, and I want to help.”

Some mothers might have kept their distance or ignored the issue. She could have said, “Get a grip, girl,” or “Pull yourself together.” But this mother offered kindness, love, and understanding.

Jesus did not ignore us, but saw our sinful condition. In love He went to the cross and gave His life for our sins. As parents motivated by Christ’s love, we want to model that same kindness in our relationships with our children. Kindness is love and forgiveness in action.

Stretch your faith-filled parenting: Join your child in performing a random act of kindness for another family member, friend, or neighbor.

Walking with my Lord

Kind and loving Savior, Your kindness is shown to me by Your love and forgiveness. Help me to demonstrate Your kindness by the love and forgiveness that I share with my loved ones. In Your compassionate name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Faith-Filled Parenting. Authors: Rev. Larry and Shari Miller. 13/32 ©2009 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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View the printable PDF of this devotion, Kindness

Living in Prayer: Pray always

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Pray always — anywhere, any time, any place!

In the Word

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11

Of the Word

Today’s schedule: go to work, pick up groceries, make a casserole and take it to a sick friend, help with the children’s homework, make lunches for tomorrow, put kids to bed, fall asleep during the late news. When our day is so hectic, how can we add “prayer time” to an already overly committed schedule?

Maybe the solution is to incorporate prayer into every event of our day. While preparing the meal for a sick friend, pray for her needs and ask God for the wisdom to bring her words of comfort. When you drop off the meal, ask to pray with her. Before your family meal, add petitions for family concerns. When the worries of the day keep you awake at night, turn to God in prayer.

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise (James 5:13).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, starting today I will try to add more prayer time to my life. Please be patient with me as I learn to change my complaining into prayers for help, for comfort, and then for thanksgiving. This I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Prayer. Written by 2003-2005 LWML Christian Life Committee. 17/31 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Living in Prayer: God is present!

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

God is present! Prayer is powerful!

In the Word

For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20

Of the Word

Have you ever helped with a community project or volunteered to help someone in need after a natural disaster? Did someone come forward and offer a group prayer at any time during the work? Was there a prayer of thanksgiving after the work was completed? Prayer can become a powerful tool at times like these.

Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:19–20).

Have you ever wanted to offer prayer in a public setting, but felt timid, afraid or even unwilling to express your faith in such a public way? Remember God the Father is there to give you strength; the Holy Spirit is there to guide you; Jesus is there to support you. How can you go wrong?

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, help me take my personal prayer life and expand it into the outside world. I know it will not be easy the first time I try to pray aloud with others, but I know that the Holy Spirit will guide me and that You will understand the meaning of my words. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Prayer. Written by 2003-2005 LWML Christian Life Committee. 16/31 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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