Lord, you are most holy and wonderful! You desire for us to live in wholeness and health. You establish families and bless us with love. I lift this precious couple into the warmth and light of your love. Bless them LORD, God. Bless them. In the places where they have hurt each other, give them an abundant supply of grace so that they can heal. Let them be found again and again saying “I am sorry” and “I forgive”. Ease their tension; soften their pain. Open their eyes to a depth of understanding and truth that will become a bond of knowledge; let this bond be a foundational stone. I pray that your mighty protection surround them in such a concrete way that they can feel and experience so that it will be easy for them to internalize the height, depth, width and breadth of your love for them. Protect them Lord, God, from all evil that would seek to destroy. Bless each one with the fulfillment of being the one to say the words that sets the heart of the other free. In the storm, may they find in each other a place to rest. Make your plan for their future shine brightly, and bring them to it, LORD, with all the fruits of your Holy Spirit. Bless them, LORD God, I pray with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You are the author of all health and well-being, worthy of all our praise and honor. Let it be so, LORD, let it be so.
(Stained glass from First Presbyterian, Athens, supporting church of The Vine).
Gracious Lord, it is difficult to have a heart of gratitude when things hurt,
yet you would have us trust in you no matter the circumstance.
I pray for couples who are in great hurt and pain today
because of hurt and pain that happened years, decades ago.
Lord help us to sort the old from the new
so that we can deal realistically in the here and now.
Help us to confront old hurts so that we don’t replicate them again and again.
Heal the old so that the present can also be healed. Help us to trust and have gratitude
for your hand on our every step. For your children who hurt in this way we pray. Amen.
By Jack Ragland
Click Here to Listen: Earth to Heaven (Description of music below).
Here I am. See me and know me. My mind, heart and soul are focused and consumed by so many earthly things that do not satisfy. My focus does not give life and life is what I need. Forgive me and transform me. I release my grip and let go. I lift my gaze again to heaven. What does it mean, LORD, that as I walk this earth I walk as a citizen of heaven? A most mysterious gift. Let heaven be my focus today. I need a Savior. Come, LORD Jesus, Come. I seek you. You will find a welcome place in my heart, a place only you can fill. You alone have the power to bring everything under your control. Be LORD of all my heart. Into every concern, into every thought and every unsettled place, I welcome you. I let go. Transform my earthly focus again and again so that I may know the radiance of heaven so that your glory shine through me even as you transform every aspect of my life. Come, LORD Jesus, Come. Based on Philippians 3:19-21
Musical Meditation: After an introductory phrase, “Here I am” 4 times, then 3 longer cycles of ‘focus on earthly things’ or ‘earthly angst’ released and focus shifting to heaven represented by notes in the higher register. Then at 5:20, “Come, Lord Jesus, Come” 3 times followed by “Come, Lord Jesus” 3 times; ending with peace in His presence. My prayer is that you find release from your own earthly focus and know your citizenship in heaven. By Amanda W. Ragland
Please show me the truth of who You are because I am afraid that deep wounds in my life have shaped how I see You. You say that You are compassionate, kind, slow to anger, and rich in love. You speak of Your tender mercy and gentle heart. Those things are hard for me to see; they are hard for me to believe…but I want to. Would You help me to know, both in my heart and in my head, that those things are true of You? Would You drive out the distorted pictures, birthed in places of hurt, that keep me from coming close to You? I want to be able to come close to You…I really do. Amen
by Kim Brown
Gracious God, grant us open minds and open hearts to receive your grace and wisdom. Through the power of our Holy Spirit dwelling in us, may we have the courage to face life’s challenges and the resilience to remain faithful. Give us eyes to see your vision for how we might love one another and have reverence for all your creation. All this we pray in the name of the one who calls us to follow him, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
By Jim Norris, Director of Clergy Care Ministry for The Vine
Lord, I call to You. Please, help me. My heart is torn, ripped and broken. I am betrayed again. I feel raw. I despair. I am afraid, and my spirit is faint. The hurt might consume me. I cannot speak.
Precious LORD, Prince of Peace – I lift this child of yours into the light of your love. Please LORD, let her know your hand on her chest and on her back over her heart; let her melt into your presence as you are very near. Hold her as she collapses into your arms that can truly save. In your mighty power, send from her, as far as the east is to the west, any evil or destructive force that would cause further harm. May the warmth of your love melt any obstacle or hardness that would hinder your Spirit from permeating this wound. Cover the raw and torn place with the very healing balm of Gilead. LORD, our Redeemer, our Savior, wrap her damaged broken heart with bindings, delivered with your loving hands so that her heart comes back to the shape you intend. Let your bindings cover her wound as the balm permeates and your Spirit restores. Let your promises flood her soul. I pray that this time of healing you have begun in her may be set aside as a sacred season where she knows your presence as a small child knows a loving father. Hold her on your lap, and let her marvel in your patience. I praise you that you, O LORD, stay with us, that you see us through our seasons again and again. Believing and standing firm in your promises, I claim by faith for her the glorious day when you will remove the bindings to find her heart restored, her soul mounting up on wings like eagles souring in your love. How majestic in your name in all the earth. Let it be so. Amen.
“Open” by John Ragland, copyright 2013
I stand before you, LORD. I am known. I am open. I am aware of Your mighty presence that touches me, moves me. I am in awe. Oh, that You might fill me, use me, take me where You would have me go. How is it, GOD, that You might allow me to do a part of your kingdom work? Your presence burns in me. I am overwhelmed. I am brought low; I soar on high. Holy, holy, holy are You LORD God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! Your love is amazing. I can barely contain it. Only let this love flow through me, and I will go. I will serve. I will move. I will be. I will speak. I will remain silent. Just say the word. I will praise. Against the odds, I will stand. I will shout. My LORD and my GOD. For this most precious gift, I bow before You and give You glory. prayer by Amanda Ragland
Trials are certain because we are human. Facing trials, we can grab hold of fear and fear again. Or, we can choose to grab on to God’s Word and declare our faith against the odds. The faith itself is a gift from God that can grow as we hold one verse to the next. May the LORD himself bless us all. What a sweet God – giving us all we need.
I will fan into flame the gift of God that is in me. I will not be timid. I will receive power, love and self-discipline from God. I will not fear. I will not let fear collect to form dismay. I will be strengthened and upheld by God. These trials on me, I will accept with joy. My faith is tested. I will see that it is turned into perseverance. I will allow perseverance to finish its work. May I stand before God mature and complete – not in my power, not by my power, but by His. His power in me – glory be to You oh God – my Rock – my Redeemer. I rejoice in sufferings again for the opportunity to persevere that will give me character and that character will became hope because the LORD GOD pours love into my heart by the Holy Spirit. By God’s provision of faith – I will not waiver in unbelief but I will be strengthened in my faith. I will give glory to God because I believe God has all power. Yes, I can voice with the disciples – “Surely I will drown.” But I believe my LORD can and will calm the storm. My faith is in me – the gift of GOD. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
(from 2 Timothy 1:6-7; Isaiah 41:10; James 1:2, Romans 5:3, Romans 4:20, Luke 8:24, Philippians 4:13)