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Friday, September 17, 2021

Panic: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                  Panic

                Panic rises 

                like a tide sweeping

                over devastation

                enemies take advantage

                pummel threats

                jeer with satisfaction

                tears run again

                as a current

                over destruction

                river swollen

Psalm 37:25: "I have been young, and now I am old, but I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread."

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Reflection: Harsh: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions: 

                1. Has grief ever created a panic within you? Or a sense of utter devastation? What was the trigger?

                2. What role does such harsh truth play in shaping our identity as God's people?

               3. What brings you calm to survive even the most unbearable circumstances?

Share: Is there someone in your life right now that needs that hope? Pray for a word that you could share if possible.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Harsh: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry 3:46-48: ".... Panic and pitfall have befallen us, Devastation and destruction; My eyes run down with streams of water Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Harsh

Lord, You have gifted us with free will and too often--or maybe always-- we take it for granted and take it too far away from You. We forget to live into gratitude and obedience to Your intent. And Your service as You lead.

Then we blame You for our own harsh failures and barriers than come. And allow panic to become our reaction.

Forgive us, we pray, for not listening, not following Your words and Your plans. For not trusting You in every moment.

Only in obedience to Your will can we truly begin to walk and serve with an honest heart. So despite our failures when our minds cannot make the connections, please may Your words direct us from our hearts as You lead.

Your thoughts,

Friday, September 10, 2021

Unheard: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                Unheard

                Her city now debris
                rubbish flaps in the wind
                ash coats as a gray cloud
                stray animals follow
                odors thinking possible
                meal, jerk away from
                strench.

                Cower once more.

                Can prayer pierce
                through garbage. Fall
                back broken, unheard.

                Filth sticks, barricades
                answers.

Psalm 37:24: "Though we stumble we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand."

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Reflection: Heard: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

        1. How does this depiction of God challenge you or frighten you?

        2. Do you think that sometimes God refuses to listen? Why? Especially when He has promised His forgiveness.

        3. Is it possible that our prayers do not go through because of His mercy to us?

Share: What prayer requests has He denied to you in the past for which you are grateful?

Monday, September 6, 2021

Heard: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Lamentations 3:43-45: "...Thou hast covered Thyself with a cloud. So that no prayer can pass through..".

Heard

All through Scripture we are invited to listen to God's words, to act upon them and to share whenever possible or sent. Prayer is His eternal gift and guidance. So this closed door is confusing and unsetting. Why?

To keep us from praying down a wrong path until we realize it? To hold our anger or grief from retaliation? To give us time to see more clearly, see a true perspective, to be willing to follow His path even if danger and sorrow are ahead?

Lord, do You block some prayers for our protection? Especially when we have inhaled twisted information, or unseen dangers, or have been fed lies?

Yet we can not stop praying or we will drift away. Please continue to show us how to pray, how to wait, how to discern barriers and boundaries. But to keep trusting in Your answers--in Your time-- in faith.

Your thoughts,

Friday, September 3, 2021

Return: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                 Return

                Turns within to

                examine heart, mind

                soul ready to return

                not in outward penitence

                but from real desire to

                truth's obedience

                not a lifted show of hands

                instead honest supplication

                now prepares for

                real deliverance.

Psalm 37:23: "Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when He delights on our way;"

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Reflection: Hidden: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions:

        1. What keeps us from deep examination before God? Are there parts of your life that feel hidden from Him and in need of forgiveness or redemption? 

        2. How do we know when we are inwardly honest and not resting on superficial words?

        3. Where are you struggling to be obedient to His truth this week?

Share: Are you willing to accept His deliverance?

Monday, August 30, 2021

Hidden: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Lamentations 3: 40-42: " let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the Lord. We lift up our heart and hands Toward God in heaven."

Hidden

Lord, we need Your guidance to remember that all Your words have purpose and not to take them for granted. That just as they are Your special words to us, we are to share Your truth as a priviledge and not as a chore.

Only in Your Spirit can Your truth be spoken and shared from within to share with others. If our hearts are not tuned into You then we can only speak words that will dissolve. And keep Your insight hidden behind our barriers.

Please keep showing us how to pause and check in with Your voice every time. In everything. Revealed by Your light.

Your thoughts, 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Penitence: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                Penitence

                Grief-stained
                city stood now
                in penitence
                accepted judgement
                given by God alone
                calm under deserved
                impotence, stripped
                authority its just penalty
                given by grace only
                chance of restoration
                impossible unless under
                almighty hands.

Psalm 37:22: "for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land, but those cursed by Him shall be cut off."

                

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Reflection: Halt: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions: 

                1. Are you carrying a grudge or complaint against someone? Against God?

                2. Why do we think ourselves justified?

                3. What to you is true penitence?

Share: The psalmist says that God daily carries our burdens for us. (Psalm 68:19) What stands in your way today from accepting His salvation?

Monday, August 23, 2021

Halt: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Lamentations 3: 37-39: "... Unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill will go forth? Why should any living mortal, or any man, Offer complaint in view of his sins?"

Halt

We each need Your forgiveness Lord for all our ongoing grumbling and negative reactions when situations do not go the way we want. And then the worry that follows coming upon us as an attack. Within or without our thoughts and actions.

Instead please teach us, remind us, to pause and pray.

So that we will instead connect to Your purpose, and see the situations through Your sight, before we react with our next steps.

Please teach us to learn Your language from Your heart and truth. And then be on Your time frame only.

Thoughts,

Friday, August 20, 2021

Prisoners: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                 Prisoners

                There is no heart cry
                left unheard
                no innocent victim
                left unseen
                human rights buried
                still recorded
                laws subverted
                still on tablets
                no cover-up
                hidden from truth
                justice all prevails
                in heaven's courtroom.

Psalm 37:21: "'The wicked borrow, and do not pay back, but the righteous are generous and keep giving.'"

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Reflection: Worthy: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

                1. To crush, to deprive, to defraud--how often do we do these within our thoughts if not within our actions?

                2.When have you felt deprived from the presence of the Lord when seeking justice?

                3. According to these verses what does God desire? How does He view justice versus oppression?

Share: What attitude do you need to give to Him in prayer today in heaven's courtroom?

Monday, August 16, 2021

Worthy: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Lamentations 3:34-36: "....To deprive a man of justice In the presence of the Most High...of these things the Lord does not approve."

Worthy

It is a bit frightening to recognize how much our instinctive reaction to anything we consider an affront, or attack, or even the minor irritations we feel, should be returned as if we were in a battle.

And yet the Lord shows us His mercy over and over again. He gives His compassion in our failures and forgives our false versions of self-centeredness. In His heart He considers each of us as worthy.

Lord, please teach us how to act in mercy instead, and forgive situations whether small or large. Interlock our hearts to Your heart so that we can grow up into Your kindness, regardless of any conditions.

Keep our souls away from any desires of retaliation of any kind.

Your thoughts,



Friday, August 13, 2021

Compassion: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                 
                Compassion

                Still she waits

                at peace in knowledge

                compassion will return

                not cruelty in suffering

                she alone responsible

                judgement necessary

                conducted by love's

                winnowing hope to

                prepare promises

                beyond comprehension.

Psalm 37:20: "But the wicked perish, and the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish--like smoke they vanish away."

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Reflection: Winnow: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions:

                1. Is that a new thought that the Lord does not inflict willingly?

                2. Why do you think He allows pain and sorrow when His abundant loving kindness has no boundaries?

                3. Do you think that being willing to be winnowed could become a gift?

Share: What would it take for you to trust God with what you value in the most tender areas of your heart and life?

Monday, August 9, 2021

Winnow: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reading: Lamentations 3:31-33: "For the Lord will not reject forever, For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not inflict willingly, Or grieve the sons of men."

Winnow

Too often we complain over things we have caused ourselves. Instead of seeking the Lord's forgiveness and mercy and asking Him how to move forward.

Yet He has endless compassion.

He watches over each of us, no matter how far we stray away. And He especially will guide us back when we ask. Sometimes even when we don't ask, and yet He keeps us from harm.

Thank you, Lord, for daily showing us and reminding us to walk into Your purpose, Your way. In Your approval. Please show us how to change our complaints into trustful winnowing.

Your thoughts, 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Releases: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                Releases 

                Heedless of jeers

                scoffing voices

                she releases pride

                accepts her justice

                prostrates in dust

                silent prayer

                hoping in promise.

Psalm 37:19: "they are not put to shame in evil times, in the days of famine they have abundance."

                

                

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Reflection: Within: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

                1. How difficult is it to acknowledge the attitudes within our selves that are prideful?

                2. In what situations do you find yourself resisting coming to the Lord in silence to listen?

                3. What aspects of your current circumstances feel unbearable to you? Are you resisting the trial, submitting yourself to it, or trusting in the Lord to carry you?

Share: How might your heart change if you choose to accept the difficulty rather than fight?


Monday, August 2, 2021

Within: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reading: Lamentations 3: 28-30: "Let him sit alone and be silent. Since he has laid it on him."

Within

Lord, please quiet our thoughts and emotions and possibilities from swirling within us. Especially when they scatter our hearts and thoughts and actions away from You. And let our response put up barriers towards You.

Please keep us walking firmly on the plans and paths as You choose.

When the anxiety and fears whirl around us and within us please remind each of us to pause and pray and listen for Your words only. As You guide.

Moment by moment.

Your thoughts,

Friday, July 30, 2021

Waits: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                 Waits

                Anger spent

                Grief empty
            
                Sorrow marked

                She stands in quiet

                Soul still waits now

                Solution only by

                God Emmanuel

                Advocate.

Psalm 37:18: "The Lord knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will abide forever;"

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Reflection: Wisdom: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions: 

                1. What yoke are you carrying right now?

                2. How hard is it for you to wait for God in silence? Why?

                3. What do you think is the difference between actively or passively seeking God?

                4. Do you think one is more acceptable than another? Why?

Share: How has suffering shaped you?

Monday, July 26, 2021

Wisdom: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Lamentations 3:25-27: "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good the he waits silently For the salvation of the Lord. .. ".

Wisdom

How many ongoing times do we speak out of our own definitions of our words instead of seeking the Lord's purpose and delivery?  Or ask for His wisdom to guide us?

Too often we immediately begin with out interpretations instead of praying silently before we communicate, and forget to listen for His words to share.

Lord, we need Your guidance to keep us listening in silence and talk only as You prompt from Your Holy Spirit. We ask for this in our prayers too, so we are focused on Your will for ourselves, our families, and all others You lead us to pray for.

Please show us how to be still and listen first for Your voice daily in all circumstances.

Your thoughts

Friday, July 23, 2021

Mercy: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                Mercy 

                She remembers

                God's faithfulness

                mercy new every morning

                hope flickers again

                chooses to wait

                upon ceaseless love

                knowing He alone must

                be her only portion,

                past destroyed by her

                broken promises

                future still ahead

                will she be forgiven?


                Clings to light of mercy.

Psalm 37:17: "For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord uphold the righteous."

                

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Reflection: Wrapped: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

                1. Do you recognize the Lord's loving kindnesses every day?

                2. What examples do you remember from Scripture stories in which  God's beloved are utterly shattered and seemingly ruined beyond repair?

                3. How would you describe the portion He has given to you.

Share: Where so you most desire to share this hope to another one this week? Write down your prayer request.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Wrapped: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Lamentations 3:22-24: "The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease. For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him.'" 

Wrapped

New every morning.

He gives His embracing compassion to each of us. When we listen He guides us to also extend compassion to others around us daily.

He will fill us and give us the kindness of hope in all situations. His hope that comes from His heart, and not our meager definitions of what that might look like.

Thank you, Lord, for inviting us into Your presence. Please keep our eyes, our thoughts, our hearts, and our souls wrapped in You.

That we may become faithful moment by moment. And yields all things as You lead.

Your thoughts,

Friday, July 16, 2021

Hope: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                 Hope

                Homelessness a continual

                reminder plays like a

                movie reel mocking
                
                her previous splendor

                rancid bitterness coats

                mouth, seeps into soul

                hears wind's lament

                reaching every corner

                mourning her sword, yet

                hope a brief flicker when

                realizes she still breathes.

Psalm 37:16: "Better is a little that the righteous person has than the abundance of many wicked."

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Reflections: Watch: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

                1. What is the difference between whether your thoughts remember or your soul remembers?

                2. Like a broken movie, from what images can you not escape?

                3. In what ways does bowing down our souls bring hope?

                4. What do you need to remember right now?

Share: What ways do you hope for God to intervene and fix your broken reel?

Monday, July 12, 2021

Watch: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reading: Lamentations 3:19-21: "...Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope."

Watch

Our soul remembers.

Thank you Lord, for this reminder--each day--that we need to focus on Your ongoing presence and not let fears take over.

You are our strength when we no longer have any left.

And you will lead us foreword on Your path in Your time.

Whatever each day brings we give thanks to You for carrying us through. And also for holding on to our families. Please restore each one of us to a true relationship with You, and daily walk in Your light.

Your Thoughts,

Friday, July 9, 2021

Bereft: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                 Bereft

                Waves of desolation
            
                pour through broken

                walls bereft of

                protection

                without peace

                heart and soul

                lose all hope

                realize glory abides
        
                only in God's care.

Psalm 37:15: "their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken."

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Reflection: When: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

        1. Do you think it is possible to have happiness without hope or hope without happiness? Why or why not?

        2. Is either possible without soul peace? How do you define soul peace for yourself?

        3. Has your experience ever felt out of sync with Scripture promises you believe to be true?

        4. Have you experienced a time when soul peace sustained you through a difficult time? How?

Share: How might you pass that hope on to someone whose strength has perished?

Monday, July 5, 2021

When: Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Lamentations 3:16-18: "... And my soul has been rejected from peace: I have forgotten happiness. So I say, 'My strength has perished, And so has my hope from the Lord.'"  

When

Forgotten. When we set our minds and hearts on our personal desires we often turn outward instead of inward, and then lose hope and strength when our ways causes everything to crumble.

When we look only at our own desires and not seek the Lord's. Or even ask for direction.

We do not have ongoing strength on our own. Only His power can bring wholeness.

When we turn our hearts and minds and desires to focus on His purpose then we may be able to grasp a tiny seed. And focus on His prayers--His intent.

Lord, please lead us by Your Ho;y Spirit  that we may trust with commitment. Not our version of desires, but the ones You choose from Your strength.

Your thoughts, 
 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Taunts:Lamentations: Prayers and Poetry

                Taunts 

                Winds carry to her
                taunts of caravans
                passing by.

                Whistle tavern songs
                rapping baudy
                proposals.

                Wide spread
                tales of laughter
                parodies.

                Whisper longing
                to stop enemy's
                parade.

Psalm 37:14: "The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to kill those who walk uprightly;"
 
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