Tag Archives: devotions

A Prayer to Let Go of Your Fear of Death

By Victoria Riollano 

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4

I hate fear.

I literally hate fear. From the age of six to twenty-six, fear encompassed my life. Fear of dogs, cats, riding in cars, speaking in front of people crossing the street, clowns, and being robbed, paralyzed me. So much to the point, that there were times I wouldn’t leave my home or would find ways to get out of planned family trips. Before long, fear had almost ruined my marriage and my life. After years of prayer for the Lord to remove this thorn in my flesh, the Lord spoke, 

“You have to be willing to let it go.”

 When I originally heard these gentle words from the Lord, I was convinced that maybe I misheard. After all, I had been praying for years to be free from the crippling bondage of fear. Yet, the Lord started to reveal that fear had become the foundation of my life. In my own way, fear was my way of remaining in control and not trusting Him. 

In my mind, if I did everything I could to remain safe I would preserve my life for longer. If it meant not getting in the car, avoiding people, or not crossing the street, I was willing to do it. Before long, the fear of death and the unknown were a part of every decision that I made. I had become a self-proclaimed “fear-aholic” and my choice to cling to fear was infiltrating every aspect of my life. I had to make a choice to let it go once and for all.

Over the years, the Lord began to point me to His Word about fear. Over and over, we see God speak to His people and tell them not to fear.

In Joshua 1:9, He says it like this: 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.

In the New Testament, Jesus speaks a similar sentiment as He says, 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Psalm 34:4, inspirational image

As you read the Bible, you will not find an instance when the Lord calls His children to live in terror. Instead, He encourages us that He is present amid trouble and reminds us that He gives us peace. God goes further in 1 John 4:18 to say that His perfect love drives out all fear. I believe that this verse is a reminder that when we accept His love for us it would be impossible to live a life of fear. 

Those who have accepted Him know that when their life ends, it is just beginning with God in eternity. This is why the Bible says O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Yes, we can live a life in complete peace knowing that God is with us from life to death and beyond! Fear has to go when we are in right alignment with Jesus and He is our safe place. My prayer for you today is that if you’ve been plagued with fear that God can bring you peace and that you would be willing to completely surrender those fears over to Him.

Lord, I thank you for your love. Help me to receive that love and maintain an awareness that you are with me. I pray against fear and every attack of the enemy against my life. Teach me to run to you when fear overtakes me. 

Lord, I recognize fear as a tool of the enemy to rob me of the life you have ordained for me. Teach me to be wise and no longer allow fear to be my resting place. I thank you that you are with me at all times and I cannot outrun your love or your protection. Help my mind to rely on you above all. In Jesus Name. Amen.

The Bow & The Arrowby Shawn McEvoy

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Wisdom, suggests the book of Proverbs, is prized above all things. And wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. Therefore, the wisest thing one can do is to trust and honor God.

And trusting and honoring God, according to Proverbs 3:1-12, “not only delivers one from evil, but promises certain rewards,” according to my Ryrie Study Bible notes. Among those rewards are:

  • Longevity and peace (vv. 1-2)
  • Favor with God and man (vv. 3-4)
  • Health (vv. 7-8)
  • Prosperity (vv. 9-10)

Pretty good stuff. Stuff we all like, and seek hard after. Barns filled with plenty, length of days, refreshment to your bones. And yet…

The section of Proverbs 3 that we know, love, cherish, cling to, and quote most often is the part that promises not peace, not health, not abundance. It is the part that promises guidance. “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”

Let’s not miss that. In this promise-rich portion of Scripture, the part we people recite more often than the others is the part about trusting God more than ourselves so that in our “ways” and “paths,” we will know which way to go. We will know what to do. We will get there directly. We will be able to read the signposts planted by the Almighty. The child of God receives many additional gifts when he or she receives wisdom. Is it possible that the most highly prized among them is a highly-tuned sense of spiritual direction?

If you’ve ever listened to peers ponder or authors write about the subject of seeking / finding / learning / doing “God’s will,” then I think you might agree that the answer could just be yes. We long to serve, to offer ourselves worshipfully. To walk so closely with God that “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Symbolically, what might this sense of direction, guidance, straight paths, and complete trust look like?

Perhaps… an arrow? Consider:

  • Arrows point the way to other destinations
  • Arrows indicate which way it is okay to turn
  • Arrows are straight and narrow
  • Arrows are colorful, sleek and efficient
  • Arrows attempt to hit the target, but sometimes “miss the mark”
  • Arrows can not be projected forward well by anything but the bow, they were made to fit into it (“Trust in the Lord with all your heart“)
  • Arrows are completely dependent upon the bow, and they were made to go out from it (“lean not on your own understanding“)
  • Arrows discussing how they got somewhere without crediting the bow would sound ridiculous (“In all your ways acknowledge him“)
  • Arrows, if properly knocked, fly true (“he will make your paths straight“)
Image by Paul Barlow from Pixabay

Today’s verse appeared on the program for our wedding, because it has always been one of my wife’s life verses. It is even more meaningful to me as I re-study it today because of something else I had written for Valerie long before she became my wife. I wrote the following thoughts about arrows for her after we had been dating for two months, just before she moved several states away from me:

I used to teach archery at camp in Texas. It’s the kind of sport where it’s not hard to find a few life metaphors – hitting the target, nailing the bull’s-eye, missing the mark… But in the arrow itself, I found a wealth of lessons. It’s such a simple, effective, and elegant weapon, with its sleek shaft and colorful feathers, but it can’t function without help. It needs the bow in order to reach its potential, to drive it forward, or it is worthless.

The arrow also has been prevalent in my doodles for as long as I can remember, probably due to its symbolic significance in direction and guidance. But take another look at the feathers – do you notice how one, the one facing outward, is a different color? That’s called the cock feather. It’s unique in that it must face away from the bow, or outward, in order to fly straight when shot. As Christians, too often we cover up what’s different about ourselves, and we wind up missing the mark, or sinning. But when our unique side faces outward for the world to see, we fly straight and true, exploding towards the target in a glorious burst of color.

 What is unique and different about you? Your faith, poise, depth, and grace, to name a few. Keep those true colors facing boldly outward; trust the Lord’s aim as He pulls back the string; fly straight. Let Him choose the targets, and you can’t miss.

Intersecting Faith & Life: Wisdom is often called the greatest gift, and no wonder, because it brings with it so many other gifts, not least among them the sense of guidance and direction that flying forth from God’s Great Bow brings. What gift of wisdom do you prize above others? Remember the example of the arrow when you wonder what it looks like to trust in the Lord with all your heart, and to acknowledge him in all your ways. A true straight arrow can do no other! It is nothing but ineffective flash apart from the bow!

A More Excellent Way

by: Marilyn Pagán-Banks

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

12 Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink. 14 Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. 15 If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 16 If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. 19 If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? 20 But as it is, there are many parts but one body. 21 So the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” or in turn, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. 23 The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. 24 The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor 25 so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it.

Ubuntu—“I am because we are”—is a South African philosophy that speaks to our interconnectedness, interdependence, and interrelatedness as humans. Our humanity is only fully actualized in relationship with others.

In a letter to the church in Corinth, Paul teaches this concept to a people accustomed to hierarchy, a caste system,…

The world today still needs a church that is ready to show up united and in solidarity for collective liberation. Here I am God; use me. Amen.

A Prayer for When the Rogue Waves of Life Hit

By Meg Bucher

“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” – Luke 1:50 NIV

After a beautiful day out on the water, we headed to the island for dinner. On the way, our Great Lake threw us a surprise, as it has been known to do. Though the water was flat and calm, my daughters, niece, and I were suddenly staring straight at a big wave! The set of three rogue waves caught all of us off guard, and the water spilled over the bow and down through the rest of the boat.

Soaked, shocked, and a little scared, three young faces looked at me to gauge my reaction.

In situations like that, we don’t always have time to compose ourselves. The natural state of our soul bleeds right out of our facial expressions. However, God granted me supernatural calm, enough to allow me to comfort my youngest daughter’s fears, and return her to her seat in the front of the boat.

grounded in truth, inspirational image

“His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him.” Luke 1:50 MSG

Rogue waves can change our life in an instant, no matter how prepared we think we are to face the day ahead of us. We can know the weather report, see out on the horizon, and feel the wind, but it won’t stop every rogue wave from splashing into our lives. No matter how much we would like to think we are in control, God is the only one whose hand is on all. The only thing we can do is seek His perspective each day through His living Word. When we do that, he prepares our souls for what we cannot see coming our way.

Let’s pray today for God’s perspective for when the rogue waves of life hit:


Help us to stay grounded in the truth of Your Word, and Your Word, alone. Let us not look to news reports and weather forecasts and the final word, but always leave room for You to move in our lives. We pray to see life from Your perspective.

Just like waves often come in sets of three, Your grace falls on us, wave after wave. When we are shocked by what the day has given us, help us to embrace the grace Jesus died to grant us. No matter what we encounter, He is with us. Nothing can snatch us from His hand.

Some days, we are left drenched and stunned, but there is always an abundance of grace by which our Savior embraces us. Each time, we get back up by His strength. Not just to get by another day, but to live it to the full. Father, thank You for protecting us, saving us, and defending us. In ways we will never know or realize, You go before us to prepare the way.

Thank you for the way you faithfully care for us, encouraging us in times of trial and calming our very souls in a way we could not. Today, we re-submit the state of our souls to You. In any way in which we have attempted to take control of different areas of our lives, forgive us. May our lives bring honor and glory to your name, even when our lives are soaked and pummeled from rogue waves. Bless and protect us, Father, from what only You can see coming this day… and every day.

In Jesus Name, 


The Blessing Right Outside Your DoorstepBy: Noelle Kirchner

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:1-2

It had been a particularly rough morning getting my children into the car for school. My middle son had been dawdling all morning, oblivious to the time. My older son had been frantically hunting things down for school that weren’t packed the night before. Plus, I woke the baby out of a dreamy sleep to make the drive.

When mornings go down like this, and despite my best effort they sometimes do, I try to take a deep breath as I begin my drive. Maybe I turn on the seat warmer and some relaxing music, despite the unavoidable noise coming from the backseat. Amidst the sounds of baby coos or fusses, and jokes or games of finger chopsticks between my older two boys, I feel a nudge to look up.

As I peer through my windshield, I see a flock of geese flying in a “V” across the sky. They pump their wings so effortlessly. The air around them is lit with winter hues—striking pink and orange due to the sun angle, which makes the scenery appear in high definition. It’s clear and cold and somehow glowing all around me. I can sense God, and my whole body relaxes in this beautifully orchestrated moment of peace.

That peace meets me despite the chaos around me, not in the absence of it. Nature offers the same release even to my infant. I marvel at the fact that my baby can be quite fussy, but if I walk outside, he will often calm right down. He observes the temperature difference on his skin, feels the wind against his cheek, hears a bird calling, and tracks a playful squirrel with his eyes. His little body knows the retreat and calm of nature, which we as adults can sometimes forget.


Experiences like these make me believe that we’re hardwired by the Creator to seek him in creation. The psalmist’s words demonstrate faith in a personal and cosmic God—God is both “my help” and the Maker of heaven and earth, respectively. Through creation, God exercises both roles. Nature offers us the chance to remember and learn about him and receive his blessing and peace. Observing the work of his hands allows him to somehow pull us close.

While everyone can benefit from time spent in nature, for some this experience is vital to their intimacy with God. My husband, for instance, feels closer to God in the quiet of the rolling hills than in a crowded worship service. Maybe you do too.

Worship as a body in church is important, but worship can happen anywhere, anytime we open our hearts in reverence to the Lord. When is the last time you took a deep breath and allowed God to meet you in the quiet of the world around you? Sometimes intimacy can come as naturally as opening your eyes and receiving God’s goodness in the moment that he has handcrafted for you right outside your doorstep.

It’s a Miracle!

Do You Believe in Christmas Miracles?
By Lynette Kittle

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). — Matthew 1:23

Have you noticed how many Christmas movies focus on receiving a Christmas miracle?

Although many center on Santa Claus making things happen, still Christmas is portrayed as a time for long-awaited hopes and dreams to be fulfilled.

Rightly so, too, because Christmas is all about miracles!

It’s a celebration of the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus, God come to earth in human form, to live among mankind and save people from their sins. What could be more miraculous than that?

So how do you approach Christmas? Are you hoping for God to do the impossible in your life? Do you believe what Jesus said, that all things are possible with God? (Mark 10:27)

If you aren’t expecting God to do the impossible at Christmas or any other time of the year, perhaps it’s because of past disappointments, of times where you had great hope and anticipation but didn’t see your prayers answered?

If so, ask God to renew your expectancy in Him, to revive your faith despite your disappointments. Choose to base what you believe about God on what Scripture says about Him, rather on past discouraging experiences.

If former letdowns are holding you back from having faith in God, James 1:6 encourages you to believe with all your heart and not doubt God because doubt inhibits the impossible.

Scripture explains what happened when Jesus visited His hometown and the residents doubted Him. Their disbelief effected what they were able to receive from Jesus. As Matthew 13:58 explains, “And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

If you’re lacking faith in believing God is able to do the impossible, ask Him to increase your faith. Hebrews 11:1 explains, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Consider how everything you see created was once impossible without God. As John 1:3 explains, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”

As Jeremiah 32:17 describes, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You.”

Colossians 1:16 further describes, “For in Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

At Christmas and all year long, choose to believe that nothing is too difficult for God to bring about in your life by stepping out in faith and asking Him to transform your impossibilities into possibilities.

Patience? What’s that?

BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12

How to Have Patience Like Jesus
By: Lori Freeland

Patience is hard.

In our fast-food, drive-thru, one-day-Amazon-delivery world, it’s a lost art. A muscle we don’t like to exercise often. Yet as Christians, we’re called upon to use that muscle. God desires for us to wait steadfastly upon Him and be longsuffering with each other.

Patience hurts.

A few years ago, I broke my ankle. After weeks of healing from surgery, it finally got cleared to bear weight. That first second my foot hit the floor, fire burned up my calf and my ankle wobbled. It took weeks of physical therapy and painful repetition to get back into walking shape. But the more I practiced, the easier it got. Building patience is kind of like that.    

Patience is something God understands.

After all, He deals with us 24/7. I can only imagine how much I test Him weekly, daily, even hourly—yet He never wobbles under the weight. He has an endless supply of patience, and He’s willing to share.

When you find yourself struggling, you can pray to have patience like Jesus.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

Some of God’s people are hard to love. They can be moody, mean, difficult, and impossible to understand. They blame you for things you didn’t do and have expectations you can’t meet. Sometimes you might wish they weren’t in your life.

You need God to show you how much He loves them. He can reveal what He sees under the surface, where they’re hurting, and tell you how to make a difference. Thank God for giving us patience to be kind and compassionate when we don’t have our own and for loving us when we are the ones who are difficult in someone else’s life.

A Prayer for When you feel Empty

Prayer for When You Feel Empty
By: Kristine Brown

“Lord, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.” – Psalm 16:5 HCSB

A dry, parched land stretched out before them. Hagar and her son Ishmael had used up the last of the water given to them by Abraham before he sent them away (Genesis 21:14). Discouragement saw opportunity and came calling. With no water in sight, Hagar knew they couldn’t survive. So she set Ishmael under a tree and walked away.

She couldn’t watch her only son suffer this way. No water, no future, no hope. The emptiness of the water skin reflected the emptiness of her spirit.

Uncertainty and emptiness often walk hand-in-hand. Our concern for the unknown causes us to try and fill our questioning hearts with answers. Find solutions. Because we long to fill the void with something that will satisfy. And the more we try in our own strength to fill the void, the emptier we become.

Only one thing will fill the emptiness when life’s battles leave us depleted.

“Lord, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.” Psalm 16:5 HCSB


Hagar had forgotten God’s promise to fill her cup with abundant blessings. Ishmael would have a future, greater than anything Hagar herself could’ve planned. But she needed to trust God to be the portion to fill the emptiness with the fullness of His presence. “Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well full of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.” (Genesis 21:19)

When we remember to turn our focus to our everlasting Father and seek Him as our portion, He supernaturally becomes whatever we need to fill that void. It may be strength to face another day, joy in a time of loss, or peace instead of panic. Whatever we need, God is the sustaining portion.

If you’ve forgotten to ask God to be your portion lately, take heart. Then take your uncertainty to Him. Let’s begin with this prayer, and find satisfaction as God fills our cup with blessings today.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your precious Word. Thank you for the encouragement it brings me in difficult times. Lord, I’ve been sensing a void lately that I can’t quite explain. It seems like I’m facing one thing after another, and when I look at my struggles I feel empty. Hopelessness and discouragement threaten me. Help me to remember that You are my portion. You fill my cup and are the only One who will satisfy my parched soul.

Help me hold onto this truth. Your Word says in Psalm 16:5, You hold my future. I can rest in knowing even in my uncertainty that You are in control, and You have good plans for me.

Psalm 73:26 assures me that You are “the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” When I’m tempted to search for temporary things to fill the void in my heart, help me recall this verse. You are my portion. Not only today, not only tomorrow. Forever.

I pray as You fill my cup to overflowing, I will discover the strength, joy, and peace that comes from You alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer for the Day

Prayer for Our Minds
By: Kristine Brown

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2 NIV)

While tucking my young son into bed, he would sometimes tell me he couldn’t go to sleep because of scary thoughts. I always reassured him with lots of mom cuddles and this kid-friendly advice.

“Think about good things,” I’d say. Then we’d spend a few moments listing all the good things that came to mind. Our impromptu gratitude list would turn into a nighttime prayer, and I’d hope that the bad thoughts would stay away long enough for him to drift off to sleep.

As an adult, I can have the same struggle with thinking about good things.

If I let my guard down, my mind automatically wanders to the worries and frustrations of the day.

I begin listing all the things on my to-do list instead of the blessings from my heavenly Father. It takes intentional effort for me to redirect my mind.

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to keep your mind focused on good things? Paul instructed believers with these words of hope. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2 NIV) He knew how forceful the pull of worldly things could be. He wanted to equip Jesus’ followers with the truth. We need to daily set our minds on things above.

Keeping our thoughts centered around God’s goodness doesn’t come easily. So we shouldn’t get discouraged if our mind keeps wandering. Let’s pray this prayer for our minds as we say no to negative thoughts and redirect our minds on the good things of God.

mind on things above, inspirational image

Dear God,

I’ll admit that I have a hard time keeping my mind on good things. I start my day with prayer and gratitude, but then those thoughts fade as I face one frustrating situation after another. Forgive me for letting daily worries become a priority over your goodness in my life.

Lord, Your Word says that I “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:10) I understand that my mind is renewed because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. May the Holy Spirit cleanse my mind from anything unrighteous and help me focus on the things of heaven. When I set my mind on you, I find peace, rest, and new hope. I give you praise because “every good and perfect gift comes from you.” (James 1:17) Thank you for touching my mind and giving me good things to think about.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Growing Weary?

Prayer to Not Grow Weary in Doing Good
By Tiffany Thibault

And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:9-10

If it isn’t fun anymore, give up. If it isn’t easy, give up. If it isn’t exciting, give up. Walk away. Do what makes you happy. Your happiness and your needs are what really matter at the end of the day.

This quitting attitude is a staple in a society that lacks perseverance.

While our culture screams at us to focus on our needs, this verse tells us to serve others, to not give up, to take every opportunity to do good – to everyone.

When we accepted Christ as Savior, as the Lord of our life, we became His vessels. Galatians 2:20 says: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. As we devote ourselves to studying the scriptures and following the Lord each day, we become more holy, which allows us to reflect on the Lord and enables us to share His love with everyone.

As you think about each area of your life, where are you becoming weary? Are your co-workers difficult to work with? Is your spouse not a Christian? Are your children rebellious? Are your relatives causing you great anxiety? Is your neighbor being difficult? Have your friends become distant or negative?

Galatians 6:9-10-sq

In every single one of those areas, in every single situation that you are walking through, our Bible verse tells us to not grow weary. We are not to give up. We are to face each new day with the promise that in due time we will reap good if we keep on doing good to everyone whom God has placed in our path.

How does “doing good” look in your daily life? Maybe it’s simply interjecting a positive remark when everyone else is critical. Maybe it’s keeping your mouth shut when you would rather lash out. Maybe it’s walking away from the gossip. Maybe it’s sitting next to the person whom everyone else ignores. Maybe doing good is a meal, a card, a phone call, even when you don’t feel like it. Maybe doing good is encouraging someone. Maybe doing good is just praying for that person. Maybe doing good is putting what you want aside to spend a few moments giving someone else your attention.

With the Lord’s help, we can have all the strength that we need to just keep on doing good to everyone, and not to grow weary or give up. Since Christ is living in us, we can know that no situation is beyond His power or is even out of His plan. He will work in us, through us and for us in every situation that we face today, if we do not give up.

Dear Lord, 

Thank you that you are in my life, that you are working in all my situations today. Please give me the strength that I need to be able to do good to everyone that I will encounter today. Help me to reflect your goodness to those around me. Help me to see opportunities where I can be the good today to whoever needs it. Help me to not focus on what I think I need, but to see that you have placed me right where I am today so that I can do good to someone. Help me to trust you as I encounter those difficult people, and show me how to do good to them. Lord, give me strength to not grow weary in doing good. 

In Your Name I pray,