Friday, April 24, 2009

Prayer of Confession

By Peter Nott
Bishop of Norwich

"Prayer of Confession"

Let this be my prayer for all of us always and forevermore

O Lord, open our minds to see ourselves as You see us,
And from all unwillingness to know our weakness and our sin,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From wishing to be the center of attention:
From seeking admiration;
From the desire to have our own way in all things:
From unwillingness to listen to others,
From resentment to criticism,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From taking pleasure in the weakness of others,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From the constant fear of what others are thinking of us;
From fear of speaking what we know is the truth,
And doing what we know is right,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From carelessness about the needs of others;
From selfish use of time and money;
From all lack of generosity;
Good Lord, deliver us.

From lack of self-discipline, from failure to persevere;
From depression in failure and disappointment,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From pretense and acting a part; from hypocrisy;
From all dishonesty with ourselves and with others,
Good Lord, deliver us,

From failure to respect the bodies and minds of ourselves and others;
From any kind of addiction;
Good Lord, deliver us.

From lack of sensitivty and division in our community;
From failure to love and to forgive;
Good Lord, deliver us.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Believing a lie

I find myself every year after Easter and before my birthday thinking about my life and what stage of life I'm in.  Honestly, I'm quite bored with where I'm at in life and want a change. I know I'm lazy because I don't feel challenged enough or motivated. I'm ready to move on and see what other exciting things God has for me in my life. I'm ready for the next chapter.

I tell God often, "God, reveal Your plan for me. Show me the way. Show me where You want me to be. Where I need to be." It's my constant prayer.

I realize I have been believing in a lie so long that I lost heart and I lost hope. My own negative thoughts. My own assumptions of what I think people think about me. I can be so self-focused, until I averted my eyes off of me and back on to Jesus

My attitude has changed inwardly since I had this realization of how self-absorbed and self-focused I have been. I feel like a new born baby Christian again discovering this truth. What lies have you been believing about yourself? 

I have a hard time with where I'm at in life. I feel stuck living with my mother and my brother. I believe I will always be living here, working the same job, and never advancing while my friends continue to go ahead of me and graduate college, work their dream jobs, get engaged, get married, and have children.  See, there is that self-focus and envy that pours into my thoughts and Satan jeering me saying, "It will happen for everyone else, but not for you."

I realize how easily I can get distracted from focusing on Jesus by my own thoughts. I began to renew my thoughts with His truth. Learning to sort through the lies is still a process for me. I'm not a naturally upbeat person. I am a "realist" who sees the world for what it really is, but in the process I have focused entirely too much on myself and what I perceive other people think about me as a person and my life. Self-perceptions.

I pray that God will continue to protect me from Satan's lies(I know He will) and that I will live victoriously. Live like I have been saved and that God has a plan for me. I have a hard time believing that because I want things to happen for me like I see in my other friend's lives. I know I'm so impatient and so unwilling to wait and keep seeking God in every aspect of my life.

I just want to know that I'm not a failure. That God is pleased with me. I don't have to do all these things like serving in every single ministry or volunteering and helping people with stuff all the time. I know sometimes I equate pleasing God to WHAT I DO, but it's about pleasing Him with the kind of person I AM.

I don't want to believe in these lies anymore.  I want to advance and grow, and I want people to see me for who I really am and who I desire to really be. I don't want to be fake, a busybody, a gossip, a liar, a person who envies and secretly hates someone for the things they have that I don't have... I want to be a woman of God, pure, undefiled, noble, wise, a servant, etc.

Even if the things I desire deep in my heart don't happen like marriage and children, I pray that I will be content with that, and not only that, but be content with where I am now or where I will be no matter what stage of life I'm in.

In Jesus' Name.
S.L. Johnson

Friday, April 17, 2009


For the past couple of months, I have been praying and thinking about going to school again.  I have many issues with school. I get bored easily and will quit if I feel like I'm going to be there forever. I work a full-time job and I'm involved with the college ministry where I attend church, so adding school on there might be too overwhelming for me and plus no social life or fellowship.

 I'm one of these types of people that basically has to really stay focused on school, or I will drop out and I have to give a lot of my time and attention to it, or I will lose motivation. I'm an all or nothing type of person. I can get impatient and lose passion for what I'm pursuing in life and I want to be focused, passionate, and determined. I want to do what I love in life as a life long career, but my issue is I have no earthly idea what that is. I have prayed and prayed about it and will keep praying about it until I get an answer.

After praying and asking God about all of this school stuff, I submitted my admissions application to Dallas Tele Learning College. What I like about it is, I can take classes online without going to one or more Dallas Community College Campuses that offer the classes I need to take for earning my degree without commuting and being there in person. Some of the classes are not set for a certain time, so I can log on and do it on my own time every day of the week. I need flexibility. I work full-time. Self-paced is good for me because sometimes I learn better that way and don't feel bogged down to a set schedule every day.  Also, it took a long time for me when I did homework because I learn differently than most people I know.  I always thought I had learning disabilities and when I went to Eastfield College in Mesquite many moons ago and did a self-paced developmental math course, I made an 'A.' Kudos to whoever wrote that book because I actually learned a lot more doing self-paced than when I was in high school.

I'm excited about all the possibilities. I'm looking into Sociology stuff right now.  I really want to pursue what I have a passion for in life and stay focused on God and what His plan is for me.  I will be 29 soon, and I feel stuck with where I am now in life. I'm ready for a change and ready to press on ahead into the next chapter in my life. I'm grateful to be able to have the possibility of school and learning more about myself and what I really excel in so that I can use my abilities and talents to help people and glorify God.

Since my way of thinking has changed, I can see so much clearer how it is not about me and all about God. Staying focused on God and what He has for me and what His Word says about how we are to live.

Please be in prayer about this and that my double-mindedness will go away as God reveals His plan to me about school.

Your Friend in Christ,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Dear Jesus,

I can't stop thinking about You right now. I confess that I don't always think about You or Your Word or other people before myself. Forgive me of the sins of self-centeredness and idolatry.

I think about You in the Garden of Gethsemane and how lonely You must of been there. Everyone abandoned You. You were betrayed with a kiss from one of Your disciples into the hands of the man who had the power to release You from Your death, and yet You said nothing.

Do I not do the same to You today? I bless You and curse You with the same mouth.

I think about how humble You are and how I could never live up to this Christian life I live without You and the power You give me. I do too many things on my own, but if You can endure all that You did on the Cross, I know You can do ALL things. I need to surrender and let go and stop doing all these things on my own accord.

Some un-believers say that I'm brainwashed in what I believe about You and Christianity, and my prayer is that You will reveal Yourself to them like You revealed Yourself to me. I once hated You, but little by little, You softened my heart and showed me that this world has nothing to offer me and now I love You. I know some people don't understand why I believe in You, but I truly believe everything written about You in the Bible. I believe that You are the Son of God. I believe that You died on the Cross. I believe that everyone who repents of their sins wholeheartedly and calls on Your Name, Jesus, that they will inherit eternal life.

There is so much more that happens after this declaration of believing in You. There comes a beautiful relationship, that depends on the believer. The kind of relationship that You will never have with any mortal person. Yes, if you choose to believe in Jesus, some people will hate you, even your own family, and some of your friends will leave your side, but it is written that this will happen.

Jesus, I can't fathom many mysteries of God myself, and I believe many will be revealed upon Your return. What I do know, is that for now, I will continue to believe in You regardless of persecution.

I need You to help me in this life. It is not easy living for You. Everything written in Your word about how to live goes against my human nature. Ibattle daily with my flesh and my spirit. Some people will simply not believe because they can't live up to being a Christian and what it means. Who can live up to perfection? It is not about being "perfect", it is about TRUTH and doing what is right. It is not about feelings, it is about TRUTH.

Jesus, You have taught me so many things, and I want to learn more. Help me, and forgive me for not standing up to Your Truth because of fear: fear of persecution, fear of not knowing what to say, fear of rejection, fear of failure, etc. Help me to stand firm in the Word and Truth. Help my fellow believing family. Most of all, help my unbelieving family and friends.

Help me to live out what Your Word says we are to live. I'm not tying to be perfect. I'm trying to be LIKE YOU, even though I know I will never BE YOU. Help me to be a witness and convict me when I fail You and deserve to be called "a hypocrite."

I can NEVER BE THANKFUL ENOUGH for everything You have done, do everyday for me, and will do through me by the power of Your Holy Spirit. You leave me breathless and in awe. What else can I say, Jesus??? Sometimes all I can say is I love You.

Your daughter forever,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The number one thing that stays on my mind constantly is , "God, what is my true passion in life?"

That questions stays on my mind often because I constantly think about where I'm at in my life and where I should be or want to be. As if there is a timeline. I don't want to waste any more time on futile things that lead nowhere... or more importantly, do not lead me back to Jesus and losing focus on Him and His will for my life.

I realize that life is short. There is an urgency that is implanted deep within me to not waste my life. To rid myself of things that I do not need to involve myself with or focus on. I meditate often on growth.

Have I really grown in my Christian walk, or am I just going through the motions? When people look at me, can they tell that something is different about me, or am I just like every other "hypocritic Christian." I know I'm not perfect, but I do think how I portray myself to the rest of the world in regards to walking the walk and talking the talk.

Do I really stand behind my beliefs or do I make God a liar with my actions and words? Do I stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves? Do I really care about the poor more than my own pocketbook?

These are questions that I think about. I think Christians hear the words of the Bible, but we often fail at application because we aren't perfect, we fear, we lack trust in God sometimes, we have sin struggles, etc. We are at different levels of spiritual maturity and this Christian life is challenging.

It challenges you to look deep within yourself. At things we often would rather not discuss because that would mean we would actually have to work on that issue. Sometimes, I tell God, I can't live this Christian life. It's too hard. Then I realize I do too many things on my own strength instead of looking to God or asking God for help in areas of my life that seem impossible.

It is all about God and glorifiying Him with everything that is within me. To stay the course no matter what happens in life. To remember the people in the Bible and their struggles and how some of them were obedient and followed Christ regardless of circumstance.

That is how I want to be. A follower of Jesus no matter what is going on in my life or happens along the way. That is my prayer and may Jesus give the strength and endurance to do so.