We breathe in Your grace and exhale.

Today, at work, there was one of those pocket sized Bibles sitting on the host stand. So, I opened it and turned to Psalms and landed on Psalm 17. Don’t know why I stopped there. I just did. Psalm 17 is a prayer of David. And boyyyyyy did I need it today. So, let me break this down.

Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips. Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed. Though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded. My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled. I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover. Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down; with your sword rescue me from the wicked. By your hand save me from such people, Lord, from those of this world whose reward is in this life. May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies; may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones. As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

Lord, I am not like David. Sometimes, I say things without thinking or even meaning them. I hurt people sometimes without realizing it. Lord, I am not like David. Sometimes, I stumble. But, You hear my prayers anyways. You show me the wonders of Your great love. You save me. You protect me from those trying to hurt me. Through that forgiveness and through Your strength, I see You. I see Your love everywhere I go.

Ephesians 4:29 says: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 

I am the first to say that words are important so, why do I chose my own so carelessly? I am so wrapped up in my own little world sometimes that I forget there are soo many people around me. My words can be misunderstood and misused so easily, so why don’t I protect them? My words can have a much bigger impact than I realize so, I should focus on using them to build instead of vent. Venting does nothing. I don’t feel better. The person who started it doesn’t feel better. The person listening doesn’t feel better. So, why do I participate? I should be breathing in Your grace and exhaling Your grace. I should not only absorb Your love, but share it with everyone I meet.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I remember David’s prayer. I pray that I take Ephesians 4:29 with me. I pray that I guard my words more carefully. I pray that I guard my thoughts and my heart too. Thank you for showing me your love and grace. Thank you for the reality check today. Thank you for reminding me that I am not the center of the universe. You are. I pray that I learn to speak only words that build up and not break down. I pray that I learn to take things to you instead of others. I pray that I learn from David and learn to be like you. I pray that I breathe in your grace and exhale. I pray that I breathe in your word and exhale. I pray that I breathe in your love and exhale. I pray that I breathe in your goodness and exhale. I pray that I exhale all that you’ve shown me. I pray that I share you with everyone around me. I pray that you reconcile this heart to yours. I pray that I learn to let go. Thank you for wrapping your love around me. Thank you for holding me close and protecting me. Thank you for welcoming me into your arms. Thank you for letting me surrender and tearing down my walls. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I can only imagine.

The new coke ad is #makeithappy. I could not be more in love with that! “Change your thoughts. Change the world.” Without You, we are broken. We are hurt. We are hate. We are selfish. We are lonely. We are guilty. We blame others. We are lost. With You, all that changes. We are healed. We are love. We are kind and giving. We are generous. We are found. We are forgiven and free. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. When we let You guide our lives, we are changed. Your grace show us more than we could dream of. Your grace washes our sin away. You make us new.

The only way to Heaven is through You. We admit that we are sinners and that You are God. We do not get there by being a good person or earning our way. It is not by our hands, but by Yours. When we make that decision, it changes our hearts. We should want to help our neighbor. We should want to read Your word. We should want to love more. We should want all that and more because You showed us all that we could have. You showed us Heaven and how could not want to share that? How could we see all that You’ve given us and not want to show others? How could we be that loved and not love too? It doesn’t take good deeds to get to Heaven, but we should want to do good deeds so that others can see You and find their place in Heaven. Ephesians 4:29 says: Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

1 Corinthians 2:9 says: But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

We are not perfect and we will continue to stumble, but You have already forgiven us. I can hardly even fathom the kind of love You have for us. Your love is completely free and unconditional. You love us even though we nailed You to a cross for sins we committed. I saw on pinterest this quote that said: “Jesus died for you, knowing you might never love Him back. That is true love.” I can’t even process that kind of selfless love. Psalm 103:2 says: Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.

So, that is my prayer. I pray that because I’m forgiven I try to be more like you. I pray that because I’m forgiven I share your love. I pray that I share kindness. I pray that I am more careful of my words. I pray that I continue to praise you. I pray that I continue to see your love. I pray that you keep guiding me. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your love. Thank you for the cross. I don’t deserve any of it so, thank you for being a forgiving God. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and freely. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.