Father God, Our times are now, as always, in Your capable hands, as are we. That fact gladdens our hearts. In the days ahead, as You may grant them to us, help us better know and more fully rely on the love You have for us.

Help us understand that those times we are most alive are when we find Your pleasure prospering in us and, so, experience the delight and comfort of Your Presence surrounding us.

Surround us, O Lord, for in Your mighty presence dark and terrible things and urges cannot live while all things bright and beautiful thrive. And, Father, we are weary of long years of failing in sin. Please be with us and in us. Let this be a year of real growth for us in likeness to and in honor of Your beloved Son.

Father, in our better moments, we know that we need You first, most and desperately. It is You we need above all else, not something from You…but You! Without You...well, we can’t stand to think of such a condition.

But, in all honesty we must confess that we have the terrible habit of often leaving You out of our lives. And while we are very grateful that You remain in us, never leaving or forsaking us, we know that we miss intimacy with You as we carelessly do our daily lives without thought of, without petition to and without enjoyment of Yourself! It’s You we must have, Father, not simply another lesson outline or memory verse.

So, Father God, may our heart’s desire be to “know” You and Your Son, for this is life eternal. May our aim be to please You. May our race be lifelong. May our fight be the good fight of faith. May we have the blissful freedom of not holding our lives of any account as dear unto ourselves because we understand by faith the amazing truth that You hold our lives dear to You.

May the meditations of our hearts and the words of our mouths be acceptable in Your sight for You are our Rock and our Redeemer.

Father God, let us not ultimately embarrass You, Your church or our families by our words or actions, and, please, so work in us Your amazing grace that our lives will not be defined by our failures!

May our beloved see in us...experience by our lives...something of the faith, hope and, most of all, love, You have granted us. May they understand that we could not love them near as much, if we did not love You more. And, Father, please draw them close to Your heart too! Save them too!

Dear Father God, we see that we are making lofty requests of You. It’s also clear that we cannot attain unto these things in our own strength. We don’t mean to be hypocritical. We aren’t simply trying to say the “right” or expected things.

We have seen something of Your glory. And what we have seen by faith has become a burning desire inside us. We believe You are honored by our desire for godliness even in the midst of our shortcomings. For You are beautiful beyond description. What can we do but love, honor, obey and pursue You. So help us run, Father, and not grow weary.

Help us walk without fainting. Help us mount up with eagles’ wings on our holy quest. For our part, we will soldier on because we trust that You have begun a good work in us and that You will bring it to completion until the day of Christ. Yes, Father, for so it is well-pleasing in Your sight. Amen

Written by Doug Oakes, minister, Woodlawn Church of Christ, Zanesville; email my7acorns@gmail.com

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