Thursday, June 30, 2005

Psalms 5: 1-7 Prayer

Psalms 5:1-7
Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my groaning.
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
For to You I pray.
In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.
You destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.
But as for me, by Your abundant loving-kindness
I will enter Your house,
At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

(Collective prayer)

Oh Father, as we bring our prayer to You this morning,
we know that You do indeed hear us.
Even though we are wicked, You hear us. We are boastful, we do iniquity, we speak falsehoods. And while we may not actually be a person of bloodshed, we are still a people of deceit.
But although we are all these things, because of Your loving-kindness and abundant grace, we are allowed to enter Your house.
And it is here, O God, that we bow in reverence to You.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Mother's Eighth Psalm

The Psalmist said,
“What is man that Thou art mindful of him
for Thou hast made him
only a little lower than the angels.”

And I say,
What am I, that You are mindful of me?
For You have made me a woman
and capable of
creation myself.

And I have carried a child in my womb
and borne him into the world.
But today that child alone must choose
“Whom ye will serve…”
and only he can
“Confess with your mouth
and believe in your heart…”
for himself
I can’t do it for him…

Being a creator isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

what did you feel
when You turned man loose
with Your creation?

Betty Newman

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

"Special Friends" service

This was written a few Sundays ago...

We had a special service at Church today. It was carried out by the “Special Friends” ministry of Mount Harmony Baptist Church. “Special Friends” is the name of a group of “Special Needs” children and adults.
It was such a touching service - seeing these people with such severe handicaps being so open and loving in their service to God. When it was over, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

They had 2-3 small skits which showed love and caring for each other, and in between the skits, some of the mothers gave testimonies about caring for children such as these. My heart ached, just listening to them.
The last “skit” was especially touching. Each child came to the altar to “Jesus” with “needs” listed on their backs, such as leprosy, blindness, deafness, abuse, crippled, etc. But when a man came in carrying a small severely retarded little boy, I just “lost it!”

However, it was through this service that God spoke to my heart, yet again.

I have been praying for a long time for God to use me - to use my “gifts” which I believe He has given me. I keep saying, “Lord, I just want to do something for you.”
As I was watching these mothers, and these children, I “heard” God say, “If I asked you, would you do this?”
Oh God! My heart just broke in two. For a split second, I hesitated. I could not give a resounding “Yes, Lord! Whatever You ask, I’ll do!” I hesitated. Could I really do this? Would God really ask me to do this?

Now - I know I won’t have any more children. But what could happen to the ones I have? And what about any grandchildren that may come along? Could I really do this?

I thought about it and struggled with it all day. I even asked, “What choice would I have? If God deems it necessary to allow this in my life, what choice do I have to accept it or not?
But finally, I came to this answer. If God allows this struggle into our lives, then He alone will give the strength to carry the load. I can’t jump up and say, “Bring it on, Lord. I’ll do anything You ask me to do!” I can’t be, like Peter thought he was, assured of my strength. But then, Peter wasn’t as strong as he thought he was, either. Maybe I’m just being more honest by hesitating - by saying, “I don’t know” than Peter and the disciples were by saying, “To the death, Lord, I’ll follow you.

But then, God already knows that, doesn’t He…

Betty Newman ©April 10, 2005

Monday, June 27, 2005

Upon Sitting in the Mall Food Court

I wrote this about a year ago, but still think of it each time I eat at a mall food court…

Upon Sitting in the Mall Food Court

I see a young black woman feeding an apparently handicapped white man. I am at a distance and can’t tell if he’s blind, or just can’t feed himself - and so, I begin to pray…

Father, bless this young woman in her ministry, her servanthood. May she receive a great blessing from her service.
As I look at all these people, I lift them up. What are their joys, what are their fears? I am old enough to know that within each of their lives, there is some pain - either within their own life, or someone very close to them.
I pray for them, Lord. May they know You and Your care, and Your love.
As I look, I know that You know each one of them. You made them. You know their fears, their joys, their concerns, and most importantly, You know their hearts. Do they know You, Lord? Is this young woman’s servanthood out of love to You, or does she not recognize You yet? Has she not responded or even heard Your call yet? I pray that if she hasn’t, she will.

I see a young mother with little children. Do they know You? Are these children being raised in a Christian home, or what kind of environment will they grow up thinking is “normal.”? I pray for this family Lord. If they know You, that they’ll be strengthened for the trials to come as the children grow older. If they don’t, that they’ll hear Your call and come to know Your love.

Father, the colors and nationalities, the physical, emotional, financial and educational differences represented by these Your children are many. Their ages are many and their experiences are many. We are all different, we are all loved by You. And now, may we all love and live to serve You.
In the Name of the One who died for even the least of these, I pray.

Betty J. Newman ©May 2004

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Father, I Pray (Prayer/Poem)

Father, I pray
for those who pray
for those who come
to You every day
for those who don’t always
know what to say
Father, I pray
for those who pray.

Father, I cry
for those who cry
for those whose prayers
are only but sighs
for those whose pain
draws them nigh
Father, I cry
for those who cry.

Father, I praise
with those who praise
with those who worship
in various ways
who glory regardless
of what fills their days
Father, I praise
with those who praise.

Father I pray
beside those who pray
a sweet aroma sent
heaven’s way
filling bowls of gold
from jars of clay
Father I pray
beside those who pray.

And now Lord, I kneel
with those who kneel
at the foot of the Savior
and wonder still
That His love
encompassed me, and how
His wondrous grace
would now freely allow
A sinner to come and humbly kneel
with those who kneel
and have these same questions.

©Betty J. Newman June 2005

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Prayer for the unsuspecting...

Father, as we read in the Gospels (Mark 2 & Luke 5) of the four men bringing the paralyzed man to Jesus, we note that nowhere does it say that he wanted to come. Nowhere does it say that he asked to be forgiven, nor even asked to be healed. The four (or more) friends saw his need and lifted him up, or in this case, let him down, to Jesus.

They went around the crowds, they climbed to the top of the house and they dug through the roof - just to bring their friend to Jesus.

Father, in the same way, let us lift up, or “let down” others to You. We often pray Lord, with intercessory prayer for those who ask us to pray for them. But Lord, may we pray for those as well who do not ask us to pray for them.

May we especially pray for those who have needs that they do not see, for nothing is more paralyzing than to not know, that you don’t know…

May we pray that their eyes be opened, that their sins be forgiven, and that paralyzed souls be set free to take up their beds and go out before the crowds - forgiven and reconciled to You.

Father, may we have the faith of those four men to bring our friends to You, no matter what we have to go through to get them there.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, June 24, 2005

This was written for Memorial Day, but is appropriate for every day.

Joshua 24:13-15 'I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.'
"Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Memorial Day Prayer
Oh Father, we have been so blessed. We wear clothes, which we did not sew. We eat food, which we did not raise. We live in houses, which we did not build, and we dwell in a land of such amazing freedom for which so many sacrificed so much. We have grace that is completely unmerited, and salvation for which Another died in our place.

Father we know that the temptation is always there to serve other gods - the gods of our own hands, our own “bootstraps”, and our own intellect. There are gods of our jobs, our pleasures, our possessions, and if we are not vigilant, even our freedoms can become our gods.

Oh Lord, may we always remember that every good and perfect gift comes from You. And when we are tempted to turn away, remind us, Oh Lord, of Your mercy and Your grace. May we realize that “this day” and every day, we must “choose whom ye will serve” and may we always emphatically state, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”

In the name of the One who died to set us free, even Jesus our Lord, Amen.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I waited too long...

I was touched, as a young woman, by the writings of Marjorie Holmes, but I never wrote to her or acknowledged her. Oh, I told friends about her books, and I quoted her when I spoke, but she never knew it.

I felt that, well she’s famous, and everybody else is writing to her. She is probably covered up in fan mail, mine would just get lost in the stack. Besides, who knows if she’d get the letter? I’d have to send it to the publisher, and well, you know…

I got married, and read her work. I had children, and read her work. I got busy with life, and forgot about her. Oh, I’d mention her once in a while in my Sunday School class. Her work reminded me of the Psalms. As David wrote of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” so did she. David’s works were filled with one man’s praises to God, and so were hers one woman’s praises to God in the midst of a daily life.

But, I had other things to read. Between my studies, my business, and caring for parents and children, I had no time to read, “just because” anymore; it had to have a “purpose.”

Then came the days of the internet, and e-mail, and contacting someone came “at the click of a mouse.” But still, I didn’t bother looking for her. It would have been easy, Google knows everyone ya know! But I was “busy.”

Today, I read something that reminded me of her. I climbed up and looked on the top of the bookshelf, and there, with all the other small paperback “devotional-type” books, were hers. I blew the dust off (I never said I was much of a housekeeper) and got them down.

I decided to write to her. I’d “Google” her and let her know what she’d meant to me all these years. When I did a search I found, “Marjorie Holmes: Inspirational writer 1910-2002.” And I was too late.

Don’t be “too late.” Tell your friends, your family, and your colleagues how much they mean to you. Search out people from your past that had an influence on you and tell them what they meant to you. (I am in the field I’m in today because of one year with one high school art teacher over 30 years ago. And yes, I’ve told her.)

And don’t think just because someone is “famous” that they already know their impact on your life, or that they won’t care. Sometimes “famous” is just a moniker that is put upon a person in the limelight. It does not mean that they “have it all together” by any means.

If you read her work and see some of her writings in mine - forgive me. They are not purposely plagiarized. They were simply ingrained on a young woman’s heart in her formative years. They are the feelings that every woman has felt, cries that every woman has made, and hopes that every woman has clutched deep within her breast. If you haven’t read any of her work, pick up a Marjorie Holmes book. You’ll be glad you did.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Prayer for teachers everywhere

This is the prayer that began this journey...

Over the next few days/weeks, I will be posting the prayers and articles that I have sent to the Prayerlogue list. This way, I'll have a "searchable" listing for the work, plus have it available to newcomers.

Except for the part about the school year coming to a close, this prayer could be prayed every day for teachers.


>>Today I lift up teachers.
As it is coming close to the end of the school year, I lift you up in prayer. As you struggle with students who are thinking of everything but school, I pray for continued success in the classroom. I know you, you care deeply about your “work” (I know it should more appropriately be called your “calling.”) And so, I pray for you.

I pray for the students that you are concerned about - the ones who are failing as well as the ones who are just not living up to their potential. I pray that God may use you to reach them, or give you comfort in doing the best you could have done.

I pray for tensions in the schools, whether in yours or surrounding schools, for tension in any creates tension in all. I pray for those students whose lives are filled with the tension that they bring to school. Perhaps it’s family oriented, or perhaps it’s internal, and the family is as concerned as you are - whichever, I pray for these kids.

I pray for you as an individual. I know that you are “real people” too, and have issues and other concerns outside of the schoolhouse. I pray that God will give you strength and wisdom in dealing with your struggles. I also pray for your praises - those things that bring you great joy. You give so much; you should be filled with joy.

And I pray for your prayers. May God hear the questions of your mind and give you wisdom. May God hear the cries of your heart and give you peace.

In the Name of the One who was called “Great Teacher” (oh teacher, what a noble profession and model you have chosen to follow.)
In His name I pray, Amen.<<

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Welcome and introduction.

As I stated in the "about me" section, Welcome to my Prayerlogue. This is my first post, and I'm sure there will be quite a learning curve, so hang in there.

Let me say, first of all, that this has evolved out of a weekly devotional e-mail message that I've been sending since April 2005. It began as simply praying for a group of teachers and was met with such an overwhelming positive response, and a growth in folks wanting to be added to the list, that I began searching for a way to reach more people.

However, the weekly mailing continues.

If you're like most folks, and don't have time to read a blog daily, or even forget about it from time to time, you can sign up for our weekly "Prayerlogue" e-mail. All you need to do is e-mail me at and say "please add this address."

You'll receive a weekly devotional with a link to this blog to remind you to check in. That's all there is to it. And you can remove your address at any time.

I hope you enjoy it and receive a blessing.