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Prayers

Before 5/1/2017





Prayers Previously by Don


Hear Our Prayers, O Lord


Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from, for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen

Date

Title


Date


Title

5/1/17

I Don’t Remember Not Knowing You, Lord

5/16/17

When Your Babies Cry, Lord

6/4/17

Whose Fight Is It, Lord?

6/14/17

1 Good Thing About a Bad Tooth

6/23/17

Mercy, Lord! Mercy!



















I Just Don’t Remember Not Knowing You, Lord!


I just can’t remember a time when I doubted your existence or didn’t know your love for me, Heavenly Father.  I have no memory, as a child, of not going to Sunday School and church.  I am so thankful for that.


Sure, there were times I resented be told I was going.  I am grateful my mom and dad were faithful parents.  I don’t remember many sermons I heard preached, or lessons taught in Sunday School, mostly by my dad.  I’ll never forget my dad standing before our teen-age class, Bible and Sunday Quarterly open, teaching us the Holy Word.


My ears still ear that little bell being tapped to signal classes were over and we were to gather for the Secretary’s Report.  I’ll always recall those moments of what seemed to me idle chatter between the adults, and then dad would say, “The preacher’s here. Time to worship.”


There was a moment of awe when the pastor came it.  Lindsay Basham.  Orville Belcher.  Layton Saunders.  How they so commanded respect.  It was almost as if you, God, were there.  Now, I know you really were there.


Then we sang: Vianna Gleason or Edna Wallen played piano.  Vianna played by ear.  Edna read music.  “Sunlight, Sunlight in my soul today.  Sunlight, sunlight all along the narrow way.  Since my savior found me, took away my sins, I have had the sunlight of his love within.”


It wasn’t a fancy building.  Mostly it was in the auditorium of our grade school, then in the basement of a block building that has since been abandoned.  


Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for it all.


I remember the night I went to the altar.  I cried.  I don’t know why, but I did.  Basil Perdue was my buddy.  I sat with him every service.  He was sick.  He gave me a Bible Story book and used to cut Prince Albert Tobacco tins down to put fishing hooks and sinkers.  Then he died.  I still love him and miss him.  Tell him, for me, Jesus, I think of him often.


I wish I could say I never sinned after by new birth.  That would be a lie.  Of course you know that.  But, Lord, what you don’t know are the sins that I committed.  I glad you said when you forgive you forget.  I wish I could do that, but I think I am doing better, little by little, case by case.


Now that I am nearly 74 years old, Father, I am more and more grateful you saved me.  I don’t want to physically die just yet, but that’s not my decision.  It’s yours.  Please hear me, Lord, about this:  Thank you for my wife, who loves me second only to Jesus.  Thank you, Lord, for my children and all my families.  I entrust them to your hands and count on you to, somehow, get them all into heaven with me forever.


I know, Lord, this is a kind of silly prayer.  Rather infantile, some might say.  But, Father, I am your child.  I love you, and I trust you with everything.  I hope you hear my prayer as I have meant it to be.


Again, Thank You, in Jesus’ Name.  Amen.


Don Meadows

5/1/2017

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When Your Babies Cry, Lord!

Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray. – Psalm 5:2 (NRSV)

* * *

We cry to be heard, Lord.  The sounds of my despair may be a nuisance to some, but you listen patiently, knowingly.  Sometimes my cries may be silent to ears but not to you!  I cry to you because I know you care.

I cry to be freed.  Many bars cage me and keep me a prisoner, trapped by my pain, confused because I don’t understand why, confined and I am afraid.

So many things -- desires, feelings, anger, and frustration – hold me down.  You, only you, understand.  You know me and my situation even better that I.   Long before I find words to speak, you have heard my heart and have started your work of love.

Then, you come!  You pick me up and carry me to a place where it’s just you and me, a place of joy and peace and rest.  O, how my heart rejoices.  My cries stop because deep inside I know you are with me.  You care!

My soul purrs like the softness of a lost kitten found, cradled, safe, wanted, loved.  Is not this the desires of all hearts, Lord?  To escape from all that confines and keeps us from you?  The need to be what you have created us to be?  Freedom is given; how wonderful it is.  I can go where I want, become whom you want me to be, and know for certain that you are but a cry away.

In the night you are there.  Before the dawn you heard my pleas, and you came.  You know what I want, and you know that what I want most is you there, with me.

Please show me somehow that when my hurts are cutting to my very core, you have been healing me.  My body’s aches and pains will cease.  My brain pain will be taken away and replaced with courage and rest.  My heart’s distresses will be soothed and joy – your joy – again will be mine.  How wonderful are your gifts of love.

I am safe now – safe from death, safe from hell.  You, Lord, are my assurance, my life.  On the cross you bore me.  From the grave you’ll raise me.   You bought me, and I am yours. Forever!

But now I cry.  It’s not a cry of defeat, but it’s a cry of happiness because I know I am loved.  I cry because you have the power and yours is the will to set me apart from any evil that might threaten me.  None can touch me, except by your permission; you have promised that all things shall work to my good because I love you and you have called me to your very purpose (Romans 8:28).

Thank you, Father, for hearing my cry, the cry of a baby born anew by thy Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name.  Guard me always against all that would harm me – even myself.  Amen!


Don Meadows

5/16/17


Inspired by Storm’s cries in “home hospital” and Janet’s loving response at 4 a.m.

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Whose Fight Is It, Lord?

Reuben's sons and the Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh were successful in battle for Israel, Lord, for one reason only. They recognized "the war was of God." (1 Chronicles 5:22)


This insight helps me realize that sometimes I "war" for the wrong reasons. I "war" to protect my place in the world. I "war" to secure security. I "war" for gain of something. I "war" for I am trying to protect myself -- for many reasons.


Whose wars do I fight, Lord? O, answer my heart's hidden question! Show me if the wars I wage are my wars, or do I battle in obedience to claim a victory for You?


I am a passionate person, Father. Sometimes this is excessive. I confront those whom I decide violate your will. This is so on theological, moral, political, relational and economic battlefields. And, I fight. O, how I will fight convinced of the rightness of my cause and tactics. I just assume too often that You are on the frontline with me!


My face, my soul blush when I discover and have the courage to admit that I am wrong. That's not easy for me to do, Lord, and I will struggle against that confession as long as there is a chance that I can be vindicated.


Forgive me, Lord Jesus. And spank me until I want correction from you. Give me strength to be weak. Help me to see that hidden in the deep and dark recesses of my will I am not being honest with you. Cause me to know I am not being honest with myself.


I fancy myself as a loyal soldier in your cause, Lord. Too often I buy into that lie, then see I am fighting my war and not yours.


How utterly ridiculous is my opinion of my intentions. Lies. Lies. Lies! How easily I spot them in others; how blind I am to mine. Thy judgement, Jesus, convicts me: "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Matthew 7:3 (KJV)


Purge from my heart my heart unclean motives. Help me see and remove my prejudices.  soften my words, temper my temper, draw out of me that which dishonors you and deceives me.  Implant in me more and more of your love, compassion and mercy for others. Teach me to be a winner of souls, not an accuser of hearts. Refine within me the understanding of when yours is the war and not mine, I shall be armed with your munitions to win your battle, not claim the victory is mine but thine.


O, God, repair that which is broken in me, and then I can honorably salute you as not my captain but my King.

This I ask in the name of and to the glory of Jesus. Amen!

Don Meadows

6/4/17

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1 Good Thing About a Bad Tooth

There looms for me this day, O Lord, an unpleasantness of necessity.  A tooth, I fear, must be extracted.

 

It is so because of three realities: 1. It's starting to cause me pain. 2. To keep it would endanger other parts of my body. 3.  It could result in cancellation of my knee surgery on July 5.

 

I shall not contrive to explain why the tooth has gone bad.  There are probably more reasons than I can list, even understand.  But, Lord, you are showing me something important.  Sin is like a tooth gone bad.

 

Oh, it hides.  It goes about its secret work without stopping, eating away at the spiritual health in my soul.  There are little revelations of its existence, sensitivity here, a tiny discomfort there; these usually are ignored.

 

I'm fortunate, Jesus. A regular cleaning at the dentist, an alert hygienist and an X-Ray unmasked the little nemesis.  Close examination showed a tiny break, the X-Ray revealed a pocket of decay.  In 6 hours I'll be sitting in that chair, thinking who knows what, waiting for the exorcism of the problem.

 

I see my need, Lord, for daily check-ups by thy Holy Spirit. He will reveal any hiding sin, refer me to the Lord Jesus for the treatment of forgiveness, and take out of my heart every death-aimed, decaying evil trying to plant itself in my heart.

 

Thank you, Lord, for dentists and technology that helps us keep reasonably healthy by alerting us to hiding problems.  Most of all, Lord, thank you for your merciful heart of forgiveness and the sending of your Spirit to show me my weakness and need for you.

 

I praise you, Lord Jesus! Amen.

 

Don Meadows

6/14/17

7 a.m.

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Mercy, Lord!  Mercy!

Inspired by Psalm 94:20-23

Each day, O God, the shouts of evil are heard in what seems increasing intensity!  Have mercy on them, Lord, for they know not what they do.

Bombers, shooters, and wielders of instruments of pain and death raise their arms in what they think is gleeful celebration of the terror they spread. Statistics of death, destruction and demoralization that their actions cause are hailed as a flag of victory.

They don’t understand. Their joyful chants announce their own coming judgment. They celebrate their impending doom.

You, omniscient God, always hear rightly.  You hear their words; you know their hearts.  How you must weep!

They claim consort with you, but they are wrong! You, Holy Lord, will have no part with evil.

You give life to the innocent. They kill.  They name you as author of their evil, but they lie.

Have mercy, O righteous one of heaven.  You are the stronghold of your people, and those who mock and betray you shall feel your wrath.  May your mercy turn them from their consuming hatred and teach them love.  May their kin see you have willed that all brothers and sisters of the world follow Jesus, the perfect love.  Let them realize you – the one true God -- hate hate.

You are light, not evil darkness. You are life, not death. You are joy, not sorrow.  You are God.  There is none other. You are unchanging.  You don’t compromise.  Your judgment is just, giving blessing or exacting punishment.

Satan and man’s evils may flourish for a season.  You note every act; nothing (evil or righteousness) escapes your knowing; so we can and will trust you!

You, our Lord, will wipe out the evil ones and his converts.  You will bless with eternal blessing those who bless you.

Forgive our impatience, wanting you to take vengeance against our enemies in our timing.  Ignore us; have thine own way in thy own time. Comfort we who grieve; heal we who hurt; welcome us into thy presence we who die at the hand of evil for your cause.

Yes, intercede for us who are in this world but not of this world.  Embolden all who proclaim you as the Lord, and save us --  we into whom you have breathed your Holy Spirit.  

Teach us, please, how to love those who hate us.  It’s not easy with these human hearts, so give us more and more the heart of Jesus.

Instruct us rightly, in his name. Amen.

Don Meadows

6/19/17


*Published 6/23/17

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