ALL THE PRAYERS OF PAUL This is a new project. Actually two new parallel projects. “Transforming Suffering” looks at how suffering can raise us to a new level of awareness, thinking, compassion, un…



THERE IS A PATTERN DEVELOPING. . . A pattern of prayer 1) Paul prays for earthy, simple things like the desire to go see people he loves, and for people to get along with each other. 2) Then we see…



THERE IS A PATTERN DEVELOPING. . . A pattern of prayer

1) Paul prays for earthy, simple things like the desire to go see people he loves, and for people to get along with each other.
2) Then we see him praying for some abstract things as being happy in hope, being patient in tribulation and constant in prayer.  Hope is a continual theme.
3) We will see the next level coming in future blogs prayers for people’s relationship with God
4) Finally Paul prays for us to get the big picture.

Keep on the lookout for things to come. . .


Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

This is a first things first verse. “What does “. . .the God of hope…” mean! Real hope must be in someone or something that is secure, competent, reliable and trustworthy. I lost hope in my doctors in Dallas. They were none of the above. I had gone to many, many doctors there. I actually lost the will to live because I had no hope anyone could help me. Without a firm trust I gave up. Without a firm trust in the God of hope, we can become hopeless. But why or how can we trust in God.

                                     Processed with MOLDIV

But when John the Baptist was in jail, he started doubting, started feeling hopeless. He wanted to know if Jesus really was the person God had promised would come and save the people in world even though John baptized Jesus.. No governments had been overthrown. No freedom from the Roman rule had happened. Where was the kingdom of God? The disciples came back to John with Jesus answer, “Jesus answered them, “Go tell John what you hear and see: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them. Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me” (Matthew 11:2-6). One thing about God you need to know, He is full of surprises. Well. . . actually they only seem like surprises because we, like John are expecting one thing while God has told us something completely different. So we need to listen as well as talk with God. When we lose hope, we become poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3. We are impoverished of hope—clutching the bars of our prison cells with white knuckles, our once confident voices now desperately crying “Can anyone help me?”

Jesus, are you the one, or are we to wait for another?

In the post below “How to Have Hope When There is No Hope,” we saw that the one characteristic you can grab onto and hang on for dear life is God’s LOVE. Love is what motivates Him to help us. We can trust that. . . always. That is the security we have that God is “The God of hope.” The Bible says,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not die but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“. . . fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Hopelessness is a curse. Every person who has gone through “Recovery” knows that the beginning step is to recognize a higher power. We gave have to look up and out of our selves. When we look to a God we can trust, absolutely, something beautiful starts growing.

I am reminded of the words of John Michael Talbot’s song “Be Not Afraid.”

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

When we find that place of rest in the center of our being JOY is our first response. It may be very quiet or it may burst out like stream out of our rocky hearts. Then a deep, quiet PEACE settles in that cannot be described. We feel this could last forever but there is a qualifier, “BELIEVING.” Staying here in this beautiful, restful, quiet center requires the constant exercise of believing.

BELIEVE! God is waiting to hear from you. Why not take a few moments right now and talk with Him.

We must use our minds and our spirits to do this new exercise of faith. We need the power of the Holy Spirit of God to help us in this new way of living. We cannot do this by ourselves. We need help to turn old, old negative thoughts, attitudes, moods and behaviors into hope, joy and believing. Then we can “. . . abound in hope.”. Odd little phrase. But it simply means that we get way more hope than we could ever imagine

If this has been helpful to you or if you want to comment, please use the COMMENT BOX below.

Romans 15:5–6
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


We need endurance and encouragement to live in harmony with other people. Notice that harmony means we all don’t sing the same note. Allowing people around us to have differing opinions and viewpoints is essential to living in harmony with each other. But HOW do we do that? The Apostle Paul gives us hint in our verse, “. . .in accord with Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus is the embodiment of pure LOVE*. Living a life of LOVE is only possible if Jesus is living in me and through me. I cannot be in harmony with all the obnoxious, ignorant, angry people around me by myself. Ask Jesus to come into your life. John 3:16.

We also need guidance.


1) Try not to escalate in any disagreements. This includes raising your voice, “punching the other person’s buttons,” throwing things, etc. It is fruitless to increase the trouble by loudly using unkind words and blaming others, even though we find that they are wrong, they are to blame, or lying.

2) Agree with the other person as many times as you can. Remember “Fools argue; wise people discuss.”

3) Walk away. Some people are completely incapable of having a calm conversation with you at this time. It is wise to turn around and walk away. Make an appointment with the them (even if it is you spouse) to continue the conversation at another time, even if it’s a social media conversation.

4) Avoid banging people with truth! Respect truth but don’t annoy anybody with it. My grandmother used to tell me “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” You might be technically right. But living a life if LOVE is NOT about being right. It is about loving other people and finding a way to do that.

5) Learn when to speak and when to be silent. You are not comprising you own ideals, truth, and inner peace by not arguing. If in doubt about what to say then listen, really listen to what the other person is saying.

6) Be courteous! We should first of all be courteous to our immediate relatives. The closer people are to us the more we need to use words like, please and thank you. Calm silence, sincerity, and courteous words, whether one is agreeing or disagreeing with others, mark the person who knows how to behave.

7) If you want to be loved, start loving others who need your love. If you want to be respected, you must learn to be respectful to everyone, both young and old, obnoxious and sweet.

We cannot do these things without the help if Jesus. Rely on the Holy Spirit of Jesus to help you deal with toxic people and people who are simply annoying. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit then you will have the power of God, Himself in your inner person. Our goal is to learn to live a life of LOVE. Using the exercises above will enable us to “with one voice” live the life if LOVE. This is what God wants.

Please let me know if it’s has been helpful to you. Write a comment below.

Romans 12:12

 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

HOPE! I have very debilitating polymyositis. Every day I go to three polymyositis groups for support, encouragement, and HOPE! Three years ago before I was correctly diagnosed I had no hope and I was also struggling with heart failure. After 5 cardiologists in Dallas who couldn’t diagnose what was wrong with my heart, I gave up and preparing myself to die.

My husband and daughter had other ideas. They found a heart failure clinic in Houston that specializes in weird heart problems. I didn’t want to go. I had severe doctor paranoia. My daughter chewed me up one side and down the other. She told me to get down there no matter how bad I felt. Good daughter. I did go. The doctor in my the Houston Heart Failure Clinic spent 1 ½ hrs with me. Then she took my face in her hands and looking into my eyes said, “I can help you!” I believed her. For the first time in a very long time I had HOPE. Wonderful HOPE!

But what do we do when there seems to be no hope? Let’s see if this verse can help us.


Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is a power packed verse. I have quoted it, used it in counseling, and I thought I understood it. But when I hit the wall I lost all contact with these truths. How on earth can I rejoice aways? How can a human being “Be anxious for nothing.”? The answer is within the verse. The only way this happens is when we bring it to God. Notice it says that God is near. It may not seem like it but we need to make it an exercise daily to say over and over “God is right here with me. God loves me no matter what.”

There are three words in this verse for talking to God. 1) PRAYER is just plain talking to God about anything and everything. 2) SUPPLICATION is asking God to do something about it, to help us in the situation. 3) THANKSGIVING is being grateful that God has heard us, that He cares deeply about our situation, and that He loves us far more than we could ever know.

The result of this type of praying is PEACE. This is the reason I lost HOPE was I was NOT doing these things. I was not doing what I knew to do. I call these exercises Hand Holds. Hand Holds are the things we can grab to lift us up out of the hopelessness and depression.

Our verse in Romans tells us to be patient in tribulation. Now that doesn’t seem so impossible. We are armed with help. Notice it says to “…be constant in prayer.” That’s the key! Using these exercises constantly not only results in peace but also guards our heart against future episodes of hopelessness and depression. We need to think of these exercises as tools in our arsenal just like taking antidepressants. Yes! I take antidepressants, too. My body sends out chemical signals that something is wrong. People with chronic illnesses often need more help. People with severe depression also may need extra help. There us NO SHAME in taking antidepressants. You have not failed in your faith. It’s just another means that God can use to help us.



Romans 10:1. Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

Saved from what? Incredible as it seems the super religious people in Israel missed the point of Jesus’ message and Paul’s almost completely. We can see in the Book of Matthew the very earthy Jesus getting up every day and attacking the organized religion of the day. They did not understand “God is a spirit. . . worship Him in spirit and in truth” John 4:24

They did not understand the teaching of Jesus and Paul that true spirituality is a LOVE* based life. Moses gave them the great Shema “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6). We could say it this way, too “. . . you shall LOVE!”

LOVE! That’s the basis of true spirituality! A life of LOVE begins with recognizing that God IS LOVE! God’s LOVE is different than human love. He loves us just as we are. We do not have to try to be better for God to LOVE us. He already loves us.

Paul had a deep heartache over his people not understanding true spirituality. We see this pain over and over again in his writings in the New Testament.1 Jesus also expressed his agony over people.2 Both Jesus and Paul suffered physically.3. Both of them put their physical suffering second to their love and desire to help people. Basically the Jewish people of th believed that they had to have all their ducks in a row before they could please God.

We do not have to get our ducks in a row. Jesus and Paul were desperate to get this point across. Paul says, “Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does it all.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 The Message) The first step is recognizing that we are hopeless and helpless to help ourselves. Jesus tells us “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (MSG). I, like most people thought I had to get my ducks in a row. Then God revealed to me that I DON’T HAVE ANY DUCKS!

It’s a gift! This salvation from ourselves and the wrongness within us is free, a gift from God. It has a name too, grace. Grace! I can relax. All the wrong things I’ve said. All the wrong things I’ve done. All the wrong choices I’ve made. All of it taken care of by the LOVE of Jesus. That’s why He left His Father. It’s why He left heaven. He chose to come to us messed up humans and save us. He did this by dying for us and taking ALL the wrongs of every human being who ever lived, you, me, your boss, your mother-in-law, the neighbor down the street, Hitler, the rapist, a murderer, yes, even an ISIS terrorist. No one is left out. All I have to do is accept this gift and decide to let Jesus live His life of LOVE in me.

There you have it. I cannot live the life of LOVE on my own. I don’t even know where to begin to LOVE my enemies. That’s work for Jesus. I just need to learn to let Him do it.  You can ask him into your life right now.

We see in Paul’s prayer for those he loved so deeply, an agony beyond words. I think he knew they would never “get it.” I think he knew they would always be proud of their spirituality which made them hate others who weren’t as “spiritual” as themselves. Their path was a polar opposite of the free gift to the “poor beggar” who comes to God with nothing.

*LOVE – God’s love as opposed to human love

1 Romans 9:1-5; Rom 9:30-33; Rom 11:1-2;

2 Luke 19:43-44; John 11:35

3 Matthew 27:32; John 19:1

Please let me know if this has been meaningful to you.

This is a new project. Actually two new parallel projects. “Transforming Suffering” looks at how suffering can raise us to a new level of awareness, thinking, compassion, understanding, and spirituality. As I was using “All the Prayers of Paul” for my private devotional time, I discovered that his prayers fit in very nicely with how suffering is redemptive and transforming.Redemptive suffering is when you go through a problem or pain for the benefit of others.

I have several very serious medical conditions. Polymyositis is a weakening of my skeletal muscles caused by inflammation. It has weakened my lung muscles to the point that two weeks ago I was transferred by ambulance to Houston Methodist because I quit breathing. They gave me 1000ml of Prednisone infusion every day for 5 days. Now I will receive a home infusion every 3 weeks. I also have a heart problem called dyastolic heart dysfunction. Basically, that is a hardening of the bottom portion of my heart.

I share these things so that you will understand what I am going through as I go through it. Also I want you to know that thus us not an academic exercise. My hope is that you will find help and hope in whatever you are suffering whether sickness, financial, marital, loss if a loved one, , mental illness, or whatever your suffering may be.

Thank you for joining me on this journey!