Declutter my soul

It was a decluttering kind of morning for the Wonder Twins and me. Juan and Lulu, the housecleaners, are coming, and if we leave anything out, they will put it away...ummm....very creatively. As-in, never to be found again.
As I bustled around tossing trash and filing away random papers, I sensed God doing the same thing to my soul. I'm cluttered, friends. Cluttered with worries. Cluttered with insecurities. Cluttered with lies. Cluttered with sin. I bet I'm not alone in this condition. Anyone else?
Thankfully, God's a lot like Juan and Lulu... when we let Him have control of our soul clutter, He makes it disappear... that is, until we manufacture some more. Why do we do that???
The key to clutter is to stay on top of it and not to let it pile up. One of my favorite go-to prayers comes straight from God's Word: "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV).
It's a prayer we can't pray too much. The more we allow God free-rein (and reign) in our hearts, the more he'll keep our soul surfaces free of worries and full of peace. Free of insecurities and full of God-confidence. Free of lies and full of truth. Free of sin and full of right living.
Does your soul need some decluttering, too? Let's go to Jesus.
 My soul is not in tip-top shape. Please forgive me for letting so much yuck pile up. This is not Your best for me. Please, declutter my soul and cover it with Your joyful fingerprints.
 "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV).
 I am worried.
Worried about the future. Worried about things that may not even happen. Worried about things I can't control. 
 I hear you, Lord, urging me to cast those cares on You like a heavy stone thrust into a deep pond (1 Peter 5:7). I hear You say to me, "Seek first [My] kingdom and [My] righteousness, and all [your needs] will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33 NIV).
 I am feeling insecure.
 I've been leaning on my own strength, my own skills, my own smarts, and, oh, how I fall short!
 I hear You, Lord, urging me to rest under the shadow of Your wing (Psalm 17:8). I hear You say to me, "Beloved, rest secure in [Me], for [I will shield you] all day long, and the one [I love] rests between [My] shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12 NIV).
 I am believing lies.
 You'll never change. You're not worth fighting for. Your future's bleak.
 I hear You, Lord, urging me to listen to the Voice of Truth (John 8:32). I hear You, Almighty God, say to me, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him” (Luke 9:35 NIV).
 I am cluttered up with sin.
 Pride. Unbelief. Bitterness. Jealousy. Idolatry. Ugly words and even uglier thoughts. Please forgive me as I turn from these festery, defeating things.
 I hear You, Lord, urging me to let You wash me clean (Psalm 51:7). I hear You say to me, “I [don't] condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NKJV).
 It's funny, Lord. The more I hear You, the less I hear the accuser's taunts. The more access I give You to my soul, the more beautiful it becomes. Keep decluttering, Lord, until every surface shines with Your likeness. 
 In the powerful, purifying name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN
What's cluttering your soul? I'd love to pray for you.

People Watching with Jesus

As my fingers peck the keys, I'm sitting in a crowded waiting area waiting for an oil change. My fellow waiters are doing everything from snoring softly to reading old copies of Car and Driver. Patriotic balloons hang from the ceiling to help our wait be more festive. One whole wall displays all kinds of snacks and drinks to keep us content. The television flashes a fixer-upper show with a pretty blonde host. They even have Carrie Underwood singing "Something in the Water" through the ceiling speakers. Man, they thought of everything!
Shhh, don't tell the car dealership folks, but I've found the secret to making waiting room moments not only tolerable but purposeful. I pray.
Think of it as people watching with Jesus. The people sitting in this waiting room are strangers I may see only once. I may not know what they need, but He does. As I lay eyes on each precious soul in this room, God sees and understands their deepest needs.
Lord, please meet these people right in the middle of their need. If they know You, may they know You better. If they don't know You, open their eyes to see who You are and how You love. Show me how to pray for them today.
For the woman at the coffee urn, warm any parts of her heart that are cold from pain.
For the man helping himself to a water bottle, be his Living Water.
For the woman pacing the floor with her Chick Fila cup, may her soul settle down in peace.
For the man with the hearing aid, may he hear Your voice loud and clear.
For the woman texting on her pink phone, send her a message of love.
For the man catching a snooze, may he find his rest in You.
For the pregnant woman, give her a healthy baby and a heart to raise it to know and love You.
For the woman on her phone giving her pick-up person directions, be her guiding light.
For the man in the "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" shirt, blow a kiss to his soul.
For the woman who just sauntered in with a cold Diet Coke, refresh her soul. (Prayer pause as LeeBird digs out change for a Diet Coke…ahhh!)
For the man in the red shirt, remind him Your blood ran red when You died for him.
For the man with leg braces, be his firm place to stand.
For the man in army green, may he let You fight for him.
For the woman with the drooping shoulders, may Your love help her to stand tall.
For the woman with multiple tattoos, may she realize her name is engraved on the palms of Your hands.
For the woman lugging a heavy purse, may she cast her burdens on You.
For the two workers behind the customer service desk, serve them a dose of kindness today.
For the sweet young man checking folks in, may he check in with You and get his cup filled.
For the repair men working behind the scenes, fix any broken places in their souls.
For the woman, Holly, who just sat down beside me, may our conversation turn to You.
Holly and I had a sweet visit. As I heard a bit of her story, God gave me plenty of specific prayers to pray for her. I'll keep those between God and me.
The one-hour oil change ended up taking closer to two and a half hours. Although I ended up being late to my next appointment, the prolonged wait felt like mere minutes. With new folks milling about all the time, I never ran out of people to pray for. Time flies when I'm people watching with Jesus.
Lord, thank you for showing me a different way to wait. Thank you for opening my eyes to the once-in-a-lifetime mix of people in my midst. People You love. People You see. People who need prayer. In Jesus' Name I pray, AMEN
Do you have some waiting room moments on your calendar for this week? What do you think of the idea of people watching with Jesus?