Welcome to A Family House of Prayer Site!

It is only just begun, and yet we are already changing the future. We are one little house … one little house that has become "a house of prayer for all nations." Please, join us in making a difference far beyond the reach of your hands …. Just say “yes” to the Lord and watch Him faithfully complete the work in your own home. “Yes, Lord. Make our house a house of prayer for all nations.” Go to the side bar and look for the first post in March "In the beginning" for starters.

Friday, December 2, 2016

In the Beginning was the Word ...

Bringing it to the top again (because it moves me to tears every year - originally published in 2013)

A Christmas Meditation - Into the Eyes of the Christ Child

As soft Christmas carol instrumentals played in the background, I asked the Lord, "Will you take me back into the time of Jesus' birth?  Can I be there with Mary and Joseph?"  As I prayed and set my eyes on Jesus, He transported me in the spirit, until I was standing in the stable with Mary and Joseph.  They were aware of my presence, but in an accepting way, not startled at all.  Amazed, I slowly moved closer to Mary, so that I could see Jesus more clearly.  Mary smiled at me and held the carefully wrapped infant out to me as if to say, “Would you like to hold him?”  

My heart melted within me.  "Me?  Hold him?” I stammered  

But Mary smiled with an expression that said, “Why not?” 

"Why, yes.  Of course!"

I was cradling the baby Jesus in my arms, close to my chest, just like I would hold any other baby.. except that my insides felt like they were melting into one giant pool of emotion.  

When the baby Jesus opened his eyes, I was mesmerized.  Deep, beautiful, and calm, his eyes were a color I'd never seen before.  Transfixed, I stared into those deeply wondrous eyes, my gaze filled with the longing to know Him more.




As I continued to gaze, I was drawn into those eyes, as if my entire being were being drawn through them and beyond them - far beyond them.  Suddenly I could see so far beyond - far back in time. Time before time.  Here Jesus was not an infant at all.  Instead I saw Him as "the craftsman at the Father’s side" during creation (Prov 8:30).  I was there, watching as He brought stars into existence.  In a time-lapsed fashion with startling clarity and color, similar to the images from the Hubbell space telescope, I watched the birth of stars and galaxies.  I knew I was light years away and yet at the same time it seemed like I had a front row seat, watching brilliant, multi-faceted lights swirling and flashing.  

Overcome, I took a deep breath, and again my eyes were captivated by this tiny baby, whose eyes held galaxies.  How could it be that these beautiful baby eyes were in essence the same eyes that gazed upon the very beginnings of creation of an entire Universe! This baby at one time spoke and galaxies were birthed at His very word!


I handed baby Jesus back to Mary, and immediately I was back in my own home, sitting on my brown couch with my two daugh ters by my side.  They were completely unaware that I’d been gone at all, though they wondered at the tears I wiped away.

Like Mary, I ponder these things in my heart.

For more meditation:

Proverbs 8: 22 -31 (New Living Translation)
 "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; 23 I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. 24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; 25 before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, 26 before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. 27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, 28 when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, 29 when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.30 Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, 31 rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Longing for Glory Divine, a poem

You feed me this indescribably sweet fruit of your Presence
And it is by Your very hand that I receive,
simply parting my lips.
And if I should reach out my own hand
to attempt to touch, to hold, to take,
would it not dematerialize,
no longer there to taste?
For it was never mine in the first place,
but gift given.
Simply a moment of eternal ecstasy,
or just a mere foretaste.
Longing for glory divine lingers on my lips

as I wait in this place.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Psalm 139 for meditation

For Meditation
Psalm 139: A psalm of David (NLT).*
1  lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me .. and you LOVE me!
2  You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away … when I am doing things my own way and not paying attention to you … and still you LOVE me and are patient with me!
3  You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do … and whether those things are pleasing to you or not, still you LOVE me!
4  You know what I am going to say even before I say it, lord …  May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You, Lord. 
5   You go before me and follow me.  You surround me with your Love.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.  Sometimes I can even feel your hand of blessing resting upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand! 
How can the Creator of the Universe be with me in such a close and compassionate way?
7  I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!  Your presence is in me and all around me, filling me and surrounding me.
8  If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.  My future is secure in You, for you will be with me through everything, even through the deepest darkest valley. 
9  If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.  In my weakest moments you are my strength!
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
12  but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Night and Day are both the same in your sight – full of your brilliant light!
13  You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16  You saw me before I was born, and You LOVED me way back then!
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 
Even before I had a physical body, you dreamed me up!  You knew me and loved me from before the creation of the world!  (Eph 1:4).**
17  How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!

They cannot be numbered!
18  I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
I picture your hands full of tiny sparkling gems, and each one represents a precious thought – a precious thought about me!
How can this be?  Could it be that I am dreaming? 
[But] when I wake up,
You are still with me!
…..
23  Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
I confess that I am anxious, that I fear; show me where I don’t trust you. Remind me of your faithfulness.  I repent from fear and anxiety and choose to cast my cares on You, knowing that You care for me.  (1 Pet 5:7)
24  Also, please Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
I want to live a life that is pleasing to you, and I want to follow you all the days of my life!

--
*The text is from the New Living Translation.  Words in italics are ones that I added. ( Pam Amlung)
**Ephesians Chapter 1:
3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes5God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.b 7He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Prayer from Colossians – Ch 1 -3 (ESV) - first person, for praying outloud


Lord, fill me and strengthen me.
9Lord, I pray, asking and believing, that You will fill me with the knowledge of Your will with all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
10 Lord, fill me, so that I may walk in a manner worthy of you, and that I may be fully pleasing to You, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You, my Lord and my God.
 Lord, I pray, asking and believing, that you will strengthen me with all power, according to your glorious might, so that I may have great endurance and patience with joy.
(Repeat above, believing this for yourself, personally.)
Thank You for bringing me into Your Light.
I thank you, Father, for you have qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 Thank you for delivering me from the domain of darkness and transferring me into the kingdom of your beloved Son, 14 in whom I have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.
15 I rejoice in You, Jesus, knowing that you are just like your Father, the invisible and eternal God, and that you were the firstborn of all creation.
Confession of Faith in Jesus and Who He Is.
 16 I believe in You, Christ Jesus, that by You all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through You and by You. 17 You are before all things, and in You, Lord Jesus, all things hold together. 18 You are the head of the body, the church. You are the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and in everything You are preeminent [above all]. 19 For in You, Jesus, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and I believe that You are reconciling all things to yourself, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood that you shed on the cross.
21 Although I was once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil not good, YOU have now reconciled me - in your body of flesh by your death - in order to present ME holy and blameless and above reproach before You.   23 Be merciful to me that I may continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that I have heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven.
Rejoicing, working, proclaiming: Christ in me the hope of glory.
24 May I rejoice even when I am suffering.  Thank you for calling me to minister and proclaim the Gospel, according to the unique stewardship that you give to me.  May I work to make your Word fully known. 26   Lord, I pray that you will allow me to be part of revealing the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but revealed to us in Christ.  Make known again in my generation the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is YOU, Christ Jesus, dwelling in ME and in each of us. You are the Hope of Glory – You are in me! 28 May I proclaim YOU, admonishing and teaching everyone whom you’ve given me, with all wisdom, that they may mature in Christ. 29 May this be something I work hard for using your strength -  struggling with all Your energy that You powerfully work within me.

Ch 2

I pray that You will encourage our hearts, Lord, and knit us together in love, so that we may reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding.  I want to live in this reality: the knowledge of God's mystery, which is You, Christ Jesus.  In YOU are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 
May I know the mysteries of hidden treasure – wisdom and knowledge that are found in You, alone!
I pray that no one may delude me with plausible arguments. I pray that I will retain the firmness of my faith in You, Christ Jesus.
Therefore, just as I have received you, Christ Jesus, as my Lord, may I walk in You, rooted, grounded, and built up in YOU and established in my faith and may I live a life that is overflowing with thanksgiving.
I will see to it that no one takes me captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 
Confession of Faith
9 I confess that in Christ Jesus dwells the whole fullness of the Godhead in bodily form, 10 and I confess the reality that at the same time, I have been (and therefore I am) filled with Christ, who is the head of all rule and authority. 1In Christ I have also had my heart circumcised through Christ, by putting off the body of the flesh, 12 having been buried with him in baptism.  And I also confess that I have been raised with Christ through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Christ Jesus from the dead. 
13 Although without Christ I was dead in my trespasses and flesh, You, the gracious God, have made me alive together with Christ, and you have forgiven me all my trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against me with its legal demands. You set it all aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 And I rejoice that YOU have disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Christ!
Rejecting Religious Pride
16 Because I know that Christ is alive in me, I will let no one pass judgment on me in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 I recognize that these were and are simply a shadow of the things to come.  The substance – the eternal reality - belongs to Christ. 18 For these reasons I will pay no mind to those who would try to disqualify me, by insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up with spiritual pride. 
19 I will not turn from the TRUTH; instead I will hold fast to the Head (you Christ Jesus), from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 With Christ I have died to the elemental spirits of the world.  Therefore I am not still alive to the ways of this world.  I will not allow myself to be duped into submitting to religion’s regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings. 23  I acknowledge that although these have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body,  they are actually of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Ch3

Since I have been raised with Christ, I will seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 
I will set my mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For I have died, and my life is hidden with Christ in God. And I know that when Christ who is my life appears, then I also will appear with him in glory.
I choose to put to death what is earthly and base within me:[b] sexual immorality, impure passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  I recognize that on account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] Although at one time I walked in these paths, now I choose to put all these behind me: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and unwholesome talk.  I won’t put others down.  Instead, I choose to tell the truth, build others up, and not lie; I will put off the old self[d] with its practices. 
10 I will put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, [Catholic or Protestant; religious or free; or any other categories that divide us]; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 As one of God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, I put on a compassionate heart that is full of kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.13 I choose to bear with others in love, forgiving others, as the Lord has forgiven me.  14 And above all these I choose to put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And I choose to let the peace of Christ rule in my heart.;
I choose to be thankful. 16 and to let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly.  I ask that you will help me, Lord, to teach and admonish others in all wisdom. 
I choose a life of singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in my heart to You, my Lord and my God. I will sing in the Spirit, pray in the Spirit, and live in the Spirit.
I choose to 17do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through him.
Prayer for Help in Family Life:
18 Help me, Lord, to submit to my husband, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Help my husband, to love me, and to not be harsh with me. 20 Help my children to obey their parents in everything, wanting to please you, Lord. 21 May my husband not provoke our children, lest they become discouraged. 
May I Obey You as Your Bondservant
22 As your bondservant,[f] Christ Jesus, may I obey You in everything with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 In whatever I am called to do, may I work heartily, as for You, Lord, and not for men, 24 knowing that I will receive an inheritance from YOU as my reward. 25 May I not concern myself with those who do me wrong, knowing that the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, for You are just.
I trust you, Lord, to be my great defender and my great reward.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

On Thanksgiving ... Revisiting a journal entry from January 2014

So much to be thankful for this year!!   In June Kayla returned from Thailand and SE Asia.  In August AnneMarie left for Lee University.  And tonight she comes home to celebrate Thanksgiving with us!  But throughout this semester, I have been filled with joy at watching from a distance as she is enjoys college life.  I just wanted to post my journal entry about letting go, and say, "Thank you, Lord, for giving me the grace to not just "let go" as my children grow, but the sheer joy and excitement I have as they journey toward becoming all that you have designed them to be!"
Kayla and AnneMarie 5 and 3

Here's the journal entry ...
Kayla's kindergarten graduation

January 5, 2014.

Today I keep reminding myself to just breathe.    I can’t let my thoughts go too far down the week, because the end of the week brings something I’m not ready to face.  Kayla flies away.  And yet in some ways, I wish these few days had already passed, and that she was already there, in Bangkok, settled in with a smile on her face, so I could begin the countdown,  150, 149, 148, … until she returns, with stories by the dozen, lighting up the room with God’s crazy love pouring out all over the place, while we play catch-up, trying hard to begin to imagine all those days where she lived life to the full, becoming more, while we just lived the same, here.

I hate to admit it, but I know that this feeling of losing Kayla’s company cuts deeper than it will for the next, and the next, and the next, and the next one.  Kayla is more than daughter.  She’s sister/friend in the kingdom, my co-conspirator in this Spirit-filled life that continually strains against the status quo of American existence.  She does it much better than I, of course; far less years of baggage and habits, and far less weighing her down,  worries, hopes and fears.  And far more time to just be.  She lives and breathes kingdom love and power, soaking it in from secret wells.

I’ve raised her for this very thing, of course; so in a way it’s my own fault – this pain of letting her go so far.  But I must remember that many other moms say good-bye at this age.  And not all (not many) are so secretly jealous of the life to which their offspring is called.  No; many hold their breath this week as their barely adult child heads off to war … or to nowhere, led along by passions for things that will destroy.

I am blessed to have raised one whose passion is for God’s kingdom, and it is that which will see me through as I count down the days.  My daughter is called, chosen, highly-favored by her Father above.  Called by the King of Kings … to set the captives free, to save lives, to save souls.   Like Mordecai I must confess, “…you were born for such a time as this.”  Who am I to hold you back?

There is a part of me that knows that this first true letting go, though the most difficult to date, will be followed by more.  She will not settle for a handsome Mr. Right, with a nice comfortable job, to sweep her off to a nice comfortable suburban home, so that I can drive my minivan down to pick up the grandkids and whisk them off to the zoo.  She will choose someone who has no desire for the American dream, no desire for the status quo; he will spur her on to higher things, to do more, to go farther, to go lower, and to bring hope to the hopeless.

I refuse to hold her back.  I deeply desire for her the life that she is called to -- and the man who will pray daily with her so that this life becomes reality.  As much as I would love to see my grandkids every weekend… as much as I want to see them well-fed and protected, I would never wish upon Kayla a life half lived, or a man not ready to pursue wholehearted kingdom living with her.

Kayla, my darling, the Lord will indeed write stories using you as the main character.  Together you will bring many to know the Father, and I will rejoice!  I will never forget that I gave you back to your heavenly Father the day you were born – only hours after I birthed you.  What I realized then, and must recall each day from now on, is that you, Kayla, are more HIS than you are mine, and HE was simply gracious enough to ask.  More than that, He was gracious enough to give me the grace and strength to say yes, through tears.  And so each time HE again will ask, another letting go, it will be by HIS grace and strength alone that I say, YES!  By the grace of God, you will do great exploits.  By the grace of God, I will go with you in prayer, in spirit, one of your diligent intercessors.  And if the Lord wills, perhaps by HIS grace, we will serve together somewhere some day.  But I will leave that up to HIM!


Today I must say, as much as I am crazy in love with you, I love God more, and I choose to trust and obey, with thanksgiving for every day you are away, without wishing one of them away.  For His ways are far higher than mine!   Father, let it be done according to your Will, not mine.

........
Let's all hang on tight with big smiles on our faces and enjoy the ride!