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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, November 26, 2012


"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV ©1984)

Next Sunday is the first day of Advent, that time in the Christian calendar that leads up to Christmas. Let’s try loving as many people as possible into a full life of love and Christmas light and let us begin today.

In addition to the friends and family you usually pray for, every day this week and for all the weeks of Advent, select someone you have never prayed for. Perhaps someone has hurt you or betrayed you in your personal or public life. Or, they may be a national or an international figure you have never seen in person. Try to identify their own need and pray to God the Father that the person’s need will be met. You may think of their need as: freedom from hate, fear, or release from crippling self-aggrandizement and need for power. You may rotate their needs and therefore pray for a different need of theirs each week. You can pray for the same person every day, or you can add another name to your prayer list each day. Let this be the year you love someone to the side of the manger and where they can fall on their knees and eagerly invite the Christ Child, Jesus, into their heart. Let us pray:

"Holy Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ child, we bow before your holy name and the name of your son who came to earth two-thousand years ago and who is born into the heart of a willing servant whenever he is invited, even today. We ask this very day, that ________’s heart may be softened to greet your son, Jesus, by filling their entire being with your Holy Spirit today. May your spirit fill them until they overflow with your light and their need for ______ is driven out and cast into the farthest pit, never to touch them again. We understand the danger of having your pure love invade a sinful heart, for love and hate cannot mutually abide. But, you Father, know the heart and mind of everyone. You will know how to lance the boil of sin and heal them without destroying them completely and then, fit them for your service. We pray that they become a wise leader in your name, a holy man of God, that your purposes and yours alone may be fulfilled. Forgive us when we have given their dark soul more strength by fearing them rather than turning them over to your love and healing. They are not for us to condemn. It is our mission to point the way to the cross that others may find you and your son there. In the name of your son Jesus, the Star Child of Christmas, we pray. Amen"
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp  

Monday, November 19, 2012


“16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV)

There are three more days until Thanksgiving. Some look forward to a wonderful time with family and friends. Others believe their day of celebration won't begin until the last serving dish is placed on the dining room table. Some people believe they have nothing to be thankful for.

The eastern seaboard was ravished by the super storm not many weeks ago. Many of them are still out of their homes. They have not had the basic necessities of food, water, shelter, utilities or clothing. At this point, turkey, dressing and cranberry salad seem out of the question. For them, Thanksgiving:  the celebration and/or the attitude, may be rejected. In the hole in the heart were Thanksgiving lived, anger, hopelessness, helplessness and fear may have moved in and set up residence. But, Paul tells us in 1st Thessalonians, we are to give thanks in all circumstances, not just when things are going well.

All of our lives have periods when storm clouds gather, when darkness hovers overhead and spills its deadly deluge, drowning out our comfort, safety and life-giving shelter. That may come in the form of a hurricane, fire, the death of a parent or spouse, or the ugly, family destroying specter of divorce. Whatever our storm, new life comes with the dawn. Our ability to embrace life after the storm depends upon how willing and quickly we begin to express thankfulness.

I would like to give you a prescriptive, healing message to use to jumpstart your hope–loving heart, allowing it to beat freely again. Repeat it three times, six times a day.

"Praise the Lord God Almighty, for he has brought me through the wilderness of my soul and has planted my feet on higher ground."

Each time you repeat the message set, know that you have sowed it in your heart. Then, go about your day knowing that God has blessed you and that the seeds of gratitude and hope are growing. As your thankful heart grows, pass on the message of gratitude to others. It will multiply and return to you in greater measure. Live a life of thanksgiving that you may truly live, every day, the life the Lord God has intended for you. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, love divine, open wide this grateful heart of mine. Holy is your name, the name of your son Jesus and the Holy Spirit that gives wisdom and discernment. Fill my life with your spirit and your gentle gift of gratitude. No matter my circumstances, I have things for which to be thankful, yet I have chosen to want more no matter my blessings. Though I have shelter and clothing, I long for a bigger home. Though I have a spouse and children, I desire a more perfect family. Though I have lost everything, I do not give thanks for the gift of your son and his sacrifice and redeeming love. Though all has been removed and I am left with zero, you Lord dwell in the void and it is holy ground, yet I choose not to begin again. Forgive me when I dwell on my loss and refuse to accept my future. Today and this week, I choose to live a life of Thanksgiving. Let me see your blessings all around me, in the smallest places. May I have the privilege of passing joy and gratitude on to others. In the name of Jesus, your son and my redeemer, I pray.  Amen”

Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp  

Monday, November 12, 2012


"10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV)

Today is Veterans’ Day and last Tuesday was Election Day. How are they related? Regardless of how you voted, you are aware of the great divide between the beliefs and political philosophies of our country. How do we proceed now? While we honor the men and women who serve and have served in the military, we must enter into this battle for ideas, like disciplined warriors, with God’s help.

Our job is clearly stated. We are to be ready with our greatest weapon, a powerful love, to help our congress-people work together for the good of our nation. We are to fight for truth and arm ourselves with righteousness (adhere to high, moral principles). We are to seek peace while resting in the pure peace of God. And, we are to believe—to hold a powerful faith in the ability of God to bring goodness out of life’s challenges. We are to claim our salvation and immerse ourselves in the word of God. We are to wrap it all in prayer that lives and moves in the heart of the Holy Spirit.

Walk moment by moment, day by day, within the heart of God. Do not be fooled. Seek only truth. Pray unceasingly for the Holy Spirit to sweep through the halls of congress to bless and change the heart of every person there. Pray that they ALL are lifted up to become the great leaders they have the potential to be. True leaders sit at the feet of God and learn ways to overcome the ills of the country. They work to strengthen our nation, the blessed country you conceived within your infinite wisdom. The weak struggle to lift up the weakest. Only the strong have the strength to gather up those in need and lift them higher than they had been before. Great wealth can only be shared once. Put on your full armor and be strong. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, author and architect of our great nation, we bow before your perfect love. We are embarking on a time when respect and cooperation could not only restore strength to our country but could also bring about a new era of prosperity. Fill our leaders with your extravagant love and remove their egos from the serious work of government. Overflow them with a spirit of cooperation for the good of all people. Surprise them with the ability to truly see the other side of each argument and the wisdom and courage to set aside political loyalty in order to find truth and to bring about solutions. Bless them all that they may go down in history as the congress that loved their country more than self and more than unworkable ideas thrust upon a great people. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen"

Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp
How Should I Vote? at

Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Day: 2012

We have looked at several aspects involved in deciding to vote. Today is Election Day. Now we need to put it all into practice.

How very exciting the 2012 Decision has been. Many people had become complacent about voting and let others do their civic duty while they stayed home. Was that you?

Each side of the debate believes they have the better plan for the United States. How can they both be right? It may be that they are both correct because each side expects a different outcome - they have a different agenda. Congress may vote on a bill that has serious implications for the American people and their welfare, without acknowledging how that vote will change a seemingly unrelated issue in the future. While we cannot pretend to know the future, we can extrapolate current facts and project certain suppositions into future events. What? We review what is happening now and chart some trends into the future. Still "what?" We can make some calculated guesses.

Have you done your homework as we talked about a few posts back? Have you come up with the courage to pull that lever? Now that your mind is prepared, listen to that still small voice inside where truth lives and vote your conscience.

You are now free to be a real adult, one who does not need validation from others to do what is right. Vote!

I have chosen to post this late on Monday evening, November 5, because I know many will vote early on their way to work. God bless you as you step out from others’ shadows and vote for the first time as a true individual.

Do You Have the Courage to Vote?

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

"Are you going to vote?" - so the question goes.

"I don’t know. I don’t know who to vote for," is often the answer.

Why on earth does an educated person not know if they are going to vote? Why would they not know for whom they will vote? The answer may be, they do not have the courage to think for themselves.

I have posted twice in the last few days on How Should I Vote and For Whom Should I Vote . I re-posted them to These two articles were intended to help the reader make a decision about what they will do tomorrow, on Election Day. (The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15)

Talking heads continue to say, "This may be the most important election of your life time."

Perhaps the result of such a statement may be that many people do not vote for fear they will make a mistake. They don’t want to take the responsibility. Have we as a people, in the freest nation ever conceived, been reduced to sniveling children who need others to take care of them? I say, "No!"

Can one make a voting mistake? Perhaps, if you were King and there was only one vote cast. But we are part of a vast group of voters. We vote one way and our friend votes another. That is the fair process. If we are all in prayer tomorrow that God will bless our country and restore our attitude to that of a people of freedom, he will make right whatever the election outcome turns out to be. Let us pray:

"Father God, we claim your blessings for our country. Some have said we are no longer a Christian country but we are a praying, Christian people and we will no longer be silent to those who have tried to exterminate the Holy Spirit from our American Home. Tomorrow is our Election Day. Some have said it may be the most important of our lifetime but we know that all elections are important. If we had treated each election with the same urgency, we may have made each ballot box a Holy Ground. We pray for your wisdom, your guidance, and your blessing. Every outcome that has you at its center will be a blessing if we look for you there. Give us the courage to roll up our sleeves and do the work you give us, regardless of the election results. Ease our worries and anxiety and strengthen us with your peace. Our country needs us all. In the name of Jesus Christ your son we pray. Amen"

Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Sunday, November 4, 2012

For Whom Should I Vote?

Decision: The 2012 Election. How do I know for whom to vote?

Some people made up their mind a few years after emerging from the womb. All they know about politics, the philosophies of the political parties, and the true goals of either party that help them determine who is the best to govern the U.S., they learned when they were five-years old and sat at the family dinner table sipping their Ovaltine. Then, they closed their mind and locked the door.

Friday, I posted How Should I Vote? at . I identified a four step process to use in making a decision. Now, we have to get specific about the candidates, "specific" without telling the reader whom to vote for. That is not my intention.

Today, I posted For Whom Should I Vote at and know they need our attention here as well.

Let us consider several questions that may help to make the voting decision.

• What are the principles that have made our country great? List as many as you can.
• How is the United States different from other countries and governments?
• What could be lost if my vote elected the next president?
• What could be gained by the election of "my" candidate?
• What background and experience does "my" candidate have that makes him uniquely qualified to be our president in this very time and place?
• What lies have been told about "my" candidate? What lies have he and/or his clones told?
• Which candidate inspires me to DO something for my fellow citizens? - Kennedy’s "Ask not . . ." challenge.
• Which candidate has more solutions than criticisms?
• Which candidate tugs at my intuition and says, "I am the one."
• Which one would Daddy vote for? Which candidate would Professor Know-it-all vote for? Is that candidate right for me?
• Our vote is a private matter. Am I secure enough to not tell others whom I voted for or try to get their approval and validation regarding my vote?
•Which candidate will make me square my shoulders and say to myself, "I don’t need anyone’s approval? I have made my decision for 2012. I will vote for ___________."

Now pass this on to others who are still deciding. Then, go vote. Voting is a privilege. Do the decision making process and ask the above questions, then be a privileged citizen by casting your vote for 2012. Let us pray:

"Father, God, who inspired the authors of our Declaration of Independence, we bow before you asking for your forgiveness for our laziness. We have taken our country for granted and thought it would continue to serve us rather than our serving the country we love and ALL of her citizens. Whisper truth in our ear to help us know how and for whom to vote. May we have the focus to do the homework necessary in order to make our decision and then find kind, insightful ways to tell others. Bless our United States and her people as profoundly serious decisions are made on Tuesday. Fill us with your wisdom, at least for these few days. In the name of Jesus, your son, w pray. Amen"

Doris Gaines Rapp
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

How Should I Vote?  at