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Archive for the ‘Prayers’ Category

This morning, the thermometer outside my window said that it was – 7 degrees F (that’s without wind-chill). By Midwest standards, that’s cold. Of course, I was standing inside my kitchen at the time, which was a balmy 68 degrees F. As economic times have gotten tougher in the last several years it has been easy to succumb to the notion that things are “bad”, but days like today remind me of how blessed we still are. Yeah, I live in a 54 year old, non-descript house, that I’ll likely never have fully paid for. But it’s a well insulated, brick house, with a high efficiency gas furnace. Yeah, I drive a 16 year old car with almost 200,000.00 miles on it. But this morning it kicked right over when I turned the key. Yeah, the cost of food is putting a big time strain on my budget, but no one in my house went to bed hungry last night, and there’s plenty of provision in the cupboards for today as well. It’s not lost on me that within just a few blocks of our home there are people who couldn’t make those claims and that around the world, there are many people who will never experience such prosperity. When the kids were young, I used to lay down with them, and on cold nights I’d pray, “Father, thank you for a warm house on a cold night, and we pray for everyone who is seeking shelter tonight. Father, thank you for the abundance of food on our table, and we pray for everyone who is hungry tonight. And Father, thank you for the wonderful family that you’ve given us, and we pray for everyone who is alone tonight.” Today, as I walked toward my office, and the frigid air burned in my nostrils, I once again found that prayer on the tip of my tongue.

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Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

But if I die before it’s day

There’s something more I need to say

 

If you’ve ever felt cherished

Or safe here with me

If you’ve felt like you’re special

Or who you should be

If you’ve been filled with hope

By things you can’t see

I can assure you

That wasn’t me

 

Those things are gifts

From your Father above

Things I can’t give you

They come through His love

He put you together

With His very own hands

You’d be amazed

If you knew of His plans

 

If you’ve ever felt empowered

Or that you were strong

If you’ve known what is truth

Or what’s right and wrong

If you’ve ever pressed on

When the journey was long

It was because of His Spirit

And because of His song

 

Those things are gifts

From your Father above

Things I can’t give you

They come through His love

He put you together

With His very own hands

You’d be amazed

If you knew of His plans

 

But if I’ve ever hurt you

Or made you feel small

If I’ve led you astray

Or caused you to fall

That was my weakness

And not from His heart

He longs to heal you

And to make a new start

 

That’s just a gift

From your Father above

A thing I can’t give you

It comes from His love

He yearns to touch you

With His very own hand

Seek Him today

And yield to His plan

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Each morning I invite the Lord into my day and I pray that He would protect our family from the spiritual forces of darkness, that work to destroy us; from those things in the natural, that would simply come upon us; and from the foolishness of our own hearts.  Though each one of those things presents a viable threat to our well-being, I’ve come to believe that it is ultimately the folly within us that poses the greatest danger.

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We were created to be with You

Which is why life is so chaotic and confusing without you

*

Lord, help me to be ever mindful of Your nearness

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We were meant to follow You

Which is what makes us so susceptible to pursuing the agenda’s of mere men

*

Lord, train my eyes to remain fixed upon the Author & Finisher of my faith

*

We were crafted in Your image

Which is why we struggle to “find ourselves” without You

*

Lord, transform me by the power of Your most Holy Spirit

*

We were made to love You

Which is why no other relationship seems to fill the void within us

*

Lord, help me to love You, with all of my heart, soul & spirit

*

We were fashioned for worship

Which is why we so easily fall into idolatry

*

Lord, guard my heart against the treason of my human nature

*

We were designed with a purpose

Which is why life seems so meaningless to those who don’t know You

*

Lord, guide me to the destiny that You have ordained for me

*

We were first conceived by You

And to You we shall one day return

*

Lord, I pray that on the day we come face to face, all that I am will have already been placed in your hands

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I wake in the midst of this classroom called “life”

The walls of my being like chalkboards

Covered with the dusty remnants of lessons already taught

Full of information, but devoid of context

 

Like graffiti scrawled across my soul

Thoughts and feelings and fears and dreams swirl within me

Each one, like an eager child

Trying to shove their way to the front of the line

 

As I climb from my bed, they crowd around me

Trying to bully me into a corner

The morning fog obscures my vision

And the undertow pulls at my footing

 

In the dim light of the dawn, I ponder the possibility of retreat

Maybe I’m the wrong man

In the wrong place

At the wrong time

 

But then, like a flash of lightning penetrating my spirit

I remember that this is the day that You have made

That through You, all things are possible

And that I am Yours

 

Come Lord Jesus

Come most Holy Spirit

Wash my slates clean with Your word

As I surrender afresh to Your will

 

Create in me, O Lord, a clean heart

And renew in me a right spirit

Guide me in the faith You’ve authored

And be glorified in my days

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Heart Check

“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked;

who can know it?”  (Jer 17:9)

 

I say that I’m one of Your sheep

But how well do I know Your voice

 

I say that everything that I have is Yours

But am I willing to take the test that You gave Job

 

I say that I am Your follower

But am I willing to wait for Your direction

 

I say that I am a new creation

But can there be a resurrection if there has been no death

 

I say that my hope is in You

But how is it then that I am so easily discouraged

 

I say that I trust You

But am I willing to put my Isaac (i.e. the fulfillment of Your promises, my hope for the future…) on the altar of sacrifice

 

I say that I’m in Your Army

But can I really be of service if I don’t know how to wield a sword

 

I say I want Your will to be done in my life

But am I really like the prodigal son, trying to demand and spend my inheritance on my own terms

 

I say that I want to see signs and wonders for Your glory

But how wicked and perverse can a generation become before no sign will be given

 

I say that You are my Savior

But is that possible if You are not also my Lord

 

I say that I want to be like You

But am I willing to be a man of no reputation or a man of sorrows who is acquainted with grief

 

“Search me O 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.” 

(Ps 139:23-24)

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Dearest Lord Jesus, as this new day begins I confess my utter dependence upon You

Without Your grace I would not have the breath to speak

Indeed this is the day that You have made

and

I do rejoice that I may be a part of it

But Lord, I pray that this would not be just another day, like so many others in my life

A day filled with my own thoughts and lived under my own power

 

I confess O Lord that I have been like Abram, afraid for people to know who I am

And that I have been like Jacob, a manipulator, trying to gain my own life

That I have also been like Simon, bold in the safety of your presence, yet weak before men

And that I have been like Saul, enacting judgment on those whom You love

Come Holy Spirit and rise up within me

Consume the darkness of my nature

 

I have heard your words Lord, but my heart has not fully grasped them

I need your heart, for my love is a pitiful, small thing

I want to love like You love, gently, patiently, unconditionally

Without You Lord, I have nothing to give

I have no wisdom of my own,

no power of my own,

no righteousness of my own

All of these are Yours

It is only by Your grace that I partake of them

 

You have said that You’ve destined me to be conformed to Your image

Lord I pray, come quickly and do Your Holy work in me

Change my name Lord

Like Abraham, give me a heart full of faith

Like Israel, fulfill in me the promise of a great nation

Like Peter, give me a heart of boldness for You

Like Paul, remove the scales from my eyes, that I might live by Your truth

 

Lord I want to disappear into Your Spirit

Until all the world sees is You

I pray my life would be an invitation to You

 A pleasing aroma in Your nostrils

That You would be blessed and glorified in it

 

Change my heart

Change my name

Change my life

Amen

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