A Prayer For You

 

 

I know the peace and joy that comes when the Father wraps His arms around me.  I want you to know it too.

Thank you to my sweet cousin Pearl, who sent me a different version of this prayer, which I’ve adapted for you.  What a blessing she is!

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Praying the Jesus Way

 

In Matthew 6 Jesus gives us a model for our prayers and a few pointers on the how to do it.  In verses 5-8 He wants His followers to pray in a way that draws them close to God the Father without making a show of it like the hypocrites.  Then He gives the ideal place for it to happen, a place that is secluded.  By shutting the door He shows that there should be no outside influence.  He also said don’t be constantly repeating your words and going on and on.  You see God already knows what we’re praying for so keep it short and focused.

The perfect model is then given in verses 9-13:

the-lords-prayer

Each of the 6 points of this prayer lead us to total focus on the One who hears and answers.

  1. Focus on God and praise Him–Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name.  
  2. Focus on God’s plan and purpose–Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
  3. Focus on what you need–Give us this day our daily bread
  4. Focus on forgiveness for yourself and for others–Forgive us our debts (trespasses/sins) and we forgive our debtors (those who trespass/sin against us).
  5. Focus on God’s guidance in daily challenges
  6. Focus on giving God total control–For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory

Verses 14-15 are extremely important!  We must forgive others if we expect to be forgiven by God.  It’s pretty clear isn’t it?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

If My People

praying-1319101_960_720One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Chronicles 7:14.  It calms my heart every time I hear a new report of violence, shooting, terrorism, election rhetoric, job loss, sickness… I fully believe that God can do what He says He can do.  In this verse, He gives us the privilege of knowing what He will do if we follow His command.

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We are His people, called by His name.  He wants us to humble ourselves, to remember that we are not God.  We cannot do anything without Him.

We are to pray.  That’s the one thing He desires most by those called His.  He wants us to communicate with Him.  He really doesn’t care how.  He simply wants to hear from us.

We are to seek His face.  Every nuance of facial expression tells the listener what the speaker intends.  Since all scripture is God’s (2 Timothy 3:16) it stands to reason that He wants us to know His word.  Unless we know His word we cannot know what is sinful or in the words of this verse, wicked.

Once these are part of our life fabric we can expect some really powerful things to happen.  Remember, God can do what He says He can do.

First, He will hear us.  Is your prayer for healing…He hears it.  Is your prayer for no more violence…He hears it.  Is your prayer for forgiveness…He hears it.  No matter what our prayer is, if we are humble, turn away from our sins, and seek His guidance HE HEARS IT!

Second, He will forgive our wickedness, our sins, any way we fall short.  It really doesn’t matter to Him how big or small our sin is, He can and will forgive it.

Then, He says, “(I) will heal their land.”  With our country in the condition it’s in, with families falling apart, with trust at an all-time low, with…  He will heal this land.

It’s definitely time to get on our knees, to humble ourselves, and to pray (fervently) for his forgiveness and healing.  He, alone, can do what no human can.  He, alone, can forgive.  We can totally trust Him.  He loves us!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

church-768613_960_720Check out this beautiful song that uses the words of this scripture.  (Just click on the picture.)

 

I’m Praying For You

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today I’m praying for you.  I may not know you personally or you may be among my group of besties but I AM PRAYING for you.  Here are the requests I am making before the Throne:

Father in Heaven, grant every man and woman the ability to know You more and more.  Open hearts, minds, and souls to Your incredible love for each of us.  Make us aware that in Your Word we were not only created by You but created in Your image. (Genesis 1:27)

Creator of all that is, was, and is to come, help us know the great value You place in each of us.  Help us understand deeply in every cell of our bodies that You take great joy in Your sons and daughters.  You are the Redeemer of not only our souls, but our lives, our pasts, and our futures.  You see us during our times of deepest fear and greatest joy.  Help us know and understand Your great love for us.  (Psalm 31:7)

Abba, Father, I know You hear each of us.  You hear our praise. You hear our needs. You hear our nearly silent pleas for mercy. You hear us when we regret our sins. You hear us when we have no one but You.  Oh, Lord, hear this prayer.  Grant each of us the ability to totally trust in You. (I Chronicles 5:20)

I lift this prayer before the Throne of Grace, in the Precious Name of Jesus, my Lord, my Provider, my Savior…     Make it so!

This post is linked to Literacy Musing Monday’s.

5 Prayer Prompts

holding-hands-752878_960_720

Do you have times when what to pray evades?  Of course you do.  I do.  Everyone does.  There are many ways and methods of prayer.  Spoken.  Written.  Thought.  There are acronyms to keep us focused and cover all the things we ‘should’.  (ACTS – Acclamation Contrition Thanksgiving Supplication   PRAY – Praise Repent Access Yield)  How about just going before the Throne and giving God all that’s on, or in, your mind/heart.  Here are some ideas:

Tiny Praying HandsA prayer totally devoted to thanks for His provision.  Do one for each letter of the alphabet.  This could become quite long since He gives us EVERYTHING!

Tiny Praying HandsPrayers for someone who is causing you problems.  Not just what is happening on the surface but the whole story.  Dig in and lay it out.  Like King David did in some of the Psalms.  Don’t forget your part in it.

Tiny Praying HandsPray for our country and its leaders, its people, its problems, its challenges…

 

Tiny Praying HandsPraise Him!  Close the door and sing His praise.  Not just one song but maybe a whole CD.  Write a poem.  Take a walk and focus on His creation.  Draw.  Paint.  Sculpt.

Tiny Praying HandsCall a friend! (Matthew 18:19)  Grab your prayer lists, find a quiet place, and lay it all before God.  Agree before hand to stay totally focused on God.

Pray On prayer warriors.  God wants to hear and respond.

Heavenly Father, hear our prayers, incline Your ears, and grant us Your peace.  Help us as we strive to experience Your presence.  Let our prayers and our words be a pleasant fragrance before Your Throne.  Make it so in Jesus name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Prayerful Acronyms

prayerDo you find it difficult to stay focused on God during your quiet time with Him?  Does your mind wander to and fro with the cares of everyday living?  Perhaps these suggestions will be helpful.

1) A place that is peaceful and set aside for your prayer time.  I love summer because I can sit in our gazebo and enjoy Creation’s song while praying.  In the winter my desk by the window is my choice.   But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.  Luke 5:16

2) A method that works for you.  On your knees? Standing? Sitting? Journaling? Writing?  That’s my method…writing.  I find it easiest to write my prayers because I am totally focused.  Do take time to reread your words and listen for God’s response.  Write that down, too!  Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker   Psalm 95:6

3) An organized plan.  P-R-A-Y  or  F-A-C-T-S  or  A-C-T-S    Each of these acronyms is designed to focus on those areas that are used in Biblical Prayers.  Matthew 6:8-14

P – Praise      R-Repent     A-Ask     Y-thank You

F – Faith      A-Adoration     C-Confession   T-Thanksgiving     S-Supplication  (The faith section of this acronym is about knowing God’s Word so well it can be used in our prayers.)

A-Acclimation     C-Contrition     T-Thanks     S-Supplication

gods-loveI’ve used ACTS for many years.  It helps me to remember the actions I should be using in every prayer, whether in community or alone.  Talk to Him daily.  He loves hearing from us!

Worship in Song       Pray On by Babbie Mason

Heavenly Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight.  Thank You for the ultimate Sacrifice so that I can come before the Throne with a clean heart.  Grant my petitions and those from others, too.  You are my God and King.  Hear my prayer, Oh, Lord!  In the Precious Name of Jesus I ask You to make it so!

What if….

What if, when you woke up this morning, all you had was what you thanked God for yesterday?  Would that change how you communicate with God?  That profound question was another step in the journey God has taken me on to developing a more thankful heart and attitude.

It all started when I was made aware of a book called “One Thousand Gifts”.  This book tells the story of a woman’s journey from an unthinkable incident that colored her whole life to a thankful heart and soul.  As a result I added the ‘gifts’ page to this blog.

Prayer is necessary to a productive Kingdom life.  Since I find it difficult to stay focused I write my prayers and use a model called ACTS.  The A is for Acclamation (praise).  C for contrition (remorse for sins).  T for thanksgiving.  S for supplication (requests).  Because I truly want to develop a thankful heart I include at least five thank-praises for what my One and Only has done or given.

It is mandated in the Word to give thanks!  Take a look at these scriptures and pictures…

I Chronicles 16:34  Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.

I Corinthians 15:57  Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

A fond memory of my dad holding his first grandchild.

Philippians 1:3  I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18  Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.

Ah, Lord, God, how can I say thanks…You have given me life, joy, hope, a future, family, friends, music, cats, a believing husband…What more can I say than thanks!!!!!!

Matthew 6:9-13

New International Version (NIV)

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Tes...

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Testament manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew. Most likely originated in Egypt.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

For yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever. 

I do wonder why that last line is so often left out.  It’s definitely the perfect closing and every 2nd grader who has learned to write a letter has learned it must have a greeting, a body, and a closing.  Ah, well, I digress…..

How often have you said these Words in worship or prayer or song and that’s just what they are..words?  We’re going to take a couple of minutes and just look at a couple of hidden gems in this beautiful prayer.

 Jesus did not say ‘Every time you pray you MUST use these words.  He said, “This, then, is how you should pray:” meaning this is a template, blueprint, or even an outline of how to do it.  We are first, to recognize God for who He is and what He does.  Next, we are to ask for what we need…food, forgiveness and freedom (from evil).  Lastly, we are to once again give God all glory and honor for who He is.

Notice, in verse 11, He tells us to ask for our DAILY bread.  Look a little closer.  If we reverse the two words they become…bread DAILY.  I don’t think this is a mistake, nor would it be out of line to look at the words in this way.  God wants us to ‘pray without ceasing’, asking Him, talking to Him, giving Him credit every hour of every day, day after day.

Let’s take a look at verse 12.  The word debts can be transliterated sins.  Let’s think this through.  Here’s another verse that when reversed adds  more understanding.  What if we say it like this.  “As (in the same way) I forgive others, Father, forgive me.”  Can you imagine the change in our hearts if we thought about that when we say forgive me.  I don’t want to forgive the cruelty shown me by a church leader, but I expect You to forgive me anyway.  I’m not going to forgive the abuses of my childhood, but I expect You to forgive me anything.  I know in my heart that God has forgiven me completely but His expectation is that I will forgive all the hurts, wrongs, stabs in the back…just like He does. 

In the verses following this prayer I’ll paraphrase what He is saying:  Those who forgive will be forgiven by Me.  Those who don’t, won’t.  Those are pretty powerful words for those of us who believe.  Jesus was making a point that He wouldn’t have had to make if we were to remember what He said about forgiving…basically- JUST DO IT!  It will be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but, I really don’t want to have to stand before a disappointed Father and explain why I chose not to forgive.  Not gonna happen.

Heavenly Father, Savior, Forgiver of my sins, teach me to forgive and not hold grudges.  Help me to let go of things others have said and done and let You handle the situation.  When I am asked to forgive just let me do it.  Let my life be an example of forgiveness for those around me.  Teach me Your ways, Lord.  Make it so!

Staying Power

Luke 15:4  “Remain in Me, and I in you.”  Remain, stay, abide, survive, (to) last.  These words reflect the power in the concept of this verse.  When I am connected to my Jesus, He is connected to me.  While I am waiting on Him, He is waiting with me.

A beautiful, old hymn says this very well:                                                         Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;                                                            The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.                                                   When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,                                                       Help of the helpless, O abide with me.                                                              I need Thy presence every passing hour;                                                         What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?                                     Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?                                             Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

Stay with God…through dishes, dust, and laundry…and watch the Spirit show up.                                                                                                           Stay with God…through hurts, losses, cruel words, and sadness of this world…and watch the Spirit show up.                                                            Stay with God…when there is not enough time to do it all…and watch the Spirit show up.                                                                                                 Stay with God…                                                                                       Heavenly, glorious Father, I want to stay with You no matter what.  Walk with me and teach me, guide me, forgive me, and make me more like You.  Make me aware of the Spirit throughout this day.  Keep me totally focused on You, my God and my King.  I lift this prayer in Jesus name…Make it so!

Peace

I’ve really been spending a lot of time searching my heart for what God really wants of my life.  This has really caused me some restless nights and a lack of peace.  I have followed through with leaving my career as an educator, knowing He was very clearly speaking to me about this.  As for what’s next…I am still praying on that.  I know he will make it very clear when He’s ready and not until He’s ready.  I love you all and covet (I know I’m breaking one of the Commandments but I think He really understands this) your comments and prayers.  I am so blessed by you.In several of the churches I attended as a child (We moved a LOT!) the pastor would use the words of Philippians 4:7 (And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.) as a benediction. To this day, when I hear these words an indescribable blanket of peace settles over me. Paul uses these words to describe the blessing we receive when we rejoice in the Lord, are gentle in our relationships, give our worries to the Lord, pray and give thanks for everything. When we obey and give in, through, and too His Name, peace is indeed ours.

Ah, Lord, God, let the peace that escapes our understanding invade our lives today.  Let us see it, feel it, and show it to the world around us.  Make it so!