Prayer, Plain and Simple

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3).

…No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8).

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Psalm 18:21).

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Like nuclear matter released in the atmosphere or the down feathers of a pillow, when words are released, they cannot be undone. Words are a powerful force in our universe. With words, God created everything we see and everything we don’t see. He made us in His image, giving our mouths power and authority. It is up to us whether we use words for good or for ill.

Jesus warned us: every word we speak, even the “idle words”, the “jesting,” the “I-was-only-kidding-words”, the words I speak before I’ve had my morning coffee, the words I speak inadvertently – all of these words will be judged and taken very seriously by our Heavenly Father. Why? Because they evoke power in the world for good or for ill.

I have spoken many words that I regret – stupid, harmful words over my children when I was exhausted or exasperated, words of gossip, words of judgement, words against myself, words that have wounded others, words that have done harm, dishonoring words… All those words had a profoundly adverse affect on people and myself.

Thank God for the Blood of Jesus

Thank God I can be cleansed from my sin by the blood of Jesus. His Blood purifies me from the ill effects my sin has caused in the world. When I repent, He opens up the door to His forgiveness!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9).

Let’s break down this promised process of forgiveness…

A. He Forgives my sin! What a miracle! The God of the universe takes me back, embracing me, and calling me His own. He doesn’t hold it against me! He’s not ticked off at me!

B. He cleanses me from this unrighteous way of living. He teaches me, trains me, and changes me into a person that is learning to bridle her tongue, keep it in check, and speak only words that segue nicely into prayer! That means that I no longer give myself permission to gossip, complain, or chatter mindlessly. Have I attained to perfection in this? Heavens, no! But I’m learning, praise God!

Have you been negatively impacted with the power of your words? Have others suffered as a result?

Pray this plain and simple prayer with me today. Let’s get free together!

Father,

When I think of the times I have blown it with my words, I am ridden with both remorse and conviction. I take my guilt to the cross. I see you there, bearing the guilt my words have inflicted. In agony you die bearing my sin. In effect, my words killed you.

But You and Your Father (and mine) had a plan in mind. And at just the right time in history, Jesus, You came, lived a perfect, sinless life so that You could bear the punishment of my sin. You poured Your precious life out for me, spilling all Your blood.

I thank You…

Dumbfounded by Your kindness and grace, overwhelmed by Your love and beauty, I receive Your forgiveness.

Now cleanse me and I shall be white as snow.

Only You can stop the ripples of my sin. I plead Your blood over each person my words have wounded. I ask You to bring healing and reconciliation and forgiveness and grace. Have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Now, transform me into a person like Jesus, speaking only the words He heard His Father say. Only words that dovetail with prayer. Add Your matchless grace to my determination. Keep me accountable to this new way of life until it is a firmly established habit.

And I give Your thanks and praise!

Amen!

 

 

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To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Whatever you do, do well (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

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Discovering our priorities is an important part of time management. How can we order our days according to the will of God? Does He care how we whittle away our time? Is productivity a priority in God’s scheme of things?

God makes it clear throughout Scripture that we are to value order; His Holy Spirit gives us the capacity to exercise self-control in order to create rhythms in our lives that make us productive.

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:3).

Peace and disorder are antithetical terms. When we bring more order into our lives, we will invariably establish more peace. Do you desire help in bringing order into your life by managing your time? Pray this plain and simple prayer:

Father,

You have given me the same amount of time in a day that you gave to Jesus of Nazareth – the same amount of time you gave Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Mother Theresa, Martha Stewart, and Queen Elizabeth – 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week to give you glory and to undergo the projects and plans you have ordained for my life. I have squandered enough time, puttering away here and there, squandering more than my fair share of precious minutes.

Please forgive me….

Lord, I am asking for and receiving in faith the ability and the wherewithal to hear your quiet instructions both in Your Word and in my heart so I know how to spend my time, offering You a fruitful life.

You have made it clear that bearing fruit is the natural result of abiding in you. So first on my list today is to draw close to Your heart, receive Your love, and hear Your whispers. I will do just that….

[Now hear His quiet voice tell you who you are – you are the only YOU in the world, and He will help you become that you – the real you.]

….I seal this time in the name of Jesus – Amen.

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 May he equip you with all you need
for doing his will.
May he produce in you,
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.
All glory to him forever and ever! Amen (Hebrews 13:21).

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If your calling isn’t pushing you out of your comfort zone, you might not be hearing Him correctly. God calls us to do something far and above what we feel ready for, but His promise is that He will produce in us what we need to accomplish His will for our lives.

Moses is a prime example among hundreds in the Bible. He was chosen to lead the Israelites out of slavery. At one time in his life, he might have felt qualified; he was a prince in the Egyptian court. But after a long 40 years of wandering as a fugitive, he no longer felt up to the challenge. When approached by God who hid in a burning bush, he came up with a litany of excuses as to why he was not qualified in any way, shape, or form. What he didn’t realize is that God needed a humble man to do the task; therein was Moses’ qualification.

It’s our humility that impresses God, for, when we acknowledge our weaknesses and yield them to Him, they morph into strengths. Humility is the first rung on the ladder towards promotion. Let’s start with that step today by praying this plain and simple prayer:

Father,

I have come to a point in my life where my weaknesses and insufficiencies are ever before me. Sometimes I feel as though I cannot do a single thing without Your help. On my own I blow it almost every time. Lord, I surrender my whole self to You – strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between. You have a big plan for me, so unless my big God is living in me, I will never accomplish what You have set out for me to be and to do. So, Lord, take all of me. Fill all of me. And show me the path I should take to train myself to hear your voice and obey your direction.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Finally, let’s pray the prayer we found in Hebrews 13:21:

 Father, equip me with all I need
for doing Your will.
May You produce in me,
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to You.
All glory to You forever and ever! Amen

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“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).

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God has a plan for your life – your purpose for being on the planet. Up to now you may have missed that plan, tripping over it, though it was perhaps right under your nose. Others may have meddled with that plan, tempting you, alluring you into schemes that weren’t a part of God’s design. But when we give Jesus our heart, He re-boots His original design – His intelligent design – so that we can discover what it is and begin the joyful journey of living it out.

You are One in a Billion

No one else can fulfill your unique purpose. Not another person living can make the specific contribution you have to offer in the time and space you have been assigned in history. In one of his lectures, Dallas Willard spelled it out brilliantly:

“When you were born, it’s as if God was leading a great orchestra.
And now He said, ‘It’s time of you to come in.’
And you were put in a unique time and place.
And no one else is going to be there but you.
God will be with you.
But if there’s going to be light in that place, you’re it.
You’re it.
And you are suited for it.
And if you’re a friend of Jesus, you better get ready to shine,
because you really are going to shine.”

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Let God Orchestrate Your Life

In the next few blog posts we are going to be praying about how to discover our purpose in life. There isn’t a person in the world without one; we are called to intimacy with God and in that place of friendship with him, we will discover His best plan for our lives. We can walk in that plan, walk out that plan, and fulfill the life He has called us to live. Let’s begin today with a plain and simple prayer:

Father,

Who am I? Jesus knew the answer to that question for Himself when he walked the earth. That is why he was the best leader throughout history: a servant leader. Why am I here? Where can I serve you? I have an inkling as to the answer to these questions, but I want to hear more from You. Please speak to me as I quiet my mind and heart to hear you….

…..Amen

The best part of prayer is listening… Take ample time to speak your heart in your own words and hear His… Journal what you discover, and hold tight to the precious direction He offers you. You’re on a journey towards something very fulfilling.