Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

“O, storm-battered city, troubled and desolate, I will build you with precious jewels.” Isaiah 54:11

glass-frame-shoe

If you’ve been hit with a storm in your finances, relationships, marriage, or health God has some encouraging words for you. His words are not empty. His promises are firmly established. They don’t yield empty results, like a Ponzi scheme. His promises are a solid rock that you can build your life upon. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in financial rubble. You’ve been ripped off; you’ve made foolish decisions, and now you’re in a hole. God has Good News for you…

Maybe a significant relationship has imploded, and you can’t seem to find your way out of the pit of despair. Or maybe you’re in a crisis in your life of some kind – perhaps trying to discover who you are and why you’re here after having tried and failed at various opportunities.

Perhaps people have done you wrong and your life is in ruins as a result. Whatever the cause, whatever the dilemma, God’s Good News is true for you today.

He promises to take whatever we give Him, whatever that it happens to be. Even if it’s a mess, He will work with it and recreate it and recycle it into something stronger, more efficient, more beautiful, and even more useful than ever before.

Jesus was a carpenter. He learned how to repair things that were broken, and He has carried that skill into eternity for you! He wants to remodel your life into something new, something that brings you great joy, and something that is truly valuable in the world.

“What’s my part?” you might ask. “How do I access these promises?” The answer is quite simple and quite impossible without His Spirit’s help: follow His example, listen to His words, and obey them.

A word of warning for those of us who have been familiar with the Scriptures since our childhood: beware! It’s terribly easy to think we know things when we really don’t. Just because we are familiar with it, doesn’t mean we follow through with our words and actions!

So, what exactly did Jesus teach us? That’s your job to discover! Wrap yourself up in a comfy place and start researching Jesus’ teaching. Be ready to be amazed by the Greatest Leader the world has ever enjoyed. Then, don’t make the mistake of keeping the information in your head. Act on it.

Pray this plain and simple prayer over the rubble of your life, and watch a work of art emerge. It might take time, and you won’t get anywhere without faith, but you will advance His purposes in your life if you don’t give up.

Father,
You see the mess my life has become. You know exactly the missteps I took that led me here.

Lord, I forgive everyone who has contributed to this disaster, including myself. You have forgiven me of much; I freely forgive each enemy that has plagued me.

With that bit of business behind me, I ask through the power of the great Carpenter, Jesus Himself, that You begin building my life anew. Instead of using run-of-the-mill materials, I am asking for precious jewels and valuable stones. Make my life something beautiful that will bring You glory and draw people to you through me.

I receive this promise in Jesus’ Name,
Amen!

 

 

Photo credit: Foter.com

You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies. (Psalm 18:48)

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. (Isaiah 59:11)

ocean-harris-jurassic-rocks

How long is God’s reach? It is further than your enemy’s. The battles we engage in, the Bible tells us, are not related to flesh and blood, that is, human beings; we are rather engaged in combat with fallen angels and Satan, the hobgoblin himself, the enemy of our souls.

If you are under attack today (and we hardly know anyone who isn’t), you can rest assured that God can lift you above the battle, above the fray, set you on a rock where your enemy cannot torment you.

Sometimes we minimize God’s strength in our imaginations and maximize the enemy’s abilities.

The enemy isn’t omnipotent. God is.

The devil isn’t omnipresent. God is.

Satan isn’t omniscient. God is.

Let’s remember this:  our enemy is a defeated foe. Jesus dealt with him once and for all in his death on the cross. He went to hell so that no one has to go there but the devil himself and those who wish to follow him. He will ultimately be thoroughly crushed and defeated, but while we’re waiting for Jesus to make all things right, we must engage in battle on a daily basis. 

On earth we are guaranteed troubles and trials; however, in the midst of them, God makes a way for us to always walk in victory. He sets us up out of the enemy’s reach, where he cannot poke, prod, hurt, bruise, abase or abuse us relentlessly.

It’s God who has the long arm, not the enemy. Satan cannot reach us when we run to Jesus for cover. Are you being harassed and beaten down? Sometimes our enemy uses people to do his harassing, sometimes circumstances, but either way, we can walk in peace and victory even in the midst of suffering.

Pray this plain and simple prayer, and take cover under the shadow of God’s wings today… 

Father,

I run to You today for help and for cover. I have been beaten and whipped by the sharp tail of the enemy long enough.

First, I give my whole self to You. Take this life of mine; You may have it all. Take my mind, my heart, my desires, my ambitions, and my talents and make something with them that will benefit Your kingdom on earth.

Thank You for Your promise to hide me in the secret place. Thank You that the enemy’s reach is limited. Help me to give him absolutely zero access to any part of me! I give You 100% access to every part of me, and therein is my safe place.

I repent of my sin… I thank You that when I confess my sin to You I am both forgiven as well as cleansed from all iniquity. Thank You, Lord!

Lord, I use my words to counter every lie the enemy presents to me today. I refute his accusations and his condemnation. I use Your own Word, speaking, “It is written!” 

You are my Safe Place, dear Heavenly Papa. Now keep me there, teach me to live there, only and always.

In Jesus’ Name

Amen.

Photo credit: Foter.com

sunset-girl-worship-field-prayer-nature-sun

We often complicate prayer so much that we avoid praying altogether. Sometimes we need a reminder to keep it plain and keep it simple. There are beautiful prayers in the Bible that we can borrow when we need some coaching in our intercession for our loved ones.

Paul who wrote thirteen books in the New Testament incorporated some of his prayers right into his letters. We like to borrow them frequently when praying for our loved ones. Join us today as we pray Paul’s prayer for the Philippians church.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…

Paul began his prayers with thanksgiving. No matter what you are going through today, thanksgiving opens the door for miracles, and it sets our hearts aright in faith. Complaining gets us no where (as the Israelites demonstrated for us in the desert), whereas thanksgiving is the gateway into the presence of God, the place where our desires are aligned with His and our desires become realities.

Start by speaking out your thanks to God for the people you are interceding for today, even for the challenging ones, for they are producing greater capacity for grace in your life.

Thank You, Lord, for the people you have given me to walk with through this life. Thank You for their impact and that I am a better person because of them. Thank You for the challenge they bring me as they spur me on to follow You with more diligence. Thank You for the source of encouragement they are to my soul.

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

As we release our cares and our dear ones into the hands of God, we can rest assured that He will not stop until He has finished His work in their hearts.

Father, thank You that You are the author and finisher of our stories. Jesus finished the work on the cross; now all we need do is receive from His bounty. I lift up my dear ones to You and trust You to work on their behalf.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Paul’s ultimate prayer for his loved ones was that they would learn to grow in their capacity to love. The fruit of functioning in ever-increasing love would be rich: discerning God’s will, maintaining strong integrity, and ultimately being a person that brings God true praise – not just a song now and then, but a heart that is true to His.

Father, I pray not only for my loved ones but for myself as well. May my ability to walk in love grow more and more every day. Today help us to take the necessary steps to become people who love well! I long to hear Your voice and understand the direction You are calling me to take, and I desire to be the kind of person You can be proud to call Your child.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Borrow Paul’s prayers daily! They are rich words and will not return empty!

Photo credit: Foter.com

I will…continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. (Philippians 1:25)

Restore to me the joy of my salvation. (Psalm 51:8)

humans-activities-joyful

Faith and joy are practically synonymous. Still, we find those who walk the walk of faith doing so sad, defeated, and depressed.

There are times when we come to the realization that we have missed a God-opportunity. This is almost always a path to regret. Nehemiah had led the exiled Jews back to Jerusalem to find the city walls in total disrepair. As the Israelites began to rebuild the walls, they also began to rebuild their lives, reacquainting themselves with God’s Word. As they did, they found, as we all do, that their lives had not fully aligned with God’s principles. This gave them cause to grieve.

First, Nehemiah encouraged the down-heartened Israelites to eat good food! Don’t forget to feed your body well when you are experiencing signs of depression. God never ignores the physicality of our lives. Our bodies are His temple and they are to be maintained with care.
Have you missed God somehow, and this has become a source of sadness for you? Then hear these words of encouragement. Let doubt and regret dissipate. Begin to drink in the sweet presence of the Lord and His sweet Truth…

Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10).

God gives us a fresh start when we simply turn our hearts to Him. If your life is lackluster and full of regret, and if you are feeling drained of joy, pray this plain and simple prayer of faith. Then wait expectantly for joy to return and flood your life again.

Father,

Your Word is my source of encouragement. Today I want to trade in my joyless countenance for a spirit of praise and thanks. I ask You to recycle this old, worn-out me for a new me with a renewed outlook, a God-perspective on my life and circumstances.

Restore the original joy I found when I first laid eyes on Your truth. Make me new again! My spirit needs Your resuscitation. Breathe in my nostrils the breath of life as You did with Adam. Holy Spirit, fill me with the life and breath of my Creator!

Set my feet to rejoice again! Fill me with good food and restore me to great friends who will help me walk this path with joy! Joy is Your will and Your way!

I choose joy today! And I wait expectantly as You fill me with the capacity for joy once again.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen!

Won’t you revive us agin, so your people can rejoice in you! (Psalm 85:6)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

Photo credit: Foter.com