Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

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

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What if our words carried a scent with them – our negative words a stench and our positive words a refreshing fragrance? In a sense, they do.

One is a vile stench, the other perfume. One is poison, the other a balm.

Jesus says we will be called to account for every word we utter. Why? Because words have creative power. God spoke words and the universe came into being. He said, “Light, be!” and light was.

If we could see the force of the power of our words, we would be much more careful and intentional in our conversations. Let’s determine to spread the fragrance of Christ and not the stench of death and decay with our words: pray this plain and simple prayer with us.

Father,

I cringe when I recall the negative words I have uttered that have brought pain to others and decay to the world. I thank You that You have the power to wipe them away with Your blood which forgives and cleanses me from all unrighteouness. I don’t have to walk around condemned any longer!  I am forgiven! I am cleansed!

Lord, I am asking today for a fresh revelation of the power of my words. I ask You to guard my tongue, giving me great self-control to only let pass through the gates of my mouth what will be helpful to others and pleasing to You.

Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Get me out of the pit of negativity and on top of the mountain with words that elevate You, others, and even myself.

Forgive me for talking down on myself. I am fearfully and wonderfully made! My soul knows this full well, and I refuse to argue with my soul any longer. I reject anything other than Your Word which tells me I am a chosen person, a royal priest, and part of a holy nation!

I thank You for transforming me from the inside out by changing the way that I think. I choose today to obey Your Word which instructs me to ponder only things that are true, honorable and right and pure and lovely and admirable; I will think about things that excellent and worthy of praise. That limits me to think mostly of You today! For You are ultimately all those things. And the gifts You give me, both large and small are so very good. I turn my attention and my words to praise today to Your glorious name, for You are worthy of praise and You have made me worthy to be called Your child!

In Jesus Name

Amen!

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I will search for faithful people
to be my companions. (Psalm 101:6)

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What do you look for in a friend? Sometimes we make friends who have similar interests, tastes, employment, or even looks. One often sees friends walking together that are similar heights, weights, and even hair color.

If you are searching for a friend, if you are in need of deeper relationships, we have a prayer for you today.

David discussed his prerequisites for choosing friends in Psalm 101, and sums up his criteria thus: faithfulness is the most important characteristic to look for. He wanted a friend who would be faithful to him. David was king at the time, so I can imagine that many people wormed they way into his life to curry his favor, but deep down they didn’t have enough integrity of character to be brought into his inner circle.

We needn’t bring people into the inner circle of our lives if they aren’t people marked by the characteristic of faithfulness. In Psalm 101, David discusses what faithfulness looks like – and doesn’t look like. For example, an unfaithful person is one given to slander, talking their neighbors down, condescendingly. So if a person around David was found to slander, that person would not have favor in David’s organization.

Faithful people are ones who are honest in their dealings, folks who steer clear of shady business deals and perverse ideas of any sort. They are humble people, those who have tamed their pride. They are honest folk whose word can be trusted.

If you are finding yourself in a new season of life, and you would like to gain a new friend or two, pray this plain and simple prayer with us.

Father,

I thank You that You have not called me Your servant, but rather Your friend. Thank You that Jesus modeled intimate friendship with His disciples, especially John, Peter, and James.

Lord, I am asking You to deepen my friendships. My season of life has changed, and I need an upgrade where my friends are concerned. I appreciate the friends I have had through the years, but I am longing for a godly friend who will walk with me towards the life to which Jesus has called us.

Would you please lead me to a new friend? One who fits all the criteria David outlines in Psalm 101; one who seeks Your ways? Make me worthy of one such friend by being that very kind of person myself.

Keep me from negative talk about people, from dishonest speech, from pride and perversion. Forgive me for these vices, and make me like You, walking in integrity day by day. Grant me favor and make me a magnet for godly people so that I can grow my circle of friendship to one that gives You glory and much joy.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen

 

 

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To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. (Psalm 139:12)

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. (Proverbs 4:18)

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Is there an event in your life, a trauma or a loss that is trying to block the light from shining for you? Has a shadow overwhelmed you? Does it feel like your day has turned to perpetual night?

Scripture tells us that night can be as bright as day, that even in the toughest times, we can carry on because there is a light that cannot be extinguished.

When we witnessed the total eclipse of the sun last August, we were amazed at how bright the world still was even when the moon completely covered the sun. What a phenomenon! We viewed Pluto and the stars in the middle of the morning. But more amazing was the fact that the light was still bright enough around us to see virtually everything. The brightness of the sun cannot fully be eclipsed.

We find a lesson here for us: when our lives are overwhelmed by sorrow and grief, the light of God cannot be fully overcome. We can be struck with troubles, heaviness, and darkness, but His light cannot be put out. We will have all the light that we need to see by and to continue to live by.

Are you struck with heartache today, almost overwhelmed and hardly able to function under the weight of the burden you carry? Ask God to allow you the grace to have just enough light to see by today. And as this trial unfolds, moment by moment, you can trust in His unfailing love. Pray with us…

Father,

I thank You that You are never overcome by darkness. Even the darkest night is as bright as the brightest day to You. Thank You that as I walk with You, learning to walk in Your ways, seeking Your divine presence in my life moment by moment, this darkness I presently feel will dissipate, and the night around me will be like day once again.

Thank You that You promise me that I will shine again. As You transform my life and deliver me from these present challenges that seek to overwhelm and destroy me, rather than being overwhelmed and destroyed, these challenges will be the making of me. I will become stronger and a brighter light for Your glory.

Wash me clean of all darkness. Take me into the light of Your glorious presence and radiate all darkness out of my being in Jesus’ Name. I thank You for the sacrifice of Your dear Son, Jesus, who bled and died to give me an opportunity to be forgiven and cleansed.

I trust in the Holy blood and water that gushed forth from the sacred, broken heart of Jesus to flood over me and to break this cycle of darkness plaguing my life today. I stand beneath that flow, bowing in worship for Your generous, glorious love for me.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen

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But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life. (Psalm 42:8 NLT)

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Have you ever tried to praise your way out of the doldrums? It’s not an easy task. But did you know that the highest praise comes from those who sing from the lowest valley? It’s like receiving a gift from a really poor person; knowing the sacrifice that person made makes the gift all that much more valuable.

The Psalmist was deeply discouraged when he wrote this Scripture. Twice he tries to talk to himself out of his depression:

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:5 and 11)

When our lives aren’t going as planned, when we hit obstacles, road blocks, and dead ends, instead of giving up, throwing in the towel, and complaining to everyone who will listen, try to do what this Psalm-writer did: try a little self-talk.

His self-talk consisted of some difficult but helpful methods. As we often do when we are depressed, he talked about the good ol’ days when life was hunky dory. But he doesn’t stay focused there; he shifts his focus from the bygone days to the future through eyes of hope. He realizes that at some future point, he won’t feel this way anymore, and he will have things to rejoice about once again.

First, he realizes that what he is really thirsty for is not so much breakthrough as it is for God Himself. He is longing for intimacy with his God. Currently, the drink of choice is his own tears, but ultimately he knows he is desperate to drink in the presence of God.

He also realizes that while he doesn’t necessarily feel God’s love surrounding him, it is real nonetheless. And even when he isn’t aware of it, God’s love is being poured over him every single day, and every single night God’s songs are ringing in his ears.

Depression is real. This writer’s emotions are real. He sings an honest song, a desperate song to His God, asking real questions like, “Where are You?” But laced in his honest reflections, he speaks truth, that God loves him still, and He will never stop.

Are you downcast? Are you bearing the weight of some heavy situations in your life? Then pray this simple prayer with our friend the Psalmist. When we praise God in spite of our depression, we offer Him a sacrifice of praise more valuable to Him than anything else, and praise can be the key to joy once again.

As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?”
My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
amid the sound of a great celebration!
Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you…
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life. “O God my rock,” I cry,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?”
Their taunts break my bones.
They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”
Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

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