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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. (Psalm 103:20)

We had the pleasure of hosting five missionaries in our home this weekend. One of the young women began worshipping softly in the kitchen early one morning while I was sipping coffee in the living room nearby. The Lord spoke to my heart and I wrote this down:

“The angels tune into the song of praise and follow the sound. When they find the source of praise, they join in and partner with that source!”

As subjective beings, it’s always important to compare what you hear in your spirit to what you see in the Word of God; the Word of God trumps all. Searching the Scriptures, I found it to be true in Psalm 103:20, as stated above.

Sing His praises today. And know that the angels in the universe not only join in with you but strengthen you and aid you in your prayers, work, and pursuits for God.

Father,

I lift my voice in praise and adoration to your glorious name today, for you are worthy of all my heart’s worship. I don’t simply praise you for the benefits that come my way, although I will receive them with a heart of thanks. Ultimately I praise you because nothing is more True than Your supreme goodness. Nothing is more sane than to rejoice in You continually! You are God. You are love. You are all power, so all praise belongs to You!

You shall hear my voice today! Singing as best I can the tunes of praise and love songs to my Savior.

In His Name I pray and say Amen!

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things are made…” Romans 1:20

“In the past [God] permitted all the nations to go their own ways, but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness.” Acts 14:16

God speaks to people through non-verbal messages of creation. If we open up our eyes, we will see Him everywhere – our Creator, scattering stars to decorate the skies at night, teaching a dog to wag its tail with delight, making babies who melt our hearts with their cooing…. With great attention to detail, God made the world a wondrous place to be.

“Yes, but what about all the suffering?” you say. If we chose to, we can see plenty of pain and brokenness in the world. Whose to blame for that mess? Scripture says, “You gave [human beings] charge over everything you made, putting all things under their authority.” (Psalm 8:6) If your employer put you in charge of a warehouse and that warehouse is unproductive, messy, losing money, and no one is getting along, whose fault is it? Yep. You got it. You are. I am.

We can get to know God better today by asking Him to open our eyes to His great love, His mercy, all His attributes of loving kindness demonstrated in the world around us. As we get to know His character, we get to know how He can change us into people who spread the Good News of Jesus, that He came to clean up the toxic waste of sin in the world and restore us and our planet until we establish Heaven on earth.

Father,

Open my eyes to the beauty around me, the world that reflects your love. Thank you for the rain. Thank you for the snow. Thank you for the food I will enjoy today. Thank you for a bed in which to dream and find restorative rest. Thank you for giving me joy in my friendships. Thank you for transforming my mind from futile thoughts to thankful thoughts. I give you myself today. Open up my eyes, my ears, and all my senses to your Truth.

Amen

He [Barnabus] was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. Barnabus was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord. Acts 11:23-24

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Psalm 51:12

Barnabus was given the name Son of Encouragement. This man was a source of joy and courage to the early believers, and they needed it. Life was no picnic; their very lives were threatened on a regular basis. Barnabus kept their spirits high. How? He was filled with the joy of the Lord. Joy reproduces joy, as sadness often reproduces sadness.

Depression has no upside. The years I spent struggling with depression benefited no one around me. (Quite the contrary.) God’s grace has eradicated depression – although once in a great while, I allow it to creep back in. Thank God, I’ve learned to catch in it’s early stages, like a virus, before it spreads and causes havoc in my emotions. I have found almost without exception that to the degree I invest in my faith on a given day, there is a direct corresponding level of joy in my life the following day, which correlates with how much hope I experience, which, in turn, determines my level of joy.

So if I build my faith today through hearing the Good News (faith comes by hearing the Word of God – Romans 10:17), my hope grows (faith is the evidence of things we hope for – Hebrews 11:1), and when hope grows, I have joy even in the middle of challenging, painful, fearful, and dark circumstances.

This has become my strategy to overcome depression. I hope it is a help for you. It’s not some smug formula by any means, and I realize the dark times we go through are very real. There are different origins of depression, and our doctors and counselors can help us navigate them. Still, we have constant, open access to the Great Physician, and the Counselor of all Counselors – the Holy Spirit for free! And for our freedom!

Struggling with depression, my friend? Pray this plain and simple prayer with me today…

Father,

The entrance of Your Word gives light. Thank you for illuminating the darkness in my life. Lord, I choose to follow you to find a way out of the brambles of depression. I long to be a source of support, joy, encouragement and faith for the people I love. As Blind Bartimaeus left his ratty, gross, old beggar’s cloak behind when he ran after Jesus, I leave my rags behind, the rags of sadness, trauma, victimization, unforgiveness, complaining, negativity, and fruitless living. I run to you, Jesus. You have thoroughly and completely done everything to free me from all that is not good. I receive your help! I receive your joy! I receive Your Word and your promises. Set me free to live a life of joy so that I can be a light for others who need hope.

In Jesus’ Name Amen.

…I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. 2 Timothy 1:12

I want to know Christ… Phil. 3:10

Only when we know someone can we truly trust him. The same can be applied to God. 

If you open the door to the God of the universe whose essence is Love, if you sit at His feet, if you pour out your heart to Him, if you read and ponder His promises and listen to godly men and women who have walked with Him, you will find Him truly worthy of not only your trust but your entire life’s ambition and your whole-hearted worship.

Want to grow in your trust of the Almighty? Pray this plain and simple prayer with us…

God,

I want to learn to trust you, so I am embarking on a journey today to open up my heart to get to know you in all your mystery and wonder. I believe that you are not only friendly to me but loving and kind. How I need to experience your love and kindness, for I am hungry for what is Real. This step I am taking is my first attempt at trust: I give you my life and I ask you to take me, teach me, free me, and turn me into the person you designed for me to be. I want to do the things in this world that bring transformation to others – the same transformation that I am expecting from your hand as I walk with you each day.

Amen.

…Asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. Ephesians 3:17