Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2)
If you are like me, you struggle with staying focused when you pray. The answer is simply this: keep the thanks flowing! As we lift up the people in our lives that we are committed to, we will continue to pour out our thanks to God for what He has done and what He has promised to do in their lives. No power of hell can withstand the force of gratitude!
Thank you for this key insight! It was right there before me all these years, and I finally have eyes to see it. Thank you for opening my eyes and ears to a clearer understanding of your Truth. Now teach me to pray diligently, staying on track with you, enjoying my times of praise and adoration, and growing in gratitude day by day!
We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. (1 Thes. 1:2)
He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. (Daniel 6:10)
At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you … (Luke 10:21)
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. (1 Corinthians 1:3)
Seventeen times in Scripture, the writers of the epistles bless their readers with these two virtues: Grace and Peace. When we look at the deeper root meanings of these words, we see that they are comprehensive blessings that contain everything we could ever look for or long for!
Grace – that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and all that is lovely.
Peace – sense of security, safety, prosperity, felicity, and all that is harmonious.
Grace and peace are two things that I have searched for but haven’t found apart from you. I seldom see them on the covers of magazines. I hardly ever see them displayed on television. Politicians rarely exude them. Fame and fortune can’t buy them. They are only found in You. These two virtues were so very important to Paul and Peter and John when they wrote to believers; they certainly must have learned them first-hand from you, the Source of Grace and the Prince of Peace. Today, I receive this blessing that is bestowed on me in Your Word. I receive Grace – supernatural favor from God in every area of my life, and I receive Peace – security, confidence, sufficiency, and deep felicity in my soul. Thank You for offering these aspects of Your character to me. Thank You for transforming me into a person that freely gives grace and peace to everyone I meet, deserving or not. For I am so very undeserving myself.
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:
Your towns and your fields
will be blessed.
Your children and your crops
will be blessed.
The offspring of your herds and flocks
will be blessed.
Your fruit baskets and breadboards
will be blessed.
Wherever you go and whatever you do,
you will be blessed. (Deuteronomy 28: 1-6)
We attended a family reunion recently and ran into a cousin who had hit the proverbial wall. Nothing was working in her life. We talked for a while, I gave her a hug and told her I’d pray for her. God seriously reprimanded me as I was driving away. “What do you think prayer is, Jill?” I could hear the Spirit say, “Fairy dust that you sprinkle on people that creates some kind of a wave of good fortune in their lives?” “Oh, no, Father, I know it’s not like that. You are so right. I repent, Lord!” I promised Him I would never again say I’d pray for someone like I’m Tinker Bell scattering pixie dust! From here out I have instructions to let people know the full good news: God will bless them if they decide to make a covenant with Him, giving Him their whole lives and receiving the life of Jesus for their own. Until one decides to serve Jesus, he/she won’t have the life Jesus can offer, no matter how much others pray! Once we give our sovereignty over to God, He can do something wonderful with it.
Thank you for your promises. I accept the terms and conditions of those promises! I will be careful to obey you! Until now my obedience has been slow and slack, but all that has changed as of today! I am determined to follow you whatever the cost. Forgive me for my disobedience. Take the reins of this life of mine and take me places I never dreamed of going. I will serve you wholeheartedly with
Your strong arm to guide me,
Your mind to advise me,
Your heart to encourage me,
Your angels to protect me,
Your power to deliver me,
Your riches to provide for me,
Your song to inspire me,
Your wisdom to direct me,
Your strength to cheer me,
Your Spirit to refresh me,
Your comfort to console me,
Your Word to transform me,
Your glory to transport me…
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green. (Psalm 92:14)
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and save you. (Isaiah 46:4)
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! (Psalm 103:5)
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30,31)
I looked at Mark’s goatee the other day and was amazed! It is getting whiter and whiter. I accidentally took a selfie early this morning when I meant to send our son a picture of our puppy, and I was even more amazed – make that slightly mortified! We are growing old! Oh my, the world has dictated a lie to us all, and the lie is this: only youth is valuable; the elderly must be put out to pasture. By no means will we buy into that lie! Old age has immense merit – we have unearthly wisdom that the whole world can benefit from. Come on, all you middle-aged friends and seniors! Let’s rejoice in God’s promise to us who are climbing the ladder of time, to us whose youth is renewed, to us who are growing more and more fruitful with age, to us who live vibrant lives that are full of meaning and joy!
I give you thanks and praise for your promises to me as I age. With your presence in my life, I will still be productive, every day of my life until you take me home! And everyday I’m here you will care for me with your watchful eye. You will carry me through every triumph and every trial. Thank you that you are giving me a satisfying life that is filled with good things every day. You are opening my eyes to the good things around me, and gratitude is becoming my habitual response to your blessing! Thank you that I can outrun the youngsters around me, setting a standard for what a strong life looks like, a life dedicated to you in obedience. Thank you that with your everlasting help, I can soar over every circumstance of life!
In Jesus, the Lord of my life, Amen!