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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

A Prayer to Elevate Your Thought Life

posted by Mark and Jill

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phil. 4:8 NLT

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 KJV

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2

Neuroscientist Carolyn Leaf, in her book Switch on Your Brain, says, “You can, through conscious effort, gain control of your thoughts and feelings, and in doing so, you can change the programing and chemistry of your brain.” The key, perhaps, is the “conscious effort.” People aren’t accustomed to the hard work and discipline of controlling thoughts, feelings, and words. But we can with God’s help change our thinking patterns and defaults. Through solid effort by renewing our minds with the Word of God – putting it into our minds through our eyes and through our ears – we can change toxic thoughts through the power of the Truth of the Word of God and the love expressed in that Truth.

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As I was meditating on a challenge in my life the other day I felt the Holy Spirit teach me an important truth about my mind. He said, when you enter into a conceptualized thought, it’s like stepping into an elevator. That elevator can take you where you want to go – up or down. Paul instructs us, “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” (Colossians 3:2) Some thought subject matter can take me on a downward spiral to despair. But those thoughts can be challenged and evicted. I can replace those thoughts with the promises of God – the Truth of the matter that dispels every fear.

Father,

I ask you for grace and strength today to take every thought captive and make my thoughts agree with you, comply with your Word, and align with your love.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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It’s a Wonder-filled Life

posted by Mark and Jill

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. Psalm 16:9

My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Psalm 57:7

Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! Psalm 71:6

My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart! Psalm 108:1

Is it any wonder that we are glad today? Is it any wonder that we express our worship to God with singing? Is it any wonder that our hearts engage fully as we praise Him? Is it any wonder that we have confident hearts?  Is it because we live challenge-free, pain-free, persecution-free, problem-free lives? No! Emphatically no. It’s because we have a God who is bigger than challenges, stronger than pain, mightier than persecution, and much greater than any problem the devil can throw at us. No, it shouldn’t surprise us that we experience His blessing, because that is God’s promise to His children. No wonder!

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Father,

I thank you that I can sing with confidence, boldness and gladness today because I trust in you. I can whistle calmly in the face of adversity, knowing that your power is here to save me from anything the enemy tries to throw my way. Thank you that I have the ability to have the mind of Christ – to think His anointed thoughts and follow His voice today as my Good Shepherd. I receive all these blessings from Your gracious hand: confidence, love, forgiveness, peace, and joy in you. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

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Shut Up Or Shout

posted by Mark and Jill

“Do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!” Joshua 6:10

“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10

The Israelites had messed up God’s plan and suffered the consequences. Finally, after a trip that should have taken a few weeks was stretched to forty years, these former slaves were about to receive their promised land. How were these young, homeless people going to conquer a land? Only with fearless faith and obedience to the specific instructions of the Lord.

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They were instructed to be silent for six days of marching. Why, we wonder? Most likely because in the middle of battles, we had best nip it. If given the opportunity to chat, the Israelites might have been heard saying things like, “How in the world are we going to overcome this wall of resistance?” And, “Did you see the size of that enemy army? We are doomed!” In moments when we feel overwhelmed, keeping our mouth shut is good advice. Open it only to shout the victory. In this case, they shouted before the miracle happened. Our cry of victory can be a sacrifice of praise offered to God before He sends the answer to our prayer.

Father,

I want to fix my thoughts on the truth of your ability to rescue me and meet my every need no matter how overwhelming it seems to be. Help me to be quiet and still, to ready myself to shout when you give the word…a shout of praise to our God who hears my prayers and who is true to every promise uttered in Scripture. Keep my tongue from speaking fear-filled words and worst-case scenarios. In times when the battle is raging, I choose to be quiet unless I’m shouting my praises you. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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A Prayer to Win the Race

posted by Mark and Jill

“…Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT)

This Scripture presents some very practical instructions for how to find and fulfill our individual destinies. It tells us what we need to get rid of in order to run this race successfully and where to focus. We are instructed to fix our gaze on Jesus who ran before us and runs beside us. He, the champion runner, is coaching us and cheering us on. But stuff and nonsense can trip us up, causing us to quit or stumble or lose. What is tripping you up today?

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Is it condemnation? Let it go according to Romans 8:1.

Is it worry and anxiety? Roll your burdens to the Lord according to 1 Peter 5:7.

Is it sin? Fess up and get clean according to 1 John 1:9.

Is it poverty? Embrace the good news of Philippians 4:19.

Is it your health? Make a few phone calls according to James 5:14.

Father, 

I want to win the race you have marked out for me. I am done with limping along. I will take the steps of faith necessary to strip away everything that has impeded my progress. Speak to me now as I quiet myself before you. With the help of your mighty hand, I will remove the obstacles in my path so I can run with strength, stamina and staying power. And make me a source of encouragement for others as we all follow Jesus together in this great marathon! With faith in You, I will win. 

Amen

Previous Posts

A Prayer to Elevate Your Thought Life
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Phil. 4:8 NLT "For as he ...

posted 12:03:15pm Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

It's a Wonder-filled Life
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. Psalm 16:9 My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Psalm 57:7 Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s ...

posted 10:50:50am Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Shut Up Or Shout
“Do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!” Joshua 6:10 “Be still, and know that I am God!" Psalm 46:10 The Israelites had messed up God's plan and suffered the ...

posted 1:10:57pm Apr. 22, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Win the Race
"...Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects ...

posted 11:11:33am Apr. 21, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Stop Judging
"Even if I have sinned, that is my concern, not yours. You think you're better than I am..." ~ Job (Job 19:4,5) “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged." ~Jesus (Matt. 7:1) "God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has ...

posted 3:46:41pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

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