Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

You are my helper and my savior. O my God, do not delay. (Psalm 40:17)

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We have a wonderful handyman. Halvor the handyman. He is 87 years old.

He works tirelessly; he can fix anything. He’s saved us thousands of dollars through the years, and we count him one of our dearest friends. When I call Halvor, I can count on his help. Whatever is broken is fixed faster than I anticipated, cheaper than I hoped, and better than it was before it was broken.

Just about the only thing he can’t mend is a broken heart, a broken relationship, a broken body, or a broken soul. That’s when I call for Jesus, my heavenly Handyman.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3)

Perfect peace. Perfect Shalom. I have heard the Hebrew word shalom defined as, “Nothing missing. Nothing broken.”

Is something broken in your life today? Call your heavenly handyman. He’ll be there before you can say, “Amen.”

Father,

I fix my thoughts on you today. My mind is swirling a thousand directions and spiraling downward. You have promised that if I keep my eyes and my thoughts on You, I will have perfect peace. Your peace will fix my brokenness. Your peace will repair my soul and transform my mind. Your peace will recalibrate all that is whirling inside.

I receive You now, Prince of Peace. Come mediate between my emotions and my mind. I take each rouge thought captive, and I make my thoughts bow to Your truth.

Teach me Your truth. I have too often wandered from what is True, thinking I had some sort of artistic license to interpret things my way. I am sorry, Father. It’s Your way from here on, Loving Lord.

My whole self, spirit, soul, and body is Yours.

Dear Helper, help me quickly. Come to my aid and deliver me from trouble. 

In Jesus’ Name
Amen

 

 

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My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. (Psalm 22:1,2)
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King David crafted this despairing prayer when he was in the middle of one (of many) of the trials during his lifetime. This particular time of adversity was probably the most painful, as it involved his own son’s betrayal when Absolom attempted to usurp the throne.

David was forced to flee Jerusalem for his life. In the middle of this extreme trauma and deep emotional pain, he cried out to God. If you are in the middle of a trying time in your life or a challenge of any nature, you can learn a lot from David today.

Let’s look at the outline of his prayer in Psalm 22.

First, he states his case before God: he feels abandoned by God. Up to this point his prayers for this specific situation have not been answered; it seems that this had gone on for at least a number of days.

Then he promptly presents the antidote for his despair: praise to God. On a dime, David turns from anguish to honor. Does this sound bipolar? Not when you look closely. David makes a conscious effort to change the posture of his soul. In other Scriptures David commands his soul to praise God whether he feels like it or not.

Next David outlines the reasoning behind his deliberate decision to move from despair to praise by listing the reasons why God is worthy of this change of perspective. He reminds himself that, “God has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help” (Psalm 22:24).

Finally, David summons everyone on the earth to join him in his praise party, for he is convinced beyond shadow of doubt that God will pull through for him, that God will indeed hear him and change his current circumstances by issuing help from Heaven. And this is exactly what happened; David received what he was believing for, and his throne was suddenly restored to him.

Are you fighting a desperate battle today? Let’s follow David’s lead and craft a prayer accordingly…

Father,

I have had just about enough of this [lay the specific dilemma out before Him]. It distinctly feels like You have not been listening to my prayers and my weeping, like You have been asleep on the job, or oblivious, busy ruling some other universe.

But because I know Your character as well as Your history, I choose to lay my burden at Your feet and praise You. Though I feel abandoned, I know better! You have never forsaken me, and You never will.

You have not ignored or minimized my suffering. You have not turned Your back on me. You have listened to every prayer and have heard every groan my soul has uttered. I will continue to praise You until this situation turns. Then I will let the whole world know what You have done. I will not keep silent, but I will tell everyone and summon the whole earth to love, appreciate, honor, and worship You forever.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen

 

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My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10)

You feed them from the abundance of Your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. (Psalm 36:8)

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Everyone longs for a life that is satisfying. We search for paths to that ideal life, and often the roads we take are dead ends, or worse, they bring us harm, not happiness. Jesus offers us a life that is rich and satisfying, abundant with blessings.

Granted, He also promises troubles and trials and even persecution, but in spite of those challenges, we are promised a life that is successful. When we walk with Jesus, He has the power to give us joy even in the most trying of circumstances, and peace in the middle of the most turbulent storms.

This is real. We have experienced it. You might be saying, “Mark and Jill, you’ve never gone through what I have gone through.”

That is true, but I wish we could sit down with you and share our story… You’d think differently if we had that opportunity. Perhaps one day soon we will write more about it, but it will take much more than a blog… In the meantime, trust us: we know sorrow, we know grief, we know heartbreak, we know betrayal, and we know pain. They have become a part of the fiber of our lives.

Today as I was walking our dog, I offered up thanks to God for those trials; He didn’t send them, for He’s not the instigator of things that steal, kill, and destroy. But He certainly has put them to good use for our benefit. Scripture tells us to thank Him in our troubles, not necessarily for them. But today I was thankful for them, so much good has come from them that I can’t begin to thank Him enough.

Here is a list of a few of the benefits suffering has afforded us:

  1.  Self- awareness. We have been able to see ourselves in a new light, offering us a chance to repent and change where repentance and change has been warranted.
  2. Making our faith truly ours. Having both grown up in faith-filled homes, it was easy to be complacent. It’s a cinch to think that just because you know a Scripture – perhaps you have even memorized it – that you are actually living it. We found gaps in our character – areas where we had not walked out what we believed. One prime example: forgiveness. It’s non-negotiable.
  3. Jesus is near to the brokenhearted. Through our trials, He has been closer than we have ever felt Him. I just lift my head His direction, and I can almost feel His breath on my face, almost sense His tender kiss on my forehead. He is real! He is close! He is amazing… and so worthy of our praise and adoration.

Are you feeling stuck, like the good life has eluded you, like you’ve missed your chance and your boat has left the dock without you? Jesus isn’t through with you, my friend. Pray this plain and simple prayer with us…

Father,

Your Word has promises that I long to see fulfilled in my life. Would you please show me how to access the kind of life you died to provide for me?

I realize I’m not asking for a life free of challenge and struggle. Challenge and struggle are what we run into on this side of eternity.

So, Lord, I offer my life to You anew today. Take me, all of me. Remove from me anything that is holding me back from the destiny You have ordained for me, and set me free to live the life You desire me to live.

I renounce all sin in my life, all bitterness, all envy, all strife, all pride, all selfishness, and all anger.

I renounce all fear, all worry, all panic, all timidity, and all negative thoughts.

I receive Your promise to live a meaningful life. Lord, take over. I give You the reigns of this life of mine, and I choose to walk with You down this new path towards a life of abundant love, joy, and peace.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen

 

 

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…The devil… was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

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We all have voices in our heads, and often these voices are echoing lies that we believe and incorporate into our lives. Lies often become embedded into our minds through trauma, things that have happened that should not have happened. They worm their way into our minds and personalities and become a part of us; but with the Truth, coupled with the blood of Jesus, we can reject and conquer each lie we have accepted into our identity.

We are diving deep into the negative emotions that hold us back from our destinies. Today we will pray about confusion. The devil tries–and often succeeds–in shoving lies down our throats that tell us that everything is confusing, that we are unable to understand what we need to understand, that it’s up to us to figure things out on our own.

God has the antidote for confusion: Wisdom and understanding!

When we encounter the love of our Father and receive His love into our hearts through faith, we can uproot the lies that have deposited confusion into our souls.

Jesus paid the ultimate price so we could be delivered from confusion. Just as He raised the dead, restored withered hands, and strengthened lame legs, He is able and willing to deliver you from confusion. Pray this plain and simple prayer today…

Father,

I thank You that through Jesus You have made a way for me to be free from confusion and to learn to live as Your child. Because of the price You paid for me and the promises you have made in Your Word, I speak these declarations in faith. I believe that Your Word is at work in me as I agree with You now.

I believe and declare that Your Word is true for me personally: that I can access all the wisdom I need to live a successful life. I am not plagued with uncertainty, doubt, ignorance or bewilderment.

I believe and declare that I am not alone; I don’t have to sit around scratching my head in perplexity! I have a Father who has all the wisdom I need to make sense of difficult and trying circumstances. All I need do is come into His presence and ask Him for wisdom, and I will receive it! Wisdom is mine in every dilemma, every mess, every tangle, every befuddlement. With God’s help I will untangle every uncertainty with His understanding.

I believe and declare that I will no longer find fault in myself or believe that God finds fault in me for not knowing everything I need to know on my own. My dependency on Him is not a weakness, but a strength. I will celebrate my need for partnership with the Almighty God who is full of wisdom for my every need.

I believe and declare that I am not lacking in any spiritual gift. I am not missing anything I need to navigate my life and my challenges. I have God, and He is ultimately all I need to lead my life successfully.

I believe and declare that I have the mind of Christ – a wise mind, a stable mind, a quick mind, an effective mind, a healthy mind, a strong mind, and an understanding mind!

I believe and declare that my life is marked by order and peace because God, my God, rules and reigns in my life.

I believe and declare that I have the Holy Spirit at work within me to lead me into all truth in every circumstance.

I believe and declare that I have an understanding heart to do my responsibilities well and to discern right from wrong.

I believe and declare that I do not trust in my own perspective and understanding, but that I lean on and trust in God’s perspective and understanding in all things.

I believe and declare that I will not be tormented and ruled by confusion any longer, for I have been set free from bondage through the love of my Father God, the redeeming power of Jesus Christ, and the constant presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. I am a child of God! I have all the rights and privileges of a child of God – namely, I have wisdom, understanding, clarity, and Truth.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. (1 Corinthians 1:7)

“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33)

He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. (John 14:17)

Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. (1 Kings 3:9)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

Photo credit: h.koppdelaney via Foter.com / CC BY-ND