Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

“Then what should I do with Jesus…?” Matthew 27:23

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It was the best of Fridays. It was the worst of Fridays. It was the sleepy, early morning hours of the first Good Friday – the “real” Good Friday. Pilate wondered what in the world he was going to do with this man named Jesus, hated by the Jews whom Pilate was obliged to appease politically. Pilate was now confronted with executing this innocent man. His wife awoke and begged her husband to release Him; her nightmares ruffled her enough to want nothing to do with Him whose case was laid at her husband’s doorsteps early that morning.

Jesus was in Pilate’s hands. Pilate’s question is profound. It is one we should ask ourselves today and, indeed, everyday.

“What should I do with Jesus?”

C.S. Lewis said there are three possible ways of viewing Jesus:

  1. He’s a liar
  2. He’s mentally incompetent – a lunatic
  3. He is Who He says He is

What, my friend, are you going to do with Jesus? Who is He to you? Open up the gospels, and do some research. Who is this man? What did He come to do? Why did He die? What does that have to do with you or me?

In a sense, Jesus is in your hands. What will you do with Him?

If you are curious about Jesus, pray this plain and simple prayer with us.

God,

Please show me and teach me who Jesus is. Who is this man? How can I understand His importance? And what does His life have to do with mine?

What should I do with Him? Or even better yet, what does He want to do with me?

I want to start this journey of faith; please open up my heart to comprehend who He is and what He wants to do in my life.

In Jesus’ Name

Amen

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“Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine” (Song of Songs 1:2).

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If you were an alien and you landed on earth just in time to observe two people kissing, what would you think? Such a strange phenomenon! Why do two people connect themselves at the lips? It isn’t a necessary part of procreation. It’s just for fun. But why?

Where did kissing originate?

An old set of Bible story books written decades ago by Arthur Maxwell  (we read them to our kids for years) has an interesting theory. In the Genesis story the author states that God performed the first kiss when he breathed life into Adam’s nostrils. It makes sense. With a kiss, God breathed His breath directly into Adam.

Try breathing into someone’s nostrils from your nostrils without kissing. Nose-to-nose practically assumes mouth-to-mouth. If this is true, then we have discovered the meaning of kissing:  it is sharing our spirit with another. A big deal, I might add, and one we take all too casually. But that’s beside the point at present…

“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person” (Genesis 2:7).

When Mark kissed me for the first time, he shared his life, his essence, with me. I, in turn, shared my breath with him, and our love grew deeper. Today, when I kissed him as he left, we shared a bit more of our lives, renewing our determination to stay connected at the deepest level of life.

If God kissed Adam, will He kiss me? Is He still interested in breathing His Spirit into ours?

Absolutely. As children desire hugs and kisses from their fathers, so can we from our Heavenly Father God. As a bride desires hugs and kisses from her groom, so can we from our Heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus.

Do you need a fresh breath of the Spirit of God? Is your soul longing for intimacy with the giver of life? Pray this plain and simple prayer with us today…

Creator God,

You breathed life into Adam and made him a living soul. My soul seems to be on life-support. I need a fresh touch from You. I need to remember that You are real. More real than anything I can see or feel or taste or touch….

Or kiss…

As I lift my face to You today, I ask… Would you kiss me? Would you please breathe your breath into me, resuscitating my wilting heart, giving me Your energy, Your Holy Spirit, Your life that makes life worth living?

I receive it in faith, for Your Word states that You are not a “respecter of persons.”  You don’t love me less than You loved Adam. I need Your Spirit at least as much as he did. I breathe You in today. With my faith, I receive the kiss of the Son.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

“And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled” (Romans 15:4).

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (2 Peter 3:9).

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Not many years ago new fathers weren’t allowed in the labor and delivery rooms of hospitals, so they had to feverishly pace the floor of the “Waiting Room” until the nurse came with news of the Baby and Momma.  A lot of fidgeting was done in those waiting rooms, a good deal of sighing, a lot of cigarette smoking, a lot of nerves on edge.

Nowadays, Dad is welcome right there with Mom, encouraging her on in the process, trying to say the right thing at the right time and give support where it is most certainly needed. Dads are now given something to do while they are waiting.

Waiting has never been a strong suit for most people. Once we have an idea in our minds of how things should be, we will do anything to achieve that goal. Sitting and waiting isn’t one of them; it doesn’t feel progressive, productive, or like we are propelling the issue forward when we just sit and wait.

So we honk our horns, we get mad, we give up, we move on to something else.

But, as it often is, Scripture is counter-intuitive when it comes to waiting. When our waiting is intentional, when it signifies surrender to a better plan, a better timeline, a higher calling, then we are waiting with purpose.

“Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting.” ~Mister Rogers

Scripture gives us something to do while we are at a stand-still. We can run to Him, to Jesus, and sit at His feet, express our love, and experience His. We can open up His Word and read His promises, making them our declaration day by day.

The alternative is to complain that our mountain doesn’t seem to be budging. To whine that our problem is bigger than we can handle. To grumble that God must not be hearing my prayers.

No, my friend. He hears every one. The intricacies of our miracle-in-waiting are much more delicate than we can comprehend, than we can see through our minuscule peek-hole into the universe.

So, while we wait, we remind ourselves and every living thing around us of how good God is, of how strong He is, of how powerful His promises are, that He meant every one of them, and that they are for me. For me! Not just for others!

Are you waiting around for a miracle, for help in a desperate situation, for God to move a stubborn mountain in your life? Don’t pace the floor in frustration. Pray this plain and simple prayer in the Waiting Room:

Father,

Help me to learn to wait well. It has never been my strong suit, but that’s because I foolishly thought that my agenda and my timeline was ultimately best. Now I see things differently. Now I see that in the real scheme of things, I really know very little. You know all things.

Dearest Father, teach me to wait patiently at Your feet. Just to sit with You, to enjoy Your presence, to soak in the light of Your love, to be fed at Your table, to drink at Your fountain of mercy.

As I wait I will review every promise You have given me. I will declare those promises over my situation. I will rejoice over Your promise, for it shall be fulfilled, for You cannot lie. You are incapable of exaggeration. You are unable to distort the truth, for You are the Truth.

Thank you for teaching me to quiet and still my soul like a weaned child with its mother. I lay it all down, this whole situation. I lay it down at Your feet. I leave it there. Then I simply sit and smile, soak in Your peace and comfort, and rejoice that I am held by You.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

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“They shall obtain gladness and joy. And sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11).

“The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here” (Romans 13:12a).

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Has the night been long for you? Have you groaned in anguish over a trial in your life – a mountain that doesn’t seem to budge? Here is your promise:  God is working even when you don’t see it.

Once when I was in utter despair over a severe challenge in my life, I was doing a face plant on my kitchen floor, crying (literally) to God over the pain in my heart. It was real; and it wasn’t over something trite like finances or a work-related issue. It was over the closest thing to my heart:  my child.

Still on the kitchen floor, I called my dear friend. I thought she would pray for me and offer me some consolation. Instead, she asked me to do the hardest thing possible at that moment. She gently challenged me: “Jill, stand up, lift your hands and declare, ‘God is working!’”

“What?! How is that possible when you are in despair?” I thought to myself.

But, I trusted my friend. I knew she loved me. I knew she was right. Feeling as though I weighed 10,000 pounds, I slowly struggled to my feet. With great effort I lifted my arms – each weighted down with grief – to Heaven. In a feeble voice I cried, “God is working.” I repeated that over and over getting slightly stronger each time. Finally I said it with some strength. Hope began to rush in again. Despair retreated, and in an hour or so I was delivered from hopelessness and was back to operating in at least a measure of faith once again.

Faith is declaring what is Truly True but not necessarily obvious to our senses. We don’t base our lives on facts. We base our lives on our faith in the Truth of the Word of Jesus Christ. His Truth trumps every fact we face.

Are you in dire circumstances today that render you hopeless? Here is your encouragement, my friend:

  1. Stand up.
  2. Lift your hands.
  3. Declare the Truth: “God is working.”
  4. Repeat this forever until you see the change His Word promises.

And, we invite you to pray this plain and simple prayer with us:

Father,

When all is dark around me, I declare You are my light.

When the night lasts too long, I declare that You are my morning Sun.

When the winter cold blasts my soul, I declare that Spring is coming soon.

When the facts around me are wretched, I declare that You are more Real than the facts.

When nothing seems to be working, I declare YOU ARE WORKING!

I magnify You over this problem, for You are bigger.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Lift your hands and declare it, dear friend. Shout it out! Raise the roof with your worship music! Give the neighbors something to talk about! He is BIGGER than the issues we face!

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