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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

A Prayer to Give Extravagantly

posted by Mark and Jill

Why waste such expensive perfume? Mark 14:4

A few days before Jesus was falsely accused, sentenced, tried in a trial that was a mockery, and executed (soon to defeat death and be raised back to life by the power of the Holy Spirit), He was at the home of Simon, a man whom Jesus had healed of leprosy. “While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume…she broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.” (Mark 14:3) It was worth a year’s wages. Judas indignantly asked, “Why this waste?” Jesus defended her extravagant action and graciously received her generous gift. Perhaps the fragrance of that perfume was still on Jesus when he was whipped and scorned and crucified. Perhaps that sweet aroma refreshed his aching soul.

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Jesus still receives rejection and scorn. Fists are raised in defiance to the gift of His love. What can we give Him today that would refresh His soul? What extravagant gift could you offer that would bless Him in His suffering? Those like Judas may criticize you, but Jesus will affirm you. Perhaps it’s a sacrifice of praise, simply taking time to lift your hands in thanks. Perhaps it’s an extravagant gift for the poor, for, “As you do to the least of these, you to me,” said Jesus.

Father,

What can I do to bless your Son today?

What do I have that I can give? 

Teach me to give extravagantly, for He gave everything for me.

Amen.

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A Prayer for Anger Management

posted by Mark and Jill

So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples… When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”  (Mark 11:11, 15-17 NLT)

All four of the Gospels tell the story of Jesus angrily driving out the money changers in the Temple. What was meant to be a place of sacred worship became a business enterprise, yielding huge financial gain for slimy salesmen, looking to earn a quick denari at the expense of honest, godly worshippers who traveled far to celebrate Passover. Some people have used this rare display of anger by Christ as an excuse to be an angry person. But there are several important reasons to differ with this assumption.

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Firstly, Jesus slept on it. This was not divine road rage. He came into the temple on Palm Sunday of Holy Week, observed the injustice, but didn’t respond just then. It was the next morning that he returned and overturned the tables and disrupted the sales event. He thought this through first. And, being Jesus Christ, He could handle anger. We, on the other hand, cannot.

No where in Scripture are we encouraged to display anger. In fact, quite the opposite. Ephesians 4:26 says, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you.”  And in Colossians 3:8, “But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior…”  Paul gives this strong warning in Ephesians: “For anger gives a foothold to the devil.” There are many more Scriptures that instruct us to set anger aside. Anger is not a right we hold. We must arrest it and reject it like any other temptation.

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Father,

Without your help I will never win this battle with rage. But your Word says that, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I am counting on your strength to help me ward off anger. I renounce it in Jesus’ Name. I repent of holding on to anger and giving the devil a foothold in my life and relationships. I am determined to follow your Word, to study it, memorize it, meditate on it, and declare it until you have renewed my mind, giving me the mind of Christ – a mind at peace with God, at peace with myself, and at peace with others. This is possible only through the shedding of your blood, the atoning of my sin on the Cross, for which I am eternally grateful. I submit myself wholeheartedly to your grace and forgiveness. Teach me to be your disciple. Give me godly leaders to follow and a Church Body to walk alongside. I receive from you the ability to put away anger!

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

 

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A Prayer for Holy Week

posted by Mark and Jill

…”He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth… ”  Isaiah 53:3-4 AMP

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes… Romans 1:16 NLT

Let us determine in our deepest souls to appreciate the worth of the Son of God and grow in our comprehension of the sacrifice He made for us, taking all of our sin upon Himself so that we can stand in the presence of a Holy God free from guilt and condemnation.

The definition of appreciate is “recognize with gratitude, be fully aware of, hold dear, gain in value, or be grateful for.” On this Monday of Holy Week, let us grow in our appreciation and knowledge of the immense sacrifice Jesus made for us.

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Father,

Thank you for allowing Jesus to voluntarily plead my cause in the courts of heaven. Because of His great sacrifice, I am acquitted of all guilt and sin. I am free and not held in bondage any longer. Lord, I appreciate what you have done for me. That is why today I will celebrate You! I will lift my hands in praise and adoration for your strength and glory and majesty and your amazing kindness to me! 

Hallelujah! Amen. 

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Who I Am in Jesus

posted by Mark and Jill

Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)

I love the notion of starting over – of God wiping the slate clean and re-designing my life after I’ve messed it up. Being IN CHRIST or “belonging to Christ” means that I live within the limits of His limitless grace and love. I don’t venture outside of that space – the space of His vast power and mercy. If you have made Jesus the Leader of your life and have forfeited your position as sovereign over your own destiny, if you want Him to run your life by His wisdom and not your own, then you belong to Christ.

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For years I [Jill] deceived myself into thinking that because I talked the talk, memorized the Scripture, went to church, and read my Bible, that all was as it should be. But I was deceived because while I knew His word intellectually, I didn’t fully know it experientially. I wasn’t walking in forgiveness and love. This was not the pattern Jesus set for me, and deviating from His ways cost me dearly. But that cost caused me to pay attention to myself, soberly evaluate myself, and learn the Truth about being a follower of Jesus. God set me on a new path of loving him, loving others, and walking in forgiveness. I am a new Jill. The old Jill is gone, and I’ve begun a new life that is rich and full of joy and full of God’s gracious surprises. Every day He gives me His plan for me, and I walk in it with him. I’ve still got tons to learn and even more to unlearn, but I am beginning to understand and embrace the truth that I am not the person I used to be. I am NEW. This is my confession, and I want to share it with you today:

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I am a NEW CREATION in Jesus my Great Lord. He has recycled my old self, ridding me of all my delusions and filling me with His Truth. I am brand new, with a new destiny and a recalibrated purpose, and because of this, I have outstanding hope, unrelenting joy, and love that never fails. 

Make Jesus your Lord today, and you can walk joyfully with all of us who have placed our hope in Him!

Previous Posts

A Prayer to Give Extravagantly
Why waste such expensive perfume? Mark 14:4 A few days before Jesus was falsely accused, sentenced, tried in a trial that was a mockery, and executed (soon to defeat death and be raised back to life by the power of the Holy Spirit), He was at the home of Simon, a man whom Jesus had healed of lepros

posted 10:21:05am Apr. 01, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for Anger Management
So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples... When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people b

posted 11:59:48am Mar. 31, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for Holy Week
..."He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth... "  Isaiah 53:3-4 AMP For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes... Romans 1:16 NLT Let us determine in our deepest souls to appreciate the worth of the Son of God and

posted 11:19:10am Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Who I Am in Jesus
Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT) I love the notion of starting over – of God wiping the slate clean and re-designing my life after I've messed it up. Being IN CHRIST or "belonging to Christ" means that I l

posted 12:28:19pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Find God
“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it! ...What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” ~Jacob (Genesis 28:16,17) Jacob's plans had gone awry. He got what he wanted:  he stole his brother's birthright as well as

posted 1:36:43pm Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »

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