Advertisement

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Praying for Those Who Are Precious to You

posted by nsymmonds

I’ve been talking alot about looking forward to a thing since we started the Thanksgiving Prayer series on Monday. So to keep things consistent, I wanted to share something I am looking forward to. This Friday is the release of Lee Daniels’ film “Precious” about a 16-year-old African-American girl–Precious–who was born into a life of struggle and hardships. Despite what seems like a sad and dark story there is hope and light to be found through faith and the love of friends. In honor of the movie’s release, Beliefnet has created a “Precious” prayer wall. We invite you to leave your prayers and positive thoughts for the people who have made a difference in your life.

Share Your Prayer on the “Precious” Prayer Wall

Advertisement

Thanksgiving Prayer: Forgiveness

posted by Mark Herringshaw

“Sin” is a nasty and out of fashion word. There, I wrote it. “Sin.” Completely politically incorrect. Say “sin” in a crowed movie theater and you’ll likely incite a stampede for the door. Say “sin” in an actually movie and you’ll never work in Hollywood again. We can say anything else in this culture and be yawned at. But we can’t say “sin” and mean it.

Yet avoiding the problem described by the “S” word doesn’t make it go away. At all. We know that actions bring reactions. We know and accept that we must take responsibility for our choices. The consequences of what we say and do always come back to call us to account. Shall we say the word together… “Sin.”  

Advertisement

I can feel the resistance growing out there… Okay, let’s change the game. How ’bout if we call it… “Karma” instead? There, does that feel better?

Granted, our American version of the idea behind Karma is simple to the point of simplistic. What we generally mean when we throw the word into a sentence say, “Wow, I just got hit by a car. Must be bad Karma from when I beat up my brother in 2nd grade…” does not do justice to its deeper, nuanced Eastern philosophical meaning. Forget ever understanding it fully. If you attended a traditional western school, your mind has been permanently incapacitated from ever grasping the Hindu and Buddhist use of Karma. In our frame of reference it’s simple reciprocity. We reap what we sow; What goes around comes around; For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Sorry to any students of the East, but that’s about as much as you’ll get from the average American trying to leverage the vision of Karma. Think “Earl” as in “My Name is Earl.” He’s as sophisticated as most of us get.

Advertisement

Back to the “S” word… Karma can be a way for us to partially understand “sin” a little better. The law of sin also holds me accountable for all my foul actions. Sin also demands a real accounting. Either way, whether I call it Karma or sin, at the bottom line, I’m doomed. If I must recoup for all my actions and make up for them, I’d be bankrupt. I can never do good fast enough. Nor can I work my way to salvation. I need an out, a loophole, a pardon. I need… [New word] “forgiveness.” Yes, I need someone to pay my debt, my sin debt, my Karmic debt.

The good news: It’s already done! I only need to accept the gift, then send a thank you note!

Advertisement

As thanksgiving draweth nigh, we’re posting suggestions about ways to leverage prayer to make the holiday come to life. Today, I suggest a simple prayer thanking God for forgiving us of the debt we own to his Universal Bank of Reciprocity.  

Psalm 103 begins: “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” Not forgetting the benefits that are ours by right is the first step toward true Thanksgiving. And the first benefit David, who penned this lyric, mentioned: “Who forgives all our sins…” Forgiving us of the consequences of our actions is benefit #1. It’s a huge one. God, in Jesus takes a debt that isn’t his and gives us blessings that were not ours. It’s a life swap. For that, we should be truly thankful!

Advertisement

God, thank you that I do not have to pay all the moral debt I have accrued. I acknowledge that you have taken my place and in that place have given to me all your freedom and joy and purity. With all the things I’ve done in my life, I should never expect true goodness in return. But you do not count my sin against me. You take the weight on yourself. Knowing that I know I can give you…. [name something you need to dump] and in return I accept your pardon. It isn’t fair; but you are good. Thank you! Thank you!”

If you’d like to learn more about forgiveness and the principle of “dumping your Karma” on Jesus, go to www.dumpyourkarma.com, and then pick up my new book, The Karma of Jesus.   

Advertisement

Win or No Win? Casino Denies Man 166 Million Jackpot

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Bill Seebeck won $166 million dollars in a $4 slot at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa on Sunday but he’s none the richer. The would-be millionaire pulled the level and bells started ringing and the figure $166,666,666.65 appeared on the jackpot screen. Yreka!  

It was not to be. According to officials at the casino the slot machine malfunctioned and accordingly they say they are under no obligation to pay the prize, saying that the maximum win on this machine is an unimpressive $90,000. They attempted to get Seebeck to sign a release denying any right to recover any award. He refused.

Advertisement

So, prize or no prize?

Is there a moral in this tale of dashed ecstasy? Allow me to put a spiritual spin on it and flip it in exactly the opposite direction. This month we’re posting Thanksgiving prayers. In Psalm 103 David, the singer-king writes a song of praise and thanks to God. He tells himself to “not forget God’s benefits.” We’re prone to that, to neglecting to appropriate the treasures that are really ours. Seebeck’s problem is that the thought he had a treasure that wasn’t really his; our problem is that we forget we have a treasure that is actually ours!

Thanksgiving is about pausing for an audit of our life, assessing the treasures that God has already given us, then voicing our thanks for those gifts. Once we’re thankful, we’re free to partake. We pray; we eat! That’s how it works on Thanksgiving; that should be how it works everyday!

Advertisement

I want to forget about running after make-believe jackpots; I’ll cash the checks of true wealth already sitting in my hand, signed, sealed and delivered by God!

Follow me on Twitter  

Advertisement

Thanksgiving Prayer: Self Control

posted by nsymmonds

I am currently in the midst of my church’s annual 21-day consecration in which we dedicate ourselves to fasting, increased prayer, and study of the word of God. As is always the case when it comes to fasting, it brings to mind what you can and can’t eat and sometimes puts the fastee in danger of over-indulging on that which they can eat in order to substitute for that which they can’t. I know this too well because I am living it. I am forever tempted to overdose on broccoli, cashews, oatmeal and the other healthier options since I can’t have my Tostitos, cookies, and cupcakes. But this fast is about self control for God’s sake. It has been said that obedience is better than sacrifice, but in this case, I feel that sacrificing IS what is necessary in order for me to be obedient to God. This season leading up to Thanksgiving brings into view the concept of self control. There will be food and drink flowing like water in 3 week’s time and it will take everything in us to eat and drink in moderation. And this isn’t just about food. We can be in danger of being excessive in many areas of our lives, but all of those areas will affect us in some way. So today’s Thanksgiving prayer is for self control.

Advertisement

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this season of harvest that you have us in. A season that will be full of delicious food and drink. A season that will be full of wonderful family and friends. A season that will be full to the brim with the possibilities you set before us. But in all of these things I pray for self control. Self control while we are enjoying are enjoying the delicious foods of the season. The turkey, the pecan pies, the pumpkin lattes, the egg nog and every other seasonal food that you will put before us. Let us remember to eat and drink in moderation and do it all to your glory. Self control in the way we spend money so that we will not live outside of our means. Let us be good stewards over our financial resources. Let us trust in you and your hand of provision and remember that you supply all of our needs according to your riches in glory. Even as we look toward the day after Thanksgiving when every store will have deep discounts and sales to draw us in, may we be controlled in our spending and in our behavior remembering that our ability to control ourselves can affect someone else’s life. This is a season were excess can tempt us, but help us not to be lead astray. Let us be controlled in all we do remembering that self control is a fruit of the spirit. Give us the spirit of self control from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Previous Posts

A Prayer Against Cancer
This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else —not only in ...

posted 11:38:08am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

God Can Work With Anything We Give Him
"He turned the intended curse into a blessing because the Lord your God loves you." (Deuteronomy 23:5) Need a miracle? Got fish? Got bread? Boom! God can make a picnic out of anything we give Him. Perhaps you've messed up your life beyond ...

posted 6:18:54pm Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Experience a Vibrant Life
And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and LIFE. (John 6:63) These instructions are not empty words—they are your LIFE! (Deuteronomy 32:47) Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep ...

posted 8:30:32am Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Think Lovely Thoughts
The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. (Isaiah 8:11) 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 ...

posted 8:04:02am Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for a Reality Check
“This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and now he has abandoned you!”   2 Chronicles 24:20 "If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much ...

posted 10:19:51am Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.