Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

donald trump

You might love the guy; you might not. Either way, we as believers are encouraged – rather commanded – to pray for our political leaders, irregardless of their political persuasion or ours.

Psalm 72 is a wonderful prayer for a governmental leader. We will use it as a prayer template for President Donald J. Trump on this his 71st birthday.

Join us…

Psalm 72

Father,

Today we especially want to heed Your call to pray for our president. 

Endow the king with your justice, O God…
May he judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice.

Give President Trump a keen sense of justice. Grant Him divine wisdom to make choices based on wisdom, dealing equitably with people, especially those who are weak.

May the mountains bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.

Through this term as President, may he find ways to bring prosperity to our nation, especially to those afflicted with poverty. Help him find ways to help meet the needs of the poorest of the poor and their children.

May the kings…of distant shores
bring tribute to him.

Enhance his relationship with foreign leaders and nations, Lord, giving him both favor and wisdom as he navigates rugged political terrain around the globe.

May he defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
may he crush the oppressor.

May his kindness toward the afflicted spread from our shores to other nations around the world, through example as well as through sharing our resources, for we know that when we are called upon to share, there is always enough.

For he will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.
He will take pity on the weak and the needy
and save the needy from death.

Decrease violence in our land, Lord, and save from death the unborn and others who are vulnerable.

May he be like rain falling on a mown field,
like showers watering the earth.
In his days may the righteous flourish
and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.

We ask for abundant provision for every person in our land, an ample supply of food and basic necessities. Bless each farmer in our land who grows our food, and please give them adequate rain for their crops.

May grain abound throughout the land;
on the tops of the hills may it sway.
May the crops flourish like Lebanon
and thrive like the grass of the field.
Then all nations will be blessed through him,
and they will call him blessed.

We ask that other nations would benefit from our prosperity. May the earth prosper and may each person be well-fed and cared for and loved.

May people ever pray for him
and bless him all day long.

May You stir the hearts of all praying Americans to lift up President Donald Trump and his family in prayer every day for protection, wisdom, and divine guidance.

Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.
Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen.

You alone do marvelous things, Lord! The government is ultimately on Your shoulders, and we give You praise and thanks, believing that as we pray in humility, You will hear us.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

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Words evolve to mean new things, and the term, “Pleasure” is no exception. Once again a perfectly fine word is being hijacked into the sensual sphere. But let’s hang on to this word for dear life and use it for its intended purpose:

pleasure |ˈpleZHər|
noun
a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment

Summer is a time for pleasure. Those of us in colder climes feel the desire for summer fun acutely. We’ve been locked up indoors all winter, and the green grass and the cool water beckons us. Our bodies, deprived of Vitamin D, want to live outdoors every possible moment. Cubicles may confine us from 9 to 5, but nothing can keep us from the sunshine after work hours.

The Enemy hates pleasure, loving boredom and monotony, the breeding ground of bad ideas. He has devilishly tried to keep us from pure pleasure with two nasty lies.

First, he works to convince us that pleasure is bad: It’s a selfish way to live life and we should spurn it. It’s better to sit at the top of a pole for decades. You must forbid anyone in your home from pleasure, most especially on the Lord’s Day. That day of all days should be somber, still, and serious. Seriously stodgy.

The second lie is the antithesis of the first – that pleasure is all there is to live for. “Eat, drink, and be merry,” said Solomon in his backslidden state. So we eat like gluttons, drink like alcoholics, and make merry, doing everything our sensual passions could wish for.

Neither of these extremes are what the Lord had in mind when He created pleasure.

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people… (Psalm 149:4)

Wonder of wonders, God takes great pleasure in us.

Think of an auto mechanic who has taken an old, run-down ’56 Chevy and brought it back to pristine life. That mechanic drives his vehicle with great pleasure! That’s a small glimmer of God’s pleasure in us. He loves us. Not only that, He likes us! He has taken us out of the proverbial trash heap, and given us new meaning in life, recreating us and restoring us to our intended purpose and destiny!

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God loves pleasure. He has a storehouse of it in His hand. What does this signify? It means that in relationship with the Lord, we find the truest pleasure that life, through our Creator, can offer. True joy comes from Him. True pleasure is His to bestow to all who get close enough to His Person.

Are you tired of the monotony of your life? Are you seeking for pleasure in all the wrong places? Pray this plain and simple prayer with us today!

Father,

It seems too good to be true that You would care to upgrade my life to one that is filled with joyful pleasure. But if You say so, I will receive it, for I haven chosen to have faith in your Word!

Lord, would You please forgive me for my selfish quest for pleasure that has so often gone sour? It has left me with a horrible taste in my mouth and self-loathing in my heart.

I receive Your forgiveness from violating Your precepts by seeking to do life my way. I hang that up today. I choose to do life Your way beginning again this very moment. Thank you for cleansing me from all that isn’t right. Bathe me in Your Holy Spirit until I am clean and shiny like a newborn baby. White as snow in the summer sun!

Lord, I give myself over to Your notion of pleasure. Align my appetites with what is truly Good. And fill my cup with pure pleasure as I settle down closer to You day by day.

In Jesus Name,
Amen.

 

 

kite – Photo credit: JMS2 via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

’56 Chevy – Photo credit: DVS1mn via Foter.com / CC BY

I desire You more than anything on earth. Psalm 73:25

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The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall want for nothing… (Psalm 23)

Hardly anyone escapes the trap of addictions. Some addictions are more insidious than others, but from heroin-addicts to coffee-aholics, all of us with addictions stand together on level ground surrounding Jesus and the Cross He died on. Some of us hide our addictions and even manage to hide them from ourselves. Addictions can be polite and appear well-bred, but all addictions, whether culturally acceptable or not, are sinister and are sent and meant to take us off our game, disabling our destinies.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

Jesus invites us to live in the light, to bring ourselves and our addictions into the light. Picture doing whatever it is you’re addicted to in Jesus’ presence. What response do you imagine He would have?

Do you think He’d be ticked? Annoyed? Scandalized?

I don’t think He’d be moved a bit. I don’t think He’d flinch. He would just quietly wait for you to finish and then He’d take His leave or engage in conversation with you if You seem interested.

Jesus is comfortable with people who are accustomed to “sin”.

What is sin?

The definition of sin is, “To miss the mark,” to wander off the path God has chosen for your life. Other paths offer immediate gratification. God’s path often isn’t alluring, but it offers so much JOY!

What if the only thing we were addicted to was Jesus? Why not give it a try? Start by fasting the things you’re addicted to, as a way of humbling yourself before God. We invite you to pray this plain and simple prayer.

Father,

I have missed the mark. This addiction has ruled my life long enough. I’m laying it at your feet, and I am setting aside time without it as a fast to humble myself before You. Free me from these chains.

Help me become so focused on You, Your presence in my life, and Your love for me that I want for nothing else. May You be my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night. Help me to lift my face to You throughout each day to receive the love I’m trying to find in all the wrong places.

You are love. You are love. Jesus, You are the very embodiment of what love is, looks like, and acts like. I receive Your love today.

Give me wisdom to know where to go for help. Help me live in complete honesty and transparency, sharing with those I trust, so they can hold me up and affirm me and encourage me in my struggle for sobriety.

How good You are to me!

You are all I ultimately want out of this life! You alone!

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen!

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. (Matthew 6:33)

 

Photo credit: Foter.com

“Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago.”        2 Corinthians 8:10

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Half way through 2017 is a good time to do a check-up on the goals we set out to accomplish and the aspirations we placed before us when the year was fresh as a daisy and frigid as ice (if you live in cold climate as we do).

For those of us who take their cues by living life through the lens of Scripture, we have this mandate that Paul gave his friends from Corinth: Finish what you start. If we prayerfully established our goals in the first place, we won’t have to second guess ourselves. But it’s not a bad idea to re-submit these goals to the Lord in prayer, laying them at His feet and asking for affirmation concerning them.

How do we know what He is saying?

His peace is our guide.

Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always]. Colossians 3: 15 Amplified Bible

The peace of Christ either confirms or challenges the decisions we have made, the priorities we have established, and the objectives of our lives. We have to sit at His feet long enough to let that peace settle in if it’s going to. We have to know what His peace feels like in the first place, so we can recognize its absence.

When peace has eluded us, we know we have stepped aside from His perspective in some way. We simply go to Him, repent if necessary, and set ourselves aright, back on His path of peace.

So let’s spend some time evaluating our 2017 New Year’s Resolutions and make them our 2017 Mid-Year Resolutions!

Perhaps life has gotten in the way of your plans. Maybe it’s time to move forward in spite of your set backs.

Ready to finish what you started? Pray this plain and simple prayer!

Father,

I started 2017 with great intentions; the year has rolled on and stuff has happened. I recognize that not everything that happens in this world is Your will, yet You have promised to turn it into something genuinely Good. I thank You that You are working to recycle the things that have held me back this year into things that will propel me forward even more.

I lay before You the goals I had hoped to achieve in 2017, and I ask that You prune those goals until they are a reflection of Your best for me at this time in my life. Confirm Your good plan with the peace Your Spirit gives me. 

With Your help, Lord, I am determined to dive deeper into my callings. Help me, Lord, to shut off distractions, to stop looking to the left and to the right, and to keep my focus straight ahead on the goals You’ve laid out for me. Give me boldness and confidence in these endeavors. 

Lord, I want to join with Your Spirit and accomplish Your will for my life. I know You won’t do it for me! But You will do it with me! So I employ the generous help of Your Spirit, and today I will roll up my sleeves and get cracking on the things You’ve called me to do!

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen!