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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Let us make Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:19-23 our own, asking God to do for us all that Paul saw fit to pray.

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. 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.

Father, I thank you for your great power. I pray for the capacity to understand the competence that I have at my disposal, the self-same force that caused Jesus’ crucified body to be raised to new, resurrection life. This means that what has appeared to whither and die in my life – things that look hopeless – when touched by your mighty power, will be brought to newness of life again like Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones. I receive your power in these desolate places of my heart.

Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.

Thank you, Lord, that you have authority over every other power, seen or unseen. You know the devil’s attempts to thwart my purpose and calling, but I give way to your mighty power that far exceeds the power of the enemy of my soul. You have supreme authority in my life. I affirm that you are my Lord, knowing that placing myself under your Lordship is ultimately the best, for you are for me; you work on behalf of my highest good and greatest benefit.

And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

Holy Father, I am part of your body, your hands, your feet. Please help me to be a true representation of your heart in this world. You complete all that is broken, confused, and divided in my soul. Bring me together into wholeness and completeness in your anointing. Fill me up with your presence, occupying my spirit, soul, body, home, work, my car, my church… Oh, Holy Spirit, may your presence fill and surround me wherever I go today, bringing you glory and giving me your joy that sustains me through trials, challenges, temptations, and all circumstances I face. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. Ephesians 1:16-18

Today we will pray this prayer over our own hearts. As important as it is to pray for others, it is equally important to pray for ourselves. As our flight attendants always tell us, “Put your oxygen mask on first before you assist others.” So today and every day, we can pray this beautiful apostolic prayer that Paul prayed.

I have not stopped thanking God for you.

Holy, Loving Father, thank you for creating me. Thank you for the value you placed upon my life by laying own your own life for me. Thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made with a divine purpose and destiny. Thank you that you are helping me discover and fulfill my calling more, day by day.

I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

Dearest Father, I thank you that you have given me open access to wisdom, entreating me to come to you for insight whenever I am in need. Lord, I am in need of wisdom and insight today. Please give it to me through your unfailing Word, through the Holy Spirit that lives in me, and through your followers who speak Truth. I desire to grow in my knowledge of who you are, your amazing power, your unfathomable capacities, and your infinite love.

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

My Lord, please illuminate my heart with your light, scatter all darkness, all negative thinking, all curses, and all the cunning plans and schemes that the devil seeks to exercise over my life for my death and destruction. Allow me to comprehend the hope I have and the confidence I can walk in, for I belong to You; I am a child of the Most High God. I am your holy child because I have been redeemed from my sin through the blood of Jesus. And now I am rich. I am full of glory. And you delight in me like a valuable inheritance, for that is who you say I am.

Therefore, that is my true identity. Let every false identity be crucified today.

In Jesus’ Name Amen.

“O Lord, do good to those who are good, whose hearts are in tune with you.” Psalm 125:4

Imagine an orchestra where just one instrument is off-key. That dissonance alone would ruin the symphony. Dissonance hurts the ears. Like nails on a chalkboard it is repelling, causing us to squirm, cover our ears, and run for cover.

Our lives and our actions can add beauty to the world around us, like a melody that stirs our hearts and turns our sights heavenward. Or, if we choose, our lives can add dissonance, causing pain, hurt, and bringing consternation rather than encouragement and joy.

How do we live our lives in tune with the grace of our God? We can find that frequency a number of ways – through prayer, worship, delighting in God’s Word, singing Scripture, talking with friends about His love, sharing what we have with the poor, meditating, praying in the Holy Spirit, listening to His word… there are countless ways to build up our capacity for faith and holiness. Delighting ourselves in a God who delights in us gives us grace to tune into His frequency and to sing that frequency to all who will listen and be moved to sing along.

Father,

I am done with bringing more dissonance in this noisy world. I only want to add to the beauty of your song and no longer detract with unpleasantness. Here I give you my heart. Please transform it to your likeness – warm, soft, inviting, and kind. I give you my voice to hone and tune pitch perfect. Here are my intentions: make them holy. I give you the work of my hands; make it truly Good.

I love your song, Lord. Please help me sing it well.

Amen.

Solomon was the wisest of kings. After he put the finishing touches on the temple he built for God, he prayed this prayer of blessing, an exquisite final “finishing touch.” This is one we can pray over ourselves, our families, and our churches. We invite you to join in….

Solomon beings his prayer with praise. Always a good beginning…

“Blessed be God, who has given peace to his people Israel just as he said he’d do.
Not one of all those good and wonderful words that he spoke through Moses has misfired.

He then asks for specific direction…

May God, our very own God, continue to be with us just as he was with our ancestors—
may he never give up and walk out on us.
May he keep us centered and devoted to him,
following the life path he has cleared,
watching the signposts,
walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors.

And la crème – Asking that this prayer continually resonate before the throne of God, like a never-ending echo in Heaven…

And let these words that I’ve prayed in the presence of God be always right there before him,
day and night,
so that he’ll do what is right for me,
to guarantee justice for his people Israel day after day after day.

At the end of the day – the purpose of all these requests….

Then all the people on earth will know God is the true God;
there is no other God.

A final word to the wise from the wiser…

And you, your lives must be totally obedient to God, our personal God,
following the life path he has cleared,
alert and attentive to everything he has made plain this day.”
1 Kings 8:56-61 The Message

Amen.

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