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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

I Found My Happiness

posted by Mark and Jill

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Psalm 119:35

My favorite part of the The Hobbit is when Gandalf urges the dwarves and Bilbo to stay on the path. He warns them that the there will come a time when circumstances will wrangle you to abandon the right road and follow a different way; he cautions them that this will lead to disaster. They do, and it does.

God has provided a path to happiness in our lives. That doesn’t mean we will be trouble or challenge-free, but it does mean that we will have a sustaining joy that will get us through those deep valleys and see us safely through to the other side. If you’ve lost your happiness, your hope, and your passion for life, then pray.

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Father,

The path I find myself on is not the path I started out on. Somehow, the bells and whistles of my enemy lured me here where I am out of sync with You, Your Word, Your people, and my true self. I repent of being duped by the enemy, of allowing myself to believe his lies, to take his bait, and to turn from the One who knows and loves me. Remove me from this downward path, this slow decline, and put my feet on solid ground. And even when the going gets rough, I’ll not leave your path. I’ll stay with you, trusting you to lead me to the places you have ordained me to go, with Your help.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
– C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

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If Your Boundaries are in Rubbles, Say, Pray, and Do This

posted by Mark and Jill

“The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”     ~Nehemiah 2:20

If the boundaries of your life are in shambles, pray the prayer Nehemiah prayed. He was sent to Jerusalem from exile in Persia to rebuild the walls of the city which had been destroyed. Israel had abandoned God, and God took the hint and left them to themselves. (He never goes where He is not invited.) Once again it took severe pain for Israel to learn that they can’t live without their Creator, their Father, their Shepherd, their Lord.

The name Nehemiah means “Jahweh Comforts.” The story of Nehemiah depicts the Lord’s desire to rebuild our broken lives, to reestablish strong spiritual boundaries which protect us and surround us.

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But beware.  The enemy much prefers that our lives remain a heap of rubble, keeping us vulnerable to attack and destruction. Nehemiah addressed the enemy directly. If Jesus is Lord of your life, you can follow suit. Let’s make Nehemiah’s declaration our own today:

My God is with me! He has promised to help me and give me success if I rely on His unfailing love. Therefore I will ARISE AND BUILD MY LIFE AGAIN! I am in the process of transforming and remodeling my mind and my soul and even my body – every area that the enemy has tried to demolish. The enemy will not destroy, deter, or distract me any longer! He has NO portion or share in this work! He has NO legal right to be involved in my life in any way! He has never done anything for me worth remembering, so he is not invited to participate! Satan! You have NO BUSINESS HERE! You have NO RIGHT to meddle or mess with me! You have NO PLACE here! Get out of here now. Get behind me, Satan! In Jesus’ Name. AMEN!

Now worship and thank the Lord for His power over the enemy of your soul! Give Him a whoop and a holler of praise! Praise is our greatest weapon!

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I Am Being Followed

posted by Mark and Jill

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life.  (Psalm 23:8)

What follows us is determined by the leadership we follow. If we follow Jesus, our Good Shepherd, we can expect goodness and unfailing love to catch up with us eventually.

Paul tells us in Romans that our mouths determine the quality of life that stalks us. If our mouths are, “Foul…filled with lies…full of cursing and bitterness” then, “Destruction and misery always follow…” (Romans 3:16)

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Look behind you. What do you see? If it’s not good and merciful, then make Jesus your Good Shepherd of your life. He will teach you how to create a life that yields good fruit, how to speak words that bring about blessing in your life and not disaster.

Father,

I yield to the Lordship of Jesus in my life. I make Him my leader and Lord. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Align my heart, desires, and words with His, I pray.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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Chopra and Oprah and Jesus

posted by Mark and Jill

“By myself I can do nothing… I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” ~Jesus (John 5:30)

Contrast these words spoken by Jesus with new-age guru Deepak Chopra:  “Know that you are already a complete spiritual being. The path forward is just a matter of waking up to your true unlimited self.”

If Jesus admitted to being limited, dependent on an Outside Force – God Himself, who was His “Papa” (as He delighted to call Him) or Father, it would make sense that nowhere in Scripture do I hear Jesus telling his followers that they have everything they need within themselves to change, that no Outside Aid is necessary. Jesus is honest.

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Interestingly, gurus such as Chopra and Oprah, don’t seem to back off when it comes to helping people who are told they don’t need help. I mean, kudos, gurus, for helping people, but if they have everything within themselves – all the power they need to change and grow, then why the heck do they need self-help gurus like you, toting your books and products? Why write a self-help book when people don’t need help? Why do people spend thousands of dollars making gurus wealthy? Help me out here!

Call me weak, call me dispensable, call me reprehensible, call me childish, squeamish, skittish and prudish; call me whatever you darn well please, but I can do nothing worthwhile or eternal or even meaningful by own strength. But! And that’s one big but! “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

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Father,

Your Word is the Absolute Authority in the universe. I cling to it, I devour it, I delight in it, and I aspire to live by it. Jesus, you needed the help of the Father to do the things you were sent to earth to do. How much more do I need you! So I ask you, in the power of your mighty name, to help me, direct me, empower me, and enable me to do the things you’ve commanded and called me to do with my life. I receive that divine help now.

In Your Mighty Name Which is Above All Names, Amen!

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