Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Re-writing History With Forgiveness

posted by Mark and Jill

“Saul and Jonathan! So well loved, so dearly cherished!
In their lives and in their deaths they were never separated.
They were faster than eagles,
stronger than lions!” ~David, 1 Samuel 1:23

“Um, excuse me, David, but Saul was your number one enemy, your worst nightmare, and because of his abuse, you wasted more than a decade of your life hiding from him and running from death. What’s all this you sing about Saul as being dearly loved and adored?” I ask.

David was modeling the kind of forgiveness Jesus would teach centuries later. Jesus instructed us to love our enemies and to pray for those who abuse and use us.

Jonathan, Saul’s eldest son, was David’s bosom friend, closer than a brother. But Jonathan’s father was just the opposite. As David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan who lost their lives in battle the same day, he was able to honor the memory of his enemy, along with his friend. He didn’t let the facts get in the way of the greater Truth of the matter which is:  love trumps hate. Forgiveness trumps abuse.

Father,

Teach me to forgive my enemies, to embrace what is good and healthy and strong about their character. To speak well of them, and to allow You, the Great Judge, to take care of the rest.

In Jesus’ Name I pray this, believing that You alone can change my heart. Amen.

 

Not a Quitter

posted by Mark and Jill

Thank God because he’s good,
because his love never quits.
Tell the world, Israel,
“His love never quits.”
And you, clan of Aaron, tell the world,
“His love never quits.”
And you who fear God, join in,
“His love never quits.”  Psalm 118:1-4 The Message Bible

God’s love for you is never put on hold. God’s love for you is never reserved for a more convenient time. God’s love for you is never rationed out as though the supply were limited. God’s love for you is never depleted.

We are the quitters. We are the faithless. We are the ones who give up and grow weary.

God isn’t like us. Let’s pray to become more like Him.

My Father,

Make me more like you. Fill me with Your great love. Increase my capacity to receive your love and my understanding to recognize it and my faith to believe it.

Amen

Holy and Whole – A Prayer of Blessing

posted by Mark and Jill

May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it! 1 Thes. 5:23,24 – The Message

The book of Genesis tells us that we are created in the image of God. Just as God is Triune – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – we are triune beings as well. We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. Paul blessed his Thessalonian friends, and we  can partake of this blessing as well. He asks God to bless them, that they would be holy and whole in all three aspects of their being:  spirit, soul, and body.

And we have a part to play in maintaining our health in all three aspects of our beings. We can expect God to keep us healthy as we care for our bodies appropriately, making wise choices with our food intake and exercise. We can expect God to keep our minds and emotions whole as we feed our minds and emotions with healthy soul-food, nourishing our intellects with pure, satisfying books, conversation, art, and film. Thirdly, God will keep our spirits whole as we keep our spirits healthy and full of His fruit by feeding on the Word of God, listening, reading, and getting it into our spirits through music or any other means available.

What a joy it is to learn to walk in health in all three aspects of our being, and what a lovely promise that God has given us that He will make it happen!

My Father,

You desire health, holiness and wholeness in my total self. I ask you to help me coorperate with You, Triune God, to please You in every choice I make, and to maintain the beauty and purity that You have given me because of Jesus and His sacrifice. I receive Your blessing today in my spirit, soul, and body.

Amen

Keep Praying While You Keep Breathing

posted by Mark and Jill

“I love the Lord because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalm 116:1,2

It’s possible to hear someone talk but not listen to what they have to say. This is not the case with our Father God. He not only hears us, but He actually listens to the content of our message. As a Father bends down to hear the quiet whispers of his beloved child, God bends down and listens intently to you. He hears not only your words, but the heart that is expressing those words. He reads you through and through. When you turn to Him in prayer (as opposed to merely talking to yourself or to others) He tunes into the frequency that is YOU. Talk with Him today. He not only hears, but He listens. But bear in mind that He’s not particuarly fond of whining and complaining, as Moses so clearly taught us in the story of the Exodus.

So start your conversation with God thanking Him for the blessings in your life. No matter how grim your trouble is, dig deep and find things to thank Him for. He will hear you, and your circumstances will change as you watch, wait, listen, and obey His Holy Word.

My Father,

As I breathe in and out today, I desire to communicate with You. Thank you that I have a Friend with a listening ear. You are not hard of hearing. You are not distracted by other noises. You are waiting to speak to me and to hear from me as though I were the only one in the universe You attend to. Thank You. I ask You for mercy today, for forgiveness, for grace, and for fresh glimpses of Your love for me. Fill me with that love that it may overflow to others. 

In Jesus’ Name Amen

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