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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Hurry Up and Learn to Wait

posted by Mark and Jill

I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him….Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.    Psalm 62:1, 5 

Modern humans are not skilled at waiting. We hate red lights, we get impatient in lines at the grocery store, and we avoid being early to any function lest we have to sit and do nothing for a minute or two. But if we avoid learning the skill of waiting on God, we miss out on huge opportunities, endless wisdom, and the joy of intimacy with Jesus.

The Hebrew word for “wait” means: to sit in silence and to be still (stop wiggling and squirming). We try to teach our children to do this, but do we model it? Let’s begin today.

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Take a cup of tea, some deep breaths, and sit in your prayer chair with your face to Heaven. He promises victory and hope for those who learn this skill.

Father,

Thank you that you are my Father. I long to learn to be still in your presence, to wait for you to speak, to stop my constant flow of hurried words and worrisome thoughts, and to simply receive your love and hear your voice. Speak to me in the silence.

Amen

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A Prayer For America

posted by Mark and Jill

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

If we want America to be restored to it’s original God-given purpose, we must pray and obey.  This Scripture outlines an intentional response on our part:

We will walk in humility. God gives grace to the humble but turns his face from the proud.

We will be on speaking terms with God

We will long for His presence, which is found in prayer and in worship.

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We will return to the path God has outlined in His Word.

Father, 

Grace our country with humility. We have been proud of our nation, yes, but our pride has soured, turning us inward, and our noses have turned upward. Forgive us. Help us to humble ourselves…

Teach us to pray, to walk in constant communication with you, knowing your love that surpasses all loves.

Give us a hunger for your presence. Breathe your fire back into our worship. Awaken us from sleep to a new and vibrant expression of love to you.

Help us to truly repent, which is to go a different direction, one that will lead away from self-destruction and into the joy and freedom found only in You.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

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You Have Arrived at Someplace Safe

posted by Mark and Jill

The other day I was taking a carload of clothes and items to a thrift store called, “Somplace Safe.” My GPS was guiding me, and when I reached my destination Siri chimed, “You have arrived at Someplace Safe.” That was nice to know!

David was being hunted down by powerful people who wanted him dead. He wasn’t king at this point, but God had anointed him for that future role, causing King Saul to hate him vehemently. But David had a place to hide: it was in God Himself. In faith he ran into His very Being and was hidden from his foes. If you are running from trouble, if you are surrounded by danger, if you are under attack, pray this prayer with David, a prayer for victory and of faith while he was still in the midst of heightened distress. In that place of intense pressure,  David prayed earnestly and at the end of His prayer, he found Himself singing and joyful once again. When He established Himself in God’s hand of protection, David knew he had arrived at Someplace Safe.

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O God, Rescue me!
Protect me from those who have come to destroy me.
Rescue me,
save me!
They have set an ambush for me.
Fierce enemies are out there waiting, Lord,
though I have not sinned or offended them.
I have done nothing wrong,
yet they prepare to attack me.
Wake up! See what is happening and help me,
O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies!

You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me,
for you, O God, are my fortress.
In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me.
He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.

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Then the whole world will know
that God reigns…

But as for me, I will sing about your power.
Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.
For you have been my refuge,
a place of safety when I am in distress.
O my Strength, to you I sing praises,
for you, O God, are my refuge,
the God who shows me unfailing love.

(Psalm 59)

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A Prayer To Stop Grumbling

posted by Mark and Jill

And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. (1 Corinthians 10:10)

The people refused to enter the pleasant land,
for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
Instead, they grumbled in their tents
and refused to obey the Lord. (Psalm 106:24,25)

When I (Jill) was very small, my mom used to read to me from a set of books called The Book of Life. There were some children’s stories in that book, the illustrations of which I can still see in my mind’s eye. One story stood out to me as I read the above Scriptures this morning. It was called “The Grumble Glasses,” a story of a family who purchased a few pair of sunglasses to use as a teaching tool. Whenever someone in the family complained, they had to wear the grumble glasses for the day. It wasn’t long before every member of that family was seeing the world through those dark lenses to help them remember to stay grateful and to keep their faith strong even when facing obstacles.

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Grumbling got the Israelites in the desert nowhere fast. It will do the same for us. If we want to move forward in our lives, we must see with eyes of faith, eyes that see the possibilities not the detours. Eyes that align with El Shaddai, the God of More Than Enough, the God who is able to work His power in us to accomplish “infinitely more than we might ask or think.” My friend said other day, “What if I only had today what I thanked God for yesterday?”

Father,

I repent of a default attitude of whining. 

I repent of seeing the glass half empty.

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I repent of catching others doing wrong and missing when they do right.

I repent of grumbling about what I haven’t had enough faith to receive.

I repent of complaining about leadership, as if I could do better.

I repent of thinking the grass is greener elsewhere.

I am done with being a whiner and complainer.

I hereby declare that I will believe Your promises to me!

Today I will be grateful to you and to the people in my life! Thank You!

Thank You for all you do for me, all you have done, and all you will do when I have faith to receive it!

In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

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