Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

He crowns me with love and tender mercies. (Psalm 106:4)
You…crowned them with glory and honor. (Hebrews 2:7)

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Ever wonder what it feels like to be a queen or a king? Ever wonder what the weightiness of a crown feels like and the velvety cushion of a throne? Did you realize that if you are a believer, you are royalty and you wear a crown?

What does a crown symbolize? Authority. Hebrews goes on to say, “You gave them authority over all things.”

Scripture tells us that, “You are a royal priesthood…” Children of the King are royalty. Not servants, not paupers, not wanna-be’s! Royal blood – the King’s blood – flows through your veins.

A King’s crown is adorned with precious jewels. The jewels we don are attributes of God Himself: love, tender mercies, glory and honor. Let’s pray for these qualities to adorn our lives and overflow to others who don’t yet know that they are sons and daughters of the King! We’ll start by praying this plain and simple prayer.

Father,

I thank You that You have made me Your child, that Your royal blood made it possible for me to belong to You. Today I am asking You to place Your crown of love, tender mercies, glory, and honor upon my head.

Please crown me Your love that never fails. The God-kind of love is true, faithful, kind, forever patient, and steadfast. Would you grant me that kind of love today? I will wear it like a crown. May the jewels of love sparkle to those around me, drawing them to Your grace and loving arms. May I comfort those in grief, encourage the hopeless, and tend to those whose needs I can meet.

Extend your crown of tender mercies to me, Lord. Grant me a merciful heart that is constant and faithful. I choose to reject offense today, Lord. I choose to forgive those who rub me the wrong way, ignore me, betray me, misunderstand me, and cut me off. I will live out of the blessing of Your extended tender mercies towards me, and pass them on to others.

I receive Your crown of glory today, the weightiest of all the gems in my crown. May Your glory go with me wherever I go, shining it’s light on Your loving countenance to everyone I encounter. Let me help Your glory fill the earth.

Thank You for making honor a part of my crown today. Lord, I receive Your favor wherever I go. Thank you for the confidence that accompanies Your honor. Give me a fearless heart to do the things You’ve given me to do with assurance that I am not alone, I can do all things through Christ who empowers me with inner strength.

I don’t deserve any of this, yet You have chosen to make me worthy to receive all the Word says I have. Who am I to disagree with You? So I will wear Your crown today, and let it sparkle to those around me. Let Your majesty shine forth in me today. Give me people to love and to pray for. Let me be used as Your ambassador of mercy and healing. Thank You! I praise Your majesty today!

In Jesus’ Name
Amen!

 

 

Photo credit: Foter.com

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Put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. (Philemon 1:6)

God is good! And He has good things in store for you! Paul encourages us to both understand – comprehend and appreciate – all the good things God has provided for us as well as to fully and thoroughly experience each of those good things!

David lists some of those good things in the Psalm 103 (see below). Let’s talk a look at the list:

  1. God forgives my sins. You might be thinking, “Well, God might be willing to forgive David, but I doubt He’d be willing to forgive me! You don’t know what I’ve done!” Consider this, my friend:  David committed a few heinous crimes such as adultery and murder. Unforgivable? From a human point of view, yes, but from God’s point of view, no one is beyond redemption once they face their sins, own up, and repent with their whole hearts. This is the Good News!
  2. He heals all my diseases. God doesn’t make people sick, rather, like a good Father, He makes people better! He promises us healing. True, we don’t always receive the gifts He sends; we don’t know why they sometimes don’t arrive, but we know He is good and always will be! He heals diseases. All of them, not just some! God is a healer.
  3. He redeems me from death. He purchased my life so I wouldn’t have to die spiritually. I was a slave to my unhappy way of life, my sin and despair, and God bought me from out of that wretched place.
  4. He crowns me with love and tender mercies. After He has bought me back from slavery, He made me like royalty. I am beloved and loved tenderly and mercifully.
  5. He fills my life with good things. Not only am I set free from despair, I can actually experience a good life, filled with love, joy and peace!
  6. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s. I can experience renewed vitality and vigor in life. Rather than declining with age, like excellent wine, I am aging well!

Are good things alive and well in your life? If you’re like me, there are some gaps in the good things category. Let’s pray for the trajectory to shift, that we become aware of those gaps and pray that God’s will would be accomplished in our lives:  namely, that we would experience the good things Jesus died to give us! Read and declare Psalm 103 over your own life, praying this plain and simple prayer for Good Things!

Father,

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

Thank you for all these good things that are operating in my life today! Help me to access each Good Thing by faith!

In Jesus’ Name

Amen

Photo credit: Lynn ~ Off and On via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

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Prayer is not always easy, and while we don’t necessarily want all our prayers scripted out for us (for we are in relationship with God, and we can speak with Him heart-to-heart all day long), our souls can benefit greatly from borrowing the prayers of the Bible, particularly the Psalms. David wrote a lovely evening prayer that has been enjoyed by God’s children for generations.

Today we will avail ourselves of David’s evening prayer found in Psalm 5, making it our own, plain and simple:

Answer me when I call to you,
O God who declares me innocent.

Spend time thanking God for His forgiveness. Jesus doesn’t condemn us; rather, He told us that He came to save us!

Free me from my troubles.
Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you people ruin my reputation?
How long will you make groundless accusations?
How long will you continue your lies?

David dives right into the dilemma he was facing at that moment. As a leader, he was hit with much opposition. It hurt to the core, and he freely pours out his lament to his God. Do likewise; spill your heart concerning your current challenge. Lay it before your God honestly and transparently. As you do, you will know your heart even better. He already knows it, but longs to hear you as a parent longs to hear the voice of his child.

You can be sure of this:
The Lord set apart the godly for himself.
The Lord will answer when I call to him.

David assures and reminds himself that God is listening and not only listening but providing solutions to his dilemmas. Build your faith by doing likewise.

Don’t sin by letting anger control you.
Think about it overnight and remain silent.
Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
and trust the Lord.

David takes a short break from addressing God and talks to himself. He reminds himself that staying angry will not help the situation, rather taking control of his anger, giving himself time to think it over quietly, and coming to God in the right spirit will help. Trusting God will avert his anger, for God has all the answers he is searching for. Talk to yourself as you talk with God; instruct and admonish at will.

Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”

David’s not one of those people who don’t believe in the goodness of God. God will indeed show us better times; better times are on the way, because we have a God to whom we run for guidance and protection. Remind yourself that God is good. Always!

Let your face smile on us, Lord.
You have given me greater joy
than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

God is smiling. He isn’t an angry, vindictive God. He is a joy-giving God, a God of abundance, a safe God. Therefore, David hits his pillow with quiet confidence in his God, resting assuredly in Him in spite of the frightening battles he’s experiencing, and so can you. Thank God for specific blessings in your life as you drift off to sleep.

Good-night….

 

 

Photo credit: Foter.com

But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

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“Who do you think I am, God?”

“Hey, I’m only human!”

These are the excuses we make for ourselves when we don’t feel like living up to our potential. Taking the high road and going beyond the call of duty isn’t easy, and sometimes we just get lazy. We use our humanness as an excuse for mediocrity.

Jesus calls us higher. He told us that Godliness or God-likeness is what we need to aim for.

What does this mean? What is God like? Let’s look at what God said when He introduced Himself to Israel in Exodus 34:5-7:

Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,

“Yahweh! The Lord!
The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger
and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.
I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.
But I do not excuse the guilty…”

David reiterated God’s characteristics in Psalm 86:5,15.

O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
But you, O Lord,
are a God of compassion and mercy,
slow to get angry
and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

If we want to earnestly become the people Jesus is challenging us to become, we want these God-like characteristics to be manifesting in our hearts every day. Let’s break some of these characteristics down:

God is compassionate.
To be compassionate, we need to listen to people. This involves being a person not driven to talking too much; instead we listen, then respond with empathy.

God is merciful.
God isn’t judging and angry. He shows mercy. Mercy is called for when someone deserves punishment. So when we show mercy, we are dealing with someone who is undeserving. Jesus made it clear that it’s easy to give love to those who are lovable. It’s when people wrong us and we still love them, we still show them mercy, that’s when we are behaving in a God-like manner.

God is slow to get angry.
People with transformed lives aren’t easily rattled by things. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that love isn’t touchy. You can’t really irritate a loving person. It takes a great deal to get godly people flustered.

God is filled with faithful love.
People who look like God are true to their loved ones. They aren’t comparing them to others. Their love doesn’t grow cold or get distracted.

God is good.
Growing in our godliness means that true goodness will be the essence of our character. We don’t do anything contrary to goodness – not the slightest cheat on our taxes, nor the whitest of white lies leaves our lips. When we are distilled down to the core, goodness is there. Perhaps when we are cremated, even our ashes will be good fertilizer for the ground.

God is ready and willing to forgive.
Godly people wake up ready to forgive little offenses, willing to overlook things that aren’t worthy of the time, effort and distraction that strife creates.

God is waiting to give to all in need.
Waking up each day asking God to use me to give to others in need is a wonderful way to lead a godly life.

Ready to take steps toward godliness in your life? Make this plain and simple declaration, the declaration God made about Himself. These are words of faith! We are instructed to use our words to create reality by calling those things which are not as though they are. We aren’t godly yet, but let’s declare that we are well on the way:

Father,

I thank You that You are making me like You! With Your help I am becoming a person of compassion, open-hearted and open-handed to the needs of those around me. You, Lord, are creating me to be a merciful person. Thank You, Lord, that You are ridding my life of anger issues. You are causing me to become a person of quiet patience, unruffled by circumstances that disappoint me, full of faith in my God to deliver me from every attack that comes my way.

Thank You, Lord, for filling my heart to overflowing with Your love so that it spills out on everyone around me! Thank You for making me faithful to those I am committed to.

You, Lord, are reflecting Your goodness into the heart of my soul. I am becoming a true and good-natured person. I stand ready to forgive anyone who cuts me off, offends me, ignores me, or does me wrong.

I fill myself with the truth of Your Word so that love just oozes out of me to anyone who comes across my path. I declare this to be so, and I thank You that You are working in me today to transform me into Your image.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen!

 

 

 

Photo credit: Steve Corey via Foter.com / CC BY-ND