Monday, November 6, 2017

Make me a Servant

Lord, Servant of All,

Please help me to serve others with a happy heart.
Shut my mouth when I want to complain.
Prick my heart when I feel selfish.
Censor my thoughts when I think I deserve more--
when I believe my life should be marked by happiness, love, appreciation, and respect.

You know what it feels like to be
overlooked and misunderstood,
to work hard at something difficult,
something that expends all your energy
and hurts you deeply inside,
only to be rejected by the ones you served.

Give me your attitude--
or at least, help me to learn it.
I know it comes through hard work.
I'll do it.
I want to be like you, Jesus.
Servant of Man.
Bearer of the cross.
Sin for me, although You knew no sin.

May I serve like You serve!
Amen.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Praise for the Creator

Dear Lord,

You inspire me with your creation.
I am in awe of your majesty.
How did You craft such brilliant colors and mix them together, painting them on trees and bushes, just to astound me?
Every autumn, the voice of your artistry
calls for attention.
It give me just a glimpse of who You are
and what You can do.
Anything.
You created the world;
You set it in motion;
You turned it on its axis
and send it in its orbit
to give the world seasons and climates,
days and years
which with to praise adore You.
I cannot fathom Your goodness or Your power.
I can only worship You for it.

Amen.

"He changes times and seasons . . . . He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning."
(Daniel 2:21)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Praying for Cuba

Dear Lord of all,

I can't stop thinking about Cuba.
I see them in their churches,
with hands raised in worship,
arms thrusting the air, feet moving,
bodies swaying,
lost in their love for you.

I see them speaking to neighbors,
telling people about Jesus,
the answer to everything.
I see them calling down the Spirit,
crying over people,
ushering in your healing power.
I see them being Jesus everywhere.

Lord, keep them safe.
Strengthen them in their love for you.
Increase their resolve to reach their country for you.
Protect them from complacency.

May your Spirit roar over them like fire.
Move through them like wind.
Alight on them like a dove.
Holy Spirit, descend on Cuba.

Oh, Lord God, give me just a taste of their passion for You!

Amen.

Friday, October 6, 2017

My confession to you

I read James 5:16 today. I think I should follow its commands.
It's a good, albeit humbling, cleansing method.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." 

I am proud: I care what people think and want them to respect and like me.
I want to think I'm better than other people at the things I value.
I am petty: I worry and obsess over things that don't really matter in life.
I am unforgiving: I sometimes harbor secret resentment toward people who have wronged me. I cover it up by being nice to them, but deep down, I probably don't want them to prosper.
I am selfish: I think of my own needs and desires first. Even when I serve people, I am often aware of what I'm "giving up." This is still being self-oriented.
I am forgetful: I focus on the present, to the detriment of the past and all God has already done for me.
I am faithless: I believe that God has great purpose for my life, but when I worry and freak out over the time and effort it takes to obey Him, I reveal how faithless I actually am.

I do not want to be this person. In my Spirit-filled moments, I am. But the rest of the time, I am fighting it. My spirit and my soul are at war.

Heal me, O Lord Jehovah, Rapha and Redeemer!
Only you can take someone as sinful as me
and make me into someone like You.
It's unimaginable, but I believe it's true.
Remind me of Your grace and love.
Pour out Your power on me
so that Your power can course through me 
and pour out on someone else.
You are that amazing! I worship You and adore You!
Amen.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Prayer for a rushed day

Lord,
I have so much to do today.
This week.
This month.
My spirit feels rushed and anxious.
Calm me and remind me that all I have to do is worship You.
Just listen, obey, observe, act.
I just need to be You today to someone else.
So what do You want to do today?
Who needs Your Spirit and Your love?
I am Yours today.
Amen.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Will God answer my prayers?


I've been wrestling with some big decisions.

So I opened my Bible, and there was Psalm 145. Incredible!
Just what I needed. Here's a snippet:

"The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fufills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but the all wicked he will destroy." (Psalm 145:17-20)
What are you wrestling with?

The Lord is near and listening for your voice. You can pray this prayer:

Lord, I need you! Help me believe that You are loving and gracious, and You have good plans for me. My desire is toward You. May that desire intensify rather than wane. Watch over me and guide me to speak truth to You, to believe truth about my life, and to leave everyone and everything else in Your care. 
Amen.

image by alex grichenko

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Confessing someone else's sins

Lord God, the Holy One--

You are gracious and full of awesome power and purity.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.

I come today on behalf of someone else.
I want to pray for ________'s repentance,
so first I must ask you to forgive me of my wrong-doing and selfishness.
Convict and remove all the little pet sins I shelter in my life,
the things I say aren't a big deal.
Root them out.
I'll brace myself.
I know it will hurt a little to be honest with myself and change my will and behavior.
But when I do, I will have peace.

Forgive me, please.

So now I ask you to forgive __________. I confess on his/her behalf.
Forgive him/her for rebellion, selfishness, pride, and ignorance of Your laws and Your expectations.
Moses confessed for Israel, and even though they rarely repented,
You had compassion on them,
for Moses' sake.
You showed grace and mercy and lovingkindness.
Because someone cared enough to ask You for it.

Show Your lovingkindness to __________.
Put a wall of protection around _________,
not to keep him/her from consequences--
because sin always has consequences--
but to keep __________ from total devastation.
Insert someone into his/her path,
someone to speak truth,
to represent Your love authentically,
to dislodge the lies, the myths, and the willful rejection of Your plan for his/her life.

I confess it all and beg Your mercy and grace for _________.
Draw him/her to Yourself.
You are the only thing that satisfies.
You, the Holy One.

"In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.” The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked."
Amen.


Ezra 9:15-10:1
Num. 14:17-21


image by Barbara Jackson