Sunday, March 17, 2019

"The Prayer" sung by Celine Dion and Josh Groban


Get out your tissues. I'm sharing one of the all-time greatest duets, which happens also to be a prayer.

It's a prayer about losing your way,
finding grace in God's love,
and leaning on Him when you don't know what to do.

So it applies to pretty much to any situation. Here you go--

"The Prayer" sung by Celine Dion and Josh Groban


I pray You'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with Your Grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

La luce che to dai
I pray we'll find your light
Nel cuore restero
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarchi che
When stars go out each night
L'eterna stella sei
Oh, ho

Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c'e
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with Your Grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

Sognamo un mondo senza piu violenza
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace e di fraternita

La forza che ci dai
We ask that life be kind
E'il desiderio che
And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amore
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a se
Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Needs to find a place
Guide us with Your Grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

E la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salvera


"The Prayer" is written by David FosterCarole Bayer SagerAlberto Testa and Tony Renis.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A parent's prayer (for God to work in my kids)

Dear Heavenly Father,

Give me opportunities to have meaningful conversations with my children.

Help me to pray first, then listen, then encourage and support
before I correct or teach.
Help me love them how you love them,
how you love me.

You are always supporting,
always encouraging,
always careful,
always present.

You are an amazing Father.

I want to support what you are already doing in their hearts and in their lives.
Convict them of their sin.
Encourage them in their spiritual growth.
Answer their prayers.
Bless their lives.

I don't want to interfere with the Holy Spirit by trying to be another Holy Spirit.
That's not my job. It's yours.
My job is to point them to you,
no matter what age they are.

Live in me.
I surrender to your will in my life.

Live through me.
I defer to your plans for my children.

Live in my kids.
I trust that you will lead them as they follow you,
and when they don't follow you,
I trust that you will lovingly call them back.

That's the kind of Father you are.

Thank you. I love you!
Amen.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Show me where I'm holding back your story

Dear Lord,

You are writing a story with my life.
I know that, but I often forget that my story is actually a tool to tell your story.

You're writing your story on my life
so people who don't know you will
see what love looks like through me.

I'm blowing this.
How much am I confusing the telling of your story?
Are the pages of my life so focused on me
and what will happen to me
and what has happened to me
that your message is blurred?

Lord, show me where I'm interrupting the story you want to write on me.

I know you've called me.
I've hard the sermons and read the Bible verses about calling and surrender.
It's just that sometimes,
I don't know what you're calling me to.
I see what I can do and what I want to do,
but I don't understand what's taking you so long to use me for something significant.

This is idolatry, and I confess it to you.
This is greed, fear, and selfishness.
This is me thinking that your gifts are for my success
instead of your glory.

Lord, remind me daily--hourly--that everything in my life is about telling your story.
About living your story.

I don't want to put parameters around the story you want to tell through me.
I don't want to hold back my most hurtful memories
or my most precious gifts
because my faith is weak concerning what you will do with them.

Lord, show me where I'm holding you back from writing the story you want to write on me.
I give everything in my life to you to use however you choose.
Just give me the grace and courage to keep giving everything to you,
especially when life is hard (which is a lot of the time),
so you can write my story the way you want to.

I desire to be a blank page in your book full of beauty, power, and legacy.
All of which points back to you.

Thank you.
Amen.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A prayer for the youth group

Oh, Lord,

Our teenagers are at retreat this weekend.
They are playing and laughing and joking around.
They are listening to leaders,
singing praise,
and saying prayers--
perhaps for the first time in a long time.

God, send your Spirit to hover over their waters,
to create new life and new perspectives,
to inspire and renew and affirm.

I ask that you encourage those who are sad.
Empower those who are afraid.
Comfort those who are grieving.
Befriend those who are lonely.
Strengthen those who feel defeated.

Move them.
Draw them.
Convict them.
Inspire them.
Protect them.

These are future leaders and change-makers.
Holy Spirit, move them to confess their sins,
ask forgiveness of others,
release bitterness,
accept one another,
believe truth,
engage in worship,
serve one another.

Make them a generation of love and mission.

Mark this weekend as a pivotal time in their spiritual growth.
Set them on a new path toward the destiny and purpose you have for them.

In Jesus' holy name,
Amen.


Psalm 24:6--Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.

Monday, February 18, 2019

A Prayer for my work

I read one of my favorite passages in Nehemiah today.

Nehemiah is rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem to provide safety for its inhabitants and respect for God. It's so dangerous that the people alternate building and standing watch. They lay bricks and carry swords. They're not messing around.

Nehemiah prays while he works, and he doesn't allow anyone from the outside to distract him. His prayer life gives him the discernment to realize that Sanballat and Tobiah are pretending to be interested in his great task, when in fact, they are trying to stop the work, at any cost, because a strong Jerusalem threatens their control of the area. They feign friendship; they use intimidation, compliments, lies, and threats in an effort to cause Nehemiah to stop his work.

But Nehemiah's all prayed up. He sees right through them.

Nehemiah's example reminds us to work and pray over the task that God has assigned us. This task will be too hard for us. It will require us to gather a team around us. It will require tough decisions and strong leadership.

When God gives you something to do, 
it will be bigger than you, 
not about you,
more important than you think, 
and it will bring God the glory (not you). 

Anything else is a counterfeit to the work God has for you.

Oh, Lord, 
strengthen us for the task you've given us. 
Help us not be distracted by anyone or anything.
To you be all the honor and glory!
Amen.


"So I replied by sending back this message to them: 'I am doing a great work! Why should I stop to come and visit with you? ... You're just trying to scare us into stopping our work. (Oh, Lord God, please strengthen me!)'" --Nehemiah 6:3 & 9

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Prayer for a souls

Oh, Lord of the harvest,

The world needs your love.
They need to know you personally.
They need to be saved from their sins.

So I'm praying for you to
send workers into the world
who will tell people about your great love
and Jesus' death to save everyone.

I am praying that you will also send me,
and that I'll actually go,
to my neighbor, to other countries,
anywhere.

I want to give you my time,
my talents,
my money,
my family,
myself,
no matter how uncomfortable that makes me.

Harvest my soul.
Bring a harvest though me.
Change the world.

Amen.


Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Matthew 9:37-38)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Confession, Lamentation, and Intercession over the value of human life

Dear Father Creator,

How grieved you must be over the callous attitude your creation has toward life!
I know you're not surprised because this has been reality since the beginning of time--
since Cain murdered his brother.

And parents have murdered children,
children have murdered parents,
people have waged war
and claimed to do it in your name and for your honor.

How we misrepresent you and your love for the whole world!
For each individual person,
no matter how helpless,
how disfigured,
how evil,
and how innocent.

They belong to you.
We are only custodians of your creation.
Of turtles, whales, eagles, leopards, water, earth, energy--
but especially of human life.

How can culture get this so mixed up?

I pray for your grace, patience, and conviction.
I ask for your forgiveness on behalf of those who kill innocent lives
and discount the lives of the elderly and handicapped.
I pray for your Spirit to permeate our world
and bring reason and value to every human life.
Especially our churches.

Make us a people of love, grace, and urgency.
Keep us from judgment, hate, and retribution.
Lord, I'm so embarrassed and grieved at the way Christians treat the world
because they don't believe in you or value your commands.
Of course they don't!
They are blind.

Give sight to the blind and freedom to the captive, both in mind, spirit, and body.
Use our legislature and our churches.
Change our parents and our families.

We are the light.
Help us shine brightly in a dark world!

In Jesus' name,
Amen.