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.