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Showing posts with the label goodness

How to pray for the fruits of the Spirit (and understand what they are)

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Dear Lord, I need the fruit of your Holy Spirit , the evidence that you are working in my life and producing works that are honoring you. Give me love like yours that doesn't see status, race, gender, intelligence, economics, politics, personality, age, or sinfulness. Help me just love souls like you love souls. This is not a gift so much as it is a decision. Help me decide to love like you. (Click here to read "Why love hurts.") Fill me with joy at being in relationship with you. This, I think, is also a decision. Help me decide to choose joy and thankfulness for any and every situation, to have the faith that you are present and you will accomplish good in me and through me. Your will and timing are always best. Remind me not to chase after happiness because that is fleeting. Joy lasts. (Click here to read "Handling joy and grief at the holidays.") Help me seek peace over safety, security, and being proven right. Convict me when my decisions and

At War

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It's easy to forget that I am in a daily battle. I'm at war. And I'm not talking about fighting with my kids over their homework or the dry cleaners over pants that have vanished. I'm talking about real spiritual warfare--the kind that's kicking me in the butt. I know a spiritual war is going on because I am praying against stuff that sometimes happens anyway. If I didn't know better, I'd say that my prayers weren't working. But I've been at the Christian life for awhile, so I know that's not true.  I'm just at war. And in a war, nobody wins all the time. War always creates setbacks and casualties on both sides. Everyone emerges with scars. Spiritual warfare is the reason that life is hard. So this spiritual war between good and evil becomes the reason that I pray, whether I realize it or not. My desire to push in against the enemy, to take back ground I've lost through wrong choices, to conquer new territory in my heart and mind-

3 Encouragements on 9/11

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Yesterday I taught a Bible study on learning to praise first when you pray. I mentioned that the focus of my prayers should always be on God rather than me, because when I focus on God's character--his goodness, faithfulness, and grace--only then will I have faith to pray for the things I need. Only then will I have the right perspective and the right motive to pray. Prayer is about sitting in the presence of God, not getting something from Him. I suggested forming prayers of praise around three important components: 1. God’s character—who is He? 2. God’s actions toward you—how does he treat you? 3. God’s history of provision—what has he done for you/others in the past This morning I clicked on the website "Lift Up Your Day" to read an encouraging post by Todd Benkert about 9/11. This was his advice: 1. Remember the character of God 2. Remember the promises of God 3. Remember the works of God Yes! This is why we praise, and this is why we