Saturday, March 31, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 34

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Isaiah 40:28-29

Dear God,

You are the Creator of the ends of the earth. Thank You for this promise that You, the Everlasting God, do not become weary or tired. Lord, that is hard to imagine! I am weary and tired, but You never are! Thank You that I can come to You and know that You hear me, that You are not "asleep at the wheel," that You rule over this Universe every minute of every hour of every day. That is such assurance!

Lord, Your understanding in inscrutable; it is mysterious and unfathomable. You are God, and there is no other!

You are the God who gives strength to the weary. Even as you never become weary, You provide strength and power to those who are lacking. I praise You that You are a God who provides for Your children - those that lack might You increase in power. Mysterious and unfathomable, beyond our human imagination, but You are God and there is no other. May You receive all the glory today.

In Your Name,

Friday, March 30, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 33

"Thus has the LORD of hosts said, 'Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.'" Zechariah 7:9-10

Dear Lord,

Today I lift up to you the widows and the orphans. I pray that You would draw near to the orphans that they may feel Your love as strongly as they would from a human father. I ask that You would give strength to those who are caring for orphans, and give hope to the older ones who are waiting for families. Open the hearts of people, Lord, to care for and adopt these children, if that is Your will for them.

I lift up the widows to You. Lord, comfort them with Your lovingkindness and show Your faithfulness to them especially when they feel desperately alone. Lord, quicken the hearts of those who are friends and relatives of the widows, that they might reach out and be Your light to them here on earth, through time spent together as well as in prayer for them.

Lord, help me to practice kindness and compassion, to those I love, but also to strangers and those who may not reciprocate. May Your love flow through me and be a blessing to those I am in contact with today.

For Your glory I ask it,

Thursday, March 29, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 32

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13

Dear God,

As I reflect more on the "old way" of sacrifice that Your people participated in to be cleansed from sin, I am increasingly thankful for the new covenant and Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You that the blood of Christ brings me near to You by covering my sin and bridging the gap. Thank You that even though I was far off, disconnected from You and without hope in the world, that Your Holy Spirit quickened my heart and showed me Your plan. I am grateful for You, Jesus, that You obediently went to the cross and by Your selfless action, brought me near.

In Your Name,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 31

For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Hebrews 10:1-4

Dear Heavenly Father,

How I rejoice that You had in Your perfect plan a better way to take away sins. Thank You for Jesus! And thank You Jesus for Your humble obedience that took You to the cross. I was reminded when I read in Leviticus this morning what lengths Your people went to in order to be cleansed from their sin, and how they were reminded of their sins year after year. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that convicts of sin, and thank You for Jesus who paid the price once and for all. Lord, Your plan was and is perfect and is our deliverance. I pray for those who don't yet know You, who haven't experienced being cleansed from their sin, who haven't accepted the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Lord, open their hearts and draw them to Yourself that they may praise You for Your gift of Your son.

In Your Name,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 30

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

Dear Lord,

I want to keep my eyes fixed on You, seeking first Your kingdom and Your righteousness before the things of this world. Help me to be a light in this world while remembering that it is not my home and that I belong with You. Lord, I ask that You would give me the grace to put everything I say and do through the filter of "is it seeking Your kingdom?". I want to be pleasing to You, and I want others to see You in me. Draw me close, Lord, and send me out to shine Your light.

In Your Name,

Monday, March 26, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 29

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. I Timothy 2:1-2

Dear Lord,

I want to live in obedience to You, and You have called me to prayer. Not only for my own requests but on behalf of all men. Lord, today I pray for those who are in authority in our government. I ask that You would guide and direct them according to Your will, that they may make wise decisions. Lord, I thank You that You can turn the heart of the kings, and I ask You to do so. I pray that those in authority who don't know You would be convicted of their sin and brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, that they would then seek to do Your will. Lord, bring the leaders of our nation to their knees, that they would humble themselves before You and seek after the things that You love.

In Your Name,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 28

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."Mark 16:15

Dear Lord,

Today I lift up to You all those who are working around the world to preach Your gospel to all creation. Lord, I ask that You would protect them. Please keep them safe from harm, both accidental and purposeful. Lord, give them courage. Keep them in Your word that they might be able to tell the good news whenever they have the opportunity and show them the opportunities You have prepared for them. I ask that Your Holy Spirit would open the minds and hearts of those who don't yet know You, that they would receive Your message and come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Lord, we want to make Your Name great in this world! I ask that for those of us "at home" that You would spur our hearts on in prayer for these fellow Christians in the world, that we would be committed to praying for them.

In Your Name,

Friday, March 23, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 27

The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Dear Lord,

I have experienced the truth of these verses, and I praise You! Your lovingkindness never ceases. Your compassions never fail. Your blessings to me are new every morning. You are a faithful God! May my life reflect Your faithfulness to me and may my story never cease to be "My God is faithful!"

In Your Name,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 26

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. II Timothy 4:1-5

Dear Lord,

Today I pray for all those who are preaching Your word. I pray for the pastors who deliver Your word to congregations each week, for missionaries in their fields, for teachers and for individuals ministering to others. Lord, help them to abide by these verses. I pray that they would be prepared to preach the gospel in season and out of season, that they would not merely tickle ears with their words, but that they would remain true to Your holy word and call the people of this nation and world to holy living. Lord, I pray for those hearing the word, that You would open their ears and their hearts and their minds. That through the preaching of Your word, You would convict them of sin and bring them to repentance. That You would use Your word as it is preached to draw people closer to You. Lord, give pastors the energy and the enthusiasm and the desire to fulfill their ministry, for Your glory.

In Your Name,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 25

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17

Dear God,

Thank You for Your word! Thank You for inspiring the men of old who wrote it down so that we can have it today. Thank You for what Your word does and how it can train me. Lord, I want to be adequate and equipped for every good work. Open my eyes to Your word, that I may see You and what You have for me.

In Your Name,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 24

Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of buckler and shield and rise up for my help. Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” Psalm 35:1-3

Dear God,

I thank You that You are my salvation, my shield and my defense. Even though I am not engaged in warfare or a physical battle as David was when he wrote these verses, I thank You that You are my help and that I can call on You when I face situations that I feel are war-like. Thank You that You will contend with those who contend with me, and that You will rise up and be my help. You have saved me, and You will save me.

With gratefulness,

Monday, March 19, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 23

"I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2

Dear God,

What blessed assurance this verse brings! You are God, Creator of the Universe, and You can do all things. No purpose of Yours can be thwarted, and nothing You do will be in vain. I thank You that Your Word will not return to You void, and I praise You for Your magnificent power - power that raised Jesus from the dead and power that indwells Your children through the gift of Your Holy Spirit. God, I am so thankful that You, who can do all things, love and care for me. Thank You for Your boundless love, demonstrated in the provision of Jesus who paid the price for my sin.

In Your Name,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ah, Holy Jesus

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5

This old German hymn tells a powerful story.

Ah, Holy Jesus
Words by Johann Heermann

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended,
That we to judge Thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!

Jesus, who was sinless, took our sin upon Him and was offered as a sacrifice on our behalf, a gift for which we can never repay Him. Jesus truly suffered through His time on earth. He came to save His people, but He was rejected by them, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah.

But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Luke 17:25

He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:3

He was the creator of the Universe, but His own did not receive Him.

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. John 1:9-11

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee!
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied Thee;
I crucified Thee.

It was my sin and yours that sent Jesus to the cross. Our treason, living life our own way instead of according to God’s standard, caused Him to be undone. We often are so critical of Judas and his betrayal, but is our sinfulness so different?

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit… I Peter 3:18

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered.
For our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
God interceded.

We could do nothing to earn our salvation. The price is too high. We could never work hard enough or be good enough. Someone had to be the sacrifice and pay through death. It should have been each of us. But God interceded to save us by sending His son to die in our place.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Ephesians 2:8

For me, kind Jesus, was Thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life's oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Jesus came to earth as a human, ministered, suffered and died a miserable death. He gave Himself as an offering (oblation) in humble obedience to His Father.

… just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:2

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

We can never repay Jesus for what He did for us on the cross that day. Our response must be to live for Him, bringing Him glory in everything we do, and praising Him for His great love for us.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

Saturday, March 17, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 22

Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:12-13

Dear Lord,
Give me strength in my hands and knees that are feeble. Keep my on my knees before You, coming boldly before the throne of grace for what I need. Make straight paths for my feet, Lord, and help me stay on those straight paths! I don't want my limbs to be put out of joint, but I long for Your healing. Draw me close so that I understand Your discipline while always feeling Your love.

In Your Name,

Friday, March 16, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 21

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 12:4-11

Dear Heavenly Father,

Keep my eyes on You that I may know Your discipline and may endure it. I am Your child, and children need discipline. I want to be subject to the Father of Spirits and live. I know that You discipline me so that I can share Your holiness. Train me up so that Your discipline in my life yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

In Your Name,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 20

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:3

Dear Jesus,

As I keep my eyes on You, help me to remember what You experienced so that I will not lose heart. You, a sinless man, endured hostility against Yourself, to the extent that I never have. But as Hebrews tells us, you pressed on due to the joy set before You. Keep me from weariness, Lord. In the midst of this perverse generation, make me a shining light. Remind me to bring my concerns about this sinful world to You and to consider You for my encouragement.

In Your Name,

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 19

...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for being the author and perfecter of faith. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you regardless of my situation. Help me to remember what You did - endured the cross and despised the shame - remembering all the time the joy set before You - the job of sitting at the right hand of God. When I am facing difficulty, show me the joy that You have set before me, the promise of a life spent with You, that I may endure and persevere, all the while keeping my eyes on You. Thank You for being my example.

In Your Name,

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 18

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us... Hebrews 12:1

Dear God,
I thank You for the great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. I think about the Godly men and women who have gone long before me: Abraham, Ruth, Esther, Paul, Phoebe, John, and I think about the many in my generation who I look to as examples of faith and perseverance. I thank You that You have shown me these people and that they have guided me in my life so that I might live by their example in running the race that is set before me. Lord, help me to be a great witness to those around me and to those who come after me so that they might also run their race with endurance.

In Your Name,

Monday, March 12, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 17

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24

Dear Lord,
As I go about my work, today and everyday, keep this attitude in my mind - that I should do my work for You, to please You, instead of men. Help me to be efficient and effective and focused for Your glory. Lord, I also pray that others will see my work as being for Your glory and that they will respond with praise to You. Help my motives to be clear and give me a servant leader's heart like You. Thank You for the privilege of serving You.

In Your Name,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge… Eph. 3:17-19

This wonderful hymn was originally written in Latin in the 15th century and then translated to English in 1854. It tells the story of Jesus’ incarnation, life on Earth, death, and resurrection.

O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High
O love, how deep, how broad, how high,
It fills the heart with ecstasy,
That God, the Son of God, should take
Our mortal form for mortals’ sake!

He sent no angel to our race
Of higher or of lower place,
But wore the robe of human frame
Himself, and to this lost world came.

For us baptized, for us He bore
His holy fast and hungered sore,
For us temptation sharp He knew;
For us the tempter overthrew.

For us He prayed; for us He taught;
For us His daily works He wrought;
By words and signs and actions thus
Still seeking not Himself, but us.

For us to wicked men betrayed,
Scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed,
He bore the shameful cross and death,
For us gave up His dying breath.

For us He rose from death again;
For us He went on high to reign;
For us He sent His Spirit here,
To guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.

To Him Whose boundless love has won
Salvation for us through His Son,
To God the Father, glory be
Both now and through eternity.

That God should take our mortal form for our sake – this writer says it fills the heart with ecstasy. It does mine – God could have chosen so many other ways to save us but He chose to become flesh – and to live here on Earth among us.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

The second verse amplifies the idea of God being made man – he didn’t send an angel but wore the robe of human frame Himself.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same… Hebrews 2:14

FOR US – that’s why God did this. FOR US. He became man so that he could live on Earth and experience the same things we do – He knew temptation so that for us He could overthrow the tempter.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14-15

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18

FOR US. We see it again in the next verse. He prayed, taught, worked FOR US. And instead of seeking Himself, he sought us, all the way to death on a cross.

“I do not seek My glory.” John 8:50

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5-8

FOR US He rose from death again!!

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. "Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you." Matthew 28:5-7

FOR US He went on high to reign!!

So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:3-4

FOR US He sent His spirit here!!

"These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:25-26

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Acts 2:1-4

His boundless love FOR US has won our salvation!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

Glory be to God the Father, for now and all eternity!

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Psalm 104:33

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:11-12

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:2-4

Saturday, March 10, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 16

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. I John 1:5

Dear Lord,
You are light. Thank You for being the real light, the light that is life. Lord, we are surrounded by darkness. It is everywhere I turn. I only have to look to You and see the light. Hallelujah! Lord, may Your light shine through me. May it cut through the darkness and give hope to those who so desperately need the light. Shine, Jesus, Shine!

In Your Name,

Friday, March 9, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 15

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. I Peter 1:3-5

Dear God,
These three verses are so rich! Your great mercy has caused us to be born again to a LIVING HOPE! Jesus' resurrection made a way for us to obtain an imperishable inheritance - one that is undefiled and will not fade away. Lord, thank You that You have reserved my inheritance for me in heaven. Lord, thank You that Your power is protecting me because of my faith in You. I am protected for a salvation that will be revealed in the last time. Because of Your great mercy! Thank You!

In Your Name,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 14

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23:6

Heavenly Father,
I can attest to Your goodness and lovingkindness that have followed me all the days of my life thus far. You are a faithful Father, and I rest assured in Your promises. Thank You that Your goodness and lovingkindness don't end when my life ends. In fact, I know I will experience Your goodness and lovingkindess even more fully as I dwell in Your house forever. Thank You that whether I am here on earth, or with you in heaven, You are a faithful God, full of goodness and lovingkindness.

With gratitude,

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 13

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows. Psalm 23:4-5

Dear God,
I am so thankful that David wrote these words so long ago. I identify with him as He praises You for Your provision. You have taught me, Lord, that I don't need to fear when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I have nothing to fear for You are with me! Your perfect love is casting out fear. Lord, thank You for using Your rod and staff to guide me, prod me and bring me back; Your actions, done out of love, are a tremendous comfort to me. Lord, my cup overflows. You are so good to me. I thank You.

In Your Name,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 12

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

Dear Lord,
What a Shepherd You are! Thank You for being my Shepherd. Thank You for providing green pastures for me. Thank You for leading me beside quiet waters and for restoring my soul. Thank You for guiding me in paths of righteousness. Thank You that all of this is done for Your glory; for Your Name's sake! Lord, I find it easy to follow such a gentle and generous Shepherd. You have given me everything I need, and so much more. Just as a shepherd stays close to his sheep, draw me near, dear Lord, that I might hear Your voice. I don't want to miss the green pastures or quiet waters that You are leading me to; help me to take full advantage of what You have prepared for me.

In Your Name,

Monday, March 5, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 11

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. I John 2:15-17

Dear Lord,
How I want to do Your will. I want to claim Your promise of living forever because I am doing the will of God. Take away my desire for things of this world. Your word says that the things of this world are passing away, and how we see that every day in our society. Lord, I don't want to be caught up in the "muck" of this world. Take away my love for it, and increase my love for You and devotion to You.

I ask it in Your Name,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This is the Great Thing I Know

This is that great thing I know;
This delights and stirs me so;
Faith in Him who died to save,
Him who triumphed over the grave:
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

This is the great thing I know - that my faith is in Jesus Christ who died to save and the same Jesus Christ who triumphed over the grave.

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. I Corinthians 15:1-4

Paul reminds the Corinthian church that they must stand on the good news (the gospel) for by it they are saved. The good news is this: Jesus died for our sin, was buried, and raised on the third day.

This is a relatively simple message, but a complex one, too. In our human frailty, it is hard to imagine God's plan that would send His Son to die in the place of the people who deserved to die.

But this Jesus, fully man and fully God, did die. And then He conquered death forever when God raised Him from the dead.

I will put my faith and trust in the One who died for my sins. And I will put my faith and trust in the One whom God raised from the dead!

This is the great thing I know - Jesus Christ, the crucified, is my forever Lord and Savior.

Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know
Words by Johann Schwedler

Ask ye what great thing I know,
That delights and stirs me so?
What the high reward I win?
Whose the name I glory in?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

What is faith’s foundation strong?
What awakes my heart to song?
He who bore my sinful load,
Purchased for me peace with God,
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who is He that makes me wise
To discern where duty lies?
Who is He that makes me true
Duty, when discerned to do,
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who defeats my fiercest foes?
Who consoles my saddest woes?
Who revives my fainting heart,
Healing all its hidden smart?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who is life in life to me?
Who the death of death will be?
Who will place me on His right,
With the countless hosts of light?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

This is that great thing I know;
This delights and stirs me so;
Faith in Him who died to save,
Him who triumphed over the grave:
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 10

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3

Dear Lord and Heavenly Father,
Today I ask that you bind kindness and truth around my neck. May they never leave me. I pray that Your truth would be written on my heart that I would seek after You and You only. Lord, may I be a vessel of Your love and kindness to others that I meet today, both to those I love, and to strangers. May they see You in me, and may You be glorified because of it.

In Your Name,

Friday, March 2, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 9

"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:1-3

Dear Jesus,
I thank You for this promise! Lord, I profess my belief in You and in Your Father, and look forward to one day being with You both in the dwelling place that You have prepared for me. Thank You that You don't just prepare the place but You promise to come and receive me to Yourself. It is so comforting to hear Your words, "Where I am, there you may be also." Where You are, I will be!! How I praise You for your provision for me. And God, I thank You for Your plan that rescued me from my sin and declares me righteous through Your Son so that I may be at home with You in heaven. Lord, let us look forward to that day, and give You all the praise for our eternal future secure with You.

With thanksgiving,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

40 Days of Prayer: Day 8

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

I pray that these verses from Psalm 73 would ring true in my life, every day. That besides You, I would desire nothing else on earth. Oh, how I need you, Lord! You are the strength of my heart. You are my portion forever. I thank You that when the day comes for You to call me home, that even though my flesh and my heart may fail, You will bring me into eternal glory with Your Son. Thank You for the promise of eternal life and a secure future with You. Take away my desire for things of this earth, and help me to keep my eyes, heart and mind on You.

In Your Name,