Prayer Helps


02.24.2017

Show Me Your Ways

I love David’s prayer in Psalm 25. “Show me your ways,” he says, “Teach me. Guide me.”

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.5 Guide me in your truth and teach me.

I love what David is asking for. And I love what he’s not. He’s not asking God to show him the way or the path or the truth. He’s asking God to show him his ways.

Because there’s a difference.

A lot of ways might appeal, a lot of paths might look good, a lot of what we see and hear might be convincing. But if we want to be confident that we’re on the right road or making the best decision, we need to let God direct our steps. Let’s make this psalm our Friday Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Show ____ your ways. Teach ____ your paths. Guide ____ in your truth. (Psalm 25:4-5)

Amen.

 


Prayer Helps


02.17.2017

Righteousness, Peace, and Confidence. Forever.

To a lot of people, “righteousness” is a dirty word. It smacks of finger-pointing, judgment, and pride.

But it’s not, at least not in God’s lexicon. When he uses the word, it brims with refreshment – with things like honesty, justice, and grace. And when he calls us to pursue righteousness as a lifestyle, it is his invitation to let our lives line up with his commands – not so much for his sake, but for ours.

Because living like that – letting God’s righteousness shape our actions, as well as our attitudes – leads to good things! As the Bible puts it, “The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever.” (HCSB)

The result of righteousness will be peace;the effect of righteousnesswill be quiet confidence forever. (1)

If a life marked by peace and quiet confidence sounds good to you (and it sure does, to me), make this verse your Friday prayer. Pray it for yourself, or for someone you love:

Heavenly Father,

Make your righteousness real in _____’s life; may it result in peace and quiet confidence forever. (Isaiah 32:17)

Amen.


Prayer Helps


02.10.2017

The Words We Speak

So Robbie and I have been working our way through the books, Lists to Love Byand guess what? I’m realizing afresh that what the Bible says about the words we speak (“The tongue has the power of life and death”) is really true!

And I need help.

Untitled design (4)

I want my words to be helpful and encouraging. I want them to build people up. I want to be someone who gives life – not death – in the things that I say, whether I’m talking to Robbie, my kids, or anyone else.

If you want that too, why not join me in making Ephesians 4:29 your Friday prayer? Here it is. You can pray it for yourself, or for someone you love:

Heavenly Father,

Let no unwholesome talk come out of my mouth, but only that which is helpful for building others up, that it might benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)

Amen.


Prayer Helps


02.03.2017

Reach Down from On High

“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.”

If you’re using the Bible in One Year (a free reading app that comes with commentary; click here to get it), you read about David’s distress – and God’s incredible deliverance – in Psalm 18 this week. God hears David’s cry and, after an earth-shaking display of majesty and power, he reaches down – “all the way from sky to sea.”(MSG)

he reached down from on high and took hold of me...

If you find yourself in David’s place (pursued by foes, feeling overwhelmed and entangled, or just needing to know that your Daddy is there, and that he hears you), take heart. “He rescued me,” David says, “because he delighted in me.” I like how the Message translation puts that line:  “I stood there saved – surprised to be loved!”

God delights in you.

God delights in you! And he is ready to save.

So…ask for his help. Call on him. Make Psalm 18:16 your prayer, knowing that you (and your children, if you’re praying this prayer for them) are never out of God’s reach:

Heavenly Father,

Reach down from on high and take hold of me; draw me out of deep waters. (Psalm 18:16)

Amen.

 

 


Prayer Helps


01.27.2017

Friday Prayer for a Fresh Start and New Mercies

It’s January 27. How’s that New Year’s Resolution working out?

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According to a couple of brainiac professors at U.Va. and the University of Zurich, most of us have higher expectations that we can successfully take on a new goal when it syncs with a new time period. Apparently, it doesn’t matter whether we want to drink less, hit the gym more, or stop gossiping, we figure that our chances for an effective launch are better if we start on the first of the year. Or the month. Or even, actually, on a Monday.

Trouble is, just having a fresh start doesn’t mean that the same old temptations and obstacles won’t pop up. You can read the U.Va. findings by clicking here, but if what you really want is some Divine help, why not ask for it? The Bible says that God’s mercies are new every morning (talk about a fresh start!), and that it is his grace that teaches us how to live wisely and well.

Here’s a prayer you can pray for yourself, or for someone else who might need God’s grace in 2017 (and beyond!):

Heavenly Father,

Thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Show _____ how to turn his/her back on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life…one that is starting right now! (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV and Titus 2:11-12, MSG)

Amen.

 


Prayer Helps


01.20.2017

Friday Prayer for Better Relationships

Earlier this month, I told you how much I like Mark and Susan Merrill’s books, Lists to Love By for Busy Wives and Lists to Love By for Busy HusbandsThose are great for strengthening marriage, but what about all the other relationships in our lives?

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What about our other family members? Or our friends? How can we improve connections and strengthen ties with our parents, siblings, and in-laws? What about teammates and coaches…or that tricky roommate…or the co-worker who always seems to find a way to pinch our last nerve?

Philippians 2:1-18 offers some guaranteed-to-work tips for every relationship. (They work because, basically, they compel us to think and act more like Christ.) Read the whole passage by clicking here, or start with just two little power-packed verses and turn them into a Friday prayer for yourself or for someone you love:

Heavenly Father,

Help _____ to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, cause _____ to value others above him/herself, not looking to their own interests but to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Amen.


Prayer Helps


01.13.2017

Friday Prayer for Our Work

establish-the-work-of-our-hands

January is a often a time for reflection. For evaluation. For looking back…and, even more, for looking forward.

For me, it’s a time when I think about things like work and purpose. I want to be sure I am investing time and talent the way God wants in the year ahead, and I want him to help me get the job done.

One of my favorite “work” prayers comes from Psalm 90, which is a prayer that Moses prayed. Here’s what he asked God to do; feel free to borrow this one for yourself, for someone you love, or maybe even for your church, organization, or business:

Heavenly Father,

May your favor rest on ______. Establish the work of our hands for us, yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)

Amen


Prayer Helps


01.06.2017

Friday Prayer for the Laundry Pile

(Note: I first posted this prayer two years ago, but as I stare down the pile of bedsheets, tablecloths, and dirty socks and towels that represent Christmas Past, I feel like I need it today. Maybe you do, too. Because some prayers are like laundry:  You just gotta do them again.)

clothe-yourselves-with-compassion

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between the full house and the empty nest is the amount of laundry that needs doing. For years, particularly when we had four children all playing different sports, my life had a rhythm all its own:

Wash. Dry. Fold. Repeat.

Partly to break up the monotony, and partly to attach some sort of meaning to an existence that seemed to be measured in soccer games and grass stains, I started using the laundry cycle as a prayer prompt. I looked up a few verses about clothing and pressed them (a-hem) into service.

Here’s one of my favorites. This year, instead of groaning over the laundry pile, why not try this prayer when you pull a load out of the dryer? It might not help you find that missing sock, but at least you’ll be investing in something that lasts beyond tomorrow:

Heavenly Father, let _____ know that he/she is holy and dearly loved.  Help _____ to clothe himself/herself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  (Colossians 3:12)


Prayer Helps


12.30.2016

What Will the New Year Bring?

We’re on the cusp of a New Year! What will it bring?

A quick spin through Google reveals all sorts of prognostications – some funny, some serious, some terrifying. But here’s one thing we can know for sure: When our trust is in the Lord, we can live lives marked by confidence and joy rather than worry and fear, no matter what the future holds!

Consider what the prophet Jeremiah had to say:

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.

Let’s take this promise and make it our Friday prayer…or maybe just use it to cover all of 2017. You can pray this one for yourself, or for someone you love:

Heavenly Father,

May _____ trust in you. Let his/her confidence be in you. Keep _____ free from fear and worry, no matter how challenging or uncomfortable the world gets. Bless _____ with a fresh and fruitful life! (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Amen.


Prayer Helps


12.23.2016

A Reason to Rejoice!

String the lights, sing the songs, wrap the gifts…we have a REASON to rejoice!

One of my kids made this ornament nearly 20 years ago, and it’s always been my favorite:

fullsizerender

Today, as we prepare our hearts and our homes to welcome the Savior, let’s borrow a few words from Mary’s song and make them our prayer: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)

Heavenly Father,

May we glorify you as our Lord and rejoice in you as our Savior this Christmas!

Amen




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