Prayers for the Parched: Once Again – Part 2

"Now there was a widow that kept asking a judge for justice..."  Photo:  friarmusings.wordpress.com

“Now there was a widow that kept asking a judge for justice…”
Photo: friarmusings.wordpress.com

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray an not give up.  He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God not cared about men. And there was a certain widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ And the lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’ Luke 18:1-8

 

The reason I like this prayer is its ongoing nature. We continue to ask for justice and peace.  Jesus continues to pray for us. Why?  Because we need it!  Human hopes are exhausted in our overly indulged, overly committed lifestyles.  This prayer points us to God’s never ending abundance.  “Continue to teach us to pray.:”  This prayer affirms that it is a process of learning how.  All those frustrating little life experiences are God’s teaching ground.

Holy Spirit, we again give you this church and this community

Please bless our fellowship

Deepen our commitment to being Jesus’ body, bringing his love to bear on our relationships here and where we live and where we work

Inspire our worship so that seekers will sense your power and your love working in us and working through us

Lord we pray for our country and our world and continue to ask for justice and peace

We ask that you would make us generous people so that our abundance can bring your hope where human hopes have been exhausted

Father, lead us as your children to be more and more like Jesus

Lead us to deeper and deeper in our walks with you

And continue to teach us to pray, even as Jesus taught his disciples to pray.

Amen

Prayer for the People, Menlo Park Church Service 12 February 2000

View Part 1 of Prayers for the Parched: Once Again – Part 1


Prayers for the Parched: Once Again – Part 1

"Now there was a widow that kept asking a judge for justice..."  Photo:  friarmusings.wordpress.com

“Now there was a widow that kept asking a judge for justice…”
Photo: www.friarmusings.wordpress.com

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  Psalm 100:5

“We again give you…”  Have you ever been on a weekend retreat where there’s a spiritual catharsis on Saturday night at the communion service?  These Magic Moments are where we commit something in our life to God.  It could be a dream, a hope a decision, or a disappointment.  Or, perhaps we give him the request/burden that we’ve been carrying for years.  They’re wonderful times.  So how is it that the peace can sometimes disappear in 24 hours?  I think it’s because we crossed our fingers while we prayed.  Or we picked up that burden again on our way out of the chapel. Some trials need to be laid at his feet again and again and again.  Keep at it.  With supernatural help, there is victory ahead.

Lord, Jesus,

We have come here to praise you and to sing your glory

We pause before you to praise you and stand in your glory and to know you better

Lord, in giving you our worship we ask that you would transform us

We ask that you would assure us and remind us of your faithfulness to us

Because there is a seemingly endless list of situations and people that leave us worried and overwhelmed

Lord, please renew our confidence in you and in your love

Lord, we give to you our best selves and ask that you inspire us to be your servants wherever we find ourselves

Lord, we also give to you our hidden selves and ask that you shine your light on the parts of us that long for healing and for deliverance

Lord, we give you thanks for never shying away from us or being shocked at any secrets we harbor and for always responding to us with grace and mercy

Continued in Once Again – Part 2

 


Encouraged by Stories of Jesus Meetings

Praying for People Around the World Matters Photo courtesy of akukusutla.blogspot.com

Praying for People Around the World Matters Photo: akukusutla.blogspot.com

As I was praying through my list of family members who don’t know Jesus,  I asked God if this exercise had any value.  Most of these names have been on my list of many years with no change in their interest in Jesus, God or spirituality.  With a vague sense of obedience, I keep contending for a relationship with God for them.

Two days later, I was having coffee with a Healing Rooms Team Intern who shared the story of his cousin.  They had grown up as close as brother and sister.  His family had a strong faith in God; her family had none.  This cousin considered herself an Atheist.  He remembered getting into a vocal discussion about this topic a few years back after a movie.  College, travel, marriage and health issues has allowed several years to pass without connecting.  Out of the blue, he received a text asking for a book recommendation on learning something about Jesus.  He offered an N.T. Wright book suggestion and she read this and asked for another.  He wondered what was up.

At a holiday event, he saw her and asked about the back story. She said she had been walking her baby daughter down a neighborhood street in a stroller and turned a corner and had an encounter with Jesus.  She said she wasn’t sure what was going on.  She felt His peace and love and presence so strongly that she realized she needed to learn more about this person of Jesus Christ.  Despite her family’s surprise and dismay, she set a date to be baptized and invited my friend.

He said he had not prayed for her for along time.  This happened out of the blue.  I found this story so encouraging in light of the question I had asked God about my family members who still want nothing to do with God.  The story gave new infusion to my prayer efforts.  We never know how or when God will answer our prayers.  I was reminded that He’s listening and acting on our prayers at the moment and over time.  Long after we forgot we prayed something, He’s still answering our prayers.  I was inspired to keep praying, believing that God is at work all the while.


Prayers for the Parched: Invitation to Change

Asking God a question is an invitation to have Him enter our heart and change what we want

Asking God a question is an invitation to have Him enter our heart and change what we want

“And now, Lord, what do I wait for?  My hope is in You.  Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.”  Psalm 39:7-8

In Psalm 39:7, David asks

the Lord, “What do I wait for?”  By asking this as a question it becomes an invitation to have God enter your heart and change what you want.  It can also change what we wait for.  We wait for God to enlarge our thoughts.  We wait for God to give us his vision for solutions according to the riches of his glory.  We wait for God to introduce new passions into our hearts.

Deliver me from my temper

Let the fruit of patience develop in me

Deliver me from pride

Change my self-image to a healthy balance of courage and confidence

Deliver me from self-will

Let me remember that you are designed us for community

Deliver me from my transgressions

Thank you for the continual cleansing of Jesus’ blood

 

 


Prayers for Business: Thank You for the Opportunity to Produce Wealth

God Provides the Ability to Produce Wealth

God Provides the Ability to Produce Wealth

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealthy for me.’ But remember that Lord Your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” Deuteronomy 8:17-18

Prayer: “Lord, Thank you for the opportunity to produce wealth. Thank you for customizing my hands, including my skills and my resume of experience. May they be what are needed for my next position. Thank you for fashioning me for my future purposes. You already know what my future business card will contain. You are holy and good. You are trustworthy and I choose to trust you. I say Thank you. Bless your name.”

Even if we lose our job, consider that God has fired that company as our boss. They will be shaped by the decisions, as much as we are. Either way, God can bless us, teach us, and use us to go where he directs us. If they were wrong they had their chance to grow and be stretched. If they were in obedience with God’s plan, then let us pursue what God’s next opportunity is for us to grow and learn. Choose to trust God, and not panic, along the way. God has multiple ways of meeting our needs in between jobs. If possible, praise God in the midst of confusing circumstances. It is an action choice to trust that God is active in our circumstances. As Deuteronomy say, “Remember that it is the Lord Our God who gives us the ability to produce wealth” Ask Him for the ability to produce wealth. Praise Him for our current jobs, and our current circumstances. Believe that He is going before us creating the perfect place to work. “Thank you Lord.”


Celebrating Communion – Broken in Battle

"Take and Eat. This is My Body Broken for You." Mark 14:22

“Take and Eat. This is My Body Broken for You.” Mark 14:22

“My body, broken in battle

So you could be victorious

Live in the land of freedom”

People in revolutionary war died in battle so I could live in the free land of America.  Men died in battle so I could vote.  Yet, look at how many American citizens don’t vote in general elections.  Look at how many do not know the names of their elected representatives.

Jesus died in the battle of all good and evil on earth so we could walk in relationship with God once again.  Are we communing with God in this relationship?  Are we partaking of what the great sacrifice allows in terms of victory over the enemy?

It’s not about how great our government is currently.  It’s not about how great our churches are currently.  It’s about going back to God’s structures and systems for living.

Our forefathers had supernatural strength beyond their human wisdom to write the constitution. Denominational church fathers created structures for our church institutions that went beyond what they were envisioning for their immediate concerns. This is what happens when we ask of God for His divine guidance and hand in a creative process.  Each has been undermined by the enemy in varying methods.

Yet when we go back to the good tenants and invite them back, we start to pursue God and His purposes on earth. We start to borrow everything good from other countries where they have it right.  We adopt from other church polity where they have it right.  Seeking God for the unification of all that is good…in love…to establish one body, one nation, once church.

It is doable.  Let’s pray.  Lord, teach us to walk in the fullness of victory that your son wrought for us on the cross.  Lord, teach us to walk in the fullness of freedom that our forefathers established for us in The United States of America.


Prayers for the Parched: Balancing Work and Rest

Balancing Work and Rest Photo:  by JoshWeidmann.com

Balancing Work and Rest Photo: by JoshWeidmann.com

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Jeremiah 6:16

God,

I praise you for the balance between work and rest

Forgive me when I take on more than you ever asked me to, and get tired

I stand at yet another fork in the road

Which is the good way?

Show me which path, and I will walk in it

I seek your rest for my weary soul

Thank you for being at work in my life even when I am asleep

Jesus, I want to learn of you

You give me relief, refreshment, and recreation for my soul

Thank you for sharing my burdens

Thank you for letting me make decisions with you

Thank you for your input

Holy Spirit, enable me to enjoy my work

And also enable me to enjoy my rest

 


Goerge Washington’s Prayer for Guidance

Fireworks Celebrate America's Independence Day

Fireworks Celebrate America’s Independence Day

Happy 4th of July

Following is a prayer of our President George Washington. iBelief.com has the prayer of several of our Presidents posted.  It’s a delightful read.  Here’s George Washington’s Prayer for Guidance

George Washington

A Prayer for Guidance

O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul….

Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life bless my family, friends, and kindred.


Anne Graham Lotz 777 Urgent Call to Prayer July 2014

Urgent Call to Prayer  by Anne  Graham-Lotz for America July 7-7-7

Urgent Call to Prayer by Anne Graham-Lotz for America July 7-7-7

URGENT CALL TO PRAYER (from Billy Graham’s Daughter, Anne Graham Lotz)

Blow the trumpet…sound the alarm…for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand– Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God…    ~Joel 2:1, 13
Join Anne Graham Lotz and thousands of other followers of Jesus Christ across our nation and around the world, as together we return to the Lord our God, rend our hearts, repent of our sin, and cry out to God for His mercy on behalf of our nation.  Before it’s too late.   
Pray! in the 7th month, July
Pray! on each of the first 7 days of July
Pray! and fast on July 7th for 7 hours (of your choosing)
The Purpose:
  • For God the Father to restrain, protect, and deliver His people from the evil that has come into our world.
  • For God the Son to be exalted, magnified, and glorified in His church, in our nation, and in our lives.
  • For God the Holy Spirit to fall on us in a fresh way, compelling the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, resulting in a great national spiritual awakening.
Sign up to receive prayers Anne has written specifically for each day, July 1 through July 7, that will help the church be united with one voice and one spirit as together we cry out to God. Subscribe at: http://www.annegrahamlotz.com/events/urgent-call-to-prayer/

Letter from Anne Graham-Lotz:
As you may know, my husband is in declining health. I am no longer traveling 
and speaking as much as I have for the last 26 years since I am staying home 
to care for him. As a result, I have had time to be quiet and listen more to the 
whispers of the Spirit. He has revealed things to me in the stillness that I’m not 
sure I would have heard in my former busyness.
One of the things He has impressed on me is that we are living at the end of 
human history as we know it. In light of this, He has given me some practical 
assignments. One was to be the Honorary Chair for the National Day of Prayer 
2014 this past May. He gave me the message I was to deliver, which was from
Joel 1…the Day of the Lord is at hand. It was a message warning that judgment
is coming.
Just recently, He has given me another assignment, which is to call His people in 
our nation to prayer. This assignment came indirectly from a Syrian pastor through
a National Day of Prayer attendee. In obedience, I am blowing the trumpet…
sounding the alarm…issuing a national prayer initiative entitled 
7 7 7: An Urgent Call to Prayer.
The Call is for God’s people to pray for each of the first seven days in the seventh 
month-July 1-7. Then on the 7th day, July 7, we are to pray and fast for 7 hours.
The purpose is…
For God the Father to restrain, protect, and deliver His people from the 
evil that has come into our world.
For God the Son to be exalted, magnified, and glorified in His church, 
in our nation, and in our lives.
For God the Holy Spirit to fall on us in a fresh way, compelling the church 
to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, resulting
in a great national spiritual awakening.
I’m asking you to partner with me (I add, “and with one another”) and send out the word to everyone on your 
email address list, or who follows you on facebook or twitter.
This is not about promoting anything or anyone. This is all about calling God’s people
together to pray, before it’s too late, and judgment falls on our nation.
Urgently,
Anne Graham-Lotz

In Everything Give Thanks – Try It!

These circumstances intended to discourage and pull down will be the same ones you use to transform for your purposes of good and glory

These circumstances intended to discourage and pull down will be the same ones you use to transform for your purposes of good and glory

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Do we really have to take this verse seriously?  Yes.

What if I’m not grateful?  Then Praise God

We may not feel thankful for bad things that happen. Yet, this verse tells us to be thankful in everything, not for everything.

When we can’t see our way through difficult circumstances, then we consciously choose to Praise God.  He is able to work in our circumstances.  He often lets people make poor decisions which can impact us.  Through praise we can invite Him into the middle of the muddles.  He can turn things around.  This isn’t a guarantee that He will turn things around.  He acknowledges that He can.

His love guarantees our triumph over the test.  He may simply walk though the difficult spot with us.  He may send someone to walk alongside us.  He may change things miraculously.  He may not. He may have other purposes at work that have nothing to do with us.  In praising God we are agreeing with God about His goals, even if He hasn’t outlined them to us.  Some things we simply don’t understand or don’t like.  God doesn’t like it when people choose bad behavior.  Their bad choices have impact at several levels.  Praise in God reminds us that He can redeem things in His way and in His time.  It’s not like the incidents never happened.  He just uses it for His purposes and not the enemy.

Praising God is agreeing with Joseph’s conclusion, “You intended it to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  Genesis 50:20.

Heavenly Father, I choose to be thankful for all my circumstances today and every day.  Show me how you can make things work together for good even when I can’t see it.  I choose to Praise You.  You are bigger than the mountain of difficulty in front of me.  Thank you for offering to walk alongside me and never leave me.  Again, I am choosing to praise you and be thankful in everything.