Prayers for the Parched: Ruth’s Humility

Boaz said to Ruth, "Don't Go and Glean in Another Field."

Boaz said to Ruth, “Don’t Go and Glean in Another Field.”

Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, “Whose young woman is that?”  The foreman replied, “She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi.  She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’  She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short test in the shelter.”  So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me.  Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here.”  Ruth 2:5-8

 

There is never a point in Ruth’s story when she says, “Bummer, I gave up my life in Moab.  I should have gone home to my parents when I had the chance.  There’s no prosperity evident in this country.  I’ve got to go glean in the fields like a poverty stricken person.  I would have thought God would have showed up with some favor and prosperity before now.”

Rather Ruth was humble.  “May I glean in your field?”  God helps the humble.  He gave Ruth protection, favor, Boaz and Obed.

Father,

Thank you for Ruth and what a marvelous example she is.

Thank you God for being able to glean in your field

Father, put in me the desire to do and have

The right things                                      (planting seeds)

The right motive                                    (for God’s glory)

The right attitude                                   (humility)

The right heart                                        (heart after God)


Praying for Leaders Impacts Us, Their Followers

Let us Pray for President Obama

Let us Pray for President Obama

The Bible tells us to pray for our leaders.  “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”  1 Timothy 2:1-3.

Paul includes kings and all who are in authority.  Beyond a good idea and a strong Biblical encouragement, praying for leaders benefits us.  Leaders and their decisions impact their followers.  This truth plays out on the followers’ lives.

Consider the contrary.  Pharaoh was defiant to Moses’s request to “Let my people go.”  Pharaoh said “No” to Moses and to God.  First Pharaoh’s refusal brought several plagues to the land with severe physical and economical impact to the people.  Eventually, it brought death to every family in Egypt.

In another example of disobedience, King David’s disobedience to following God’s rules for transporting the Ark of the Covenant, brought instant death to a faithful lieutenant who simply reached out to balance the Ark.  See 2 Samuel 6:6-8. Not just an “Oops,” Uzzah’s family didn’t have a husband or father any longer.  At first glance, it seems severe.  But this pattern continues down history with leaders’ decisions having impact on follower’s lives, which extends to the lives of their families.

Who knows what interceding prayer might have done to impact rulers throughout history?  A friend of mine claims that it was faithful grandmothers at home in their prayer closets that opened the door for victory in WW2.

Culturally, we give and receive honor so easily at a personal level.  We understand that we are to be judged individually for our actions. Yet, we live in community.  We are called to pray for the leaders of our companies, our churches, our cities, our states and our nation.  I hear a lot of opining.  I hear a lot of complaints.  Much less frequently, I hear heart felt prayer for our leaders—regardless of their positions.

Maybe this is our season to expand our prayers from “Help me, (Give me…) and everyone I love,” to “Help them, (Give them…) O Sovereign Lord.”


Prayers for the Parched: My Heartbeat Prayer

Wanting in My Heart the Same Things God Wants for Me

Wanting in My Heart the Same Things God Wants for Me

My Heartbeat Prayer

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.  Isaiah 58:11  KJV

This is a simple prayer that I say often.  Each line came independently months apart.  I say it now with the rhythm of a heartbeat.  It’s my heart beating after God’s heart.

Help me

Heal me

Guide me

Prepare me

Change me

Deliver me

Redeem me

Restore me

 


Who is Your 12th Man?

Seattle's Seahawk's 12th Man Factor

Seattle’s Seahawk’s 12th Man Factor

Sunday’s sermon at Open Door Church in Mountain View, California included a segment on how God launches us, often before we feel ready.  Our pastor used the context of Jesus launching the disciples to go out into all the world and, “Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” See Matthew 28: 19.

Two verses earlier it said that, “some disciples doubted,” even after seeing Jesus—post resurrection.  This doesn’t seem like a “ready” group.  With the loss of Judas, their group constituted of 11 disciples.  12 was the chosen number they started with, and were used to.  12 allowed for them to go out in groups of two.  12 is a number of wholeness.  11 seems like it’s not quite ready.  Theologian Dale Bruner says that “the number eleven limps.”

What Jesus tells the disciples, is “Go, and I will be with you.”  Jesus promises to accompany us as the invisible divine companion.

Using a football comparison, Jesus is “the 12th man.”  The term “12th man” comes from Seattle Seahawks’ stadium where the sound of fans’ cheering is considered as an much an advantage as having an additional player to the 11 member team.  Jesus is our additional team member everywhere we go.

Jesus’ promise remains true for all believers throughout time.  Not just a comfort, this promise propels to go forward whenever He prompts, ready or not.  Moving forward doesn’t depend on our ability ahead of time.  Our obedience brings His presence which includes His supernatural power and direction to accomplish all He has for us.  The angels in heaven cheer for God’s purposes fulfilled with obedient saints.

Prayer:  “Jesus please come and be my 12th man.  I listen for your nudges to go forward and choose to obey.”


Prayers for the Parched: Worship to the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Gives Us Discernment

The Holy Spirit Gives Us Discernment

Worship to the Holy Spirit

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to prayer for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.  Romans 8:26-27

Praise to you, O Holy Spirit

You have been given to live in us

You provide comfort

You encourage me

You strengthen my heart

You keep me doing good works

You keep me focused on truth

 

Holy Spirit, you are at work in me constantly bringing about sanctification

You are eternally holy

You are developing holiness in me

 

Holy Spirit, You point me to Jesus

Jesus is the solution to my thirst, to my hunger, to my need for light

You bring me into the fullness of Jesus

In Jesus, there is rest, gentleness, and renewal

You encourage me by bringing me to Jesus

Praise be to you, Holy Spirit, for praying for the people of God

You bear me up in my weaknesses

 

Thank you, Holy Spirit for assuring and confirming that I am a child of God

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for putting truth in my heart

Thank you for continually praying for me

Thank you for being my enabler

I worship you that you’re at work in my circumstances

With you, there is variety

You are the implementer of the phrase, “Getting it Done”

Show me how to work in conjunction with your ways

Thank you for your diligence


Prayers for the Parched: Perspectives

Same day.  Same circumstances: Two Different perspective.  Learning to Rejoice Always

Same day, Same circumstances: Two Different perspectives. Learning to Rejoice Always

Perspectives

Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NCV

Should you find yourself stuck in traffic; don’t despair

There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege

 

Should you have a bad day at work;

Thank of the man who has been out of work for years

 

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad;

Think of the person who has never known what it’s like to love and be love in return

 

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend;

Think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children

 

Should your car break down, leaving you miles from assistance;

Think of the paraplegic who world love the opportunity to take that walk

 

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror;

Think of the cancer patient I chemotherapy who wishes she had hair to examine

 

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what if life all about asking, “What is my purpose?”  Be thankful;

There are those who didn’t live long enough to get the opportunity

 

Should you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness of insecurities;

Remember, things could be worse

You could be one of them.

 

Unknown Author


Prayers for the Parched: Called into Participation

We are Called into Partner  Companionship with God

We are Called into Partner Companionship with God

Called into Participation

God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can e depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9 (Amplified)

 

Father God, I praise you

You are faithful

You are reliable

You are trustworthy

You are true to your promises

 

Thank you for these characteristics

Thank you for these truths

Thank you that I can follow you

Thank you for being a God who is consistently all these things

 

You have called me into companionship

You are the companion who never leaves

You are indeed the perfect friend

 

You have called me into participation

To partnership with your son

To actively take part in the word of Jesus

To possess the very nature of Jesus


Prayers for the Parched: Weapons of Truth

Knights Know their Weapons of Warfare

Knights Know their Weapons of Warfare

Weapons of Truth

The righteous man will be glad in the Lord, and will take refuge in Him.  And all the upright in heart will glory.  Psalm 64:10

The truths in scripture are our weapons against the enemy’s relentless attacks.  Use these truths to resist the devil at his onset and to talk to your doubts.

The weapons of Truth

God does care

God is interested in my problems

God is sovereign

God is bigger than the problem

God is waiting for a purpose

God always does the right thing

God is working all things together for good

God does love me

 

Father God,

You are mighty in battle

There is none like you

Thank you for these weapons of truth

May they bring victory against the battle of today

For your glory

 


God’s Promise to Teach us to Profit

Keep on Pedaling, Thanking God for Challenge and for the Good He is Working Out in us

Keep on Pedaling, Thanking God for Challenge and for the Good He is Working Out in us

The Bible has a lot to say about how God helps people with supernatural wisdom.  Consider Isaiah 48:17-18:

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.
18 Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Like most promises in the Bible, they come with a condition. This passage in Isaiah talks about the Lord our God who teaches us to profit and leads us in the way we should go.  Many of us long for direction in which way to go and how to follow the Lord in the business world.  He teaches his children how to profit.

The next verse points to the directive that we need to heed God’s commandments.  We need to be walking with the societal structural system that God outlines in his laws. This includes things like not lying (Exodus 20:16,) not cheating people out of fair measuring yardsticks (Proverbs 20:2,3) being generous as a lifestyle (Luke 6;38 and Proverbs 11:25,) and caring about the poor around us (Proverbs 28:27.)  He even has advice on staying true to one spouse (Exodus 20:17). All these things are specifically mentioned in scripture.  These are His commandments.  These are a few of the start points of heeding God’s commandments.  Living a lifestyle of pleasing God brings about God’s promises of wisdom and ways we should go and teaching us how to prosper in business.

Lord, help us to your commandments, teach us to profit and lead us in the way we should go.

 

 


Prayers for the Parched: The Better Way

God knows all the paths of life as He leads us

God knows all the paths of life as He leads us

The Better Way

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9

O Lord,

Thou knowest what is the better way

Let this or that be done as thou shalt please

Give what thou wilt

and how much thou wilt

and when thou wilt

Deal with me in all things as thou wilt

I am in thy hand

Turn me round and turn me back again even as a wheel

Behold I am thy servant

prepared for all things

For I desire not to live  unto myself

but unto thee

And, oh that I could do it worthy and perfectly!

 

A Thomas A. Kempis Prayer