Browsing "Everyday Prayers"

The Love Cycle Prayer

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I did it again!  To be honest, it happens more often than I’d like.  I get into “doing” and forget my source is found in sitting at Jesus’ feet and receiving from Him.  Too often we operate in our own strength, gifts or abilities instead of learning the flow of taking in God’s love first.

I can’t love anyone.  It’s impossible.  I don’t have what it takes and neither do you.  Whenever I try, I get burned out, striving to love someone, pushing to accept myself.  It doesn’t work.  I can’t even love God.

The good news is, Scripture tells us, “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.  When I first receive His love, then I can love Him in return.  As I experience His love and acceptance of me, even in my weakness and brokenness, I come into agreement with what He thinks of me.  I learn to love His beautiful creation, me.  Now I can love others because I know that just as God sees the treasure in me, He gives me grace to see that same treasure in others, no matter how buried under “junk” it might be.  This is what I call the love cycle –

Receive God’s Love – Love Him in return – Love myself as He does – Love others

When I operate in this, it’s amazing how much easier life flows.  I give up striving, trying, pushing to love and simply receive.  The rest follows naturally.  Here’s a section of the FELLOWSHIP prayer (see previous blog) that follows the love cycle.  Consider incorporating it into your daily prayers!  See what a difference it can make!

L – Love:  Father, pour out Your love into my heart by releasing the influences of the Spirit to give me revelation of Your love for me, that it may overflow in love back to You and to others.

“The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…” Rom 5:5

“I pray, that your love may abound still more…in knowledge and all discernment.” Phil 1:9

“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God…” 2 Thes 3:5

Father, impart Your love for Jesus in my heart (Jn 17:26).  I agree with Jesus’ prophecy (Mt 22:37) to receive grace to love God with all my heart and soul and mind.

“…That the love with which You loved Me may be in them….” Jn 17:26

“You shall love the Lord…with all your heart…soul…and mind.” Mt 22:37

Father, allow me to comprehend Jesus’ love for me and to abide in it (stay connected to it).

“That you…may be able to comprehend…what is the width and length and depth and height…to know (experience) the love (affection) of Christ…” Eph 3:18-19

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” Jn 15:9

Let me see and love myself through Your eyes.  Thank you for who I am to You.

“You formed my inward parts: You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought.”  Ps 139:13-15

Father, I agree with Jesus’ command and prophecy in Mt 22:39 that I will love others.  Let me abound in love by seeing what You see and feeling what You feel about others.

“…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mt 22:39

“May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another.” 1 Thes 3:12

 

 

Willpower Prayer

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Recently, I read some research studies that indicate we have a limited amount of willpower and that it can be “exhausted”.  I wrestled with this concept, believing God can give us the strength to say “no” or “yes” in every situation.  I could see in the natural how it does work.  Kids seem to know this about parents when they constantly ask for this or that until the parent finally gives in.

Then I felt the Lord reveal that He has given us just enough willpower to choose Him.  If we had unlimited willpower in and of ourselves, we’d be the best Pharisees around, making consistently good decisions in our own power.  But God didn’t create us like that.  He created us for relationship and partnership with Him.  We need Him.

This means that each day I submit my will to God, give Him rulership in my life.  Then when decisions need to be made, I simply ask Him and then obey.

We weary ourselves out when it comes to decision making.  “Should I exercise today?  I really should.  But I don’t feel like it right now and don’t have the time.”  We go on and on, weighing the pros and cons, exhausting our ability to decide.  But when we simply ask Jesus what we should do and listen for His still small voice, we flow in our day with Him.  Our natural tendency is to think, “Jesus will always make me do what I don’t want to.  He will make me exercise.”  And yet, when we understand His true nature and love for us, He only wants what is best for us.  Many times that might be exercise and He can give us the strength and joy in it.  But other times, He might say, “Rest, My Child.  Be refreshed in My love.  Read a book instead.”

Of course, those things we already know are not a part of His will — deliberate sin, we simply say to Him, “I know this not something You have for me.  Give me the strength to resist this temptation.”

When our kids are demanding this or that, instead of getting frustrated with saying “no” over and over, ask Jesus how He wants you to respond to your children.  He might have a totally different approach you’d never thought of.  He might show you the need your child has for your attention which is prompting the behavior and how to reveal His love to them.

Start each morning giving your will to the Lord, then let Him direct the many decisions you need to make each day.

“Dearest Father, today I give you my will.  I choose You!  Speak to me today in every situation I face, how to flow with Your Spirit.  I find joy in partnering with you in every decision I make today, big or small.  Thank you for giving me the strength to resist every temptation in Your power and might, in Jesus’ name.”

Inner Healing Prayer, Part Four – Forgiving Others

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A significant part of inner healing prayer is forgiving others.  Unforgiveness keeps us in bondage to the other person and hinders us from walking in the fullness that God has for us. Forgiving others sets us free and allows God to work redemptive purposes in the person who wounded us.

Forgiveness is not:

Excusing sin

Tolerating abuse

Pretending something didn’t happen

Forgiveness is:

Making a conscious choice of our will to forgive

Choosing to see the other person through Jesus’ eyes

Releasing our pain to the Lord and trusting Him to heal our heart

Praying blessing for the one who wounded us

There was a man who deeply wounded my family and me when I was growing up.  A number of years ago, I had been processing this with a prayer counselor and yet didn’t feel fully free.  In desperation one day, I cried out to the Lord, “How do you see this man?”  In that moment, God gave me a vision of meeting this man in heaven.  The atmosphere was so full of love, healing, peace and grace.  I could see sorrow in the eyes of this man for what he had done, but not guilt, shame or condemnation.  It was a very healing picture for me.

Because this man was not a believer when I knew him, I assumed at first that in the intervening years someone must have brought him to the Lord.  However, God began to show me that I had the privilege of praying this man into the kingdom!  This is why God asks us to pray for our enemies!  Maybe no one else would pray for this man.  I’m looking forward to meeting him one day in heaven.

Who is God prompting you that you need to forgive?  Here’s a great forgiveness exercise from the book “Set Yourself Free” by Robert Heidler (To purchase your own copy of this wonderful book, go to www.gloryofzion.org)

On a separate sheet of paper, list in one column those who have hurt you.  In the second column write how they hurt you.  Then go through the list praying this prayer over each person and situation:

I forgive you______________________ for___________________________.

As an act of my will I choose not to hold you accountable for these things.  I give up my right to think about them, speak about them, vindicate myself or seek retaliation.  I fully and freely release you and set you free for the Lord to deal with in His grace.  By the grace I’ve found in Jesus, I now declare you to be forgiven.

Inner Healing Prayer, Part Three – Lies we Believe

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One part of inner healing is recognizing lies we believe about ourselves, God and others that influence our daily life.  One of the enemy’s greatest tactics is to get us to believe these lies so that we won’t walk in the fullness that God created for us to walk.

Most of the lies we don’t immediately recognize as many of them we’ve been “taught” since our first breath.  The enemy would often use those closest to us to speak things over us that aren’t in alignment with God’s heart.  Because of some teasing early in my life, I believed I wasn’t creative and from another incident, that I couldn’t speak in front of people.  It’s taken healing prayer to expose those lies and to agree with God and walk in the truth.

Some inner healing methods simply have you repent and renounce the lie and declare the truth.  Other methods involve asking the Holy Spirit where the lie came from in the past and have you walk through a process of healing.  One healing stream that teaches this is called “Theophostic Prayer”.  Through this process, the source of the lie is identified, the person is asked “where was Jesus in that incident?” and led to a place of healing as the lies and trauma of it are exposed and truth, light and Jesus replace the lie.

I would add a word of caution.  I’ve seen many people greatly blessed by what is called theophostic prayer and others who were not.  There is some controversy over this method.  I believe the basic principles are sound and that God does want to heal past trauma and speak healing into our lives, but some methods may not be helpful and may border on new age techniques or the person feeling the need to “produce” a response with guided imagery.  As with many good things, there is a true and a false.  I don’t want to throw out something just because some have used it wrongly.  The Lord will give you wisdom and insight as you seek Him.

What lies are you believing?  What truth does God want to speak into your heart?  One way to help reinforce God’s truth is using declarations (see previous blogs) or writing our own based on Scripture.  Here’s one a wrote a number of years ago to help me overcome the lie that poverty is “righteous” based off of Exodus 1:7 and Proverbs 13:22

I thank you Lord for causing us to be fruitful, to increase abundantly and to multiply and to grow exceedingly mighty.  I thank you that we pass on to our children an inheritance of fruitfulness and favor through Jesus Christ.

Apr 21, 2014 - 51-100, Everyday Prayers    2 Comments

Collage Prayers

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I love God’s creativity!  He can speak to us through a sunrise or sunset, a flower, a billboard, a book or a poem.  One way I love to hear Him and to pray His desires for me back to Him is through making a collage.

What you’ll need:

A couple of magazines,

Scissors

Glue

Cardstock paper

Sit down in a prayerful attitude with the magazines.  Don’t think too much about it as you skim through the pages, looking for either a picture or caption/words that grab your attention.  Cut it out and lay it aside.  When you have a number of words/pictures cut out, begin to lay them on the cardstock paper as the creativity God placed within you leads you.  You’re not trying to create a masterpiece, just a simple collage between you and God.  Then glue the pictures/words on the paper.  What is God speaking to you through the phrases or pictures about you, your life, your relationship with Him?

The picture above is a collage I made a number of years ago, but it still speaks to me today.  I could see myself in both the woman dancer and the young girl.  Each picture or word means something to me when I look at it and God continues to communicate His love and purposes through this collage.  Encourage you to try it.  Take some time.  Be creative and enjoy some time with God.  A picture is worth a 1000 words or maybe a 1000 prayers! : )

Praying the Stations of the Cross, Part Five

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Seize the Day Before it’s Too Late! – 11th Station: Jesus is Crucified with Two Thieves and Offers them New Life

Praise the Lord:  I praise you Lord Jesus Christ.  By your cross you gave us your life and showed us how to live.

Read Scripture: Luke 23:33, 39-43)

Contemplate in Silence

Consider your Need for Christ:  Seize the day! We like to exclaim. We long to live with enthusiasm, but few of us know how to do it.  Crucified between two thieves Jesus showed us how.

Soldiers cheer as they charge forward with weapons raised and adrenaline surging to overcome their enemy.  Athletes rally as a team to win their game.  Achievers press on with optimism that they will reach their goal.  Friends lift a toast to let the good times roll.  A thief dying on a cross cries out to Jesus on the cross next to him.  Who actually seizes the day?  Only the thief.

Go to the cross and Jesus says to you and to anyone who calls out to him what he said to the thief on the cross, “It’s not too late for you.  Come with me into paradise.”  In other words, if we’ll die to life on Read more »

Praying the Stations of the Cross, Part Four

Continuing our series on praying the stations of the cross – for the entire prayer guide, go to www.soulshepherding.com464956199

Find Comfort at the Cross – 8th Station: Jesus Comforts the Weeping Women

Praise the Lord: I praise you Lord Jesus Christ. By your cross you gave us your life and showed us how to live.

Read Scripture:  Luke 23:27-28; Matthew  23:37

Contemplate in Silence

Consider your Need for Christ:  There is comfort for you in the cross of Christ if you seek it properly.  The women who were weeping as they followed Jesus carrying his cross had to learn this.

These mothers didn’t understand the cross – they were grieving over the injustice and pain Jesus was experiencing when they needed to grieve for themselves and their children.  They were in danger of missing Read more »

Praying the Stations of the Cross, Part One

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Over the next six weeks until Easter, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite resources from www.soulshepherding.com.  This prayer guide to praying the Stations of the Cross, I believe, will take you to a new place in your devotional life as you prepare for the Easter season.  Because of its length, I will be posting an abridged version over the weeks.  Here is the introduction and beginning station:

Introduction: The Stations of the Cross make a journey of prayer that brings to life the events connected with the passion of Jesus Christ.  It’s a devotional practice that can be life-changing for you!

Jerome records that in the 4th Century pilgrims traveled Read more »

Prayers for Lent

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I wasn’t raised practicing Lent, but have friends who do.  Lent is 40 days of intentional prayer and fasting leading up to Easter.  It is a great time to prepare our hearts to celebrate what God has done for us.

Here are some ideas from the website The Practical Disciple for ways to enter into Lent through prayer, fasting and action:

Prayer Disciplines:

Practice the Examen (see previous blogs)

5-finger prayer (see previous blog)

Praise for 40-days – educating our hearts to focus on Him

Bible Reading Guide:

40-days to read the book of Read more »

Concordance Prayers

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I recently read a book by Dennis Fuqua called “United and Ignited – Encountering God through Dynamic Corporate Prayer.”  While an excellent read on praying in groups, he also mentioned what he calls concordance prayers, looking up various words such as peace, hope, joy, truth, etc., reading the verses and using it as a springboard to prayer.

I love Scripture-based prayer!  This is a great way to fill your heart with more of God’s Word and then to pray it back to Him!  I grew up with the big, thick Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, but today enjoy the convenience of internet based concordances such as www.blueletterbible.com.  You can pick a word like Read more »