Browsing "Special Occasion Prayers"

Independence Day Prayers

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God loves a good celebration!  I’m fascinated by the feasts He created for the Israelites to enjoy, appointed times to remember God’s goodness to them. As we near Independence Day, God delights in our celebration and remembrance of what He has done for us individually and what He did in forming our nation.

Take some time to ponder our history and how God has formed our country and sustained it through the years.  What makes us unique?  What gift are we meant to be to other nations?  How can we fulfill the destiny God has for us individually and as a country?

We also realize America is not where it should be.  We have the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that remains as true today as when it was recorded, “If my people…will humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

As we celebrate and thank God for our freedoms, let’s also cry out to Him to heal our land!

Here’s a prayer from the only time congress convened on a fourth of July.

1861 (July 4), Senate Prayer

The following prayer was offered by Rev. Byron Sunderland, D.D.

Almighty and everlasting God, be not angry with us for our sins, which we only confess and deplore; but pardon our offenses and extend to us Thy favor. We thank Thee for Thy goodness on this anniversary of the nation a day tenfold more precious by reason of our present troubles, and sacred to the heart for the ever memorable Declaration of our fathers, in which Thou didst begin more openly to give us a name among the nations of the earth. We thank Thee for all Thy manifold and abundant mercies hitherto to make our nation exceedingly great and glorious; but now disasters have befallen us and darkness broods in the land. And now we ask Thy mercy as the Senate is convening at a most momentous crisis of our history. Give to Thy servants all needed help. Add to their deliberations wisdom and unanimity, and profit and speed to their conclusion. Bless Thy servant, the President of the United States, our veteran Commander-in- Chief, and all that have functions in the civil and military power. May the angel of Thy presence walk in the Cabinet and in the Congress and in the camp, to go before, to purify, and to direct the now greatly and universally-awakened love of country. And we beseech Thee to guide us, to overrule and order all things, and so to cause that nothing shall fail, that the disorders of the land may be speedily healed, that peace and concord may prevail, that truth and righteousness may be established, and that Thy Church and Kingdom may flourish in a larger peace and prosperity, for Thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. (Source: Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, first session, new series, 1, 4 July 1861.)

 

Inner Healing Prayer, Part Seven – Spiritual Pollution

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We don’t often think about spiritual pollution and how it affects us. Our enemy wants to use whatever means he can to pollute our atmosphere and cause us to stumble.  For many years I was ignorant of the impact that idols can have in our lives. Yeah, idols.  This can be anything from a real idol (often from other countries) to occult objects to anything we’ve made an idol (put above God).  The power is not in the object itself, but in the attachment the enemy has on it.   Sometimes when traveling, we buy items that we think are just “art” or decoration, but if it has been dedicated to a foreign god, it brings pollution into our atmosphere.

Years ago we had a foreign exchange student stay with us for a couple of months.  As a gift, she brought us an incense burner in the form of an idol.  We didn’t think much of it at the time and because it was a gift, were sentimental about it.  However, we grew increasingly uncomfortable about it over the years and after learning more about spiritual housecleaning, realized it had to go.

Take some time to go through your home asking the Lord if there is anything that is there that is polluting your atmosphere.  It might be photos from an ungodly relationship, occult objects or things used by the enemy or a gift that has attachments to it.   Use the steps below to do spiritual housecleaning in your home:

House Cleaning Exercise:

  1.  Dedicate your home to the Lord – Invite God’s presence
  2. Take a Spiritual Inventory of your home – Ask God for discernment
  3. Cleanse your home of ungodly objects – Burn items if possible
  4. Ask forgiveness –
  5. Cleanse each room and the land – repent for known sins committed
  6. Consecrate your home and property to God – Declare Joshua 24:15
  7. Fill your home with glory – Worship, take communion, etc.

(From “Setting Yourself Free” by Robert Heidler, also recommend the book “Protecting Your Home from Spiritual Darkness” by Chuck Pierce)

Collage Prayer, Part Two

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Here’s a variation of collage prayers that can be used in a small group setting.  Have the same supplies available (magazines, scissors, glue stick and cardstock paper).  On the back of each cardstock, write one name of a person in the group so that each person has a cardstock with their name on it.  Turn the papers over and mix them up.  Hand them out again with the name facing down.  Then begin to collage.  You can either have each person place one or two items on the page and then pass it on to the next person until its gone all around the circle, or you can have each person complete an entire collage.  Then flip the page over and distribute to the person whose name is on the back.  What is God saying to you through the collage developed either by one other person or the whole group?  If each person contributed, you can have them share why they placed that picture or image in the collage.  It’s amazing to see how God works through this to speak to you about your identity and destiny, especially when the person doing it did not know who it is for.  The collage pictured above is one that a small group put together for me, each adding a portion. It was interesting that no one knew it was for me and yet my name is Hebrew and I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Israel.  God also speaks to me significantly in dreams.  Try this with a group of your friends!  It’s amazing how God can use it to speak to you!

Praying the Stations of the Cross, Part Six

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on the Stations of the Cross from www.soulshepherding.com!  If you are able, find a retreat where you can pray the stations of the cross as you prepare for Easter!

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Have No Fear of Death – 14th Station – Jesus’ Body is Laid in the Tomb by Joseph

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

Read Scriptures:  Matthew 27:57-60; Psalm 39:5, 11

Contemplate in Silence

Consider Your Need for Christ:  Prayerfully anticipating your death tomorrow does much to improve your life today.

Death is the ultimate insult to us.  We have no control over how we die, when we die, or what happens next.  We may suffer pain.  We may experience deterioration of our capacities and be dependent on other people to care for us.  We may die before we reach old age.  We will leave this world with some hopes unfulfilled and some work not finished.

Death means complete submission to God.  We have to let go of everyone and everything in our lives—even our own bodies.

It’s no wonder that most of us don’t like to Read more »

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 Three

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Seek Surprising, Sweet Intimacy with Jesus – 5th Station: Jesus receives Simon’s help to carry the cross

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: Mark 15:20-22, Psalm 38:6-7, 10-11; Philippians 3:10-11

Contemplate in Silence

Consider your Need of Christ: There is a surprising, sweet intimacy with Jesus if you learn how to accept the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.  Simon of Cyrene discovered this, as did the Apostle Paul and many other great followers of Christ over the centuries.

It is one of the most touching scenes of Jesus’ passion when Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross.  At first he has to be forced to take on the pain and shame of helping Jesus.  But when he and his sons discovered that Jesus was the Savior of the world and that he extended God’s mercy even to those who crucified him, they apparently realized that they had been given the greatest honor and put their trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior (Romans 16:13)

Do you and I love Jesus enough to help him carry his cross?  In a sense we help Jesus carry his cross whenever we deny ourselves, take up our own cross, and follow him (Luke 9:23-24) Read more »

Praying the Stations of the Cross, Part Two

Enjoy the continuation of this prayer guide from www.soulshepherding.com
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2nd Station: Jesus accepts his cross while his disciples flee

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

Read the Scripture:  Matthew 26:56; John 19:1, 14-17; Hebrews 12:2

Contemplate in Silence

Consider Your Need for Christ – The cross is a horrific instrument of torture and death.  It’s no wonder that Jesus’ disciples ran away from it.  We may do the same and yet it is the source of heavenly joy.

“For the joy set before him Jesus endured the cross (Heb 12:2) What joy? The joy of 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 »

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