Day: April 3, 2019

Prayer for Your Daily Quiet Time

Prayer for Your Daily Quiet Time

From the moment we wake up in the morning, a lot of things can fill our mind, call our name, and demand our attention. But one thing is sure: time spent first with God, focusing our hearts and minds on what matters most in this life, is time never wasted. And it’s always worth more than we can fully see. Rich treasures of strength, wisdom, and peace, filling our hearts and lives await us.

Yet many times the reality is that our day begins, and we find ourselves still burdened down with the same problems and worries from yesterday. Spirits heavy, thoughts swirling, before our feet even touch the ground.

There’s so much in this life we can feel anxious about, even when we know God’s truth and believe that He’s in control. It can still be a daily battle in our hearts, in our minds.

Today is a gift straight from His hand. And He promises to bring good in whatever we journey through. He’s the very reason we can live with joy right in the battles and have peace that is unexplainable to the world.

As sure as the sun comes up every morning, we can know that God’s mercy and grace always surround, He is never far away, but always close.

I’m resting there this morning, on this new day, hope you are too.



Prayer for Your Quiet Time to Help Focus Your Thoughts on God

Dear God,

Thank you for another day and thank you for your Presence with me. I know you have great purpose in this very day, and I’m so grateful that your plans are good. I give you praise for your compassion and love. I thank you that your mercies are new every morning and your faithfulness is greater than I could ever imagine.

I pray that you’d give me a heart to seek you above all else. Right now, would you please enlighten the eyes of my heart that I might see you and understand your Word. Help me to notice how you’re powerfully at work within me, help me to hear your voice above all the other chatter of this world.

Give me wisdom from your truths, fill me with a desire to faithfully follow after you, more than any other thing. Thank you that you are far greater than whatever I may face in the day. Thank you that your presence goes with me, and that your joy is never dependent on circumstances, but it is my true and lasting strength. I ask for your peace to lead me and for your grace and goodness to cover my life this day. Let your Spirit and power breathe in me and through me again, fresh and new.

And even though I woke up with the same troubles I had yesterday, I know there is great power in my choices. So today, dear God, once again, I choose to listen for your voice above everything else. Forgive me for not trusting you enough. Forgive me for spinning my wheels and trying to work everything out all on my own. Help me to truly let go of what you have asked me to release to you and to believe that you’re at work in ways I can’t fully see. Help me in my unbelief.



“I love you and I need you today.”

I know that you are all-powerful, that you are Sovereign, and that nothing is too difficult for you. Yet today, I still struggle with worry and fear, still carrying the same burdens leftover from yesterday. It’s hard to shake it off even though I’m desperate to leave it fully in your hands. Please lift all the things that are weighing me down, right off shoulders and heavy heart, and give me the peace that only you can provide. I know that you care for whatever concerns me, and your ears are open to my prayers. I know that you understand my struggles, and you see right where I am, even on the days I feel that no one notices. Guard my heart and mind in you today, as I meditate on your words and truth.

I choose to find my joy and strength in you today. I choose to walk in love. I choose to set my eyes on you and off all the struggles and chaos of this world. I choose your peace over worry. I choose kindness over hurry. I choose forgiveness over disunity and resentments. I choose your Spirit-filled power over relying on my own strength and ability. I know that my life is far from perfect, and the enemy would want nothing more than to take me straight down before I even get out the door. But I believe in your truth, and I have Jesus in my life, and because of that, I have all that I need to live free and abundantly for this very day.

Lord, open my eyes to see the power in your Word. Open my ears to know what you are saying. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and draw me close into your Presence. Speak to me and show me your ways, oh Lord. Help me to know your voice above all else.

I love you and I need you today. Thank you for your huge grace.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

All We Feared Now Gives Way

All We Feared Now Gives Way

We all have felt the sting of death. We’ve lost loved ones to cancer. We’ve wrestled with our own weaknesses. We’ve tried to live with our failures. We’ve navigated broken relationships, and battled against the cruel consequences of sin. We know firsthand that the whole world is dying for resurrection.

How has death crept into your life? Where have you felt the sting the most? We have felt the shadows that darken our stories. And we have heard the deafening chorus of false promises in book after book, ad after ad, lifehack after lifehack. They all promise some kind of relief, some kind of deliverance, some kind of life. Resurrection, it turns out, is an easy promise to make — and a near impossible promise to deliver.

Life that comes to us too easily will slowly suffocate us in time. The only road out of the grave for any of us is covered in the blood of the one who suffocated for us. Death, in the end, is the very way we defeat death.



What If Jesus Never Rose?

The man who wrote 1 Corinthians had not only tasted the darkness of death, but he himself had killed Christians. He had been willing to murder followers of Jesus to silence them. When he writes about death, he writes with blood on his hands — the blood of our brothers and sisters in Christ. But the risen King met the murderer, and raised him from the dead. If God could breathe life into a story like Paul’s, imagine what He could do in the darkest, deadest parts of yours.

But what if Christ had never risen? That same former murderer says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. . . . If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:17, 19). If Christ never took another breath, never left the tomb, never appeared to His disciples, and never ascended into heaven — if He never lived again — then we would never stop dying.

We would carry our sin, our shame, and our pain through the grave into something far worse than death — if Jesus had not risen from His grave. If his final breath on the cross had been His final breath, and if we never stopped dying, fear would rule our short and hopeless lives.

But death could not stifle his breath. “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20). Our King borrowed the tomb for two long nights before securing His victory over death forever. And His victory is our victory if we are willing to die with Him into everlasting life.



Do You Believe This?

Many days, however, our fears feel far more real than His victory. Before Jesus died, He said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). He said that in the moments after Mary and Martha watched their brother Lazarus die. They had called for Jesus, but He hadn’t come right away, so Lazarus died. Martha was distraught, wondering why Jesus didn’t come sooner. Have you ever felt like God was late in your life — like He watched you suffer when He could have done something?

What does Jesus say to Martha? “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26). Martha did believe Him, and four days after Lazarus had died, Jesus called Him out of the tomb. And a matter of days later, Jesus Himself walked out of the tomb. And when He did, He called us all out of the tomb. “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” Do you believe this?

If you do believe, death has no power over you anymore. Whenever fears begin to creep in again, you can sing with apostles and prophets, “‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54–57). Fear melts away in the face of something stronger than our fears: in the face of our fear-conquering King. Jesus. His name is our victory — over sin, over shame, over death, and one day over all the awful consequences of our brokenness.



Fear Gives Way

Jesus came to save a world enslaved to fear and desperate for resurrection. He partook in our flesh and blood “that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Hebrews 2:14–15). The futility you experience in your relationships, in your ministry, even in your body bears witness to why He came.

Death and all its tentacles are terrifying until something stronger than death dethrones death — until life invades where death once ruled, saving the dying and setting the captives free.

The fear that held us now gives way
To him who is our peace.
His final breath upon the cross
Is now alive in me.

In Him, you are not a slave to fear and death anymore. You are being resurrected by the Resurrected One. Now, not even death “will be able to separate [you] from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39). What used to be our worst fear now brings us home to Him forever.

When Prayer is Hard: 3 Insights to Help Sustain Your Prayer Life

When Prayer is Hard: 3 Insights to Help Sustain Your Prayer Life

If you struggle with discouragement when it comes to your prayer life, these insights will keep you pressing into God in prayer despite how you feel in the moment:

1. We can approach the throne of grace with confidence when we know God is moved by our prayers.

Sometimes a lack of confidence that God is pleased with you or that He will even hear your prayers will determine whether or not to pray. If you’ve already counted yourself out of the game, why would you even show up to play?

However, if you believe that even your weakest, most uninspired prayers make a difference, your desire to persist in prayer will increase. And since prayer is a form of worship (and natural companion to it), “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

Though your love may feel weak, it’s real in His eyes. He loves even your weakest attempt to spend time with Him. The times when you’re most distracted, God sees the intention of your heart and is moved by it.

2. You have permission to pray for your own heart.

“How often do you pray for your own heart as a leader?”

Wasn’t praying for yourself a prideful thing for you to do? Well, no. Communing with God and asking Him to intervene on your behalf is modeled throughout Scripture.

How many times have you prayed for yourself, for wisdom in your decision-making, or for grace in dealing with people?

Several years ago, someone began making this a normal part of his prayer time and he has seen tremendous fruit from it. Not only has he grown on a personal level in areas like patience, stewardship, and servanthood, but his perspective of those he lead has changed as well, as he have grown to see them more like Jesus does.



Here are some prayers to pray over yourself:

Pray for strength in your inner self: God, grant me according to the riches of Your glory to be strengthened with might by Your spirit in my inner man, that I would know the width, length, depth, and height of Your love (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Pray for wisdom with your time: Lord, I believe that I can do all things because You strengthen my heart. Teach me how to rearrange and reorder my life to make time to stand before You (Philippians 4:13).

Pray for help to become more of a servant-leader: Lord, show me ways that I can serve others and lay down my life for them. Help me to consider others better than myself (Philippians 2:5-8).

Pray for your love to increase: Lord, let my love abound more and more for those I interact with daily. Give me insight, knowledge and discernment into how to better serve and love those You’ve placed in my life (Philippians 1:9-11).

Pray for help to wisely steward what He gives you: Lord, help me manage the people and resources that You’ve given me, that I would serve well and lead with excellence (Psalm 39:4-6; Psalm. 90:12; 1 Peter. 4:10).

Pray for greatness before His eyes and not the eyes of men: Lord, I want to be great in Your eyes and have eternal rewards in the age to come, so help me to serve now and be like You, Jesus, for You came to serve and not to be served (Matthew 20:25-28).

Pray for righteousness to abound in your life: Lord, lead me in paths of righteousness. Let everything I say and do be grounded in righteousness, love, and truth. The enemy is seeking to get me off course, so I will lean into Your strength and You will make my way straight (Psalm 5:8). Help me to study and meditate on Your Word daily, for it is the light that lights my way (Psalm 119:105).


Pray for help to remain in the secret place: Help me to remain faithful in coming before You in secret. I don’t want to try to get oil while I’m leading and serving others; I want to get oil as I sit alone before You in the secret place (Psalm 32:8).

Pray for an increased Spirit of prophecy: Lord, help me to speak things over others that strengthen, encourage, and comfort them on their journey with You (1 Corinthians 14:3) and faithfully testify about You (Revelation 19:10).

Pray for creative ideas: God, give me creative ideas of how to minister to and communicate with to others. There are so many unique people and personalities that I don’t understand, but You do (Philippians 2:5-8).

Pray for grace to follow His leadership: Lord, help me to trust You with all of my heart and not lean on my own understanding, but inquire of You. I trust and believe that You are directing my path (Proverbs 3:5).

Pray for a sustained heart in the mundane: Lord, I recognize that living for You is not possible outside of Your grace. I don’t want to get burned out serving you. Sustain my heart to walk with strength for months and years to come (Colossians 1:11-12).



3. Praying for God’s divine order in your life changes everything.

A leader once told to start praying this prayer over every aspect of life and it has literally been life-changing. He told to pray for divine order in work, friendships, family, finances, etc.

Divine order is synchronization between God’s plans and yours that can only happen when you invite Him into the planning process.

Ultimately, it is when you realize that you are a simply a steward set here by God to care for and manage that which is already His. This prayer will give you peace about every aspect of your life (professional and personal). Although His will for your life isn’t always what you would have chosen, you can eventually see the good in every situation and circumstance.

This prayer has given confidence not only in God’s love for, but in His leadership over your life. Praying this way will expanded your heart, causing you to love Jesus more, opening your mind to His perspective, and truly helped remove the entitlement, offense, disappointment, and stagnancy that affected your heart as a worship leader.

Praying for divine order looks something like this:

“Lord, divinely order my friendships. Bring friends who will sharpen me like iron and take friends out of my path who may not be the best for me. Divinely order my finances. Show me where to give my money, when to sow, and when to store. Lord, Your plan for my life is perfect and I want to get out of the way and allow You to lead me. Let Your will be my will.”