Anyone who is having troubles should pray. ... When a believing person prays, great things happen. -James 5:13,16 NCV

Green Pastures

(continuing a series on Psalm 23)

He makes to lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside still waters.

Father,

I thank You that You are concerned with all the aspects of our lives, including our basic physical needs. Help us understand that all those things come from You. Help us trust You for them. Help us to see You as the first source for all these needs and to bring our requests for them to You. Help us not try to fix these things first by ourselves without You.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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LIVING SACRIFICE




 Romans 12:1 (NLT)  "And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.  Let them be a living and holy sacrifice ~ the kind he will find acceptable.  This is truly the way to worship him."

O God, Your mercy is overwhelming.  Through sacrifice You have saved us from destruction.  How then shall we respond to this awesome gift?  We will give our very lives back to You in worship.  We offer ourselves to You, Lord, each on a living sacrifice for Your service.  Use us Lord, in any way You will.  I love You.  Amen.


Maranatha Worship Bible ( Exo. 13:2)






Amen

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Choices to Live By (GOODNESS)

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
     22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

 
“I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.”
Max

Father when we choose to submit to the control of the Holy Spirit in our lives there will be at least nine obvious results of His presence in us and one of these isgoodness.”  You have defined goodness in Micah 6:8 (NIV)  “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Father, out of the goodness that overflows from our heart we will treat people fairly, with mercy and in humility. This is a goodness that can be seen, felt and shared. It is being like Jesus: “…. Jesus went around doing good…….. “
Acts 10:38 (NLT)


Father today may your goodness be seen in and through us. In the name of Jesus, the very incarnation and essence of goodness.

Amen

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Prayer for Mercy

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. (Psalm 4:1)

I chose the last part of this verse to subtitle this blog. Throughout the scriptures we see people who know God most intimately understanding the idea that mercy is the heart of prayer.

Be merciful to each of us today dear Lord.. for those hurting come along side of them and comfort them.. please be the great Physician for those needing healing.. have compassion on us Merciful One.

Amen.


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Grace Comes By Prayer

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

I love this passage of scripture. It says that we can present our prayers with confidence. What you may ask is what can we be confident of? The answer is simple. When we pray we can be confident that we will receive mercy and find grace to help us. Notice that it did not say that our prayers would always be answered the way we prayed them.. just that mercy and grace would be given.

I think that there is so little in life to be confident about.. people fail us.. our health fails.. and sometimes it feels that God has failed us. But this verse promises that we will receive mercy and grace when we pray - so what does this look like? It is a great question! It reminds me of Job and how different grace might have looked to him.

For some time Job and his friends were sitting around arguing about the calamities that had beset Job.. he lost all of his children.. he lost his health.. people were laughing at him.. and it seemed that grace was nowhere to be found. Then.. and this is an important then.. something happened.. God manifested Himself to Job and let him know that He had been listening in on the conversation with his friends.

God then proceeded to ask Job some very difficult questions.. to which Job confessed that he was ignorant and then proceeded to repent. After this God healed Job as he prayed for his friends. So.. I am wondering.. what did grace look like in this situation and when did mercy come? It reminds me of this passage:
So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? (Romans 2:3-4)
I love how this speaks to what grace is all about.. how it says that because of God's mercy we are not judged.. how God is patient with us.. tolerant of our sins.. and kind to us even when we are unkind and judgmental. Perhaps this is the grace that we can be confident in? Perhaps this is the flavor of grace that will eventually help us.. and lead us to repentance

Perhaps.. for Job anyway.. grace came before he was healed and restored to health.. before his riches were replenished. Perhaps grace looked more like God sustaining Job and helping him to endure.. maybe grace came when he first prayed.. maybe Job just didn't understand the purpose of grace?

Very often we are oblivious to the presence of the grace that comes when we pray because we do not understand that a primary reason that grace is given is to help us to endure - we need grace to endure.. and grace comes by way of prayer. I know that in my own life I feel that I am caused to endure because of prayer.. my prayers and the prayers of others.

Father we come to you.. asking for grace.. needing grace.. needing mercy. Open our eyes to the ways that you are working kindness and patience in our lives. Help us to develop thankfulness for the mercy and grace you pour on us every day. We love you.

Amen.

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Rise up!


Four simple words. Four powerful words!

Rise up!

And PRAY!

It's time for us to get serious about one of the greatest gifts God bestows upon us. The gift of prayer. The gift of personal communion with Him. The gift of intimacy.

Our lives will take on new direction and new purpose when we get determined and diligent in our prayer lives!

Our God hears our cries! Our God cares about our petitions! Our God listens and responds.

It's so easy!!!

Rise up!

And PRAY!!!

Amen

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The Lord Is My Shepherd

(beginning a series of prayers inspired by Psalm 23)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack.

Father,

Thank You that You are our Shepherd. Thank You that you provide what we need. Not always what we want, but what we need. Help us to look to You for our provision. Not to ourselves or some other source, but to You. Help us to live in the confidence that You have everything taken care of.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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