Archives For prayer

Almost forty years ago, Keith Green recorded a song called, “Make My Life a Prayer to You”. While we could argue about how well the music has held up over time, the lyrics are timeless. “Make my life a prayer to you / I wanna do what you want me to / No empty words and no white lies / No token prayers no compromise”.

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What if we lived our lives as if they were prayers to Jesus? What if we kept Him the center of our focus in every moment we lived? Shouldn’t we all desire to live with no token prayers and no compromise? After all, this is the life Jesus called us to live.

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We must never forget to pray for the persecuted. The majority of readers of this blog live in areas of the world where we have at least some degree of freedom to worship God. We should always remember to be extremely thankful for this, but we must never take it for granted. In many parts of the world, to follow Jesus is to risk losing one’s friends, family, employment, housing, freedom, or even their life. It’s a reality they live with every day.

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In many countries, to choose Jesus is truly to risk everything. We who do not face such pressure can barely relate. It is imperative we move beyond simple head knowledge of persecution, and internalize it. When one part of the body suffers, we all suffer (1 Corinthians 12:26). We must never forget to pray for the persecuted.

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As a year wilts away behind us, another blossoms on the path ahead. There’s something beautiful and fragrant about new beginnings. A new year heralds an opportunity for a fresh start. What was is no longer, and what will be is largely up to the choices we will make. This is our chance to shape what lies ahead in ways totally honoring to God. My theme for this year is “Move the Needle”, and nowhere will this be more important than in my walk with God.

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Everything revolves around and springs from my relationship with Him. Moving forward into a deeper knowledge of God necessitates doing something different than we’ve done before. If this is your desire for the new year as well, there is one thing I know. If we want to move the needle in our connection with and understanding of God, we can’t stay here.

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I recently wrote a blog post about personalizing the armor of God for yourself (see, “The Armor of God”).  During my time of study this morning I was given some new insights which excited me and I hope will prove useful to you as well. The idea came while listening to Bruxy Cavey teach about using the morning ritual of getting dressed as a reminder to pray for certain things.

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It clicked in my mind we could pray through putting on the armor of God as we actually put on our own clothing. I’m going to walk through this so you can see a practical example of what praying through putting on the armor of God might look like.

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We all have triggers that prompt sinful behaviors. If we learn to recognize the triggers, we will begin to overcome the most problematic sins in our lives. Satan does two things really well. He lies, and he manipulates.  When it comes to his attacks on us, all of them can be traced back to one of those two strategies.

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Either he’s trying to get you to believe something untrue, or he’ll try and get you to do something against the will of God. Understanding the simplicity of the enemy’s attacks should help us formulate strategies to resist him. But unless we recognize the triggers in our own lives, we will struggle defeating the schemes of the devil.

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Jesus said to pray for your enemies (Matthew 5:44). I have a hard enough time making time to pray for my friends and family, so praying for my enemies has rarely made it high onto my priority list. I admit there was a certain sly satisfaction in knowing my prayers could heap piles of burning coals onto their heads (Proverbs 25:21-22). That’s more what I typically have in mind when I think about my enemies!

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Still, Jesus said if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. He didn’t say some of His commandments. His words certainly imply we keep them all. Thus, you must learn to pray for your enemies, and I must learn to pray for mine.

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We are called to demonstrate the love and character of Jesus in every moment of our lives. We know this because it is what Jesus did. The problem is, if we aren’t intentional about this mission, it won’t happen. How many days have slipped through our fingers without showing more than a cursory amount of love to anyone but ourselves? As I was thinking about this, it occurred to me it would be a good idea to answer four questions each day.

how will you love today,daily planning,prayer,commitment,love,discipline,1 Timothy 5:8,Isaiah 58:6-7,Ephesians 5:22-28,love your family,love your friends,love your spouse,love strangers,marriage

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You can incorporate these into your daily planning. The questions are: How will I show love to my spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend today? How will I show love for a family member today? How will I show love for a friend today? How will I show love for a stranger today?
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I recently watched a documentary on the life of George Müller. I was aware of Müller and the orphanages he started, but I didn’t have a grasp on the intense faith of this man. From the time he founded the orphanages until his death 62 years later, Müller never once asked for a single penny of support. He simply trusted God to provide.

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There are many stories of times the children all sat around an empty table at dinner time because Müller could not afford to buy food, only to have someone knock on their door at the last moment with baskets of bread and bottles of milk to provide a meal for those under his care. No meal was ever missed, and no child ever went without clothing. And through it all, Müller never requested anything other than prayer from anyone.
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Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies. We want to draw closer to God, to experience more of His love and character, but we rarely slow down enough to actually take in His glory. We spend our days jumping from one task to the next, and that busyness spills over into our spiritual lives. When we finally get around to praying, studying, and concentrating on God, our minds are so hurried we cruise right through what He is revealing to us.

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He gives us an epiphany for service and we quickly file it away so we can get to the next verse or the next name on our prayer list.  And we wonder why our spiritual life isn’t more vibrant!
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What if we stared at God every moment of our day? The Bible tells us we should fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2), but how often do we make a conscious effort to do that?  More importantly, what does that look like in real life? I’ve recently been trying to work this out for myself. The key is to first get a proper mental image of God. Check out Revelation 4:8-11, where it describes angels who do nothing but praise God, all day. They are so consumed with His beauty that they can do nothing else. God is the perfection of all that is good. He is perfect and unconditional love, and is constantly in pursuit of you, reaching out to you.  Look at Isaiah 6:3-5, where the prophet feels ruined just from looking at the beauty of God. Keep that picture of God at the forefront of your mind.

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