Posts Tagged ‘ Prayer ’

True Boldness

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15 NRSV

MP900438373[1]When it comes to speaking with God, the writer of Hebrews urges us to approach God with boldness. Boldness is an interesting attitude. It sometimes goes with arrogance. Arrogant people tend to be more bold, but  their arrogance can blind them to their need for God. Driven people also tend to do bold things. The problem is their drivenness tends to deafen them to God’s call, and distract them from God’s work. Brave people can also be expected to be bold. The only problem is their bravery can cause them to ignore risks, and keep them from counting the cost before they act.

So what kind of boldness are we supposed to have when we approach God’s throne of grace? I think God wants the kind of boldness that comes from a humble heart. That boldness steps forward from a position of submission. That boldness recognizes our many shortcomings, and the great need we have for God’s mercy and help.

I also think God wants a boldness that steps forward in faithful expectation. After all, we go to God because we want help. We believe God has the strength, love and wisdom to step in and provide the grace that meets our needs. We pray because we are bold enough to expect that those who seek will find, and those who asked will be answered!

MP900401980[1]Humility and faithful expectation are two attitudes we can cultivate. Wise people don’t approach God with a bold arrogance, a driven deafness or with reckless bravery. They  approach in grateful humility and faithful expectation.

Go to God today with the kind of boldness that truly seeks God’s mercy and help in times of need.

Ask & Affirm

Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. (Psalm 69:16) NRSV

MP900177811[1]“I need help, Lord, and I need it now. I know that you are full of love and mercy. So turn to me. Meet me in my moment of need. Let your face shine upon me and be gracious to me.”

The psalmist spoke words like these just as he was about to be destroyed by those who hated him. His sight was growing dim, and he was sinking fast as he waited for God. Caught in a mire of lies, insults and threats, his faith clung desperately and tenaciously to God, as he waited for salvation.

Cling tenaciously to God!

There are few prayers that are more beautiful in their simplicity. In just a few words, the psalmist asks God for help. He affirms who God is, and what God is like. Then he pleads for action.

What makes this prayer so unique is the way it combines asking and affirming. God is ready, willing and able to meet every need. God can help us overcome any circumstance. There is simply no limit to God’s love, or end to God’s power. So when we approach the Lord with our requests, we know our God is up to the challenge!

God’s love and power know no bounds!

MP900443146[1]But the question isn’t really whether God is ready. The question is whether our faith is ready. Are we ready to step up to the plate, like the psalmist, and affirm who God is? Are we ready to declare to God’s steadfast love? Are we ready to stand on God’s promises of mercy? Are we ready to ask and affirm?

Prayer is so much more than telling God our laundry list of wants and needs. It is so much more than complaining about the problems we face. Prayer involves asking and believing. Prayer is inviting God into our challenges, and then affirming who God is. Prayer is laying our requests before the throne of grace, and then fully trusting in the steadfast love of the Lord. Prayer is pleading, and then believing in God’s wisdom, mercy and power!

Invite God in. Affirm what God can do.

A child of God in need is never ignored by God. God is ready to respond. We have to begin by asking and to affirming. Why not ask God to meet your needs today, and then trust in God’s steadfast love and great faithfulness!

Trust God and affirm God’s gracious goodness!

Prayer:

Gracious and faithful God, I am like the psalmist. I need help. You know the struggles I have and the pressures I face. I place my life in your hands. I trust in your abiding love, and know you will stand with me and work all things together for good. You are great, and I give you all the praise and glory I have to give!

Amen.

Bless

Bless God!

Blessed be the LORD forever. Amen and amen. Psalm 89:52 NRSV

What an amazing statement! Actually, you might not think it is so amazing until you read the verses preceding it. As you read, you see the psalmist praises God after a long list of complaints and tough questions. Before this outburst of praise, you might conclude that the psalmist is fed up with God. He sounds like he is ready to abandon his faith.

MP900443595[1]When he wrote this psalm, nothing was the way the writer thought it should be. The throne of David’s line was overturned. The crown was defiled. The walls of the city were in ruins. The battle was lost, and the army defeated. The enemies rejoiced and continued to taunt and insult the people of God. Worse yet, it looked like God was fed up and ready to walk away from the people God had loved and called to be God’s own.

Surprisingly, as the psalmist nears the end of his prayer, he pleads one final time for God’s help. Then he utters these words of praise to God; “Blessed be the LORD forever.” That tells me praise is possible even in the worst of times!

MP900302951[1]If that’s true, then praising God is not just something we do when everything is going our way. It’s something we can do in times of want and need. It’s something we can do when challenges threaten to overwhelm us. It’s even something we can do when everything comes crashing down around us.

Praise is always possible!

No matter what the time or circumstance, we can do what the psalmist did. We can go to God. We can fall on our knees; bring our questions, our complaints, our petitions and our pleas to the throne of God. So, when the going gets tough, we can go to God!

But that is only the beginning. Psalm 89 didn’t end with a desperate cry. It ended with a proclamation of praise. The psalmist affirmed who God is. That affirmation revealed the depth of his devotion and the enduring nature of his faith.

Praise affirms who God is.

This was not a fair weather follower of God. This was a man who clung tenaciously to his God. This was a man who lived by faith, not by sight.

He blessed the Lord, not because everything was going right, but because he believed in God. More importantly, he continued believing in God even in the depths of despair. So he prayed, he petitioned, and then he gave God praise!

MP900401661[1]The question for us is, will we walk by faith or by sight? We would do well to follow the psalmist’s example and praise God, even in the midst of the storm.

Acknowledging who God is and honoring our Lord in our hearts is key. Let’s never forget to give God the praise and honor God is due in every circumstance!

Blessed Be The Lord Our God!

Prayer:

Great God of all, you deserve all the praise, honor and worship I can give you. But there are times disappointment and fear cloud my faith. Help me to always do as the psalmist did. Help me to lay my burdens at your feet, and exalt you with praise in every time, place and circumstance!

Amen.

Pr God

Start The Day Right

Businesswoman with Husband In Kitchen Growing up, most of  us heard about the importance of eating a good breakfast. How we start the day nutritionally makes a huge impact on how we think, feel and behave the rest of the day.

As a psychologist, I am all about helping people think the kinds of thoughts that will build them up, cultivate the kinds of emotions that support joy, and engage in behaviors that are Christ-honoring and love provoking! But I know that a brain deprived of nutrients is going to be less likely to think rightly, experience peace and joy, or act in adaptive ways. So I try to practice what I preach, and not just eat well at breakfast, but all day long. The more I do, the better I feel, and more able I am to cope with my life’s daily demands.

What they don’t teach in psychology school is how important your spiritual condition is to your overall well-being.That’s something I’ve had to learn on my own.

MP900402559[1] So before I eat breakfast, I feed on the Word of God. I bring my thoughts into line with the truths of Scripture, and draw close to my Savior in prayer. What a world of difference that makes! It puts me in a position where my heart, mind and spirit are better attuned to God’s Spirit and aligned with God’s will. It nourishes the desire in me to love and serve God in the day ahead, and fans the flames of my faith!

You know how important it is to eat right. But don’t ever forget your spiritual nutrients. Start the day right. Bring your hopes and dreams, goals and ambitions, and plans and purposes in line with your faith. Then you will be better equipped to think, feel in behave the way God created you to!

Weekly Magazine

Don’t Hold Back

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:9 NRSV

Sometimes there are things that need to be said, but they just cannot be spoken. Maybe the circumstances aren’t right. Maybe there are no words to express how you feel. Maybe the thoughts are just too personal.

So what can you do? Who can you go to?

MP900409766[1] You can go to God. Your heavenly Father is the one who already knows how much hurt there is in your life. God knows the problems that are pressing in, and the pressure that’s mounting. God knows the struggles pulling at you from within, and the unspoken desires of your heart .

God is the one you can go to, and say all that needs to be said. God is the one in whom you can take refuge. God is the one who you can trust. God is the one who cares enough to listen, and who always stands ready to help.

Give God what God wants. Give God all that’s in your heart!

Pour

Wise Requests

Dreaming and Happy Wise people make wise requests. They don’t ask for things they don’t need. They ask for the things that will make their lives better, their faith stronger and their relationship with Jesus Christ deeper.

Using some of the thoughts expressed in Psalm 15, which was written by one of the wisest men in the Old Testament, let’s pray a prayer today for the things we need most.

My Lord and my God,

I am so thankful for Your presence in my life, and the blessed fellowship I enjoy being close to You. As I walk with You today, help me to do all the things You would have me do, and to be the person You created me to be.

Let my daily walk be blameless. Help me to always do what’s right. Let my heart speak the truth, and train my tongue to refrain from slander, boasting and deceit. Guide my actions that I might help and not hinder, build up and not tear down, and love all who cross my path.

Let me always honor my brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to do everything in my power to support the poor and protect the innocent.

My God, guide me today, and every day by Your love. Keep me in the shadow of Your grace. Let me never be moved from loving and serving You!

Amen.

Praying & Trusting

…in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 NRSV

MP900177811[1]I pray because I trust. I trust that God hears and cares. More importantly, I trust that God can and will act, and that God’s action will always be good!

Trust is the unspoken assumption of prayer. We pray because we trust.

Today’s video illustrates that truth in a simple and powerful way. Click here to watch it. Then let’s its message encourage you to continue trusting and praying!