“Discerning his purposes does not require secret formulas…”

prayingFrom Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell:

Praying in accord with the will of God presumes that we are praying in Jesus’ name because we are seeking his purposes. Discerning his purposes does not require secret formulas or mystical visions but rather a growing acquaintance with God’s Word that is the expression of his character. Being guided by the Word in our prayers is Christ’s primary way of talking with us as we seek his will. The more we immerse ourselves in his Word, the more we are able to walk life’s path with Christ at our side, informing our thoughts. Through his Word he points to the flora and fauna of our circumstances as if to say, “I want you to understand this or that.” This perspective first underscores the significance of examining all of life in the light of Scripture. Second, this perspective reveals how careful reading of Scripture becomes a form of prayer in which Jesus walks with us to interpret our world.

just another reason i love my husband…

He prays about everything and encourages me to do the same. It’s something he learned from his mother (I really wish I could have met her!). From a text exchange today:

…There’s a lot in our lives (and there always will be as long as we’re on this earth), but I know that prayer is the answer to it all and want us to always be praying for each other and all else.

I just realized that I posted about Paul last Wednesday. This may be a regular thing — Why I Love My Husband Wednesday. 🙂

“I don’t have to be afraid of anything or anyone…”

everydayprayersFrom Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith:

Jesus, because of your great love for me in the gospel, I lack nothing that I need. I don’t get all my wants, but I do have everything I need for life and godliness . . . and a whole lot more.

I praise you that it’s green pastures and quiet waters to which you lead me—all for the restoring of my tired, weary, broken, rebellious soul. For your glory and my good, you guide me along paths of righteousness, goodness, truth, and grace. And even as that journey involves traversing places marked by decay and death, you are with me, and that’s all I really need to know. I don’t have to be afraid of anything or anyone, for you are with me.

You nourish me all the time, even when enemies are close by and threatening. Your generous anointing overflows for the blessing of others. To follow you is to be followed by the fragrance of your goodness and love. Even in the new heaven and new earth, you will be our shepherd, leading us to springs of living water (Rev. 7:17). Your greatness, Jesus, will reach to the ends of the earth, and we will always live securely, for you are our peace, now and forever. In your great and gracious name we pray. Amen.

“You don’t roll your eyes, furrow your brow…”

everydayprayersFrom Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith:

Gracious Father, it’s a source of incredible comfort to know that you are tenaciously at work in changing us—in making us more like Jesus. For you’ve promised to bring to completion the good work you began in your children. I’d despair if this wasn’t the case, for the disparity between Jesus’ beauty and my brokenness is overwhelming to me at times. The thoughts I think, the things I feel, the choices I make are so unlike Jesus. I could never be my own savior, and only a great Savior like Jesus is sufficient for someone like me. But as the God of peace, you’re making me wholly holy, changing me through and through. You’re freeing every part of my being—spirit, soul, and body—from the effects and affects of sin. You’re not anxious about the process. You’re at peace, even when I’m not. You don’t roll your eyes, furrow your brow, clear your throat, or show any signs of a nervous twitch when you think about me. O kind Father, you rest in your love toward me in Jesus.

“If you want to be an excellent wife…”

prayersofanexcellentwifeFrom Prayers of an Excellent Wife by Andrew Case:

If you want to be an excellent wife, far more precious than jewels, pray for your husband. If you want to do him good, and not harm, all the days of your life, pray for him. If you desire to be a wife whose husband is “known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land,” pray for him. If you open your mouth with wisdom, may it be full of wise prayers for your husband. Let not charm or fleeting beauty distract you from this vital task. The fruit of wise prayers will be better for him than the fruit of your hands. When it comes to this loving labor, may you never be found eating the bread of idleness.

You have submitted yourself to the leadership of a mortal man with a sinful heart, therefore intercede all the more for him. He is your head, but his head is Christ, and the head of Christ is God (I Cor 11:3), and you have been given privileged access to Him through Jesus. Therefore never tire in lifting your husband up to God to be led in righteousness so that he might turn and lead you in the same. And when you do pray, use God’s Word. O what a treasure trove of prayer is afforded to us in the Bible! Seize its wisdom of petition and exultation, and learn to be a conduit of its perfect intercession, entrusting your husband to his Maker, the Supreme Ruler of all the world.

“Not hoping is not an option.”

everydayprayersFrom Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith:

It’s also so good to remember that I’m not called to “hope against hope” or to hope in hope, but to hope in you. For you’ve made promises you alone can keep, and you are not a man, that you should lie. You’re faithful and you’re loving, and that’s all I need to know.

Not hoping is not an option.

“Here’s my peace, my consolation, my ballast…”

everydayprayersFrom Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith:

Like most, I have an aversion to pain and suffering. Like many, I’d love for the Christian life to be an antidote for all discomfort and distress. Like some, I get overwhelmed and overtaxed by the sufferings of others. Here’s my peace, my consolation, my ballast, Jesus: you’re not calling us to suffer for you but to suffer with you, and that makes all the difference in the world. We’re called into the fellowship of your sufferings, not into the isolation of our sufferings. You’ll never lead us into hard places where you’re not present. You’ll never leave us or forsake us, Jesus. You will lead justice to victory, and in your name all the nations will put their hope. I pray in your kind and compassionate name. Amen.

“There’s no greater waste of energy than resentment.”

everydayprayersFrom Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith:

To harbor resentment is nothing short of harboring a criminal, for resentment is bent on criminal activity: stealing peace, vandalizing sleep, robbing relationship, killing kindness, murdering hope, infecting the innocent with deadly toxins, to name a few of resentment’s crimes…There’s no greater waste of energy than resentment.

“…and with perseverance bear fruit…”

handbooktoprayerA prayer of renewal from Handbook to Prayer: Praying Scripture Back to God by Kenneth Boa:

May I not be like those rocky places on whom seed was thrown, who hear the word and at once receive it with joy, but since they have no root, last only a short time; when affliction or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. And may I not be like those among the thorns on whom seed was sown, who hear the word, but the worries of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and pleasures, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it immature and unfruitful. Instead, may I be like the good soil on whom seed was sown, who with a noble and good heart hear the word, understand and accept it, and with perseverance bear fruit, yielding thirty, sixty, or a hundred times what was sown. (Matthew 13:20-23; Mark 4:16-20; Luke 8:13-15)