Believing Prayer

Author: J. Randal Matheny (page 1 of 47)

May faithfulness and love not disappear from among us

Based on Hosea 4

Father, let us hear your word, and may it not be a word of accusation against us. Help us to live according to your commandment so that we may hear your approval.

May faithfulness and love not disappear from among us, nor the knowledge of your glory. May they flourish in our midst.

May sin not been seen, but righteousness. As your servants and holy priests, keep us from stumbling. Let us not be destroyed for lack of knowledge. Let us not reject knowledge, but help us to choose it so that we may be chosen by you.

May we not ignore your law, so that we are not ignored by you. We confess, Lord, that so many among us disparage and disdain your commands. We confess that your people are moving away from your demands. Move among us, Lord, to place us squarely in obedience to your will.

Let us refuse to exchange our glory—our knowledge of you—for shameful things. Let us not feed upon the sins of the people nor feel pleasure in their iniquities.

Feed us, so that we may be satisfied. Keep us from abandoning you. Strengthen us that we might be faithful. Let us always turn to you for answers.

We want our sacrifices to be spiritual and acceptable to you. Keep us from running after the vain worship of the religions around us. Break our rebelliousness. Feed us as the pastor feeds his sheep in the field.

May we remain grounded and protected on the day when your wind of judgment sweeps away all those who belong to false religions.

For Your Daily Blessings

Thank you, Lord Almighty, for your daily blessings!
Praise is yours for giving wise and spiritual lessons!
For the kingdom’s progress, make us selfless servants,
Save our peaceful spirits from Satan’s sly disturbance.

The humility of Jesus humbles me

Psalm 131; Philippians 2

Heavenly Father, the humility of the Lord Jesus humbles me. His condescension to low estate flattens me. He was willing to descend to earth, to take on our nature, to live a common life, to experience all of human thought, emotion, and suffering. All the while, we seek to become someone important. Using education, wealth, associations, position, or talents, we strive to rise in the opinion of others.

Father, I renounce all these attempts. I repent of my self-importance. I seek my worth and value in you. Let me be content to occupy the seat of the least of your family.

Let not my heart be proud. Keep me from the haughty look. Trim back my great aspirations. Let me not concern myself with subjects that are beyond my comprehension. Help me to be content with what you have revealed.

Make me composed and quiet, like a young child carried by its mother. Let my hope and aspiration be centered in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We breathe your air

Lord God, you are sovereign over all creation. You spoke absolutely everything into existence with the word of your mouth. You planned it all and brought it all to fruition. You sustain the universe and keep planets and galaxies in line. All life depends on your moment-by-moment, constant care. We breathe your air. We eat food you cause to grow. We move within a protective bubble of atmosphere, gravity, earth, weather, seasons, and water, with perfect conditions for our well-being. You are to be praised and thanked every day, time and again, for all you have done and continue to do for us.

We’ve no idea what might happen today. Misfortune may fall. Time and chance occur in our lives. Disaster and death may invade our routine. Things we consider blessings may happen as well. Plans will most certainly go awry. We confess that we do not have control over our world or our surroundings. But you know all things. You are in control. We cannot blame you for anything, for you intend only our good. Often, we suffer because of sin. This world has been affected by it. We must cope and work in between Eden and Heaven. We trust in you. We want to live by the power of the Word and the strength of your Spirit. Glorify the Lord Jesus in us.

Give us courage to speak and act like your people. Help us to live out the Good News. Put words into our mouths to speak to those in need, from the outflow of holy Scripture which we have stored up in our hearts. You do not offer us religion, but life. In the Way is love, hope, goodness, joy, and peace. Let us speak constantly of these and possess them in our hearts.

The world is in need of them as well. Thank you for folding us into your plan of salvation, for making us a part of this great mission to save souls. The responsibility awes us, we feel the weight of the work before us. Such an eternal impact that we can make causes us to rejoice. We can do something that truly will last forever. As we also do when we pray for others’ salvation and for our brothers’ effort to teach about Jesus’ death.

  • Bless plans of some brothers to travel to China and teach.
  • Give good results to our friends in New Zealand, Britain, Belgium, Nepal, Bangladesh, Ireland, Bolivia, South Africa, South Sudan, and Japan.
  • Bring the gospel to the Bind people of India, who as far as we know have no one to work among them.
  • Bless the efforts of our good friends Randy and Kathy Short in Recife, Brazil.

Father, you give your children unity of purpose, mind, and heart. Help us to speak the same language. Cause the Good News to give us one voice. May we be known for our love for one another. May the truth shine forth, and not opinions or personalities.

Make this day a moment of victory, whatever happens. Bless our families and our marriages. Lead our children and our siblings to your love. Give our parents your blessing for their patience with us. Let friends and neighbors be touched through your presence in us. Glorify yourself in us, may your name be praised in every way.

Not afraid to do good

Dear God, let me do my tasks with dedication and with all powers at my disposal. Let me enjoy the present. Thank you for the pleasures of the moment that, although eternity is but a step away, you provide for us as reminders of heavenly blessing.

Give strength and patience to us, to our children, and to our family of faith, as we face life’s misfortunes and sadness. Let the peace of Christ rule in us at every moment and in every circumstance.

Be with us and help us to feel your presence, so that we might be content and full of love. Keep tiredness at bay. Let our zeal not flag.

Help us not to be afraid to do good. May your grace make us stand and keep us strong to overcome. Let nothing upset our firm trust in you and our certainty of hope.

Give us the attitude of our Lord Jesus who saw each moment as a chance to let your glory shine.

You know my weaknesses and strengths

Lord God, you know my weaknesses and my strengths, my struggles and my thoughts. There is nothing you do not know about me and about the whole universe, for you made it all and give life to all things.

Give me humility, help me to be small in my own eyes, break the pride that remains. Let me trust in you and place you in front of my life—my God and my Lord!

Make this month a time of reflection and purpose, a period of mindfulness and opportunity. If it will serve the kingdom, let us reset our faith and firm up our determination by “reinventing” ourselves, as the author of one book suggests. Let that activity be toward the image of Christ, in the power of the Spirit, according to your word and will.

  • Please bring quietness and peace to the country of Honduras, in their presidential elections.
  • Make a solution surface for N. Korea, at the same time opening that country to the gospel. Let our brethren prepare for that moment.
  • Open China further to working there for the gospel’s sake.
  • And give us more workers here in Brazil for the fields.
  • Make our own work effective, bring forth fruit that will spread the word across our region.

Bless our families with faith and vitality and resilience. Make them strong to meet the challenges, loving to serve their neighbors, compassionate in their dealings with everyone.

Give to all your people faith and love and hope. Use me to encourage, to instruct, to motivate toward good works.

When it’s hard to pray

Michael Summers writes: “I struggle to pray sometimes.  The words I need to say so desperately evade me.  My emotions seem to clog my consciousness. Last week, as I near the end of a short run, I stumbled over a crack in the pavement, and fell hard. Aching and stunned, I reached for the cellphone that had flown from my hand. Neighbors, often out working in their yards, were away or had gone inside. Children had finished their play. My wife, less than two hundred feet away, did not know I had fallen. Briefly, I feared that I would not be able to get up. My head too had struck the concrete and I feared that I might lose consciousness. First-aid training received years ago trained me to evaluate myself before moving.   Slowly, cautiously, I struggled to my feet and stumbled the few remaining steps to home. The fear that no one would hear or notice I had fallen had frightened me.  I prayed in that moment for consciousness and lucidity.  But sometimes, it is hard to pray.  I, and perhaps you, wonder if God hears and if he notices. Prayers like Psalm 102 tell us that others in millenia past have shared our fears. Narratives in Scripture describe frustrated faith, but also describe the grieving love of a Creator-God who pursues justice and who does notice the pain of the assaulted, the agony of the deserted, and the grief of those whose loved ones have died. Those prayers and narratives help me regain my voice. I hope that they will help you, too.”

Read Michael’s prayer here.

Better death than harm

Lord God and Father of our Savior Jesus Christ, give us courage so that we would prefer death rather than partake in sins that defraud our neighbor and harm our fellow humans.

Help us to be willing, if need be, to surrender our name and life rather than turn our backs on your mission. Keep us from shrinking back as we work for the spiritual freedom and eternal salvation of those oppressed by sin and living in the chains of darkness.

Make us stand firm in Christ. Let us not waver in our duty. Keep us from making provision for the flesh. Strengthen our limbs and harden our resistance to the evil one. Let the love of Christ flow over us and surround us with your presence. Secure us in your Spirit and seal us with your power, forever.

Amen.

In search of your glory

Often, Lord, I ask for your blessings in my life or in the life of another. And you approve of this. Jesus taught us to ask. I know I should do it more even than I do.

But today I come with a different purpose. Paul told the Corinthians that he did not seek theirs (their possessions), but them (meaning their salvation). I come before you today, not in search of something from you, but you yourself, your presence, your glory.

You did not rebuke Moses when he wanted to see your glory. Perhaps it was because he was a special man in your plan of redemption. Your answered his request in a way that took into account human frailty.

I do not ask for a miracle. Neither am I asking to be whisked up to the third heaven. How you might answer this request only you can know. Maybe by giving me a new insight into Scripture, about the Lord Jesus Christ, who brought your glory into this world.

In every way and at all times, O God, may you be glorified in me and may your will be done in my life.

Prayer the best weapon

In his devotional for Nov. 24, Ed Mathews writes on spiritual warfare. He mentions prayer:

Our strategy. In the end, prayer is the best weapon, Ephesians 6:18a. A saint on his knees makes the devil nervous. And, when prayer is uttered “in the spirit,” satan meets his match, Romans 8:26,27. Therefore, we “should always pray and not give up,” Luke 18:1. It is possible for believers, with one prayerful request, to marshal the mighty battalions of eternity, Matthew 26:53. We have a defeat-proof plan for a sure-fire-victory.

Fluent in speaking to you

Heavenly Father, prayer is such a privilege! To come before your holy and magnificent presence is an honor that has no equal. Stretch my language abilities, that I might be fluent in speaking to you. Often I feel the limits of language. When I do, I thank the Spirit for carrying my inexpressible thoughts to your throne.

Bring me often to your glory, that I might spill out before you my hurts and heart-felt questions, offer my gratitude for hope and blessings, ask your help for strength and courage.

Make eternity turn upon my prayers, that it might rescue many who stand upon its brink. Give us our daily bread and our eternal sustenance.

Open our eyes to power in your word and work. Sweep us along in your will, for we desire to go in your direction, behind the cloud of your movement.

 

The precious gift of life

Almighty God, our dear heavenly Father, thank you for the precious gift of life along with everything we need in order to live comfortably.

Most of all, dear Lord, help us to share the blessings you regularly shower upon your children of faith, with the poor, especially the orphan children whose sobs you hear and comfort.

Give those who dare to speak for Christ our Lord to be genuinely humble and serve others with sincere motives. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Noel Binkley Sr.

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