In hope I pray: Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
[God declares me innocent because I trust in the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ, instead of in my own righteousness.]
The psalmist instructs: Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the LORD.
[The right spirit is “willingly and joyously”—1 Chronicles 29:17. And we are to “Trust, rely on and have confidence in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and feed (securely) on His faithfulness”—Psalm 37:3 Amplified Bible.]
With joy I offer You praise, Lord God: You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
[The joy of abundant harvests and new wine lasts only until they are used up. God gives lasting joy—joy in His presence and pleasures at His right hand forever more—Psalm 16:11.]
In Psalm 32:8-10, God says, “…I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control. Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.”
God tells us that He will guide, advise and watch over us. Further, He says that we shouldn’t be stubborn because those who trust Him enough to go His way are surrounded by love and mercy.
Jeremiah reaffirms this idea in Lamentations 3:25-26 “The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.”
How thankful I am for God’s guidance and watchful care of me!
With these Scriptures still in mind, I came upon Psalm 119:35-37: Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” The psalmist asks God to cause him (the writer) to follow God’s lead because His way is delightful. He prays that God will help him love God’s laws instead of the world’s goods or what has no eternal value. Then he desires that God would turn his focus back to God and His Word or way.
And I would add a heartfelt “Amen!” to this prayer and look to God to hear and answer these requests.
(Scriptures quoted from the New Living Translation)
At a state park recently I took a morning walk among the trees. It had rained the night before, and I saw a stream flowing over large rocks making a couple of delightful cascades, and water pooled in a few low places.
It inspired me to pray, Father God, I love and worship You as Creator of everything. How faithful and merciful You are! Your Spirit is like a mighty river. May I be like a rock pool through which Your Holy Spirit flows, coming in at the depths of my heart and flowing over the top of my life. Let it wash away all the regrets and memories of failures from the past—even from yesterday. Please wash away any sadness or hopelessness that lingers. Stir up bad attitudes and ugliness that keep me from shining Your light in the darkness so I can repent and be clean. Break down any barriers that prevent Your love from filling my heart and flowing out to others. Amen.
Jesus said in John 7:37-38, “…Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.” —New Living Translation
In Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul says that he prays for believers “16 that [God] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (New King James Version)
Verse 20 is often quoted in assurance of God’s ability to answer some request. But I’m thinking it applies more to the context in verses 16-19 than I’ve really considered before. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above—
Strengthening our inner man through His Spirit
Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith
Rooting and grounding us in love so we can comprehend the extent of Christ’s love
Our knowing from experience His love (which is really beyond understanding)
Our being filled with all the fullness of God
These were the things Paul prayed for the Ephesians, and it’s a wonderful prayer for us followers of Christ to pray for one another. Paul is saying that all glory belongs to God because He can do all this by His power working in the believers, and He can do far more besides. Amen! Hallelujah!
“Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” (Proverbs 17:24) I do want to be sensible and keep my eyes glued on wisdom. O Holy Spirit, please keep reminding me!
“Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8) I learned this Bible verse years ago, but I still have trouble putting it into practice. Help, Lord!
I’ve heard many times that change is part of life, but I guess I thought it was true for everyone but me. For too long I’ve clung to what once was and won’t be again. If I keep wishing for what used to be, I’ll miss out on life today. Paul focused on forgetting the past, looking ahead, and then pressing on toward the end of the race so he could receive the heavenly prize for which God calls us through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14). Only God and His Word remain forever. He never changes. Lord, You are always faithful. I want to let go of the past and also to hold loosely to the present. Because of Your grace, I can, and I will. Please show me more of how to keep my mind anchored in You and keep my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. Amen. (See Isaiah 26:3 and Hebrews 12:2)
“A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables.” (Proverbs 24:3-4) Dear Father, please help me build my spiritual house with wisdom on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. Let me strengthen it with the good sense to focus on You and go Your way, not mine. And may I fill its rooms with valuables by getting to know You better and better. Amen.
This was a living nightmare I will never forget. I don’t think anyone would.
One dark night in 2003, just before I moved to the States, my friend Wendy and I had planned to go out with some friends. We were all dressed up and off we went, she was driving. The plan was to fetch her new boyfriend first and go on from there. On the highway, twenty minutes from his house I got this terrible fear over me. Out of nowhere. This fear was taunting me about arriving at Luke’s house.
“Listen Wendy, when we get there, just tell him to get into the car and drive off. No chatting. Something doesn’t feel right.”
Lord, please protect us.
There was nothing sinister going on. The stars were out, the highway was clear. But this horrible sense of foreboding would not leave me. I tried not to harp on…
To get a glimpse of God or to understand this prayerful worship is this….You can know God from your knowledge of the bible…but it isn’t until you worship in the secret place of the most high that you can truly experience the mental, physical and emotional connection with God. This kind of worship and prayer along with the intense presence of the Holy Spirit allows us to have a very intimate relationship with God our Father.
This type of prayer is different from other kinds of prayer because it involves not only thinking and speaking to God, but you move into a very deep spiritual connection that allows you to feel Gods presence to the point that you forget about yourself and everything around you. It’s just you and Him. This kind of prayer makes you want to cry your heart out in love for God or you may…
Psalm 38:4 and 18 “My guilt overwhelms me —it is a burden too heavy to bear…. 18 But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.” New Living Translation
In a recent sermon, the pastor said that when we practice, sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we get it wrong, but we get better. I thought of a few particular times in my life when I “got it wrong”—very wrong. I had caused hurt to others that I felt greatly sorry about and wished I could go back and make right. Of course I can’t, and I’ve often let Satan beat me up with those memories.
Now Romans 8:1 says that there’s no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (body). I used to think, Well, but when I get it wrong, I’m not walking by the Spirit. When I did those things I regret so much, I was just acting out of my own self-centeredness, not because of following Jesus. But, if practice means that sometimes I get it wrong, and sometimes I get it right, but I’m getting better, then I’m learning by practice. So there’s no condemnation when I mess up, even really blow it, because I’m in Christ Jesus, and I’m practicing living in accordance with Holy Spirit direction. I’m not saying that I don’t need to ask for forgiveness for my wrong-doing—I do. However, I don’t have to let guilt kick me around anymore.
I’m still sad about those things I did that caused damage, but I can learn from them. I can keep on practicing following Jesus. What a relief!
Lord Jesus, when memories come back to me I’ll bring each one to You.
–Where there is sin, let me turn from it.
–If there’s a lesson, I want to learn it.
–When it drives me closer to You, then I yearn for it.
–If You speak a word to me through it, may I discern it!
And by Your grace I’ll take Your yoke on me and learn of You and find rest for my soul. (Matthew 11:29)