A Prayer for Healing: For Others and Ourselves

Oct 10, 2015 | Scotty Smith

     When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Matt. 8:14-17 (NIV)

      Dear Lord Jesus, you are a most wonderful, merciful Savior. We praise, bless and adore you for everything you are, and for everything you’ve done for us. By your life, death, and resurrection, you have completely secured our salvation and you guarantee a most complete salvation. Everything about us matters to you—spirit, soul, and body; and everything about us stands in need of your cleansing, healing, and liberating grace.

     In the Scriptures, we see your healing power at work; and by the gospel, we know one Day we will be totally healthy and whole—and we are grateful beyond measure. In light of that Day, Jesus, our cry in this day is simple, humble, and earnest. Lord Jesus, please bring your healing power to bear to those we love and cherish.

     For our children: Jesus, renew their minds with your gospel; capture their hearts with your love; heal their emotions and bodies by your power. It’s so hard to see our kids suffer, and to know our inability to make things right. Grant us grace, and we seek to love and serve them best.

     For our friends:  Oh, for the Day of no more cancer and no more heart disease (of any kind); no more tumors or terrors; no more MS or ALS, no more addictions or even obsessions; no more mental maladies or emotional diseases; no more bodies that wear out, or death in any form. Jesus, there are so many situations for which we boldly ask you for supernatural healing, and/or supernatural sufficient grace.

     We know you don’t despise our asking. We know you do all things well. We know you are writing stories larger than our understanding. We know, and still we ask, Jesus please bring healing to our kids, friends, and to us. So very Amen we pray, in your worship-worthy and trustworthy name.

View Comments

A Prayer for Learning the Secret of Contentment, Again and Again

Oct 09, 2015 | Scotty Smith

     I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Phil. 4:11-12 (ESV)

     Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Heb. 13:5 (ESV)

    Do all things without grumbling. Phil. 2:14 (ESV)

      Dear heavenly Father, there are some aspects of this life of grace for which I seem to need constant refreshment courses. Contentment is one of them. I know you’re not calling us to kill desire, demonize ambition, or decry enjoyment; and yet I totally “get” your warnings about complaining, ingratitude, and discontent.

     So I come to you, Father, once again, acknowledging a need you alone can meet. Grant me the grace of contentment. Whether I have a little or a lot; am well known or forgotten; live in a palace or a garage apartment; feast on filet mignon or yesterday’s mac and cheese. Whether I feel included or left out; celebrated or underappreciated; have discretionary funds for splurging, or literally have to pray for daily bread. Whether my relationships are “rocking” or are rocky; whether I have really good health, or chronic maladies. Father, I want to be content—not passive or in denial, but truly grateful; not immune to pain, but alive in Jesus

     So Father, by the Spirit, convict me quickly when I default to murmuring and complaining, carping and whining. Heal me of gospel amnesia—too easily forgetting my ”belovedness” every good thing we have in Christ. Open the eyes of my heart as I begin (and continue) this day. Let me see a little more of Jesus—actually a lot more. That’s all I need; that’s all I really need. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ all glorious and grace-full name.

View Comments

A Prayer for Taking Responsibility for Our Words

Oct 08, 2015 | Scotty Smith

     The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12:18 (NIV)

      Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Prov. 15:4 (NLT)

      If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26 (ESV)

      Let your conversation be always full of grace. Col. 4:6 (NIV)

      Dear heavenly Father, nothing carries more potential for hope and harm, building up and tearing down, giving life and delivering death than our words. Therefore, as this day begins, we choose to take responsibility for how we’re gonna communicate today.

     And since our lips reflect the preoccupation of our hearts, we want to start our day by setting our minds, hearts, and affections on things above—where Jesus is sitting at your right hand. Father, thank you for hiding our lives in Jesus, for he is our guarantee of complete forgiveness, perfect righteousness, and citizenship in heaven. No matter whatever else is going on in our world, in Christ, you have given us riches beyond measure, peace beyond understanding, and life, truly abundant. We praise and bless you. May this good news win the day, seize our hearts, and shape our words.

     Like most days, today we’ll experience difficult people and disappointing circumstances; challenging relationships and unplanned for interruptions; personal limitations and repeat offenders. Father, it’s our desire to respond with mercy and grace, as opposed to reacting out of irritation and anger. So we look to you—we abandon ourselves to you, and the power of the gospel, and the ministry of the Spirit.

     May the words of our mouths, born out of the meditation of our hearts, reflect and reveal Jesus.  And when they don’t, grant us quick repentances and more grace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.

View Comments

A Prayer for Seasons When We’re Desperate for God to Act

Oct 07, 2015 | Scotty Smith

     Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. Jer. 32:17 (ESV)

     Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear. Isa. 59:1 (ESV)

     Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son. Gen. 18:4 (ESV)

     Dear heavenly Father, as these Scriptures attest, throughout history you have confronted our impossible situations with the riches of your mercy and the power of your might. We praise, bless, and adore you for your uncontested faithfulness and inexhaustible love.  

     When in doubt about your alertness to our need or the goodness of your heart, all we have to do is look at Jesus, and consider everything you have done for us in him. Having given us Jesus, most certainly you will give us everything else we need. And for the things we think we must have (but don’t, really), you will give us more of yourself and sufficient grace. Who do we have but you? To whom can we turn but you?

     Father, some us feel like laughing (or crying) like Sarah, as we consider our “impossible situations.” Some of us feel it’s more probable that a 90-year-old Sarah could give birth to baby Isaac than likely we’ll see a redemptive outcome to certain heartaches we carry and broken stories we inhabit. Nonetheless, we come to you, Abba Father; we run to you, and we find that it is you running to us.

     Grant us faith in the place of our fretting; trust in the place of our tantrums; and worship in the place of our worries. Father, grant us peace even before the storm subsides. In the coming hours, days, and weeks, bring great glory to yourself in our various conundrums and crises. We really want that more than we want relief. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ beautiful and trust-worthy name. 

View Comments

A Prayer for Healing Our Allergies to Grace

Oct 06, 2015 | Scotty Smith

     Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:7-10 (NLT)

Dear Lord Jesus, what a great story—as with this woman, you often disrupt our lives, but only that we might find our delight in you. The more she played hide and seek with you, the more you played seek and catch. She’d been on a quest to fill her emptiness in the arms of men, many men, and it let her even more empty. She ran; you pursued. She danced around; you stopped the music. How I praise you that you came to seek and save the lost, not just broadcast an offer from afar.

Though the details of our stories are different, we often resort to the same foolish strategy—hiding from true love, ignoring your daily mercies, resisting your great compassion.

Jesus, please deliver us from our grace allergies—living with an aversion to the gospel. That we choose broken cisterns, dumb idols, and self-help over your love is sheer madness. Grace is for sinners, not for pretenders, posers, and performers. You intend to heal us, not harm us; embrace us, not embarrass us; shower us with compassion, not shame us with contempt.

We’re tired of wasting our thirst on water that does not satisfy. We’re tired of digging our own wells. We’re tired of sitting under dry spigots. We’re tired of being tired. Once again, we bring our thirst to you. We bring our grace-avoidance to you. We bring our excuse making, unbelief, pride, and our self-righteousness.

We ask, (and because you do not lie), we shall receive living water—copious amounts of living water—sufficient grace for our insufficient selves. Thank you Jesus for not giving up on us. So very Amen we pray, in your kind and powerful name.

View Comments

A Prayer for Getting Free from Our “Grave Clothes”

Oct 05, 2015 | Scotty Smith

Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:43-44 (NIV)

Dear Lord Jesus, as surely as you spoke the words to a dead Lazarus, “Come out” and he was raised from the dead, so when you spoke the gospel to our hearts, we too were raised to newness of life. We have passed from death to life, from condemnation for our sins to the righteousness of faith, and from life in the kingdom of darkness to life in the kingdom of God. Hallelujah, for your sovereign, irresistible, inexhaustible grace.
Yet as surely as Lazarus needed to be freed from his grave-clothes, so do we. The smell and signs of death still cling to us, bind us, and trip us up. There are many areas of our lives for which we long for greater freedom.
Jesus, grant us greater freedom from the fear and awe of mere men. Some people have way more power over our hearts than they deserve. Their criticism and rejection can devastate us; and their praise and admiration can make us. May your great love for us, and delight in us, shift the center of our relational world. Help us to love others as you love us, period.
We also crave to be set free from our self-centered worries and our soul-sapping fears. Jesus, you have the hearts of all the kings in your hand—not to mention our days and wounds, longings and burdens. Perhaps the most tenacious fragment of our grave-clothes, still wrapped tightly around our hearts, is our unbelief. Continue to free us to trust you implicitly and explicitly, with all things at all times.
Lastly Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, help us stay more alive to your love than to our losses; and be more marked by your grace than our gripes. So very Amen we pray, in your glorious and grace-full name.

View Comments

A Prayer for Trusting God with Stuff We Cannot Control

Oct 04, 2015 | Scotty Smith

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matt. 6:25-27 (NLT)

Dear Lord Jesus, whenever we’re tempted to wonder about our value to the Father, all we have to do is consider the astonishing sacrifice you made for us. By your life, death, and resurrection, we’re forgiven and clothed with the very righteousness of God. And now we feast on a free diet of bread from heaven and an endless supply living water. We praise, bless, and adore you. The birds of the air have nothing on us!
Nevertheless, our weakness persists, our anxieties flare up, and our worries often get the best of us. So we run to you, confident of your welcome, compassion, and grace. Please help us with the things we’d love to control, but can’t. It’s not so much that we’re anxious to add a single hour to our lives; it’s more that we don’t want our loved ones to suffer unnecessarily.
Jesus, please reveal more of your beauty and love to our children. If we could give our kids and grandkids anything, it would be for them to know and love you. Keep them restless until they rest in you. May your mercy be a magnet and your grace irresistible to them.
For our friends and family members facing vocation crises and health issues, and relationship challenges and financial messes—Jesus lift the weight of our worries as you give us the assurance of your engagement. Show us how to love well, without meddling and manipulating. Help us to wait on you, Lord. Sometimes that is SO hard.
Jesus, we will trust you—not horses, chariots, or our devices. Grant us grace, fuel our hope, and give us peace. So very Amen we pray, in your loving and strong name.

View Comments

A Prayer for Marriages–Friend’s and Ours

Oct 03, 2015 | Scotty Smith

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Col. 3:12-14 (NIV)

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11 (ESV)
Dear heavenly Father, failure to pray for and nourish our marriages is like failing to drink water, get sleep, or breath air. The outcome is predictable and not pretty. There’s no other relationship on earth with greater power to expose our brokenness and reveal your grace, tap into our longings and frustrate us beyond measure, all at the same time. And there’s no other relationship, like marriage, that Satan is more determined to crash and burn.
So we come to you today, interceding for marriages—friend’s and ours. Father, forgive us for ever thinking that there was only one person in the history of the world we were “supposed” to marry. No marriage can sustain that expectation. And forgive us for ever thinking that if we’d married the “right” person, it’d be enough. No marriage can carry that burden.
You have made us for yourself, Father; and our deepest, most powerful, and most insatiable longings for relationship can only be met in you—not in any human being. So our prayer is simple and essential. Once again, Father, inundate our hearts and marriages with the only love that is better than life, the only love that will never let go of us, the only love that is enough—your lavish and liberating love for us in Jesus. Immerse and inundate, saturate and marinate our marriages in your grace.
Precisely because we are “chosen, holy, and dearly loved” by you, fill our hearts and marriages with your “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Free us to forbear with each other, and forgive each other, as you so generously relate to us in Jesus. Until the day you take one of us home, help us to encourage one another and build each other up daily. Help us to outdo one another in kindness and repentance. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.

View Comments

A Prayer for Resting in God’s Enduring Love

Oct 02, 2015 | Scotty Smith

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.” When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. Psalm 118:1-7 (NIV)

Dear heavenly Father, in full view of the instability of world politics and the complexities of human relationships, the unpredictability of the world economy and the ever-pressing needs that stress us, this we can say without flinching or doubting, “Your love, Oh Lord, endures forever.”
The most certain, stable, dependable, and inexhaustible reality in our lives is your love, Abba Father. We could have never deserved it or earned it; and now we can never lose it or reduce it. You love all of your children as much as you love your only Son, Jesus; and there’s really nothing we can do about it but enjoy it and rely on it. Hallelujah, many times over!
In terms of quantity, we’re standing under the Niagara Falls of your affection, flowing out of the bottomless ocean of your grace. In terms of reliability, though it’s cliché, your love is much more predictable than death and taxes. In terms of quality, the love you have for us is the love, passion, and delight you have forever enjoyed with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In terms of endure-ability, you will cease to be God before you will stop loving your children.
Father, you give and you take away; you fill our lives with good things and you grace our lives with difficult things. You are nearer than our next breath, yet sometimes you seem very far away. We can always count on you, but we can never presume to manage you. And in all of it—in every last bit of the raptures and ruptures of life, your love endures forever; your love endures forever; your love endures forever. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ strong and loving name.

View Comments

A Prayer of Longing for Wholeness and Our Resurrection Body

Oct 01, 2015 | Scotty Smith

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:16-18 (NIV)

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 2 Cor. 5:1-2 (NLT)

Dear heavenly Father, the current aches and pains in my body give me an opportunity either to whine or worship; and since I know where my whining usually takes me, I think I’ll stay with worshiping you. But first of all, thank you for giving us the important gift of lament and for not despising our sadness. I’ve learned the hard way that if we’re unwilling to grieve our losses then our compassion for others will be significantly stunted. I don’t like pain, Father, but if it tunes my heart to care for others, grant me grace to rejoice in suffering.
That being said, I greatly rejoice in the hope of the new body we will receive when Jesus returns. Our healing will be complete. Father, thank you that Jesus not only secured the perfection of our spirits, but also the resurrection of our bodies. Even as Jesus was raised, so shall we. We groan now, but will be whole forever. Hallelujah! These “light and momentary troubles” are incredibly inconvenient and bothersome; but our exulting will be eternal.
Until that Day, Father, I’ll seek to take care of myself, and will trust you for healing and health. And by the power of the gospel, please help me someone in whom the weak, weary, and broken find understanding and encouragement. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus tender and triumphant name.

View Comments
1 2 3 248