Category Archives: Prayer

A Prayer for Pondering and Believing the Love of Jesus

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me. Song of Sol. 7:10 (NIV)

     Dear Lord Jesus, we believe you love us this much, but we don’t believe it as much as you intend. Heal us and free us, we pray, for you have made us for yourself and have redeemed us for yourself. Our deepest longings find their origin and fulfillment in you. Our greatest brokenness finds its redemption through you. Our lingering fears and foolishness find their release by you. What a wonderful, merciful Savior you are; and what a woefully inadequate affirmation this is.

     We belong to you, Jesus—not by the merit of our efforts, not by the measure of our sincerity, not by the tears of our repentance, not by the pledge of our faithfulness. We belong to you, because you came to us and gave yourself for us. By your life of perfect obedience, and your death in humble submission, you have paid a price beyond measure, to give us riches beyond calculation—to make us your beloved. Nothing can sever or change our belongingness.

     You desire us, Jesus—not because we show promise, but because you fulfilled every promised God made on our behalf. You desire us, Jesus—not because we are choice, but because we are chosen. You desire us, Jesus—not because of anything in us, but because of everything in you. Nothing can diminish or intensify our beloved-ness. Jesus, this isn’t just a game changer; it’s an everything changer. We …

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A Prayer for Letting Go of the Desire for Revenge

     Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Rom. 12:19 (NIV)

     It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” Deut. 32:35 (ESV)

     The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Rom. 16:20 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, in view of the increase of kidnappings and human trafficking, the proliferation of pornography and the spirit of jihad, I find myself growing angrier and angrier. I find myself craving revenge, and relishing the thought of harming the purveyors of terror and evil. So I’m desperate for you to apply these Scriptures to my heart this morning. I need fresh and specific grace. It’s one thing for me to long for justice, but an altogether different thing to want to repay harm for harm, evil for evil, beheading for beheading.

     Father, thank you for your commitment to avenge and annihilate all evil. Thank you for your commitment to wipe away all tears, put all things right, and to make all things new. Just as in the “fullness of time” you sent Jesus to be our Savior (Gal. 4:4), so in “due time”, the day of disaster and doom will come upon the kingdom of darkness. I praise, bless, …

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A Prayer for the 150 Assyrian Christians Imprisoned by ISIS

     And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” Jonah 4:10-11 (NLT)

     Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Heb. 13:3 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, we run to your throne of grace today on behalf of our Assyrian brothers and sisters, imprisoned for no other reason than because they are followers of Christ. Their fear must be great, as their threat is quite real. We especially think of the women and the elderly, held captive by this act of terror. Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy.  

     Hold them tighter than their captives, Father. May the grasp of your grace be more real to these Assyrian Christians than the grip of the darkness. Such a request of you is no vain thing, Father; for centuries ago you brought your saving love to Assyria through Jonah. Though he was a reluctant prophet, you are a generous Redeemer. You showered great mercy on Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. Why not again, why not in this chapter of their story? May your name be great among the nations, …

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A Prayer for Re-Learning the Secret of Contentment

     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 me to kill desire, demonize ambition, or decry enjoyment. And yet at the same time 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; not in denial, but truly …

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A Prayer for Lamenting Evil and Longing for Its Demise

     The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 1 John 3:8 (NIV)

     Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil. Heb. 2:14 (NIV)

     He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Col. 2:15 (ESV)

Dear Lord Jesus, I am so thankful for the hope we have of a world and eternity completely devoid of all sin, evil, and brokenness. Though it will require your second coming, nonetheless, I am grateful for that Day, and long for it more than ever.

The Day of no more beheadings, or even kidnappings; no more human trafficking or even bad traffic; no more greed, or any form of need; no more harming in any form, just blessing in every form; no more vengeance or retaliation, just peace and reconciliation; no more broken people, places, or things; just beauty, in everyone in every place.

Thank for, Jesus, for destroying the devil’s work, by your work on the cross. His crushed head, broken dominion, and sure demise are sweetness to our souls, peace in our storms, and power for our mission. Through your shame you shamed evil and by your defeat you defeated darkness. Terror is now terrified of you. Though the devil is filled with fury, he is on a leash, knowing his time is short (Rev. 12:12).

We …

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A Prayer for Rejoicing in Jesus’ Once and for All Sacrifice for Our Sins

     Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. Heb. 10:11-14 (NLT)

     Dear Lord Jesus, I cannot hear it too much. I cannot believe it too deeply. I cannot rejoice in it too fully. By your death on the cross, you have taken away our sins, once and for all. Nothing is left undone. Nothing more needs to happen. Nothing else could have met our need. Nothing else must be our cry—“We have been made righteous in Christ forever! Blessed be the name of our God and Savior, Jesus—the Lamb of God who has taken away our sin; the Lord of all, who is making all things new; the Lamp of the New Jerusalem, whose glory will shine eternally!”

     And now, having completely justified us by your finished work, you are perfecting us by your glorious gospel. It’s all of grace, from beginning to end. We who have been declared perfectly righteous will be made perfectly holy—O blessed and happy hope. One Day we will be as lovely …

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A Prayer for Resting in the Gift of Christ’s Righeousness

     But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Rom. 3:21-24 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, what wondrous love is this, indeed! Out of the measureless supply of your sovereign grace, you have generously met our greatest need. You have freely and fully given us the righteousness of Christ. Your law condemned us; but your gospel has redeemed us. We fell short of your glory; but you went long with your mercy. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

While we were still sinners and rebels, idolaters and fools, you gave Jesus for us. He lived a life of perfect obedience for us—fulfilling all the righteous demands of the law; and died a death of utter humility—exhausting all judgment against our sins. We now trust in Jesus’ substitution, not in our transformation—in the merit of Christ, not in the measure of our change.

The only work left for us to do is to believe in the one you have sent—even Jesus (John 6:29). And the faith required, to do so, you have also freely given us. Arise, my soul, arise; shake off your guilty fears and shame-fueled tears. Jesus is your righteousness; Jesus is your perfect, once-and-for-all, God-pleasing, law-fulfilling, judgment-exhausting righteousness. No fear in death, no …

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A Prayer for Pondering Our Father’s Love and Hearing the Spirit’s Voice

     For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ”Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom. 8:15-17 (ESV)

Dear heavenly Father, we praise, bless, and adore you for the privilege of knowing you as “Abba, Father.” We were slaves to sin and death, selfishness and fear, when you saved us by your grace and adopted us, as your beloved daughters and sons. And now, your Holy Spirit is constantly telling us how much you love us and delight in us.

Father, please turn up the volume of the Spirit’s voice, because so many other voices are vying for our attention. There’s the voice of Satan, who still tries to condemn us for sins you’ve already forgiven. There’s the voice of our vain regrets, haunting us about our past failures and hounding us about missed opportunities. Then there’s the voice of our fears, pestering us about our insecurities and inadequacies.

But then, there’s your blessed voice, Father. By the Spirit we hear you say, “I have loved you with an everlasting love and with cords of kindness I have bound you to my heart. I have given Jesus’ as your righteousness, and have sealed you with my Spirit. Nothing will separate you from my …

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A Prayer for Marinating in the Kindness of God and the Riches of the Gospel

     But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Tit. 3:4-7 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, I need to spend time in the Bible every, day for several reasons; not the least of which is to submit to its unrelenting bombardment against my unbelief. This very Scripture is a great example. What an all out assault these verses wage against our small thoughts of you and your glorious gospel.

     You are so much kinder than I can imagine, and so much more loving. Like Abraham, I wasn’t seeking you when you found me. Your kindness and love appeared to me out of nowhere. I wasn’t tired of “sowing wild oats.” I wasn’t’ ready to turn my life around. I wasn’t beginning to get my spiritual act together, when you redeemed me. No, it was entirely an act of mercy on your part.

     As surely as I had no part in my first birth, so I contributed “squat” to my new birth. I didn’t show any promise; you just kept your promises to redeem a family as numerous as stars, sand, and dust. Hallelujah, for the mathematics of mercy!

     And how generous you were, and remain, Father. …

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A Prayer for A Gospel Inundated, Grace Soaked Lenten Season

     And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matt. 6:16-18 (ESV)

     Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Rev. 19:7 (NIV)

      Dear Jesus, it’s Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. For the next forty days we have the privilege of fixing our gaze on you—the Author and Perfecter of our faith. For your glory and our growth, we ask you to overwhelm us with fresh mercies and irrepressible grace in the coming weeks.

     Don’t let this be a typical Lenten season, Jesus. Saturate and empower it with the gospel. It’s all about you, Jesus. It is all about your finished work—not our constant failings, and vain promises of doing better and doing more. Whatever fasting we may choose to practice, may it be as a betrothed Bride, not as gloomy hypocrites. Our deepest repentance is always born out of seeing more of your beauty, more of the gospel, more of you, Jesus.

     Indeed, Jesus, we begin …

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