A Prayer for Single-hearted Devotion to Jesus

     There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child [Jesus] to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38 (NIV)

Dear Lord Jesus, this story reminds me that only you are worthy of my heart’s affection, adoration, and allegiance. You are a most wonderful and merciful Savior. Should you be pleased to keep me in this world till I’m 84, then like Anna, keep me alive to your beauty, passionate for your glory, and hope-full of your coming. I want to love you like Anna loved you.

Because of what you accomplished by your life, death, and resurrection, one Day the entire earth will be covered with the knowledge of the glory of God. The final sanctuary won’t be Israel’s Temple, where Anna met you, but every square inch of the new heaven and new earth. “For the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:22).

Every creature and all creation will be liberated for the praise of your glory and grace. Hasten that glad and glorious Day—when everything above the earth, on the earth, and under the earth will be healed …

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A Prayer for Renewing Our Bridal Affection for Jesus

     I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor. 11:1-3

Gracious Lord Jesus, as I pray my way through this Scripture this morning, two things stand out with flashing neon brilliance. First of all, we already belong to you as a washed, cherished and betrothed bride. This is our defining identity, raison d’être, joy, passion and delight, as your church—your called-out, beloved people. Your relationship with us and your love for us are the most important things about us.

We are the people upon whom you have set your heart, for whom you gave your life, and to whom you are returning as a great Bridegroom. There’s no other relationship that comes close to offering the peace and hope as your relationship with us—no other.

This underscores the second thing that stands out in this Scripture: the intensity of Satan’s hatred for the “first thing”—your great love for us, Bridegroom to bride. He’ll do anything possible to lead us astray from our sincere and pure devotion to you.

Satan hates your love for us. Satan hates our love for you. He’ll …

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A Prayer for Remembering Satan’s Main Strategy

I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Cor. 11:1-3)

Gracious Lord Jesus, as I pray my way through this Scripture this morning, two things stand out with unmistakable clarity about who we are as your church. First of all, we already belong to you as a washed, cherished and betrothed bride. This is our defining identity as your church—your called-out, beloved people. Our spiritual disciplines and service for you don’t define us. Our multiple ministries and programs don’t define us. Our liturgy and organization don’t define us. Your relationship with us and your love for us define us, period.

We are the people upon whom you have set your heart, for whom you have given your life, and to whom you are returning as a great and loving bridegroom. No other relationship comes close to offering the peace and joy, the satisfaction and hope as your relationship with us.

This underscores the second thing that stands out in this Scripture: the intensity of Satan’s hatred for the “first thing”—your great love for us—bridegroom to bride. He’ll do anything and everything possible to …

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A Prayer About Satan’s Main Strategy

     I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:1-3

     Gracious Lord Jesus, as I pray my way through this Scripture this morning two things stand out with flashing neon brilliance. First of all, we already belong to you as a washed, cherished and betrothed Bride. This is our defining identity as your church—your called out beloved people. Our organization doesn’t define us. Our work doesn’t define us. Our ministries don’t define us. Your relationship with us and your love for us define us.

     We are the people upon whom you have set your heart… for whom you gave your life… and to whom you are returning as a great Bridegroom. There is no other relationship conceivable that comes close to offering the grandeur, peace and the hope as your relationship with us… NONE.

     This underscores the second thing that stands in this critical portion of your Word. It’s simply this: the intensity of Satan’s hatred for the “first thing”—your astonishing relationship with us as perfect Bridegroom to most unlikely, unworthy Bride. He will do anything and everything, in his …

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