Prayers for Preaching the Gospel to Our Hearts

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Dear Daily Prayer Family, I will be off the grid till Friday morning, with zero cell or WIFI service. SO, I have “front loaded” prayers for you for the next several days. I’ve given you several gospel-saturated short prayers I wrote for getting the riches of grace deeper into our minds and hearts. Until Friday morning, Love, Grace, and Peace, Scotty

 

Prayers for Preaching the Gospel to Our Hearts

Jack Miller, my spiritual father of twenty-one years, modeled and taught me the discipline of “preaching the gospel to yourself.” We’re always talking to ourselves, so why not fill the conversation with the life-giving, heart-transforming truth of the gospel? The following prayers are examples of how we can preach the gospel to ourselves by praying the Scriptures into our hearts. This isn’t “mind over matter,” or merely the power of positive thinking; it’s the gospel for the whole of life.

We are image bearers of God—wonderfully made

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139:14

Father, before I was broken, I was beautiful—made by your hands and for your glory. Thank you for creating me in your image, and now, for renewing me to become like Jesus. Help me to reject all the old tapes, messages, and voices that convinced me I was worthless and useless. The gospel has always been your Plan A for my life. By your grace, continue to heal, change, and free me.

We are completely and exhaustively forgiven

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Eph. 1:7 (NIV)

Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving all of my sins, all of them. Sins I’ve committed in my thinking, with my words, and by my choices. Sins in the past, sins of today, and the sins I have yet to commit. Such forgiveness is almost too good to be true; and it would be, if you hadn’t sent Jesus to be our perfect Savior. The riches of your grace have proven to be more than sufficient for the bankruptcy of my sin. I praise and bless you.

For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Ps. 103:11-12 (NLT)

Holy and gracious God, though my grasp of your grace often fails me, your grasp of me is as unfailing as your love is. Thank you for taking my sins immeasurably far away from me. Oh, how I love the geography of your grace—as far as the east is from the west. Through the gospel, I’m no longer afraid of you as my Judge, but take me deeper and deeper into an affectionate reverence for you. Your love is so compelling and transforming.

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Heb. 10:17 (ESV)

Almighty and loving Father, I know you don’t really have amnesia about my sins, but you have promised me something far better. You will never ever remember my sins against me; because you have remembered them against Jesus on the cross. He took the judgment I deserve that you might give me the grace I could never earn. Hallelujah, what a Savior! Hallelujah, what a salvation!

We are washed clean and guilt free

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” – Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)

Gracious God, as hard as it is to imagine, and despite everything my discouraged heart tells me, you have washed me clean through the blood of Jesus. In your sight, I cannot be more guiltless, heart-clean, and pure. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I believe this is true; help my unbelief. The riches of your grace continue to astound me.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:1 (NLT)

Lord Jesus, through the gospel, my permanent address is now “in Christ,” and my eternal song is “no condemnation.” I praise, bless, and adore you for this astonishing and liberating news. I will never be held guilty for my sins again, for you took my guilt on the cross. There is now NO condemnation hanging over me—not a scintilla, even for a nanosecond—none, nil, zip, zilch. Make this good news more real to me than ever.

We have been declared legally and completely righteous in Christ

He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21 (NASB)

Most glorious and grace-full Jesus, what wondrous love is this, indeed! As my substitute in life, you lived a perfect life of obedience, thus fulfilling every demand of the law for me. And as my substitute in death on the cross, you completely exhausted God’s judgment against my sin. I am totally forgiven, perfectly righteous, and eternally free in you. Hallelujah, many times over! Take me deeper and deeper into the reality of this good news.

You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11 (ESV)

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—glorious Trinity, this one verse reminded me how the whole godhead has secured my irrevocable, magnificent salvation. Wow… how astonishing, comforting, and humbling. Father, you washed and justified me through the finished work of Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit you set me apart for yourself and have sanctified me. I am undone with joy, filled with gratitude, and set free to love and serve you. Eternal thanks and praise to you!

We are beloved children of God—loved by the Father just as much as he loves Jesus

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)

Most gracious and Almighty God, supersize the chambers of my heart that I might take in more of the wonder of this good news. You have drawn me to yourself with an unfailing, irresistible, powerful love—not because of anything in me, but because of everything in you. And now, because of what you have done for me in Jesus—once and for all, you love me with an unwavering, everlasting love. I cannot add to your love for me, and I cannot take away from it; because it’s not about me, it’s all about Jesus. I’m undone with peace.

I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. John 17:23 (NLT)

Dear Lord Jesus, this one verse exposes how little I “get” the gospel, and what a neophyte I am in grasping the wonders of God’s grace. Let me get this right: you are telling me that God the Father loves me as much as he loves you… this is astonishing. How can it be? I know the right answer, but wrap the right answer tightly around my heart and drive it deep into my spirit. My heavenly Father loves me just as much as he loves you because of everything you have done for me. You earned my salvation for me, Jesus—completely and forever. When you spoke those words from the cross, “It is finished!”—you were speaking on my behalf, just as much as for anyone. This isn’t just a “game changer”, Jesus; it’s an “everything changer”. Arise my soul, arise, and shake off your guilt, shame, and unbelief. Wow!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! – 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

Heavenly Father, this is one of my favorite commands in the Bible to obey. Absolutely… I want to see everything you will show me about the great love that comes with being your adopted children. So by the Holy Spirit, open my heart’s eyes to behold it’s height, depth, width, and breadth of your affection for me in Jesus. And, Oh, how I love the word “lavish,” when attached to your love. You haven’t dribbled, trickled, or sprinkled your love on us; you have lavished it! To be your child is like standing under the life-giving Niagara Falls of your grace. Thank you, now and forever.

We are delighted in and enjoyed by God, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)

Magnificent and merciful Lord, this portion of your Word contradicts so many wrong notions I’ve had about you, and it invites my heart to go to places your Spirit alone can take me. Oh… my… goodness! Such doxological wonder and heart overload—because the gospel is true—right now, in this very moment, you greatly delight in me. You’re not irritated or disappointed with me. You are committed to quiet me with your love; not shame me with rebukes. You “exult” (what a powerful word) over me—not just with singing, but with loud singing. Father, enable me to hear you serenading me in the gospel, in this very moment, and forever. I, praise, bless, and worship you for so great a salvation, and so great a Savior as Jesus.

We are free from all the demands and judgment of the law.

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1 (NLT)

Lord Jesus, there is no freedom like the freedom we have in you. To be free from the law’s demands is astonishing, exhilarating, and (hallelujah) true! And yet, my default mode always seems to be towards performance-based living. By the power of the gospel, keep liberating me from all forms of legalism, pragmatism, moralism, and all other “isms” that contradict free grace. I am no longer a slave to the law, but a beloved child of God, all because of what you have done for me.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 (NIV)

Abba, Father, many times my heart has to catch up with my head, especially in matters of grace. Theologically, I know that when Jesus died on the cross, he took all the punishment I deserve. Your wrath was poured out on Jesus completely; and now you pour out your love on me fully. I know this is what the Bible teaches, but make it palpably real to my heart, Father. By the truth of the Holy Spirit, drive out these residual fears in my heart that haunt me with threats of condemnation and judgment. May your perfect love drive out everything that contradicts your declaration that I am fully and eternally accepted in Christ. Shut the mouth of the devil with this Jesus’ bold affirmation, “It is finished!”

We have been sealed and are indwelt by God’s Spirit

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Eph. 1:13-14 (ESV)

Gracious Father, thank you for enabling me to hear and believe the gospel. My salvation is all of grace. You have sealed me with the promised Holy Spirit—who is an inviolate sign that I belong to you, now and forever. You began my salvation, and you will bring it to conclusion, one Day. By the Holy Spirit, you assure me that I belong to you and guarantee my final inheritance. Nothing can separate me from your love, or move you to disinherit me. Signed, sealed, and delivered, I’m yours!

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT)

Most loving and gracious God, I know this verse is offered as a rhetorical question; but sometimes I don’t realize that you have given me the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And when I forget, I start acting like a spiritual orphan, and I fall back into fear, and some form of self-salvation or performance-ism. Thank you for giving me your Spirit, Father. You sent him into my heart to constantly remind me that I am your beloved child. I’m not my own; I’m yours. Hallelujah! The Spirit is also faithfully at work in my life to make me like Jesus, for there’s no other way that could ever happen. Thank you, Father, thank you.

We have been adopted by God, and given all the legal rights and personal delights of the children of God

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NLT)

Abba, Father… how I love to call you by that name. When you drew me to Christ, you forgave all my sins; declared me to be righteous in Christ; and then you adopted me as your very own and beloved child. Amazing, astonishing… I still have a hard time taking in all this goodness, Father. That’s why you have given me your Holy Spirit. He’s the only one who can powerfully combat the spirit of fear that is ever lurking, so wanting me lure me back into the dungeon of guilt and shame.

But it’s true, it’s true, it’s true… I’m no longer a slave. Jesus is my righteousness, the Spirit is my guarantee, and you are my Father. You cannot love me more, and you’ll never love me less.

We are confident of God’s acceptance, not fearful of his rejection

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 2 Corinthians 3:12 (NIV)

Father, it feels so good to be set free from the old “He loves me; he loves me not” spirituality. Because the gospel is true, I can be bold, assured, and at home in your presence. Hallelujah, there’s no more need to pose or pretend with you, Lord. I’ve traded in my “fig leaves” for the righteousness of Jesus.

By your grace, I discovered my condition was far worse than I ever imagined; but I’ve also discovered you love me far more than I could have hoped or dreamed. I’m no longer afraid to die and face judgment; and I’m learning to be less fearful to face the challenges of life and opinions of men. Keep the freedom coming,

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Heb. 4:16

Dear Lord Jesus, it’s only because you went gladly to the cross of judgment that I now come boldly to your throne of grace. I don’t come “hat in hand”, but as someone who is safely in your hand. For such freedom, welcome, and love, I worship and adore you; and for the promise of fresh mercy and sufficient grace, I now trust you. Hear my plea and supply what you will. You are a most wonderful and merciful Savior!

We are free from performance-based living, and, therefore, no longer despise our brokenness and weaknesses.  

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Cor. 4:7 (NIV)

Gracious and loving Father, it feels so good to be done with “doing more and trying harder.” It’s so liberating to know that, far from denying and despising my limitations, the gospel actually calls me to accept them. Take this “jar of clay” and release the aroma of grace through me today—in all of my relationships and everywhere you send me. I’m done with trusting in my “grit”; I will rely on your grace for the power I need to live and love to your glory.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Cor. 12:9 (NLT)

Lord Jesus, if your power works best in my weakness, then I gladly humble myself before you today, with palms us in praise and surrender. You are my righteousness and sufficiency; my help and my hope; my life and my freedom. Work in me and through me to your glory today. Free me from any need to be noticed and appreciated. I love being loved by you, and living as a conduit of your life-giving grace.

We are never alone and will never be abandoned

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT

Father, thank you, thank you, thank you for the promise of your perpetual presence. When I’m afraid to be alone, you won’t let me be. When I want to be alone, you won’t let me be. When I need you to come through for me, you will. When it feels like you’re not coming through for me, you are. When I’m discouraged, you don’t despise, chide me, or revile me; you enter, engage, and encourage me. When I’m afraid you don’t say, “Buck up, be strong,” you say, “I understand, I’m here.” I praise and adore you.

We have a Father who is sovereign over everything and who is working in all things for our good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28 NIV

Father, you are God and I am not. Hallelujah! You’ve numbered my hairs and my days; you appoint my joys and my pain; you give and you take away—blessed be your name… because the main thing I’m aware of what you’ve given is Jesus, and the main thing I’m glad you’ve taken away is my sin. Your sovereignty is my sanity and your reign is my joy. Of course you’re working in all things for my good, and your glory—even when I cringe, doubt, and struggle with your sense of timing. The gospel convinces me of this. One Day it will all make sense. But for now, you bottle my tears and, one Day, will wipe them all away. I am blessed beyond all sensibility. Hallelujah!

We are new in Christ and a part of the New Creation order.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Dear Jesus, my favorite and most eternal address is “in Christ.” In you, I have more than I need and realize, and everything I want and could ever hope for. When God rescued me from the dominion of darkness and hid my life in you, I became a part of the new creation era. Every promise in the Old Testament finds it’s emphatic “Yes!” in you. Every vision of the Messianic age will be fully realized, because you completely fulfilled the work God gave you to do. You are the Lamb of God who took away my sin; the Lord of Lords, who is making all things new; and the Lamp of the New City, whose glory will radiate in the new heaven and new earth. Hallelujah, what a Savior you are! Hallelujah, what a salvation we have in you!

We are co-heirs with Christ of the new heaven and new earth.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”  Romans 8:17 (NIV)

Heavenly Father, just being your beloved child is enough, but according to your Word, you have also given me an inheritance beyond anything I could hope or imagine. By the gospel, you have legally made us co-heirs with Jesus of the new heaven and new earth. Jesus wasn’t exaggerating when he said we will inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5). Everything that’s coming to him is coming to us. How astonishing, humbling, and liberating. Father, this overloads the “circuit board” of my heart. Your kindness and generosity are beyond measure. Forgive me for whining about what I don’t have, reaching for what I don’t need, and under-believing what is already mine.

We are a chosen people—set apart to live in God’s story to his glory.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

Father, by your grace, you have freed me from a self-centered life of giving you bit parts in my story, and have written me into your big story of every-nation redemption and cosmic renewal. I’m not choice, I’m chosen; I’m not royal, but I’ve been re-birthed into the eternally royal family; I’m not a bit holy in myself, but am perfectly holy in Christ; I’m no longer my own (hallelujah!), but your own possession (double hallelujah!) And for the rest of my life, and throughout eternity, I have been given the privilege of declaring the excellences of your grace and the wonders of your love. I never want to go back to my silly little story of the quest for personal peace and affluence.

“For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV)

Yes! The pressure is off. Father, thank you for showing me that the gospel isn’t about what I’m to do for you, but what you’ve done for me in Jesus and what you’re doing through me for your glory. We are your co-workers, in your service, in your field, and in your building. We all matter, but none of us is the point. We all have a part to play in your story, but your story will progress, with us or without us. This makes me want to be about the delights, design, and demands of your Kingdom more than ever. It’s not about me, hallelujah, it’s not about me! The pressure is off, and the praise is on!

We are ambassadors of Christ, through whom God is redeeming his family

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:20

Whew! Nobody’s salvation is “on my head”. Jesus, there was a time when I used to carry an unbearable burden—the salvation of my family and friends. But I’m an ambassador, not a savior; a messenger, not the Messiah; a witness to grace, not a raiser of the dead—that would be you. Thank you for the privilege of being a means by which you are redeeming your bride from every nation. Free me to love well, share the gospel freely, and trust you eminently. All of history is bound up with your commitment to populate the new heaven and new earth with your people. Use me, anyway you please and choose, in that history-defining story. I’m an ambassador; you’re the King.

We have a secure and glorious future

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11(NLT)

Dear Father, I know this verse isn’t a private verse for me to claim; it’s your mega-promise that claims me, all of your people, and the entire cosmos. Hallelujah, many times over! Because of Jesus’ finished work, I’m a part of your story of unimaginable redemption and cosmic restoration. I don’t have to be afraid of anything—dying or living. The gospel of your grace confirms you are unequivocally and incomparably good. The truth of your Word affirms that our future is crammed full and bursting at the seams with hope. No eye has seen, ear heard, or mind imagined what you have prepared for those you love; and I love you only because you first loved me and gave Jesus on my behalf. Enough said, except, “Glory!”

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

Father, my salvation is a work I didn’t begin and you alone can finish. I could never perform my way out of my sin or earn my way into your love. From beginning to end, my salvation is all of grace—the whole redemptive enchilada. I contributed nothing but my sin, and you gave everything in your Son. Oh, the peace, joy, and freedom that comes with really believing the gospel is as complete and good as you declare it to be. And, Oh the wonder of realizing that one Day, I will be as lovely as and as loving as Jesus, for you WILL complete this good work of grace in my life. For so great a salvation I worship you; for so great a Savior, I adore you.

 

 

 

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