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Archive for the ‘prayers’ Category

A prayer: draw our hearts!

A prayer by Miles Coverdale, who produced the first complete Bible translation into English:

O Lord Jesus Christ, draw thou our hearts unto thee;
join them together in inseparable love,
that we may abide in thee and thou in us,
and that the everlasting covenant between us may stand sure for ever.

Let the fiery darts of thy love pierce through
all our slothful members and inward powers,
that we, being happily wounded,
may so become whole and sound.

Let us have no lover but thyself alone; let us seek no joy nor comfort except in thee.

HT: Marc Cortez

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“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.  Eph. 4:26-27

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Eccl. 7:9

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desiresJames 1:19-20

You must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lipsCol. 3:8

A Prayer for Stewarding Our Anger by Scotty Smith to which I say, “Amen!”

Dear Lord Jesus, these Scriptures are so convicting. Help me steward my anger. It’s always been a confusing, immobilizing, damaging emotion to me, because I’ve been on the destructive end of anger and rage. I remember the fear, the confusion, the shame, and the ambivalence I felt when I was the target of this important, but lethal emotion. I don’t wish such a crushing of the spirit on anyone.

But I’m just as quick to own the ways my anger has also harmed people I love. Though I don’t get loud and large, I can my passive aggressive anger has never resulted in anything good, anything I’m proud of. I praise you for your kindness, mercy and grace for me, Lord Jesus.

As I meditate on these Scriptures, I realize you’re not telling me never to be angry, but to be careful not to sin in my anger. Jesus, help me be angry at the right time, for the right reasons, in the right way. Give me fire in the face of injustice, but wisdom in executing an appropriate response.

Lord Jesus, only you can melt the icy tension in my heart—when I get provoked or don’t process things well. Only you can change my rigidity into playfulness. Only you can redirect the wasted energy of my anger into patience and loving-kindness. Only you can replace my idol of control with a greater worship of you and submission to your purposes.

Right now, Lord Jesus, I throw open every door and window of my heart. Come in and establish multiple footholds of mercy, grace, and compassion. I abandon myself to your beauty and bounty today. So very Amen I pray, in your peerless and priceless name.

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                   Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Ps. 20:7

     Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6

     The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

A prayer by Scotty Smith     

Dear heavenly Father, though it’s not a fun thing, it’s a good thing—it’s an essential thing, even afreeing thing to realize how little control we have over people, places and things.

For only by acknowledging the limits of our humanity will we rest in the beauty of your sovereignty; only by giving up trying to control our circumstances will we come to rejoice in your providences; only by accepting messes as a part of life will we turn to your mercies in the midst of strife; only by crying “Uncle!” will we learn to cry “Abba!”

Father, as this day begins, (and continues), settle our restless hearts and relax our desperate grip on stories, hearts and situations for which your grace alone is sufficient. We turn from our version of “horses and chariots,” and acknowledge that our trust is in you.

By the truth of the gospel, the pledge of your faithfulness and the power of your Spirit, we trust you with people, for whom we have great concerns—even fear and anger. May “faith expressing itself in love” (Gal. 5:6) trump our penchant for “worry expressing itself through meddling.”

We trust you with our unresolved conflicts and broken relational stories. In Jesus, you have commissioned us as ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:20) and called us to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9). Father, we need special grace, for sometimes the emotional toll and toil of messy relationships makes us want to join Jonah on a ship to Tarshish.

Lastly, Father, we trust you with our health (it often feels so fragile); our wealth (because it’s so fleeting and deceptive), our plans (for you alone know the future); and our heart (for it is yours, though we often pawn it off).

It’s because of your great and grace-full love for us in Jesus that we make our prayer, acknowledge our fears, and surrender our trust. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ safe and strong name.

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Two prayers by Scotty Smith may help you as you pray through challenging relationships in your life:

A Prayer for Loving Well in Broken, Sticky Relationships and A Prayer about Relational Messes and God’s Mercies

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Pastor Scotty Smith:

Dear heavenly Father, I begin this day humbled and repentant. I extend my empty hand to you trusting you to give me some of the same sufficient grace you gave Paul. Not only do I need your grace for owning and boasting in my weaknesses, but I need your grace so that I will stop despising weaknesses in others. I’ve had the attitude of a grumpy toddler, the self-righteous elder brother in Luke 15, and a serial killer in my heart. Like every day, I need the gospel today.

Though I’d love to justify myself, there is no such justification. I’m a selfish man who would love for everything and everyone to work in concert to give me an undisturbed, enjoyable, predictable life. Too often, I assume the right to green lights at every intersection, an open cash register when I’m ready to check out, and that the fish will be biting anytime I put a bait in the water.

What is worse, there are times when I don’t want people to fear the stuff they should fear, struggle with the same things I struggle with, or simply be the normal sinners that we all are. God, have mercy on me, the sinner. I am humbled to realize you never get irritated, annoyed or resentful of me.

Abba, Father, I’m so thankful that your love for me is steadfast and that I can count on new mercies every morning—including this morning, and all day long. I not only grieve my attitude, I do repent and abandon myself to the resources of the gospel.

Lord Jesus, I want and I need your power to rest on me and to settle my restless heart. I’ll not pray about next week or even tomorrow; just give me the manna of gospel kindness for this one day. Help me to respond gently and not react rigidly to the weaknesses of others. Help me to roll up my sleeves and not roll my eyes, when I meet brokenness, fragility and fear in others. Help me to love as you love me, for that is the bottom line and the top priority. So very Amen I pray, in your powerful loving name.

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Banner of Truth has made available The Valley of Vision:  A Collection of Puritan Prayers as an on-line devotional!  I love this book!  Use it and it will nourish your soul well!

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Lord, give me grace to hold righteousness in all things
that I may lead a clean and blessed life
and prudently flee evil
and that I may understand
the treacherous and deceitful falseness of the devil.

Make me mild, peaceable,
courteous, and temperate.
And make me steadfast and strong.

Also, Lord, give Thou to me that I be quiet in words
and that I speak what is appropriate.

Amen.

– John Wycliffe (HT – Marc Cortez)

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