Saturday's Prayer: Set Apart

18622670_1146368465468576_589040619653122163_n.jpg

Saturday’s Prayer: Set Apart

Psalm 4:3 - Know that the LORD has set apart the faithful for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.

There are some fundamental questions in life to which we need to know the answers.  The right and godly answer to those questions, which we find in the Bible provide stability and resilience in life no matter what is thrown at us.  But the wrong answer to those questions leaves us on shaky ground indeed, leaves us shaking in our boots, unsure and unnerved at sometimes the smallest things.

The biggest questions seem to be along these lines: Who am I? Why am I here?  Where am I going?  What capability and ability do I have? In other words: What is my identity, destiny, purpose, and possibility?  The right answer provides stability.  The right answer evens out the highs and the lows so that they aren’t as extreme.  The wrong answer leaves us shaking and gives us dramatic peaks and valleys.

David knew the answer to all those questions, the answer that God alone gives.  He knew that he was a faithful servant of God, whom God had set apart for himself. He belonged to God.  He was God’s child and so God would hear him when he called. He knew that God was watching and ruling all things for his good.  He wasn’t deeply troubled at his enemies because he knew that God was at his side.

David wants us to know the same.  KNOW THIS, he said.  Know that the LORD has set apart the godly, faithful servant for himself.  Know this, deep down in your heart that you, a child of God, a follower of Jesus, a faithful servant of the Most High God, have been set apart for God.  He has set you apart for himself and for his glory.  He has set you apart for his plan and for his purposes.  You are his!  And he is yours.

There are many questions for which we seek answers.  This one, however, David has answered for us.  Who am I?  What is my identity?  I am a child of God, set apart for the purposes and plans of the Lord himself.

PRAYER

Lord God, it’s so easy to forget who I am as I walk through my days. I get caught up in my activities and projects.  I get caught up in the things that I do.  I forget it when things go well and when they aren’t going as well.  Help me remember today that I am set apart for you and your purposes.  You set apart your Son for me that he might buy me for yourself.  Now, I am set apart for you.  I am your child.  Help me remember this and to hallow your name, that name you gave me, as I walk through this day.  Amen. 

Friday's Prayer: Free from Oppression

isa-58-6-web-watermarked.jpg

Friday’s Prayer: Free from Oppression

Isaiah 9:4 - For you have shattered their oppressive yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as you did on the day of Midian.

O Lord, so many days there is an oppressive yoke on my shoulders and there is a rod at my back. It drives me on. It threatens me and punishes me when I fail. It drives me on to work slavishly and steals the joy from the work you have called me to do. Deep in my heart, I think to myself that if I don't perform properly and accomplish all the tasks on my list then everything will fall apart. I carry the weight of the world (at least my part of it) on my shoulders and think it is all up to me. O Lord, this verse is such sweet news to my ears. It tells me that you have shattered the yoke which carried the weight of my world on it. It tells me that you have broken the rod that drives me along each day like a slave driver. You, dear Lord, carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You, dear Savior, have already carried the weight of my sin and sinfulness to your cross. I am free! I am free to run and serve with the knowledge that you will use my best efforts and even my worst ones for your good. You are ruling my world with power and justice. I am free to run and serve because I am pleasing in your sight and loved by you. O Lord, fill my day with this joy and freedom as I live for you. Amen.

Thursday's Prayer: Listen!

06212016.jpg

Thursday’s Prayer: Listen!

Shouldn’t a people inquire of their God? Go to God’s instruction and testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, there will be no light of dawn for them. - Isaiah 8:9-10

Dear Lord, it doesn’t make sense to me that people would seek advice from the dead. It doesn’t make sense that we would seek advice from someone reading from a crystal ball or some cards. But why does it make sense to me that I would sit at my desk or my dining room table and try to figure out things in my life without you? Why do I look to my own understanding and my own wisdom when I’m trying to make decisions? Why do I try to figure things out by myself instead of seeking you in prayer and in your Word? There is only darkness and uncertainty in my own understanding and wisdom. But in your Word and from your wisdom there is only light. In pray, I can entrust the things of my life into your care and be confident that you’re going to handle it in just the right way. You promise to even pour out your Holy Spirit on those who ask for him. O Lord, your Word is the true source of all wisdom and light for my path. Your Spirit is the one who gives true understanding and wisdom to my soul. Forgive my foolish self-trust and lead me to trust you more and more. Amen.

God’s Word brings life to our souls and light to our paths.

Tuesday's Prayer: Praise him!

3-8-16Psalm150-2.jpg

Tuesday’s Prayer: Praise him!

Psalm 150:2 - Praise him for his powerful acts; praise him for his abundant goodness.

Lord God, we’re in the month of thanks and giving and so much of this month is about giving thanks for what we have and what’s been given. And rightly so. You are the giver of every good and perfect gift. It comes down from you, the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Dear Lord, this psalm leads me to praise you for who you are and what you do. You are acting powerfully in this world. Lord, I praise and thank you that hold all the things in this world together by your powerful world. The planets stay in their places because you keep them there. The earth and the sun and the orbits and all that happens in the heavens happens because you make it so. I’m thankful for the force of gravity, except when I trip. I’m thankful for the sunlight that warms the earth and lifts my mood when it peeks out from behind the clouds. O Lord, your powerful acts give me great joy. And, dear Father, you loom large in my life. Your abundant greatness overwhelms me. You fill the earth with your presence. When I go to the deepest place, you are there. When I go up to the highest place, you are there. There you lay your hand upon me. All of this is too much for me, O Lord. Today, dear Lord, I praise you for who you are and what you do. Amen.

Monday's Prayer: Crowned

Desktop-Bible-Verse-Wallpaper-Psalm-149-4.jpg

Monday’s Prayer: Crowned

Psalm 149:3-4 - Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and lyre. For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.

Lord God, the reasons for praise and thanksgiving in this psalm are so different from the reasons for praise and thanksgiving in my daily walk. At work we celebrate a new client, a project finished and successfully launched, a victory in the classroom. At work and at home we celebrate things that are done well and that turn out well in the world. But you lead me to thanksgiving before I even step into this day, before a task is completed, before a single thing is done. You lead me to thanksgiving and praise because you are pleased with me. You take pleasure in me and in all of your people. We are the apple of your eye. You take pleasure in us and you crown us with salvation. And you did this before I was even born. You took pleasure in me before I was born. You crowned with victory and your salvation before I did a single thing. O Lord, continue to lead me to thanksgiving and praise today because of your work for me. It is so good. Lead me to praise and thanksgiving because of your applause for me and the crown you have given me. Amen.

God’s view of us changes the way we view the world.