Thursday, July 4, 2013

Like a Thief in the Night - A prayer from 1 Thessalonians 5

Oh, Lord, Your day is coming, unexpectedly and without warning, like a thief breaking into a home in the middle of the night.  People who do not know You (but think they know everything) do not realize that their self-made "security" - money, power, influence - will crumble instantly on that great and terrible day, and there will be no escape.

I can only thank You for Your mercy in bringing me out of the darkness, into Your light, even as I pray for loved ones.  Have mercy on them, O Lord, and open their eyes to see You, too.  Help our family to live as children of light, under the control of the truth.  May we view the circumstances of life with wisdom and circumspection, knowing that You are in control of all things, an d that we must live lives of faith and love.  Faith in You, at all times, no matter what.  Love for You, and for others, as your great commandment says.

Because of what You have done, dear Heavenly Father, we have an unshakeable hope.  You have not destined us for wrath - we are destined for salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us.  We live with Him, no matter what - even if we die physically, we live eternally. WHAT A GREAT HOPE!  Help us, Lord, to encourage one another with this hope, and to build one another up in this truth.

Lord, thank you for our pastor and elders.  May we as a family and a church continue to esteem them highly in love because of their work, for they are Your servants.  May peace reign among us.

Lord, give wisdom to our leaders, so they can discern the difference between the idle, the fainthearted, and the weak.  Help them to be patient with all, and give our leaders the wisdom and courage and grace they need to 

  • admonish the idle (those out of line) to get back in line
  • encourage the faint-hearted (those who fear and doubt) to be bold in faith
  • help the weak (those without spiritual or moral strength)
And, Lord, I pray the same for Rick, as the leader of our home.  Give him wisdom and courage and grace.

Help us never to repay evil for evil, for You have declared "Vengeance is mine, I will repay."  Help us to do good to one another always, and give us wisdom to know what that good would look like.

May we always rejoice.  May we pray without ceasing.  May we give thanks in all circumstances, knowing that no matter what happens, it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us.  May we walk through the valleys and climb the mountaintops with FAITH and TRUST in Your plan, and in Your power to care for Your own.

Lord, help us not to quench the Spirit by sinning, for this would grieve Him.  We are so blessed, so very blessed, to be indwelt by the Spirit of the living God, so help us to submit to His control, walking with Him moment by moment, abiding in Jesus as a branch connected to the Vine.

Lord, help us never to despise prophecies.  Let us be thankful for the preaching of Your Word, and give us the wisdom to test everything we hear by Your Word, holding fast to what is good and discarding what is evil.  

Help us to abstain from every form of evil.

Heavenly Father, my God of peace, please sanctify us completely, separating us from sin unto holiness.  When Jesus Christ comes so suddenly and without warning, may our whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless through His work of redemption on our behalf.  

You are faithful.  You called us out of darkness into Your light, and You who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it.  

Thank You, Lord.  You will surely do all Your will.  You alone have the power to redeem sinners, and to conform them to the image of Your Son.

I stand in awe of You.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Prayer from 1 Thessalonians 3

I love to turn the Word of God into a prayer.  Here's today's musings:

Heavenly Father,

I am challenged by the strong love that Paul feels towards his spiritual children.  He can hardly bear the separation.  He thinks of them constantly, always remembering them in his prayers.

I am not that loving.  I am not that caring.  Even though I love my children, and my spiritual children, it is easy for me to build walls of self-protection when there's been little contact.  I put up my bricks and mortar to protect myself rather than reaching out selflessly to see how they're doing.  

Forgive me, Lord.  Help me to die to self, to bear the pain of separation without ascribing any motives.  Help me to suffer gladly on behalf of my loved ones.  Teach me to pour myself into the lives of those You have assigned to me - children and grandchildren, friends and family - even online friends that I've never met in real life.  Help me to remember that each one is made in Your image, that each encounter is an opportunity to love and serve in the name of Jesus.  May my desire be to establish others in their faith, and to exhort them to press on in Christ.

The tempter is real.  He hates You.  He hates your Son.  Consequently, he hates those who have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus.  He wants to trip us up, to cause us to fall into the pit of depression and despair.  We must not be ignorant of his schemes.  We must resist and stand firm, knowing that even though our human eyes see destruction, You are in control, and will bring beauty from ashes.

When I see evidence of faith and love in my children, it gives me great comfort in spite of the affliction and distress of my life.  I LIVE when I see them stand firm in the Lord.  I rejoice when I hear them speak of their love for You, my God, and Your ways.  This brings joy.  

I pray that we, as parents, as friends, will have opportunity to supply what is lacking in their faith.  As iron sharpens iron, may we influence others for Christ, just as they do the same for us.  

Lord, direct us.  Help us to serve wholeheartedly.  May our children increase and about in love for one another and for all.  May they have a heart to serve, to glorify Your name, to reach out to others.  Establish our hearts blameless in holiness before You, oh God my Father, so that we can rejoice at the coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.