prayer thursday: why do you lead

Category : God, different, faith, prayer thursday, sharing faith

……….

The more involved I become with my church, the more I ask myself, “why do I lead?”  Do I lead because I want to serve people in my community?  Or do I lead because I want to be seen as insightful and intelligent?  Or maybe even to be useful?

Right now I can say with confidence that it’s because I want to serve.  I want to make the world better.  I want more people to know Jesus.  I want more people to experience the freedom I have because of my relationship with God.

But there’s always a temptation there.  Satan is clever, and he’s good at using our own strengths against us.  I am no exception.

Serving

God – Please keep me centered on you.  Don’t let the excitement of new opportunities, new challenges, and new contributions pull me from you.  Don’t let me think that what the church needs is more of me, remind me that what it really needs is more of you.  Help me fight back the temptations to be seen as smart, to be seen as clever, to feel that I am needed.  Let me serve because I love you, and nothing more.

prayer thursday: obedience

Category : God, faith, prayer thursday, taking action

 

This week on R3 I’ve been talking a lot about obedience.  Sometimes obedience takes the form of strange requests from God.  Sometimes obedience is to the mundane, “every day” activities like doing your job or taking care of your family.  So it seems appropriate to include it in my prayers. 

 a prayer for obedience

God help me to be obedient.  Because it seems that most days no matter how much I say I want to follow you, when it comes down to it, I’d rather be doing my own thing.  I know that you ask us to do things because it’s in our best interest.  You don’t waste our time with doing unnecessary things.  But it’s so hard to break from the selfish desires.  So many things in this world say “it’s all about me”.  So many things tell me I should only care about myself.  But that’s not true.  Help me to remember that.  Help me to overcome those things. 

Help me to listen, and act, even when I don’t really feel like it.  Help me overcome myself.

prayer thursday: compared to others…

Category : different, failure, faith, prayer thursday, trust

 

Is there anything easier than comparing what you have with what other people have?  More importantly is there any faster way of making yourself depressed?  Psychologists have even built entire theories around these social comparisons. 

We often think that just because you believe in Jesus, it means your life gets easier.  Often that’s not the case.  And just because you believe, it doesn’t mean you are less likely to compare yourself to others.

jealous comparisons

Lord – Help me to stay focused on you.  Remind me that my job isn’t to judge, but to be faithful.  It’s not to be jealous, but be trusting.  Yet…it’s hard, and I often fail.  It’s so much easier for me to look around and see the lives people live, and the things people have than to trust you.  Help me to break that habit.  Help me to stay focused on you, even when my eyes want to wander away.  Help me to be excited about what I have, not jealous of what I don’t need. 

prayer thursday: thanksgiving

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Category : God, different, faith, hope, miracles, worship

 

Today is Thanksgiving.  A day we Americans typically eat a ton of food, spend time with friends and family, and watch the Lions lose.  And it’s also the conclusion to R3’s series on thanks giving.  I’ve found that just writing and thinking about these posts has really impacted my perspective.  I find I’m a lot more thankful for just the random stuff in my life.  I hope you find the same.

Thankfulness

God – Thank you for everything you do in my life.  Most days I simply don’t take enough time to thank you for all the miracles I experience.  If I’m honest, I almost never thank you for anything.  In fact, my attitude tends to be one of ungratefulness, rather than gratitude.  I am sorry for that.

As I sit here thinking about how complex life is, I am amazed that my body can breathe air, type words, and hold a conversation with you all at the same time.  Even though I usually take it for granted, I am grateful for a working body. 

Mostly though, I find today I am very thankful for you.  You’ve completely changed my life.  You’ve completely changed me!  And you did it for no other reason than you love me.  Not because I deserved it.  Not because I earned it.  Simply because you are love.  For that I am thankful. 

As I enjoy thanksgiving with friends and family, I ask that you watch over them, and everyone else.  Perform miracles, heal the sick, and do amazing things – and I am thankful even when you aren’t doing those things in my life. 

You are a loving God.  For that I am thankful!  Amen.

<comments are open, feel free to add your own prayer of thanks>

prayer thursday: focusing on God

Category : God, faith, fear, hope, prayer, prayer thursday

    

Sometimes I get caught up in my life.  I get wrapped up in the details as they say.  I worry about the little things and because of that I stop focusing on what God is doing in my life.  Third Day has a song called “Blind” that captures this thought nicely. 

How could I have been so blind to not see you
The more that I look the more I find
You’ve led me to the truth
That I am nothing if I’m without you
You opened my eyes and helped me to find
How could I have been so blind

 focusing on God

God, all too often I spend my time worrying about all the mistakes I’ve made instead of focusing on you.  Help me not to do that.  Remind me that you’ve already forgiven my past, and I can’t control the future, so help me to just focus on the present.  Help me to always keep my eyes fixed on you.  So even if it doesn’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything, as long as I’m following you let that be enough.  Amen.

 <comments are open, feel free to add your own prayer asking to remain focused on God>

 

prayer thursday: helplessness

Category : choice, faith, live for the eternal, prayer thursday

  

I have now reached 5 days without power, and I have to admit, I’m a little cranky.  Living without power has really forced me to consider a few things as I mentioned earlier.  But the most pressing is being caught between feelings of helplessness and “in the overall scheme of things this isn’t a big deal.”  Depending when you ask me, I’m either irritated or I’ll simply shrug my shoulders and say, “who cares?”  As a wise friend said the other day, “this storm reminds me that there is a God, and I am not him.”

helplessness

God - I’m confused.  Part of me feels helpless.  I can’t get into a rhythm with my life.  My routines are destroyed, and I find that I draw a lot of comfort from those routines.  Maybe that’s wrong.  Maybe I need to draw more comfort from you, and less from what I do with my time.  But I admit, not all of me feels helpless.  Part of me feels perfectly calm, because I know that none of these problems really matter.  Who cares if I can’t watch TV for a week?  Who cares if I had to throw away all my food?  What does it matter if I need to burn candles instead of flip a switch?  You tell us to not worry, because it won’t add a day to our lives.  And that if the flowers of the field don’t worry about clothing, we shouldn’t worry about our situations – because you already know what we need.

I know that there are people in worse shape than me.  But I still find myself being selfish.  I seem to be caught jumping from one extreme to the other.  And I feel guilty about that.  Help me to center myself on you.  Help this storm, this irritation, become something that draws me closer to you. 

Pull me closer Lord, pull me closer.

 <comments are open, feel free to add your own prayer for people who are currently living without power, both here and abroad>

 

prayer thursday: obedience

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Category : God, faith, fear, prayer, prayer thursday

 

God wants us to be in a relationship with him, and it’s difficult to do that if you don’t spend any time talking to him.  That’s where prayer comes in.  It’s simply a conversation between you and God.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or formal.  In fact, usually the most important prayers come when we’re just speaking from our hearts, not worrying about finding the “right words.”

On prayer thursday everyone is invited to add their own prayer, or prayer requests in the comments section.  This week’s topic: obedience.

Obedience

God – Sometimes we hear you telling us to do something and we ignore you.  Sometimes we ignore you because we’re afraid.  Other times it’s because we “know better.”  But lets face it, we really don’t.  We just want to be the ones in charge.  We’re stubborn.

Help me to overcome my own selfishness, and stubbornness.  Help me to resist the temptation to do it “my way.”  But most of all, help me follow you, even when it feels too big or too overwhelming.  Help me be obedient when I think I can’t.

 <comments are open>