Friday, January 24, 2014

My Everyday Prayer, Part 4

            "I once again commit my family and my path to Your gracious, wise care.  May Your Will be done in and through our lives.  And may all we do be for Your glory.  Help me remember to live for eternity, and not for the temporary."
            It’s all too easy for me to panic about my fears over health, my kids, our safety, and any problems that come up.  I have struggled constantly with discouragement and worry over the years.  I am not one who skips and hums through life.  I wring my hands and “wait for the other shoe to drop” and always feel like God is going to test me like Job by taking away anything or anyone I love.  I’ve lived my life on edge for years.

            And so it is critical for me to give my family over to Him in prayer, to remember that He is a gracious, caring Father and He is much more capable than I am at watching over us.  I am so prone to worry over everything, even things I can’t control.  So I place us in the hands of the One who does control everything. 
            And I remind myself that what I really want is His Will, not mine.  And so I expect that things will happen that I did not want to have happen – trials, upsets, waiting, a “no” to my prayers.  But if I have sought God’s Will (and I am obedient to do my part) then I can trust that whatever happens is because He allowed it and will use it for His purposes.  After all, it is all about His glory!  And whatever He allows is for His glory, for His Kingdom. 
            As hard as it may be, I need to get my will in line with His, to seek His glory over my own comforts and desires.  Because that is what will last eternally.  It has been a goal of mine to consciously live for eternity and not for the temporary, to work for what will last after this earth is destroyed.  I desperately want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  My own desires for comfort and happiness and security can pull my focus away too easily from what really matters, and so I pray that God helps me keep my priorities straight.  Eternal, not temporary!      
            "Guide and protect our country and call us back up to being a nation “under God.”  Have mercy on us and do not give us what we deserve.  But send Your Spirit to start a revival, for we are in desperate need of You!"
            I am thoroughly convinced that our country desperately needs a spiritual awakening - a revival - because we are headed in some really bad directions.  Society is doing everything it can to erase God from the public mind, to criminalize Christianity, and to flat-out defy God and snub their noses at Him.  Even churches are getting away from the Bible and true Christianity. 
            My goodness, I am afraid for us!  And so I lift our country up in prayer often.  And I seek to intercede for us, to appeal to God’s mercy.  Because I feel that we have earned ourselves some very serious punishments and consequences.  And if He were to deal with us according to His justice - to give us what we really deserve - we’d probably be decimated and become a shell of what we once were.  We pretty much are already a shell of what we were.  And I pray that God calls us back to being a nation that glorifies Him, that seeks after Him.  Because if that doesn’t happen, God help us all! 
            Change starts with us.  Revival starts in our hearts, and spreads to our families and our churches and our communities and, finally, our country.  But it has to start with us seeking God, aligning ourselves with the Holy Spirit, and humbling ourselves before our mighty God!  Come on, Christians . . .
            2 Chronicles 7:14-15  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”
            2 Chronicles 16:9:  “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
            How many of us will He find? 
            "Be with my boys as they grow, and with their future wives.  Guide them all to being humble, wise, intelligent, strong, godly adults.  Keep them all safe and pure until marriage.  Help them to find each other at a young age and to commit to godly marriages.  And help them to discover what it is that You want for them and for their lives.  Bless their families.  And I ask that You bless Jason and me with many more healthy, enjoyable years."
            This is a personal part about my family.  I’m asking God to help raise my boys to be what He wants them to be, because I know I can only do so much when it comes to raising them up right.  Basically, once again, I’m asking Him to work through my weaknesses, to help my boys become godly, wise young men despite the ways I might fail. 
            And I pray God’s protection over their future wives, that He protects their minds, their bodies, their innocence.  It is my desire that my boys find godly wives while they are still young-ish, before they all make their “own, independent lives” and have had too much time to mess around sexually.  I would rather that they all find someone when they are fresh and new and pure, and then they can build their lives together, instead of trying to mesh two complete, independent lives. 
            Not everyone will agree with me, but I feel it is far more risky to have people settle down later, with all the temptations out there to mess around with lots of people and all the baggage that can be brought into a marriage and all the selfish patterns that a person gets used to when they’ve been on their own too long.  I’d rather they find someone early and commit to godly marriages, to building a strong marriage in the Lord together.  But that’s just me.
            And of course, I pray that God allows my husband and I to have many more years together, raising our children and enjoying our grandchildren. 

            "Is there anything right now that I need to commit to Your hands?  (*Pause, listen, and pray it over to God.)  And speak to my heart right now about anything that You want me to know, do, or pray.  (*Pause and listen.)  And I pray all of this in Jesus’ most holy name, Amen"       
            I think this speaks for itself.  But what I’m trying to do is to remember to listen.  It is too easy for me to do all the talking and requesting.  But I want to listen more, to be sensitive to God’s leading and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  And so I spend some time after prayer to just be still before the Lord and to hear if there is anything He wants me to “know, do, or pray.”  (And I'll be honest, He doesn't talk back as much as I wish He did.)
            Also, I search my heart to see if there is any concern or fear that I am failing to hand over to Him.  This way, I remember to seek His help with everything, even the things that I sometimes feel like I can handle or that I forget to take to Him right away. 
            And this is my basic Everyday Prayer and what it means to me!  What about you?  How about writing one for yourself, too!