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Prayer of Thanksgiving

HappyThanksgivingHeavenly Father,

I come to you in the Name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. I come to you with a heart of thanksgiving. A long list, which cannot be listed in totality. But for starters: I thank you for all the good things in my life, for you are the Creator of all things good, and the giver of every good and perfect gift.  Father, I thank you for your presence; for in your presence is the fullness of joy and in your presence I am complete and whole. In your presence, Father, I have purpose and feel loved.

Thank you!  Lord, thank you for your plan for me to live an abundant life and enjoy it to overflowing through your Son, Jesus Christ. 

Thank you for saving me and empowering me with your Holy Spirit. 

Thank you for your provision, that all my needs are met according to your riches in glory, and that I may prosper in all areas of my life as my soul prospers. 

Father, thank you for my family and friends; my neighbors and my community.

Thank you for a loving church family and a pastor with a heart of love and compassion for people.

Thank you for this country and our freedoms that are often taken for granted.  Father, thank you for Your protection…protecting me and my family, and all those acquainted with me and that I associate with. 

Thank you for Thank you your peace that passes understanding.  The peace that keeps me calm and secure through difficult times and challenging experiences.

Thank you, Father, for your written Word that instructs me and comforts me.  Father, thank you for salvation through faith in Christ.  Father, thank you for my life of victory in you. I am grateful.

Thank you for every person who reads this prayer.  Thank you that they are alive and able to read it.

And above all,  thank you just because you are God, the Creator and deserve all thanks, praise, honor and glory. Thank you for EVERYTHING!

Amen.

 

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Do you have an appointment?

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With our busy lives, scheduling appointments, setting reminders, and recording voice memos to remind ourselves about important events and priorities have become part of our normal routine. Usually, the appointments we set are the most important and we want to make sure we don’t forget them. In other words, what’s important to us, we schedule it in — appointments with our physicians, business partners, lunch dates,  anyone and anything of importance.  I’m sure you know the direction I’m headed by now…

How important is spending time with God to you? Is it a priority? It’s so easy to rush through the day and not MAKE time to pray.

Here are three suggestions to help you develop good prayer habits?

  • Plan to pray. Set an appointment to meet with your heavenly Father. He desires to spend time with you. “Quickie” prayers have their place, but quality time talking and meditating in the Presence of God is like having a satisfying, full-course meal of your favorite foods.

  • Choose the best time (You may even want to consult with Him about your appointment time). Select a specific time of the day, and commit personal prayer.
    Personally, I am not a “morning” person, which simply means I don’t like to get up early, especially that I’m retired and don’t have to share freeway space in traffic jams. I’m a night owl! However, you may be just the opposite…an early morning person. So choose the best time for you. Ideally, morning is the best because we have been refreshed after the previous night’s rest. Early morning time is an excellent way to start your day with a fresh outlook, and the Holy Spirit can prepare you to meet the demands of the day. Also, early morning prayer time is an opportunity to present your plans for the day to the Lord.

  • Be consistent. Whatever, time you choose, make a commitment to keep the appointment. Respect the time you’ve set as valuable as if you were going to your doctor appointment or a business meeting. Being consistent helps you to become disciplined. If you’re a Christian, and spending time with  God is not your highest priority, your relationship with Him will suffer.  I should warn you, if you set an appointment to meet God, He expects you to keep the appointment.

Ultimately, be intentional about pursuing God. If you want to grow spiritually, be strong in the Lord, grow in the knowledge of God the Father, and have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, spending regular and consistent time with Him, is absolutely essential.

Prayer of Confession

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” —Psalm 32:5

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

I am so thankful that Father God is kind and forgiving. After all, it was kindness and unconditional love for us that He made Jesus Christ, who had no sin be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). And He continues to forgive all who will acknowledge/confess their sin to Him now.

Confession is an essential form of prayer (communication with God); it is also a serious aspect of the Christian lifestyle. When we acknowledge or confess (admit) our sins, ask for forgiveness and repent, God is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). 

In order to confess/acknowledge our sins, we should be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit convicts us of our wrongdoing; He shows us the sin in our life so that we deal with it. If we don’t confess our sins, receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing power, we will continue to commit sinful acts.  If we continue in sin, we cannot continue walking in the light and enjoying relationship with Christ. Sin can be compared to an infection that if goes untreated will spread and result in death.  Spiritually speaking, if we don’t confess our sins to the Lord and allow Him to cleanse us, we risk being disconnected from Him and dying spiritually.

We should prayerfully examine our lives frequently, daily if necessary, to make sure we don’t allow sin to fester in our lives.  I might also note that sins of the heart (jealousy, envy, covetousness) are sometimes easier to overlook than sinful acts such as fornication, adultery, theft, murder.  Sin cannot be classified or categorized as “small”  and “big”.  We must confess all sin.

Also, use Scriptures when confessing your sins to God.  Here is an example of a prayer of confession:

Heavenly Father,

I come to you in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord.  I ask You to have mercy upon me, Father, according to your loving kindness. Wash me and I shall be clean; purify my heart, cleanse me from all unrighteousness as you said in your word according to 1 John 1:9.  Lord, I confess I sinned against you; I acknowledge my disobedience.  I ask that you forgive me for grumbling and complaining and not walking in faith.  I know that without faith it is impossible to please you.  My desire is to please you, Father. Help me control my anger and have the right attitude that reflects your character. I am sorry;I turn away from my sin toward you in all honesty. Create a clean heart in me and renew my spirit to remain loyal to you.  Thank you, Father for forgiving me and cleansing me.  In Jesus’ Name with thanksgiving. Amen.

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I recommend that after you pray, remain in silence to listen for Him to speak to your spirit concerning your confession and request for forgiveness.  Make sure you confess all known or revealed sin; you may want to be specific about your sin (in your private prayer time, of course).  After you’ve finished praying,  He may give you Scriptures, or speak in a still small whisper to assure and comfort you.  However, if He does not speak immediately after your prayer,  let your faith and the Word give you the assurance that your prayer was heard, and you are forgiven, if you prayed earnestly in faith. 

Prayer of Adoration

Adoration is an element of prayer that should always be included in our conversation with God. It involves praise and worship. We should always acknowledge God’s “worthship” or worthiness to be adored. Adoration is always appropriate whether our specific prayer requests have been answered or not.  God deserves our adoration because He is God!

Prayers of adoration simply means we exalt, esteem, bless and honor the Lord.  We reflect upon His character—holiness, goodness, love, mercy, power, grace and dominion.

Revelation 4:11, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”  In essence, we are to adore the Lord because He is worthy…He created all things, and brought everything into being because that is what He wanted to do.

When you draw closer to God through prayer, most of your prayer time should be devoted to adoring Him. I have learned that prayers of adoration opens the window of blessings and brings you into the very Presence of God Almighty. Often times the more you adore Him the need to make requests isn’t necessary. Since He knows what we need before we ask, He will grant our unspoken requests and give us the desires of our heart that are aligned with His will and plan for our life.  How awesome is that?

Let’s adore Him now:

Our Father,

You are holy and righteous and just, deserving of praise, honor and glory!  Your name is great and greatly to be praised. Before the earth was formed, You are! You are from everlasting to everlasting. We honor You and give You the praise you deserve. You are good and your mercy endures forever from generation to generation. Oh! how we adore you, and magnify Your name.  You are the only true God above all gods. There is none like You. We worship You in spirit and in truth.  Oh! Lord, faithful and true, how excellent is Your name in all the earth. We bow down to You and worship You in the beauty of holiness.  Let all the people praise You! How majestic is Your name! The heavens declare your glory and from our lips we offer you the fruit of praise, and bless Your Holy Name, our Lord and our God, forever and ever. Amen!

 

Overwhelmed by trouble?

Listen to my prayer, O God.
Do not ignore my cry for help!
2 Please listen and answer me,
for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.
3 My enemies shout at me,
making loud and wicked threats.
They bring trouble on me
and angrily hunt me down.

My heart pounds in my chest.
The terror of death assaults me.
5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me,
and I can’t stop shaking.
6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
7 I would fly far away
far from this wild storm of hatred.

Life happens! Day after day or week after week there is something to deal with that can cause overwhelming anguish.

Have you ever felt like God was ignoring your cry for help? Have you ever felt like God doesn’t care about your troubles?

I know I’m not the only one that has felt like the psalmist in the above Scriptures.   Have you ever just wanted to get away from it all—ESCAPE? That would  be the easy way out…fly away from it all. But notice what the psalmist said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away far from this wild storm of hatred.”  But the truth is we don’t have wings like a dove to fly away!  Since we don’t have wings flying away is not an option to escape from troubles. Just in case you’re thinking suicide is a way of escape….No! It’s an easy way out with eternal damnation (Judas, the son of perdition, Jesus’ betrayer, Matthew 27:3-5, John 17:12), and leaves an overwhelming burden on others to feel guilty and responsible for your lack of faith and feelings of hopelessness and despair due to life’s troubles. Don’t let the cares of life, guilt from past mistakes make you take the easy way out! Fight for your life and surrender your all to Christ…He loves you even if you “feel” like He does.  It’s by faith that you receive His gift of salvation, not by feelings.

So how do you deal with troubles? How do you deal with the violence and wickedness you see?  How do you handle broken relationship—friends who are now your enemies?  Although it may feel as if God is ignoring you, believe that He hears and will answer.  Don’t stop believing; don’t stop praying. Do just as the psalmist said in verse sixteen, “But I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress and the LORD hears my voice.”  And he continues in verse twenty-two, “Give your burdens to the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

Jesus Christ is our example. Judas was His friend turned enemy and betrayed Him.  Jesus was overwhelmed with anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane, but He continued to cry out to Father.  But more important, Jesus committed Himself to the Father, who rescued Him (Luke 23:46), and rewarded Him.  And, because Jesus was rescued and rewarded, we reap the benefits (Isaiah 53:10-12).

Yes! Life happens! Day after day, week after week there is something to deal with that can cause overwhelming anguish, but as Believers in the all-powerful God, we continue to cry out for help, and believe He will rescue us.  Our escape has already been provided. Our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We don’t live on feelings, we live by faith in the Son of God

Persist in prayer!

“Lord, help me!”

Three words uttered in sincerity changed my life forever!  I attended a Sunday morning worship service in 1982 at a neighborhood church one of my aunts recommended.  After the sermon, “Lord, help me” was the simple prayer the pastor instructed everyone to repeat, if you wanted the Lord to change your life.  Truth is I don’t even remember the title of the sermon , not to mention specific content.    But what I do remember is repeating those words, and being overpowered by a force so powerful that I literally had no control over my body, only my mind.  My mind comprehended quickly this is real!  Without a doubt, I knew it was the transforming supernatural power of God’s Spirit.  It was that experience thirty years ago that convinced me of the supernatural power of God. To this date, when I call to mind that encounter, my reality of the power of God and prayer, even the simplest one assures me that God hears and answers a cry for help. Nobody can convince otherwise. In many circumstances, we may not like His answers or the method in which He answers; therefore, we must trust His sovereignty and wisdom to always do what is right and best in accordance with His will and plan for your life.

Your personal experience or encounter with God is the knowledge that you must hold on to when it appears He’s not answering your prayers. The one thing no one can take away from you—your reality …your truth that God is real.  Perhaps, your personal experience was or may be different from mine, but within your heart you know… Hold on to what you know as your reality!

Know that you can always ask for God’s help and He will come to your rescue, in whatever way He chooses, when you ask in sincerity.

Has everyday since 1982 been an ice cream and cake walk, or a bed of roses for me? No! As a matter of fact, some days have been like being forced to eat liver and onions (In case you didn’t guess…I hate liver and onions!), and some nights have been like sleeping on a bed of thorns from the rose stems. Yet, I am so thankful that even in the “bad” days and sleepless night, I have never stop believing and praying.  Why? Because of what I know happens when I call out to Him like I did that Sunday morning in 1982.  After all Jesus did give an illustrative story to convey we should always pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-8).

So I ask you, what is your reality about the power of God and prayer that causes you to persist in prayer regardless of circumstances?

This can be your right now time to cry out, “Lord, help me!”

Learning from Habakkuk, Part 3 (Conclusion)

Objectives:

1) To provide prayer coaching insights to inspire and encourage you to keep praying in spite of external circumstances and even though present conditions seems to worsen;

2) Enhance your knowledge about your position, perspective and perception of prayer;

3) Provide wisdom and understanding to new converts struggling to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life;

In part two we learned that after God shared His plan with the prophet, he repented for being rash in his approach and dialogue with God. Although he didn’t understand God’s plan to use the Chaldeans (Babylonians) to chastise the nation of Judah, he accepted God’s decision and would have to TRUST God.

We learned that we should get in position , watch and pray to see and hear from God. Now, here we are at the conclusion of the lessons to be learned from Habakkuk. 

After God shared with Habakkuk what was ahead for Babylon—destruction even for the wicked nation He used to chastise Judah, the prophet understood that no one is exempt from God’s judgment.  In chapter three, we find the prophet praying in sung.  Yes. His prayer was sung. It was a plea for mercy!  At the core of intercessory prayer is the cry for God’s mercy. After his plea for mercy the prophet concluded with praise for the Mighty God (3:1-2).

So often, we don’t understand or like how God brings about justice, or works to bring His plans and purposes to pass. Yet when we see the outcome, or even grab hold to the promise of a victorious outcome, we can only marvel at His wonderous works and give Him praise.  This was the case with Habakkuk. Again, this is why prayer is so important.  Having a relationship with Him where you can approach Him and have dialogue. Communicating with the Almighty God positions you; more important, it conditions you to agree with His plan and trust Him to always do what is just and right for everyone concerned.  And the one thing that helps condition you to say, “Yes” to His will and way of doing things is PRAISE!

In all your prayers always praise!  In essence, Habakkuk concluded by saying, all that I’ve heard that’s going to happen is fearful, but I’m going to wait in expectation of what God has said. Although disaster and destruction is coming, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength!  He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights (Habakkuk 3:16-19).

What can we learn from this? Align and agree with God’s will and the plan He uses to fulfill His purposes. Posture yourself in prayer to be conditioned for whatever He allows. Even if disaster and destruction comes upon us, know that God is just.  Because of your relationship with Him, you can trust His plan even if what He has shared has terror shaking consequences.  Nevertheless, give God praise for He is Sovereign and He is your strength.

Remember when praying always praise!

 

 

Learning from Habakkuk, Part 2

Objectives:

1) To provide prayer coaching insights to inspire and encourage you to keep praying in spite of external circumstances and even though present conditions seems to worsen;

2) Enhance your knowledge about your position, perspective and perception of prayer;

3) Provide wisdom and understanding to new converts struggling to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life;

In part one we know that the prophet Habakkuk poured out his complaint to God concerning the conditions in Judah…the sin, idolatry, violence and wickedness that had become the “norm” for God’s people.  His major complaint was God was doing nothing about the sin and lawlessness that was going on (so he thought).  However, God did answer in a vision and told Habakkuk His plan to use the Chaldeans (Babylonians) to chastise the nation of Judah.  In Habakkuk’s dialogue with God, a vivid descriptions of the Babylonian’s characteristics were given—bitter and impetuous (hasty), scoffers, proud, takers, dreadful and violent.  God told Habakkuk what the Babylonians would do—they would march through the breadth of the land to take possession of dwelling places that didn’t belong to them…they would take prisoners and destroy.  They would be no match for Judah nor the surrounding nations. Of course, this plan of God bothered Habakkuk even more.

Isn’t it just like us to inquire of the Lord, seek Him for directions, asking to know His plan? Then when He shares the details, or give us a mere glimpse, we don’t like it; we don’t understand it.  So it was with Habakkuk.  This made no sense. Why would a just God use such a wicked nation as Babylon to bring judgment upon wicked Judah?  Probably right here is where I should remind you of what God told the prophet Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways… for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). God has a way of doing things that are beyond our finite comprehension.  If His ways and thoughts were equal to ours, He could not be God!  So, yes His plan to use a cruel and wicked nation to bring judgment against Judah was baffling.  It’s baffling today to see how God chooses to work in the affairs of men.  Too often, we “think” we have the answer; got it all figured out, and He has to show us our limitations without Him as the all-knowing and all-powerful God.

After He shares His plan with Habakkuk, the prophet has a list of “why’s” for a God who is the Holy One from everlasting.  Then he comes to his senses and admits he has been rash in his approach and dialogue with God.  But the lesson we can learn from Habakkuk is to get in position …stand upon your watch…get in place…be a watchman to see and hear from God.  Always be in position for dialogue with the only One who has all the answers, knows everything and is always working out His plan and purpose.  Like Habakkuk, expect God to answer, even if His answer is to reprove you.

Stay tuned for the conclusion….Part 3.

APPLICATION:

What have you been praying about , and when God answered, it was unfavorable, not what you expected or wanted to hear? How did you handle it?

How will you use this lesson from Habakkuk to enhance your prayer life?

Do you consider yourself a “watchman” or do you think it’s a term just for prophets?

What does “get in position” mean to you?

Learning from Habakkuk, Part 1

Objectives:

1) To provide prayer coaching insights to inspire and encourage you to keep praying in spite of external circumstances and even though present conditions seems to worsen;

2) Enhance your knowledge about your position, perspective and perception of prayer; 3) Provide wisdom and understanding to new converts struggling to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life; 4) Give you a Rhema Word from the Lord about prayer.

Hear the Word of the Lord, “Tell my people do not be dismayed by what they see.  My plan is in motion to bring about My purpose. You keep praying, keep asking, keep believing, and keep trusting (resting) in Me.  The Word I have spoken shall stand forever!”

The question many are asking is the same concern the prophet Habakkuk asked God…basically, how long will I have to pray and you don’t answer and do something about all the evil and injustice that’s going on… Read it for yourself, Habakkuk 1:2-4:

How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
3 Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
4 The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted.

The first thing I noticed is that God did not rebuke the prophet for his inquiry.  This helps to understand that God does not despise questions when they are brought to him from an honest heart in prayer. The truth is it is the responsibility of the prophet (five-fold ministry leaders), men and women of God to inquire of the Lord.  Address your concerns to Him, and express your innermost thoughts so that you can get “first-hand” knowledge, insight and revelation from the mind of God.  This is what Habakkuk did —went to Adonai, expressed his concerns, presented his case to God from his perspective, based on his perception of present circumstances and waited in confidence for an answer.

NOTICE I said Habakkuk presented his case from his perspective based on his perception of things.  Whenever you go to God with complaints, or concerns that suggest His inactivity, it is usually from your viewpoint because you’re looking at present situations and circumstances that cause you to question God’s control and sovereignty.

Nevertheless, God will answer us.  Although His answer may be perplexing, and His way may not be comprehensible to us, we can rest assured that His purposes will prevail (Proverbs 16:4, 19:21).

I encourage you to study the setting in the Book of Habakkuk to get a better understanding of the conditions.  Basically, Judah had sunken deeper into sin and idolatry. All Habakkuk saw was wickedness and injustice; and it appeared as though God was doing nothing about it.  Not only that, but when God showed Habakkuk his plan, it didn’t make sense to him—using the cruel and wicked, idolatrous Neo-Babylonians to judge His people—using the wicked to punish the wicked.  Although it may seem as though nothing is changing for the better, always know God is working. And His plan is always laid out to bring about redemption, restoration, reconciliation, and relationship.  (Read God’s reply to Habakkuk (1:5-11).

Application:

How can you relate to Habakkuk’s complaints to God ?

What have you been praying about for a long time but have seen no change?

Gleaning from this insight, how will you approach God differently in prayer?

Was this helpful?  Leave a Comment; your feedback is welcome.

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