SUPPLICATION

GENERAL TRIBULATION

[Below is a general prayer for Christians in tribulation.  We all can think of a Christian sister or brother experiencing so much affliction they may not be able to pray for themselves.  Here’s an opportunity to pray for them.  Fill their name in the blanks.]

THE DIVINE WEAPONS OF WARFARE – THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 4.15.46 PM“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you…” (Isa 42:6 ESV).

FATHER, motivate ____ to consciously put on the breastplate of righteousness. Empower (him/her) to review all the principles of righteousness, for it is the means You, LORD, keep (him/her).

(His/Her) righteousness comes ONLY through CHRIST’s blood shed on the cross; (his/her) righteousness comes ONLY through the regeneration of (his/her) heart where You, LORD, implant true holiness which is a life able to be regulated according to Your testimonies.

You have put Your life into ____’s soul. It is all Your doing, and in so doing engrain it into ____ that there is no one who can make (his/her) spiritual and eternal life insecure (ref#15, [Eph 6:14]).

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THANKSGIVING

THE SPIRIT REVEALS THE FATHER AND THE SON

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 4.02.04 PM“By working beyond all our weaknesses, the Holy Spirit attests how great is the heavenly Father’s love for us. The privileges of prayer demonstrate that God treats us as his children, with love as great as he lavishes on his own Son (1 John 3:1)” Bryan Chapell (ref#66, p82).

FATHER, JESUS exercises His autonomy through the HOLY SPIRIT by daily bringing me to a willing bondage under His easy yoke where I find His commands not difficult to follow (ref#79, p73).

JESUS is gladly one with You, FATHER, and He desires I would enter in to the fellowship (John 17:21). I thank You for the SPIRIT, who endears me to You. He takes every opportunity to glorify JESUS so that I am able to “blaze and glow with devotion to Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 2nd). The SPIRIT is the only Lover of the Lord JESUS and He transfers that love to me (ref#7, July 2nd).

“The one and only characteristic of the Holy Ghost in a man is a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, and freedom from everything that is unlike Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Feb 8th).

Praise You, FATHER, for commanding love from me. Praise You, SPIRIT, for enabling me to give that love to You, FATHER.

CONFESSION

SPIRIT CHECK

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 3.30.29 PMSearch me, O GOD, try me. See if there is any wicked way in me (Ps 139:23-24). SPIRIT, point out my misdeeds in the sentences below that I might own up to them, for “[Christ is compassionate] in [keeping] his institutions…—marrying his church to himself…” (ref#35, p266).

Do I love CHRIST enough to stay chaste? When I do not feel His presence, do I look for someone else to fellowship with or simply busy myself with activities (ref#35, p263)?

Do I trust any of my own righteous endeavors to commend myself to CHRIST—like, do I feel a twinge of self-satisfaction after I confess all the sins I know of (ref#35, p264)?

When my soul is in the wilderness will I sit still and wait until CHRIST comes or do I let my good intentions and activities satisfy my soul (ref#35, p264)?

Do I place my joy and comfort in other things besides being filled with joy in the HOLY SPIRIT (ref#35, p265)?

Do I consider it my daily work to get my heart crucified to the things of this world (ref#35, p266)?

Do I invent ways and certain times to worship You and not wait for Your appointment—do I plan my day without CHRIST’s input (ref#35, p266-267)?

Do I embrace everything that only CHRIST has appointed? Do I go to Him for directions and beg Him to lead me in the way that I have not known (Isa 48:6)?

 

ADORATION

THE SPIRIT’S ILLUMINATION

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 3.16.13 PM…ALL-GIVING FATHER, I extol You for supporting the SPIRIT as He provides illumination to me. Sin attacks my mind and will in such ways that I miss or resist the force of Your Word (ref#56, p1646, “Illumination and Conviction”).

Praise to You, SPIRIT; You reveal Scripture in an understanding way. By reading Scripture on my own I become familiar with its content but cannot apply it to my life. You, SPIRIT, set me on the wave of truth that flows into my heart (ref#56, p1646, “Illumination and Conviction”) where it can be applied to my life.

SPIRIT, I am also humbled by Your ability to bring me to repentance and satisfy me with the FATHER’s assurance of His grace and certainty of His everlasting favor (ref#56, p1646, “Illumination and Conviction”). I thank You for Your constant care of my needs; You surprise me by Your closeness the moment You illuminate sin that I am not aware of.   I will find You through the Word, prayer, meditation, and as I battle to live by the light You give (ref#56, p1646, “Illumination and Conviction”).

“I am bell and He is sure wind, and He moves and I am rung and I know it for what it is…” Ann Voskamp (ref#130, p60).

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

SPEAKING ONLY SPIRITUAL THINGS

1/3/2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 3.10.33 PMIntent to develop my spiritual nature and contribute to my brother’s and sister’s spiritual growth, I entered church prepared. It was the time of year to talk resolutions. I’d start the conversation by telling about my spiritual goal of learning how to keep the Sabbath. And then ask if they had thought of any spiritual resolutions.

But, I have not trained myself in the art of talking spiritual stuff, physical stuff just rolls off my tongue. And it rolled off today. Walked out of church thinking all I did was commiserate with friends about how “out of sorts” we were feeling.

It wasn’t till 4PM that the godly thought came to ask my out-of-sorts friends why they were out of sorts and offer to pray for them. And through texting we have talked to each other and have promised to pray for each other.

So GOD has just taught me that one can’t divide the physical from the spiritual. Activities of the physical world can become the point where spiritual encouragement as well as admonishment begin. My friends and I would have had nothing to pray for it we hadn’t shared our struggle in the physical world.

***

It’s evening now and GOD has reminded me of something else I learned by talking physical stuff after church. Something is coming up this Thursday at school that I can pray for. And so I have made a note in my prayer journal.

LORD, I thank You for pointing out that my actions yesterday were not all failures. I long for the day when the SPIRIT works encouragement and admonishment through me in real time and not just through hindsight. I certainly would like to do all I can for that to happen.

SABBATH

THE SABBATH – TO REVIVE THE SOUL

“The Sabbath is given as a gift to man (for…spiritual refreshment)” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1897 [Mark 2:27-28]). “’The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath’ (Mar 2:27). It was made for the profit and for the comfort of our souls” Jonathan Edwards (ref#186).

“…there must be a special day set apart; there must be a regularly recurring time for examining the state of our souls; there must be a day to test and prove us, whether we are prepared for an eternal heaven. Take away a man’s Sabbath, and his religion soon comes to nothing” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167). “It is but a few steps from ‘no Sabbath’ to ‘no God’—J. C. Ryle” (ref#185).

“…our Lord only asks that this day be spent in hearing his Word, in offering common prayers, in confessing our faith, and in observing the sacraments…And when we have spent Sunday in praising and glorifying the name of God and in meditating on his works, then, throughout the rest of the week, we should show that we have benefited from it” John Calvin (ref#168).

God’s objective in commanding this day of rest is for the development of our spiritual nature. Therefore, it is a day set apart from even our words and thoughts about our worldly employments and recreations [Westminster Confession of Faith] Alistair Begg (ref#165, Series: Pathway to Freedom, Sermon#: 1693, “Holy Day or Holiday?” Part Two, October 31, 1993). Can you imagine speaking only about spiritual things before and after the church service?

SUPPLICATION

PROVISIONS

[We all know someone who is dealing with financial problems. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

A WAY IN THE DESERT

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.15.01 PM“When the poor and needy seek water,

and there is none,

and their tongue is parched with thirst,

I the Lord will answer them…” (Isa 41:17 ESV).

 

“I will open rivers on the bare heights,

and fountains in the midst of the valleys.

I will make the wilderness a pool of water,

and the dry land springs of water” (Isa 41:18 ESV).

“that they may see and know,

may consider and understand together,

that the hand of the Lord has done this,

the Holy One of Israel has created it” (Isa 41:20 ESV)

 

“’Remember not the former things,

nor consider the things of old.

Behold, I am doing a new thing;

now it springs forth…” (Isa 43:18-19 ESV)

 

“…I give water in the wilderness,

rivers in the desert…”

…to give drink to my chosen people,

the people whom I formed for myself…” (Isa 43:20-21 ESV).

FATHER, remember ____. You have provided the means to make (him/her) humble. The wounds which marred CHRIST brought many sons to glory. And also, the wounds that mar ____ are designed to bring many sons to glory. Help ____ not shrink back from the difficulties for You have stirred (him/her) up in righteousness, and You will make all (his/her) ways level; ____ shall build Your city and set Your exiles free, but not for a price or reward (Isa 45:13). Cause ____ to lean on You for help remembering (his/her) life is sacrificed for Your glory.

THANKSGIVING

PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.06.03 PM…FATHER, when You bless me You bless me forever. It is You, LORD, who makes me continue forever before You (1 Chron 17:27).

“The preservation of the saints means that all who have been elected by the Father, atoned for by Christ, and regenerated by the Holy Spirit will be saved…, and that not one of them will fall away totally or finally” R. C. Sproul (ref#71, p46).

King David conspired to murder an innocent man, yet You caused him to continue desiring You to the end of his life. You even called him “a man after Your own heart” (Acts 13:22). It is not my control of my sin or my submitting to Your commands that will keep me to the end, but Your hand alone.

What You start, You will finish. You began a good work in me and will continue to complete it until the day of CHRIST JESUS (Phil 1:6). I may sin severely and fall into a great length and depth of backsliding but You will keep me from falling completely away. My disobedience will keep me from joy, but it will not keep me from continuing on eternally with You.

FATHER, You alone preserve me. I cannot rely on myself to keep myself. I am “too weak; too changeable; too ready to be led astray; too much disposed to yield to temptation” Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Phil 1:6]).

But, lest I willingly slip into apathy because of Your goodness, prick me about You holding me responsible for every careless word from my mouth (Matt 12:36). I must be responsible before You for You are not mocked (Gal 6:7).

CONFESSION

CONSCIENCE

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 11.57.15 AM“A good conscience is that which is well informed in regard to what is right, and where its dictates are honestly followed” Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [1 Tim 1:19]).

FATHER, You have placed inside me a barometer that reveals to me if I am following You or going astray. Conscience testifies to all the ways I am rebellious to CHRIST (ref#101, p110). It renders me uneasy when I fall short of Your glory. My conscience together with my intuition will protest immediately any inclination that is displeasing to the HOLY SPIRIT (ref#101, p106).

How I thank You, FATHER, for a conscience. Without it I would replace Your will for laudable deeds to my liking. I would argue with You that what I propose to be is “better, broader in scope, more profitable and greater in influence” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p111-112).

Sober me with the fact that my actions can increase the sensitivity of the conscience or decrease it. If I disregard it by turning toward reason or rationalization conscience’s voice will be softer (ref#101, p114). In fact, if I don’t purge everything conscience tells me is contrary to You, I will lose my fellowship with You instantly (ref#101, p118).

Since conscience is Your deputy in my soul, help me to be as careful not to offend it as I am not to offend a friend. FATHER, it is my duty to willingly work to have a conscience that doesn’t misinform me, nor flatter me, nor deal deceitfully with me (ref#18, [Acts 24:10-21]).

“If I am in the habit of steadily facing myself with God, my conscience will always introduce God’s perfect law and indicate what I should do….I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so sensitive that I walk without offense” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 13th).

ADORATION

CHRIST – RULER OF KINGS

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 11.45.30 AM…FATHER, You decreed CHRIST to be the firstborn from the dead (Rev. 1:5)—so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place (Col 1:18).

“Having died a martyr to his testimony, and given his life an offering for sin, he was restored to life again, as all the Scriptures witness and became ‘the first fruits of the resurrection,’…”The Apocalypse: Exposition of the Book of Revelation (ref#70, [Rev 1:4-8]). He is Your first-born, higher than the kings of the earth (Ps 89:27).

CHRIST rules the kings of the earth (Rev 1:5). From “him they have their authority; by him their power is limited and their wrath restrained; by him their counsels are over-ruled, and to him they are accountable” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Rev 1:3-8]). Every king, from the foundation of the earth, in their absolute authority over millions of subjects, are all kings over which CHRIST is the King of kings (ref#16, [Rev 1:5]).

Being faithful, His love is ever present. Having justified and sanctified me, He makes me too, a king FATHER, for Your glory (Rev 1:6).

With the SPIRIT of CHRIST’s enabling power, as a king, I rule my own spirit, possess the ability to conquer Satan, and am privileged to work with You in prayer, as well as cooperate with You in judging the world. CHRIST, You give me access to You, enabling me to enter into the holiest place and to offer spiritual sacrifices (ref#18, [Rev 1:6]).

To CHRIST be glory and dominion forever and ever (Rev 1:6). I shall show all praise and honor to my Redeemer. He reigns as King of kings continually. I desire that He exercise strength and power and authority over me through all eternity (ref#16, [Rev 1:6]).