SUPPLICATION

GENERAL SICKNESS:

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health. We all know someone who is dealing with the pain of sickness. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

PSALM 41

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 4.03.14 PM…FATHER, You have placed ____ in a situation that makes (him/her) poor and helpless. Yet, FATHER, You pursue ____. You find (him/her) out, and look into (his/her) circumstances. You will not neglect, pass by, or be indifferent to ____’s plight (ref#16, [Ps 41:1]).

(He/She) is blessed because You rescue (him/her) in the day of trouble. In (his/her) distress You dignify (him/her) (Ps 41:1). FATHER, like a mother tending to a sick child, You make ____’s bed of pain tolerable for (him/her) causing (him/her) to bear the affliction with patience, and making (him/her) cheerfully wait the result. ____’s soul shall be, by Your grace, made to dwell at ease even when (his/her) body lies in pain (ref#18, [Ps 41:1-4]).

FATHER, I know that You will be gracious to ____. I know You are pleased with (him/her) and any enemies will not triumph over (him/her) because of (his/her) integrity that You have placed in (him/her). You joyfully keep (him/her) forever in Your presence (Ps 41:11-12).

You, O LORD, will not restrain Your mercy toward (him/her). Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness will ever preserve (him/her) (Ps 40:11). What effect can a mere illness or injury have on ____ when You uphold (him/her)? In the sight of You, ____’s affliction shrinks to nothing. I praise You who are all steadfast love.

FATHER, please note—I am not the ruler of my life asking for Your help. I am recognizing Your lordship and resting my trust in You for ____.

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THANKSGIVING

RECEIVING THE SPIRIT TO MINISTER

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.50.46 PM“…when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses…” (Acts 1:8 MSG).

FATHER, I gratefully thank You for inviting me to be the cup You use to pour out Your goodness on mankind. You require and then enable me to keep my cup clean so You can choose me to be Your minister.

You require it and make me able to die to self—to be constantly dying, always carrying in my body the death of JESUS, so that the life of JESUS may also be manifested in my body (2 Cor 4:10) (ref#97, p25).

“It will mean no plans, no time, no money, no pleasure of our own. It will mean a constant yielding to those around us…” Roy Hession (ref#97, p25).

You make me able to put out of my life every known sin (ref#30, p116). The SPIRIT makes me willing to show You my dirty cup—makes me willing to give it to You to clean—and it will be cleaned with Your Son’s precious Blood that continually flows for sin (ref#97, p30).

You make me able to be broken of my will.   The SPIRIT brings me to the foot of the Cross to show me what real brokenness is. I see His wounded hands and feet and His face crowned with thorns… (ref#97, p48).

Through Your direction of the SPIRIT, He is able to make me into a suitable tool for Your use. And going yet further, the SPIRIT points my desires toward a further spiritual anointing—the “definite endowment of power from the Holy Spirit” R. A. Torrey (ref#30, p115-116).

All praise to You, FATHER, for You make me able to be in relationship with You. I thank You for the SPIRIT Who leads me to every step of cleanliness and on to the ability to minister with You in Your behalf.

CONFESSION

ALL OR NOTHING

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.35.24 PM…FATHER, You stand firm and are immoveable as You refine Your chosen and cast out the wicked (Gal 4:30). There are no gray areas with You. It’s either yes, no—black or white.

You are serious about separating the righteous from the unrighteous. Aaron, in his lenience, allowed the people to break lose into unruliness and worship the golden calf (Ex 32). But, You led Moses to separate the people by saying, “…’Who is on the LORD’s side? Come to me’…” (Ex 32:26 ESV). And, in that situation, You equipped the Levites who came to Moses then to turn and kill the ones who did not come—even making them able to kill their brothers, companions, or neighbors (Ex 32:27). This certainly is a sobering account of Your seriousness about separating Your people from the rest of the world.

Today Your HOLY SPIRIT is creating “in CHRIST’s bride an overwhelming desire for holiness, purity, and revelation” David Wilkerson (ref#138, p165). FATHER, You want “a free people, a remnant totally detached from all that is earthly…” David Wilkerson (ref#138, p164).

You remind me of Your seriousness in “the parable of the pearl of great value.” You have allowed me to find the pearl above all pearls—CHRIST. But, I confess, I do not go out and sell everything that I may be able to fully possess that greatest pearl (Matt 13:45-46).

I satisfy myself with You occasionally. My love for You changes with circumstances. Remind me of Your intolerance to sin. Do I “think for one moment Christ will take to Himself a contaminated, lust-bound bride” David Wilkerson (ref#138, p37)? I need to be more serious about pursuing CHRIST.

I do not want to play with fire. It’s all or none—sold out or not. O LORD, “…please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight….” (Ex 33:13 ESV).

ADORATION

JESUS IS ONE PERSON IN TWO NATURES

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.25.23 PM“…Jesus is one person in two natures…all that is in us, as well as all that is in God, is and always will be truly and distinguishably present in the one Christ” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1510, “Jesus Christ, God and Man”).

 “He is the Sovereign Lord of the natural creation and of the new creation, so that He is intimately allied to us” T. C. Horton, Charles E. Hurlburt (ref#158, p125). “We can never be separated from Him because He lives in us and we shall live and be with Him forever” (ref#158, p140).

CHRIST, since Your ascension nothing has changed about Your relationship with man.   But, since Your departure, the SPIRIT now resides in man. I can communicate with You in heaven. As the disciples who literally walked with You two millenniums ago, I walk with You now.

FATHER, You have willed that now both, Your Son and I, His little sister, can commune with one another.

“Jesus did not temporarily become man, but that his divine nature was permanently united to his human nature, and he lives forever not just as the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, but also as Jesus, the man who was born of Mary, and as Christ, the Messiah and Savior of his people. Jesus will remain fully God and fully man, yet one person, forever” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p543).

Time and space cease to be hindrances; through the SPIRIT, CHRIST is not aloof and far off. He in heaven and I on earth can be together constantly forever.

FATHER, Your CHRIST is still fully human and able to be with me as mentor and companion as well as Savior. This always has been Your plan.

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

DRIFTING

7/9/2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.13.25 PMThe SPIRIT has set me straight again. So easily I drift. “Drift” is such a good word; it conjures up an image of unnoticed moving—like fishing in a huge lake without an anchor—like falling asleep in a moving vehicle on the Interstate.

I have ended up back to my default, earthy nature—so unnoticed. I could have tried harder to end the drift—stayed awake, paid more attention, but, speaking from experience, it could not have been prevented.

Without the intervention of GOD I am just as lost today as I was the moment before it was His pleasure to regenerate me. I cannot control myself any more now than I could as a blatant sinner. Folks who believe they need JESUS one time only to forgive their sins and welcome them into heaven are deceiving themselves. The need for Him is perpetual.

I realized my drift in a commentary on 1 John. I became more and more contrite as I read the words. For the umpteenth time the SPIRIT laid out His plan for my earthly sanctification—how to become a partaker of the divine nature (2 Pet I:4).

“…what accounts for most of our failures in Christian living is our failure to realize what we are. It is our failure to realize what God has done to us….We must think less and less of doing and more and more of being. If we only are what we ought to be, then the doing will more or less look after itself” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p87, underlining mine).

How earthy nature strives to be righteous; it’s all about doing. In my natural state I work hard to accomplish something impossible and get exhausted and cranky in the attempt. When my focus centers on trying to succeed I can be assured that I am drifting.

The SPIRIT ended my drift by revealing the following truth: I am a partaker in the divine nature. My activities reflect my family heritage; I’m a child of GOD! I’m either living like CHRIST or want to be living like CHRIST. This is who I am regardless of my failure or success at spiritual activities.

Today I praise GOD for making me who I am and, with pleasure, I’ll keep my ears open for suggestions from Him. My eyes are off my activities and on Him. It seems like accomplishing nothing but praise, accomplishes everything else.

So, today no more earthy nature strivings—at least until I get lulled into another drift.

SABBATH

MOTIVES

“The reason that so many people feel it [the Sabbath] as a burden is partly that we have so much leisure, we don’t feel the need for the Sabbath rest; but more important…is the fact that not many people really enjoy what God intended us to enjoy on the Sabbath, namely, himself. Many professing Christians enjoy sports and television and secular books and magazines and recreation and hobbies and games far more than they enjoy direct interaction with God in his Word or in worship or in reading Christian books or in meditative strolls. Therefore, inevitably people whose hearts are set more on the pleasures of the world than on the enjoyment of God will feel the Sabbath command as a burden not a blessing” John Piper (ref#169).

“God hath made it our duty, by His institution, to set apart this day for a special seeking of His grace and blessing….God is ready on this day especially to bestow His blessing on them that keep it aright….a time wherein God especially loves to be sought and loves to be found” Jonathan Edwards (ref#186).

“God blessed the seventh day…as an expression of His own joyful remembrance of that day and of the rest and refreshment that He had on it….But how much more reason has Christ to bless the day of His resurrection, to delight to honor it, and to confer His grace and blessed gifts on His people on this day. It was a day whereon Christ rested and was refreshed in a literal sense. It was a day of deliverance from the chains of death, the day of His finishing that great and difficult work of redemption, which had been upon His heart from all eternity; the day of His [vindication] by the Father; the day of the beginning of His exaltation, and of the fulfillment of the promises of the Father; the day when He had eternal life, which He had purchased, put into His hands. On this day, Christ doth indeed delight to distribute gifts, blessings, joy, and happiness, and will delight to do the same to the end of the world” Jonathan Edwards (ref#186).

SUPPLICATION

SORROW

[“Blessed are those who mourn…” (Matt 5:4 NASB). We know people who are grieving; let’s pray for them. Fill the name in the blanks to this prayer.]

DEPTH OF GRIEF

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.32.39 PM“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Heb 13:8 NASB).

FATHER, cause ____ never to lose sight of this fact—during grief, there are two things (he/she) can be sure of. One, (his/her) emotions will change. And, two, You won’t (ref#136, p18).

LONGSUFFERING COMFORTER, keep me from saying to ____ something like—“Just hold on GOD will get you through.” I know that is true and (he/she) knows that is true but the experience of it is not there yet. Your comfort does not take away the ache, but FATHER, I pray for ____ to feel Your support in the middle of (his/her) suffering (ref#136, session 1, p2).

And, LORD, urge me to be a sympathetic friend who comes close to understanding the depth of (his/her) grief. Keep me from suggesting (he/she) move faster than (he/she) is going in (his/her) walk of sorrow. (His/Her) one loss brings layer upon layer of losses that (he/she) must acknowledge to (himself/herself) and mourn (ref#136, session 1, p8).

Remind me of some examples of possible losses that I may long suffer with (him/her): “job, home, possession, relationships, companion, confidant, lover, source of laughter, cuddler, cook, mechanic, gardener, shoulder to cry on, walking partner” Church Initiative (ref#136, session 1, p 8). Grief affects every aspect of (his/her) life (ref#136, p19).

THANKSGIVING

CALLING AND PROVIDING FOR ME

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.24.06 PM…FATHER, You have called forth and guided the destinies of the generations from the beginning. You are the first, existing before history began, and You are the last, an ever-present, unchanging GOD (Isa 41:4).

You say to me, “I have chosen you, You are my servant; fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa 41:8-10).

You, FATHER, come to me with might, and Your arm rules for You; You are Your own reward (Isa 40:10). I am a sheep in Your flock that You tend like a shepherd; You gather me in Your arms, and carry me in Your bosom; You gently lead me (Isa 40:11). I am poor and needy and must have provisions I do not possess. You answer my calls for help and will not forsake me (Isa 41:17).

FATHER, You call and captivate me. Your everlasting gift of Your presence is enough to engage my mind with continual thanksgiving. Not only do You call me, but You fill my arms with promises. You will strengthen, help, uphold, gather me in Your arms, carry me, lead—yes, gently lead me. I never need to fear or be dismayed. Thank You for Your calling and Your providing.

I see it—I see it. I look back over the years and note Your work. I no longer walk in blind faith—desperately wanting to believe, but knowing faith—resting in You. I see it!

CONFESSION

FELLOWSHIP, NOT KNOWLEDGE

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.16.11 PM…FATHER, sin is idolatrous when my heart desires something other than You (ref#5, p66). “This is what sin is—dishonoring God by preferring other things over him, and acting on those preferences” John Piper (ref#93, p12). It is too easy for my life to be “shaped by the satisfaction of cravings, rather than heartfelt commitment and faithfulness” Paul David Tripp (ref#5, p67).

“Let me not strive to understand the infinite, but rather spend my strength in love. What I cannot gain by intellect, I can possess by affection…put far from me any love for the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that would keep me from the Tree of Life” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Sept 5th PM).

Without the influence of the SPIRIT, I am satisfied with something other than a close relationship with You. Simply collecting facts about You can suffice conscience. FATHER, don’t permit me to know You only on the level of being amazed with Your attributes. Let it be no more amazing myself with You but You amazing me.

ADORATION

ADORATION

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.06.41 PMAdore – to worship, honor highly, love greatly, revere, idolize, respect, prize, treasure, esteem, love to distraction, cherish, admire—these words I read and store in my mind, they all reflect my attitude toward You, FATHER. Morph my thoughts of Your divine perfection into experience that I may actually fellowship with You.

“O LORD,

Help me to approach thee…

Thou inhabitest eternity,

and my life is nothing before thee;

 

Thou dwellest in the highest heaven

and this cannot contain thee;…

Thy power is almighty;…

Thy understanding is infinite;…” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p84).

FATHER, “interpret Thyself to me…” Oswald Chambers (ref#27, p66). I want to experience You, not concentrate on finding a method to meet You (ref#103, p34).  “Adoration is not seeking the divine presence, but is conscious of it to an unutterable degree, and therefore full of awe and peace…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#104, Day 10). The stars lose themselves in Your glory not making a sound (Ps 19:3). “Be silent, for that is the Absolute” Soren Kierkegaard (ref#137, page xi).

“It [adoration] is the eloquent silence of a soul that is too full for language. To prostrate yourself in the dust in humility, and yet to soar aloft in sublime thought; to sink into nothing, and yet to be so enlarged as to be filled with all the fullness of God; to have no thought and yet to be all thought; to lose yourself in God; this is adoration” Charles Spurgeon (ref#104, Day 10) (brackets mine).

FATHER, manifest Yourself to me (John 14:21). I want the experience of You “happening” to me instead of me just reflecting good thoughts of You and calling it adoration A.W. Tozer (ref#103, p34).