CONFESSION

THINKING OF JESUS, NOT MYSELF

The SPIRIT reminds me that I am nothing, and that CHRIST is all. How can I even pretend I might be something worthwhile. Even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in Your eyes, LORD, much less man who is a maggot and a worm (Job 25:4-6).

You, FATHER, put all things under the feet of CHRIST and give Him as head over all. You seated Him at Your right hand far above all rule and authority and power and dominion. He is above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. He fills all in all (Eph 1:20-23).

CHRIST is altogether superior yet my default thinking centers on myself that spurs constant judging. “I don’t have enough faith; I don’t repent enough; I’ll never be able to make it to the end.” And when I think about myself, the introspection spurs constant planning—“I need to pray more; I need to do more; I need to feel more.”

“…it is not your hold of Christ that saves you; it is Christ. It is not your joy in Christ that saves you; it is Christ. It is not even your faith in Christ, though that is the instrument, but it is Christ’s blood and His merits that save you; therefore, do not look as much to your hand, with which you are grasping Christ, as to Christ” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 28th AM).

FATHER, I want my thoughts to rest on CHRIST—“His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, and His intercession…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 28th AM). SPIRIT, satisfy the desire of my heart; let the action of my thoughts turning inward remind me to stop, refocus, and think on CHRIST.

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL 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.]

ADVERSE PROVIDENCES

…FATHER, Charles Spurgeon once said, “Faith never prospers as well as when all things are against her. Tempests are her trainers, and lightning is her illuminator” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 12th AM). I pray for ____ that this trial strengthen (his/her) faith. Even if (he/she) thinks (his/her) faith is failing, give (him/her) an awareness that JESUS will not allow it ultimately.

Direct ____ toward considering Your glory and grace and to identify (himself/herself) as Your child. Cause ____ to note how more inclined (he/she) is to pray in this circumstance— how much more alive Scripture becomes—how much easier it is to worship. May (he/she) note how (his/her) strength has increased—how easily (he/she) finds love in the midst of rejection—wisdom in the face of foolishness (ref#5, p157).

Assist ____, FATHER, to contemplate how involved You are in (his/her) life which shows Your great care for (him/her). You are with (him/her) in this hardship. You have arranged it and measured it out.

____’s present pain did not come by accident, it was not a mistake, or brought on by an enemy. Help ____ trace (his/her) adverse providence back to the foot of Your throne. Overwhelm (him/her) with Your majesty and power. I pray that You enable ____ to comprehend Your absolute control over all that is happening to (him/her) (ref#151).

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL 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.]

CARRYING CHRIST’S CROSS

…FATHER, Your Son did not suffer so His church can be excluded from suffering (ref#34, April 5th AM). I pray ____ remember that and expect to suffer.

“He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 5th AM).

As ____ is willing to share CHRIST’s glory, motivate (him/her) to also share in His suffering (Rom 8:17).

“…let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator…” (1 Pet 4:19 ESV).

FATHER, as ____ is hard-pressed, I pray (he/she) constantly commit (his/her) soul to Your safekeeping. “The great secret of all comfort in seasons of affliction is to take the affliction, as it comes, simply to Christ” (ref#61, Feb 5th). It is not (his/her) cross but CHRIST’ cross (he/she) carries (ref#34, April 5th AM).

Prod ____ to permit CHRIST to lay His cross on (him/her) so that (he/she) might bear it after Him (Luke 23:26). Some think Simon of Cyrene carried the end of the cross, the light part, while the transverse beam rested on JESUS’ shoulder Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Luke 23:26]).

This is a good word-picture of what a Christian life should look like. Empower ____ to think of (his/her) suffering in that way.

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL 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.]

SUFFERING COMES WITHIN AS WELL AS WITHOUT

“Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins” (Isa 38:17 NLT).

FATHER, suffering comes in two forms: within—“the apparent desertion of the Bridegroom which is the most agonizing of the soul’s sufferings, and without, the persecuting malice of men and devils” Madame Guyon (ref#128, p442).

____ knows, O LORD, that Your rules are righteous (Ps 119:75) and (he/she) is not. Can You treat (him/her) more cruelly than (he/she) deserves? Never, (he/she) is never smitten as harshly as (his/her) sins deserve (ref#34, April 30, AM).

You, FATHER, have afflicted ____ in faithfulness. (Ps 119:75). But, LORD, see to (his/her) suffering within for it is most debilitating.

In ____’s despondency remove (his/her) anxious thoughts and forebodings, grant (him/her) a glad heart that has a continual feast regardless of circumstances (Prov 15:15). Make (him/her) delight in Your law so (he/she) will not perish in this affliction (Ps 119:92). You who make ____ see many troubles and calamities will revive (him/her) again (Ps 71:20).

Now that (he/she) lives among bitterness and crosses and is prostrate under a load of trouble and affliction, instill within (him/her) that (he/she) comes closest to being “all fair” in the Bridegroom’s eyes. In suffering (he/she) is “all fair” and there is no spot or deformity in (him/her) (ref#128, p 439-440, [Song 4:7])

Suffering scours out ____’s harsh, unyielding, bounded and limited nature that stands in the way of (his/her) happiness. This present suffering is not (his/her) fault nor is it offensive in Your sight; “it is simply a natural defect, derived from Adam, which (his/her) Bridegroom will insensibly take away” (ref#128, p440, [Song 4:7]). This circumstance may destroy (his/her) beauty in the eyes of people around (him/her), but (his/her) Bridegroom is most pleased for ____ has no longer any comeliness of (his/her) own. In CHRIST’s eyes through this suffering (he/she) has become possessed of true beauty (ref#128, p440, [Song 4:7]). In His time, CHRIST will “reanimate this annihilated soul” Madame Guyon (ref#128, p446, [Song 4:16]) and ____ will become His perfect bride.

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL 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.]

PERMANENT BLESSINGS

Calamity can wash ____ out to sea when everything before (him/her) begins shifting. Change frightens. Even one change in life can be enough to take (his/her) eyes off You, FATHER—You, the unchangeable GOD.

FATHER, although ____ is experiencing change, You abide evermore the same. The streams of Your love are as “deep, as broad, and as full as ever” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, July 1st AM).

Since ____’s stability is never sure, propel (his/her) thoughts toward the things that cannot be shaken (Heb 12:27). Certainly a short amount of reminiscing about You can cover over (his/her) unstable state and replace it with thanksgiving.

Move ____ to stand at the foot of the cross trusting alone in the merits of JESUS’ blood. Does (he/she) not have solid assurances that Your love will keep (him/her) until the end (Jude 24)?

You are (his/her) FATHER!—who gives good gifts to (him/her) when (he/she) asks You (Matt 7:11). You have a permanent house for (him/her) in the heavens (John 14:2). You not only love (him/her) through Your Son, but You, Yourself love (him/her) (John 16:27). FATHER, You are (his/her) GOD and Rock of salvation (Ps 89:26).

The love of Your Son stands also as a permanent blessing to ____. Nothing can affect the strength of His affectionate nature. (He/She) is His desire (Song 7:10). There is no creature or circumstance that can separate (him/her) from His love (Rom 8:35).

“…let us …not…be cast down by what may happen in this…fleeting state of time….we will see the wreck of everything earthborn, and yet rejoice in the God of our salvation” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 22nd PM).

Change is here for ____; inspire (him/her) to embrace You, LORD. You are (his/her) unchangeable GOD.

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.]

GOD’S WATCHFUL EYE

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-2-43-41-pmFATHER, You do not forget the cry of ____ who is presently afflicted (Ps 9:12). Not only do You not forget but You set the boundaries of (his/her) tribulation. (He/She) will not “suffer too much or be relieved too late” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Aug 17th PM).

“The knife of the heavenly Surgeon never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary. ‘He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men’” Charles Spurgeon (Lam 3:33) (ref#34, Aug 17th PM).

FATHER, deliver strength to ____ as (he/she) is tried and give (him/her) more power since (he/she) is weak (Isa 40:29).   Wise is (he/she) in the day of trouble who knows (his/her) “true source of strength and who fails not to pray” E.M. Bounds (ref#64, p47). “…God will supply every need…according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19 ESV).

CONFESSION

WORKING OUT MY OWN SALVATION

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-1-58-12-pm…FATHER, move me to work out my own salvation—but not on my own. Keep me always accepting what You give. I wish to let You set me apart.

“The one marvelous secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest themselves in my mortal flesh” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 23rd).

FATHER, Your mystery of sanctification is JESUS. All His sinless perfection You pour into me. And as You pour, I continually change slowly and surely into holiness (2 Cor 13:4).

If there is any effort on my part to be exerted it is to seek to know CHRIST better—“in His divine nature, in His human relationship, in His finished work, in His death, in His resurrection, in His present glorious intercession, and in His future royal advent” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 4th AM). The reason You have made me one with JESUS is so His disposition will rule my disposition (ref#7, Feb 8th).

This “working out my own salvation” is to let You, FATHER, more quickly change me. Allow me to experience the closeness of JESUS, FATHER, so that His presence pushes anxious thoughts away that I may see clearly Your direction before me.

SUPPLICATION

SICKNESS Life Threatening

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

A LIMIT TO SICKNESS

screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-4-03-24-pm…FATHER, remind ____ of Your sovereignty. As with waves (Job 38:11), You set a limit to sickness; it must obey You.

“The ultimate end of sickness is restrained, and beyond which it cannot go….Wisdom hangs up the thermometer at the furnace mouth, and regulates the heat” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Aug 17th PM).

GOD, You will provide for ____ as You did for Elijah. “You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there’” (1 Kings 17:4 ESV). You will provide for ____ as You did for Zarephath. “The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord…” (1 Kings 17:16 ESV).

Ground ____ in the truth, LORD, that (his/her) sickness (even if it leads to the death of (his/her) body) is but a moment in (his/her) eternity and works in (him/her) “a dependence on Christ that makes heaven’s promises surer and more precious” Bryan Chapell (ref#66, p62).