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.]

GOD’S ANSWER TO JOB

FATHER, answer ____’s supplications like You did Job’s. Job knew You directed His life. He had no intention of terminating His relationship with You. His thoughts were like Peter’s when he was given the opportunity to leave Your relationship. He said, “Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

____, too, would never think of leaving You, but, like Job, You have given (him/her) this providence that (he/d/she’d) like, at least, an explanation. We fall naturally into questioning Your purposes. FATHER, if ____ grumbles and (his/her) prayers are introspective show (him/her) Your majesty.

For four chapters, in the book of Job, FATHER, You revealed Your matchless ability to run Your creation. Even after two chapters when Job put his hand over his mouth in humility, You continued making him see Your greatness and his littleness for two more chapters (Job 38-41). More and more You made him realize he was very wrong to question Your providences to him.

GOD, reveal Yourself to ____ in such a way that (he/she) repents in dust and ashes (Job 42:6)—comprehending, that (he/she) speaks to You without knowledge (Job 38:2).

If You speak to ____ like You did Job, (he/she) will not need any verification that You hear (him/her) and You will answer (him/her). (His/Her) faith will become spiritual sight. Instead of anxiously awaiting an answer to (his/her) supplications, (he/she) will be spellbound at Your presence. And in Your presence (he/she) will “know” You answer (his/her) requests in a most perfect way.

Impress Yourself upon (him/her) now like clay under the seal. You laid the foundations of the earth—determined its measurements—contained the sea and prescribed its limits (Job 38:4,5,8,10). FATHER, thank You for this short review of Your greatness. Surely You know best what to do with ____’s difficult situation.

CONFESSION

HEAR ME, FATHER

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-11-07-20-am…GOD OF ALL, hear my voice when I call, answer me, Your face I will seek (Ps 27:7-8). I venture to speak to You, although I am but dust and ashes (Gen 18:27). O GOD, listen to my prayer (Ps 54:2).

FATHER, lift me above myself. Make me overflow with the hope of the power of Your HOLY SPIRIT (Rm 15:13). Increase my faith so that I perceive CHRIST living in my heart (Eph 3:16-17). Contrast the self-love that I have been after by giving me roots and foundations in real love (Eph 3:17).

How I desire understanding (2 Tim 2:7). May I become content with nothing but CHRIST, Himself, for in Him lay all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:2-3).

LORD, I need wisdom; I ask You for it. Turn my doubt into belief (James 1:6). Give discernment to me, then I will understand Your decrees (Ps 119:125). You say, “The fear of the LORD is true wisdom and to forsake evil is real understanding.” (Job 28:28). I forsake evil; give me true wisdom. I desire to be strong in my inner self (Eph 3:16). Oh, for true Christian maturity (2 Cor 13:9).

CONFESSION

 

THE SIN OF FRETTING

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 2.53.19 PM“Worry is a window into the unregenerate soul [Matt 6:32]—worry is the evidence that satisfaction is being sought apart from God—the soul is searching for satisfaction in idols, the fear that an idol may not be available—worry is the evidence of what one is pursuing, of laying up treasure on earth” (ref#141, “For the Love of Christ,” Jan 22nd, 2006).

FATHER, I know that all fretting and worry is caused by calculating without You (ref#7, July 4th). I also know letting the enemy’s thoughts take root in my head is disastrous but they seem to get planted before I realize. I have to experience Your intervention or I will spin in circles reviewing in my head all the carnal and evil suggestions that are there.

“…don’t take the pressure of forethought upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything else that worries us” (ref#7, May 23rd).

In all situations You put in my path the ending is more important than the beginning. My mistake is being at the beginning of a situation and wanting to see a swift and good ending, but You control the situation; I need not be concerned about the outcome.

FATHER, show me the blessings of leaning—leaning on You as the situation unfolds and caring only about Your will in the situation, not a comfortable outcome for me. Worrying is unbelief.

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.

CONFESSION

SPIRIT CHECK

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 6.01.39 PM“Let me faithfully study my character, be willing to bring it to light, observe myself in my trials, judge the reality and degree of my grace, consider how I have been ensnared or overcome” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p84).

FATHER, “sin is…my viper born in my birth, alive all my life, strong in my character, dominating my faculties, following me as a shadow, intermingling with my every thought…” (ref#76, p41). I recognize it is only Your compassion that I am not consumed (ref#76, p39). Therefore I wish to be searched to find and confess the wicked ways in me (Ps 139:23-24).

  • Have I flattered You, FATHER, with only my lips (ref# 76, p39)?
  • Do I set before myself some pleasure or profit or even striving for Your acceptance (ref#35, p150)?
  • Do You live in my thoughts (ref#35, p151)?
  • Do I covet by hoarding, improvidently squander, and not consecrate everything to You (ref#76, p87)?
  • Do I go this way then that with various thoughts and ways, dreaming in my imaginations (ref#35, p150)?
  • Do I resist “rebukes of conscience, admonitions of friends, leadings of providence” (ref#76, p192)?
  • Am I settled yet experiencing peace and resting in Your “assurance of everlasting blessedness” (ref#35, p151)?
  • Do I ungratefully receive Your benefits—forgetting to praise and thank You (ref#76, p192)?
  • Have I really found CHRIST who will never grieve or trouble me (ref#35, p151)?
  • Do I misuse my faculties, neglect opportunities, use words ill-advised (ref#76, p180)?
  • Do I really know You in Your “excellency and desirableness” (ref#35, p151)?
  • Do You have Your due place in my heart (ref#35, p151)?
  • Are You my all in all (ref#35, p151)?

“I repent of my folly and inconsiderate ways, my broken resolutions, untrue service, my backsliding steps, my vain thoughts” (ref#76, p180).

CONFESSION

PARDON IS NOT TO MAKE ME MORE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.13.44 AM…LORD, as I approach Your throne, my natural reaction is to cry out like Isaiah, “I have unclean lips” (Isa 6:5), and so desire to spill out my confessions of sin before I come close to You.

In the prayer JESUS taught His disciples, the first half of it is words of worship and honor to You. Confession of sin is toward the end of the prayer and then takes up only ½ a sentence.

Remind me FATHER, You do not throw the robe of CHRIST upon me so You can tolerate looking at me. You do not demand I confess my sin before You let me approach You. You know my frame (Ps 103:14) and my sinfulness does not give You pause.

A woman may forget she is nursing a child, but You will never forget me. You engraved me on the palm of Your hands (Isa 49:15,16) before I did anything right or wrong (Rom 9:11).

You seek and solicit my love constantly. You love me at the expense of Your Son’s blood—at the expense of condescending to beseech me (ref#18, [1 John 4:18]). Have You not rend the heavens and come down to be constantly beside me (Isa 64:1)? You are willing to call me Your bride even when I am unfaithful to You (Hosea 3:1).

I have mistaken thoughts about confession! My natural thought is to dwell on Your assurance of pardon to convince myself that I am now good enough to come into Your presence. FATHER, remind me once again that I am good only because CHRIST has made me His own, not because I have confessed my sins and received Your pardon.

Isn’t this what Job was so upset about—justifying himself before You? Job wanted You to speak to him about his sin—or lack thereof. Did You do that? No, You instead overwhelmed Job with Your majesty (Job 38:1-41:34).

Astonish me like You did Job. I want to spend the majority of my time with You losing myself in Your love.

“…if the heart be…much taken up with…the eminency of the Father’s love, it cannot choose but be overpowered, conquered, and endeared unto him” John Owen (ref#35, p128).

CONFESSION

BELIEF MORE THAN BEHAVIOR

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 3.10.35 PM…FATHER, I desire to be more concerned about my beliefs than my behavior. The enemy would lead me to focus on my behavior—my poor behavior. He is forever reminding me of my sins—trying to convince me that I am “unworthy, unacceptable, sin-sick” who will never amount to anything in Your eyes (ref#14, p 57). Yet, at the same time, he encourages me to work harder at being better.

Your intention is that I confess, forsake the sin, and quickly move on with You. But, I have trouble moving on with You when my attention is on changing sinful behavior. Help me, LORD to dwell on my beliefs and not my behavior.

“I have been justified—completely forgiven and made righteous (Rom 5:1)” Neil Anderson (ref#14, p57). Because of CHRIST’s work sin no longer has dominion over me (Rom 6:14). I have passed out of sin as truly as the dead man has passed out of life (Rom 6:2). I have been placed into CHRIST by Your doing, FATHER (1 Cor 1:30). “…The life I am now living is Christ’s life (Gal 2:20)” (ref#14, p58). “…I am sanctified and am one with the Sanctifier, He is not ashamed to call me brother (Heb 2:11)” (ref#14, p59).

Admittedly, the below is also true:

  • I, along with everyone else, do not understand or seek You (Ps 53:2).
  • I, along with everyone else, corrupt my own way (Gen 6:12).
  • I, along with everyone else, have fallen away and am dishonest (Ps 53:3).
  • I, along with everyone else, do not do good (Ps 53:3).
  • I, along with everyone else, have a heart filled with destruction and do not speak truth (Ps 5:9).

FATHER, continually aid me to always perceive the truth about my perpetual sinful condition then turn immediately to rest with CHRIST on His accomplishments. He is the upright One who instructs and teaches me (Ps 25:8-9). I walk in His faithfulness, not in my faithfulness (Ps 26:3). May I seek joy in CHRIST alone, not in any good feelings I may get by improving my behavior.