A Massive Daily Prayer
Prayer is hard.
Go to your local bookstore or search around Amazon for a few minutes and you’ll find what seems to be endless resources to help your prayer life. Everything from how to pray, what to pray, when to pray, why to pray. If you want a topic that sells, look no further than prayer.
More Than A To-Do
Prayer is so much more than a task to be figured out, more than an item to cross off on our holy to-do lists. Truth is, what happens most often is that the way we look at prayer and the way we practice it become very different than what we see in the Scripture. We see in the life of Jesus a sweet communion between Father and Son; a dependance like no other, trusting in the strength and purpose given from only God above. We see in the Psalms honest pleas for grace and mercy, ballads of praise expounding on the wonder encompassed in and put forth by God Almighty. Prayers telling of all that God has done, all that God is, all that we are, and all that God will do in spite of who we are. But in our own times of prayer, we struggle to pay attention, don’t know what we’re doing, sleep in, get distracted, get bored, and then we give up.
If you’re struggling in your prayer life, not knowing what to say, what all to cover, what to ask, how long to make it, I get it. To help, I offer these 3 short stanzas to you for your morning routine before you eat, before you wake the kids up, maybe on your commute into work. Read them aloud. You don’t have to recite them from memory for it to be considered praying. We don’t have to come up with the words ourselves to truly mean them and use them as pleas for our own life. These words have been a great help to me and have centered my mind on Christ, His saving work in my life, my desperate need to battle sin, and the grandeur that is the holiness of God.
What gratitude we owe to Bob Kauflin who wrote these sweet words.
A Prayer For Your Here & Now
“O Great God of highest heaven, occupy my lowly heart. Own it all and reign supreme, conquer every rebel power. Let no vice or sin remain that resists Your holy war. You have loved and purchased me. Make me Yours forevermore”
I pray you see that wonder that is that first verse. Notice the tense of all the verbs. Lord reign in our present. Occupy our days. Occupy our choices. Occupy our desires. Be in the midst of all that we are doing. Defeat every power that is coming against the reign of Christ in our lives. Remove sin. Remove our selfishness and pride that comes against what Your holiness demands. Sanctify us. Make us clean. Secure us in your family forever. As Jude writes, to Him who is able to keep and sustain us until the end.
In prayer we commune with the Father, confessing sin where it exists and conferring praise where it belongs.
A Confession For Your Past
Verse 2 moves to the reality of our past,
“I was blinded by my sin, had no ears to hear Your voice. Did not know Your love within, had no taste for heaven’s joys. Then Your Spirit gave me life, opened up Your Word to me. Through the gospel of Your Son gave me endless hope and peace”
Next we confess the reality that we, had it not been for God’s mighty grace, would still be in darkness. It was God through Christ that gave us life and opened our eyes to see the sweetness of the gospel. We didn’t want Him. We didn’t desire Him. We wanted our own way. We desired our own plans. Here we see the truth brought from passages like Psalm 32, Isaiah 53, and Ephesians 2. Here we end with proclaiming that it is only through the gospel of Christ, the message of Christ saving sinners and securing our restored relationship to God the Father, that we have hope and peace. This hope and this peace, unlike anything else, will never end. Thanks be to Christ.
A Desire For Your Future
Now we move to asking for what is to come,
“Help me now to live a life that’s dependent on Your grace. Keep my heart and guard my soul from the evils that I face. You are worthy to be praised with my every thought and deed. O great God of highest heaven glorify Your Name through me.”
As we continue to live, may the Spirit keep us and protect us. Keep us in the grip of mercy. Continue to conform us to the image of Christ as we continue to live on this earth. Guard our hearts from future sin. Psalm 19 comes to mind, a prayer asking for protection from hidden sin and sin committed by our own choosing. And to end, God alone is worthy to be praised. He is worthy to be lifted up and honored. He is on the throne. We are not. He deserves to be made much of through our thoughts, our words, and our very lives. May God, in His glorious grace, glorify Himself through us.