prayer Posts

St Patrick’s Day Prayer

St. Patrick depicted with shamrock in detail of stained glass window in St. Benin's Church, Kilbennan, County Galway, Ireland

St. Patrick depicted with shamrock in detail of stained glass window in St. Benin’s Church, Kilbennan, County Galway, Ireland

“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”

~ St. Patrick

 

 

 

I’m Coming Back For You

“So always be ready, because you don’t the day your Lord will come.”  Matthew 24:42

It’s interesting that on the final week of Jesus’ life He spoke much about His return. It should come as no surprise. The scenario is pretty simple as He explains it in John 14.  “Don’t worry.  I’m leaving for a while, but I’ll be back.  And when I come back, I’ll take you with me.” The return of Christ is certain. His return is final. And when He comes again He will separate those who are with Him from those who are not. Separation can be a sad thing.  Jesus knew a lot about separation. He was about to experience a separation such as He had never known before. When He cried out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”, He was experiencing the abandonment of His Father. His Holy Father turned His back on His Son as He took on the sin of the world. And He did it all for you.  He did it all so that one day, He could come back and take you home. He did it so you would never be abandoned. He, who had been separated from the Father, was about to be united again. Soon He would experience the warm embrace of His Father once again; the weary traveler from a foreign land would find Himself in the loving arms of His Father.  That’s the same reunion He wants you to know as well. When He comes again, every person who ever lived will be judged on whether or not they had received His forgiveness.  He’s coming back for you. Who will you bring with you?

“So you must also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”  Matthew 24:44

Pray:  Lord, I want to live every day in expectation of Your return. Today I will realize that I have been given but one life and that it is brief at best. I will maximize this day for Your purposes knowing that the Day is coming when I will be united with You.

The Day God Got Mad – Monday

“My Temple will be called a house of prayer but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”  Matthew 21:13

Most of us have the mental picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd with a baby lamb on His shoulders, carrying it to safety. We think of the soft images of Jesus in the manger as a baby or as a grown up with children sitting in His lap. But there’s one picture few of us ponder very often. It’s the picture of Jesus on the Monday before His death storming through the temple like a wild man yelling at people to leave! In one of the most dramatic acts of His ministry, Jesus said more about the priority of prayer than in a hundred sermons on the subject. He actually did this twice in His ministry and the first time He made a whip out of cords and was thrashing people out of the temple.

Why was He so mad?  As Jim Cymbala states in Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, “His house was being prostituted for purposes other than what was intended.” The Bible never says, “My house shall be called a house of preaching, or programs that suit me perfectly, or lots of great music.” No, He says His shall be a house of prayer. Cymbala says, “I’ve seen God do more in people’s lives in ten minutes of real prayer than in ten of my sermons.” Then he asks, “What does it say about our churches today that God birthed the church in a prayer meeting, and prayer meetings today are almost extinct?” What about you? Is prayer your first priority?  Is your house a house of prayer? Is your life a life of prayer? Determine that it will be. Let’s let our first priority of the church be prayer!

“The prayers of an upright person accomplishes much.”  Proverbs 15:8

Pray:  Lord, I want prayer to be the first priority of my church and of my life. I don’t want to grieve Your heart because of prayerlessness in my life. I will devote time to pray to You every day. I will be in constant conversation with You today.

St. Patrick’s Prayer

I arise today,

Through the strength of heaven;

Light of the sun,

Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightning,

Swiftness of the wind,

Depth of the sea,

Stability of the earth,

Firmness of the rock.

I arise today

Through God’s strength to pilot me;

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s hosts to save me
afar and anear,

Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today
 against wounding

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye that sees me,

Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today

Through the mighty strength

Of the Lord of creation.

I Have a Dream.

On January 15, 1929, Michael Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  His name was later changed to Martin, the son and grandson of Baptist pastors.  He himself served as co-pastor with his father at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta while he became the central figure in the civil rights movement in the United States.  On August 28th, 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech that would shake a nation and the world (and I can tell you, by the way, as a pastor/preacher- one who traffics constantly in words- this is one of the finest speeches/sermons ever preached).  Dr. King was so articulated, so clear, so picturesque in his words, but what drove his message home was his passion- and even more so, I believe a divine anointing upon his life.  Consider the fact that he was only 34 years old.  Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and it was a dream aligned with God’s dream for a better world.  Let his words resonate in your heart again:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

“…One day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.  I have a dream today.  I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

In March of 1968, Dr. King, went to Memphis, TN in support of mistreated black sanitation workers.  On March 4th he stood with a friend outside his hotel room on the second floor balcony.  A shot rang out and an assassin’s bullet hit Dr. King and the civil rights leader was dead at the age of 39.

To get deeper into the heart of this man we need only listen to his final words preached the night before he died. Listen, in light of what would happen the next day: “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. (Amen.) But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And I’ve seen the promised land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.  And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Martin Luther King had a life mission.  His one life made a difference.  Let me ask you, do you think that only certain people have a mission in life?  That maybe there are only a few people who really have a God-given dream?  Or could it be that every single one of us has been given a dream- by God- to serve His eternal Kingdom purposes while we’re here on this earth?

Throughout this month let’s allow the life and the words of Martin Luther King Jr. (and even more so, the words of our Lord Jesus) to inspire us to dream as well.  Each of us has a God-given dream that He’s calling us to live.  And our God-given dream has the potential to change our world.  Your dream may or may not find its way on the national or international stage (it may!) but your God-given dream is unique to you and given to you to fulfill your life’s purpose.

So, let me ask you: What do you dream about?

Questions to Ponder this Month:

  • What is your dream for life?
  • What is the vision/calling (or God-given picture) of your life?
  • If you had unlimited resources (of time, money, energy, people) what would you want to accomplish with the rest of your life?
  • What do you love to do more than anything else?  What makes you feel fully alive?  Why?
  • What do hate the most?  What makes you angry?  Why?
  • What do you do best?  What are your best gifts?  (You’ve heard others tell you this).
  • What is God’s unique mission for your life?
  • How will you fulfill this mission- starting today?

What is your dream? LIVE IT.