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Archive for the ‘On My Knees’ Category

This post is part of the Deeply Loved Advent Blog Hop series.

A favorite Advent reflection for me is meditating on the many ways Jesus comes to us:  He comes as the Living Word and the Living Water, as the Way, the Truth and the Life, as the Bread of Life and the Light of the World.  And so much more.

One of my favorite ways that Jesus comes is as the real Promise Keeper.

As I have joined with others in going through advent with the Deeply Loved devotional by Keri Wyatt Kent, I loved stopping at day 11 to “Meditate on the Promises of God. “

I promise

And oh what promises our God has made to us:  forgiveness, a relationship with God, abundant life and eternal life, peace, comfort, hope….

And one more that I love: He hears and answers prayer.

(more…)

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Some Ways I Pray

photo by shutterstock

I used to think I knew how to pray.  Then life required desperate prayer—and I thought I really learned what it meant to pray.

Now that I’ve lived lots of years and lots of life, I realize I  know almost nothing about praying.  Prayer is a wonder I can’t comprehend.  I feel woefully inadequate and terribly ineffective—does anything happen when I pray?

Yet I pray.

Often.  Always.

Here are some of the ways I pray. (more…)

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Praying for My Grandboys

I love being Jeedoo.

Jeedoo is my grandmother name, and I love hearing it from my grandchildren, which has happened many times over this weekend.

It’s such fun to play, tell stories and read with them–and we have done much of all those.

But probably the most important role I play in their lives is to pray for them.

Father, I pray for Carter.  May he grow to love You with his whole heart.  Thank you for his competitive spirit, his hard-charging attitude, his love for active play and his obvious leadership.  Use these strengths for your glory as he grows into the man You created him to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father, I pray for Aidan.  May he grow to love You with his whole heart.  Thank You for his creative spirit, his artistic bent, his love of words and his curiosity.  Use these strengths for Your glory as he grows into the man You created him to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father, I pray for Ethan.  May he grow to love You with his whole heart.  Thank you for his joyful spirit, his fun-loving exuberance, his boundless energy and his impish smile.  Use these strengths for Your glory as he grows into the man You created him to be.

 

 

These and many other prayers I offer to God on behalf of these boys.

What about you?  For whom are you praying?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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What might God do if 100’s of millions of his children joined together in praying?  And what if you were part of it?

The Global Day of Prayer, held on Pentecost Sunday since 2001, will be on May 27 this year.  It is an amazing coming together by believers around the world to beseech God to reach, heal, transform their lands.

In July 2000 God captured the heart of a South African Christian businessman, Graham Power, with a vision based on 2 Chronicles 7:14. The vision had three clear instructions:

To call Christians from all denominations in Cape Town for a Day of Repentance and Prayer at    Newlands Rugby Stadium.

To challenge Christians across the rest of South Africa to unite in a Day of Repentance and Prayer.

To challenge Christians in Southern Africa to unite in a Day of Repentance and Prayer.

In March of 2001 more than 45 000 Christians united for a Day of Repentance and Prayer at Newlands Rugby Stadium in Cape Town. It was a day of intense intercession that transformed lives and was reflected in a changing city in the months to come. Testimonies of transformation caused the vision to be spread into the rest of South Africa and planning immediately started for similar prayer gatherings in 8 provinces of South Africa for 2002.

From that beginning, the Day of Prayer spread to all of Africa, and then to the rest of the nations of the world.  Growing and expanding each year,  until in 2010 millions around the world met in arenas and stadiums and churches in 220 nations.

The focus has now shifted to an emphasis on pervasive prayer in and for every nation, with gatherings in churches and homes, rather than in large events.

The Organizing Committee extends this invitation to all of us:  Please join the world for the Global Day of Prayer on 27 May 2012 and may we see the fulfillment of Hab. 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

The Global Day of Prayer actually began yesterday, May 17, with 10 days of focused prayer, then intense prayer on Pentecost Sunday, followed by 90 days of blessing the nations.  More information is available here, and a Prayer Guide for these three phases of the Global Day of Prayer can be found here.

You can be a part of this beautiful prayer gathering on your own, in your church, with your small group—knowing that brothers and sisters around the world are on their knees at the same time.  God loves to answer our prayers, and He loves when His children come together as one.

I have participated personally on my own for the past several years and have the loved the time before God, and with followers of Jesus all over the world.

Will you join us?

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I have had the privilege of being part of a Praying for Revival community.  Of course, as we seek God for revival in our land and our world, we must first seek it for ourselves.  As I was preparing to lead our session recently, God gave me a little understanding of the ongoing cycle of His work in and through me.

I am still meditating on these truths, seeking to understand and apply.  I am sharing them with you, as I am absorbing them myself.  If you have additional thoughts or insights, please share them in the comments.

So here is what I have grasped so far, as I desire personal revival:

Deep humility (a true recognition of who God is and who I am) –>

Genuine repentance (horror at my sin, hating my sin) –>

True worship (awe, gratitude, adoration, honor) –>

Dependent prayer (I am inadequate, unworthy, nothing, needy)–>

Spirit anointing (now available for every need, asked for, received by faith)

 

Consistently living out the above will lead to the following being increasingly evident in my life:

Sincere gratitude (not a perfunctory thank you, but true giving of thanks)

Courageous faith (trust in action, no matter what the challenge)

Authentic living (so that my life looks more and more like Jesus)

Real oneness (preferring one another, united in the Spirit)

 

As these realities are growing in me, they will inevitably lead to actions:

Bold proclamation (I will talking about my Savior boldly and sensitively)

Sacrificial love (serving others, laying down my life for others)

Compassionate justice (responding in word and deed to pain and injustice)

 

Yet I must recognize that I cannot do all this.  It becomes possible and true in my life because of the BOUNDLESS GRACE of God.  It is not my performance, my good deeds, my hard work.  It is all God’s gracious gift of grace to enable me to become like Jesus, to do the impossible, to move on when I fail, to trust when I am inadequate, to believe God can work in and through someone as unworthy as I am.

What about you?  What has God shown you is needed for personal revival?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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Blessed Lord Jesus,

Before thy cross I kneel and see

the heinousness of my sin,

my iniquity that caused thee to be ‘made a curse’,

the evil that excites the severity of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by

the crown of thorns,

the pierced hands and feet,

the bruised body,

the dying cries.

Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God,

its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.

Infinite must be the evil and guilt

that demands such a price.

Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper,

born in my birth,

alive in my life,

strong in my character, dominating my faculties,

following me as a shadow,

intermingling with my every thought,

my chain that holds me captive in the empire of my soul.

Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,

the air supply breath,

the earth bear my tread,

its fruit nourish me,

its creatures subserve my ends?

Yet thy compassions yearn over me,

thy heart hastens to my rescue,

thy love endured my curse,

thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths of humiliation,

bathed in thy blood,

tender of conscience,

triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation

Taken from The Valley of Vision, a Collection of Puritan Prayers

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We are halfway Lent, and probably most of us have already neglected our commitments of worship.  Perhaps this confession from The Book of Common Prayer will help us to tell God the truth.

The Litany of Penitence

Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

Have mercy on us, Lord.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,

We confess to you, Lord.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;

Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,

That we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,

Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desires not the death of sinners, but rather that they may turn from their wickedness and live, has given power and commandment to his ministers to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins. He pardons and absolves all those who truly repent, and with sincere hearts believe his holy Gospel.

Therefore we beseech him to grant us true repentance and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him which we do on this day, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy, so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

en español: Letanía de Penitencia

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10 Reasons I Pray

Recently I went to the beach for a 10-day prayer retreat by myself.
A 10-day prayer retreat?  By yourself?
Yes.
But why?  And how can you pray for 10 days?  Well, I love time by myself.  And there are so many people and things to pray for/about. (And I do some other things besides prayer–Bible study and reading and writing.)
The harder question is “Why pray?”  Here are a few of the reasons:
1.      God  Himself desires fellowship with me!!!!!!!!! How can I turn that down!?!

2.    I am so grateful for what God has done for me, so I respond to His love and desire to be with me.

3.    I am desperate–in my own sinfulness, inadequacy, unworthiness. He is the only way to forgiveness and hope and purpose.

4.    When I listen to Him–through His Word, in stillness and quietness–He lavishes love and grace and affirmation on me.  And gives me wisdom and guidance and courage.

5.    The work of God is done on our knees.  Then we go find out what happened.

6.    The task of living the Christ-life is way beyond me–I must go to Him.

7.    I have so many people I want Him to touch–I must keep bringing them to Him.

8.    The world is so dark and lost.  He is the light and the way.

9.    Satan is a roaring lion, seeking to devour, deceive, and destroy. He loves to go after God’s servants, and especially their children. I feel compelled to stand against him, and the best way to do that is kneeling.

10.    I recognize my own total dependence on God for everything in my life and ministry. Prayer is the way I express that dependence and access His provision.

So really, 10 days is hardly enough.  I must, as Paul instructs, pray without ceasing!

c Judy Douglass

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“Let’s talk about it.”

That has been one of my 5-year-old grandson Carter’s favorite lines.  Mention anything—Star Wars, the playground, a snack, the latest book we have read—and he wants to talk about it.

I find it amazing that any 5-year-old`would say “Let’s talk about it.”   But a boy? Just think how popular he will be.

Isn’t that what God says to us?  “Let’s talk about it, Judy.”   He and I have certainly had many conversations.

When I am confused, He listens so patiently. Then he assures me that His wisdom, His mind, His thinking are all available to me. Sometimes it will be eternity before I see the whole picture, but His words give me what I need for now.

When I am hurt, He shows me His hands, tells me about the pain of betrayal, then reminds me that his pain paid the price for all my pain.

When I have sinned, He tells me I am not condemned. I am forgiven. I am washed clean. Then he says to me, as to the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.”

When I rejoice, He rejoices. When I laugh, He laughs. When I cry, He cries.

Sometimes he asks questions: So how is your plan working for you? Do you know how much I love you? Will you trust Me?

Sometimes He whispers: You can do this. I will be with you. I will never give up on you.

Then He adds: There’s more, Judy. I have more for you.

Always He is the answer, the end point of our conversation. He offers all of who He is to every question, every need, every hope that I have.

c Judy Douglass

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The most oft-quoted Scripture on praying for a nation is probably 2 Chronicles 7:14:  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

It is good and right to pray for the leaders of our nation, for the governmental agencies, for the people in different arenas of power and influence.  But I believe this verse has much to say to us about the prayer that will bring transformation.

“If my people, who are called by my name,…” If God’s people, those who believe in and trust in and follow Him—we are the key.  Not the President and Congress, or Wall Street, or celebrities.  We should pray for them—they have great influence.  But God has challenged us, His children, to be the keys to healing and change.


“will humble themselves…”
We must honor our God as most high, eternal, all powerful Creator.  And we must bow before Him in complete humility. We must admit that, in ourselves, we can do nothing.

“and pray…” The work of God is done on our knees.  Then we go find out what happened.  Scripture tells us we have not because we ask not.  God delights in our asking.


“and seek my face…”
So often we seek what God will give us, His answers, His blessings—in this case that He will rescue and change our nation.  But he invites us to seek Him.  He is all we really need.  In Him we will find answers and blessings and fellowship and love and grace and mercy and strength.

“and turn from their wicked way…” We have to acknowledge our sin, our failure to live in holiness and purity and the power of God’s Spirit.   We—individually and as His Body–must confess that we have gone our own way. Our Lord pleads for us to turn from our wicked way and return to His perfect way.

And what will our God do?

“I will hear from heaven…” He is listening.  He is waiting.  When we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He will surely hear our cries.

“and I will forgive their sin…” Oh, Lord, thank You for Your great mercy.  What a price Jesus paid that we might be forgiven!  He will wash us clean as individuals and will forgive our corporate sin.

“and will heal their land.” This is where we started—to pray for our nation.  We need healing and transforming.  And it begins with us—His children.  When we meet His requirements, He will do what we are asking for our land.

How hopeful and yet how frightening!  We hold the key.  May we fall on our faces before our God and pray!

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