Thursday, November 30, 2006

All I Really Want For Christmas Is Comfort

John 14:16-17
Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever - even the Spirit of truth." ASV

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

God of All Comfort!
With the Spirit of Christmas in my heart, I’ve also graciously received the warm, everlasting, security Blanket of Your love. Under Your soft feathers, there is peace for my confused mind, tranquility for my qualms and quandaries, and serenity to accept unchangeable circumstances. When suffering makes my heart heavy, I can fall under Your strong, supportive arms. Covered by Your promises, I’m invigorated with endurance. Beneath the mantle of Your love there is extravagant mercy and amazing grace. My pain is eased and my Spirit enlivened. Your tenderness gives me hope, healing and everlasting happiness. Thank You for this lovely, soft Comforter.

After I’m rested, I can confidently rise up with the help of Your strong hand and share my warm Comforter with someone else. Because I’ve experienced Your blessed consolation I’ll be able to soothe the sad souls around me. Please show me someone who needs the warmth of Christ this Christmas. I’ll gratefully share my Comforter with them for glory of His name. Amen.

If you are overwhelmed by confusion, doubts, and distress this Christmas allow the Comforter of the Holy Spirit to cover you with His love.

If you’ve been blessed by the Blanket of His love, share it with someone who’s brokenhearted. Let others see Christ glorified in You so that they’ll come to know the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

All I Really Want For Christmas Is Power

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

My Beloved Father,
I’m unspeakably delighted with my new Christmas heart full of Your beautiful Christmas Spirit. Now, I just need extra stamina to remain connected to the power of Christ this Christmas. The immense force that raised Your Son from the dead will energize me to rise above intimidating people and uncontrollable conditions to pour out the Spirit of Christmas.

Coupled with You, I’ll have enormous strength to:

C onscientiously think of others rather than myself

H appily encourage the brokenhearted

R adically love difficult people

I ntrepidly risk my reputation to socialize with the undesirable

S acrificially offer my time, talent and treasure with a grateful heart

T riumph over tragedy

M ercifully extend forgiveness

A ccept challenging situations with a song of hope in my heart

S erenely walk through each day

Please dear Lord, attach me securely to You. Let the extraordinary power of Your Holy Spirit flow steadily from my heart enlightening others to Christ this Christmas. In His powerful name I pray. Amen.

Are you plugged into the power of Christ? He will give you immeasurable strength to be His heart and hands this Christmas. Ask Him to show you who you can pour out the Spirit of Christmas onto this year. Then watch who He puts in your path. It will likely be a stranger. Without arguing or hesitating, obey Him by doing whatever He puts on your heart.

Last Christmas, the Holy Spirit nudged my heart to write an encouraging letter to a stranger whose story I read in the newspaper. I never expected my simple act of obedience to lead to a beautiful gift of sisterly love, daily encouragement, and lasting friendship. Try it!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All I Really Want For Christmas Is A Heart Like His

Ezekiel 36: 25-26
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. NLT

Heavenly Father,
You are the Maker of indescribable gifts. I hurry into Your holy presence unashamed to admit that I’m in desperate need of a new Christmas heart.

Consumed with materialism, I’ve become hard pressed like a cheap plastic toy that’s heartless, mindless, and lifeless. Unscrupulous marketing convinces me to join the frenzy of panicked shoppers in the mad fight to buy the latest gizmos and gadgets. Glossy magazines persuade me to perfectly deck the halls of my home, and host impressive holiday parties. Santa Claus has replaced You as the father of Christmas. Caught up in commercialism, my heart has become greedy, hard, and selfish. By worshipping the false images of Christmas, I’ve forgotten the reason for the season.

Please wash away the waste from Christmases past. When I’m clean, lay Your compassionate Christmas heart over mine, making a tender new heart for me. Shaped like Your Son and full of Your Spirit, my perspective will radically change. Suddenly, the joy of all the holiday fury will fade beneath the pure pleasure and divine excitement of making a permanent difference in the lives of others.

Thank You for giving me an indescribable new Christmas heart full of Your beautiful Christmas Spirit. Please show me who to share the heart of Christmas with and I’ll cheerfully oblige by generously feeding them Your perfect love and offering them a taste of Your infinite mercy. I’ll graciously look beyond their diseased hearts and have a good-natured visit with them to glorify the Christ of Christmas. Amen.

What’s your heart look like this Christmas? What are you worshipping? If you want to have an incredibly different kind of Christmas, ask God, with great expectation, to give You a heart like His this Christmas. When you are focused on the things that matter to His heart, your perspective of Christmas will be radically changed, and you will be extremely content and eternally blessed.

Hear the heart of Jesus: "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Matthew 25:34-36

Monday, November 27, 2006

All I Really Want For Christmas Is the Holy Spirit

Luke 11:13
Jesus said, "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Father in Heaven,
O how I adore You because You love me so extravagantly! You’re perfectly loving, merciful, gracious, forgiving, approachable, available, and ever so generous. I’m extremely thankful that I can run into Your holy presence any time, asking for anything. Eloquent words and formal etiquette aren’t necessary. You’re ecstatic when I come with a humble heart, eagerly expecting to receive much more than good gifts.

Father, the One thing I really want this Christmas is the fullness of the Holy Spirit living in me. I no longer want to restrict You to living in just one room of my heart. I want the Spirit of Your Son to have unimpeded access to my entire heart so that I can live a holy and heavenly life consumed with Your divine love. Unity with You in Spirit is the best gift You could possibly give me!

I know that I’m utterly undeserving and unworthy; and yet, because I’ve asked with great anticipation, You’ve just given me a gift that is better than my feeble mind can possibly understand. You’ve given me the Spirit of Christmas. This is the Only gift I really need. It is the Source and Giver of absolute blessings.

I love You and thank You for being the magnanimous One that You are. I’m eternally grateful that Your Spirit is living in me, strengthening me, teaching me, guiding me, comforting me, helping me, interceding for me, and keeping me for eternal glory because of Jesus. Amen.

Unashamedly go to the Father and unload your heart to Him. Persistently ask Him to fill your whole heart with more of the Holy Spirit this Christmas. The Holy Spirit is the Source and Giver of everything you’ll ever need to have the most memorable Christmas ever.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Psalm 100
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Almighty, All-bountiful, All-gracious God,
It’s sheer pleasure to worship You with heartfelt adoration and undivided attention. Your unfailing love has put a song in my heart and a smile on my face. I believe that You are Lord, my God, Creator of everything. Thank You for making me intricately and uniquely with Your strong hands. I’m Your most valuable possession. O, how I praise You!

My Good and Gentle Shepherd, knowing You intimately is the greatest joy and blessing. Your voice is music to my ears. Willingly, I follow You. With steadfast devotion, You lead me to the lush, rolling meadows in my Bible where I can devour the rich delicacy of Your Word. Faithfully, You guide me through barren deserts to refreshing streams of Living Water that quench my thirsty soul. Along the way, You staunchly defend me from the wolves of sin and temptation that hound me. Thank You for protecting and providing for me.

With unbridled excitement, I enter the heavenly gate and come into the safety of Your beautiful sanctuary. My thankful heart, tells of Your tender kindness and continuous mercy. I sing of Your infinite goodness and everlasting compassion. Your enduring love has set my feet a dancing. O how I love and worship You for all You’ve done for me, Jesus, my Wonderful Savior, Redeemer and Friend. Amen

Prepare your heart for Thanksgiving, by pondering God’s goodness. Make a list of all the gifts He’s given you. Thank Him for each one, offering Him a sacrifice praise!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:22
22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

Father in Heaven,
As a gesture of appreciation for Your miraculous mercy toward me, I’ll joyfully show the world the wonder of Your amazing love by:

S elf-expenditure – I’ll gladly abandon my own dreams for absolute loyalty to You, determinedly following You wherever You lead.

A ttitude of gratitude – I’ll quickly and gratefully stamp out my personal agenda in order to enliven a broken heart.

C rucify myself – Deliberately, I’ll kill my spirit of intolerance and indifference in order to allow You to freely work through me to do anything You choose.

R adical love – Because of the extravagant love You’ve shown me, I’ll readily demonstrate extreme compassion to those outcast by society.

I mmediate obedience – Out of fear and respect of Your almighty authority, I’ll willingly do any assignment You give me without hesitating or complaining.

F ully devoted – Attached to no one but You, I’ll notice the people and situations that burden You.

I ndividuality broken – In order to effectively aid and assist You, I’ll allow You to crush me and shape me into Your perfect image.

C hallenging – I’ll intentionally accept assignments that may be beyond my mental and physical abilities, fully trusting You to energize and equip me.

E ndurance – The power of Your Word, coupled with praise and prayer will strengthen me.

Thank You, Lord for filling me with the sweet aroma of Your love. Let my life pleasantly emulate Your essence this holiday season, attracting others to Your fine fragrance because of Jesus. Amen.

God gave up His Son for your benefit. Ask Him what He wants you to give up for His benefit this holiday season. Then, obey immediately, without hesitating or complaining, cheerfully offering Him your sacrifice with a thankful heart.

O. Chambers writes in My Utmost For His Highest: We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later – it must be done now … Always guard against self-chosen service for God … God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed. eyed.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sweet Victory

1 Corinthians 15:57
Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Triumphant Lord,
You’re the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Blessed Angels. I celebrate the sweet victory You’ve given me through Jesus Christ. Because of the glorious conquest, I can stand firm on Your powerful promises expecting You to defeat the enemy repeatedly.

My mind is the battlefield where speculation, knowledge, and thoughts take place. It’s constantly clashing with the opposition of a corrupt culture. A ferocious, frightening, and confusing hailstorm of suffering, shame and sorrow bombard me. Condemnation ruthlessly assaults me. Guilt viciously attacks me. Dying to my past is agonizing. The enemy is rapidly advancing and I need to take hold of the indispensable weapons You’ve given me to wage war with this world. Igniting the dynamite of Your Word with the matchsticks of prayer and praise, I’ll successfully demolish the adversary.

You’re my Commanding Officer. Respecting Your authority is a matter of life or death. It’s imperative that I obey Your orders, submitting my thoughts completely to Your control. With You in charge, I don’t have be fainthearted or afraid. Terror and panic won’t besiege me. I just need to comply with Your commands and rely on Your almighty armament.

Thank You for Your faithful promise to go with me, fight for me and give me the exultant victory through Jesus, Your Son. Hallelujah! The battle’s won! Amen.

Thank God for the spiritual victory! It’s a command. You no longer have to live in fear of condemnation, guilt or death. Ignite His Word with prayer and praise, and claim the sweet reward.

Deuteronomy 20:4
For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.

I John 5:3-5
3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Keys to the Kingdom

Hebrews 12:28
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Holy and Awesome God-
Your splendor and majesty are breathtaking! My imagination’s running wild! I picture You seated on a glowing, golden throne high above the earth. I’m spellbound by the brilliant train of glory surrounding You.

It’s a treat for my mind's eye to visualize Your majestic kingdom as my heavenly home. I eagerly anticipate the jubilant celebration as thousands and thousands of adoring angels encircle You in beautiful worship. My heart is flooded with overwhelming joy as my name is read from the Lamb’s Book of Life. With all due respect, I confidently rise and approach the throne of grace hand-in-hand with my Best Friend, Jesus, Your Son. He presents me to You as pious, perfect and pure. Lovingly, You open Your arms wide, welcoming me to stay in the most elegant, enormous mansion my eyes have ever seen because of my relationship with Him. The keys to heaven are handed to me! It’s a gift too wonderful for words, too great to grasp!

Knowing You deeply, intimately, and personally is a joy and an honor. Because Your unshakable kingdom is in me, I’m stuck on You. When the fragile world around me is shaken and shattered, I won’t fall apart. Instead, with reverent awe, I’ll cling to You, praising You as the King who reigns with triumphant power in my heart. Your kingdom is mine forever and ever because of Jesus. Hallelujah! Amen.

The unshakable kingdom of God is in you too. Worship His Majesty with thanksgiving, in honor of all that He’s given you – a promised home in His heavenly kingdom where you’ll live happily ever after! Imagine it!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Love Dispels Fears

1 John 4:16-18
16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

God of Love,
Hot tears roll down my face as I ponder Your awesome holy love. Perfect love is Your fundamental nature. I’m overwhelmed that this unspeakable love is fully available to me.
Thank You that Jesus, Your dearly loved Son, models Your deep love and compassion. He willingly left the hallowed halls of heaven and came down to this dingy, dirty place on earth to show us how to wholly love. Knowing that He’d have to give up His life to save us from eternal anguish, He willingly endured the extreme shame and humiliation of the cross, suffering its unbearable pain to demonstrate Your unconditional love. At the cross I see Your great big beautiful heart.

Because of Your excellent love exhibited there, I can enjoy an intimate experiential relationship with You. I can live like You and love like You, confidently expecting to receive the rich, divine, imperishable, eternal inheritance You promise. Living in Your presence, I’m full of praise, power and perfect love. Enamored by You, there’s no room in my heart for fear.

God of Love, I just want to live in blessed adoration of You every day of my life demonstrating unwavering, irrepressible, triumphant faith in Your promises so that I can trust Your extraordinary love to wash away all doubt and fear in Jesus name. Amen.

Look at the Cross. Consider Jesus hanging there in pain and agony. Consider the crown of thorns pressed down on His brow. Consider the stakes driven through His hands and feet. Consider the beating He had already endured, ripping flesh from bone, so much so that He was virtually unrecognizable. Consider what He suffered. He did it all for love. He did it for us – to prove His love. Do you believe Him?

Confess your fears. Turn around and face Him. Looking into His face, thank Him for His perfect love that dispels fears.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Continuous Praise

Hebrews 13:15
Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Blessed Lord Jesus,
O how I love the sweet sound of Your beautiful name! I’m utterly devoted to You because You saved me from hell and total annihilation. Not only that, but You presented me flawless before the glorious throne of my Most High God. You’ve made me indescribably pure, completely blameless, absolutely acceptable and extremely wise. I ought to be struck dead at Your feet, but You’ve put a spring in my step, a song in my heart, a smile on my face and given me a zest for living. The least I can do is continually praise You, even when it’s excruciatingly difficult.

It ought to be a joy and delight to praise Your glorious name forever and ever! Not only when all is well. Not just when I’m perfectly healthy and sound. Not only when my bills are paid and there’s food on the table. But, it is an incredible honor to stand by faith worshipping You during pain and poverty, crisis and confusion, desperation and disaster. In tough times when my heart can sing of Your great love, there is increased peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control as my sorrow turns to sheer joy in Your presence.

Help me to continually focus and determinedly place my faith in You and You alone. I want to give you my unlimited, unrestrained affection! I want to build my faith on strong determined confidence in You, my Blessed Lord Jesus. Focused on You, I won’t be able to fear or doubt. My life will be a lovely hymn of adoration resulting from my perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief in You, my Blessed Lord Jesus whom I love with all my heart. Amen.

Think of the despicable shortfall of faith we exhibit during difficult times. Then, think of what Jesus has done for you. You deserve to die. You deserve eternal suffering. But, He has given you life abundantly. If you’re alive because of Him, ask Him to put a spring in your step, a song in your heart, a smile on your face, and give you a zest for glorious living. Then, you will be a living sacrifice of constant praise.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Praise Him For What He's Done

Psalm 65:4-5
4 Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.
5 You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness
My Glorious Father in Heaven,
You are King of my heart and Lord of my life. I’m blessed that You chose me to live in Your royal family! A scruffy ragamuffin, I don’t deserve to live with the Majestic King of Heaven who rules and reigns over the universe. It’s an incredible privilege to be here where I can freely enjoy all of the rich family benefits.

  • You forget my past and give me an adventurous new life.
  • You graciously pardon my inappropriate behavior, setting me free from guilt, shame and fear of punishment.
  • You invite me to indulge in the rich delicacy of Your Word.
  • You crown me with love and compassion.
  • You wrap me in goodness and eternal beauty.
  • You give me the inconceivable opportunity to know You personally and experientially.
  • You train me to live like the child of a King.
  • Your extravagant love is ever, always and eternally available to me.

O Lord, I’m absolutely astonished and trembling with overwhelming joy. It’s sobering to think that You’ve positioned me in a haughty place that I do not deserve, the heavenly throne room where I can dwell in Your divine presence forever and ever. Filled with extreme gratitude for the awesome things You’ve done, I’ll praise you with my obedience, honor You with my devotion, and glorify You by loving others. You alone are the key to heaven because of Jesus. Amen.

Spend the day pondering all the good things God’s given you. What has He done for you? Make a list of His awesome divine deeds. With a thankful heart, praise Him by your obedience, honor Him with your devotion, and glorify Him by loving others.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Praise Him For Who He Is

Psalm 34:1-3
1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

O Loving Lord,
My heart throbs every time I bless Your beautiful name! In awe of Your splendor and majesty, I inhale joyful praise and puff out sweet, long-lasting adoration. You are the pure air I breathe, O God.

My soul yearns to brag about Your greatness:
  • Your holy love is deeper than the massive oceans.
  • Your divine wisdom is higher than majestic mountains.
  • Your mighty power is stronger than the thrashing waves of the sea.
  • Your unending mercy expands to the ends of the earth.
  • Your perfect peace is quieter than a whispering summer breeze.
  • Your exuberant joy twinkles brighter than the brightest star.
  • Your incomparable goodness is exceedingly greater than the fruitful farmlands.
  • Your infinite faithfulness is more trustworthy than the dawning of the day.
  • Your continuous forgiveness flows like a cool refreshing mountain stream.
  • Your wondrous grace is more awesome than the spacious skies.

There is none like You, O Lord. Thank You for giving me a fresh vision of Your holiness. In the light of Your radiant glory, sorrow and suffering diminish, fear and shame disappear, and turmoil and restlessness dissipate, lost in the magnificent celebration of Your beautiful name. With thanksgiving, we bow down and worship You for Who You are. Together we exalt and glorify You because of Your Almighty, All-Powerful, Everlasting name! Amen.

Spend the day gazing of God’s beauty. What do you see? Make a list of His admirable characteristics. With a thankful heart, praise Him for Who He is all day long. Watch your heart lighten beneath praise and adoration.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Turn Around!

Matthew 4:17
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

God of Wonders, I marvel at the power of Your Voice. Thank You for opening my spiritual ears to hear the very first word out of Your mouth to believers, "Repent!" I hear You commanding the Church and me to turn around. We’re going in the wrong direction! We don’t listen or pay attention to You, but follow the stubborn inclination of our misguided hearts.

We don’t want to admit the depth from which we’ve fallen. We no longer love You, or our brothers and sisters. We bicker, squabble and argue over insignificant matters when we should be falling on our knees in unity of mind and soul praying for radical change. We use not only our hearts, but our sanctuaries as a front to worship our manmade gods.

Our leaders are feeding us a pack of sugar-coated lies and we swallow them because we don’t open our Bibles and seek the Truth. Afraid we won’t come back if we know the reality of our depravity, we’re not taught to obey Your rules. We’d rather praise and dance than fall on our face in reverent fear of You. The Church You set apart for holy worship has become a place to carry out our outrageous sacrilege. Have mercy on us for desecrating Your Holy House!

Living Lord, I want to experience the fullness of Your presence and power. I admit that I was heading in the wrong direction. Frustrated by lack of results, I gave up praying for change in the Church, but because of the power of Your Word, I just made a U-turn to follow You. Fuel my heart, O Lord, with renewed passion to radically pray for change that will bring You the honor and glory You’re worthy of. Amen.

Whew! God has just stirred up my heart! Do you hear the first words from our Lord’s mouth when He began preaching to His followers? "Repent!" This word is for you and me, friends - not for the unbelievers. We’re going in the wrong direction and need to do an immediate U-turn. I urge you, turn around and follow Jesus before it’s too late – the kingdom of heaven is near.

For additional reading, I recommend Jeremiah 7. It’s a very clear illustration of the condition of the Church today and the results of disobedience.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Weak Warriors

Psalm 78:9-11
9 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
turned back on the day of battle;
10 they did not keep God's covenant
and refused to live by his law.
11 They forgot what he had done,
the wonders he had shown them.

O Great & Mighty God,
Your Word is a swift, sharp sword that cuts to the very core of my soul. We, as a church are big cowards like the Ephraimites. You’ve armed us to the hilt for the spiritual battle, yet we’ve fearfully run away. We don’t believe in Your powerful, protective promises. We’ve ditched the indispensable weapons You made just for us.

Even though the Truth is readily available, we refuse to open our Bibles and access it. Because we don’t open our Bibles outside of church, we’re ignorant about Your Sacred Laws. If we don’t know them, how can we obey them? We’re busy making believers and baptizing them, neglecting to teach them to obey Your commands. We can’t instruct what we do not know ourselves. We’re a battalion of reckless rebels marching down a dangerous road.

Forgetting the high price You paid to save us from death and destruction, we’ve conscientiously objected to following You into combat. It’s each man for himself in this skirmish with the wicked world. Prayerless, we’ve abandoned our brothers and sisters, leaving them alone to fight the vicious foe. Self-absorbed, we’ve forgotten to declare the great works You’ve done. Have mercy on us for our lack of faith!

I never again want to withdrawal from the life-or-death fight with the Devil. I don’t want You to associate me with the weak and spineless Ephraimites who lost favor in Your sight.

From this day forward, I’m surrendering my life and my agenda to enlist in Your massive Army of prayer warriors. Equipped with Your Word, I’ll confidently open my mouth and speak in Your almighty power, watching until the enemy retreats. Show me a comrade who needs support today, and I’ll join them in the battle at the altar for the glory of Your victorious name. Amen.

Do you know someone in the midst of a spiritual battle? The enemy is strategically attacking Christ-followers from every vantage point. Who can you join in combat? I urge you, turn around and fight for someone in the name of Jesus. If you have a Bible and a mouth, you’re fully armed and equipped for combat.

Our pastors and spiritual leaders are under siege. The enemy is torturing and punishing missionaries worldwide. Our nation is under fierce attack. Marriages are falling apart. Children are innocent victims. There’s a whole world full of sick and suffering souls standing alone in their struggles. Everywhere there are broken hearts and shattered lives. You don’t have to look far to find someone to stand in the gap and fight with.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Spirit-Led Prayer

Romans 8:26-27
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

Most High Priest,
Thank You for making my heart Your home. You know every nook and cranny of it. You understand the challenging circumstances, agonizing problems and incredible pressure I face. When I can’t find the words to say, You translate my inarticulate sighs. Thank You for constantly interceding on my behalf from the temple of my heart.

I’ve made prayer more difficult and cumbersome than it needs to be. All I have to do is keep the temple clean and pay attention to You. With a pure heart, when I open my Bible, You’ll tell me what’s on Your mind, prompting me to pray for specific people and situations. As I spend time in Your presence, pondering Your thoughts, I’ll gain divine wisdom and knowledge far above my feeble, finite thinking. Tuned in to You, I’ll notice the vast needs around me and joyfully bring them to Your throne, trusting You to take care of them.

Thank You for revealing Your thoughts to me, O Lord. Please search my heart and turn it into a beautiful house of prayer for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Is prayer difficult and cumbersome for you? That’s not the way God intended it to be. He’s taken up residence in your heart and made it a house of prayer. Ask Him to show you how to pray His way. It will radically change your heart for prayer.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Passionate Persistent Prayer

Deuteronomy 9: 8-10, 13-14, 17-19
8 … you aroused the LORD's wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you … 9 I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water. 10 The LORD gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.

13 And the LORD said to me, "I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! 14 Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven."

17 So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.

18 Then once again I fell prostrate before the LORD for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the LORD's sight and so provoking him to anger. 19 I feared the anger and wrath of the LORD, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the LORD listened to me.

O Sovereign Lord,
There’s a striking similarity between ancient Israel and the corrupt, rebellious and unruly world today. Our nation is in terrible shape! The Sacred Laws that You inscribed with Your fingers have been deliberately broken. Your Holy Name has been desecrated. With You out of sight and out of mind, we’ve become a country full of senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless fools who expect blessing despite our defiant disobedience.

O Lord, stir up in me a heart like Moses. He knew You intimately; therefore, he knew what was on Your heart and mind. He knew how angry You were over the blatant misconduct of his nation. Twice, he spent 40 days and 40 nights alone in Your holy presence, passionately interceding, fasting, and crying out for You to spare his people from annihilation. He believed with all his heart that You would answer him, and didn’t leave Your presence for any reason until You responded to his urgent appeal.

Lord, I can’t spend 40 minutes fasting and praying, let alone 40 days and 40 nights! Have mercy on me! Radically change my heart, O God. Draw me into the same kind of deep love relationship that Moses had with You. I want to be so enamored with You, that I’ll desire to spend endless hours in Your presence without thinking for one minute about food or drink. Fully possessed by You, I’ll fervently plea to You to spare this nation from complete obliteration. With One heart and One mind, I won’t give up until You answer me. Lord, teach me to diligently pray with enthusiasm and expectation so that Your name will be blessed in my homeland. Amen.

Dr. Henry Blackaby asked, "What kind of praying have we been doing to lead our nation to the mess we’re in?" What changes need to be made in Your life so that God can work through you?

Read Deuteronomy 9 & 10 and ask God to take you to a deeper level with your prayer life. If not you, then who will pray for our nation?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Shriveled Leaves

Isaiah 64:6-7
We all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and made us waste away because of our sins.

O Divine Artist,
The vivid illustrations You paint in Your Word delight my imagination. Over the past several weeks, the dazzling autumn leaves dancing in the brisk fall air have mesmerized me. Their elegant display of rich, stunning colors that seemed so full of life tricked me. Kissed by the warm sun, they quickly withered, weakened and were swept away by a gust of wind. The once stately trees are suddenly lifeless. Dormant, there’s nothing pretty about them.

So it is with my life. I try to elegantly display my wonderful works for a watching world. I’ve wasted endless time and energy trying to impress people. In pursuit of the dreams and desires of my heart, I’ve neglected to seek the plans and purposes of Your heart for me. Like the shriveled autumn leaves that once thrived with abundant life, I’ve fallen from the Tree of Life. Blown away by the compulsion to prove my value, my works have become worthless. Fruitless, there’s nothing striking about me.

If I want to remain vibrant and productive I need to take time be with You daily. Diligently studying Your Word and communicating with You in passionate, persistent, heartfelt prayer You’ll show me what’s on Your heart and mind. When I turn around, face You, and accept the blazing Truth, my soul will dance like the autumn leaves. Devoted to You, my life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that will naturally attract others to Your inexplicable beauty. In my life Lord be glorified because of Jesus. Amen.

Our works will shrivel up like the autumn leaves and be blown away; but our worship will last forever. I urge you to get connected to the Tree of Life by spending time in God’s Word and passionate, persistent, heartfelt prayer. Ask Him to show you the desires of His heart and watch as He reveals His glory. Then, you will be impressed with Him and His work.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Worship Before Work

Revelation 2:2-5
Jesus said:
2 "I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. 4 But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to me again and work as you did at first. If you don’t, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches." NLT

O Precious Lord, Who knows all and sees all,
Thank You for speaking directly to my humble heart. Nothing goes unnoticed by Your holy eyes. You see my labor of love and enduring perseverance. You know how hard I try to avoid impropriety. With all my heart, I seek the truth, steering clear of liars. Without complaining, I put up with the harassment of belligerent people. You’re aware that it’s exceedingly difficult to live morally in this corrupt culture where personal choices and alternative lifestyles are not only acceptable, but also tolerated. Graciously, You praise me for doing what’s right in Your eyes.

On the other hand, You also notice that my worship has been deluded by works. My love for You and others has grown cold. In the struggle to maintain sound teaching and moral and doctrinal purity, I’ve taken for granted Who You are. I’ve placed the significance of service above my affection and adoration for You. More concerned with what I do for You than who I am to You, I’ve fallen away from You. My usefulness is diverted and my testimony is tarnished.

Thank You for shining the light of Your Word on my heart. Broken and ashamed, I come back to the Cross. Falling on my knees, I admit how far I’ve backslid in my love relationship with You. Forgive me for spending endless energy on activities while neglecting passionate, prolonged time in prayer and studying Your Word. Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength I want to make You my priority again. Consumed with You my joy and zeal will return, allowing me to effectively shine Your light of love on others.

O Lord, that I may love You more today than yesterday and that my light would burn brightly before man for the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

O. Chambers writes in My Utmost for His Highest, October 19: The great enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ today is the idea of practical work that has no basis in the New Testament but comes from the systems of the world. The work insists upon endless energy and activities, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing … In our Lord’s life there was none of the pressure and the rushing of tremendous activity that we regard so highly today, and a disciple is to be like his Master. The central point of the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship with Him, not public usefulness to others.

Have you put work ahead of worship? I challenge you to stop and evaluate what you’re doing. Is your relationship with the Living Lord right? If not, the command is clear, "Turn back to Him again and work as you did at first." If you choose to disobey, the consequence is also clear, "I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches."

What did you do when Jesus first found you?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pray Like Jesus

Matthew 26: 37-39, 42,
37 He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death … 39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done."

44 So He … went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. NKJV

O Lord Jesus,
Thank You for teaching me how to pray! Forgive me for my casual, careless prayers. My happy-go-lucky heart would rather be singing praises and dancing than falling on my face in deep sorrowful prayer. I’ve failed to follow You. My prayers have been hasty, shallow and sloppy. I wonder why they go unanswered.

Please lay Your heart over my heart, O God, and teach me to pray. O that my soul would be exceedingly anguished even to the point of death for the things that trouble You. Rather than praying as I drive down the road asking You to bless this person and that person, give me this and give them that, I want to go to the garden alone, far away from the hustle and bustle, where I can experience prayer with You.

In Your presence, I’ll fall on my face. Crying out to You in deep distress, You’ll tell me exactly what’s on Your heart. As I sit still, quietly listening to Your voice, my prayer life will change. I’ll be overcome with grief for the things that grieve You. The intense pain will be unbearable. It’ll be tempting to walk away from the severe problems and pressures you reveal to me, but Lord, with all my heart I want to follow You, even to death. I want to pray like You, Jesus, not my will but Yours be done. Amen.

Have you ever had this heart of God? Have you ever prayed like Jesus? Would you be willing to allow God to take You to a different kind of praying? Turn around and follow Jesus. He’ll teach you how to pray powerful prayers that will make a kingdom difference.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tempted to Sleep

Matthew 26:38, 40-41, 43-45
38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them … 45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near …"

Precious Jesus,
I am so sorry! You’ve invited me to join You in agonizing prayer, and I have failed you miserably! Surrounded by the sorrow of sin, overwhelmed by the misery of severe suffering, and swallowed up in the sheer terror of impending death, You’ve asked me to keep vigil, but like Peter, I’m drowsy and prone to dozing off. Forgive me, O Lord!

You know the brutal battle that lies ahead for me. Clearly, You warn me to pay attention and pray. Deep agonizing grief from the consequences of poor choices will besiege me. The intense suffering from sickness will be unbearable. The cruel killing of souls and maiming of minds will torment me to the point of overwhelming despair. With all my heart, I want to obey, but the nighttime of the soul seems eternally long. Worn out and restless, I’m tempted to drift from You during difficult times.

I beg You to awaken my spirit to the power of prayer. Teach me to pray, with passionate persistence, prayers that will crush the adversary. The hour is near when You’ll come back, and I don’t want You to find me sleeping again. I want You to be pleasantly surprised when You find me in the garden wrestling over the burdens of Your heart for the glory of Your name. Amen.

O. Chambers writes in My Utmost for His Highest, October 16: "The key to the missionary’s difficult task is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work … the key is in following the Master’s orders – the key is prayer.

The Master has given you the key and ordered you to watch and pray with Him. His intense agonizing prayer in the garden gave Him the strength to face the journey to the cross. If you don’t pay attention and wrestle with Him in prayer, you’ll snap when the stress and strain do come – and it will come. Ask Jesus to teach you to pray powerful prayers that will destroy the enemy.