Lord of the nations, You are pursuing with omnipotent passion
the worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshippers for Yourself
from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
As we prepare to worship You today,
grant us to share in Your inexhaustible enthusiasm
for the supremacy of Your name among the nations.
Bring our affections into line with Yours,
and, for the sake of Your name, may we renounce the quest for worldly comforts
and join Your global cause. Amen.
Adapted from John Piper
You died to make me beautiful.
For I was marred and made beastly by sin.
Late it was that I loved you,
beauty so ancient and so new, late I loved you!
I vacillate between a monkish contempt of physical beauty
and a worldly addiction to physical beauty.
Forgive me where I have not made a covenant with my eyes
and I gaze lustfully at others.
Forgive me O LORD!
Pardon me for comparing myself to others
that leads to me feeling insecure, ashamed, and envious.
Have mercy upon me O LORD!
Rescue me from viewing my body with disdain
For You knit me together and fashioned my body,
which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Liberate me from the lies of the Evil One, O LORD!
Free me to know in my soul
that precious sense that I am beautiful
in the eyes of the ultimate loving beholder.
Grant me a renewed sense of Your delight, acceptance, and favor
through Jesus Christ our LORD. AMEN.
at birth we are all launched into a world
that is ringed with terror –
conflicts, accidents, assaults, disease, violence and death.
How easy it is to allow fear to dominate our lives:
The fear of rejection, failure, condemnation, pain and death.
Thank You that Your sword was awakened
against our Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us
so that we might experience
the certainty of your care.
Your lamb was slain to save wayward, stubborn sheep like us.
Grant us grace to trust
that everything is necessary that You send into our lives
and nothing is needful that You withhold.
May all our days be full of praise and delight in You
our Shepherd, King and God.
For we make our prayer in Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Some of you have asked recently about how to access online my dissertation I wrote on Recovering One of the Lost Tools of Christianity Spirituality: Praying the Psalms It can be downloaded by clicking on the above link. Chapters one and eight are the chapters most frequently downloaded.
Behold, Lord, I am an empty vessel
that needs to be filled.
My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in faith; Strengthen me.
I am cold in love; Warm me and make me fervent
that my love may go out to my neighbor.
I do not have a strong and firm faith;
at times I doubt and am unable to trust You altogether.
O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in Thee.
In You I have sealed the treasures of all I have.
I am poor; You are rich and came to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner; You are upright.
With me there is an abundance of sin;
In You is the fullness of righteousness.
Help and forgive me, O Lord,
for my only hope is in You. Amen.
The below is a part of a letter I wrote my son on his 12th birthday. His 21st birthday is coming soon. My prayers for him have not changed…
Son, you are beginning your journey towards manhood. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says:
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
According to this verse, becoming a man involves mental alertness, spiritual resolve, and strength of character. In light of this, I pray that you might become …
- A man in whose life Christ has the first place (Colossians 1:18)… that you would enthrone Him as King of your heart. I want you to love and treasure Him more than anything or anyone else. Also, I want you to marry a woman who loves Him more than she loves you. If that’s the case, your life will be greatly blessed.
- A man who listens to, delights in, and treasures God’s Word as a lamp for your feet and a light for your path (Psalm 119:105). May God’s Word and God’s holiness be the standard by which you evaluate your life and make your decisions. It will be easy to make what other people are doing the standard. You are going to experience temptations, trials, and joys. God’s Word will be a sure and reliable guide over the peaks and through the valleys!
- A man who wisely chooses friends who will sharpen you and not dull your sensitivity to the Lord and His leading in your life (1 Corinthians 15:33).
- A man who flees all forms of sexual immorality because you know that God’s Spirit inhabits your physical body. My prayer is that you please and glorify the Lord with your body by reserving the full expression of your sexuality for your wedding night (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
- A man who intentionally honors God with your mind (Philippians 4:8; Psalm 119:37 – Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word).
- A man who is committed not to awaken love until it’s time (Song of Solomon 8:4)…that you will guard your heart in your relationships with young women (Proverbs 4:23)…that you will resolve to help your friends who are women to protect their hearts as well.
- A man whose life is marked by radical humility, sacrificial service, and bold risk taking in the service of your Lord (Philippians 2:3-4; 5-8; 21-30).
In recent days, several wonderful devotional books have been written on the Psalms. One notable example that I am presenting using is Tim and Kathy Keller’s, The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms. I cannot too highly recommend this resource.
Below is a link of my own thesis I wrote a few years back on how to pray the Psalms. What I have learned has been a huge blessing in my own life and ministry and I hope it will be for you. I jokingly encourage folks that, if that have insomnia, that this book will serve as a cure. Seriously, I encourage folks who are interesting in this study to start by reading chapters 1 and 8 before diving into the other chapters.
All eight chapters of my thesis on Recovering One of the Lost Tools of Christianity Spirituality: Praying the Psalms may be downloaded by clicking on this link.