Praying Through God's Word: Judges
When things are going well, help us, Lord, to thank You. When things are going badly, help us to trust You.
Sometimes, Lord, You say to us, "This is the way, walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21). Sometimes, You say to us, "This is not the way. Do not walk in it." Help us, Lord, to walk in Your way - and not in the way of the world.
Lord, may there be less trying to get our own way - and more walking in Your way.
We are weak. You are strong. Teach us, Lord, to look beyond our weakness to Your strength.
We find it so easy, Lord, to forget You and all that You have done for us. We feel the pull of the world - drawing us back to what we were before we met You, drawing us away from all that You are calling us to become. Give us grace, Lord, to remember You, to rejoice in You, and to be renewed by You.
Lord, there are two ways of living - the self-centred way and the God-centred way. Show us, Lord, that Your way is always the best way.
You call us, Lord, to get real with You, to mean what we say. We're not to say one thing, and do something else. We say, I will follow You, Lord." Help us to remember what we have said - and help us to remember what Jesus said, "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20).
Lord, we don't go out looking for problems - but, sometimes, we can't avoid them. Help us, Lord, to turn obstacles into opportunities. When we're on the verge of collapse, may Your grace lead us on to spiritual growth.
Lord, may our lives be an echo of the words of Jesus: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me ... " (Luke 4:18-19). We look at what we are, and we ask, "How can we become more like Jesus?" It begins with the death of Jesus - "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). It continues with the gift of the Holy Spirit - "the Holy Spirit has been given to us" (Romans 5:5). we look at Jesus, our Saviour. We look at the Holy Spirit. What do we see? we see Your love(Romans 5:8 and Romans 5:5). It's Your love that changes us. It's Your love that makes us more like Jesus.
Lord, we thank You that our lives are not controlled by what we are. They are transformed by what You are. We are sinners. You are the God of grace, Shall our sin triumph over Your grace? - "God forbid!" (Romans 6:1-2). "Sin shall not have dominion over us" (Romans 6:14). Tour grace has brought us forgiveness. May it also bring us renewal: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).
Lord, we find ourselves somewhere between tragedy and triumph. We look at ourselves - and we see our potential for tragedy. When we forget about You, we're like a runaway train - out of control and heading for a big crash. When, Lord, You take control, everything changes. You turn things around. You set us on the road to triumph: "Thanks be to God who always leads us to triumph in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Lord, it's not easy to keep on praying, "Your will be done." Our will gets in the way. We start thinking about what we want - and we forget about what You want. We try to get the best of both worlds - pleasing You and pleasing ourselves. We become "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:4). Help us to become more like Jesus; "I seek not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 5:30).
Help us, Lord, to "be still, and know that You are God" (Psalm 46:10) - but help us not to remain silent when we should be speaking up for You: "If you confess with your mouth , 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
Even when we get ourselves into a right mess, You're still in control. You are Lord. Nothing changes that. we wonder, "Can things be turned around?" You say to us, "Yes. They can." You say to us, "It's not all about you. I am there with you. I have never left you. I'm not going to leave you now. Trust Me. Let My love give you the strength that you need to keep on going, when the going gets tough."
Lord, we read in Your Word that "every man did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25) - and it seems like we are reading a description of today's world. We look around us, and we see so little love for You. Your Son is "despised and rejected by men" (Isaiah 53:3). Our Saviour is "ignored" (Hebrews 2:3). We seem to hear nothing but bad news. Is there any good news? Do You have something to say to us - something to lift us out of our darkness and into Your light? we thank You, Lord, that there is Good News - Jesus is "the Light of the world" (John 8:12). Help us, Lord, to pray that the light of Jesus will shine more brightly in our world. Help us to pray for revival - and help us to begin with ourselves: "O Holy Ghost, revival comes from thee; send a revival - start the work in me" (J. Edwin Orr, "Search me, O God").