Praying Through God's Word: Matthew's Gospel
Lord, we’ve only just begun – to experience Your love and enjoy Your blessing. We’ve started out on the journey of faith – but we haven’t reached our destination. We’re still travelling. We dare not stand still. We must keep on going forward – with You and for You. Sometimes, we can forget where we’re going – and we can forget how to get there. Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus – He will lead us on to the glory of heaven.
Lord, help us to stand upon the truth of Your Word – not to collapse under the lies of the devil. When Your Word says, ‘This is what the Lord has done’, who are we to say, ‘Is this really what You have done?’ Talk like that doesn’t come from You, Lord. It comes from our enemy, Your enemy – the devil. When the devil attacks us – sowing seeds of unbelief, help us to take our stand against him. Help us to triumph over him by the power of Your Word.
Lord, give us wisdom. How do we receive wisdom? – We receive Jesus. He is ‘our wisdom’ (1 Corinthians 1:30). What is the wisdom we receive from Jesus? – It is 'salvation' (2 Timothy 3:15). Jesus is our Saviour. Lord, give us more wisdom. Give us more of Jesus. Help us to get to know Him more-and-more each day. Give to us the knowledge of Jesus, which is our salvation – knowing Him as our Saviour, knowing His power to save, His power to bring us out of our darkness and into His light.
Lord, help us to worship You – not just to make big promises – ‘We will worship You’, and then forget all about these big promises! Worship is about putting You first. It’s about keeping You at the centre of our life. It’s about more than ‘going to church’ – more than ‘an hour on a Sunday.’ It’s about giving ourselves to You. It’s about living for You – our whole life becoming a song of praise to You. Lord, help us to worship You.
Lord, we thank You for Jesus – risen from the dead, and living in us! We remember Jesus’ resurrection – and we give thanks with great joy. We think of Jesus, living in us – and we’re learning to live each day in His power. Through Your power, Jesus came from death to life. Through His risen power, we leave behind what we once where and we become what You call us to be.
Lord, You are more important than we are. We serve You. You save us. We preach – but we cannot save! It’s only You who can save. May we never forget that, without You, we are nothing and we can do nothing – nothing of any lasting value, nothing that will really count for eternity. If we are to achieve anything in Your service, it will only be when You are working in us and through us.
Lord, we thank You for your perfect plan of salvation. We thank You for the perfect obedience Jesus offered to You. We thank You for the perfect sacrifice Jesus made for us. Perfect – That’s the last word we would use to describe ourselves. We’re anything but perfect. We’re very far from being perfect. We thank You, lord, that You’re so very different from us: You’re the perfect God, Your Son is the perfect Saviour and Your salvation is the perfect salvation.
Lord, when we are tempted, help us to remember Jesus. He was tempted – but He was not defeated. He was not defeated – He was victorious. How did Jesus win the victory? How can we win the victory? Jesus took His stand upon Your Word. This is the way Jesus went. This is the way we must go. It’s the way of Your Word. It’s the way of victory. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. In Him, we have the victory.
Lord, help us not to lower our guard. There are times when it seems like Satan is leaving us alone. Soon, it will change – He’ll be back again, and he’ll be more determined than ever. When Satan seems to be such a determined enemy, help us to remind him that he’s also a defeated enemy. When Satan comes to us, help us to be ready for him. Help us to face him in the all-victorious name and the all-conquering power of Jesus.
Lord, we thank You for Jesus, our Team Leader. Before the call to leadership, there’s the call to be lead by the greatest Team Leader of all – Jesus. Jesus calls us to follow Him – to walk in His footsteps. It’s not about saying, “Jesus is our Team leader”, and then doing our own thing. It’s about following Him. It’s about praying, ‘Your will be done.’ Lord, help us to follow Jesus. Help us to look at how He lived - and to become more like Him.
Lord, give us Your strength. Help us not only to be strong in ourselves. Help us to be strong for others. Give to us teaching from Your Word – and help us not to keep it to ourselves. May Your Word give us strength – the strength that we need to pass Your Word on to others.
Lord, help us to live for You. Help us to become more like Jesus. We look at Jesus – and we see that He is so far ahead of us on the pathway of holiness. We look at Him – and we see how much He loves us. We see how much He is committed to leading us to walk more closely with You on the pathway of holiness.
Lord, help us to bring Your light into our dark world. How are we to do this? We begin by letting Your light shine upon ourselves. The light that shines into our own hearts is the light which will shine out from us to others. Lord, let Your light shine.
Lord, help us to be true. We are surrounded by so much that is false – and we see it in ourselves as well. Lord, deliver us from hypocrisy. When it keeps on rearing its ugly head – even in very subtle ways! - , help us to renew our commitment to living a life that is being shaped by Your truth, a life of following Jesus.
Lord, help us to open our hearts to You. We look into ourselves – and we are not pleased with what we see. We need a new heart – a heart filled with Your holiness and Your love. We need Christ, living in us. We need Christ, changing us, making us like Himself.
Lord, fill us with Your love. Our love is always less than it should be. Your love for us is always the greatest love of all. There is no love like Your love for us. Help us, Lord, to appreciate Your love for us. Help us to be changed by Your love for us.
Lift us, O Lord, out of our hypocrisy and into Your holiness. Help us to be real – people who are wholehearted in our love for You, people whose lives are centred on Christ, people who are learning to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, we feel the pressure of the world bearing down upon us – “the world is ever near me … around me and within.” When we feel like this, help us to pray, “Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.” In all of our testing and trying times, may we know that we are “kept by the power of God.” Help us, when we are sorely tempted, to know that You are leading us on to Your full “salvation. Help us to see that our sufferings are nothing compared with Your salvation. Help us to “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:5-9).
Lord, teach us to pray. Help us not to say one thing and do another. Help us not only to pray, “Your will be done.” Help us to do Your will.
Lord, help us to build our lives on Christ. All around us, there is shifting sand. It’s not only shifting sand. It’s sinking sand. Without Christ, we will sink without trace. He alone is the Solid Rock. He’s the Rock of our salvation. Help us to build on Him.
Lord, make us clean. In ourselves, we are not clean. In ourselves, we will never be clean. We are never any more than sinners. We need to be cleansed – and You alone can do this for us. May the precious blood of Jesus cleanse us from all sin.
Lord, help us to follow Jesus. How are we to follow Jesus – when we face so many temptations to wander away from You, to wander off into a life of sin and shame? Lord, You alone can keep us from falling away from You. You alone can keep us walking with You. Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus. Help us to keep on following Him.
Lord, help us to become more like Jesus - "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me ... " (Luke 4:18-19). Without Your Spirit, we can do nothing for You. We try and try and try ... but we achieve nothing. It's not by our trying that Your work is done. It's by Your power that Your work moves forward. Lead us forward with You and for You. Lead us forward in Your power.
Lord, give us Your Word. May it be the Word of Your Spirit, speaking through us. Fill us with Your Word. Fill us with Your Spirit. Lead us out of the emtiness of life without You. Lead us into the fullness of life which comes to us when we receive the love of Jesus, when we rejoice in His victory, when we are renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, teach us Your way. Walking in Your way is never easy. There are so many obstacles. They stop us in our tracks. They make us feel like giving up - until Jesus comes alomgside us. He comes to us and He says to us, "You're not alone. I am with you - now and always." Lord, help us to look beyond our many problems and difficulties. Help us to look to Jesus. Help us to hear His Word of encouragement. Help us to exchange our weakness for His strength (Isaiah 40:31).
Lord, everywhere we look, we see so much unbelief. So few people have any real interest in listening to what Your Word has to say to them. This isn't just a problem for other people. It's a problem for us. We're shaped by the world far more than we admit to ourselves. We say, 'Of course, we're sinners, every one of us' - but do we realize how true this is? Lord, we thank You that, at every stage of our life of faith, You speak to us Your Gospel of love: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).
Lord, we thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. He leads us out of own way - the way of sin and judgment. He leads us into Your way - the way of salvation and holiness. The Holy Spirit shows us what we really are - sinners who need to be saved by Your love and power. He leads us to Jesus, the Saviour of sinners. He gives us the strength we need to live to Your praise and glory.
Lord, we want to have more than religion. We want to have Jesus at the very centre of of our lives. Religion without Jesus is empty. It may be saying the right words - but it's not living the right way. Give us more than religion. Give us Jesus - changing us, making us what You want us to become.
Lord, we thank You for the strong words Jesus speaks to us. Sometimes, His words aren't very 'nice' words. Sometimes, His words are very disturbing. He tears down our defences. He shows us what we're really like. Why does Jesus speak such strong words to us? He wants to lead us out of our hypocrisy and into His holiness. Lord, help us to get real with You. Bring us to an end of ourselves. Bring us into a new beginning with You.
Lord, help us to value the things that are really important. Sometimes, we make too much of things that don't really matter very much. You are speaking to us. You're trying to get our attention, but we're too busy with other things - things that are much less important than we think they are. Lord, help us not to lose our way. Help us to remember that Jesus is the real "Very Important Person." What matters to Him - That's the most important thing!
Lord, help us to learn from everyday life. Help us to look around us - and learn the lessons that You are teaching us. We miss so much of what You are saying to us. We're thinking so much about ourselves. We don't see what You're showing us. Lord, help us to open our eyes and our ears. Help us to open our minds and our hearts. Help us to open our lives to You - to learn more about the greatness of Your love for us.
Lord, You're speaking to us all the time. You never stop speaking to us. We don't always hear what You're saying to us. We look out at the wonderful world You've created for us - and we take it all for granted. We see this wonderful world all day, every day - but are we really looking for You, are we really listening to You, are we really learning from You? Lord, help us to look, listen and learn.
Lord, help us to appreciate Your Gospel - more truly and more fully. Help us not to say, "I know all that. I've heard it all before." Help us to see that we can never take the 'L- plates' off. There's always something more for us to learn: more about Jesus, more of Your love, more of Your power, more of Your blessing.
Lord, help us to be Your faithful servants. Faithfulness doesn't come easily to us. We start well - and then we lose our way. Faithfulness is Your gift to us. We come to You with our confession of failure. We have failed You over and over again. We thank You, Lord, that, even in our repeated failure, we hear Your Word of promise: "Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength" (Isaiah 40:31).
Lord, we thank You for Jesus - His body was broken for us, His blood was shed for us. We thank You that Jesus took our sin upon Himself so that we might be forgiven by You. We thank You that Jesus gave His life for us so that we might receive eternal life from You. Help us, Lord, to look at Jesus, dying on the Cross for us. May each one of us say, "Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being my Saviour."
Lord, we need the cleansing that only You can give to us. Without this cleansing of our hearts, we have nothing but empty religion. Help us not to be content with saying the right words. Help us to be the right people - people who are being cleansed, people who are being changed, people who are bringing glory to You, our Lord.
Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, has risen from the dead. His enemies tried to get rid of Him. they failed. He succeeded. On the Cross, He fulfilled Your perfect plan of salvation. After His death on the Cross, You raised Him from the dead. This was Your way of showing us that death has been defeated. Thank You, Lord, for the triumph of Your Son, Jesus.
Lord, You give us more than religion - You give us salvation. We cannot, through our religion, bring ourselves back to You. Every attempt to bring ourselves back to You is doomed to failure. The problem is our sin. No matter what we do, we cannot get rid of our sin. You must do this for us. You have done this for us. Your Son has taken our place - He has died for us. He brings to us the forgiveness of our sins. This is salvation. It's not what we do for You. It's what You have done for us. Thank You, Lord.
Lord, we thank You for the mountain-tops - but we're not always up there! Often, we're down in the valleys. When everything's going well for us, help us to remember to say, "Thank You, Lord." When things aren't going so well, help us to keep on looking to You, to keep on receiving strength from You.
So often, we fail You, Lord - but You never fail us. You are the faithful God. We often let You down - but You never let us down. You don't let us down. You lift us up. Help us, Lord, to grown in faith - the faith that is learning to say, "Great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22).
Lord, You alone are great. When we start thinking that we are great, we set ourselves up for a a great fall - the greater we think we are, the greater will be our fall! Teach us, O Lord, to see ourselves as we really are - and help us to see the greatness of Your love for us (Psalm 57:10).
Lord, show us Your holiness - and show us Your love. In Your holiness, we see our sin. In Your love, we see our salvation. Lead us, O Lord, to confess our sin and receive Your salvation.
Lord, what we cannot do for ourselves, You do for us. Before we can be exalted by You - exalted to the glory of eternal life with You, we need to be humbled by You. You alone can show us our need. You come to us in holiness. You show us how far we have fallen short of Your glory. You come to us in love. You lift us up into Your presence. In Your presence - the presence of Your love, we receive blessing upon blessing. For all Your many blessings, given to us through Your Son , Jesus, we give thanks. May we, in the spirit of true thanksgiving, move forward in You and for You, bringing more and more glory to Your great Name, the Name of our salvation.
We thank You, Lord, that You have saved us by Your grace. Where would we be without Your grace? - We would be wandering far from You. Our thoughts would be far from You. Where are we now? Are we beginning to love You, as You have loved us? Whatever may be said about our progress in the life of faith, one thing is certain - we still have a long, long way to go! Thank You, Lord, that we're not travelling on this road alone. We're travelling with You. You are our travel guide. You take us by way of the Cross of Christ. Again and again, You bring us to the Cross. You lead us on to the empty tomb. You assure us that Jesus has risen. He is alive forevermore - and He is with us now.
Lord, take away from us the spirit of pride and give to us the spirit of praise. Help us to stop looking for glory for ourselves. Help us to start giving all the glory to You. Who are we to take glory for ourselves - when all the glory belongs to You? To ask the question is to give the answer. You have answered this question. Your answer is the Cross of Christ. At the Cross, there is no room for boasting. All we can say is, "To God be the glory! Great things He hath done! So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!"
Lord, our life is lived in different places. Sometimes, we're in the place of worship. Sometimes, we're out in the world - the place of witness. Always, You are there. Wherever we are There, You are there. You strengthen our faith when we're gathered for worship. You help us to share our faith when we go back into the world. Sometimes, we speak about 'the big, bad world.' Help us, in our everyday life, never to forget that You are the big, good God. With You as our big, good God, even 'the big, bad world' can become a world filled with Your blessing, as we learn to trust You to lead us in our journey - through this 'big, bad world', on to the better and brighter world of Your eternal Kingdom where Your love shines so brightly, where Your love never comes to an end.
Lord, we think about ourselves, about the way we have lived. We are ashamed of ourselves. There is nothing about us that makes us worthy of coming into Your holy presence - and yet, in Your amazing grace, Your undeserved mercy and Your wonderful love, You are always reaching out to us and calling us to make a new beginning with You. Help us, Lord, to begin again with You. May our past be forgiven by You. May we face the with the renewed confidence which comes from trusting in Your great love.
Lord, we need Your Word - and we need Your Spirit. We need Your Word to guide us. We need Your Spirit to empower us. Without Your Word, we are lost. We cannot find our way back to You. Without Your Spirit, we cannot even take the first step in returning to You. By Your Spirit and Your Word, lead us to Yourself - and help us to give all the glory to You.
Lord, help us to love You - and help us to love one another. How can we say that we love You if we are not learning to love one another? How can we learn to love one another if we are not opening our hearts to the greatest love of all - Your love for us. Fill us with Your love. Change us by Your love. May our whole life shine with the glory of Your love.
We thank You, Lord, that Your love is always reaching out to us, calling us back from wandering away from You. Whatever our past has been, help us to make a new beginning with You. In Your great love, give us the hope for the future which comes from knowing that the sin of the past has been forgiven and forgotten.
Lord, there are so many people who have stopped following You. They think that they can go it alone - without You. Often, we are tempted to join them. We see the way things are in today's world - and our heads go down. We feel like giving up. When we feel like this, help us to lift our eyes, to catch a glimpse of Jesus, to see Him as the Lord of glory, to be filled with the joy that comes from knowing that Jesus is coming again - to take us home, into the eternal presence of Your victorious love.
In our world, Lord, we hear many voices. They're calling out to us. They're demanding our attention. Everything can be so confusing. What are we to do? Help us to do the one thing that we must do, the one thing that we, so often, fail to do. Help us to listen to You. Help us to look into Your Word - and to learn the lessons that You are teaching us.
Lord, so often, we're thinking, "What am I going to get out of this? - when we should be thinking, "What can I do for others?" Help us, Lord, when we read Your Word, to take a right good look at ourselves - and to start praying, "Lord, may it be less about what we want - and more about becoming what You want us to be."
Lord, thank You for Your love. Help us to love You. Is there anything better than Your love for us? No!. There is nothing better than Your love. May Your love - the greatest love of all - fill our hearts - and inspire in us a greater love for You.
Lord, we often fail You - but You never fail is. Your love is unfailing love. Lift us up, Lord. Lift us out of our failure. Lift us into the bright shining light of Your love - the bright shining light that gives in the strength to grow in our love for You.
Lord, You call us Your friends. How amazing is this? You keep on calling us Your friends - even when we let You down over and over again. Lord, there is no more faithful friend than You. You are the best Friend of all.
Lord, help us not to keep You at a distance. Help us to get closer to You. So many of our problems come from this: We're too far away from You. Even when we're keeping you at a distance, help us to know that You still love us. Help us to know that You'll never stop loving us.
Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, went to the Cross for us. It was our sin that sent Him to the Cross. He took our sin upon Himself. He took our place. We were the ones who should have died - but He was the One who died for us. We look at ourselves, and we see nothing but bad news - "The wages of sin is death." We look at Jesus, dying on the Cross for us, and we hear the Good News of Your great love for us: "The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Lord, we thank You for Your great love. It is not a love that we can take for granted. we dare not say, 'God loves us. we can do what we like.' Your love calls for our response. It's a love that calls to trust in the Saviour. It's a love which calls us to receive Your forgiveness. It's a love which calls us to begin a new life with You. Help us, Lord, to live our lives in the light of Your great love - "Loving Him who first loved me."
Lord, what is it that keeps us walking with You in the way of faith? It's Your grace - Your amazing grace. Without Your grace, we could not even begin to trust in You. Without Your grace, we cannot keep on trusting You. It's Your grace that has brought us to faith in Christ. It's Your grace that keeps us walking with You in the way of faith.
Lord, we thank You that Jesus has risen from the dead. Death has been defeated. Jesus is Lord. As we think of Jesus' mighty resurrection, help us to worship You. Fill our hearts with a joyful song of praise. Help us to share the Good News that Jesus has risen.
Lord, we take our stand upon Jesus' resurrection - and Satan comes along to knock us down and undermine our faith. What are we to do when Satan keeps on sowing his seeds of unbelief? When our faith is being attacked by Satan, help us to remember that our faith is not based on our changeable feelings. It's based on Your unchangeable truth - "He has risen" (Matthew 28:6-7).