Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts

Monday, March 4, 2024

Prayer Prompts: Living Out Faith in Love


Day 1: Monday
Prompt 1: "Heavenly Father, as we begin this new week, help us to renew our commitment to living out our faith in love. Guide us to be your hands and feet in our communities, showing love and compassion to those in need."
Prompt 2: "Lord, we pray for peace in areas of conflict around the world. Bring reconciliation and healing to nations torn apart by violence and strife, and raise up peacemakers to work towards reconciliation."

Day 2: Tuesday
Prompt 1: "Gracious God, grant us the courage to step out of our comfort zones and share the hope of Christ with those who do not yet know you. Open doors for us to be bold witnesses of your love and grace."
Prompt 2: "Father, we lift up educators and students. Grant them wisdom, creativity, and perseverance as they teach and learn in ever-changing circumstances."

Day 3: Wednesday
Prompt 1: "Lord, we surrender our plans and ambitions to you, trusting in your perfect timing and provision. Help us to let go of control and submit to your will for our lives."
Prompt 2: "Heavenly Father, we pray for families experiencing brokenness and discord. Bring healing and restoration to strained relationships, and help them to experience your redeeming love."

Day 4: Thursday
Prompt 1: "Gracious God, as we face challenges and uncertainties, remind us of your faithfulness and promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Strengthen our faith and trust in you, knowing that you are always with us."
Prompt 2: "Lord, we lift up victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. Bring freedom, protection, and restoration to those who are exploited and oppressed."

Day 5: Friday
Prompt 1: "Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of community and fellowship. Help us to cultivate authentic relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ, where we can support, encourage, and uplift one another."
Prompt 2: "Father, we pray for the marginalized and vulnerable in society. Give us hearts of compassion and empathy, and inspire us to advocate for justice and equality on their behalf."

Day 6: Saturday
Prompt 1: "Lord, as we rest and recharge, fill us with your peace and joy. May we find true rest in your presence and be rejuvenated in body, mind, and spirit."
Prompt 2: "Gracious God, we pray for those struggling with mental illness and emotional distress. Surround them with your comfort and healing, and guide them to the support and resources they need."

Day 7: Sunday
Prompt 1: "Heavenly Father, as we gather for worship today, may our hearts be truly open to encounter you in a powerful and transformative way. Draw us closer to you and ignite a passion for your kingdom purposes within us."
Prompt 2: "Lord, we pray for leaders in our churches and ministries. Grant them wisdom, humility, and servant hearts as they shepherd your people and lead by example."

Monday, August 28, 2023

Weekly Prayer Prompts: Drawing Closer to God


This week the prayer prompts designed to help you draw closer to God as you learn to rely on His love and guidance. Each day, I have provided you with a unique prayer prompt to guide your conversations with the Lord. I want to encourage you to take a few intentional moments each day to reflect, pray, and connect with God.

Monday: Surrendering Worries
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7

1. Begin your prayer by acknowledging any worries or anxieties you're carrying.

2. Surrender these concerns to God, trusting in His love and care.

3. Pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding to fill your heart.

Tuesday: Gratitude for Blessings
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." - Psalm 106:1

1. Reflect on the blessings you've received in your life.

2. Express your gratitude to God for His goodness and provision.

3. Thank Him for specific blessings that have touched your heart recently.

Wednesday: Praying for Others
"Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." - James 5:16

1. Take time to pray for the needs of your family, friends, and community.

2. Lift up specific requests for healing, comfort, and guidance.

3. Ask God to work through your prayers to bring about positive change.

Thursday: Seeking God's Will
"Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." - Matthew 6:10

1. Quiet your heart and seek God's presence in your prayer.

2. Ask God to reveal His will for your life and guide your decisions.

3. Pray for the strength to align your desires with His purpose.

Friday: Confession and Forgiveness
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9

1. Reflect on any areas where you've fallen short or made mistakes.

2. Confess these sins to God, seeking His forgiveness and cleansing.

3. Meditate on the depth of God's grace and thank Him for His mercy.

Saturday: Gratitude for Creation
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." - Psalm 19:1

1. Spend time outdoors or visualize the beauty of creation.

2. Offer a prayer of gratitude for the wonders of the natural world.

3. Pray that Christians will take seriously the stewardship and care of the earth.

Sunday: Renewal of Faith
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" - 2 Corinthians 5:17

1. Reflect on your journey of faith and growth in Christ.

2. Pray for a fresh outpouring of God's Spirit to renew your heart.

3. Ask for strength to continue following God's path with renewed commitment.

 My prayer for you this week is for this experience of prayer will be a source of inspiration and spiritual growth for you. Remember that prayer is a conversation with God, and He delights in hearing your heart's desires and concerns. As you use these prompts, open your heart to God's guidance as you become more confident with your relationship with Him.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Weekly Prayer Prompts: Be Grateful

Prayer is God’s gift to His people so we can connect with Him, seek His guidance, and find comfort in His presence. Each week, I will provide you with prayer prompts to help you to be more intentional with your prayer time as you seek to follow Jesus. Set aside some quiet time, find a comfortable place, and let these prompts assist you in your prayer time

Monday: Gratitude and Praise
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." - Psalm 100:4

1. Begin your prayer by listing five things you're grateful for today.
2. Reflect on God's goodness in your life and offer Him sincere praise.
3. Thank God for specific blessings you might have taken for granted.

Tuesday: Seeking Forgiveness
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9

1. Spend time in self-reflection, acknowledging any areas where you've fallen short.
2. Ask God for forgiveness and strength to overcome your shortcomings.
3. Pray for the wisdom to make amends with those you might have hurt.

Wednesday: Intercession for Others
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people." - 1 Timothy 2:1

1. Create a list of people who need your prayers—family, friends, colleagues, global issues, etc.
2. Lift up each person or situation in prayer, asking for God's guidance, healing, and comfort.
3. Pray for those who may be struggling with faith, that they may find strength in God.

Thursday: Surrendering Control
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." - Proverbs 3:5

1. Reflect on areas of your life where you're holding onto control.
2. Pray for the faith to surrender those areas to God's will.
3. Ask for God's guidance in making decisions and seeking His plan.

Friday: Strength in Difficult Times
"I can do all things through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13

1. Think about a current challenge you're facing and bring it to God in prayer.
2. Ask for strength, courage, and resilience to navigate through the difficulty.
3. Trust in God's promise that He is with you every step of the way.

Saturday: Growing in Faith
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." - Matthew 7:7

1. Pray for a deeper, more intimate relationship with God.
2. Ask for a thirst for His Word and a hunger to know Him better.
3. Seek opportunities to serve and grow within your faith community.

Sunday: Communion with God
"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." - Matthew 6:7

1. Pray for a deeper, more intimate relationship with God.
2. Ask for a thirst for His Word and a hunger to know Him better.
3. Seek opportunities to serve and grow within your faith community. 

I hope these prayer prompts are helpful as seek to be more consistent in your prayer life. Remember, prayer is a personal and heartfelt conversation with God. Use these prompts as a starting point, but you need to give room to let the Holy Spirit guide your thoughts and words. May your journey of faith be strengthened as you seek God's presence through prayer. 

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sunday Prayer: Courage and Boldness

Gracious God, I come before you in humility and with a heart full of faith. I thank you for your goodness and mercy, and for the gift of your Son, Jesus, whose sacrifice secured forgiveness and salvation for me.

Lord, I ask for your strength and courage as I navigate the challenges of this world. I pray for boldness to stand up for what is right and to speak truth in love. I ask for the courage to follow your will, even when it is difficult or unpopular.

Help me to be strong and courageous in the face of adversity, knowing that you are always with me. Give me the courage to step out in faith, trusting that you will guide me and provide for me every step of the way.

Lord, I pray that you would fill me with the Holy Spirit, that I may be empowered to live the life that brings honor and glory to your name. Give me the courage to share your love and grace with those around me, even when it may be uncomfortable or challenging.

Help me to remember that I am not alone, and that you are always with me. May my life be a shining light that points others to you, and may I never waver in my faith or my commitment to your kingdom.

I pray all of this in the mighty name of Jesus, who is my strength and shield. Amen.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Prayer and What We Believe about God


Prayer is an integral part of the Christian life. Through prayer we communicate with God, seek His guidance, offer thanks and praise, and ask for His intervention in the world.

I believe the way we approach prayer reveals what we truly believe about God.

If we believe that God is distant and uninterested in our lives, we will not see the point in praying. If, on the other hand, we believe that God cares deeply for us and is actively working on our behalf, then we will be motivated to pray at every opportunity about the things that weigh on our hearts.

Remember, the Bible tells us that God is a loving and caring Father who is deeply concerned for His children. Jesus taught us to pray to "Our Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:9). Addressing God as our Father is a powerful reminder of the love and care God has for us. This truth can motivate us to approach God with confidence, knowing that He loves us and desires the best for our lives.

Yet, it can be hard to remember the love and care God has for us. The circumstances of life can cause us to doubt God. When we face trials and difficulties, we can wonder if God really does care about us. We may question why He has allowed us to experience pain and suffering. 

Yet, it is during times like these that prayer becomes even more important.

How do we pray when we don’t feel like praying? When we doubt the goodness of God?

I don’t know if I have a good answer for that, except, that we fall back on the discipline of prayer. This is why it is crucial to develop a habit of prayer, so we will follow through the with the actions of faith, even when the feeling of faith is not there.

I am confident that as we come to God in prayer, we are reminded of His faithfulness and love for us. We are reminded that He is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).

Prayer is also the way we align our hearts and minds with God's will. When we pray, we seek God's guidance and direction for our lives. We acknowledge that we need His wisdom and understanding to navigate the challenges that we face. As we pray, we remember of God's sovereignty and power. We remind ourselves that He is in control, even when things seem to be spiraling out of our control.

Prayer is a spiritual discipline that reveals what we truly believe about God. If we believe that God is distant and uninterested in our lives, we may not see the point in praying. But if we believe that God cares deeply for us and is actively working on our behalf, then we will be motivated to fall on our knees and cry out to Him.

As we pray, we are reminded of God's love and care for us. We are also reminded of His sovereignty and power. May we be encouraged to pray with faith and confidence, knowing that God hears our prayers and is actively working on our behalf.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Sunday Prayer: Joy In Our Hearts


Father in Heaven,

On this day, we lift our hearts to you in gratitude and joy. We thank you for the beauty of your creation that surrounds us, For the sun that warms our skin, and the breeze that refreshes our spirits.

We thank you for the blessings you have bestowed upon us, For the love of family and friends, and the joy they bring into our lives.

We ask that you fill us with your joy, A joy that is not dependent on circumstances or possessions, But a joy that comes from knowing Jesus and trusting in his sacrificial love.

May this joy overflow from our hearts and spill out into the world around us, May it be a light that shines in the darkness, a hope that brings comfort to those in need.

May we find joy in the simple things of life, In the laughter of children, the beauty of a sunset, and the taste of good food.

May we find joy in the challenges we face, Knowing that they will develop our character and help us become more like Jesus.

May we find joy in the moments of stillness, When we can rest in your presence and know that you are with us always.

Bless us, Heavenly Father and Creator of life, with your joy and your peace, And may we live each day with hearts full of gratitude and joy.

In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Philippians: Continued Prayers

STOP — Philippians 1:7-11

Paul continued to explain to the Philippians why he is grateful for them and why he has so much affection towards them. They have partnered with him through out his ministry, including his imprisonment. Paul let them know that his pray for them is for their love will grow through the wisdom and discernment that God gives. They need this so they can be spiritually mature and ready for the return of Jesus.

It is crucial we continue on with spiritual formation so we can be ready for the return of Jesus.

  1. Relationships are very important. Apparently, Paul was held in high regard in Philippi and they had helped him throughout his ministry. Paul was touched by there care and generosity and he admired their faith in proclaiming the Gospel. Both Paul and the Philippians valued the relationship they had with each other.
  2. The Philippians responded to the Gospel, not only by receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but also dedicating their lives to proclaiming the Gospel. Part of the dedication is seen in their support of Paul and his ministry.
  3. Paul not only prayed for the Philippians, but he let them know what his prayer was for them. He prayed that they would experience spiritual formation as their love grew. This growth was due to an increased wisdom, understanding, and discernment about who God is and His will for their lives.
  4. The way we can be filled with righteousness is to have our love for God and people grow. We cannot grow in righteousness if we are not growing in love.
Heavenly Father, may Paul’s prayer for the Philippians be true for me. I want my love to grow as the result of having a better understanding of your truth.

Tomorrow: Philippians 1:12-20

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Philippians: Greetings and Prayer

STOP — Philippians 1:1-6

Paul, along with his student Timothy, wrote a letter to the church they helped start in the city of Philippi. It is addressed to all the saints in the city, including the recognized leaders of the church. Paul told them that he thanked God for them and was joyful because of them. Not only did Paul have fond memories of them, but he was grateful for their help in proclaiming the gospel. He encouraged them by reminding them that God would mature their faith so they would be ready for the return of Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 (CSB) I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

  1. Paul identifies himself and Timothy as servants of Jesus. This means Paul realizes that he is not doing his work, but he is doing the work of Jesus. Paul saw himself under the will and authority of Jesus.
  2. Saints in Christ Jesus are anyone who has placed their trust in Jesus. Saints are God’s holy people. Overseers and deacons are those who have been set apart by the church to do the work of the church.
  3. Grace (the common Greek greeting) and peace (the common Jewish greeting) come from one sources: God through Jesus. Paul is not just offering them cultural niceties, but he is giving them a blessing that comes from God. He wants the Philippians to experience grace and peace.
  4. Paul, and Timothy, had history with the Philippians. There would have been good reason for Paul to thank God for the Philippians because they had showed him kindness.
  5. There is joy Paul when he thinks about the Philippians, not only because of their kindness, but because they had been at work to proclaim the Gospel. They supported Paul in his ministry in Philippi, they had continued to follow his example, and they supported him in is teaching ministry/mission work. Even during his time in prison.
  6. Paul knew that the Philippians, for all the things they were doing well, still needed to grow in their faith. He wanted to reminded them that the work of spiritual formation/discipleship was not entirely on their shoulders, God would carry on that work, so they could be ready for the return of Jesus.

Father in Heaven, help me to be like Paul, who was concerned with the spiritual well being of those who he taught and led. May I remember that it isn’t just about what I say and do, but it is also about trusting You to continue to work in their hearts and minds.

Tomorrow: Philippians 1:7-11

Monday, January 17, 2022

Prayer is Essential to Change

The world that we live in is not what it should be. On a daily basis we are saddened to hear about the murders, disasters, wars, and other tragedies that dominate our headlines. 

Even though we are saddened, we know that there is little that we dan do to change the major issues that face the world. So what are we to do?

As cliché as it might sound, we who follow Jesus are called to pray. It is through prayer that we experience change.

The reality is that we have very little control over what goes on in this world, but what we do have control over is how we live. While we our actions may not result in world peace or solve world hunger or diminish crime in our communities, our choice to love, to forgive, and to serve can have a huge impact on those around us.

Here is the issue, we are not naturally loving, forgiving, or merciful. We tend to be selfish, prideful, and untrustworthy. In other words, we contribute to the problems in the world, rather than doing what we can do to relieve the issues in our part of the world.

This is why change is crucial.

If all our failed attempts to change have taught us anything, it is that we need help to change. We can’t change on our own, especially in ways that make this world a better place.

Ephesians 3:14-18 (NLT)
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

Paul’s prayer for the people who received his letter was that they would  receive what they needed, that they would be strengthened and experience God, and that they would have a knowledge of God’s love. This was a prayer for the Ephesians to experience transformation. A transformation that allows them to know and experience God in a new way.

This is a transformation that cannot happen apart from God working in our lives. The deep work that needs to happen in our hearts and minds can only be done through the work of the Spirit. Without prayer and surrendering our wills this transformation is not going to happen.

While it is important for us to pray for healing or friends, family, and acquaintances, it is equally important for us to pray prayers similar to Paul’s for ourselves and our church families. Without God’s work, change will not happen.

Make prayer an essential part of your spiritual formation.


Monday, August 16, 2021

What Can We Do?

 We live in a sin corrupted world where violence and death too often reign, and we are powerless to do anything about the evil that surrounds us.

 In moments like these all we can do is focus on what is within our power to control. So we pray, asking God to intervene in the cares and concerns of our heart, and we commit to loving our neighbor. 

This what is under our control to do.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday Prayer: Keep Doing Good


Heavenly Father, I ask for the strength to do good. You have blessed me to be a blessing those around me, and that is what I want to do.

Give me hope to continue to bear Your image in this world. It is easy to become discouraged when I think what I am doing is not making any difference. Give me little glimpse of the difference my love and action is having in the world.

Open my eyes to the opportunities to show Your love to other people. I confess that too often I keep my attention focused on myself and the things I need to take care of. I want to see the world through the eyes of Jesus so I can discern the true need of people.

I give my life to You and Your Kingdom. Use me to make a difference in the lives of others. I pray this in the name of Jesus, amen.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sunday Prayer: Set My Mind

Heavenly Father,

I humbly confess that I allow the things of this world to distract me from the life You have called me to live. The distractions politics, entertainment, fun, and pleasure prevent me from truly setting my mind and my heart on those heavenly things which lead to life.

Renew my heart and mind so I will desire heavenly things. Strengthen my will so I can say no to the things of this world. Give me eyes to see from an eternal perspective. Empower me to live a life that glorifies you. This is the true desire of my heart. Help me Father to pursue You with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength.


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Formulas Aren’t Bad

I like Kyle Idleman. I have used his stuff and will probably use it again in the future.

With that being said, I do have an issue with this tweet.

I understand the sentiment. It comes from that same line of thinking that says “Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.” 

The reality is that Christianity is both religion and relationship. Those two ideas are not opposites. We can have a relationship with God while believing the truths of the religion and observing its disciplines. 

In fact, I am not sure how you have a relationship with God apart from the religious practices discovered in Scripture.

The same is true with leaning on God and having a formula for prayer. Doing one does not negate the other.

In fact, they can, and should be, complimentary.

Here is the reason this is important to me.

This year I went through a time of depression, maybe the most severe depression that I have dealt with, and prayer was key in my struggle to overcome it. The prayers that I used (and still are using), the guided prayer of the One Minute Pause App and written prayers from the Wild at Heart App, helped my to “lean on” God. They provided me with the structure, words, and even purpose for my prayers when I was struggling to pray.

While it is essential to emphasis that we prayer to a God who is alive and desires to have a relationship with us, I think it is also important to provide people with resources and guidance in how to pray. There are activities, words, and themes that help us in our prayers.

I don’t want people to miss out potential life giving help because they want to avoid using “formulas” in their spiritual lives. What matters in prayer is our intention and faith, and if reciting the Lord’s Prayer or using a written prayer helps you vocalize that faith, then we should use it. 

God’s people have always recited prayers. The book of Psalms is basically a prayer book for Israel which helped guide them in their prayers and their worship. 

What matters is not whether or not we pray prayers “from the heart” or recite a prayer written by someone else, what matters is the faith and intention of your heart.

We can lean on God while using a formula to pray.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Keep My Eyes on Jesus

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NLT)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

Heavenly Father, thank You for all those men and women who have come before me. Their lives serve as a testimony to faithfulness: Your faithfulness to us and our ability to be faithful to You.

I need Your help to keep my eyes focused on Jesus. The responsibilities, frustrations, joys, and sorrows of life all threaten to take my attention off of him. I am like Peter walking on the water, tempted to concentrate on the wind and the waves rather than on Jesus. I want my eyes on Jesus.

Empower me with Your Spirit so I am able to be faithful in every situation, demonstrating Your character to the world around me. Let my life speak of Your goodness.

In Jesus' name, amen.

Friday, May 15, 2020

God Cares For You

Worries are a part of life.

Some have worries about health problems and medical tests.

Others have worries about relationship issues.

Still others have worries about money and bills.

Worries are universal, a common experience of life.

The apostle Peter wrote; So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you (1 Peter 5:6-7; NLT).

God cares about us!

The implication of this great truth is that all of our worries and cares matter to Him. He cares about those silly fears we have about talking in front of a group of people, being in the dark, or the sound of thunderstorms.

The big worries also matter to God.

He cares about the fact that we worry about the salvation of our friends and family, that we are unable to find work, or that our parents' are sick. Everything that causes us to worry or that we care about, God also cares about.

How do we know that?

Peter wrote that God “cares about what happens to you.”

The evidence of God's love for us is seen in the blessings He generously gives. This is why it is important to take a few minutes on a regular basis to write a list of God’s blessing.

The life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus is more evidence that God cares for us. He is the one who took the initiative to save us when He had every right to allow us experience the pain of our rejection of Him.

The knowledge of God's love for us should motivate us to pray. The knowledge that God cares about the smallest detail of our lives helps us not to hesitate to pray about the circumstances of our lives, the wounds of our hearts, and the problems of our loved ones.

We have to be aware that with our limited perspective on life will lead us to question what God does and how He answers prayer. Even when we don't understand, I am certain as we reflect on our lives we will be able to see God's handiwork.   I am even more confident that when all is said and done we will realize that God led us by the best path for us.

I think this passage provides us with a great picture of God. We matter to God, and He cares about what happens in our lives. May this truth motivate us to continually come to God in prayer.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Listen to Jesus: Teach Us to Pray

Last Sunday I began a new sermon series entitled Listen to Jesus.

 This series will take a look at 6 teachings from Luke 11-15 as we explore how are able to bear the image of God in this world. The only person qualified to teach on this subject is Jesus, and that is why we need to listen to him.


Sunday, May 3, 2020

Worship in Thanksgiving

{Psalms 9:1-2; ESV}

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;

I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you;

I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Heavenly Father, my great provider, open my eyes to the blessings You have generously given me. I have begun to take these great blessings for granted and I have not thanked You for Your generosity. I have come to expect these blessings as my right rather than as great gifts.

Move my heart to be thankful and open my eyes to see You at work in my life. I thank You for the food I enjoy, the clothes that I wear, the relationships that enrich my life, the work that uses my creativity, and the ministry that allows me to complete the good works You created me to do.

I worship You because You are the Creator, giving the universe beauty and meaning. I worship You because You are the Savior, giving me hope and freedom. I worship You because You are the Provider, giving me all that I need for life and righteousness. I worship You.

In the name of the Son, Christ Jesus, I pray, amen

Monday, November 4, 2019

Be a Praying Boyfriend

In our culture the way we find a marriage partner is through dating. This whole ritual of boyfriends
and girlfriends is littered with potential pitfalls, which means that very few people escape the process unscathed. Many of us carry the scars and broken hearts of dating relationships gone bad. Some of those wounds we received while dating will be with us the rest of our lives.

Because dating is so dangerous it is essential for Christian guys to approach dating with wisdom, guidance, and love. Guys, please remember that you are not out on a great hunt trying to find meat for supper, but you are in pursuit of a life partner who you can love, cherish, and lead. Dating, as exciting as it is, is also a huge responsibility.

As you date you need to keep in mind that the girlfriends that you have are, first and foremost, daughters of God. If you are a Christian, this means you have the responsibility to help her mature in faith, to encourage her to use her talents in ministry, and not to become an obstacle as she follows Jesus.

In other words you need to hold her life as a sacred trust for as long as she is a part of your life. Her life is not yours to use however you want or to destroy. You are responsible for protecting her as long as she is in your care.

As a Christian, your dating experiences cannot be all about fun, but they also need to be about mutual encouragement as both of you grow in faith. I believe that it is the man who is to lead the relationship in this aspect. If you are not leading your girlfriend spiritually it is your responsibility to stop dating until you are spiritually mature enough to lead.

How do you go about leading your girlfriend spiritually? You begin to lead your girlfriend though prayer. I don’t mean some wimpy little prayer that many people like to pray: “God, I would just like to ask that You will just be with my girlfriend and just grow her spiritually…”

I am afraid that such a prayer isn’t going to do too much. You see prayer doesn’t start with the words you say during prayer, but it starts with your motivation for praying. For your prayers to be effective you have to believe that God hears your prayers, and that He has your best interests at heart. Prayer also has to become important enough to you that you set aside time to pray each and every day. If you are just praying to mark “prayer” off our religious to do list, well then your prayers aren’t going to accomplish much.

When it comes to praying for your girlfriends you have to answer the question: “Do I want my girlfriend to grow in her relationship with God?”

Don’t be so quick to answer that question. The quick Sunday School answer is, “Yes, I do!”

I think you need to stop and consider some of the potential consequences of your girlfriend maturing in her faith.
  • What if God shows her that the next step in her journey of faith is to break up with you? Would you be okay with that?
  • What if God uses her to bring up issues in your life that you would rather remain hidden? Would you be okay with that?
Your prayers will be more effective when you can honestly say, “God whatever Your will is I surrender my life to it.” Remember your will is not always the same as God’s will, that is why one of the purposes of prayer is to help people align their wills with God’s will.

When it comes to praying for your girlfriend, I think it is important to remember that you need to pray for them with them. You need to pray for her during your quiet time of prayer, but you also need to hold her hand and ask God to bless and guide her. She needs to hear this because she needs to know that you want God’s will for her no matter what happens in your relationship. Make sure you set aside time on your dates to pray with her and for her.

I want to offer a word of caution. Do not do this in the early stages of your relationship. It could freak her out because she might think you rushing things. It could also create a false sense of intimacy that your relationship has not yet reached. Wait for the right time to start praying together, just as you would with holding hands and kissing.

With that being said I want to give you a few practical prayers that you need to pray for your girlfriend if you are going to help her grow spiritually.
  1. Pray that God will keep both of you on the same page. This has proved essential to me in the last three relationships that I had before getting married. In the two cases where the relationship ended, God revealed that truth to both of us. While there was sadness that accompanied the end of the relationship, we both knew that God wanted us to go our separate ways, and we were able to part on good terms. There is no way to avoid the pain of a break up, but with God’s wisdom and guidance we can make it sting a little less.
  2. Pray for the knowledge of God’s will. The apostle Paul at the beginning of his letter to the Colossians reveals his prayer for them; And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:9-10; ESV). Ask God to fill your girlfriend with a knowledge of His will that comes through spiritual wisdom and understanding. Remember the important thing in her life isn’t that she will become your wife, but that she will live a life that is worthy of Christ Jesus. This is such an important prayer for you to pray, not only for your girlfriend, but for everyone you pray for, because everyone is in need of God’s wisdom.
  3. Ask for her to be clothed in the Armor of God. The Armor of God is found in Ephesians 6:13-17. The apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6 that we are in a battle, a spiritual battle, and that means your girlfriend is out in the middle of battle field. Daily you need to ask God to put His armor on her. To do this you need to take time to walk through this passage and mention each specific piece of armor. The reason you need to pray this prayer is to help her to have the ability to stand firm in the face of the enemy’s attacks. This is also a prayer that I use for myself each day, I need to be clothed in God armor otherwise I will fall.
  4. Ask for God’s Kingdom to come into her life. This comes from the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:10). The way I use this prayer is to focus on God’s Kingdom and ask that she will be a part of it, and for His will to be done for her as it is in heaven. The best life that you can live is lived in accordance to God’s will, and so you want your girlfriend to know God’s will, and receive the strength and courage she needs in living out His will for her life.
  5. Thank God for the opportunity. Each relationship is a gift from God. This is especially true with romantic relationships. Thank God for bringing such a beautiful woman into your life. Because you are thankful, ask God to give you the wisdom and guidance you need to be an encouragement to her. A relationship with a beautiful Christian woman is a great blessing, so you need to thank God for that wonderful blessing. Like all blessings there is also responsibility, and that responsibility is to lead and encourage her in her walk with Jesus. In order to do that effectively you need God’s wisdom, and as James wrote (James 1:5) if you lack wisdom you need to ask God for the wisdom you need to spiritually lead the woman you call your girlfriend.
Dating is dangerous and it leads to a lot of wounds. That is why the wise Christian man will take the time to pray and invite God into the dating relationship that he is in. As single Christian man, you want to make the dating relationship a positive and encouraging experience that will help both of you to grow in your relationships with God. So if you are really serious about being a Christian boyfriend, you will be a boyfriend who prays.

The Spiritually Mature Life: Having the Fruit

On Sunday, April 7, 2024, I started a new sermon series at Bethlehem Church called A Spiritually Mature Life. This sermon series is focused ...