Prayer for the church…

God, I know that your bride, the church, is something you love very much.  Every soul that comes to know salvation in your Son, Jesus Christ is automatically adopted into this graceful family.  It is only by the power, grace, and gift of Jesus on the Cross and being raised from the grave that I or any other person is able to enter in.  I’m thankful that this grace is unlimited to all that call on Your name and believe. (Romans 10:9-10 / Acts 16:31)  And you have set your church up in such a way that the gates of hell will not prevail against us.

But God, I pray for revival of life in Your church.  May people and especially believers be reminded of the refreshing life that only You can give.

God, I pray for truth in Your church.  Remind us that You are Truth and only You provide the truth for the answers our heart is searching for.  Make us hunger and thirst for seeking it.  Help our lives reflect it without deceit.

God, I pray for mercy in Your church.  Let mercy and compassion reign in the life of your people.  May we lift up those who hurt among us and seek to carry love to barren places.

God, I pray for power in Your church.  You have promised power when we are Your witnesses.  May your church be an unstoppable force to be reckoned with and may we move in the Presence of Your Holy Spirit in such a way, that people are reminded of Your power.

God, I pray for Your Glory in Your Church.  Remind us that although we a part of the Kingdom of God…It is still Your Kingdom.  Help us not to neglect this.  The local church is an outpost for Your Kingdom in this world… may the integrity in our lives serve as great ambassadors for your ministry of reconcilliation to others.  And as ambassadors, remind us that we are not competitors, but to like you seek those who were lost…and with You…can & will be found.

God, I pray for sincere worship in Your church.  You are our One and First Love.  Let us live as such.

God, I know that all of this You already know.  I just pray that our heart, our words, and our deeds match what You desire for Your church.

Thank You for grace and for how it leads me to desire more in life for Your Name.  May people see Jesus in my life and in the life of the church.

Iron on Iron

A wise man was inspired by God to write a proverb that says… “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)  When I read this i think about the friction and reaction of the iron on the iron.  It really can’t be comfortable for one iron or the other.  But the outcome is that each blade becomes more useful as the tool it was made to be.  It is a beautiful thing how God inspired someone to write this deep and practical truth.  All of us are meant to be instruments of nobility & usefulness (2 Timothy 2:21), righteousness (Romans 6:26), truth (Proverbs 14:25), and grace (Acts 20:24).

But without another iron to sharpen against, we ourselves get really dull (I mean that both in the boring sense and the unable to serve sense).  I really don’t want to be dull.  So I’m so very thankful for the people in my life that God uses to sharpen me, and that i hopefully help sharpen in return.  Those that encourage me, that correct me, and that pray for me.  Relationships with others were never meant to be taken for granted.  That is why God gives us Himself, our families, our friends, and His church to nurture us to be all He intended.

Pastors, teachers, leaders, servants, and people of all places…you can’t do it alone without getting dull.  Learn to live and love the people that God placed to sharpen you, and return the investment to sharpen them in turn.  And may we all become more like the instruments that give glory to God who loves us.  Thank you, my King, Jesus Christ, for loving me and sending your Holy Spirit to walk with me and sharpen me.

Your Grace Still Amazes Me

I used to sing this song alot by request called “Your Grace Still Amazes Me.”  It is a song made popular by Philips, Craig, & Dean.  And the whole of the song is very true…God’s grace still amazes me.  It is deeper, high, longer, wider, and stronger than we can ever know.  In fact, without the Spirit of God within you to reveal it to you, you are really actually unable to comprehend it.  That is why the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Ephesus (Ephesian 1:17-19 & 3:14-19) about praying for these believers that they would be able to live, love, and see the amazing grace that only God can give.  Now these guys were mostly already saved, believing in Jesus as the Son of God…Christians.  But it just shows that even way back when, people could lose sight of how huge grace really is.

It has been raining every night this week since Sunday in the Arizona high desert.  Even in a place so filled with dryness, God chooses to shower mercy through rain to bring the desert floor to life and revive the creatures here.  But that is just in the matter of His Creation.  I also think about all the hearts that have been stirred beyond themselves to reach out to the people of Haiti.  To love and give to people they do not know and that some will never even meet.  I can’t help but think how amazing that grace is and that it normally would not occur.  God has used this tragedy to bring new life to so many.  I pray to be a part of this effort even more in the future.

Maybe, you don’t know about God’s amazing grace, but this one thing i do know.  It has taken effect on me as it has on so many others.  The Scripture actually speaks about grace being something that changes us.  1 Corinthians 15:10 is where we see this revealed.  Grace that has an effect on life…that is exactly why God’s grace is so incredibly, immeasurably, irreplaceably, irresistibly… Amazing.