Saturday, July 1, 2017

What It Looks Like

Bianca Olthoff and Ann VosKamp have both essentially said that there is a big difference between knowing what to do as a Christian and knowing how to do it. And as I shared a few days ago what Valerie Woerner's sister started doing in writing out prayers based on what she was reading and determining to do it myself, I realized that I said I would do this, that I told you I did do this, but I didn't show you what it looked like.

So, because you may want to try this, just to see how it impacts your quiet time with the Lord in your Bible or any book he leads you to read, here are my prayers from Romans 16, Acts 16, and the devotional I read this morning. (It might be a good idea to read Romans and Acts 16 first; and if you are interested in downloading a great devotional app, look for swHw on the app store or in google play.)

Romans 16

Lord, thank you for pursuing my heart to follow you. Conitnue to build a faith in me that results in obedience to you. Let me be counted among those who work hard for you, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test, who is a prisoner for you, and who is chosen in you. Heighten my awareness to those that cause division and put out obstacles contrary to your truth. Never let me do, say, or write what would hinder anyone from turning to or seeking you. I want to serve you, not my own appetite. Protect me from the deception of smooth talk and flattery that deceive minds. Purify my heart and motives that I do not participate in them by accident or intention. Make me wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil. You alone will establish me according to the gospel - the message proclaimed about Jesus Christ - revealed and made known through the prophets by your command, the only wise God. Glory to you forever through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Acts 16

Lord, thank you for examples like Timothy who were willing to do what needed to be done, sacrificing his own comfort, in order to serve you. Give me a heart and mind that is more centered on fulfilling the calling you have for me than the comfort I naturally seek. Give me the opportunities to speak your truth, strengthening others in their faith. Give me a spirit that yields to your direction as to when I should and should not speak. Let me be a true worshiper of you with an open heart that responds to your message. I want my mouth to praise you in such a way that the earth responds, foundations are shaken, chains are loosened, and prisoners are set free. Fill me with the joy that only comes from believing in you. Amen

Devotional App

Lord my heart is to maximize every resource and opportunity I see to be effective and productive for you. But if I am taking on too much, show me what should go. But if it's an ineffective stewardship of my time and energy, show me that as well. My efforts are only as good as they are rooted in right attitudes and thoughts in my heart. In the faith you have given me, I want to add goodness, to goodness - knowledge, to knowledge - self-control, to self-control - perseverance, to perseverance - godliness, to godliness - mutual affection, to mutual affection - love. I am asking for these qualities in increasing measure to keep me from being ineffective and unproductive so that I do not forget that you have cleansed me from my past sins. Amen.

I don't know that I'm doing this right or wrong. I am sure as with everything, over time, this too will change in appearance. But this is where I am starting, and this is a good place to be. I truly believe that my quiet time has not only gone beyond learning God's ways and gaining knowledge, but that by praying for the things I see that I want my life to reflect, it is also being filled with deeper meaning and purpose. God doesn't require fancy, perfect, or flawless. He just wants a heart that is seeking his ever deeper.

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