by John Hendryx
Do you often end up separating your career and daily activities from your spiritual life? Do you find yourself working in the midst of so much confusion that, many times, you don't feel as if you are able to easily recollect your heart in the presence of God? Are your distractions so intense that God often appears far away? Why does this happen? Why is it that we often lose the knowledge of God's presence during the day and live with a kind of spiritual schizophrenia? Well, the explanation is probably fairly simple. Whenever we react in a fleshly manner to the various providences that God puts before us; whenever we are temperamental, rash, impatient, restless, self-willed, letting circumstances make us depressed or angry, and given over to our tyrannical passions, we can almost always trace it back to one foundational reason: prayerlessness.
As Christians we now live in a very fast-paced world that is filled with distractions. Some may use this as an excuse for their lack of prayer, but instead this is a good argument why we should spend more time in daily prayer in the presence of our Lord. The more responsibility thrust upon us and the more complicated a life we have, the more time we should spend in God's presence. The state of entire daily renunciation of self-will for God's will can only happen when we are disciplined to take at least an hour out of our time to confess, praise, intercede and come before God in earnest supplication. When we come before Him in this humble posture, then, in conforming to His will, we are enabled, through grace, to die to our self-exertion, opinions, preferences, tastes and will; die to the world, its approval and censure, die to the approval and blame of brethren and friends and instead be content to be approved unto God alone. We come to God for grace to change ourselves and the world we touch. In other words, the grace of God sovereignly dispensed through prayer gives us great help in our growth in holiness (deliverance from the self-centered life). Then, as we go into the joys and disappointments of each day we know the presence of God even in the most trifling of duties and can more easily recollect ourselves in His presence. We then become God-centered people, which gives us the power to be others-centered. This type of spirituality is desperately needed as we daily enter into a secularized world that has practically and effectively removed God from the public square. The light of God's glory will reflect from the face of a saint who is long on his knees and the world will take notice.
For a simple suggestion as to how we can counteract the lack of spirituality in our daily life,. I cannot recommend time in secret prayer too highly. Do not neglect it. Right now, if you don't do this already, you must here and now set aside a significant daily time that you will be alone with God. Without it, you are not even doing ¼ of what God could use you for in advancing His kingdom in this life. You are missing out on what the Christain life is all about. A prayerless life is not dependent on God and is thus of very little use to Him in our daily warfare.. If you get distracted in prayer, no need to get frustrated ... just turn again to our merciful and understanding God …don't give up trying. Perhaps even try praying out loud ... I find this to be of tremendous help.
Below, in order to help in this
process I am including a list of possible things to pray for. I do not include
the list for verbatim prayer, but rather for you to glance at concepts that
can gently remind you of the direction you may want to go in prayer. These
are merely helps that will set your heart and mind on important principles
wherein we need to grow in grace. As we pray through these ideas the Holy
Spirit will guide and inspire you to deeper places that you may personally
need to change and grow. Do not see this list as law but as direction and
a means of thrusting your thoughts away from distraction and self-absorption
towards our gracious and merciful Heavenly Father. Hopefully you find something
of use here that you can take with you before the Lord. Deeply work through
these slowly and throughtfully. Some of the prayers are my own while others
are "plagiarized" but I may not have given a source. May the Lord
greatly bless and multiply the use of these prayers to His glory:
God, enable me to die to all my personal opinions, preferences, tastes and self-will. Teach me by your Spirit to die to the world and my need for approval and die to the fear of its censure, but rather, to fear only You, seeking my approval from you alone. Deliver me from my biased and self-centeredness and focus my heart and mind as I come before you in prayer.
Lord, I am willing
To receive what you give;
To lack what you withhold;
To relinquish what you take;
To suffer what you inflict;
To be what you require.
Thank you Lord that, in spite of myself that I can come into your presence to find grace and mercy in my time of need. (Lord, I Consciously and deliberately enter Your presence, not on my own merit but through the merit and finished work of Christ alone…. I Acknowledge my sinfulness – (confess specific and known sins --- pleading Jesus’ precious blood) – Thank You Lord for opening the way by Your perfect fulfillment of God’s Holy Law so that I can freely enter into God’s presence as an adopted son and call Him Abba Father. (Whatever your heart may accuse you of, turn unto God through Christ who has purchased your redemption, forgiven you and made you fully loved and acceptable in His sight. Acknowledging that you justly deserve God's wrath, yet thank God that all of His just wrath has been poured out on Jesus instead and there is no condemnation for you. He came not for the righteous but sinners, like me, and laid down His life for all who would believe.)
Lord, as I come before You, free me from my prejudices and from my hardened biased heart … I am naturally inclined to evil but, I pray, supernaturally work in me a new set of holy affections … that my prayers would be in conformity and be agreeable to Your holy will. Holy Spirit fill me with Yourself and assist me in my weakness. Pray through me that all I say may be acceptable in Your sight.
Holiness … His eternal decrees …His supremacy and sovereignty … His power and omnipotence … His faithfulness … God’s goodness … His patience and mercy … God’s grace … God’s love and affection for you ...and for His people. and that His name alone would be hallowed, glorified.
Lord that I would be pliable in Your hands to do with as you please in your providences throughout this day. May I ascribe the greatness and honor that you alone deserve in all things.
Lord graciously help me to bring to mind what is the most
good I can do in each circumstance.
That I would have the courage to obey You whatever the difficulties.
That I would be able to see the sufferings and difficulties as opportunities to bring you glory before a watching and critical world.
“God, grant me an undivided heart that I may learn to fear you.”
· Single-minded devotedness
Weaned from worldly vanities
· Undivided allegiance to God
· To love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength
· To cultivate in my heart and ever increasing delight in Your person and Law
· Cultivate in me the habit of being one Mind with You Lord, according as we find Your mind described in Scripture. Lord I want to agree with Your judgment in all thing, hate what you hate, love what you love and measure everything in this world by the standard of Your word.
· Lord place in me an inclination to be holy and strive to be like Jesus Christ, to draw from Him my daily strength and peace. As I labor to have the same mind that was in Him that I might be conformed to His image, impart Your grace that it may be so. As it was the aim of Jesus to forgive others (like He forgave me) let me likewise aim to bear with and forgive others ... to be unselfish in the same way that Christ lived not to please Himself. To walk in love, even as Christ walked in love ... to be lowly minded and humble, as Christ also made himself of no reputation and humbled Himself.
· Lord make it my food and drink to do your will, as it was Jesus'. That I would deny myself like Jesus in order to minister to others. Lord make me meek and patient under undeserved insults and think highly of others.
· Lord make me bold and uncompromising in renouncing all sin in my life, seeking not the praise of men
· My heart is often cold toward others .... grant me the spirit of mercy and benevolence toward all people and not be content to merely do no harm but to exert myself to be useful among men. Teach me to lessen the spiritual wants and misery around me
Remove all worldly fear and greed from me Lord
Strengthen me to depart from self-love, idolatry, the pursuit of vain things and replace them with a growing delight in obeying and submitting to Your perfect will.
Lord assist me as I endeavor to shun every known sin
and to keep every known commandment. Lord grant me a decided bent of mind
toward You with a robust desire to do Your will. Give me a greater fear of
displeasing You than of displeasing this world and a love for all Your ways.
As the apostle said that I would "delight in the Law of God after the
Lord assist me as I endeavor to shun every known sin and to keep every known commandment. Lord grant me a decided bent of mind toward You with a robust desire to do Your will. Give me a greater fear of displeasing You than of displeasing this world and a love for all Your ways. As the apostle said that I would "delight in the Law of God after the inward man"
("To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect. – John Owen)
In light of this, I pray that I would be completely and utterly sensible that I am incapable and impotent to do any good thing without God’s help. All good gifts come from the Lord.
Use of Time for Gospel
Lord utilize the time I have here on earth for the furtherance of Your kingdom.
God, give me grace to flee spiritual pride … and seek a humble heart which alone is acceptable to you. May neither knowledge or success ever make me proud remembering that every good gift is from above and “what do we have that we did not receive” In light of this:
Keep ever before me that I am mortal and must die sometime. That this would be brought to my conscience daily and give me the wisdom I need when considering death. That each day would be lived with this in mind that I would behave as I wish I had when I do die.
Lord, grant me a heart of charity, big-heartedness, giving and compassion toward others. Lord, even bring to mind a specific act of charity I can do to help others. May my home be open to all and may I have fewer inhibitions towards the sons of men.
Grant me better discipline in prayer and the study of Your Self-revelation in the Scriptures. That I would excel still more in understanding You in knowledge and devotion as Your son.
Lord help me hold my tongue, that I would never speak ill of anybody, but only that which is fully honoring to them, with great personal humility always being sensible of my own faults.
Lord put a greater fear of You in me that I would be more honest and less hypocritical in all my dealings.
“Who then, is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.” Psalms
Pray through actions in Romans 12
Love sincerely, devoted to one another in brotherly love, honor others above self, share with those in need, bless those who persecute you, rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn; live in harmony with one another; do not repay evil for evil; seek to live at peace with everyone; do not seek revenge; overcome evil with good
Lord give me eyes to see and ears to hear (Prov 20:2)
Lord grant me a spirit which is willing to give heart, soul, body and mind to be worn out in Your labors as You see fit. To spend and be spent for the kingdom and fellow creatures.
Lord train me (us) up in such a way that I (we) would leave behind other men who are committed to God, His word, His people and the work of God entrusted to them.
Lord teach me to persist even in the face of failure. Grant me perseverance in faith and in daily duties.
Oh Lord I delight in and am satisfied in You above all things in this world. Thank you for changing my dispositions and inclinations that my greatest delight would be to do Your will. Sustain this in me I pray.
Lord grant that I would be given over to delight in obedience to you … that I would cast off all sin and may find it sweet to pray and be willing to undergo whatever it takes, including suffering for the cause of Christ and would do so with pleasure, so that some of the lost may come to know you.
Lord employ us in Your work. Grant that we may have more time to make friend and devote ourselves to your kingdom work. May we see each moment as an opportunity through our actions and words to make you know. Use us as an instrument to bring about your glory.
Help us to see our sufferings but Your school to make us more like Jesus and make us holy for future serviceableness to the cause of Christ.
Meekness, gentleness, self-denial, poverty of spirit, mourning for sin, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, mercy and compassion, purity of heart, honesty and simplicity of spirit, readiness to undergo and to forgive injuries, zeal for God, contempt for the world, love (not merely tolerance) for enemies, fear of sinning and of God’s judgments for sin.
- Intercede for souls of friends and acquaintances who do not yet know Jesus Christ. Wrestle for their in gathering
- Pray for the enlargement of God’s kingdom
O Lord that you would bring in great numbers for Jesus Christ. Like in acts that you would continue to add to the numbers each day. (Pray through the following)
Lord that they would be saved
Pray for your spouse that he/she would grow in grace, mature, draw near to God. May his/her life bring you glory. May we be a team that brings your sweet fragrance to the world around us. Prepare us for the works of ministry you have planned for us and take out of our hearts all remaining hindrances.
Leadership skills, knowledge, sound wisdom, understanding, compassion, boldness, fearlessness, forgetfulness of self; Ability to influence others positively for God; empowered by the Holy Spirit - There is no such thing as a self made spiritual leader. He is able to influence others spiritually only because the Spirit is able to work in and through him to a greater degree than in those he leads; sympathy; correct weaknesses in that area and to cultivate our strengths. places gifts at the disposal of God; God-dependent
Pray for Your local church
· Pastor, elders, deacons
· Sound biblical teaching, acceptable worship, holy and pleasing to God
· Unity – that we would show practical love for one another that newcomers would feel welcome and Christ would be obviously among us
· Spiritual Growth of Congregation (perhaps pray through your church directory) and get to know those you pray for. Don’t wait for them to approach you.
· Pray for individuals needs (both spiritual and physical)
· Development of Friendships (actively get to know the people there) pray about this and do it.
· For the ingathering of many poor lost souls in your city
· Assimilate others into the family of God with nurture and spiritual growth (pray for specific individuals and then take the initiative to get to know them. Meet someone new at every service if possible.
· Practice hospitality towards members and visitors (1 Pet 4:8, 9) by inviting people to your home each week or month. Pray that you can make your home a large part of your ministry that all who entered your home would be blessed.
Pray for the Government: President, Congress and Judicial branch … also pray for local government of your city.
Pray for your friends, family and missionaries (make a list)