Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Me and Prayer

Riding on the bus to work - my daily commuteFor the last few years, I've been catching an express bus to work in downtown Calgary.  Its about a
30-40 minute commute depending on the weather and traffic.  My routine on this commute up until about 4 months ago was to write in my journal (on my phone), and then relax.

But with some encouragement from church, small group, and just life in general, I've taken to spending the rest of my commute praying after I've finished writing in my journal.  I honestly didn't think I could fill up the rest of that time praying, but as I continue to do it, the easier it is to pray the whole trip.

I wanted to document a general outline of what I pray for a couple of reasons:
  1.  So I don't forget it.  I've seen a lot of positive things happen, and I don't want to 'drop the ball' so to speak.
  2. To encourage others with a morning prayer routine, and give them ideas of what they can pray about if its a struggle to find things to pray about.
I try to insert as much scripture as I can remember when praying.  I also try and include my family and significant others in my prayers.  I make a point of thinking and even picturing everything and every person I pray about.  I don't want it to become mindless verbiage if I can help it.
First I try and remember to pray pertinent parts the Lord's Prayer (there's some alliteration for you) by asking God to:
  • Let His kingdom come and His will be done in our lives on earth as it is in heaven, today
  • Forgive us our trespasses today as we forgive those who trespass against us.
  • Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
 Then I ask God to fill us with His Spirit:
  • Its not by might, not by power, by by His Spirit that we'll accomplish anything for His kingdom, so I pray that He'd live large inside of us for the day.
  • That He's help us exude the fruits of the Spirit today in everything we do:  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I pray that God would open our eyes and open our ears to:
  • See ourselves and the people around us from His perspective.  To see beyond the external. To see the path He's laid out of us today and that we be obedient to walk in it.
  • Hear His words of encouragement and exhortation for the day.  Hear what people are really saying instead of what we think or assume they are saying.  Hear His direction and guidance for the day.
Then I ask God to put His Armour on us.  I ask Him to remind each one I'm praying for that:
  • The battle is not ours, but it belongs to Him
  •  The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds
  • Our battle is not against flesh and blood (people), but against principalities, powers, rulers, and authorities of this earth, and against evil spirits in the heavenly realms.
Putting on the armour of God - ready to fight the good fight
Here's come individual pieces:
  • The gospel of peace on our feet.   I pray that He would: 
    • Make us salt and light in the world today.  
    • Help us remember that we're His ambassadors - His hands, His feet, His eyes, His ears to people.  
    • Remind us today that its His good news.  And its good news of Peace - not of fear, because He didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.  
    • Help us remember there shouldn't be anything anxious about the gospel - that we'd be anxious for nothing, but in everything, through prayer and supplication, make our requests known to Him, because He's the God of peace that passes all understanding. 
    • Guard our hearts and minds as we leave our cares in His hands.
  • The helmet of salvation on our heads.  I ask God to:
    • Remind us to take everything thought captive and make it obedient to, and line up with Him.
    • Help us be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we can test and prove what His good and perfect will is
    • Let us remember to set out hearts and minds on the things above, and not on the things of this earth.  That we would think and dwell on what is good, pure, noble, of good report, praise-worthy, and honourable.
    • Meditate on His work day and night, that we'd be like trees planted beside streams of living water, bearing fruit in and out of season, with leaves that don't wither and crops that don't fade.
  • The belt of truth on our waists.  I pray that God would:
    • Remind us that Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and that no one comes to the Father, but through Him
    • Help us understand a live like Jesus did, as John said that Jesus came to the world 'full of grace and truth'.  I ask that God would help us understand how to live that way - to be able to balance grace and truth in our lives and not compromise.
    • Put a guard on our minds and our mouths, that we wouldn't think or speak slanderous, critical or over-exaggerated things.
    • Give us wisdom and discernment to know when the enemy is trying to put lying thoughts into our minds - that we'd resist him.  That God would help us to submit ourselves to Him and draw near to him, at the same time resisting the enemy so that he (and his lying untruths would flee).
  • The breastplate of righteousness on our torsos. I ask God to please:
    • Give us soft, humble hearts for the day.  That we'd be ready to be corrected and encouraged, and not let pride get in the way of what He wants to do in our lives
    • Make us be strong and courageous.  That we'd have a supernatural boldness to stand for Him and what we know is right
    • Remind us that when we're forgiven and washed clean, we can come boldly before His throne of grace without wavering or faltering.
    • Remind us that He has has began a good work in us, and that He is faithful to complete that work
  • The sword of the Spirit (His word).  I pray for God to:
    • Let His word not depart from our minds or our mouths
    • Remind us to resist the enemy with His word, like Jesus did when He was tempted by the Devil.  That when we think, read, speak or hear His word, it would be sharper than a double-edged sword to the piercing asunder of soul and spirit, bone and marrow for us, and that it would judge the thoughts and intents of our hearts.
    • Help us to get life and sustenance from His word for the day, because man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God
    • Guide and direct us with His word, and make His word a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path today.
    • Cleanse and wash us with the water of His word as we read, think, and hear it.
  • The shield of faith. I petition (isn't that a good word - sounds spiritual) God to:
    • Grow faith in us, because He is the author and finisher of our faith.
    • Open our ears and give us a desire to read His word because faith come by hearing, and hearing by the word of God
    • Remind us that without faith its impossible to please Him, and yet also help us to remember that all we need is faith as small as a mustard seed and we can do great things
    • Help us to remember those people in Hebrews 11 and like them, learn to 'speak of things that are not as though they were'.  That we'd also be reminded that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Things I need to work on and I continue to work all of this out in my relationship with God:
  • Not getting caught up in trying to remember all this stuff above and praying it 'right'.  I need to continually be conscious that prayer is a talk with God and part of my relationship with Him.  
  • Cultivate more thankfulness
  • Its not a shopping list.
  • Praying for leaders
  • Praying for the lost

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