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I received permission from Jon Graf to post the daily Connection! prayer devotions on Pray.Network.  These devotions are available as a free e-mail subscription from the Harvest Prayer Ministries website at http://connection.harvestprayer.com/.

I have found these devotionals to be not only inspirational but also great equipping for my own prayer life.  There aren't many devotionals that are actually about prayer - most have a quick prayer at the end and that's about it.  But this one has prayer as its focus.  I thought others on the Network might be interested in it.  I will attempt to post each one daily - although I'll inevitably miss here and there. 

I have previously written a Spotlight blog post on the Connection! devotional; if you're interested, check it out here: http://www.pray.network/profiles/blogs/praynetwork-spotlight-connec....

I hope you enjoy and benefit from this devotional as much as I have.

--Andrew

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Mar. 08: A Repentant Life

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge” (Psalm 51:4).

Confession is simply agreeing with God concerning our sin.  Like the parable of the lost son, we must say to the Lord, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you” (Luke 15:21)…and we will hear Him say lovingly to us, “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:24).  As soon as we confess with a repentant heart, we have His forgiveness!  Repentance is when we determine to make a change in our mind and our will that comes out of deep sorrow for sin.  It leads to a transformation of lifestyle!   David certainly determined to live a life worthy of the Lord’s call upon His life.

Lord, please help me to live a life of repentance. Help me to always acknowledge my sin before you. May no sin rule over me.

Prayer Points

Reflect on Jn. 8:44. Pray against the influence of Satan—”the father of lies”—as he attempts to subvert the spread of the gospel throughout the earth. Ask that his lies will be exposed in every arena of life.

Praise the Rock—the one whose works are perfect and whose ways are just (Deut. 32:4). Thank him for being the God of truth. Confess any times that you have believed the lies of Satan and acted accordingly. Commit yourself to speaking only the truth in every situation (Eph. 4:25). Ask God to help you be a truthful person in whom he would delight (Ps. 12:2).

–Adapted from Pray Like the King (Lessons from the Prayers of Israel’s Kings) by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 09: Before We Ask

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).

The overarching purpose of prayer demonstrates the nonnegotiable dependency of the created on the fully sustaining, sufficiency of the Creator. Prayer reveals the reality of our finiteness in distinction to His infiniteness. Our relationship to our Savior Jesus Christ gives us the opportunity to daily align our lives to be in submission with our heavenly Father’s will so that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. In this understanding, the desires and directions of God our Father become the main focus for why we pray. We learn to pray unceasingly as we work out our salvation with Godly reverence and submission. Praying with God’s heart and mind reveals the sovereign kingdom rule of God who works in us to will and do His good pleasure (Mt. 5:10, 16-17, 6:9; 1 Thess. 3:10-11, 5:17; Phil. 2:12-13).

As the fully sustaining, sufficient Creator over His created, God has known and understood all things from eternity to eternity. Nothing surprises Him. He knows what we will say when we shut the door and pray to our Father who is in secret. He knows the answer to our prayers before they are ever voiced as we express our dependence on Him in prayer (Ps. 139:1-6; Mt. 6:8). He delights to give us good things—not a stone but bread, not a serpent but a fish (Mt. 7:9-11).

Creator God, it awes me that You know everything about me down to the most intimate detail, and that You lovingly gave breath to my body.  Forgive me for my selfish nature that tends to want my will to be done rather than Yours.  Teach me to be humbly submissive to the wisdom of Your heart and to continually make Your desires the focus of my prayers.

Prayer Points

Praise God for being perfectly just in all his works. Thank him for loving righteousness and justice (Ps. 33:5). Confess any ungodly bias you harbor toward any people. Commit yourself to viewing others with a loving, Christlike attitude. Ask God to help you value justice more highly in all relationships of life.

Pray that the members of your family will treat each other with mutual love and respect.

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 18, Praying with God’s Heart and Mind by Joel Wilson). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 10: Our Kingdom…Or His?

“This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step” (1 Peter 2:21 MSG).

The great crisis for the Christian is that commitment to Christ means an earnest desire to serve others—meeting real needs, and seeing the kingdom advance. Without careful attention to our vertical call in Christ, we can find ourselves consumed by the horizontal. The horizontal focus on even kingdom-centered work can lead to burnout and an unhealthy emphasis on our own efforts and work. Desiring to advance Christ’s kingdom, we instead can find ourselves building our own little kingdoms.

Jesus is the model of what it means to live a vertical life. Consider spending time to look at events in the life of Jesus in which He chose the vertical before the horizontal. He obviously did not ignore the physical and emotional needs of those around Him. It could be argued that no one ever met human needs as well as Jesus. But He maximized His horizontal impact by starting and staying vertical with His eyes firmly focused on His Father. Even though it meant significant suffering and rejection, He transformed the world around Him…and He calls us to follow in His steps.

Holy One, You have invited me to step into a difficult life…one that sometimes seems impossible to do well. Yet, I trust Your heart and know that You have plans to give me a wonderful hope and future as I walk out this journey by following the example You have set before me. Strengthen my desire for more of You, so that You are able to transform me by the renewing of my mind. Then, my horizontal activity will be well-informed by my deepened relationship with You and done in the power of the Holy Spirit. Teach me how to keep my eyes fixed upon the Father.

Prayer Points
Praise Jesus, who welcomes the weary. Thank him for lifted burdens (Mt. 11:25-30). Confess that the way you fill your days often ignores Jesus’ offer of rest. Commit to enjoying this rest yourself and sharing it with others. Ask God for a specific way you can eliminate something from your schedule in order to create time for resting in the Lord.

Pray that Christians will multiply God’s infinite mercy by befriending people with disabilities, helping released prisoners find work, and sheltering refugees.

Prayer Pointer
“No time is so well spent in every day as that which we spend upon our knees.” J. C. Ryle

–Adapted from Vertical with Jesus: A 30-Day Journey to Impact Kingdom Living by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 11: Invitation to a Deeper Place

Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp…he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go [there]. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch… the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When “Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent” (Exodus 33:7-11 ESV).

The invitation was to EVERYONE who wanted to meet with the Lord.  The tent of meeting was pitched outside the camp for the express purpose of seeking God’s face.  Moses met with Yahweh on a regular basis and enjoyed His presence—a presence so tangible that there was a visible pillar of cloud that descended on the tent. But the Israelites stood at the door of their tents and watched.  They could see that cloud of God’s presence descend—they were obviously overwhelmed at the experience Moses was having because the sight caused them to worship.  But, they stayed put on their own front porch. They saw that God was right over there—His presence so thick it was cloud-like.  But they stayed put.

They were all invited, but they stayed put.  Joshua was the only exception.  He was hot on Moses’ heels when en route to the Tent, and lingered after Moses left. What made the others stay where they were?  Did they doubt the tent was really for them?  Did the knowledge of their recent sins keep them planted at a respectable distance?    Was the cloud just out of their comfort zone?  Don’t let anything keep you from experiencing Him first hand.  Be a Moses or a Joshua—a worshiper who responds to the invitation and moves in to a deeper place.

Lord, forgive me for ignoring Your invitation to go deeper—for coming only as far as I am comfortable.  Move me to a greater level of intimacy with You. 

Prayer Points

Praise God, the giver of all good gifts (Mt. 7:11). Thank him for the greatest gift of all: his Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior (Lk. 22:19). Confess any lack of thankfulness for all of God’s gifts to you. Commit yourself to giving your time, talents, and resources for the gospel. Ask God to grant you a heart of generosity (Lk. 6:38).

Pray by name for one unsaved friend or loved one. Ask God to open this person’s heart to receive the indescribable gift of salvation through faith alone (2 Cor. 9:15; Eph. 2:8-9).

–By Sandra Higley, author of A Year of Prayer Events for Your ChurchThis book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 12: A Repentant Heart

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge” (Psalm 51:4).  

Confession is simply agreeing with God concerning our sin.  Like the parable of the lost son, we must say to the Lord, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you” (Luke 15:21)…and we will hear Him say lovingly to us, “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:24).  As soon as we confess with a repentant heart, we have His forgiveness!  Repentance is when we determine to make a change in our mind and our will that comes out of deep sorrow for sin.  It leads to a transformation of lifestyle!   David certainly determined to live a life worthy of the Lord’s call upon His life.

Lord, please help me to live a life of repentance. Help me to always acknowledge my sin before you. May no sin rule over me.

Prayer Points

Praise God for His matchless grace. Give thanks that His grace is sufficient for you in every situation. Confess any do-it-yourself efforts in which you have rejected God’s grace and tried to go it alone. Commit yourself to being a channel of that grace to others. Ask that God will meet your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19) and that His grace will be poured out abundantly.

Lift up the names of the leaders of your nation, state/province, and community, asking that the Lord’s strength and wisdom come to full maturity in each one as they learn to rely on Him.

–Adapted from Pray Like the King (Lessons from the Prayers of Israel’s Kings) by Dave and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 13: When Nothing is Everything

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

Can you imagine a greater privilege than to get to cook and serve a meal to Jesus and His disciples? The queen of New Testament hospitality, Martha of Bethany, was probably aquiver with excitement over this opportunity. She wanted it to be just right. But she needed some help and her sister Mary was nowhere to be found . . . until Martha went into the main part of the house and saw her sister sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him.

Martha’s complaint to Jesus over her sister’s lack of help prompts one of the most radical statements spoken by Jesus. If we allow His words to sink into our lives, we will be forever changed. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.” Then He pointed to what Mary was doing as the one thing.

We don’t know about your lives, but ours are very busy with many things that seem needed or necessary. Look at our calendars and you’ll find many things that we think are important and should be done. But we must assume that the Lord of Creation knows what He’s talking about and that in the midst of our horizontal activity only one thing is truly essential.

What amazes us is the reality of the “one thing” Mary was engaged in. She wasn’t really doing anything! She was simply being with Jesus and preferring this to everything else she could have been occupied with on that particular day. But Jesus gently tells us that being with Him is the one thing we should commit ourselves to— above everything else.

What is your priority today? Jesus points us from a horizontal lifestyle that focuses on needs, people, calendars, budgets, and a seemingly endless list of “important” activities toward a vertical posture that fixes our eyes on His love, purpose and presence and soaks in all that He is . . . just as Mary of Bethany has taught us.

Lord Jesus, how I long to sit at Your feet and listen. Help me to turn from busyness and self to look to You. In the midst of serving You and loving You, I want to be with You. I need Your help to keep my priorities based on Your desires for me. I lay down my life this day and choose to fix my eyes on You.

Prayer Points

Praise our God, who is unfailing in love and great in compassion (Psalm 51:1-2). Give thanks for the forgiveness of all your past, present, and future sins through Jesus’ death 2,000 years ago! Confess that your sin has been against God himself (51:3-5). Commit to the full integrity of having God’s truth and wisdom in the inner recesses of your heart (51:6). Ask God for full cleansing, purity, joy, and gladness (51:7-9).

Pray for the integrity and understanding of your church’s leaders. Ask God to give them effectiveness in equipping you to lead people to God’s forgiveness and righteousness (51:13-14).

–Adapted from Vertical with Jesus: A 30-Day Journey to Impact Kingdom Living by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount. 

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 14: Preparing the Soil

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”(1 Cor. 15:58). “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him” (Psa. 126:5-6).

When praying for others and doing good in tangible ways for them becomes difficult, always remember that there will be much rejoicing when even one person comes to faith in Jesus! Every prayer and every loving act is significant, and you may never see or know the results of some of your planting or watering this side of heaven. You may just be preparing the soil for someone else to reap the harvest…in which case, you will one day also share in the joy of it!

Father, help me to stand firm upon Your word so that nothing moves me away from Your heart.  May each day give me an opportunity to give myself fully to Your work of prayer, knowing that these efforts will never be done in vain.  Give me the humility of heart to spend myself in prayer for the eternal salvation of others.

Prayer Points

Read Psalm 24 and praise God as the King of glory, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, the Lord almighty! Give thanks for God’s power poured into your life and ministries. Confess any attempts to live and minister by your power instead of the power of the Spirit. Commit yourself to being a channel of his powerful love. Ask God to give you clean hands, a pure heart, integrity of soul and honest speech (24:4), so his power can flow through you unhindered.

Pray that your family and friends will seek God’s face (24:3) and be allowed into his presence through Christ. Ask God to work with power on a particular need in your home.

By Kim Butts, author of The Praying Family (Creative Ways to Pray Together).This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.    

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 15: Moving Mountains

“…make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:19-20)

It’s important to understand the theology of prayer: what makes it work, what Scripture says about it, etc.  The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray (Lk. 11:1).  Getting a good, solid foundation based on essential biblical truths is critical so you don’t end up out of alignment with God’s will, praying in some “wonky” way with no substance.  You must know what God says about prayer and promises He’s made before you can pray confidently enough to move mountains. But there comes a time when you’ve “got it”—when you’ve let God’s word and the fundamentals of prayer marinate in you to the point where it has become a part of you. If you’ve committed the “words and notes” to memory, maybe it’s time to “throw away the music” and play your symphony of prayer to Him from the heart.

Ask the Holy Spirit if its time to move beyond the mechanics of prayer.  Ask Him if things have become too cut-and-dried or if you’re dissecting everything in a non life-giving way.  Be open to His move and flow.

Father, help me maintain truth in my prayer life without jeopardizing the flow of Your Spirit.  Free me to pray from the heart.

Prayer Points

Read Psalm 139 and praise the all-knowing one who perfectly knows you in every action, thought, and word (139:1, 4). Thank God for the comforting knowledge that he is with you wherever you go (139:5-6). Confess any attempt to flee his all-knowing presence (139:7-12). Commit yourself to learning more about these wonderful human bodies he has made (139:13-16). Ask him to give you a love for knowing his thoughts (139:17-18), an informed hatred for those he hates (139:19-22), and an “open-book” relationship with him (139:23-24).

Pray that your nation will repent of willful ignorance of God’s thoughts and ways. Ask that the beauty and purpose of human life be accepted and promoted (Psalm 139:12-16).

–By Sandra Higley, author of A Year of Prayer Events for Your ChurchThis book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 16: The Prayer of Forgiveness

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love…Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me…Save me from my bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me…” (Psalm 51:1a, 11, 14a).  

David’s ability to ask for forgiveness is rooted in the very nature of God. It is because of the Lord’s “unfailing love” and His “great compassion” that those of us who follow Christ today can, as David did, boldly ask the Lord for forgiveness. It is in the nature of God to forgive.  Because we are made in His image, it is important that we too have that nature of forgiveness: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

The pre-requisite to being forgiven in the Kingdom of Jesus is to forgive others!  “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14).

I thank you, my Father, that you are a forgiving God. Apart from your forgiveness, who could stand before you? May your forgiving nature become an integral part of my life.

Prayer Points  

Read Psalm 108 and praise the Lord, whose love is higher than the heavens and whose faithfulness reaches to the skies. Give thanks for specific acts of faithfulness to you so far this week. Confess any unfaithfulness which has robbed God of his glory. Commit yourself to praising God among the nations (108:3). Ask him to show you the nations in our cities and around the globe. 

Pray that everyone will see clearly that human strength cannot win the battle for peoples’ hearts (108:12-13). Ask God to gain the victory over spiritual enemies that bind the unsaved.

–Adapted from Pray Like The King (Lessons from the Prayers of Israel’s Kings) by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 17: The Temptation of Attention

“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:5-7)

It would have been the most sensational day in the history of the Temple. Imagine the reaction of the people had Jesus floated down into their midst from the highest pinnacle of the Temple. He would immediately have been acclaimed Messiah and there would have been no Cross. Of course, without the Cross, there would have been no salvation or eternal life . . . just an earthly ruler.

How do you handle the temptation to be recognized for what you do or say? We believe this continues to be a struggle for most Christians, as well as for those apart from Jesus. There is always the temptation to draw attention to oneself in order to accomplish something for God. Whether it is an important accomplishment at work or school, or simply our own desire to be recognized for doing something in ministry, it seems to be a human tendency to desire the attention of others. The horizontal pull for approval or acclamation of others is faced by everyone in varying degrees.

Once again, Jesus moves from the horizontal pull to the vertical plan. “Satan, don’t you know that God has told us not to do that which tempts Him or tries to back Him into a corner in order to act?” More than any other man, Jesus knew how temporary the acclamation of mankind could be. What lasts and truly satisfies is doing what the Father has said to do. And yet, how does one do this consistently with purity of heart and humility? We have found that giving of finances or talents anonymously is a good way to practice this discipline and bring the necessity for self-promotion and self-importance under the control of the Holy Spirit.

It is so easy Lord, to fall into the trap of trying to attract attention, even when I’m serving You. Forgive me when I strive for the approval of men rather than Your approval. Help me to not use worldly means to accomplish heavenly goals. I want all that I do to be in the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Prayer Points

Praise the Lord, who made and cares for heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them (Ps. 146:1-6). Give thanks for his personal care for you. Confess instances of putting ultimate trust “in mortal men, who cannot save” (146:3). Commit yourself to putting your hope in the Lord your God. Ask God to help you hand your cares to him through daily prayer.

Pray that God will continually prompt his people to join him in caring for those oppressed or otherwise in need (146:7-10). Ask God to grant corporate and individual wisdom, persistence, and love in seeking to extend his kingdom.

–Adapted from Vertical with Jesus: A 30-Day Journey to Impact Kingdom Living by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 18: Listening Prayer

 “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him…How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you…Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:18,19,21).  

The prophet Isaiah spoke about God’s willingness to respond to our desperate need to turn from our earthly distractions and passionately go after the face of the living Lord. Have you ever longed to hear from God? Perhaps you have never considered spending time listening for His voice.   Passion will follow obedience, as we earnestly seek after His holy presence to fill our lives, to restore our families, and to lead us toward finishing our time on earth well!

Father, I long to slow down long enough to hear Your voice and then to learn how to hear You even in the midst of my busy life.  Fine tune my hearing so that I might be able to walk in the direction You desire.  May Your holy presence flood into my every day living for the sake of my family and others in my life.

Prayer Points

Praise God as “the Mighty One, God, the Lord” who owns “every animal of the forest . . . the cattle on a thousand hills . . . the creatures of the field . . . the world . . . and all that is in it” (Ps. 50:1, 10-12). Give thanks for the blessings God has put under your care. Confess any irresponsible decisions you have made with his resources. Commit to being a wise and faithful manager of all he gives to you. Ask him to prompt you to wise stewardship from a spirit of thankfulness (50:14-15).

Pray for God’s special treasure of loving relationships. Ask his help in managing these with great care and joy.

By Kim Butts, author of The Praying Family (Creative Ways to Pray Together).This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.    

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Mar. 19: Hindrances to Worship

“Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?” (Ps. 15:1, NLT).

If you are experiencing times of intercession and worship that are dry and difficult, it may be time to take inventory as David did in Psalm 15.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if any of the following are hindering your worship:

  • Are you leading a blameless life and doing what is right? What about staying away from things that have the appearance of evil? (v. 2)
  • Are you speaking the truth from a sincere heart? Any half-truths or painting yourself in a better light when recounting a story? (v. 2)
  • Do you absolutely refuse to slander others no matter what? Do you refuse to harm your neighbors or speak ill of your friends or spouse? (v. 3)
  • Do you despise persistent sin? Do you honor the bride of Christ in thought, word, and deed—including those from other denominations? (v. 4)
  • Do you keep your promises even when it hurts? (v. 4)
  • Do you want something in return when you do something nice for someone? (v. 5)
  • Do you speak against someone when it is in your own best interest? (v. 5)

Holy Spirit, show me any areas of my life that are hindering my prayer life.  I desire to enter in with a pure heart!

Prayer Points

Praise the wonderful God who causes mountains and hills to burst into song and all the trees of the fields to clap their hands (Isa. 55:12). Give thanks that the Lord “comforts his people and [has] compassion on his afflicted ones” (Isa. 49:13). Confess any lack of joy which you may have and admit to God your failures to receive his joy. Commit yourself to considering all of life as pure joy, whatever the circumstance, since Jesus Christ is alive and victorious over all. Ask the Lord to restore to you the joy of his salvation (Ps. 51:12), so that you may be a prime exhibit of Christ’s life-changing power.

Pray that your family and friends may have Christian joy. Ask God to help them to discipline themselves in the Christian faith and grow together in genuine love.

–by Sandra Higley, author of A Year of Prayer Events for Your Church. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

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