A Prayer for Resisting Satan’s Main Attack

     I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  2 Cor. 11:1-3

     Gracious Lord Jesus, as I pray my way through this Scripture this morning, two things stand out with flashing neon brilliance. First of all, we already belong to you as a washed, cherished and betrothed bride. This is our defining identity as your called-out, beloved people.

     We are those upon whom you have set your heart, for whom you gave your life, and to whom you are returning as a great Bridegroom. Hallelujah, many times over. No other relationship gives us the peace, hope, and joy that we find in you.

     This underscores the second thing that stands out in this Scripture: the intensity of Satan’s hatred for the “first thing”—your great love for us. This is what spiritual warfare is all about. He’ll do anything possible to lead us astray from our sincere and pure devotion to you.

     Satan hates your love for us and he hates our love for you. He’ll let us be anything other than a people filled with deep affection …

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A Prayer for Savoring Being Married to Jesus

     As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Isa. 62:5) Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:6-7)

     Dear Lord Jesus, today, just like every day, I need the gospel; and I need the power of the gospel to increase my trust and enjoyment of the gospel. For sometimes the Good News seems just too good to be true. So I pray for grasping power today—power to grasp the multidimensional love that has been lavished on us through our union with you (Eph. 3:14-21).

     Lord Jesus, you are the Bridegroom who rejoices over your bride. You’re not just committed to us; you’re not just faithful to us; you’re not just a great provider; you actually love and enjoy us. You’re glad to be married to us; you have no doubts or regrets.

     You haven’t discovered something recently that makes you wonder what you were thinking when you chose us. You’ll never get bored with us, and you were never just infatuated with us. If your great affection for us wasn’t written down so clearly in your Word, I’d never believe …

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A Prayer for the 4th Sunday of Lent

     I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor. 11:1-3

Dear Lord Jesus, this Scripture is both thrilling and sobering, for it underscores two great truths. First of all (hallelujah), we already belong to you as a washed, cherished and betrothed bride. This is our truest identity and greatest delight.

We are the people upon whom you have set your heart, for whom you given your life, and to whom you are returning as a great Bridegroom. No other relationship offers the peace and joy, meaning and hope, as your relationship with us—no other relationship.

The second thing that stands out in this Scripture is the intensity of Satan’s hatred for the “first thing”—your great love for us—Bridegroom to bride. He’ll do anything possible to diminish and distort, divert and destroy our relationship with you.

Satan hates your love for us and he hates our love for you. Whether overtly through condemnation and persecution, or covertly through seduction and prosperity, his strategy is the same—to steal our hearts away from you.

He will not succeed forever, Lord Jesus, for you have crushed his head …

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A Prayer about Jesus’ Jealous Love for Us

 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ2 Cor. 11:2-3

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me. Song of Songs 7:10

Dear Lord Jesus, this Scripture takes my heart to some very important places this morning. First of all, I know that nothing good has ever come from my being jealous. But, on the other hand, nothing but good arises from your jealousy for us—your intensely committed love, your determination “to have and to hold” your bride for yourself, and to enjoy her forever.

What could be a greater compliment to any of us than to know that you are jealous for us— jealous for me—jealous and zealous for the affection of our hearts, the pleasure of our company, the intimacy of our communion? I believe this, Lord Jesus. I want to believe it more. Heal and free me from my unbelief.

That you really want us, desire us, and enjoy us is almost too much to take in. That you are actually saying today in the gospel, in this very moment, “Come away, my beloved . . . my desire is for you, my banner over you is love . . .” seems impossible and, tragically, at times not enough.

I can certainly understand why Paul was so concerned about …

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A Prayer for Renewing Our Bridal Affection for Jesus

     I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor. 11:1-3

Gracious Lord Jesus, as I pray my way through this Scripture this morning, two things stand out with flashing neon brilliance. First of all, we already belong to you as a washed, cherished and betrothed bride. This is our defining identity, raison d’être, joy, passion and delight, as your church—your called-out, beloved people. Your relationship with us and your love for us are the most important things about us.

We are the people upon whom you have set your heart, for whom you gave your life, and to whom you are returning as a great Bridegroom. There’s no other relationship that comes close to offering the peace and hope as your relationship with us—no other.

This underscores the second thing that stands out in this Scripture: the intensity of Satan’s hatred for the “first thing”—your great love for us, Bridegroom to bride. He’ll do anything possible to lead us astray from our sincere and pure devotion to you.

Satan hates your love for us. Satan hates our love for you. He’ll …

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A Prayer about Jesus’ Desire for Us and Delight in Us

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me. Song of Sol. 7:10

     Dear Lord Jesus, the Song of Solomon has never been one of the most underlined books in my Bible, but the more I look for you in all the Scriptures (Luke 24:25-27), the more I’m drawn to its startling and sensual imagery. To linger in the Song of Solomon is to tap into our deepest longings for intimacy, playfulness, passion, and delight. It’s to savor the unparalleled joys of  knowing and being known by you.
     Indeed, Jesus, you are the great lover of whom this book speaks. In our best moments, our love for one another is a mere hint and whisper of the way you love us. We are your beloved—the bride upon whom you’ve set your deepest affection; for whom you paid the ultimate price; in whom you delight greatly; over whom you rejoice with singing. We believe, help our unbelief.
     This isn’t the gospel I grew up with, but this is the gospel. To be desired is to be wanted and pursued, seen and enjoyed, known and nourished, remembered and cherished. All of this is promised and provided in only one place—in the gospel of your grace.
     Only the Holy Spirit can enable us to believe and experience the liberating truths, the unparalleled beauty, and the oceans of delight revealed in this book, and held out in the gospel. So I cry out today: Come, Holy Spirit, come. Rescue …

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A Prayer about Satan’s Main Strategy in Attacking Us

     I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor. 11:1-3 

     Gracious Lord Jesus, as I pray my way through this Scripture this morning, two things stand out of extreme importance. First of all, we already belong to you as a washed, cherished and betrothed bride. This is our defining and delighting identity as your church—your called-out, beloved people.
     Our organization and flow charts doesn’t define us.  Our ecclesiastical heritage and theological nuancing don’t define us. Our worship style and pulpit don’t define us. Our mission statement and ministries don’t define us. Your unbreakable commitment to us and inexhaustible love for us are what make us who we are, and thrill us beyond all imagining, Lord Jesus.
     We are the people upon whom you have set your heart, for whom you gave your life, and to whom you are returning as a great Bridegroom. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! There’s no other relationship that comes close to offering the peace, joy and hope as your relationship with us.
     This underscores the second thing that stands out in this …

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A Prayer Expressing Our Intense Longings for Jesus

     And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” Rev. 19:9-10

     Dear Lord Jesus, it’s easy to understand why John fell down and began worshipping the messenger angel of this vision. For our oldest longings, greatest cravings, and deepest yearnings are claimed by what John saw: the wedding supper of the Lamb—the fullness of your lavish love for us, your Bride. What do we really want, more than anything else? It’s you, Lord Jesus. We yearn for “the already” of our grace established relationship with you to give way to the consummate “not yet.”
     We show the depth of our brokenness and the degree of our foolishness when we’re even tempted to think there’s some set of circumstances, some person, some relationship, some paramour, some lover, some change in our world, some sensual experience that can satisfy the restlessness in our hearts.
     But we’re made singularly for you, Jesus; we’re designed to be fulfilled and completed only by you. Never let us forget this, and allow us to come more fully alive to an insatiable thirst that you alone can meet. You …

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A Prayer about Being Desired and Belonging to Jesus

And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Rom. 1:6

“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” Song of Songs 7:10

Gracious Jesus, so much of life is about the desire and delights of belonging. From the day we offered our first cry as a newborn baby, our deep longing for attention, attachment, and affection have been patently obvious. We were born into families, and our quest to find our place in our family has been a source of incredible joy for many of us and multiplied heartbreaks for others. This same story has played out in every other relational arena in life: friendships, work, romance. Wanting to belong is a relentless and restless theme in our lives.

And yet “the belonging of all belongings” is found only in relationship with you, Lord Jesus. In the gospel we discover your heart-astonishing desire for us. How can it be that you actually want us, pursue us and enjoy us? Nothing is more humbling and thrilling. We are called to belong—not owned like a new car but connected like a new bride. Lord Jesus, you purchased us with the price of your life and your love for us is better than life.

Indeed, by the gospel we enter a relationship with you of unparalled intimacy, unbreakable security and eternal felicity. The healthiest relationships we enjoy are good gifts to be treasured, but they are only a scent and symbol of what it means to …

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A Prayer for Remembering Satan’s Main Strategy

I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Cor. 11:1-3)

Gracious Lord Jesus, as I pray my way through this Scripture this morning, two things stand out with unmistakable clarity about who we are as your church. First of all, we already belong to you as a washed, cherished and betrothed bride. This is our defining identity as your church—your called-out, beloved people. Our spiritual disciplines and service for you don’t define us. Our multiple ministries and programs don’t define us. Our liturgy and organization don’t define us. Your relationship with us and your love for us define us, period.

We are the people upon whom you have set your heart, for whom you have given your life, and to whom you are returning as a great and loving bridegroom. No other relationship comes close to offering the peace and joy, the satisfaction and hope as your relationship with us.

This underscores the second thing that stands out in this Scripture: the intensity of Satan’s hatred for the “first thing”—your great love for us—bridegroom to bride. He’ll do anything and everything possible to …

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