A Prayer for Trusting God with the Number of Our Days

     In your book were written, every one of them the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I were to count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. Ps. 139:16-18

Heavenly Father, what a great Scripture to ponder on my birthday, especially on this one—the day I’m officially a Beatles song, “When I’m Sixty-Four”. Yet as numerous my years, thankfully, with King David I can affirm, vaster and greater are my thoughts of you today. “How precious to me are your thoughts”.

If I tried to number the expressions of your glory and grace, I’d have to count every grain of sand on every beach, and every particle of dust in the universe. As much as you’ve already shown me about yourself in the Bible, keep rescuing me from every wrong notion I’ve ever had about about you. May the gospel keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

On this day, it’s a source of incredible peace to know you’ve already ordained all of my days for me. That doesn’t feel like fatalistic programming, but Fatherly affection—because you do all things well. I have no need, or desire, to write my story. That pen belongs to you.

Some days, however, I do wish I could turn the clock back for a possible “do-over”—especially for certain stretches of my life; but …

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A Prayer for Resting in the Sovereignty and Goodness of God

     Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Rev. 1:4-5

Glorious Triune God, lately my attitude about politics in general, and the American political process in particular, has been a growing source of irritation and cynicism—a sure indication that I need the gospel to center me. This small portion of your Scripture confronts my bad attitude with your glory and grace; your might and mercy; your presence and your purposes. Nothing has greater power to convict me of my sin and help me regain perspective than your Word.

Sovereign Father, I’m greatly encouraged to remember that you are timeless in your engagement with your creation and your people. You always have been, you presently are, and you always will be the God who is working all things together after the counsel of your will. Nothing gets by you, vexes you, or threatens the execution of your eternal decrees. You never need a holiday, you never suffer from ADD, and you always bring your “A game.”

God the Holy Spirit, in your sevenfold perfection, you are constantly executing the will of the Father concerning all things—from feeding sparrows and clothing flowers; to revealing and applying the grace of Jesus; to raising up kings and putting kings down at the Father’s …

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A Prayer for Repenting of Political Cynicism and Unbelief

     Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Pet. 2:13-17

     I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior. 1 Tim. 2:1-3

Dear heavenly Father, these Scriptures convict me—they expose my unbelief, my lack of prayer and my bad attitude. I stand convicted of how little I’ve prayed for our past presidents and how very little I pray with faith for our sitting president. Forgive me, and by the power of the gospel, give me a better attitude.

I confess, I’ve been more of a cynic than your servant with respect to supporting our government. I haven’t been living with the confidence that you set up and sit down kings, presidents, premiers, and governors at your bidding. At times, I’ve been more irritated by the Oval Office than comforted by the occupied throne of heaven.

In many …

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A Prayer about a Brief Life and a Big Gospel

     Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

Dear heavenly Father, you haven’t made us for “fifteen minutes in the spotlight,” but for an eternity of glorifying you and enjoying you forever. As this day begins, I praise you for such a hope and future—a future that’s already begun for us in Jesus. Our eternal life began the day you “raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 2:6), to the praise of your glorious grace (Eph. 1:6).

Yet, Father, these verses in James remind us that our lifespan in this body isn’t very long at all. We’re more like a brief mist than an aging oak. I feel this more than ever, and I’m both sobered and gladdened by the thought. Life in the new heaven and new earth has never looked so good; so equally true, the gospel of your grace has never seemed to precious and huge.

So how would you have me live the rest of my “misty moment”? Only you know when I’ll “vanish” from this body. Only you know what’ll happen …

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A Prayer for Wrestling with the Sovereignty & Ways of God

     Who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Rom. 9:20-21 

     Dear heavenly Father, this morning I’m pondering the mystery and mercy of your sovereignty, especially as I consider everything you did to redeem rebels and broken people like me. The cross was no accident. It was you who handed over Jesus to wicked men, who put him to death by nailing him to the cross, all according to your set purpose and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23-24).
     Indeed, Jesus’ death for us on the cross was no accident, afterthought, plan B, or redeeming of a good-story-gone-bad. No one could take his life from him; Jesus freely and gladly laid down his life for us. A plan of redemption made before the world began was gloriously and graciously accomplished. The comfort and peace I enjoy from this supreme demonstration of your sovereignty is incomparable and immeasurable.
     So Father, as I much as I celebrate and find comfort in your sovereignty seen in Jesus’ cross, why would I, do I struggle with it anywhere else? It makes no sense at all. Why do I want to reverse roles to make me the potter and treat you like malleable clay? Why do I prefer …

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A Prayer about Politics and My Bad Attitude

     Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Rev. 1:4-5 

     Glorious Triune God, the more I think about the American political process, the more I find a cesspool of irritation and cynicism brewing in my heart—a sure indication that I need your grace and fresh repentance. No matter what’s going on outside of me (in the White House or anywhere else), it doesn’t justify a cancerous attitude. So I begin this day reminding myself of exactly who you are and what you’re up to in your world… as revealed in this one Scripture, alone. Nothing has greater power to convict me of my sin and help me regain perspective.
     Sovereign Father, I’m greatly encouraged (and humbled) to remember that you are timeless in your engagement with your creation and your people. You always have been, you presently are, and you always will be the God who is working all things together after the counsel of your will. You never need a holiday, you never suffer from ADD, and you always bring your “A game.” You are constantly doling out grace and peace, grace and peace, grace and peace, to your children. Hallelujah!
     God the Holy Spirit, in your sevenfold perfection, you are constantly executing the …

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A Prayer for Trusting God with Your Heart and Future

It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Phil 2:13

Heavenly Father, many of us are living in seasons of transition and are facing decisions with weighty, long term implications. It’s over-the-top comforting to know you to be the God who works on our behalf. You’re at work in us, around us and through us.

There’s nothing passive or inert about you. You’re not a reluctant deity we have to motivate; a moody lord we have to placate; a celestial computer we need to program; a far away father we have to find; a god of contingencies, fine print, or bait and switch. Indeed, “who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? (Ex. 15:11).

You do anything and everything you want, with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back your hand or say to you: “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35). Whatever pleases you, that’s what you do, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths (Psalm 135:6). Oh, the centering, settling, peace-infusing joy this brings!

So, gracious Father, we trust you to work in our hearts to fulfill your good purposes. Help us find our place in your Story. Give us a greater desire for your glory than for our happiness. Fill us with joy and anticipation, as we surrender to your plans and timing. Keep us from impatient obsessing; “walking by the light …

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