Category Archives: Prayer

A New Prayer for A New Year

Lord-

As we enter 2016, I cover this year with a prayer for help with the small things.  Not that I have stopped believing you for big miracles in this life, but that my evaluation of faithfulness in the daily grind has gone up exponentially over time.  For that reason, Almighty God, I’m asking for your hand to bless the quiet routines that no one will ever see but you.  I believe that those may be the most significant moments in the new year.  Father, I pray for…

  • the discipline to get up early every day and seek You first.  I understand that going to bed on time and getting up early is one of those small decision with huge ramifications.
  • the creativity to invest new ideas into my dates with Barie.  Don’t let me get stuck in a rut with our weekly date nights.  I ask for the energy and passion to invest in my wonderful marriage.
  • the compassion for those around me who are hurting.  Lord, help me to see what You see and feel what You feel, and to not miss people in my path because of tasks on my to-do list.
  • the honesty to recognize when my body needs rest.  2015 was a tough year of realizing the limitations of my body.  Diabetes has been my thorn in the flesh, literally.  Please help me to rest and exercise as needed so I can be around for my family in the years to come.
  • the patience to parent well.  God, I get angry too often when the kids are disobedient, when they are loud while I’m craving silence.  Help me to have more grace for them, to treat them like You treat me.
  • the wisdom to manage our family budget in a way that fulfills our giving commitments and regular responsibilities.  I need strength in this area.  It is just hard.

God, I want to see you move in big ways in 2016 – in our family, our neighborhood, our church, our nation, and the world.  But as I get older, I increasingly see my need for You in the daily moments of walking with Jesus.  Lord, show us Your powerful hand in the everyday routine of life, helping 2016 be a year of growth and health and peace.

For Your glory and fame.  Amen.

Daily Prayer

This morning, we celebrated the 6th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Round Rock.  Our mayor, Alan McGraw, has called our city to pray each year, asking the Lord to guide our government, our business leaders, our educators, our public safety personnel, and our pastors and spiritual leaders.  I am so thankful that we live in a city where our leader recognize the importance and power of prayer.

In my own life, God has been showing me recently the priority of prayer.  In January, as I was teaching our congregation about our new deacon ministry, I walked them through Acts 6, where the apostles said that they were called by God to focus on “prayer and the ministry of the Word.”  I have always known that one of my primary callings was preaching and teaching the Bible, but this passage reminds us that spiritual leadership starts with prayer – staying connected to the Father, Son, and Spirit every day.

This conviction about prayer continued while I was on study break and read Leonard Ravenhill’s classic on Why Revival Tarries.  One of Ravenhill’s main points is that he believed we don’t see great moves of God because we have not labored greatly with God in prayer.  Now, obviously, praying a certain number of hours per day is no guarantee of revival.  But NOT praying is a guarantee of not seeing the power of God at work in your life and ministry.  In addition to Ravenhill’s book, I also started reading Dr. Constable’s free book on prayer, Talking To God.  His book is really helpful in understanding what the Bible actually teaches on prayer.

All of this has led me to want to grow in my prayer life.  I have always prayed, and prayed daily.  But I want to grow in the depth and breadth of my prayer life, both in connecting with God, asking Him for my daily needs, and covering more things in prayer.  To that end, I have developed a daily prayer guide for our staff and elders, so that we can cover more in prayer AND so that we can be praying for the same topics/people each day.  If you would like to join us, here is what we will be covering each day:

Sundays: church family (elders/staff/shepherds/leaders/needs)
Mondays: immediate family (spouse/kids/parents/grands/siblings)
Tuesdays: missionaries that we support (and compassion kids)
Wednesdays: friends (including those in our small group)
Thursdays: government (federal/state/county/city leaders)
Fridays: those without Christ (family/neighbors/friends/world)
Saturdays: other churches (movement/city/nation/world)

I know it’s not perfect, but it is a start.  Of course, what I’ve been telling everyone is that having this list is not a substitute for listening to the Spirit every day in prayer.  We need to be flexible as God brings people and needs to our minds while we pray.  But, at least, this guarantees that we make a regular habit of covering a broad number of needs each week in prayer.