Praying Through God's Word: Luke's Gospel
Lord, we need Your Word and Your Spirit. Your Word shows us how we are to live. Your Spirit gives us strength - for living Your way. May "the Word of Christ dwell in us richly" (Colossians 3:16) - prompting us to walk with You in the way of faith. May we "be filled with Your Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18) - empowering us to walk with You in the way of obedience.
When, Lord, You touch our lives with Your love, everything changes. Nothing remains the same. Every part of of life is changed by Your love. We have been saved by Your love. May our life be shaped by Your love.
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus has "come to us." He has been born as "one of us." We thank You that He was "led out to die on Calvary." He has "cleansed our souls from sin." We thank You that He has "risen from death to set us free." He has "poured Your love and goodness in." May "Your power break through into our lives." Help us, Lord to "live for You" (Patrick Appleford).
Sometimes, we wonder, "What's the world coming to?" When, Lord, our minds are filled with many questions, help us to hear Your answer: Christ is coming to the world. Sometimes, it seems to us that everything's hopeless. We try - and we fail. Show us, Lord, that there's something else. There's something more than "Always look on the bright side of life." There's something that keeps on going when we feel like giving up. Thank You, Lord, for Your love - it never comes to an end.
Lord, we come to Your House - but what's going on in our hearts? Do we come to Your House with Grudge-Giving: "I have to"? Is it "Duty-Giving": "I ought to"? Do we come to You with "Thanksgiving": "I want to"? Help us, Lord, to get beyond our religion - our "Grudge-Giving" and our "Duty-Giving"? Help us to find Jesus in Your House. Help us to say, "Thank You, Lord." Give us a new spirit - a spirit of thanksgiving. Help us to really feel it. Help us to really mean it. Fill our hearts with gratitude. Fill our lives with generosity.
Lord, there are things that we don't like to hear about. We don't like to hear about sin. We don't like to hear about death. There are some things that we do like to hear about. We like to hear that "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." What are to make of this kind of thinking: "We like this - but we don't like that"? How can we really appreciate the Good News - "eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" - if we refuse to listen to the bad news: "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23)? Help us to see how great our sin is - so that we can appreciate how great our Saviour is!
Lord, we are often tempted. Satan attacks us. He drags us down. He draws us away from You. What are we to do about this? We look at ourselves - and we get downhearted. We feel like we're getting nowhere. We seem to be making some progress - and, then, we lose our way again. We take our eyes off Jesus - and we fall down. We get down-in-the-dumps. We feel like we're no use - but that's not the whole story. Satan is only part of the story. There's Someone who is stronger than Satan: Jesus, our Saviour. We're "on the victory side - With Christ within, the fight we'll win." When the going gets tough, help us, Lord, to remember that we're not alone. Jesus is fighting for us - and He is Lord!
Lord, we need Your Word - and we need Your power! We need the written Word - and the living Word! Speak to us Your Word. Speak to us in the power of the Holy Spirit. May we know, in our hearts, that Your Word is more than "the word of men." It's "the Word of God which is at work in us who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13) - the Word of God which brings us to "faith" in Christ (Romans 10:17), the Word of God which brings to us new life in Christ (1 Peter 1:23-24; James 1:18), the Word of God which leads us to "grow" in Christ (1 Peter 2:2). Thank You, Lord, for Your Word. May it always be to us more than the written Word. Help us to hear Your living Word - the Word which changes us (Hebrews 4:12).
We thank You, Lord, for the new life in the Spirit. Your way is not the way of empty religion - paying lip-service to You without being changed by Your Word and Your Spirit. Lead us in Your way. Lead us out of our weakness and into Your strength. Give us Your joy. May we know that "the joy of the Lord is our strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).
So often, Lord, we're too easily satisfied. You want to give us so much more - but we get stuck in a rut. We do not hunger for more of You, for more of Your blessing. Help us, Lord, to appreciate Your love for us, to grow in our love for You, to share Your love with the people we meet.
We hear Your Word, Lord - but do we believe it? We hear Your Word - but do we live in obedience to Your Word? We hear Your Word - but are we afraid to speak Your Word to others? Lord, You're always challenging us. Hearing Your Word is good - but it's not enough! You're calling us to do more. Help us, Lord, to believe Your Word, to obey Your Word, to be Your witnesses.
Lord, You do not come to us because we are good. You come to us because You are love. We thank You, Lord, that Your love is greater than our sin. We look at ourselves. We see our sin. We look at our Saviour. We see Your love. When we look at our sin, help us to say, "We want less of this." When we look at our Saviour, help us to say, "We want more of Him."
Lord, You are calling us to have a real faith - a faith that is more than mere words. We're not only to say that we have faith. We're to show that we have faith: a faith that is seen in the place of witness - not only in the place of worship.
Lord, You're calling us to be Your servants. We're not to keep Your blessing to ourselves. We're to share Your blessing with others. Help us to rejoice in Jesus, our Saviour. Help us to speak of Him - and live for Him.
Lord, we thank You for Your Son, Jesus - "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). There is no-one like Jesus. He is Your Son - Your only Son: "There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin." He is our Saviour - our only Saviour: "He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in."
We thank You, Lord, that "Your Kingdom has come near to us" (Luke 10:9). Jesus has come near to us. He brings Your Kingdom to us. We don't raise ourselves up. You raise us up. Your love has come down to us. It's Your love that lifts us up - out of our earthbound way of thinking and living, into a new life that is being shaped by Your Kingdom, the Kingdom of love, the greatest love of all, eternal love.
Lord, help us to listen to You. Help us to speak to You. Help us to live for You. Without Your help, we will get bogged down in our own self-centredness. Lift us, Lord, out of the mire of our sin. Set our feet on the Rock, which is Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Give to us a trestimony which calls on others to join with us in saying, "Praise the Lord" (Psalm 40:1-3).
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus has risen from the dead (Luke 24:6). Death could not hold Him (Acts 2:24). He has triumphed over death - "Where, O death, is your victory? ... Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Lead me to some soul today. Teach me Lord, just what to say." Help us not to keep Jesus to ourselves. Help us to share Him with others. Help us to tell them what He has done for us. Help us to pray for them - that they will be brought to a living faith in the Saviour. Help us to give all the glory to You.
Help us, Lord, to get ready for Your Son, Jesus. We look back to His first coming. We look back - with thanksgiving. Help us to look forward to His Second Coming. Help us to look forward - with faith which rejoices in Your amazing grace, faith which lives to give praise to You, faith which gives all the glory to You.
You call us, Lord, to be changed by You - changed by Your love, changed by Your power. Being changed by You is very different from being changed by the world. How are we being changed? Are we being "conformed to the world" or "transformed by the Lord"? Help us, Lord, to be wary of change that comes to us from a worldly way of thinking and living. Help us to welcome the Godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled change which comes to us when we pray, "Change my heart, O God ... " (Songs of Fellowship, 58).
Lord, let Your love flow. Let it flow into our hearts. Let it flow out from us to others. Let Your love flow freely. May our love for one another be more like the love that Jesus, our Saviour, has for all of us. May it be a love that attracts others to the Saviour, a love that says to them, "Jesus loves you - and His love is the best love, the greatest love of all."
When, Lord, we lose our way, lead us to Jesus, our Saviour. We are wayward. We go our own way. We wander away from You. Lead us howeward - back to Your loving arms, back to Your loving welcome, back to the joy of being home - in Your presence (Luke 15:20).
Lord, the things that are most important to us are not always the things that are most important to You. Jesus, Your Son, tells us that eternal profit is more important than personal profit. He says to us, "What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?" (Mark 8:36). Help us, Lord, to hear what Jesus is saying to us - and to be changed by what He says to us.
When, Lord, we are tempted to turn from You, help us to turn to You. Help us to take our stand on your promise of victory over temptation: " ... God is faithful ... with the temptation He will also make the way of escape ... " (1 Corinthians 10:13). Help us, Lord, to say, with triumphant faith, "We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).
We look, Lord, at what we have been, and we feel like we've made a right mess of things, then we remember Jesus - and His forgiveness: "The blood of Jesus, God's Son, cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). We look at what we are, and we feel like we're still making a right mess of things, then we remember Jesus - and His promise of power: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you" (Acts 1:8). We wonder what we will become, and we fear that we'll keep on making a right mess of things, then we remember Jesus - and His promise of eternal glory: "I will come again and take you to Myself" (John 14:3).
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Saviour - He came to save us (Luke 19:10). He is also our Lord - He wants to "reign over" us (Luke 19:27). We're so glad that salvation has come to us (Luke 19:9). Help us to be good and faithful servants of Jesus, our Saviour and Lord (Luke 19:17).
Help us, Lord, to stop talking about ourselves - and start listening to You. We can get so busy - talking about all the things that matter most to us. We forget to listen to what You are saying to us about the things that matter most to You. Hep us, day-by-day, to turn to Your Word - to come to You with the prayer: "Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening" (1 Samuel 3:10).
Fill our lives, Lord, with grace, gratitude, giving and glory. The grace comes from You. We are saved by Your amazing grace. Where does the gratitude come from? It comes from You. You put it into our hearts. You show us how much You have done for us. You give us the attitude of gratitude. How are we to give to You? We must learn to receive from You. From You, we receive Jesus. He's Your greatest gift. As we receive Jesus, our Saviour, may we give glory to You - the God of our salvation, the God who is leading us on to eternal glory.
We think, Lord, of Jesus, Your Son, We think of His suffering. We think of His salvation. He suffered for us. We are saved by Him. We think of all that Jesus has done for us. We can say nothing more or less than this: Thank You, Lord.
When we are suffering, help us, Lord, to look to Jesus. Help us to see Jesus - suffering for us. Help us, like Jesus, to look beyond suffering - to glory: the glory of being with You - being with You in Your eternal glory.
In our world, Lord, we see the love of power. In our Saviour, we see something else, something better than this. We see the power of love. Help us, Lord, not to be shaped by this world's way of thinking. Help us to be changed by our Saviour and His way of salvation - changed by the power of His love.
We thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus - crucified for us and risen for us. Jesus died to bring us out of the dark shadows of our past - our sins have been forgiven. Jesus rose to bring us into the bright shining light of Your future - eternal life.
We thank You, Lord, for the Scriptures. They lead us to our Saviour - Jesus. The Scriptures speak to us of His suffering and our salvation. When we think of all that Jesus has done for us, may we receive, from You, the spirit of thanksgiving - joyful thanksgiving, heartfelt thanksgiving.