Prayer Guide: The Grace of God (Titus)
As I write this (on Monday), the sky outside is overcast and cloudy. Rain is expected. A lot of rain.
We’ve had about 5 inches of rain in Sarnia since Friday. This was after about four weeks of very little rain, mostly blue skies, and hot, sunny weather. The grass in most places was dried up, the ground was cracked, and vegetable gardens were crying out from thirst.
Then the deluge came, and now we’ve had, ironically, too much rain in a very short period of time.
Our lives can feel a lot like this at times. Everything is good (sunny), but cracks begin to form—and then a storm erupts (rain). Sometimes the storm can be overwhelming—there is too much “rain” in your life. Sometimes your basement floods—both metaphorically and literally.
In these moments, prayer grounds you. When you can reflect on the truth of scripture and praise God for who he is, you can find peace. When you pray biblical responses for yourself, you can find motivation to pray even in the storm.
And what better to focus your prayers around than the grace of God, and God’s salvation for you and his church?
Let the book of Titus feed you this week. I recommend that you read it daily (it’s short), meditate on it, and use this prayer guide one section at a time to let the truth and hope of the gospel lift you up.
Prayer Guide: Matthew 6 (Trust and Faith in God)
Matthew 6 is one of my favourite chapters in the New Testament. I appreciate how, in such a lengthy block of teaching, Jesus took the time to address spirituality and spiritual growth.
These are often considered the “dry” topics of faith…many Christians would rather focus on doctrinal teaching, or the statements of chapter 7, or the morality of chapter 5, rather than the hard, difficult work of how we grow spiritually.
But Jesus teaches us that, unless we are focused on God, our spiritual practices are often in vain.
And who doesn’t this apply to? Who among us never struggles to pray as we think others want to hear, to announce our spiritual practices so others know what we are doing, or to give or serve out of expectation?
Just today, I found myself reading my Bible as a chore, just reading to get through it, rather than soaking in the words of God that I was reading.
There is always room to grow, always space to meet God in secret, always a room where we can close the door and simply be with God.
This week as you pray, let God question your motivations in meeting with him. Let him challenge you to seek him and him alone. Let your spiritual practices be refined by God in your secret place with him.
Prayer Guide: Peace and Praise (Ephesians 2:11-22)
Ever have hostility with someone and not know what to do about it?
Ever have hostility with God?
(Hint: Before you became a follower Jesus, the Bible says that we were God’s enemies.)
Because God has saved uss—by grace, through faith, in Christ—we no longer have hostility separating us, but we are at peace. Peace with God, and peace with others.
Jesus’ sacrifice obtains peace for us, both with God and others, because in his body, he destroyed the barrier and made two groups one. He reconciled all of us and preached peace to all.
In the text, Paul is writing about how Jesus unified two groups—Jews and Gentiles, who were historically hostile to each other—in his one body. The result was peace.
If God could bring together in peace two groups who were at odds, then his peace overflows to us today.
This week, pray prayers of praise and peace. Praise God for the peace you have with him, and pray that his peace will overflow into your relationships with others.
Prayer Guide: Psalm 80
Ever have a bad day? Or a string of bad days? Or a bad season?
In times like that, it’s easy to struggle to feel the presence of God.
We believe that God has promised us things, and when those things don’t happen, or seem to be taken away, we can lose confidence…and faith.
Imagine, then, the people of God in the Old Testament—living by promises made by God that they would hold land, be led by a King, and worship in a Temple. Imagine their thoughts when these things were taken away from them—the promises of God, crumbling around them.
How should they pray? How would you pray?
Psalm 80 teaches us how to pray with hope in the midst of disappointment.
Remember, as you pray, to pray the “so that” — that God will answer prayer so that he will become known as the God Who Restores.
Prayer Guide: Psalm 95
Psalm 95 is one of my favourite psalms. It begins with praise and worship. It is good for us to praise God.
And the psalmist records a number of reasons for why God is praiseworthy:
These are all praiseworthy things God has done for us.
But then the psalm takes a turn (8-11), and it begins to challenge us about our receptivity to God’s gifts.
“Today, if only you would hear his voice, [d]o not harden your hearts…”
The psalmist details the ordeal of the Israelites in the wilderness, who hardened their hearts against God by refusing to listen to him.
The result? “They shall never enter my rest” (11).
We have a choice in our relationship with God. It can be one-sided, where God gives and gives and gives until he shuts it off because it is unreciprocated, or we can soften our hearts, listen to him, and submit ourselves to our shepherd.
The choice is yours. Pray well this week.
Monday, July 27 - Psalm 119:161-168
Tuesday, July 28 - Psalm 119:169-176
Wednesday, July 29 - 1 Samuel 2:1-10
Thursday, July 30 - 1 Samuel 2:1-10
Friday, July 31 - Luke 1:46-55
Monday, July 20 - Psalm 119:121-128
Tuesday, July 21 - Psalm 119:129-136
Wednesday, July 22 - Psalm 119:137-144
Thursday, July 23 - Psalm 119:145-152
Friday, July 24 - Psalm 119:153-160
Monday, July 13 - Psalm 119:81-88
Tuesday, July 14 - Psalm 119:89-96
Wednesday, July 15 - Psalm 119:97-104
Thursday, July 16 - Psalm 119:105-112
Friday, July 17 - Psalm 119:113-120
Monday, July 6 - Psalm 119:41-48
Tuesday, July 7 - Psalm 119:49-56
Wednesday, July 8 - Psalm 119:57-64
Thursday, July 9 - Psalm 119:65-72
Friday, July 10 - Psalm 119:73-80
Psalm 142 is a meditation on the care, protection, and refuge offered by God.
Praiseworthy Characteristics and Attributes of God
Lord God, I praise you for hearing me when I cried out to you about...
Father, thank you for redeeming me and restoring me when...
God, because you know what we should do, guide me in your paths when...
Father, because you are a place of refuge and safety, help me to seek your protection in/when...
Lord God, give protection to [...] for [...], so that he/she will come to know you as their Protector and turn to you...
Father, rescue [...] from [...] so that they will turn to you as their Great Rescuer...
Father God, as I prepare for the week ahead, help me to remember your mercy and be merciful in...
Father, help me to desire relationship with you above all else, especially...