Saturday, March 22, 2008

praise for his glory

Father, you are an amazing God who never ceases to show your glory and grace to your people. Those who place their faith in you will never be put to shame (Ro 9:33).

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (2 Cor 4:8-12, NIV)

You are truly faithful, even to a doubting, rebellious people. You have saved me and every one of your people through your own loving kindness, your own grace and mercy. You sent Jesus to be our ransom, to pay our debt, through your mercy. You sent Jesus to not only die for us, but to rise from the dead so that we could live forever with you, through your grace.

May I, through your Spirit, live my life for your glory, living by faith in your power and love. May I know that in all circumstances, you are in control. No plan of your can be thwarted (Job 42:2). And everything that works out according to your plan works out for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose (Ro 8:28).

For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified. What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God's elect? God is the One who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Ro 8:29-35, CSB)

How unimaginably glorious it is that your people who constantly rebel against you, who have rejected you so many times, who have wished to be their own god, would be saved by you, the only one who is truly God and can save us from our own sins! How unimaginably glorious that you would, in your mercy, pay the price of our sins, and then in your grace, save us from the eternal deaths we deserved. And now, we can face any challenge, any pressure, any persecution, any temptation, any failing, any heartache, anything life offers and praise you in that time knowing that those you called will be held to the end and will be glorified in heaven so that we can glorify you forever.

I praise you for the faith shown to me through your people. Your church is to be salt and light in the world, a city on a hill serving as a beacon of hope before the world (Mt 5:13-16). And I have seen your majesty shining through your people. Joy has been faithful in her time of heartache and she trusts you for the good. She praises you in time of disaster knowing that all things are in your hand and that no matter what, your love sustains. I pray that you would meet her needs and answer her prayers. May your name be glorified and your will be done. And I praise you for M, serving you in Asia, as she has shown your majesty, persevering through trial after trial, and as she finds her care in you after leaving her friends and family behind following you to the ends of the earth. Bless her ministry and bring people to know you through her service. And hold onto those who come to faith in you in the land through all the trials that will come their way. Let the seed she sows be seed that falls on good soil and develops strong roots to withstand the rains and winds. And may those branches growing on the vine of Jesus bear much fruit.

I praise you for your faithfulness to Jennifer and me. Give us wisdom and peace to know your will and follow your direction. Help us live in such a way that you are glorified in us as we serve as your ambassadors on earth. May people see your joy in us so that they desire to find that same joy in you.

Father, I pray that through your Spirit, Jennifer and I would be godly parents for Charlotte. May we always remember the responsibility we have from you to care for her and bring her up to know you and love you. I pray that when the time is right according to your plan, you would call her through Jesus and she would hear his voice and respond to him. I pray that she would live her life for your glory, that you would bless her and protect her, that your face would shine upon her, that you would be gracious to her, that you would look with favor on her and give her peace (Num 6:24-26).

I pray that you would continue to bless my marriage with Jennifer. At a time when even the church has too often lost sight of the mysterious meaning of marriage, as a symbol of Christ and the church, help us to remain faithful and strong, loving and forgiving, encouraging and uplifting to each other for your glory. May we have a family that brings you glory by serving as a model of Jesus and the church for all in our community to see. And I pray that I would understand what it means to love my wife as Christ loved the church, that I would understand what it means to give myself up for her, that I would put her above myself and keep her good and your glory first in my mind; help me to be what you intend husbands to be, to bring her joy and satisfaction, and to bring you glory and honor and praise.

And I pray that your church would find, once again, the true meaning of marriage and would stand up and call your people to live out that meaning. May church bodies encourage and strengthen marriages and speak with boldness and love about the purposes and meaning of marriage.

I thank you for all the good you do for your people. May we realize every day that you are in control, that the entire earth is yours, that every good thing comes from you, and that only through you do we have anything. And may we live every day, and not just Easter, thinking about the greatness that comes from Jesus' death and resurrection.

I come to you and praise you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I am weak. He is strong.

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit." You don't even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are a bit of smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." (James 4:13-15, CSB)

You may say to yourself, 'My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,' but remember that the LORD your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm His covenant He swore to your fathers, as it is today. (Dt 8:17-18, CSB)


Father, how tiny am I compared to you? If it were not for your compassion and care, I would be nothing. I could not even exist. Without your will, I cannot live another day. Yet, my sinful nature wants to be self-determined. I cannot even know whether I will survive my drive to work today, and yet I want to be in charge of my next decades.

Through your Spirit, help me to live my life for you and through you. Help me to always recognize that you are in control and I owe everything to you. Even when I plan and work hard, success is ultimately from you. And when I plan and work hard, but do not succeed, even that is from you. And in those cases, help me rejoice and celebrate, even in failure, knowing that in all things you are glorified and in all things, you are working for my good. For all things work for the goof of those who love you and are called according to your purposes. So, whether in success or tragedy, your people can look up with pleasure at you, trusting you and glorifying you.

Give me the strength and wisdom to enter the world each morning as an ambassador for Christ and your glory. May I be faithful to you and witness to the world the great pleasure, the fullness, that comes from life in you.

I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Father, your power and glory are all around me. I see you working in the world in so many ways. Your grace and mercy are evident in the lives of friends who trust you through extreme trials. You are truly sufficient to meet all our needs. How can we not joyfully come to you in our times of need when we know you are the one who created the entire universe from nothing? Who else could possibly meet our every need? How can we possibly not come to you in our times of need when we know that you love us and showed that love by sending your son to serve as a ransom for us--rescuing us from our sins? Who else would possibly meet our every need? But, still, our sinful nature, our pride, our constant rebellion from your authority and power, leads us to try things our own way. How can we possibly come to you when our very nature puts us at war with you? Only through your calling and grace can we come to you; you change our hearts and draw us to you. Father, how thankful I am that you bridged the gap between us; when I was eternally lost, you came in search of me. Father, you sent your Son Jesus, who came down from eternal glory and lived and died for me, so that I could come to you. I pray that I would find my strength and security in you, rather than in myself. For I know that you are able to meet all my needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Father, I pray that you would be with Frank and he returns to Iraq. He is investing so many years of his life to this cause; bring him success and bring peace to that region. Help him prepare the security forces of that nation to maintain peace in their land. But, more importantly, change the hearts of the people there; for that is the only way true peace will come to them. And I pray that you would continue to bless Rhonda and her children through this difficult time. Give them peace in their hearts. And may they serve as a witness for you to Frank and others. I pray that you would bring people into Frank's life who can be a witness for you and show him your glory.

I ask that you would be with Marsha and her doctors; help them know what is wrong and how to fix it. Bring healing to Marsha. And work in the life of Joe to bring him to know you; change his heart so that he too could know the power of your love and grace.

I pray that you would bless Todd and Sheri as they search for a church. Help them have wisdom and discernment to find a church family that can meet their spiritual needs as well as offer a place for them to become part of a true community of people called out for your glory.

Father, please bless M in Asia as she reaches out to the people. Give her strength and peace in her heart through all the trying times; help her overcome every struggle. Your grace is sufficient. Give her success in her ministry according to your will. And I pray the same for all your missionaries throughout the world.

And Father, I pray that you would give Jennifer and me wisdom and discernment to know what is right in our lives; help us know which paths to take. We know that you, the God who would send his Son to die for us, would not then withhold anything we need to bring you glory. And we know that you would not hide your will from us. If anyone lacks wisdom, all he has to do is ask the one who gives generously; and so we ask you for your guidance in our lives.

We thank you for being not only great and powerful, but loving and gracious. While we were rebels deserving nothing but your wrath, you ransomed us through the death of Jesus; through his resurrection, you gave us eternal life. And now, we who were once your enemies, have become heirs with Christ to an unimaginable fortune of grace and glory. May we remember everyday we are here for you. May we remember that we are not here to be served, but to serve, just as Jesus modeled for us. Bless us as we enter the world each day to serve others for your glory.

I ask all these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Friday, March 14, 2008

2-weeks absence

It has been a while since I posted a real prayer. And while I have been praying offline, I have also missed this blog. There is something nice about typing it out; doing so makes the process a little more conscious and reflective.


Father, great and awesome Creator--all powerful and all knowing, all wise and all loving, all just and all righteous--you alone deserve worship and praise. I rejoice in knowing you are my king and father. I rejoice in knowing I can approach the throne of the one who can do anything and who loves me enough to do what is best for me.

Father, please continue to bless Joy Barker and heal Darryl. You have shown so much grace already, and Joy has been an amazing human testimony to faith in you and your providence. Make your glory known through them and show the world your power and love. Work in the soul of the doctor and bring him to know you; take out his heart of stone and put in a heart of flesh.

And I ask your care and guidance of all the home school families in California. May your people rise up against the injustice of the court; work through the legislature--your servants chosen to protect people and establish justice--to correct the abuses of the court. May this occasion be used to show the nation the great things that can happen when parents invest in their children's educations; may the nation hear and see all the great things going on in home schools across the land. May the notion that bureaucratic schools are better than families be finally and conclusively put to the shame it deserves. May you be glorified.

And Father, I pray your wisdom will guide Jennifer and me in our lives.

In Jesus' name. Amen.