Over the last several years, I have found myself focusing on several areas of prayer that have blessed me powerfully each morning. Three years, frustrated with my own impatience and impertinence, I began to pray each morning for God’s Spirit to be at work in my life producing the fruit of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). About two years ago, I began to pray for God to minister to me — to my heart and my spirit — during the night. This was based on a time of trial and a fresh reading of the Psalms which talk about God ministering to us in the night. (See the Heartlight.org article I wrote entitled While I Sleep for more details.) Last year, I began praying the Lord’s prayer several times during the day and found all sorts of ways this prayer directly intersected my daily life. In this week’s Heartlight.org article, Life to Our Bones, I talk about praying for God to release His Holy Spirit into the life of those we love and those who serve God’s people — something I’m convicted we need to more often.
This year, as I try to emphasize the work of the Holy Spirit each day through the SpiritFire devotionals, I am praying a combination of many of these prayers each morning. Sometimes I do it before my feet hit the floor, sometimes while I’m taking my morning shower, other times as I’m driving to work, and sometimes at different times in the day. I thought I would share this with you, not so much so that you would pray the same prayer, but that you would put together one of your own to pray each day. This one is rooted in Scripture — in fact, much of it is actually praying Scripture. I hope it is a blessing!
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1-2)
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12)
Please fill me this day with the Holy Spirit so that I can live before others and declare in word and deed the grace of Jesus, with all boldness. (Luke 11:13; Acts 4:31)
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14-15).
And bless me with the fruit of Your Holy Spirit as the Spirit conforms me to the character and compassion of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). Please form in me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control as I pledge to walk in step with Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-27).
Dear Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, please bless those I love and all who belong to Jesus with an abiding sense of Your presence and power. I pray that your Spirit in their inner being will strengthen them with might. I pray that they will know your glorious riches of mercy and grace and be able to understand the incredible love Jesus has for them. I pray that they may be filled with all of Your fullness, O God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Now to You, O God, Who alone is able to do immeasurably more than all that we can ask or imagine by your power at work within us, to You be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Now here are some questions for thought and I’d love to get your reaction to them, to the Heartlight.org article, or to the ideas of today’s blog post!
Have you noticed how narrow our prayer focus so often seems to be?
- Do you find yourself praying for your needs more than others?
- Do you find yourself asking God for more than you thank him for what you have received?
Who that you know needs to know the presence of God in his or her life and needs to have the Holy Spirit fill them with God’s power?
- Why not pray — alone or with a group of others — for these folks?
What ministries need the power of the Holy Spirit released into them to bless their service to Jesus?
When is the last time you prayed for God’s blessings through the Holy Spirit to come upon your church family … your physical family … your small group … missionaries you know … church leaders you know?
- Why not pray for them by name right now?
How can you incorporate a regular time of prayer each day for God to release and bless your family, your church family, your friends, and those in need with the Holy Spirit?