When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. (John 18:1-3)
Father, you have met me in so many places in my life, and yet when I return to those places, I so often betray you. I so foolishly fight your will after witnessing your goodness and grace. Lord, I want to stop running from you. Thank you for always calling out to me. At this time, I call out to you so that you would show me marvelous things I would not know on my own. Please give me wisdom on how to spend the rest of my evening for you glory.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:6-11)
Thank you so much, Father, for beginning a good work and me and for the assurance that you will bring it to completion. In your grace, you have delivered me from my own sinful desires and redeemed my life. Please cause your love to abound in me more and more. May my mind be renewed by the knowledge of you, and give me wisdom to discern your ways. Give me a heart that longs for what is good that I might produce a fruit of righteousness. Please guide me today in my interactions with my coworkers, friends, family and anyone else you put in my path.
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:22-26)
Father, I long to be in perfect union with you. Thank you for giving me yourself and for making yourself known to me. I want to be where you are to behold your glory. Until then, please use me an an instrument of your will. Unite my heart that I would desire You. Instill in me a love for your commandments and purposes in this world. As you make yourself known to me, help me to make You known to others. I am still in desperate need of your redemption and restoration. Thank you for loving me and saving me from myself.
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. (Psalm 86:11-12)
Father, your love for me is steadfast and never changing. You have saved me from my sin, and you are renewing my mind with the knowledge of you. god I want to know your way and I want to walk in your truth. My heart is so divided. I want to be made whole. To be made whole is to be joined with you. Only then can I see through your eyes and love you through perfect obedience. Please continue to teach me and cause me to glorify your name. I am still learning what that means, but I trust that you will cause your truth to come alive in my life. Thank you for inviting me to spend time with you once again. May your name be praised!
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings… As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. (Psalm 17:8,15)
Father, it is overwhelming to know that you consider me the apple of your eye. You desire to have a relationship with me. You shower me with love and grace. You gave everything for me, even Your very life. Thank you for forming me and calling me as your own. I come to you for comfort, protection and salvation. Never let me run away from you. Awaken my desire to see you face to face. I want to treasure you more than my own life. Nothing in this world can satisfy what I need and desire apart from you.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:2,7,11)
Father, you are reminding me that I have nothing good apart from You. I like to think that the successes I have are my own, but You are the own who has provided everything for me. You have given me the wisdom, strength, favor, and everything else that I need for my job, my relationships, and my ministry. Thank you for instructing me in Your ways. Help me to heed Your voice and be obedient to Your calling on my life. My own plans will ultimately lead to my own demise, but You lead me to abundant life. My joy is found in Your salvation. All of the pleasures of this world are only temporary, but Your eternal presence is overwhelming. Thank you for inviting me to spend time with You. I want to know you more and grow to be more like You every day. Please guide my steps today and reveal Your purposes for my life.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
1 Peter 5
It is not often that I think about resisting temptation as a fight that involves suffering. So often I succumb to my wrong desires with the excuse that it is just too difficult to resist, or somehow convincing myself that it is not harmful. When I give in to temptation, it shows a lack of faith. Jesus was victorious in every aspect in His walk on earth. With His help, I can also overcome temptation. There are also other Christians throughout the world that face far greater suffering than I do. I am without excuse. Father, you are victorious, and with you, I can also be victorious over sin and temptation. Please help me to attend firm, remembering the price that you paid to save me.
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:7-11)
1 Peter 4
This morning when I was getting ready for the day, I was thinking about creating a network of talented and knowledgeable Christians who strive to glorify God through their abilities. The world constantly ridicules Christians as uneducated. I know that God often chooses to use our foolishness and simple faith, but I think that we as Christians need to do a better job of being a light to the world. One good way of accomplishing that is by demonstrating the gifts that God has given us for His glory. This passage also talks about being self-controlled and sober-minded. These attitudes affect our prayers, since God is eager to have our wills align with His. I am learning more about the value and necessity of prayer in my own life. Father, thank you for the life and talents that you have given me. I want to glorify you with everything that you have given me, especially my salvation. Thank you for inviting me to spend time with you in prayer.
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. (1 Peter 3:7-8)
1 Peter 3
One of the things that I am the most grateful for at the beginning of this year is my wonderful girlfriend. This chapter talks about how a wife should adorn themselves with a gentle spirit, and she has exemplified every trait of a godly woman. I also want to love her as Christ loved the church. I want to understand her deeply and fully. She is also my sister in Christ and deserves all of my respect and honor. As I demonstrate my love for her, I also must demonstrate my love for the rest of the body of Christ through sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and an open mind. These are all gentle qualities that God is all developing in me. He has provided many relationships and opportunities for me to learn those lessons. I just need to be open and obedient to His working in my life. Father, thank you so much for the girl you have brought into my life. Thank you for making me a part of the body of Christ. Please continue to develop the gentle qualities of love that are essential in my relationship and in my service in the church.
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:13)
1 Peter 2
Last night, I spent several hours talking about values, interests and a very difficult past situation with a good friend of mine. As we were talking, there was much sorrow at the consequences of certain decisions, but also rejoicing in the grace of God. Because of His grace and forgiveness, I am able to live in freedom. This is not a way of covering up my mistakes or ignoring consequences. God provides genuine freedom, not just from consequences, but from the bondage of sin. He has transformed me into His likeness so that I am able to live a holy life that is glorifying to Him. I am His servant, and I want to live a life of surrender to Him. Father, you extended your grace to me when I deserved your wrath. Thank you for the freedom found through transformative power of your love. May my life be one of service and gratitude to you.