Day 6: Honest Prayer | In Jesus’ Name

Honest Prayer | In Jesus’ Name.

My Notes:

God is never offended at my honest communication… (duh… he already knows anyway!)

I think I often attribute too many human characteristics to God – especially in times of frustration.  I forget that He is perfect and I (and all humanity) are broken and imperfect.

Humanity doesn’t react the way God reacts… in fact, God doesn’t react – he responds.

God responds to me out of perfect love.  People react out of brokenness, out of wounds, out of hurts and pains.  People react out of mistrust and fear.  God only responds out of perfect, unfailing love.  This devotional depicts that in the two examples it shows – one of Job and one of the immoral woman.

Respond vs. React – I struggle to live this out.  I strive to instill it in my own life and the lives of my children and family.

Thank you LORD that you never react to me and my stupidity, but that you respond to my needs and my cries out of perfect love.  Thank you that I can always be honest with you.

Running After Papa…

Day 5: Not My Will | In Jesus’ Name

Not My Will | In Jesus’ Name.

My Notes:

The one thing that really struck me in this devotional today was the quote of John 5:30 –

Jesus said, “I can of Myself do nothing… I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent me”

It’s really hard to comprehend that Jesus – God Incarnate – by a choice of his will – he did not seek his will – and only sought that of the Father.

So by my choice of my will – as Jesus modeled – I have to “…of my self, do nothing…”

Tough choice.

Choose well.

Running After Papa…

 

Day 4: For the Sake of Our Country | In Jesus’ Name

For the Sake of Our Country | In Jesus’ Name.

Haha… 2 days ago, I posted exactly what this devotional was about.  See ‘Pray for all people’… even politicians? to see.  There’s really nothing more to say based on today’s devo…

Interesting… why did it hit me two days ago?

Running After Papa…

Day 3: Where Prayer Begins | In Jesus’ Name

Link to and my notes from Day 3 of the “In Jesus’ Name” devotional….

Where Prayer Begins | In Jesus’ Name.

My notes:

Prayer is wrapped in praise – should be bookend-ed in praise.

How do I answer the opening question?  “What do I think God is like?

I have all the right answers – but if my prayers – the way I pray – is an indicator of how I view God, then I really wonder I honestly view Him.

I find that many of my prayers are very “request” based for me and my family and to a lesser degree, other people.  There are not a lot of other topics besides my “list.”  This is worrisome.

I can honestly say that I don’t view God as a “genie in a bottle” so I wonder where this pattern comes from.  Is it just a rote habit I need to break?  Do I feel entitled?  Definitely something that will take some prayer and introspection.

Take Aways:

I started listening to Bill Johnson’s (Bethel Church) “2012: A Year of Promise” (highly recommend) where he casually mentioned during the course of a story that he reads the Psalms every night.  This is something that speaks to me and I can take a hold of.

  • Read Psalms before praying -> David knew how to always give thanks to God for who God is, for what God had done, and for what God promised to do.  Great model of thanksgiving and praise.  This will set my heart on His Goodness and remind me of his mercy.
  • Make a “God Provided/His Mercy” list – create and keep a running list of God’s mercies and provision in my life – answers to prayers, unexpected blessings, all the things that I so quickly forget when the attack is on.  Reminders of God’s faithfulness and character.

While I am to live a conversational life of prayer with God (See Day 1) – there needs to be a specific, set-apart time of prayer and meeting with Him.

This was a good devotional for me.

Running After Papa…

Day 2: “Our Prayer” | In Jesus’ Name

“Our Prayer” | In Jesus’ Name.

My notes:

The prayer Jesus modeled for the disciples (and us – including me).  I should consciously follow the model here.

“It is a powerful truth that should define how we (I) live in the present.”

All too often, my prayers start off with “Dear God, please …” and immediately go in request mode – usually for me and my family – on occasion, I pray for others… (just keeping it real here)  How often do I adore Him?  How often do I just focus on the fact that He is God and I’m actually speaking to THE creator of the universe?  Where is my reverence?  Where is the “fear of God” – which Proverbs says is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10, Ps 111:10)

If I paraphrase the model Jesus set forth for us – it looks like this:

  1. God is first
  2. I am to be about His business
  3. I can trust him to provide for me and my family
  4. I have been forgiven – therefore I forgive others (Eph 4:32)
  5. I do not want to be any part of ANYTHING against Him and His will.

Another area for me is not only “how” I’m praying, but “how often” I’m praying – or I should say, how often I’m NOT praying.  I need to re-read yesterday’s devotional.

God help me today to pray continually and in those prayers follow the model you gave us.  In Jesus’ name.

…Running After Papa

Day 1: First Things First | In Jesus’ Name

First Things First | In Jesus’ Name.

I’ve started the new Gateway Devotional (a little later than most…) but thought I’d share the resource and walk through it with any of you who are looking for a great way to start the year.  It’s 28 days and includes original worship songs, content, and memory verses.

A few points that really hit home from today’s devo:

  • Before I do anything… ANYTHING (else), I need to pray.

How often do I just run off and do?  This would imply that I should never react to the world around me, but respond to it only after I pray.  Good advice, or would that be God advice?

  • Prayer forms the foundation of the Christian Life

If prayer is the foundation of the Christian life, how solid (or shaky) is my foundation?  Back to the first point – if I am to pray first, then respond – that would be the correct way to “build” my life.  If I’m not in lifestyle of praying first, then what kind of foundation am I “building” my life on?

Am I on a firm and strong foundation or a weak and shaky foundation?

  • I am to live a lifestyle of prayer

To me that means I’m to LIVE IN CONVERSATION with God.  It’s not a requirement or works-mandated, pray 10 times-a-day, some dry and rote performance oriented repeated prayer.  It’s exactly how I live life with my wife and children – I talk, listen, share, think and interact “…without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) with the LORD.

Jesus help me pray continually so that I respond to the world around me and not react to it.  Help me to stay in conversation with you that my life is built on a firm foundation of prayer and becomes a lifestyle and character trait of who I am.

In Jesus Name,

Running After Papa….