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The Priceless Gift Of A Contented Heart (via Scotty Smith at Heavenward)

A prayer from Scotty Smith asking for what we really need, and for the grace to be satisfied with whatever else God grants us:

You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor” Ex 20:17
Godliness with contentment is great gain 1 Tim. 6:6
Love does not envy 1 Cor. 13:4

Heavenly Father, this tapestry of Scriptures is both convicting and consoling. It’s convicting, because on a daily basis (sometimes hourly), I can be envious of anyone in sight, and covetous of anything within reach. I can get envious of people who have less hassles and more resources; friends who can eat a whole cheesecake and lose weight; extroverts who are at completely at ease in every setting; and men who can fix anything broken in houses, cars, and boats.
I don’t covet my neighbor’s ox or donkey. But I’d love his ability to run every day without knee pain; and not forget names or where he put his car keys. I don’t covet my neighbor’s male or female servant. But I’d love his 2-handicap golf game; and ivy-laden, tree-shaded cottage at Rosemary Beach. Alas, I need grace.
But as convicting as these verses are, Father, they are even more consoling. Because through the gospel, I realize that all I really need is Jesus, plus what you choose to give me. If I owned everything I envy and covet—as your Word says, my bones would rot. It would never be enough.
Father, thank you for showing me that ingratitude is soul cancer and hoarding is heart disease. Selfishness is dignity thievery and comparison is relationship homicide. Acquisition is soul depletion and driven-ness is whole-life paralysis.
There’s a Jesus shaped vacuum in all of us that only Jesus can fill. Thankfully, he is—more and more. Free us to be more content in Jesus, more present with people, and more generous with what we have.
So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ beautiful and more-than-sufficient name.

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Where God Will Lead His People This Week (via Scotty Smith)

Scotty Smith offers a prayer about where God leads His people.
Not where we’d go by our own decision, but it’s where we need to go.
It’s written for a Monday, but as the week flows along you can see how the prayer is being answered.

Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Rom. 2:4

Heavenly Father, on this June Monday, we are so grateful for the riches of your kindness, forbearance, and patience. You have enriched us beyond all measure in Jesus.
All of these good gifts converge in this one verse from Romans. The most certifiably insane thing we do is to “show contempt” for these treasures. After all, this wonderful triad of graces will only take us to the address called freedom on the path called repentance.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit will never direct us to self-contempt or condemnation, but only to a place of greater liberty and Christlikeness. Because of Jesus’ finished work, your ongoing work in our lives — even when it hurts, is so good.
When we resist the convicting work of the Spirit and refuse to humble ourselves, we’re worse than silly. We’re toxically foolish. You give grace to the humble and resist the proud. Who in their right mind would ever want your resistance? We want grace, Father, as much as you will give us.
Thank you for leading us to humility, not humiliation; to shelter, not shame; to repentance, not penance. Thank you for teaching us that repentance is collapsing on Jesus as our righteousness, not making vain promises we can’t and won’t keep.
So kind Father, fill our week with the beauty of Jesus and quick repentances. As your kindness leads us to repentance, may it also lead us to loving others as Jesus loves us. Give us more joy in walking with you this week than being admired, appreciated, and applauded by our peers. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.

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Our King In A Crib (via Scotty Smith)

Scotty Smith provides a Christmas Eve prayer, that is true on Christmas Day and every other day, as well.

He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was room in the inn available for them. Luke 2:1-7 (NIV)

Lord Jesus, whether or not you entered our world anywhere near our December 25th is irrelevant. What matters is that you actually came from eternity into time and space—not as a metaphor, myth, or legend, but as our incarnate Creator, perfect Savior, and glorious King.
Any other king would’ve come with great fanfare and a royal entourage, seeking to impress. But you came into our world in utter humility and profound weakness, seeking to save. Every other king was once a baby. You’re the only king who reversed the order and became a baby.
No room in the inn” wasn’t an insult to you. It was your choice, your way—the essence of the gospel. After 33 years of life, it is you who made room for the cross. We bow in awe.
Indeed, you didn’t consider your equality with God something to be selfishly hoarded. Rather, you made yourself “nothing.” You emptied yourself by becoming one of us—fully man, yet never ceasing to be God.
As the Second Adam, you fulfilled the law for us. As the Servant of the Lord, you died in our place. As the Grave Robber, you rose for our justification. As our Glorious Bridegroom, you’re coming back for us. Hallelujah… we cry, over and over and over.
On this Christmas Eve, we worship you for coming to us, Jesus, and giving yourself for us. Thank you for saving us from our sins and selves. Thank you for ruling the world with your truth and grace, this very moment. Thank you for committing to make all things new and wiping all tears away. So very Amen we pray, in your great and gracious name.

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The Most Trustworthy Element In Our Day (via Scotty Smith)

A prayer for those days when things are a bit blergh.
When you’re somewhere between the two sons of Luke 15.
From Heavenward, by Scotty Smith.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. Luke 15:20

Heavenly Father, I’m not beginning my day in a faraway country derelict, disillusioned, and destitute. Though I’m capable of anything, I’m not sitting here filled with shame for squandering an inheritance. And neither am I out in a field feeding somebody else’s pigs. Yet I’m just as much in need of fellowship with you as any of your broken children. So here I come.
Because the gospel is true, I bring you my busy, easily-distracted, somewhat-blasé heart. I feel like a 3rd Luke 15 son right now—a hybrid of the Father’s two boys Jesus described. I’m not on a hedonistic holiday, and I’m not spewing the toxins of self-righteousness. I’m just somewhere in between. I still hear and love the music of the gospel, but I just don’t feel like dancing right now. I’m not cold, hot, or lukewarm. I’m just here.
So, Father, as I come to you today, I take great comfort in knowing that we’ll always find you filled with compassion for us, even when our feelings are not fully engaged with you. As we saunter toward you, you’re always running toward us in Jesus. When we’re not as inclined to lift our arms in praise to you, your embrace is the most trustworthy element in our day.
You don’t just put your hand on our shoulders; you throw your arms around us in the gospel. And though our affection for you wavers, you shower us with multiple kisses all day long, for you love your children with an everlasting, unwavering love.
It’s not my fired-up-ness, but your faithfulness that counts. It’s not my peace with you, but your peace with me that is the anchor for my soul. Because the gospel is true and good, I will seek to live and love to your glory today. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.

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Waging War By Staying Grateful (via Scotty Smith)

A prayer from Scotty Smith about the ongoing battle of self-discipline that it is to live grateful.

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 2 Cor. 9:15

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. Col. 2:6-7

Heavenly Father, gratitude is a discipline before it’s a feeling—a remembering before it’s a rejoicing. Indeed, gratitude is warfare—a bold protest and strong defense against discontent, pouting, and envy.
So as this day begins, we want to express thanks for the “inexpressible gift” of the gospel. No matter what else is going on in our hearts, day, and world, we are hidden in Christ, sealed with the Spirit, and adopted as your kids. You’ve forgiven all our sins and robed us in Jesus’ righteousness; rooted us in your love and promised sufficient grace.
Nothing will separate us from your love, thwart your eternal plan for our lives, or keep us out of heaven. Jesus is always praying for us and the Holy Spirit is constantly gossiping the gospel in our hearts. Why would we EVER complain about anything? But there’s much more to acknowledge.
Father, thank you for clothing and a home, a comfortable bed and plenty of food. May we never presume the right to such things. Thank you for clean water and accessible doctors; a thermostat to control the temp and the assurance you’re in control of everything else.
Thank you for a “gospel posse” (Christian friends) with whom to share life, serve in your kingdom, and grow in grace. Thank you for the smell of bread baking, the sound of our favorite music, and the sights of a new Spring.
Father, thank you that one Day you’ll put everything right, make all things new, and wipe every tear. Thank you that you are presently working in all things for our good and your glory—even in the things that vex, confuse, and cause us heartache. Now that is total awesomeness. Here’s to a day of staying grateful. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.

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The Privelege Of Praying For Each Other (via Scotty Smith)

Scotty Smith leads us in prayer, giving thanks for the blessing of praying for others.

As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. 1 Sam.12:23
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Heb. 4:16

Lord Jesus, with freedom, needs, and friends, we run to the occupied throne of grace today. No one understands our messes and meets us in our weaknesses like you. You are, indeed, a most wonderful, merciful Savior.
We pray for friends serving you in different contexts and cultures around the world—missionaries, teachers, and others. May the gospel be sweet and grace sufficient, encouragement palpable and hope fresh. Quicken our spirits by your Spirit to pray for these faithful, often weary, conduits of the gospel. We don’t see them often but don’t let us forget them for a moment.
We pray for parents nearing the end of their strength, patience, and wits. Few stories have the power to multiply our heartaches than when kids choose to live without boundaries, or without a heart, for you. Lord of resurrection power, reveal yourself, to those who seem allergic to your grace and love.
Jesus, we pray for friends who still affirm the gospel, but who feel (and live) like strangers to your reality and riches. Whatever the genesis of their spiritual crisis, come close Jesus. Renew, restore, and refresh our friends, we pray. Show us how to offer presence without pressure. If confrontation is necessary, may your kindness lead them to repentance.
Jesus, we pray for friends with health struggles, at-work worries, and/or relational challenges. Give us listening hearts, words from above, and non-spin hope for them.
Lastly, Jesus, we pray for ourselves. You know where we struggle the most and trust you the least. You know our prayer-fueling relationships and our most powerful temptations, our persistent fears and nagging weaknesses. Grant us the mercy, grace, and wisdom we need today. So very Amen we pray, in your loving and strong name.

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Letting Go of Trying to Be the 4th Member of the Trinity (via Scotty Smith)

Scotty Smith brings a prayer that seeks to apply a truth that brings peace and liberty.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Rev. 22:13 (NIV)
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. Ps. 94:19 (ESV)
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isa. 26:3 (NLT)

Heavenly Father, it’s time for us to shift our focus from the immediacy of our fears, hurts, and disappointments, to the permanency of who you are. It’s one thing to be lovingly concerned about a matter, and another to anxiously obsess about it. Praying without ceasing is awesome, vexing without sleeping isn’t.
So, with palms up, we release our burdens and worries to you, Lord. Not that we’ll care less, but we will trust more. You are God, and we are very much not so. In your time, and on your dime, you’ll finish the good work you started in your children, creation, and history. Though our unbelief says otherwise, you’re neither AWOL or disinterested, bored or negligent. About everything, you say, “I’ve got this one.”
You are the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, and everything in between. You are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—perfect Trinity, and you’re not looking to make a Trio into a Quartet. You don’t need us; you love us. Though the cares of our hearts are many, your consolations way outnumber them.
When we fix our thoughts on you—as opposed to fixating on messy situations and messy people, your peace centers, settles, and liberates us. So as this day begins, and continues, we choose liberation over consternation; we choose to count blessings over messes; we choose to believe the gospel over trying to be our own savior, or anybody else’s. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.

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