Prayers of My Heart

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"From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised," Psalm 113:3.

Heavenly Father, You are a great and awesome God, majestic, wonderous, highly exalted and to be praised. Thank You for Your abundant blessings. Transform us into Your image as we gaze on You and praise Your name.


Prison Ministry

 

Friday
Jun262015

Prayers of My Heart Week at a Glance

 

                                                             Friends, today I'm posting a different post because 
PRAYERS OF MY HEART" hit the #1 BEST SELLER in the category of PRAYER last week on Amazon. I'm THRILLED that YOU have a heart for prayer! Since the "Week at A Glance" section is unique, I want to share with you how I use it. Once you get the hang of it, you'll LOVE opening your journal, seeing the names of those for whom you're praying; and going under their name with your petitions and THANKSGIVING as you see God working in their lives!

1st   Open your journal and fill in the week. Read the Scripture at at the top of the page. Let the encouragement SINK INTO YOUR HEART and MIND. Beside the first row, jot down the date. (This isn't really necessary. It's just a habit I have.)  In the first column write "LORD." (Again, this isn't mandatory. I just love beginning my prayer time by focusing on an attribute of God.) Think through the other people for whom you regularly pray. After years of journaling, I now use initials. K is for my husband Keith. He's in the 2nd column. T & A are for my son and his wife and kids. L & C are for my daughter Lauren, her husband and kids. FAM is for the rest of Keith's and my families. Continuing on the right side of the journal under "Prayers for Others," my columns look like this:

FR (for friends) MIN (for ministry) CH (church) US/US (for the USA & the Unsaved) BK (for books I'm writing/have written) SP ENG (for Speaking Engagements)

The boxes are SMALL. The point of this section is not pouring out your heart in INK. Do that in the "Meditations, Notes, & Prayers" section. The "Week at A Glance" is for you to record the "sound bite" of the prayer on your heart. For instance, I might have on my heart, "Oh, Lord, I'm grieved for our nation. All the killings, our own citizens turning against us; the moral decline. Lord, help us return to You. Convict us. Raise up the church to be a light in our country and world. Let it begin in us and our homes." This is NOT where I record every word of that prayer. Rather, I pray those words, but in the BOX under US/US, I record, "RETURN TO YOU;" a sound bite of the prayer. 

Think of it as you do texting. ASAP - as soon as possible. BFF - best friends forever. It's kind of cool because you may not want someone to pick up your journal and read every word so you can customize abbreviations that you use with God. For instance, (and this may seem a strange example, but unfortunately is one too many women deal with) if your husband beats you, you might record SBM (stop beating me). SBM could also stand for "see beauty more" in the world. So, if your husband, child, or you are "down" all the time, you might record SBM and it mean that in your journal. Inc Hunger could mean "increase humger for You;" meaning you are asking God to increase your appetite for spiritual things. You may at times, record the whole words. "GET JOB." "HEAL." "ANOINT." Your journal is YOURS.

WORD of WARNING. Don't get crazy about filling in every box every day every week. That's the beauty of the column format. You may be interceding for someone and their prayer request be the same for weeks. If you're a mom and trying to get your little one to sleep through the night, your journal may look like this:

EMMA

6/21   Sleep thr nite

6/22   Feel Your Peace

6/23   "     "       "

6/24   Patience w/her

6/25   Smooth bed time

Your columns may be for your most practical every day needs and/or for the most intense spiritual warfare on your heart; such as souls to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Mine is a combination of both. The US/US is where I list the names or initials of those for whom I'm praying to come to faith in Jesus. I record different prayers as God brings them to mind.

US/US  (for our nation and the unsaved)

Hunger for You

Convict of spir need

Use me in conversation

I'll be sharing more about journaling, and am also happy to answer your questions. Simply post them below in the comments section. This is a NEW day of prayer, sweet friends! I'm honored to be sharing it with you. 

Wednesday
May062015

ENGAGE: Hope!

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greaness of His power toward us who believe. There are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might"

Ephesians 1:18-19 NAS 

Have you "given up" in some area of your life? Did you once aspire to accomplish something, but after several failures, you quit trying? Did you envision who you could be or perhaps, more importantly, what you thought God desired for you, but then....   What happened?  Was it lack of strength, self-confidence, self-control, passion? HOPE. STRENGTH. POWER.  Those are important words in God's vocabulary. But, if you pay attention - really close attention, those words don't come naturally to us. They are GOD WORDS. We have to come to an "end" of ourselves and cry out to God for HIS greatness, power, and strength. They are what save us and then empower us to live in a way that glorifies Him and accomplishes His will in our lives. 

My Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for accomplishing my salvation through Your great power. Please help me be mindful in my areas of weakness and hopelessness to turn to You; to relinquish my self-efforts at Your footstool. Help me glorify You and show forth Your strength and great power.

Friday
Mar062015

ENGAGE: MEDITATE on Proverbs 6

16 "There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
19 A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers."

Proverbs 6:16-19 NAS 

The Bible is filled with warnings. Maybe we think, "Oh, this chapter doesn't apply to me." But, then again, maybe it does. It warns us of paths on which we should not walk. Maybe many in our churches wouldn't take another person's spouse in their arms, but they do in their minds. Anyone who looks at pornography is certainly taking that person to their "bosom." vs 27. And, what about the 7 things God hates? We must prayerfully ask, "God, am I ever haughty? Do I say things that aren't true? Do I hurt others? Are my plans ever unrigtheous? Do I ever walk away from Your teachings and therefore run to evil? Am I ever false? Am I guilty of spreading strife? 

As I meditate on these and other verses in Proverbs 6, I'm encouraged by verse 23. "For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life."

My Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the reminders of what You hate. They reflect Your purity and love; which You want to flow in me. Guard my mind and heart today. Guard my husband's and children's. Be the light and lamp by which we walk. 

Thursday
Feb122015

ENGAGE: PRAY to be KEPT from EVIL

"I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one."

John 17: 16 NAS 

ENGAGE in PRAYER:  Pray for yourself and others to be kept from the evil one

Maybe you're tired of hearing about "50 Shades of Grey." Maybe you've read all the blog posts you want to read on the harmful effects of violent sex. Maybe you're ready for something other than arguments for and against the book and movie. But, to me, an important question remains to be addressed: what is the source of the violent sex in 50 Shades of Grey? Is it good or is it evil? Is it of God or the devil? And if it is evil; then, God help us. We should be ON OUR KNEES.  

JOIN me in crying out to God!  

Keep us "from the evil one." Keep people away from the book and movie, 50 Shades of Grey, and other evil books and movies. Although Christians are in the world, keep us from being "of the world." "Sanctify us in the truth of Your word." "Forgive us our sins and deliver us from evil."

Friday
Jan232015

ENGAGE: Gather for Prayer

"For where two or three have gathered together in My nameI am there in their midst."

Matthew 18:20 NAS 

"I don't like to pray out loud." Several people have told me that through the years in response to my invitation to join me for prayer. But did you know that it is Biblical for Christians to gather to pray; that it invites Christ's presence? Just knowing that makes me want to stop typing and schedule two or three of us to pray every hour every day for the rest of my life. Taking the time to stop what we're doing for the sole purpose of going to the throne room is POWERFUL! "Do I have to pray out loud?" you may ask. No - I don't see anything in the Scripture where it says they held hands and took turns praying out loud. What it does say is that Jesus taught the disciples to pray, "Our Father." If His suggestion was that we always ONLY prayed alone, wouldn't His model prayer have been, "My Father"? If alone time prayer was ALL that was necessary, why did Jesus take "along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while HE was praying..." (Luke 9:28)  If alone time prayer was ALL that was necessary why did Jesus take to Gethsemane "with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee," while He prayed? (Matthew 26:37) If there were not power in collectively gathering for prayer, then why does Scripture record that in response to Jesus' final words beofre His ascension, "they returned to Jerusalem.... And went up to the upper room ...These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer"? (Acts 1:12-14) Are you missing out on Christ's presence "in your midst" at a prayer gathering - all because your mind goes to how "good" you think you pray? The next time someone invites you to join them for prayer, switch your thoughts from yourself to the glorious reality of Christ's words, "For where two or three have gathered together in My nameI am there in their midst." 

Prayers of My Heart JOURNALING TIP: WEEK at a GLANCE: USE "SOUND BITES." In the squares under the columns of those for whom you're praying, record only the key words of your prayer. For instance, my heart's prayer after worshipping God as HOLY may be, "Lord, increase Keith's and my hearts hunger for holiness." What I record across the squares under our names is the shortened "sound bite": Hunger for holiness." It's exciting to pray MORE PURPOSEFULLY as I fix my eyes in worship on who God is, and know HIS GOAL is to transform us into HIS image.

If you haven't attended a P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conf, based on my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion, come! FEB 21, 9-12 in my home church, Kerrville, TX. Email:mpdanks@tbck.org to register. Email Greg Peschel (gpeschel@tbck.org) to set up a live stream SIMULCAST in your church.

ENGAGE in PRAYER in 2015  

1) USE a PRAYER JOURNAL. WHY? Even if you don't use it regularly, occassional use willl prompt in your mind God's goodness, the prayers He has answered, and your thankfulness to Him.

2) Be a part of a P.R.A.Y. with Passion ACROSS the NATION CONFERENCE. WHY? FEB 21 Kerrville, TX or APRIL 25 Watson, LA.   Invite Debbie to bring the P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conf to your church. Assembling together puts us in a position to hear God and be prompted by His Spirit so we mature and pray more purposefully and live more passionately for Christ. 

Heavenly Father, rouse each of us to engage in prayer for our families, churches, neighbors, and nation with new resolve and fervor. Open our eyes to see the enemy so we take prayer seriously.

Engage in Prayer. Engage P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference