Pray to be Open Lipped
Which are you? Tight-lipped or open-lipped? In other words, are you reluctant to speak and don’t reveal much about what’s going on inside of you? Or, are you more open-lipped and let what you’re thinking and feeling readily come forth? No doubt James 1:19 tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak when we’re angry. But what about in relation to praising God? In this case, we are to be like the psalmist, who prayed in Psalm 51:15:
O LORD, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.
Are we grateful? Are our hearts flooded with God’s goodness? I hope so. Even when there seems to be nothing for which we can praise Him, we can open our lips and praise Him for His presence with us, His provision for us, and His purposes He will bring forth.
Develop a mindset of gratefulness. Fill your heart with praise. Open your mouth and let your praise flow to God. Pray, “LORD, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.”
LORD, thank You for who You are and for all the incredible ways You have worked in our lives, are working, and will work. You are worthy of our praise day and night. OPEN OUR LIPS so we declare Your praise.
Record your daily praises in Prayers of My Heart journal.
Do you want to praise God, but don’t know how? If so, HERE’s help.
Have You Ever Wished You Had Someone to…
Have you ever wished you had someone to watch your back? Or, better, to watch over your soul – your mind, emotions, and will? The fact is, believers have that person in Jesus. First Peter 2:25 tells us “…you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” When doing research for my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion about God being the guardian of our soul, I discovered that the word “guardian” is translated from the Greek word episkopos and means an “overseer, a man charged with the duty of seeing that things done by another are done rightly.” (page 98) What a blessing for us to have God as the Guardian of our souls!
God assumes responsibility for being the Guardian of our soul, but it is our responsibility to tune into Him and follow what He tells us to do both in the Bible and when the Holy Spirit prompts us during the day.
Begin each day prayerfully greeting God and lifting up your soul to Him. Invite Him to overwhelm your soul with His Spirit. Then, pay attention to the Spirit’s prompts and follow them throughout the day. You know how I much value recording each of God’s attributes in my journal every morning…such as “Guardian of My Soul” today. In addition, I stay in God’s presence with pen in hand and write in my journal how God prompts me to pray and make notes of what He stirs my heart to do that day. If you haven’t yet tried journaling or tried it in the past and stopped, give it a try again. It can change your life because you will experience the Guardian of Your Soul watching over you and guiding you as never before. Prayers of My Heart Journal
LORD, thank You for being the GUARDIAN of our souls. Help us be ever sensitive to Your Word and will.
What’s Your Fragrance these Days
Do you enjoy pleasant fragrances? Did you know that God does, too? Did you know you can be a sweet fragrance to God? He can get a whiff of you and think, “You smell good!” How fun is that – to smell good to our Heavenly Father? How in the world can we smell good to God? Ephesians 5:2 answers that question. It tells us to “…walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a FRAGRANT AROMA.” Christ’s sacrificial love and life were a fragrant aroma to God. And, we’re to imitate Christ. When we do, we’re a sweet aroma to our Heavenly Father. What if we haven’t been walking in sacrificial love, but rather been selfish or unloving? We need to acknowledge our sin to our Heavenly Father, repent, and ask Jesus to forgive us. We need to ask us to fill us with Christ’s Spirit. How does that affect our spiritual “aroma”? When writing Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion, I used my daughter’s puppy, Bailey, as an example that we smell like whatever we hold close to our heart. Bailey had a distinct puppy odor and after holding her, her odor remained on me. It wasn’t pleasant so I showered and changed clothes. Just like a dog has an odor, so sin has an odor. If we’re clinging to a “pet” sin, God and others get a whiff of it. What can we do to rid ourselves of the stench of sin? Put the sin aside and bathe in God’s forgiveness and grace. Then, as Christ was, we’ll be a fragrant aroma to God.
Christ Jesus, we praise You for walking in love and giving Yourself as an offering and sacrifice to God; a FRAGRANT AROMA. Help us follow Your example.
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The Source of Illumination
Our nation and the world are going through what some would call a physically, intellectually, morally, and spiritually difficult time. What should we do in times like this? Shed God’s light, whom James 1:17 describes as the FATHER OF LIGHTS. The prince of darkness, Satan, would love nothing more than for us to stumble in darkness. But James points to our hope. “Every good thing is given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the FATHER OF LIGHTS, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Charles Ryrie comments on this verse, saying, “God is the source of all light – physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual – and He does not change.”* Rather than stumble physically, intellectually, morally, and spiritually, we can pray with all our hearts, minds, souls, and spirits and walk day by day shedding the illumination of the FATHER OF LIGHTS.
Father of Lights, illumine our hearts, minds, souls, and spirit with Your Light so we walk as children of Light and spread Your Light to others.
How would you describe yourself? Would you use “DOOR” to communicate with others who you are? I certainly wouldn’t. But Jesus did. In John 10:9 He said, “I am the DOOR; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved,…” Why would Jesus describe Himself as a door? He wants us to know that there is an “outside” of heaven and an “inside” of heaven. Heaven is a place and we are “outside” until we go “into” heaven through Jesus. Make no mistake. Everyone will not live eternally “in” heaven. Only those who enter through Jesus will be in heaven. Our Heavenly Father sends a personal invitation to you to enter eternal life in heaven through Jesus who paid your entrance fee when He hung on the cross for your sins. No knocking required. Just a prayer. Repent of and confess your sins to God. Ask Him to forgive you. Receive forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Learn more at Meet Jesus.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for opening the DOOR to heaven through Your sacrifice on the cross.
The Gift of A Comforter
One blanket. Two blankets. Three blankets. Four. Keith and I sat in front of the fire trying to get warm. The winter storm had brought a temperature of 3 degrees that the weatherman said, “feels like minus 11.” If only we had power and water. We had neither. The winter storm continued and we couldn’t get down our icy driveway to get to our adult children’s homes. If you’ve lived in an area affected by a winter storm you know how devastating the cold can be. Especially if you run out of wood, which happened to us. We couldn’t complain, though. We had a comforter. A comforter that we may have taken for granted becomes deeply appreciated in a winter storm. So, too, is a spiritual Comforter when we’re experiencing life’s storms. Second Corinthians 1:3 describes the as Lord as the God of All Comfort. Yes, when a person’s crisp tongue chills us to the core or the howling wind of despair blows through our heart, or we are experiencing a literal storm, the God of all Comfort comforts us like none other. Why? The Greek word for comfort means “to call to one’s side, speak to, in the way of exhortation, console, teach.” How incredible that God gives every believer the gift of His presence through the Holy Spirit. Our Comforter is an abiding presence who will never wear out, never become threadbare, and never leave us. The more we blanket our lives with His teachings, the more we’ll know the warmth of His abiding presence.
Adapted from Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion, page 67.
Sweet friends, you are in my prayers as you suffer through life’s storms.
Heavenly Father, You are the God of all COMFORT! Please comfort all who are suffering. Give them Your wisdom. Bring resources to help them. Strengthen them as only You can. In Jesus’s name, amen.
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Help is On the Way
“I need help!” Have you ever said those words to someone? Has someone ever said them to you? “Help is on the way” is all I could think to say to a friend who once called me. She needed to hear those words. She needed to know I would be there to help her. But what if you don’t have someone who can show up at a moment’s notice and help you? In those times, remember that God is your help. Psalms 33:20 says,
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help.
Are you in trouble and need help? Are you in despair and need help? Unlike my friend who had to wait for me to arrive, the Lord is our present help. We need only call on Him. Learn more about God and how He is your help in my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion.
It’s Not Too Late
Do you wish you could do something positive to help? Help what? Anything! Help mend a relationship. Help tone down the anger among people. Help people turn their eyes to the Lord. All of those are big Christian actions and all of them are needed. How might you do them? Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. How? When does He prompt? In our hearts. In our minds. But best as I can tell, we have to have alone time with Him to develop our relationship, to learn His voice, to know His ways. Our heart has to be in the right place – one of worship. We have to want Him more than we want our “own time” or sin or habits or laziness. He says, “If you seek me..” (Deuteronomy 4:29; Proverbs 8:17; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9; Acts 17:24-28) If we haven’t been so close to God that we know His voice and experience His prompts, it’s not too late to get close to Him, to learn His voice and be used by Him. Christ called Paul in the midst of his trip to arrest Jews who had started following Christ. The Lord spoke to Abraham when he was 99 years old. Genesis 17:1-2 says, “
Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God ALMIGHTY; Walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.’”
Ninety-nine and God ALMIGHTY says, I’m the “most powerful God who holds sway over all things. Walk blameless before Me.” It’s never too late to open our ears, minds, and hearts to God ALMIGHTY. It’s never too late to say, “Hold sway over my heart.” It’s never too late to be used for God’s purposes. Will we seek Him? Will we ask Him to hold sway over our hearts? Will we learn His voice and obey His prompts? Make the move today toward a closer, more intimate walk with God.
ALMIGHTY God, forgive us for busying ourselves with things of the world that are meaningless in view of eternity and people’s souls. Forgive us for closing our hearts rather than opening them to Your powerful sway. We ask now, “Hold sway over my heart so I walk blamelessly before You.”
*Excerpt from Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion- a timely read for 2022.
If You’re Faltering
I’ve had the blessing of holding our newborn children and grandchildren. Holding them was no problem. They weren’t heavy. As a matter of fact, it was a delight to hold them. I could intently gaze on their faces. I could pray for them. The more I held them, the deeper my love grew. Wouldn’t it have been silly if our little ones had argued, “Don’t hold me. I’m too heavy.” Or, what if they had said, “I don’t want to bother you. You don’t need to hold me.” In light of that, consider our Heavenly Father’s words in Isaiah 41:10, “I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will UPHOLD you with My righteous right hand.” In the Bible, God’s right hand symbolizes His strength. His right hand is a strong hand of righteousness. We can relax in His hands. As He upholds us, we become increasingly aware of His deep love for us. In case you feel like you are faltering, be assured – your UPHOLDER has you.
LORD, Thank You for UPHOLDING us with Your righteous right hand. Thank You for the depth of Your love for us. Thank You that we don’t have to be afraid.
“For I am the Lord your God, who UPHOLDS your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’” Isaiah 41:13
*Copyright Debbie Taylor Williams, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion. This is the book that began my collection of God’s 365 names, titles, and attributes. It features chapters that give an in-depth description of 26 of God’s A-Z names, and includes lined space for you to record your prayers, repentance, and praise. Also included are discussion questions for group or personal study. I pray it blesses and deepens your prayer life. It also makes a great Christmas gift for friends and family as they begin 2022. BUY NOW.
The Key to Not Living in Darkness
Are you excited about all the ways Jesus is described? Every day when I select a description of our Lord to share with you, I have a renewed sense of awe. Often the way our Lord is described is in contrast to that which is in the world. Such is the case today. Many in our world are living in spiritual darkness. They are seeking to be enlightened by powers apart from Jesus Christ. But in John 1:9 we find the word “true” in reference to Jesus. Although there are many sources of “enlightenment,” there is only one TRUE LIGHT: JESUS CHRIST. He enlightens our soul, mind, and heart when we turn to Him. The world apart from Christ is dark. Take seriously His charge to let His light shine through you. His Light in you is a beacon to those living in darkness.
Lord Jesus, You are the TRUE LIGHT who enlightens every man. May we be lighthouses through whom You shine.
“There was the TRUE LIGHT which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” John 1:9