A Prayer of Trust and Abiding in Christ

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Teach me, Lord, how to abide in You,
to remain in You,
to rest in You.

When so many confusing words,
false words, and harsh words
come into my ears, my mind, my heart—
teach me to remain in Your words,
Your truth, Your commands
like a branch in the vine.

When egotism and self-doubt,
pride and insecurity
lead me to become self-focused—
teach me to refocus,
recenter, realign
myself in You
like a branch in the vine.

When lessons I have already learned
need to be learned again
and breakthroughs I have already had
need to break through in me again—
teach me to kneel, to be still and know,
to listen and see You afresh—
like a branch in the vine.

My life in You
and Your life in me,
resting, remaining,
abiding in You, Lord.

Prayer of Dependence: Habakkuk

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I had the privilege of continuing our “Great Prayers of the Bible” series by co-preaching with my wife, Kelly. This weekend’s message explores the prayer of Habakkuk during the impending judgment and exile of the people of God. With our attention on chapter 3, Kelly and I developed our message around the following idea: in difficult times, the one who trusts in the Living God will live and flourish.

You can view the message video and an expanded sermon outline below. You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

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Praying to the Powerful God [30 Days of Prayer]

Summer of Prayer Ads_Banner“Power belongs to God.” (Psalm 62:11)

Psalm 62 begins with some of the most memorable lines in the psalms:

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)

The psalmist’s words express a deep dependence upon God. Many of us resonate with this dependence in our lives because, as we so often experience, there is no other person or thing that compares with God. There are many sources of strength in our lives, whether good friends, family or our own God-given capacities as people. However, each of us experience seasons when other people and our own resources run dry like a creek bed at the height of the summer’s heat.

God’s presence and power is not like that. We can wait upon God because He provides an unshakable refuge and salvation. He is not a peddler of petty charms, but the God who has created all the world by His mighty power and sustains it daily with His strength. When we pray, we are approaching the powerful God. Too many times, our prayer life aims at meager goals because we lose sight of God’s awesome power. The testimony of the psalmist is a reminder that, at the end of it all, God’s power is present in our world and lives: “Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God” (Psalm 62:11).

Creator God, who spoke all creation
  into being by Your might word,
I approach You with awe and wonder,
  both at who You are
  and what You can do.
Raise my eyes to the heights of Your power
  and enlarge my prayers with greater faith.
I seek You and the greater things
that come only from You,
not for my own glory and praise
  but for the greater glory and praise
  of Your Name.

[This post is part of the “30 Days of Prayer” devotional. Read other posts here.]

Saturday Prayer 52

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. (Psalm 127:1 NIV)

oh, Father,
keep me from failed efforts
and fruitless labors
in this day and the coming year.
I stop and bring all my hopes
and developing dreams
into Your presence.
may my desires and thoughts
be shaped according to
Your desires and thoughts.
may any plans or action steps
come from the overflow
of my will guided by Yours.
Jesus said, “apart from Me
you can do nothing,”
and so I humbly yield to You.
lead me, guide me, and speak to me.
shape, refine, and correct me.
may I step forward under Your light
or not step forward at all.
I lean into Your strong love.
I submit to Your boundless wisdom.
I love You and worship You.

Amen.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]