Living for God
If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:31
I die every day-I mean that, brothers-just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
12 When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."
Following the Way of the Cross
Lord, I want to follow you to Jerusalem, to Golgotha, and to the final victory over death. But, I am still so divided. I truly want to follow you, but I also want to follow my own desires and lend an ear to the voices that speak about prestige, success, human respect, pleasure, power, and influence. Help me to become deaf to these voices and more attentive to your voices, which calls me to choose the narrow road to life.
Treasure in Jars of Clay
2 Corinthians 4:7-12,16-18
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Prayer Based on Ephesians 6:12-17
2 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Why, O Lord, is it so hard for me to keep my heart directed towards you? Why do the many little things I want to do, and the many people I know, keep crowding into my mind, even during the hours that I am totally free to be with you and you alone? Why does my mind wander off in so many directions, and why does my heart desire the things that lead me astray? Are you not enough for me? Do I keep doubting your love and care, your mercy and grace? Do I keep wondering, in the center of my being, whether you will give me all 1 need if I just keep my eyes on you?
Pursuit of God
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace.
I am ashamed of my lack of desire.
O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee;
I long to be filled with longing,
I thirst to be made more thirsty still.
Psalms to Help You Pray
Praise and Adoration
Psalm 8, 19, 103, 96, 29
Confessions of Heart
Psalm 42, 22:1-11, 13, 73
Repentance & Forgiveness
Psalm 51, 32
Confessions of Our Love and Trust, and of God's Goodness to Us
Psalm 23, 16, 139, 131, 27
Psalm 100, 116, 118, 136
For Times of Weakness and Distress
Psalm 25, 86:1-13,121, 130, 46, 61
Lord, Jesus, thank you for caring more about our character than our comfort. Thank you for loving us enough to train and discipline us and want us to be whole and complete. Thank you for not only understanding our hardships and heartaches, but for embracing them and experiencing them as your own, as one of us. And, thank you that you endured through it all, and considered such a life well worth living.
Commitment to Obedience and Service
O God, who by our great Master's example, has taught us what labors and sufferings heaven deserves, and that we are to take it by force; confound in us, we ask you, the weakness of our nature, which is averse to that discipline and hardship we ought to endure as disciples and soldiers of Jesus Christ; help us in our way there, by self-denial and mortification, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with thee and thy Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.