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7 Prayers For the Lost

I’m so excited for these new prayer request bookmarks!

For a long time my prayers were limited to the few memorized prayers modelled by others. Thank you for this food. . . We praise you for the blessings you’ve given us. . . Forgive me of my sins. . . Be with me today. . . Give me strength. . .  My prayers had a tendency to sound the same, as I was simply parroting what I’d heard from others. These words seemed neither effective or very “spiritual” but it was all I knew.

Through the ministry of Cru I learned much about what prayer can and should be. From the posture of my heart and how to base my prayers in Scripture, to practical how-to’s and the theology surrounding it all—the teaching and training I received during my college years opened up a whole new world to my prayer life.

Lately, I’ve been convicted of my lack of faithful, persistent prayers and my soul has been stirred toward praying more and more specific, Biblical prayers for myself, my family, my church, and the world around me. I’ve been collecting references and lists and beginning to gather together some sort of system in order to enjoy a more faithful and purposeful communion with God. I’m hoping to have everything settled by the new year, and as I gather and organize, I will share my lists with you!

Heart Prayers for the Lost

The first list available is prayers for the lost. With the holidays around the corner, many will be interacting with and getting extra time with family members and friends who are without Christ. I’ve titled these prayers “Heart Prayers” as each request is geared toward God changing the hearts of those who need Him.

Here are 7 Biblical prayers to pray for those who need Christ:

  • Compassion – Mark 6:34: Jesus, give me your heart of compassion for the lost around me — especially those who are difficult to love.
  • Enlightenment – 2 Corinthians 4:4: God, remove the blinders that keep them from seeing the light of the gospel and the glory of Christ.
  • Clarity – 1 John 5:20: God, give them understanding, so that we would know that you are the true God and the only way to eternal life.
  • Receptiveness – Acts 16:14: God, open their heart to hear and be attentive to your teaching and calling.
  • Protection – Hebrews 13:9: Lord, I ask that they would not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; strengthen their heart by grace
  • Repentance – 2 Corinthians 7:10: God, grant those who are far from you a godly grief that produces a genuine repentance that will lead to salvation.
  • Satisfaction – Psalm 16:11: Father, show them that your presence will bring fullness of joy. Only through you can they experience lasting pleasure.

Over time, my hope is that these Scriptural prayers become engrained on my heart and embedded in my mind, so that whenever I think of a lost friend or family member, these prayers are ready to go, even if I am not in front of my prayer journal.

Download the Free Bookmark

I’ve created a pretty bookmark for you to print out and use in your prayer journal! This resource (along with TONS of others) are free for my newsletter subscribers. Just fill out the form below and I’ll send you the link right away.

On My Shelf: Prayer Resources

Links below contain affiliate program links. At no extra cost to you, I receive a portion of your purchase. Thanks for your support!

What prayers do you pray for the lost? Share them in the comments so we can add those requests to our lists!

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Recommended resources for studying the Psalms

When God opens your eyes you’re going to see things you never saw before, you’re going to hear things you never heard before, you’re going to know things you never knew before because God the Holy Spirit is going to teach you. — Adrian Rogers

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. — Psalm 119:18

I’m gearing up for an overview study of Psalms, which will be the beginning of an in-depth study of several individual Psalms. Whenever I get ready to study a passage in depth, I always zoom out and start at the “bird’s-eye-view” first.

Typically, I’ll listen to sermons from teachers I trust (DesiringGod.org, The Village Church Resources, and Radical.net are my go-to’s.) and also purchase a few books and commentaries. Sometimes I’ll listen and read before I start any sort of study, just to prime the pump for the big-picture themes to look out for, but I try not to get too in-depth before I study for myself. I’ll also listen and read as I go, using the commentaries when I hit sticky passages that I’m not sure of their meaning.

What do I need to start studying the Psalms?

First off, start with prayer. Whether you have a Ph.D. or haven’t set foot in a seminary class, the most important action to take when we approach Scripture is to pray. Every time we open God’s Word, we ought to declare our need for the Spirit of God to open our eyes to the meaning, it’s implications to our lives, as well as our desperate need for grace.

Beyond the spiritual preparation, there is much we can do to arm ourselves with a few tools to help with the journey. Here are some resources I’m investing in (or already have) that you might be interested in as well.

Here are some blog posts and/or podcasts on praying through the Psalms:

How do you prepare to study? Have any resources to add to the list?


Join the 31 Days in the Psalms Online Bible Study Group

  • WHAT: Reading through the Psalms (at about a 5 Psalms a day pace)
  • WHEN: August 1-31st, 2017
  • WHERE: The Bible Study Hub Facebook group
  • HOW TO JOIN: Fill out this form!

 

 

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What should my quiet time look like?

FOCUSed15 Podcast – Episode #7 (Season 2)

Whether you realize it or not, we all have expectations and pictures of what the “perfect” quiet time looks like. Though we certainly need to be careful not to give in to the paralysis of perfectionism, it is typically helpful to have some guidelines in place to evaluate how effective our time with God is. Listen in to this 15 minute episode to receive some helpful guard rails to keep your quiet times on track.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT:

  • How we define a “quiet time”
  • The importance of both hearing from the Lord and speaking to Him within your quiet time
  • Specific elements given to help incorporate both this hearing and speaking into your time with God
  • Three ways to approach the intake of God’s Word
  • Three ways to communicate with God during your quiet time
  • Quiet time ruts we may get into that keep up from experiencing God more fully

RESOURCES MENTIONED:


HOW TO LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST:

You have many options for listening in. Simply choose your favorite from below.

1. Listen right here on the blog. Just click the little play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen from an app on your smartphone, iPad or iPod– For iDevice users, click here to access the podcast and subscribe in iTunes.  If you don’t have an Apple device, you can listen with the Stitcher app. You’ll have access to new episodes on either app as soon as they are published.

3. Listen from your computer via iTunes or Stitcher. Just click here to access the podcast in iTunes or here to listen from the Stitcher website. Once you subscribe to the podcast, new episodes will show up in your iTunes and/or Stitcher dashboard.

 

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My heart on the presidential election and the image of the church

My heart has been incredibly heavy this week over the state of our nation. I have friends and family on all sides of every issue and I can’t stand to be on social media right now. So much of the back and forth—the hate, the pride, the lashing out—is disappointing, at best. I’ve been fairly quiet online as I process where to go from here.

Lord, what is my part? What actions can I take? How am I supposed to pray?

This I do know: I am a Christian and an ambassador for Christ, not primarily of a political party or certain candidate. I am the brand of Christ. When people look at me, they are to see and feel something that is supernatural and special. Not because of who I am, but because (whether they can identify it or not) they see Christ in me. Everything I say or don’t say, do or don’t do is a reflection of Christ and I long to reflect Him well.

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I wish I was better at this. There are so many days and moments that I fail to reflect the glory of God to the people around me. And yet God is to be glorified through all His people—the church. I long for His good and gracious character to be made known. I want souls to see their utter need for Christ. And none of this can happen if Christians don’t look like Christ.

Lately it seems our reflection of Him has been covered in mud.

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So—starting with me—I’m praying for a revival of a renewed repentance and deep humility among the church. I’m asking God to show me if there is any wicked way within me and lead me toward repentance. Today, I choose to focus primarily on my own actions and attitudes and —by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit—I will follow the example of Christ down the road of counting others more significant than myself.

LORD JESUS,

I sin — Grant that I may
never cease grieving because of it,
never be content with myself,
never think I can reach a point of perfection.
Kill my envy, command my tongue,
trample down self.
Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure,
peaceable,
to live for thee and not for self,
to copy thy words, acts, spirit,
to be transformed into thy likeness,
to be consecrated wholly to thee,
to live entirely to thy glory.

. . .

O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that
all things are shadows, but thou art substance,
all things are quicksands, but thou art mountain,
all things are shifting, but thou art anchor,
all things are ignorance, but thou art wisdom.

—Valley of Vision, Purification

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Amen.

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10 Resources for Everyday Prayer

Man, this was a good one. We could have chatted for hours on prayer, yet we packed a punch with these 38 minutes on everyday prayer. I hope you can carve out some time to listen in!

(Short on time? Click the setting icon “cog” on the bottom right of the video viewer. There will be several settings that pop up. Look for the “speed” option and take your pick on how fast you would like to watch!) Can’t see the video? Click here.

Resources for Everyday Prayer

Here is a list of the many resources we shared about during our conversation. Check them out! (Many of these are Amazon affiliate links.)