A New Year’s Prayer

The First Petition

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

“Let us give unto you the glory due unto your name.”
“Let us worship you in the beauty of holiness; fear before you with all the earth.”
“I will extol thee, my God, O King, and I will bless thy name forever and ever.
Every day will I bless thee and I will praise thy name forever, and ever”
“From the rising of the sun to its setting, your name is to be praised.”
“With my tongue, I will speak of your righteousness and praise all the day long.”
“Through Christ, I will offer up the sacrifice of praise to you continually, that is the fruit of my lips giving thanks unto your name.”
“For thine is the greatness, and the power, and the glory; for all that is in heaven and earth is thine. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee and praise thy glorious name.”

The Second and Third Petitions

Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
~ through your “everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure.”

“This is all my salvation and all my desire as you are “ruling over all things.”
You have given us “divine power to destroy strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of you, bringing every thought captive to Christ.”

Let our thoughts be “true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue and worthy of praise” as your Holy Spirit brings through us the fruit and life of Christ ~ love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, humility, compassion ~ your fullness ~ the fullness of your Spirit and of Christ ~ who in us is “the hope of glory” ~ our reason for rejoicing in you always, and with grateful hearts, “letting our moderation be made known to all men.”

You are at hand because we “dwell in you and you in us by your Spirit which you have given us.”
You never leave us nor forsake us, so let us “not be anxious for anything, but in everything, make our requests known to you, and your peace that passes all understanding keeps our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Let us focus on you, our minds and hearts centered in Christ as you do your will in us, fulfilling your everlasting covenant in each of us.

Let me delight myself in you, desire what you desire, and worship you in spirit and truth.

I want to know you, fear you, hear your voice, see that just One, “love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and my neighbor as myself.” I want to obey you, worship and serve you, praise you and pray to you, and proclaim the name of Christ in power.

I want to live for you, so I “present my body” with all its faculties and senses ~ spirit, soul, and body ~ to you “as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in Christ, which is my only reasonable worship in response to your great mercy, to be transformed by the renewing of my mind as you are conforming me to the image of your dear Son.”

The Fourth Petition 

Give us this day our daily bread ~ but first, I “seek your kingdom and your righteousness” ~ “for we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from your mouth.”

I ask this for your people everywhere. Pour out your Spirit upon us. Water the seed you planted in our hearts and bring forth the fruit of your word. (Name those for whom you intercede.) Plant more seed and nurture all that belongs to you ~ to your glory and our joy.

The Fifth Petition

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.

“Search us and know our hearts. Try us and know our thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in us” ~ any bitterness or lack of forgiveness for others. (Confess and repent of any sin our Father and His Spirit reveals.)

The Sixth and Seventh Petitions

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Make us salt, light, a sweet fragrance of Christ, and a fruitful vineyard for your name and glory.

I praise you for your wisdom, for “sanctifying us wholly and preserving us spirit, soul, and body, until the coming of Christ. You are faithful, and you will do it.”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, in Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places.” Eph. 1:3

“And let the beauty of the Lord be upon and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of hands, establish thou it.” Ps. 90:17

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. In Jesus’ name, I pray and thank you. Amen.
Fran

God is at His Best in Times Like These

The most difficult the times, the closer our Heavenly Father draws us to Him.
When things are well with us, we are prone to forget Him.

 “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness:
he is gracious,

and full of compassion, and righteous.”
Psalm 112:4

He waits to be gracious to us. In times like these, He opens heaven and His sanctuary to us, drawing us ever so close.

Dear Father, send your light and and by your Spirit, lead us to seek you, your kingdom and your righteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Diligently Seeking

As I continue this search for the meanings of Jesus’ words, I am impressed with the thoughts of fervently asking, diligently seeking, and urgently knocking. We are sharing what God’s Word reveals of diligently seeking in this post.

When Jesus told His disciples to ask, seek, and knock, He had certain things and conditions in mind. Being brought up with the Law and the Prophets, He reiterated the first thing we should seek. He emphasized seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness which we find repetitive in the Old Testament.

Seek the Lord

“If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;” Job 8:5

“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:
my soul thirsteth for thee,
my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land,
where no water is;”

Psalm 63:1

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.” Psalm 105:3

“The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him
(Ezra 8:22).

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near:

Isaiah 55:6

Seek “the commandments of the Lord our God” (1 Chronicles 28:8; “His precepts” Psalm 119:45); “wisdom” (Proverbs 2:4): “knowledge “(Proverbs 18:15)

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.”
Psalm 27:4

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” Ezra 8:21

“Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness:” Zephaniah 2:3

“Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” Psalm 105:4

Seek His Face

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee,
Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”
Psalm 27:8

Seek Peace 

“And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” Jeremiah 29:7

” seek peace, and ensue it1 Peter 3:11

Who will seek?

They that know thy namePsalm 9:10

 “such as love thy salvation” Psalm 40:16

“The Lord is good unto them that wait for him,
to the soul that seeketh him”.
Lamentations 3:25
 

“the Gentiles seek” Isaiah 11:10

ye that follow after righteousness.” Isaiah 51:1

“the children of Israel and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God.” Jeremiah 50:4; Hosea 3:5

How will we seek?

with all their heart and with all their soul;” 2 Chronicles 15:12; Deuteronomy 4:29

seek him with the whole heart.”  Psalm 119:2

“With my soul, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early:” Isaiah 26:9

by prayer and supplications, with fasting,” Daniel 9:3

Seek First the Kingdom of God

The only thing Jesus tells us to seek is the first and most important thing, for with the kingdom of God and his righteousness we will have everything we need.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33

“To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:” Romans 2:7

“Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:12

“If ye then be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above,

where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”
Colossians 3:1

“But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6

“For they seek a country.
Hebrews 11:14; Hebrews 13:14

Our Father in heaven, forgive us for not seeking you as we ought. Thank you for teaching us through your Word how to seek you. We praise you for your Son, our Lord Jesus who teaches us to seek your kingdom and your righteousness above all things ~ and for Paul who teaches us to seek those things above. Fill us with your Spirit and with the power to seek and find you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Suggested Reading: Free Ebook First Things that Last Forever
Image: Google

Words of Life ~ ADD(ED)

The word ADD is used in the Christian vocabulary in a particular way, in that it refers to God’s adding, not ours.

Old Testament H3254
Defines the word ADD yacaph (yä·saf).
A primitive root; to add or augment (often adverbially to continue to do a thing):— add, X again, X any more, X cease, X come more, + conceive again, continue, exceed, X further, X gather together, get more, give moreover, X henceforth, increase (more and more), join, X longer (bring, do, make, much, put), X (the, much, yet) more (and more), proceed (further), prolong, put, be [strong-] er, X yet, yield.  All references.

 Have you ever tried a recipe or a formula in which you added or changed something? You would not expect the results to be as what you may have experienced before.

God’s commandments were given to provide His people a guide to their relationship with Him. His word was enough, with no need for them to augment

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4;2

His commandments were unsatisfactory for the people in Samuel’s day. God was not enough for them. They wanted what other nations had.

 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.” 1 Samuel 12:19

New Testament G4369
Defines the word ADD  prostithēmi (pros-tē’-thā-mē) From G4314 and G5087; to place additionally, that is, lay beside, annexrepeat:—add, again, give more, increase, lay unto, proceed further, speak to any more.

In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus taught that life in His kingdom meant that we trust Him for all things, to depend on and live content with what God gives. The first thing needed is to find what was lost in the beginning ~ His kingdom and His righteousness. What He adds will always fit our needs.

“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” Matthew 6:27

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

The same word for add is used in Luke 17:5 ~   increase our faith.

How the Lord Adds to His Church
Jesus taught then and now, through His recorded word, how the life of His followers is given and sustained. All that we have is God-given and maintained by His written and Living word within us. In the early church those “that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2;41  

 “Praising God, and having favour with all the people.
And the Lord added 
to the church daily such as should be saved.”Acts 2:47 

Why the Law Was Added
The Commandments were added after the promise of restoration and life that would come through our relationship with Jesus Christ

 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.”  Galatians 3:19  (Read Galatians 3 to get full impact of Jesus as the seed.)

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”
2 Peter 1:5

We are instructed to add with diligence that by which we are called. (1 Peter 5:10: 2 Peter 1:3) The virtue, knowledge and subsequent attributes are those of our Lord and Savior who, by promise lives within us, by His Spirit working all God requires of us. He is all we need.

Heavenly Father, we praise you that you have brought us full circle from being a disobedient people, wanting to establish our own way of life, to experience the restoration by your grace to know you as Father, Lord, Savior and King of all life. Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable unto you through your Son. We need add nothing except: In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading: First Things that Last Forever