Lifestyle of Prayer: Watch Out!

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“A Lifestyle of Prayer”

This week’s prayer focus: Watch Out!

 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

This week’s prayer focus is about our need to watch out!  Much of the watching that most people do tends to be very passive.  We go through our daily life casually observing our surroundings, but rarely paying enough attention to list at the end of the day all that we have seen.  We watch television — often allowing into our mind messages that are unguarded due to our passiveness.  When God calls us to watch and pray, He has something much more deliberate in mind.  He wants our watchfulness to be very active as we pay attention both to the goodness that He desires to bring into our life and to the temptations the enemy surrounds us with in an attempt to make us choose anything other than God.  Much of what we’ll pray about this week are things that easily sneak into our lives if we are not watching out for them.  As you pray this week, ask God to help you pay attention to how you watch.  Pray that you would watch out for the opportunities God brings your way.  Pray that you would watch out for the many things that the enemy is trying to use to derail you from a fruitful walk with God.  Pray that you would watch out for the people around you, just as you watch out for your own interests.  Pray each day for the individuals of your congregation and for the body of Christ as a whole.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
 

Please pray each day for God’s help as you watch and pray.

Sunday: Pray for your church staff, the preaching and teaching that takes place, the church leadership, the volunteers that are helping in so many areas, the spiritual and financial health of the congregation, and the work of the missions ministry of the church.  Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.

MondayWatch Out for Greed.  Pray that you would be on guard against all kinds of greed that seeks to destroy you.  Pray that you would always watch out so that your possessions do not possess you.  “Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”  Luke 12:15 (NIV)

TuesdayWatch Out for Deception.  Pray that you would stay in relationship with Jesus so that you would not be deceived.  Pray that you would watch out for those who would claim to represent Jesus, but don’t.  He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.”  Luke 21:8 (NIV)

WednesdayWatch Out for Division.  Pray that you would recognize the things that cause division and obstacles within the body of Christ.  Pray that you would watch out for the people whom the enemy uses to spread such divisions and obstacles.  “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.”  Romans 16:17 (NIV)

ThursdayWatch Out for Destructive Behavior.  Pray that you would pay attention to how you treat others.  Pray that you would watch out for the destruction caused by internal bickering and conflict.  “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”  Galatians 5:15 (NIV)

FridayWatch Out for Temptation.  Pray that you would be aware of the things which are enticing temptations to you so that you don’t get caught up in them.  Pray that you would watch out for how the sins of others can be contagious.  “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”  Galatians 6:1 (NIV)

SaturdayWatch Out for Eternal Loss.  Pray that you would pay attention to all that you have in Christ.  Pray that you would watch out for what you have worked for in Christ so that your eye would always be on the eternal prize.  “Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.”  2 John 1:8 (NIV)

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Lifestyle of Prayer: Discernment!

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“A Lifestyle of Prayer”

This week’s prayer focus: Discernment!

“Who is wise? He will realize these things.
Who is discerning? He will understand them.
The ways of the LORD are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.”
Hosea 14:9 (NIV)

This week’s prayer focus is about living with godly discernment.  Discernment is the quality necessary to live in the world between “everything is permissible” and “not everything is beneficial”.  Without discernment we will often find our self drifting to one extreme or the other.  We either latch onto the “everything is permissible” mantra and begin to live as if anything goes, or we focus almost exclusively on the “thou shalt not” mindset and limit what we approve only to the things we deem beneficial.  Discernment is a gift from God that helps us to live in the freedom of doing what benefits others according to their need.  As you pray this week, ask God to fill you with a discernment that gives you a greater understanding of His righteous ways.  Pray that discernment would help you to choose the best — not only over what is bad, but perhaps more importantly, over what is simply “good enough”.  Pray each day for the individuals of your congregation and for the body of Christ as a whole.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
 

Please pray each day for God’s help in living with discernment.

Sunday: Pray for your church staff, the preaching and teaching that takes place, the church leadership, the volunteers that are helping in so many areas, the spiritual and financial health of the congregation, and the work of the missions ministry of the church.  Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.

MondayDiscernment to Understand God’s Laws.  Pray that you would serve God with discernment in order to understand how He works through His laws.  Pray for the discernment needed to accurately share the beauty of God’s laws with others.  “I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.”  Psalm 119:125 (NIV)

TuesdayDiscernment to Guide Your Understanding.  Pray for discernment to find God’s guidance in understanding the proverbs and parables of the Bible.  Pray that your discernment would lead to knowing the truth found in the sayings of the wise.  “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance — for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.”  Proverbs 1:5-6 (NIV)

WednesdayDiscernment that Leads to Life.  Pray that you would hold onto the discernment that comes from sound judgment.  Pray that you would wear discernment in a way that brings life to you and to those around you.  “My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.”  Proverbs 3:21-22 (NIV)

ThursdayDiscernment that Leads to Wise Instruction.  Pray for a heart of wisdom that would lead to you being known as discerning.  Pray for the discernment needed to share pleasant words that lead to the instruction of those who hear.  “The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.”  Proverbs 16:21 (NIV)

FridayDiscernment that Seeks True Knowledge.  Pray that the discernment you seek from God would lead to actual knowledge.  Pray that you would have “wise ears” that seek out the knowledge that comes through godly discernment.  “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.”  Proverbs 18:15 (NIV)

SaturdayDiscernment that Leads to What is Best.  Pray that you would live with a discernment that comes from an abundance of love.  Pray that you would allow godly discernment to lead you in doing what is best in all things.  “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.”  Philippians 1:9-10 (NIV)

Lifestyle of Prayer: Pursue!

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“A Lifestyle of Prayer”

This week’s prayer focus: Pursue!

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
1 Timothy 6:10-11 (NIV)

This week’s prayer focus is about some things that God says we ought to pursue.  Our world is filled with many things that call to us daily, wanting us to chase after them.  The allure of money and the accumulation of “treasures” of many kinds often call for us to chase after them instead of the things that have eternal value.  What we choose to chase after will have a profound effect not only on ourselves, but on the people around us.  Pursuing the wrong things can cause us great grief and even lead us away from the faith we ought to cling to.  Pursuing the things of God will help us to hold onto that faith as we represent Jesus to the world.  As you pray, ask God to help you see what it is you are currently pursuing.  Pray that you would call off any pursuits that are not of God as you devote yourself to pursuing Him fully.  Pray that your pursuit of the things of God would be reflected in the way you interact with people.  Pray each day for the individuals of your congregation and for the body of Christ as a whole.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
 

Please pray each day for God’s help in pursuing the right things.

Sunday: Pray for your church staff, the preaching and teaching that takes place, the church leadership, the volunteers that are helping in so many areas, the spiritual and financial health of the congregation, and the work of the missions ministry of the church.  Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.

MondayPursue Righteousness.  Pray that you would reject all wicked ways and pursue righteousness wholeheartedly.  Pray that you would experience and share the love of the Lord who makes you righteous.  “The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness.”  Proverbs 15:9 (NIV)

TuesdayPursue Godliness.  Pray that you would keep a proper perspective in regard to things which are physical and that which is eternal.  Pray that you would experience the value of godliness both now and forever more.  “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”  1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

WednesdayPursue Faith.  Pray that you would understand the importance of the faith required to please God.  Pray that you would not only hold fast to your faith, but that you would earnestly pursue it.  “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”  Jude 1:3 (NIV)

ThursdayPursue Love.  Pray that your acceptance of the love of God would lead you to a greater love for Him and for people.  Pray that you would look for ways to be encouraged, and encourage others, to greater love and good deeds.  “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”  Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

FridayPursue Endurance.  Pray that you would always look to Jesus as the example to follow in all things.  Pray that you would see in Him the value of endurance.  Pray that you would draw near to God when you experience opposition so that you would not give up in doing good.  “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:3 (NIV)

SaturdayPursue Gentleness.  Pray that you would pursue a life of gentleness that is obvious to all.  Pray that the Lord’s nearness to you would lead you to greater gentleness in your interaction with others.  Pray for a spirit of gentleness to be present in all of your conversations with people, and with God.  “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”  Philippians 4:5 (NIV)

Lifestyle of Prayer: Honoring God!

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“A Lifestyle of Prayer”

This week’s prayer focus: Honoring God!

 “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Timothy 1:17 (NIV)

This week’s prayer focus is about our need to honor God.  While there is instruction throughout scripture about our need to honor parents, one another, faithful workers, elders, kings, and those in authority, among others; all of that pales in comparison to the honor that God expects and deserves from us.  While kind words and nice platitudes can be good, they are a shallow substitute for real honor.  The honor that we give God must be more than just lip service.  The prophets, and Jesus, speak against those who attempt to honor God with their lips but their hearts are far from Him.  The honor that we owe God is best given with our life — when our words and our actions line up together in recognition of God’s supremacy in everything.  As you pray this week, ask God to help you examine the kind of honor that you give Him on a daily basis.  Pray that you would grow in the way you honor Him.  Pray that you would give honor to those to whom honor is due, but that God would always be at the top of that list.  Pray that you would use scripture to help you understand the honor God wants, and deserves.  Pray each day for the individuals of your congregation and for the body of Christ as a whole.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
 

Please pray each day for God’s help in honoring Him as you ought, and as He deserves.

Sunday: Pray for your church staff, the preaching and teaching that takes place, the church leadership, the volunteers that are helping in so many areas, the spiritual and financial health of the congregation, and the work of the missions ministry of the church.  Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.

MondayHonor God as a Message to Future Generations.  Pray that you would be vigilant in the way you honor God.  Pray that the way in which you honor God would serve as an example to future generations.  “Because the LORD kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the LORD for the generations to come.”  Exodus 12:42 (NIV)

TuesdayHonor God as Holy.  Pray that your treatment of God in front of others would show that you honor Him as holy.  Pray that you would trust God fully so that you would honor Him as you ought.  “But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.’”  Numbers 20:12 (NIV)

WednesdayHonor God as Your Deliverer.  Pray that you would recognize God’s deliverance in your life and honor Him for it.  Pray that you would honor God by your thankfulness when He delivers you from trouble.  “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”  Psalm 50:14-15 (NIV)

ThursdayHonor God With Your Possessions.  Pray that you would understand the wealth that God has entrusted you with, and honor Him with the way you use it.  Pray that your recognition of God’s provision in everything would lead you to give to Him first.  “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.”  Proverbs 3:9 (NIV)

FridayHonor God Alone as Your Ruler.  Pray that you would acknowledge the authority that God has over all who rule in positions of leadership and authority.  Pray that you honor God in a way that is far above any honor and respect you show to other rulers and authorities.  “O LORD, our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honor.”  Isaiah 26:13 (NIV)

SaturdayHonor God With Your Body.  Pray that your body would be a dwelling that is suitable to the presence of God’s Spirit living within it.  Pray that the things you do with your body would always be done in ways that honor God.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

Lifestyle of Prayer: Serving Others!

Would you like a glimpse into the mind God uses to prepare these weekly prayer guides?  I will be hosting a small group spiritual growth retreat November 3 – 5, 2017 that will give you the opportunity to do just that!  This retreat will be held near Toledo, Ohio and is limited to 10 participants so there will be plenty of personal interaction as we spend time together in a prayer-based approach to Growing Strong.  For more information, visit the retreat page at: Growing Strong Retreats

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“A Lifestyle of Prayer”

This week’s prayer focus: Serving Others!

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:26-28 (NIV)

This week’s prayer focus is about serving others.  While many people put much time and effort into climbing their version of the ladder of success, few take time to understand God’s instructions for becoming great.  Not only did Jesus serve others as He walked this earth, that was His purpose in coming.  He made it clear through His teaching and His example that true success is found by climbing down the ladder to be with those who need served rather than climbing up the ladder away from them.  Any level of greatness that we might achieve will only be found as we view ourselves accurately according to God’s perspective and serve others as Jesus did.  As you pray this week, ask God to help you live with the humility that sees yourself as He sees you.  Pray for the courage to serve others when your flesh desires to be served.  Pray for the wisdom to serve others according to their need.  Pray for the desire to be more Christ-like in the way you serve.  Pray that your greatness would be measured by your sacrificial acts of service to others.  Pray each day for the individuals of your congregation and for the body of Christ as a whole.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
 

Please pray each day for God’s help in serving others as you follow the example of Jesus.

Sunday: Pray for your church staff, the preaching and teaching that takes place, the church leadership, the volunteers that are helping in so many areas, the spiritual and financial health of the congregation, and the work of the missions ministry of the church.  Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.

MondayServe Others By God’s Power.  Pray that your weaknesses would allow God’s power to be evident in you as you serve others.  Pray that you would not use your weakness as an excuse to not serve others.  “For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.”  2 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)

TuesdayServe Others In Love.  Pray that you would experience true freedom in Christ as you serve others in love.  Pray that godly love would compel you to use your freedom to serve others rather than your own selfish desires.  “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”  Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

WednesdayServe Others Wholeheartedly.  Pray that you would always view serving others as a way of serving the Lord.  Pray that your service to others would be wholehearted as you serve God.  “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.”  Ephesians 6:7-8 (NIV)

ThursdayServe Others Prayerfully.  Pray that your service to God would be filled with continual prayer for others.  Ask God to help you remember people in your prayers as you serve them.  “I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.”  2 Timothy 1:3 (NIV)

FridayServe Others Faithfully.  Pray that God would help you understand His gifting in your life.  Pray that recognizing the gifting in your life as coming from the hand of God would help you use it to faithfully serve others.  “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”  1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

SaturdayServe Others Eagerly.  Pray that you would be eager to serve even in areas where you are viewed as the leader.  Pray that your eagerness to serve would be an example to those around you.  “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”  1 Peter 5:2-3 (NIV)

Lifestyle of Prayer: Living With Confidence!

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“A Lifestyle of Prayer”

This week’s prayer focus: Living With Confidence!

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.’”
Jeremiah 17:5 & 7 (NIV)

This week’s prayer focus is about living with a confidence that can only come from God.  I suspect that at one time or another most of us have put our confidence in something that has disappointed or failed us.  God does not want us to live life in fear and doubt, but to live with confidence that is well placed because it comes from a trust in Him.  Yes, it may be easier to put our confidence in ourselves or in things we can control, but doing so will eventually always leave us feeling empty and disappointed.  Putting our confidence fully in God will always require faith, but it is a faith that will always be rewarded with His blessing.  As you pray, ask God to help you see just what, or who, it is that you tend to put your confidence in.  Pray that you would recognize your need to put your confidence in God above all else.  Pray that you would be able to live with confidence more fully each day as you allow God to increase your faith and trust in Him.  Pray each day for the individuals of your congregation and for the body of Christ as a whole.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
 

Please pray each day for God’s help in living with confidence as you trust in Him.

Sunday: Pray for your church staff, the preaching and teaching that takes place, the church leadership, the volunteers that are helping in so many areas, the spiritual and financial health of the congregation, and the work of the missions ministry of the church.  Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.

MondayConfidence in the Lord’s Goodness.  Pray that you would live with a confidence that comes from knowing God’s goodness.  Pray that God would open your eyes to see His goodness around you each day.  “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”  Psalm 27:13 (NIV)

TuesdayConfidence that Lasts Forever.  Pray that you would seek a life of righteousness that would fill you with quietness and confidence.  Pray that the fruit of God’s righteousness in you, through a quiet and peaceful life, would result in a confidence that lasts forever.  “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.”  Isaiah 32:17 (NIV)

WednesdayConfidence to Approach God.  Pray that your faith in Jesus would give you a confidence to approach God.  Pray that the freedom you have in Christ would fill you with confidence as you approach God.  “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”  Ephesians 3:12 (NIV)

ThursdayConfidence that is Rewarded.  Pray that you would have a confidence in the work of God that cannot be taken away.  Pray that you would hold fast to the confidence you have in Christ as you await your eternal reward.  “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”  Hebrews 10:35 (NIV)

FridayConfidence in the Lord’s Help.  Pray that your confidence in the Lord’s help would be greater than your fear of what people might do or say.  Pray that the Lord’s help would give you the confidence to overcome fear that is caused by those who oppose God.  “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:6 (NIV)

SaturdayConfidence on the Day of Judgment.  Pray that God’s love would be made complete in you so that you would have confidence on the day of judgment.  Pray that you would be diligent in sharing the love of God with others so that they could also have confidence on the day of judgment.  “In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.”  1 John 4:17 (NIV)

Praying in Times of Storms

Praying in times of storms can be difficult because the storm often brings great confusion and uncertainty.  The following photo, and text version below it, outlines some of what I’ve been praying in regard to hurricane Irma.  I also believe it is a Godly approach to praying in the midst of any storm we, or others, experience in life. 

Storms

Praying in Times of Storms
  • I pray that the storm would weaken and/or change course so that the people in its path would be spared.
  • I pray that God would be with those who go through the storm and that they would seek out His presence to be their stronghold.
  • I pray that God would be made known through His children to those who become battered and bruised and face devastation that only He can heal.
  • I pray for a spirit of compassion to replace the one of judgment that seems so prevalent in today’s culture.
  • I pray that the storms that seem to be battering this country would serve to ignite a spirit of love that will overcome the spirit of darkness and hatred that gets so much air time in the media.
  • I pray that a heart of compassion would be awakened within God’s people in such a way that He is made visible to all.
  • I pray that my eyes, ears, heart, and mind would be open to how He would have me respond in an individual way.
  • And I pray for a revival to ignite within the people of God so that Jesus would be lifted up and even more people would come to Him in repentance and find salvation in Him.
In prayer,
Tom Lemler