The 40 Prayer Journal Entries is an eight-week series designed to exam certain words which describe emotions and actions that keep us from having a close relationship with God. Each week we will examine five new words with accompanying Bible verses. These five words and Bible verses will be prompts for you to write about your own feelings, responses, and prayers surrounding these words and verses.
“If we truly love people we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them, and this will lead us to pray. Intercession is a way of loving others.” Richard Foster
Is prayer the best we can do?
I have been pondering this question this past week. These past two weeks I have been trying to live off the social media grid because the posts and comments across the spectrum of friends, family, and news feeds have become too hateful.
An invasive weed
I was spending too much time on Facebook. It had become an invasive weed in my life consuming much of my time. And because of the amount of hate and divisiveness that I was reading, and at times embarrassingly, I too was becoming involved in all the divisiveness too. The seed of negativity taken root in my spirit.
Hate turned inside out is fear
Fear wears many different clothes, but turned inside out, hate is merely fear.
Fear of loss – “I hate her for dying/divorcing me this way.”
Fear of inadequacy – “I hate myself for not being better at….”
Fear of success – “I hate the government if they repeal…”
Fear of change – “I hate that he left me!”
Whatever you hate, whatever you fear, God has much to say about it.
Our hearts and minds
So, I come back to my original question, is prayer the best we can do when our garden becomes overrun with weeds?
“Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all.” Gilbert K. Chesterton
Is hate keeping me divided from others?
Is fear keeping me from loving?
Is what I am feeling keeping me from connecting with God? Or connecting others to God?
Is interceding for others or myself in prayer enough?
Let’s look at this week’s five words.
“I may speak in the languages of humans and of angels. But if I don’t have love, I am a loud gong or a clashing cymbal. I may have the gift to speak what God has revealed, and I may understand all mysteries and have all knowledge. I may even have enough faith to move mountains. But if I don’t have love, I am nothing. I may even give away all that I have and give up my body to be burned. But if I don’t have love, none of these things will help me. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. Love never comes to an end.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
“We have been sprinkled with his blood to free us from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with clean water. So we must continue to come to him with a sincere heart and strong faith. We must continue to hold firmly to our declaration of faith. The one who made the promise is faithful. We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.” Hebrews 10:22-23
“ Each of us has received one gift after another because of all that the Word is. Laws were given through Moses, but kindness and truth came into existence through Jesus Christ.” John 1:16-17
“A person of great understanding is patient,
but a short temper is the height of stupidity.
A tranquil heart makes for a healthy body,
but jealousy is like bone cancer.
Whoever oppresses the poor insults his maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors him.” Proverbs 14:29-31
“If we live by our spiritual nature, then our lives need to conform to our spiritual nature. We can’t allow ourselves to act arrogantly and to provoke or envy each other.” Galatians 5:25-26
“The one who walks with integrity, does what is righteous, and speaks the truth within his heart.” Psalm 15:2
“Do not let mercy and truth leave you. Fasten them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3
“Don’t ever think that I came to set aside Moses’ Teachings or the Prophets. I didn’t come to set them aside but to make them come true. I can guarantee this truth: Until the earth and the heavens disappear, neither a period nor a comma will disappear from the Scriptures before everything has come true. So whoever sets aside any command that seems unimportant and teaches others to do the same will be unimportant in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches what the commands say will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. I can guarantee that unless you live a life that has God’s approval and do it more faithfully than the experts in Moses’ Teachings and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
(All Scripture verses are from GOD’S WORD Translation of the Holy Bible.)
Reading in context
When you come upon a Bible verse, read the verse in its context. Often people like to pick and choose a verse that seems to fit a particular view or purpose. But God has so much more to say when you read His Word in its’ entirety.
What do this week’s five words mean to you? As draw close to God in your prayer journal explore the instances or circumstances that cause whatever fears you may have into ‘weedy’ heart.
And yes, I do believe prayer is enough because I am laying it all in the hands of the One who has the power to guide and direct my life. As you pray upon this week’s five words, keep in mind these words:
“Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.” C.S. Lewis
Continue to read and re-read the book of Matthew throughout the 8-week series to understand the heart of Jesus Christ. Biblegateway.com or Bible.com are both excellent online resources. On their home page, search any word for Bible verses containing the word. Keep writing your way through whatever has brought you to draw closer to Him.
May I pray for you?
I enjoy reading your input. Please message me here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayer prompts can also be found at on my Twitter feed: @PrayerPrompts
Blessings on your day!
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