Recently my family has been cleaning out my Grandmother’s house. As I went through the attic and pulled out boxes and boxes of interesting items, I begin to think about treasures. These items were once someone’s treasures. Maybe someone’s mother made the dress I hold in my hands. I wonder if they cherished this dress for a certain reason. The person is no longer alive. The items were left in memoriam, and I am the one finding them.
This caused me to think of my treasures.
Are my treasures here on this earth or in heaven? Thinking about this brought reality. As Christians we should gather up our treasures in heaven and not here on earth.
Below is a prayer that I was encouraged to write after thinking about my treasures.
Where Are My Treasures?
(prayer inspired by Matthew 5:19-26)
Yahweh, remind me that my treasures are not here on this earth, but are with You in Heaven. May my heart be with You and not with my earthly treasures. Help me to follow You with my whole heart and to be filled with light. I don’t want to be full of darkness. Show me the difference, so that I can be aware of it. I want to follow You, Yahweh, and not anyone else. Open my eyes to see when I am following the world. May You teach me to serve You with all my heart. Help me to trust You and to not focus on the things that I may not have. Remind me that You do care about me. Thank You for being my Lord and Savior. Amen!
In Luke chapter 18 we find a powerful parable of two men praying.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)
Which payer is accepted?
Today let’s admit who we are, and how desperate we are for Him.
As much as I hate to admit it, I rarely follow the speed limit.
While driving down a certain road close to my house, every time I see a speed limit sign, I have to remind myself to slow down. It is just natural to cruise down the road 10 or 15 miles per hour faster than I should. Seeing a policeman causes my heart to skip a beat and push the breaks quite hard.
Sometimes I feel as if my prayer life is the same way; I’m just cruising through my prayers to finish and then move on with the day.
My speeding prayer habit is even harder to break. Finding time to pray and focus is not easy in this season of my life. Sometimes I wonder how much more could be added to my daily life before I fall apart. Then I remind myself that prayer is what keeps me together and keeps me going. If I carve out time to bask in the presence of Yahweh, then I have a better day. Prayer is something that I should spend more time doing and less time speeding through.
Spending time with the Creator should be more than first priority in our lives– it should be our lives.
Speeding through prayer can become disrespectful to Yahweh. It is as if there are things in our lives more important than prayer and spending time with Him. Every aspect of our lives should be focused on Yahweh. I am reminded of the verse that says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). In other words, our daily lives are important to Yahweh and he cares for us as His children.
Let’s spend more time in prayer and less time focusing on ourselves or our to-do list.
Our to-do list shouldn’t have priority over what the LORD may have in store for us this day. As I try to obey the speed limit, I will also try to pray with a more focused spirit.
Fear is a hard thing to battle.
Each of us faces it. Sometimes it’s worry, and sometimes it’s full blown anxiety.
When fear is attacking our hearts, where can we turn?
Who can bring us peace more than the Prince of Peace?
Where can we find sweeter words of comfort than the Word of God?
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
His words are powerful.
And when we look to His words, we see His character. We see how He is a good Father who loves His children. There is a beautiful quote that goes, “It’s not how much faith you have that matters, but Who your faith is in.”
If your faith is in Yahweh, the Maker of the heavens and earth, you can rest in knowing that He is with you no matter what.
As long as we live in this fallen world, we will battle with fear, doubt, and sin. But the good news is that we are overcomers. The battle does not define us. As children of God, He lets us run to His open arms for refuge in the storm.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
These Bible verse-inspired prayers bring such comfort to my heart, and I pray that they will encourage you today as well:
Click for printable PDF:
Praying Through Anxiety & Fear
Recently, I was talking with my mother about life.
We were discussing issues and other things concerning our family. I was frustrated about something that had happened recently. Between the two of us it had been a heated conversation. At one point I got very frustrated, and my mother looked at me and said, “Let’s pray.” I nodded my head and she began to pray. As she was praying, I started to think about prayer. I am the one who blogs about prayer, and my mother is the one reminding me to pray. Sometimes it is hard to admit our weaknesses and struggles. I had to admit that I had failed in my prayer life, and that I was not perfect.
Next time you have hit a hard spot in your life and are not sure where to turn, remember to pray.
Prayer brings focus and clarity to life. Also, pray for Yahweh to place people in your life who will remind you to pray.
I once heard someone ask the question, “If God is in control, what’s the point in praying to Him?”
There are many biblical reasons why we should pray, and there are articles and books answering this honest question. (Here’s a wonderful article short article: “Why Pray When God is Omnipotent and Omniscient?” by 3-Minute Apologist. And here’s a indepth answer: “Defending the Bible’s Position on Prayer” from Apologetic Press.)
Surprisingly, the question holds the answer.
The fact that Yahweh is in control is the reason why I pray. I wouldn’t pray to Him if He wasn’t all-powerful, because prayer is not about changing God, it’s about allowing Him to change us, our circumstances, and our world through His Holy Spirit.
Prayer is not about control. It’s about surrender.
Our heavenly Father is the only one that can hear the cry of our souls.
He’s the only one who can feel our greatest joy and our deepest hurt. He sees the beauty that we’re blinded to and the sins that we try to hide. He sees our past, our present, our future, our hopes, our fears, and our deepest longings.
How are we going to see the light if we don’t open our eyes?
How are we going to feel hope, if we don’t open up our hearts?
How are we going to commune with Him without prayer?
Let’s pray when our heart can’t contain everything inside. Let’s rest in His presence when we don’t know where to go. He hears the cry of our soul even when we don’t know how to put it into words.
God is in control, not me. That’s why I pray.
About a year ago I got a desire to pray through the Bible.
I had so much fun reading through the Bible and finding prayers. I had to be a little creative to find prayers in some of the books, but other books were super easy to find prayers in.
There are so many ways to pray, but praying through Scripture brings about a unique kind of prayer.
This is just a guide, but I hope you have fun and learn more about the Bible, like I did while putting this together. Please remember that these are my words, and not the Word of Yahweh.
Click for printable PDF:
Books of the Bible Prayers
The other day I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, when the little girl in the cart behind me began to chant to her mom in a lilting voice, “I’m not listening. I’m not listening.”
My mom turned to me and said quietly, “How often do we do that to Yahweh?”
As the mom continued to softly instruct, her daughter kept repeating the phrase, “I’m not listening. I’m not listening.”
Ouch. Yes, I do that too.
Sometimes we rush into God’s presence.
We have a lot of prayer requests to make. We want. We need. We pray. We seek. But do we listen?
Do we sit in His presence and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our heart as we’re reading the Bible, or are we rushing on to check our devotions off the list?
I needed to learn that lesson from a little girl at the store.
When we find ourselves running in circles like Martha, we need to rest in His presence like Mary did.
We need to listen.
I’m finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it’s okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say
Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak
~”Work of God Speak” by MercyMe
Recently, I have been struggling with trusting Yahweh with my future.
It had been a subtle underlying thing that I had, for the most part, ignored. Most of it seemed so innocent. Maybe a thought here, or a dream there. None of that is wrong, but I had continually dwelt on that thought or that dream. I had “chewed” on it too long. I had chewed on it so long that it was nasty, but I didn’t want to spit it out. I wanted to keep those thoughts and those dreams.
It was the battle for the flesh. My flesh was winning–every time–and I wanted to stop it.
I tried everything that I could think of to stop it. I verbally talked to myself saying, “Peyton! What do you think you are doing? You must stop this!” I also put my hands into fists and beat the air. Nothing seemed to be working! I was frustrated and wanted answers. Why could I not STOP? I was angry inside, and sometimes that anger was displayed toward my family members. That frustrated me even more.
Finally one morning, I sat down to read my Bible and my hand moved to my journal.
I knew it was time to get things straight with Yahweh. I began to write:
“Sometimes it is hard to trust God and what He has in store for me. I don’t know what the next year holds and where He’ll lead me, but I need to trust Him with all my heart. It seems the struggle gets harder at times, and at other times I don’t have a struggle at all.”
Then I wrote the words I’d resisted:
“Yahweh, I surrender my future to you. Pry it out of my hands and keep it from my reach. Help me to live for today!….Let each moment be for Your glory. Satisfy my heart with Your presence. Strengthen my faith….Yahweh, I want to lay it all down again. I have taken some things back and tried to do them my own way. Please forgive me…..May today be a day that I start a new journey. I am nineteen years old and I start anew and afresh. I desire You, Yahweh, and none other. Make Your path clear for me in Your timing. Help me to trust Your timing.”
From that morning on, I have surrendered all.
Surrender never happens once and then it is over with. We have to daily surrender to Yahweh. May each of us grow closer to the Creator and surrender our lives to Him. We cannot surrender alone and we cannot stop things on our own. We need Yahweh to get us through.