Prayer for the Graduate ~ Praying with Purpose

Flickr Credit: Clevercupcakes

There are a few names on my prayer list that are graduating this year. And I wanted to use scripture to pray for them more specifically.

I had big visions of finding a few verses that would serve as a commission of sorts. One that would call them into their life of independence and show them who could guide them along life’s journey.

It seems my heart has other plans as I can’t get over this verse and feel pressed this is the one. In fact, I may write it in their graduation card:

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May the Master take you by the hand
and lead you along the path of God’s love and Christ’s endurance.
2 Thessalonians 3:4-5 MSG

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For no one should have to do this journey alone. And I can’t think of a better travel partner than Jehovah. What more could you need?

and so I pray:

Father, You know them better than we ever could. And what a treasure they are. You have given them countless gifts, talents, skills, a unique purpose. And here they are. About to begin taking these next steps of the journey solo.

Lord, into Your hands we place them. Lead them with Your love. Jesus, give them the strength they need to overcome whatever obstacles stand in their way. Cultivate their spirits, Father, so they resonate You. For Your glory. 

Show them the way, Lord. However necessary. Make Your presence known to them, as they seek their way.

I know You have big plans for them and cannot wait to see what You can do. To You be all glory…

How about you? Do you have any graduates on your prayer list? How do you pray for them? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

NOTE: My Bloggers Prayer Project starts this Sunday. There’s still time to participate in whatever form you feel led. Are you willing to pray for someone each day for 31 days? To learn more, visit HERE.

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Prayer for our Children ~ Praying with Purpose

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more,
and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.
For I want you to understand what really matters,
so that you may live pure and blameless lives
until the day of Christ’s return.
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation
—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ–
for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”
Philippians 1:9-11 NLT

These verses grabbed hold of my heart while I was reading the other day. And instantly I knew these are the verses I want to use while praying for my nieces and nephews. Even my son. For they say so much if you slow the words down and read them bit by bit.

We all know the greatest commandment is to love. It’s what really matters. And when you live with the love of Christ, you crave more knowledge and understanding of what really matters, too.

(The ESV, ASV, and  NKJV versions use the word discernment rather than understanding and I think that might encapsulate what Paul was intending more clearly.)

To “live pure and blameless lives…” sounds like something we should all strive for, doesn’t it. I must confess I have a hard time with this phrase as it feels to me that one must be perfect to achieve it. And I am far from perfect. I don’t expect my nieces, nephews, or my son to be perfect, either. So I dug a little deeper.

Friends, Paul is not telling us to strive for perfection. He’s still talking about love. We are what our heart feels, after all. That’s what God sees when He looks at us. And if our heart is one filled with a true desire for Christ, He will pour His love upon us. And our hearts will prove to be pure. Blameless.

For love is the only perfect thing in this world. It never fails (I Cor 13:8). And if our hearts are filled with it, there is no stopping us.

Read these verses again, this time in the Message translation:

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish
and that you will not only love much but well.
Learn to love appropriately.
You need to use your head and test your feelings
so that your love is sincere and intelligent,
not sentimental gush.
Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary,
a life Jesus will be proud of:
bountiful in fruits from the soul,
making Jesus Christ attractive to all,
getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

Friends, this is exactly what I want to pray when I’m praying for our children. Why, this is what we should pray for everyone on our prayer list. But today, I will focus on my nieces and nephews. And so I pray:

Father, I look at my nieces and nephews and see You. For You have made them precious, unique, full of life and passion. What joy! Help them keep that, Lord. Nourish them in Your love, Father, so they will know what true love looks like. Guide us in how we should instruct them so they develop a deep desire to know You to the fullest. For then they will learn to love appropriately. They will be intelligent where it matters most. Their love-filled hearts will remain contagious. And Your glory and praise will be revealed. . .

How about you? Will you use these verses to pray for someone on your prayer list? Who? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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My Prayer for You ~ Praying with Purpose

My time of reading through the Bible in 90 days is coming to an end. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I have. For I never anticipated God would speak to me the way He did.

But I showed up. And so did He. I came empty and He filled me up. Every day.

I feel like I have so much to share with you. I’m still praying about it, but expect a few series to rise from some observations and convictions I have gleamed from my experience.

Before my Bible in 90 day journey began, I had started the series Praying with Purpose. If it’s okay with you, I’d like to pick that up again.

Each weekend, I will share a verse or two with you and apply it in prayer for someone on my prayer list. My hope is you can relate it to someone on your own prayer list and pray with me. Will you join me?

This weekend, I would like to pray for you. My cherished reader. I hope to one day be able to tell you how much I appreciate sharing this space with you. I pray daily God will be glorified as a result. And friend…I do pray for you.

My prayer for you today is based on a couple of verses I read last week:

“To this end we always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of His calling
and may fulfill every resolve for good
and every work of faith by His power,
so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in Him,
according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
II Thessalonians 1:11-12 ESV

Father, You know how much I appreciate the one on the other side of the screen. For they are Your child. Full of potential and promise. Saturated in grace. With Your stamp of approval. And they’re willing to spend their precious time with my heart. Thank You, for placing them in my life.

Lord, I know You have specific plans for them. Their journey has been chosen by You. And Father I pray You will show them the way clearly. That they will hear the call specifically and follow with a faith only You can give. May You be glorified in their comings and goings this week, Lord. If there’s any conflict standing in their way, Jesus, may it resolve for Your good.

Help them see You working in and through them, Father. May Your grace shine on their face as they show Your love to those around them. And may You be glorified in all they do as they proclaim their Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. . .

How about you? When you read these verses, does someone on your prayer list come to mind? How will you pray for them? And how can I pray more specifically for you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me. You mean the world to me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

NOTE: The picture above is of the tree in my front yard. Do you know what kind of tree this is? I would love to know!

Linking up with:

Hosanna! Indefinitely.

©iStockphoto.com/Steven Allan

“They brought the donkey and the colt
and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.
Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
and others cut (palm) branches from the trees
and spread them on the road.
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him

were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!
Matthew 21:7-9 ESV

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He came to us as predicted.

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“This took place to fulfill  what was spoken
by the prophet, saying,“Say to the daughter of Zion,

‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
     humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”
Matthew 21:4-5 ESV

And still we did not see. For our hopes were not set high enough. We were simply asking for a new political leader. One to overthrow the Romans.

When we shouted “Hosanna,” we were taking it literally. “Save us now.” Now. From the Romans. Not from forever. Not the world. Just us from the now.

But God knew. God saw our need. And He promised to fulfill it.

We covered the path for our savior, a makeshift red carpet. We sacrificed more laundry and used branches signified for goodness and victory. We set the stage and anticipated. Yes. This man, this underdog from Nazareth, Galilee. He will be the answer to our pleas. He will know how to turn our country around.

Hosanna in the highest! Save us now!

God saw our need. God promised to fulfill it.
And Jesus did just that. Not His will. But thine.

He took ‘Hosanna’ to a whole new level.

No longer will Hosanna be used to save us from the now.
Today, when I call my Savior ‘Hosanna’,
I can know He’s saved us from ourselves. Indefinitely.

And as I gather with my family in Christ this weekend. To remember the day of the palms this Passion Sunday. I will do just that. I will call Him Hosanna. I will proclaim Him in the highest.

And I will worship the One who saved me from now and forevermore. Not just from the Romans. But from my very own sin-soaked self. Indefinitely.

The time is coming…Can you feel it?

How about you? How will you worship this weekend? How will you make your journey to the cross? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

I’ve missed my time over at:

Stop on by and be encouraged!

Such a Time as This

If you keep quiet at a time like this,
deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place,
but you and your relatives will die.
Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?
Esther 4:14 NLT

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I had to read it five or six times. For some reason, my eyes kept going back to this verse. I finally had to write it down, word-for-word, and carry it around with me for a couple of days. Tucked neatly in my pocket, pulling it out every chance I could to breathe it in.

And this is what I feel God is telling me through it:

I can sit still. Watch the world go by. Be witness to God moving around me.

For God’s plan will prevail. With or without me.

But if I’m willing to surrender to Him. He will use me. He will work through me.

This is my time. Right here, now, to be used for His kingdom.

This is the moment He made for me. It’s my time to shine for Him.

And who knows what God could do through me if I let him. If I rise up and risk it. If I lay aside my fears and follow.

Who knows if perhaps I was made mother of my boy
for just such a time as this?

Who knows if perhaps I was made wife to my husband
for just such a time as this?

Who knows if perhaps I was made to be a friend to _____
for just such a time as this?

Who knows if perhaps I was made to share my words with you
for just such a time as this?

Who knows? He does. God knows. He knows what I’m capable of. What I could do to bring Him glory.

He made me for just such a time as this.

I pray I risk it. I pray I don’t hold back.

Lord, make me an Esther. I want to be used by You, for You. For the very reason You made me. I want to set fear aside. Throw caution to the wind. Pay no attention to the repercussions of following You. Let’s do it. I’m ready for just such a time as this.

How about you? What will you do with your time? Will you allow Him to work through you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Will be linking up to:

Timeless Praise

Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Each day proclaim the good news that He saves.
Publish His glorious deeds among the nations.

Tell everyone about the amazing things He does.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of others are mere idols,
but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround Him;
strength and joy fill His dwelling…
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His faithful love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:23-27, 34 NLT

David sure knew how to worship. He sure knew how to praise.

After reading through his legacy, knowing full well he wasn’t perfect, I wonder if that’s why God loved Him so. David always gave credit where credit was due. If his army won a battle, he would make sure everyone knew it was the Lord that won, not himself. Even when he didn’t get his way, David still worshiped.

And I can’t help but notice every time we get to read how David praised Jehovah, his words are applicable today. These words were penned thousands of years ago and can still be proclaimed in the 21st century.

It seems any tribute of praise towards God is timeless.

For God’s faithfulness has stood the test of time.

His love truly does endure forever.

And The Great I Am hasn’t changed one bit.

That in and of itself is something worth praising. That’s worth proclaiming.

I kinda like David’s way with words. I’m sure David wouldn’t mind if I praise Jehovah myself while quoting him. In fact, I often do.

But I really like the idea of writing down my own words of worship. Somehow. For if any words will stand the test of time, it will be those of praise to the Most High.

How about you? Do you write your worship? Do you pen praise? If so, how? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Linked up to:


A Fool-Proof Promise

God’s way is perfect. 
All the LORD’s promises prove true. 
He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.
II Samuel 22:31 NLT

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Every God-direction is road-tested. 
Everyone who runs toward Him makes it.
II Samuel 22:31 The Message

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As for God, his way is perfect: 
The LORD’s word is flawless; 
He shields all who take refuge in Him.
II Samuel 22:31 NIV

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I could go on and on. No matter which translation you use, the verse is no different. It says it all.

God’s way, God’s promises are perfect. They’ve been tested time and time again. He does not make mistakes.

And if we run to Him…If we focus on Him and seek Him…He’ll protect us. He’ll guide us. He’ll make sure we make it.

That’s a promise.
That’s His promise.
To me. To you.

And His promises are fool-proof. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to run to Him. That’s what I’m striving for.

How about you? Are you running to Him? Are You finding refuge? How are you seeking Him today? I’d love to hear. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me. And thank you for your patience in this delayed post!

Simply striving,

Nikki

I’m late, but I’m linking up to Barbie on: