More Prayer and Worship

Happy Worship Wednesday! It’s Worship Wednesday over on my From Ashes to Beauty blog—you can sign up there to receive my blogs in your email inbox. Each Wednesday I pick my favorite worship song of the week to help us get “over the hump.” So for today on my Transformed Through Truth blog, as you are worshiping God, try using any one of these 52 Prayer Starters, created by my friend Jennifer Kennedy Dean. Need more prayer? Check out Jennnifer’s website.

Have a wonderful Wednesday! Here are the rest of the 52 Prayer Starters by Jennifer Kennedy Dean—the rest were posted last week on the TTT blog.

27. The promise of prayer is a transformed heart. Through the ongoing flow of prayer we are brought into contact with the Father’s heart. As we behold His glory, we are changed into His image. Our lives begin to reflect Him. Our desires begin to reflect His desires. The promise of prayer is a heart that matches His.

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). 

28. Dear friend, put away childish things—little flesh-shaped desires; short-sighted, earth-bound understanding. Yield yourself to His bigger agenda. Let Him do more than you can ask or even think. Let Him do His full and mighty work in you.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20-21). 

29. Faith is not believing something; faith is believing Someone. Faith is not committing yourself to an idea, but to a person. Faith is responding to the present-tense Voice of the Father.

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Heb. 11:8).

30. Leave behind that tame, tepid, play-it-safe, follow-the-rules kind of faith. We have been called to an outrageous faith—a reckless faith that risks everything on the trustworthiness of God.

“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”  Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death” (Heb. 11:17-19). 

31. Obedience is crucial for powerful praying. Disobedience dulls my spiritual hearing. It causes me to lose my ability to hear the subtle nuances of His communication. Jesus once said to His enemies, “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you cannot hear what I am saying” (John 8:43). Do you see that you can hear the words, but not hear the heart? Do you want to hear Him? Do you want to hear all the layers of His words? Do you want all of Him? Then He must have all of you.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9-12). 

32. Holding on to anger and bitterness is cutting off the flow of His power through us. The scripture tells us that unforgiveness gives the enemy an opening—an opportunity to carry out his schemes.

“And what I have forgiven-if there was anything to forgive-I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Cor. 2:10-11).

33. Think of your Spirit-directed prayers as “smart bombs” falling on enemy territory. Your persevering prayers are systematically demolishing the enemy’s strongholds. The air war is preparing the way for the ground troops to invade.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4).

34. Spoken prayer will not reach its potential unless it is grounded in listening prayer. In listening prayer, spoken prayer is born.

“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint”  (Hab. 2:1). 

35. Brokenness is the ground from which spiritual power grows. Welcome brokenness. Embrace it. Don’t fear or resist it. Like the kernel of wheat that falls into the ground to die, the outer layers of your flesh—self-centeredness, pride, self-trust—must be broken so that the life within can emerge.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).

36. God engineered your salvation not only for the purpose ofcleansing you of sin, but also for the purpose of filling you with Himself. The work He is doing in you—the breaking, the crucifying, the cleansing—all have one purpose: to prepare His chosen dwelling place for His presence.

“The priests went into the sanctuary of the LORD to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the LORD’s temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the LORD. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley” (2 Chron. 29:16-17). 

37. The trust of which scripture speaks is not an emotion or a doctrine, but a way of living in which every thought, every word, every act is an expression of total dependence upon the Father. The righteous live by faith. Faith is not something that you get out and dust off when you want something from God. For your spiritual life, faith is the air in your lungs and the blood in your veins; it is the active ingredient in your spiritual composition.

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Rom. 4:20-21).

38. Everything God requires of you, He has already provided for you. When God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac (Gen. 22:13-14), He introduced Himself as “God Who Provides.” What does He provide? He provides what He requires. He required a sacrifice and He provided a sacrifice. Through the Son’s indwelling power, He has already made available everything necessary for living out your new life.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

39. Every act of obedience to the voice of the living and present Jesus steadies the heart. As a house is built brick upon brick, so a steadfast heart is built obedience upon obedience.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock” (Matt. 7:24-26).

40. As you submit to God’s work in you, the acoustics of your heart are improving daily. The word acoustics means “the ability of an enclosure to reflect sound waves in such a way as to produce distinct hearing.” If a structure does not have the proper shape or dimensions, or if it is cluttered with objects that absorb or redirect sound waves, sounds will not be distinct. God is reshaping, molding, and cleansing your heart so that His voice will be clearly heard.

“This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:7).

41. Praise is the spontaneous and natural overflow of the inflow of His life.

“All my springs of joy are in you” (Ps. 87:7, NASB).

42. Praise is a powerful spiritual antioxidant, keeping your spiritual immune system strong. It destroys spiritual toxins before they have a chance to do damage. Praise changes your focus, fixing your eyes on the Supply rather than the need. Just try to remain discouraged or hurt in the midst of genuine praise. You can’t do it.

“My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long” (Ps. 71:8). 

43. As you praise, you are releasing tremendous spiritual power. Praise dispels the enemy’s troops. Praise lays the groundwork for the display of God’s power.

“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God” (Ps. 50:23).

44. Outward forms of worship were intended to express true, inward worship. The danger is that they will disguise inward emptiness. The Holy Spirit is the guard against empty, surface religion.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).

45. Jesus has pulled you into His inner circle, those to whom He will impart His secrets. A person who is following a doctrine need not listen. There is nothing new to know. The person who is following Christ must be continually listening.

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

46. Prayer is not a benign, feel-good, stress-relieving exercise. Prayer releases the power of God to change the circumstances of earth.

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). 

47. Are you willing right now to open your entire life to the flow of His power? Even knowing that His power may interrupt cherished sin-patterns or challenge comfortable beliefs? Do you want all of Him more than you want any other thing? You can have all of Him that you make room for.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17-19).

48. As you live moment-by-moment in His power and presence, He will speak through you to those around you. Jesus wants to speak His healing, encouraging, strengthening, eternal, life-giving words through your mouth.

“The lips of the righteous nourish many” (Prov. 10:21).

49. God is in the details. He is engineering even the smallest detail in order to establish His divine purpose. Happenings that seem random, choices and decisions that seem spontaneous and uncalculated, paths that cross in seemingly serendipitous ways—all are being put in order by the Lord.

“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD” (Prov. 16:33). 

50. The kingdom of God is not idle chatter, or empty words, or even eloquent and reasoned arguments. The kingdom of God is power. When Christ in you becomes Christ through you, the power of God becomes operative in your world.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”  (2 Cor. 4:7).

51. God is able to do more than all we can ask or even conceive of. When you ask God for the best thing you can think of, you ask Him for less than He can do. When you feel that your request pushes the limits of His power, He wants to do more than you can imagine.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20). 

52. You are the temple of the living God. You are the place where His glory dwells. He lives in you; you are His house. He says of you: “My house will be a house of prayer” (Luke 19:46).

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple” (1 Cor. 3:16-17).

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