Praying about Needs, Protection and Worry

WP_20160903_09_16_34_ProI worked a book festival yesterday, came home exhausted, ate, not so well, and awoke at midnight with heart burn. So I stayed up for a bit wanting to enjoy some time in Psalm 119. The first verse I read was verse 65.

Psalm 119:65 (NIV 1988) says, “Do good to your servant according to your word, O LORD.”

As I meditated on the verse I realized the following:

Ask someone to pray Psalm 119:65 to the Lord and you might hear this, “Oh Lord I need You to do good for me in this area of my life and in that area of my life . . . “

But I am convinced that this kind of praying is not what God expects from us.

In fact, I think this kind of praying tells a lot more about ourselves than we realize.

-Hasn’t God already said that He will take care of all of our needs when we but seek Him? (Matthew 6:33)

-Hasn’t God already said that He is our protector? (Psalm 34:7)

-Hasn’t God already said that we do not have to worry? (Matthew 6:34)

Now let’s go back and look at the verse we started with.

Psalm 119:65 says, “Do good to your servant according to your word, O LORD.”

I believe that the way we should pray about needs, protection and worry, using Psalm 119:65, is as follows:

-Father I know Your word and I know You. I thank You for my current financial situation, though I may not know how things will be taken care of, I trust You to take care of my needs, as Your word says.”

-Lord, thank You for reassuring me that I do not need to plead for Your protection. Your throne is above the heavens and You are sovereign over all (Psalm 103:19). Your Angel already encamps around me and delivers me according to Your word, according to Your sovereign plan for my life.

-Forgive me Lord for so many times when I worry. I know You and I know Your word and Your word tells me that the same God who adds all these things that I need (Matthew 6:33), will take care of tomorrow (Matthew 6:34).

Now be careful when you think like this and plan to pray like this. This is NOT positive confession. This is simply trusting the God of the word, because they are His words to you and me.
&n case you want to invest the time, here is a 3 minute video of me speaking on worry.

Worry, You Don’t Gotta

Blessings my friends,

Mark S Mirza
Author/Speaker, Common Thread Ministries
www.CTMPrayer.org
www.ThePray-ers.com
Mark@CTMPrayer.org

When is Worry Like Fasting?

PrayerBox-2013-0217-cropped-webDPI.jpg
I was up early this morning talking to the Lord about upcoming events and then wrote the following to the Lord, about 3:00 am, I said, “Lord, I want a new memory verse, but I think that I will go back to those I have already memorized.”

And in looking for that memory verse I came across Matthew 6:34, but then I thought about Matthew 6:33-34, and then I started looking back further and further, for foundational context.

The more I looked back into the passage, the more I saw how Christ was using His previous words to lay the foundation for what He was going to say about worry…and then I saw it, the connection between fasting and worry…and not a “good” connection.

At the time of this writing, in my notes, I still didn’t know what I’m going to memorize, but I loved seeing this truth from the Sermon on the Mount.

If you want to read it ALL in context, go to Matthew 6:16-34 and read it in the NASB. It’ll take a few minutes, but it is worth it. Here are my notes from this morning:

  • I don’t think I ever noticed this before, but in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus discusses fasting, to set up His discussion about worry. He describes the person fasting, and fasting in a way that gets “their reward here on earth” (Matthew 6:16), their “treasure.” He is talking about the Pharisees who liked everyone to see their sorrow, like, unfortunately, so many people today, who give their prayer requests, for the purpose of allowing others to see their sorrow. The are, forgive me, simply having a gloomy pity party!
  • As I think about it, I realize that often, no, OFTEN, people share their prayer requests in a way that “demonstrates” to themselves (and they think to others), that they have a right to worry about their situation
  • I suppose one’s motivation (and only they can deal with that) gives away whether or not they are seeking accuracy in prayer, or if they just want everyone to know every detail of their problem. In this case, their motivation is “getting their reward here on earth” which, is no different than that Pharisee. Jesus then directly compares this action, gaining pity, as storing up an earthly treasure (Matthew 6:19).
  • Jesus then goes on to talk about the reasons we do not have to worry. You can read all of the reasons you don’t have to worry (Matthew 6:20-32), and in reality, you will see that you already know them.
  • But here’s the key, verse 33, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…It’s counter intuitive isn’t it? Jesus is saying that instead of worrying about this which you are praying about, instead of focusing on that “terrible” prayer request, we are to focus on, seeking His kingdom, and His righteousness. It truly is counter intuitive.
  • What is Jesus saying? Simply this, take the focus off yourself! And THEN He says in Matthew 6:34, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself, each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Wow, you know what? Because He is sovereign, because His throne is above the heavens (Psalm 103:19), I really don’t have to worry, do I? And neither do you my friend.

I need to make two notes here:

  1. I am not saying that church isn’t where we are to bring our prayer requests, or that we are not to sorrow, especially in church. This IS one of the GREAT characteristics of church…just check your motivation.
  2. Don’t judge! You may hear one’s prayer request and label them a Pharisee. You can’t do that, rather, help them, encourage them, cry with them, as Jesus did in John 11:35 just a few verses before He brought Lazarus back to life.

Common Thread Ministries

Laid Off?!?!?!

Friday Morning In AtlantaA friend of mine would begin this day with, “Happy Friday Brother Mark!” And it is, a happy Friday…but will it be for everyone? This photo is what the day is beginning like here in Atlanta…it’s a beautiful happy Friday. But what if you’ve just been laid off? I started to write this story from the perspective of the person who isn’t hurting financially, and then revised it to those who are, and then I realized that the same principles of scripture apply to both!

You see, yesterday a friend of mine texted me that his wife was laid off. This post is an email to him, I’ll call them John and Jane.

John, thanks for texting me about Jane. I appreciated your words that you, “…have total faith God will provide. We want Him to lead us as He wills…” I know you and Jane, so I know that is what’s in your brain. My concern for you is what’s in your heart? In other words, what are you living? And what will you two live tomorrow? Here’s why I ask this John, there are principles in the Word that tell us how to “live-out” what we say we believe, and that is where the rubber meets the road. So let me just, gently, lay out three principles that you can help Jane with, okay?

The First is WORRY — Psalm 103:19 says, “His throne is above the heavens and He is sovereign over all.” Dr. Stanley has told us at our men’s prayer meetings that when he learned the meaning of this verse, he stopped worrying. He says, that once in awhile something will tweak his brain, but he doesn’t worry. When I speak I like to give an example of a scene in heaven that does NOT occur. God is standing on a cloud looking down onto earth at us, and then He looks closer…and closer…and closer. Then He calls over Michael and Gabriel and He asks, “How did that happen?” John, the principle is that because that scene in heaven NEVER occurs, her getting laid off isn’t an accident, it didn’t catch God by surprise. John, your wife doesn’t need to worry.

The Second is ANXIETY — Did you know that scripture tells us that we do not need to be anxious? In fact, the same passage that tells us this tells us how to receive peace…it gives us a “formula” for receiving peace! Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to “not be anxious about anything,” and of course, to “come to the Lord with prayers and petitions” BUT it adds another attitude that we are to come to the Lord with, when we are leaning towards being anxious. It not only says come to Him with “prayers and petitions,” but with thanksgivings also. That’s right! We are to come to the Lord, being thankful about our situation! In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to the thankful for everything. Why? Because this is God’s will in Christ Jesus for you! Now hear me…God is saying that (see above) because Psalm 103:19 is still true, because that scene in heaven does NOT occur, this is NOT an accident to God…the evil one DIDN’T slip one past the God of the universe. What’s the principle? It’s similar to the first. Remember the definition of faith? “Now faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 in the NIV/1984)? The second principle is to give thanks. You really can give thanks to God for this situation, not because you like it, but because you know (by faith, even though you do not see the future) that He really is in control…you KNOW it!

The Third is the UNKNOWN — When satan “loses” the battle of making Jane anxious, because she will not worry, but will in fact, give thanks to God, he (satan) will come back to her with something like, “that’s all well and good, and Mark may be right that you do not have to worry, but let’s just think about the future, okay? How are you going to pay the mortgage next month, or when your severance runs out? How are you going to buy groceries? You probably want to start thinking about which bills you won’t be able to pay.” Sound familiar? That’s what the evil one does. When he fails in one area he moves into a different area. Let me “up-the-ante” here John. Today is the first day after Jane has been laid off, please, Please, PLEASE, do not let her focus on, “Oh My God! I need to get my resume out in as many places as possible…today!” This is what we tend to do and it is wrong! It is wrong because it is us, our brains, trying to figure out God’s will for our lives, BEFORE we’ve even sought Him. So then the question comes up, “But how will I know if He’s talking to me?” Great question and there are a number of answers in scripture. Let me just focus on one of them…1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace…” (NASB). Here’s the principle…Until you have PERFECT peace, you do not move forward! Here’s why, in Proverbs 21:1 we read that God directs the hearts of kings. If He can direct the hearts of kings, He can direct my heart in spite of any anxiety that may be trying to force itself upon me. Really, this is the essence of trusting God…as opposed to yourself. There is another argument, which usually my, and I say this lovingly, my “control-freak” friends postulate, namely, “I have to get a job so I’ll throw my resume out and let God open the doors He wants.” John, this is just “worry” and “anxiety” in a different form. Let me say this properly. This is NOT trusting God, rather, it is us saying, “I don’t trust God enough so I’m going to help Him.” Here’s why I make this point. Too many times God opens doors, NOT for us to go through but TO TEST US. To see if we will go through a door because WE WANT TO rather than the door He wants us too. Remember the principle, “No peace, no move!”

Interesting isn’t it, all three of the principles above lead us to peace…or focus on peace. Is that an accident? I don’t think so, you see, the third peace of the armor, “your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (NIV/1984) tells us that Jane can go through this time in her life with peace. Because she has accepted the Gospel of Christ, she can go through this time in peace…believe it or not! And that, my friend, is your role…helping her, by lovingly showing her these principles, to go through this time in peace. As you and her do this, it will actually be an exciting time! Where you two see God move, showing Himself faithful to you. That’s what He wants to do. That’s what He always wants to do, but we mess it up by worrying, getting anxious, focusing on the unknown, and God is sitting there saying, “Trust me…” (Psalm 143:8)

I love you my friend. I hope this is helpful.

For those of you that are interested, we have the following tools:

Praying Psalm 119 CoverPrayers from Psalm 119 and prayers from the Book of James

 

 

 

 

GBC 2012 Annual Meeting LogoGBC Prayer Initiative and our weekly prayers

 

 

 

Ranger Joes God and Country Show LogoDaily Radio Spots

 

 

 

And of course my new bookMark's New Book, Praying Psalm 119

 

 

 

In His Name, with great thanksgivings,

Mark S Mirza

By: TwitterButtons.com

 

Laid Off!!!

Friday Morning In AtlantaA friend of mine would begin this day with, “Happy Friday Brother Mark!” And it is, a happy Friday…but will it be for everyone? This photo is what the day is beginning like here in Atlanta…it’s a beautiful happy Friday. But what if you’ve just been laid off? I started to write this story from the perspective of the person who isn’t hurting financially, and then revised it to those who are, and then I realized that the same principles of scripture apply to both!

You see, yesterday a friend of mine texted me that his wife was laid off. This post is an email to him, I’ll call them John and Jane.

John, thanks for texting me about Jane. I appreciated your words that you, “…have total faith God will provide. We want Him to lead us as He wills…” I know you and Jane, so I know that is what’s in your brain. My concern for you is what’s in your heart? In other words, what are you living? And what will you two live tomorrow? Here’s why I ask this John, there are principles in the Word that tell us how to “live-out” what we say we believe, and that is where the rubber meets the road. So let me just, gently, lay out three principles that you can help Jane with, okay?

The First is WORRY — Psalm 103:19 says, “His throne is above the heavens and He is sovereign over all.” Dr. Stanley has told us at our men’s prayer meetings that when he learned the meaning of this verse, he stopped worrying. He says, that once in awhile something will tweak his brain, but he doesn’t worry. When I speak I like to give an example of a scene in heaven that does NOT occur. God is standing on a cloud looking down onto earth at us, and then He looks closer…and closer…and closer. Then He calls over Michael and Gabriel and He asks, “How did that happen?” John, the principle is that because that scene in heaven NEVER occurs, her getting laid off isn’t an accident, it didn’t catch God by surprise. John, your wife doesn’t need to worry.

The Second is ANXIETY — Did you know that scripture tells us that we do not need to be anxious? In fact, the same passage that tells us this tells us how to receive peace…it gives us a “formula” for receiving peace! Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to “not be anxious about anything,” and of course, to “come to the Lord with prayers and petitions” BUT it adds another attitude that we are to come to the Lord with, when we are leaning towards being anxious. It not only says come to Him with “prayers and petitions,” but with thanksgivings also. That’s right! We are to come to the Lord, being thankful about our situation! In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to the thankful for everything. Why? Because this is God’s will in Christ Jesus for you! Now hear me…God is saying that (see above) because Psalm 103:19 is still true, because that scene in heaven does NOT occur, this is NOT an accident to God…the evil one DIDN’T slip one past the God of the universe. What’s the principle? It’s similar to the first. Remember the definition of faith? “Now faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 in the NIV/1984)? The second principle is to give thanks. You really can give thanks to God for this situation, not because you like it, but because you know (by faith, even though you do not see the future) that He really is in control…you KNOW it!

The Third is the UNKNOWN — When satan “loses” the battle of making Jane anxious, because she will not worry, but will in fact, give thanks to God, he (satan) will come back to her with something like, “that’s all well and good, and Mark may be right that you do not have to worry, but let’s just think about the future, okay? How are you going to pay the mortgage next month, or when your severance runs out? How are you going to buy groceries? You probably want to start thinking about which bills you won’t be able to pay.” Sound familiar? That’s what the evil one does. When he fails in one area he moves into a different area. Let me “up-the-ante” here John. Today is the first day after Jane has been laid off, please, Please, PLEASE, do not let her focus on, “Oh My God! I need to get my resume out in as many places as possible…today!” This is what we tend to do and it is wrong! It is wrong because it is us, our brains, trying to figure out God’s will for our lives, BEFORE we’ve even sought Him. So then the question comes up, “But how will I know if He’s talking to me?” Great question and there are a number of answers in scripture. Let me just focus on one of them…1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace…” (NASB). Here’s the principle…Until you have PERFECT peace, you do not move forward! Here’s why, in Proverbs 21:1 we read that God directs the hearts of kings. If He can direct the hearts of kings, He can direct my heart in spite of any anxiety that may be trying to force itself upon me. Really, this is the essence of trusting God…as opposed to yourself. There is another argument, which usually my, and I say this lovingly, my “control-freak” friends postulate, namely, “I have to get a job so I’ll throw my resume out and let God open the doors He wants.” John, this is just “worry” and “anxiety” in a different form. Let me say this properly. This is NOT trusting God, rather, it is us saying, “I don’t trust God enough so I’m going to help Him.” Here’s why I make this point. Too many times God opens doors, NOT for us to go through but TO TEST US. To see if we will go through a door because WE WANT TO rather than the door He wants us too. Remember the principle, “No peace, no move!”

Interesting isn’t it, all three of the principles above lead us to peace…or focus on peace. Is that an accident? I don’t think so, you see, the third peace of the armor, “your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (NIV/1984) tells us that Jane can go through this time in her life with peace. Because she has accepted the Gospel of Christ, she can go through this time in peace…believe it or not! And that, my friend, is your role…helping her, by lovingly showing her these principles, to go through this time in peace. As you and her do this, it will actually be an exciting time! Where you two see God move, showing Himself faithful to you. That’s what He wants to do. That’s what He always wants to do, but we mess it up by worrying, getting anxious, focusing on the unknown, and God is sitting there saying, “Trust me…” (Psalm 143:8)

I love you my friend. I hope this is helpful.

For those of you that are interested, we have the following tools:

Praying Psalm 119 CoverPrayers from Psalm 119 and prayers from the Book of James

 

 

 

 

GBC 2012 Annual Meeting LogoGBC Prayer Initiative and our weekly prayers

 

 

 

Ranger Joes God and Country Show LogoDaily Radio Spots

 

 

 

And of course my new bookMark's New Book, Praying Psalm 119

 

 

 

In His Name, with great thanksgivings,

Mark S Mirza

By: TwitterButtons.com

 

Praying Psalm 119:137-144, It’s Key Word

As Prayed on Feb 24, 2012 (Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show Radio Program96.1fm KBUE, Columbus GA)

Click Here to View All Psalm 119 Prayers

Psalm 119:137-144

Key Word                Righteous

Today’s Prayer

O Lord, You are righteous (Psalm 119:137). Forgive us Father, as a nation and as Your church, for only giving You lip service when we acknowledge Your righteousness. For we admit that Your testimonies are righteous and that You are completely trustworthy (Psalm 119:138)…and yet we worry. Father, cause us to realize that anything we worry about, we have put ahead of trusting You and ahead of Your righteousness. And cause us Lord to find joy in Your commands, and no longer worry, especially when pressure and stress bear down upon us (Psalm 119:143).

Psalm 103:19

His throne is above the heavens and He is sovereign over all.

How would we pray this back to God?

Lord, as we begin 2011 in a few hours my prayer is that we would begin it knowing that You are in control. Lord, many of us realize that in our brain, but often times it does not get to our hearts. Lord, our prayer is that You implant that so strongly into our being that we recognize that we need not worry. Yes Lord, that we NEED NOT WORRY…for You are in control.