prayer vigil

Welcome to the Nov 2018 Prayer Vigil!


A Proverbs Prayer Journey for Right Living


It’s possible, my friend, that you are doing all the right things and yet you do not have a right heart before God.   That’s a rest-less place to be.    It’s also possible to have a right heart, but be doing the wrong things.    That’s when life becomes schizophrenic.  Let’s go on a Proverbs prayer journey to get both our hands and hearts right with God.  Let’s pray.


“God, search our hearts and our hands with the spot light of Your Word.   Show us areas of unrighteousness.  Though we are in a position of righteousness through our faith in Jesus, we do not always practice our position.”


“God, my heart says one thing but my hands do another.  Being schizophrenic is too tiring for me.  You must become the very center of who I am and why I am.  You are the true reason for my living.  You are free to direct my thoughts and actions.  When I consistently give You that freedom, I have a whole heart.   I will be doing the right thing consistently, and for the right motive.    I want to be the one considered righteous in Proverbs.   I want to claim the promise:  ‘Blessings are on the head of the righteous.’(Prov 10:6). Help me find the right course of action each day in life.  I really surrender self to the Lordship of You the Creator God.  Lord, I know that ‘Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.’(Prov 21:2)”


“Weigh my heart.   It’s too heavy, I know.  My problem is one of delusion – thinking ‘I’m in control here.’    ‘All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives.’ (Prov 16:2). Weigh my motives Lord.  They’re all twisted up.  Sometimes my body is making all the right motions to make it look like I’m living for You, but my heart is far from You.  You see the motive behind the movement and maybe You are not always pleased with me.” 

“But Lord, when it comes to righteousness, there is another way I deceive myself.  Sometimes I tell myself that righteousness is only a matter of the heart. When my hands are doing wrong, I tell myself it’s alright because I have a good heart and You see my heart.  Help me do the right thing.  I know You see all I do.  ‘For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths.’ (Prov 5:21).

 

“In Proverbs, You give us six commands for keeping a right relationship with You. 


Help me to fear You Lord. (Read Prov 1:7 & 3:7).

Why should I fear You?   There are so many benefits. “The fear of the Lord prolongs life.”  (Prov 10:27)  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.”  (Prov 9:10). “Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones.”(Prov 3:7-8). “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.”(Prov 14:26-27)  (See also 16:6)   “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life.”(Prov 22:4). I fear living a life that is not pleasing to You.  As an inconsistent child, I fear You Father in your total holiness.   I want to hate evil as You do.   I fear my own pride – being wise in my own eyes, which is spelled E G O – Edging God Out.  Though I do not fear losing the salvation You gave me, I fear that my life will not count for Your kingdom.  I know that my fear is healthy.  Don’t let me loose it.


I am to trust in You, the Lord. (Read Prov 3:5)

I know the word “trust” is the picture of lying helplessly face down (Josh 5:14, Lk 5:12). A servant laid face down to the ground whenever he came before the master.  The position showed the total surrender of self to master.  Here I am face down before You my King.   I’m lying face down on the ground before the Master, completely ready to obey.   The same word “trust” is used when a soldier was defeated.   The captured soldier would lie face down before his new general.  I yield self unconditionally to You, conquering General.  I surrender.


Lead me to acknowledge You in all my ways. (Read Prov 3:6)

Before every turn in life, even in the small things, and even in the things that seem obvious, I look to You.   You give me deep well being.  Self is whole, thriving, and radiant.  Total personal well being is Your gift to those who walk closely with You.   The whole person is invigorated.  Gone is the feeling of floundering through life.  You make my paths straight. “He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”(Prov 30:5)


I promise to honor You with our family wealth. (Read Prov 3:9-10)

Following the Biblical pattern, I will return to You at least ten percent of my gross income.  I will bring this offering into Your storehouse regularly and cheerfully. It’s a reminder that I’m Yours, not my own. I give to You first, and let You decide how my barns should be filled.  


This one is not easy Father, but as Your child I will accept Your discipline.  (Read Prov 3:11-12)  

Why am I so prone to hide my own mistakes?  Why do I shrink from being disciplined?  Yes, God, it’s true; discipline pinches my pride.    That’s what You want to work on in me.    “The Lord will tear down the house of the proud.” (Prov 15:25). Another reason why You discipline me is to purify my character.  “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests the hearts.”(Prov 17:3). When the heat is on, the impurities in the gold will rise to the top.  The refiner then scrapes away those impurities.  What’s left is solid gold.  I submit my heart to Your refining fire Lord. However You discipline me is fine with me.  Sometimes it’s through Your Word (30:5-6), through friends and mentors (27:6,9,17 & 28:23), through situations (15:5), and through the conscience You placed within me.  “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being.”(Prov 20:27). Change my heart and hands, oh God, let me be like You.


Lord, I commit all my works to You. (Read Prov 16:3)

The word “commit” means “to roll over onto.”  When I place over onto You all my efforts, then the things that are planned for can take on solid reality.   I’m rolling over - exchanging a self-directed life for a God directed life.  I dare to live the exchanged life.   Before You, I lay down the arrogance of self-made plans and the pride of self-directed living.  I take on the habit of humbly placing onto You my daily work and planning procedure.  You are sovereign, my CEO. 

            I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who said in Proverbs, “Before the hills I was brought forth …When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, When He made firm the skies above, When the springs of the deep became fixed, When He set for the sea its boundary, so that the water should not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth;  Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; and I was His delight … Now therefore, o sons, listen to me, For blessed are they who keep my ways..For he who finds me finds life.”   (Prov 8:23-30, 32, 35)AMEN.


            [This prayer guide is a reprint of the one prepared by Matthew Nance in 2007. Matthew was a member of IBC. He is now Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church Dripping Springs, Texas in the US. Scripture quotes are from the NASB]