the daughter and the joy
"..and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor 6:18)

"Though you have not seen him, you love him. And even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy."
(1 Peter 1:8)
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Now how could I after knowing One so great, respond to You in any way that’s less than all I have to give. But by Your grace I want to love You not with what I say. But everyday in a way that my life is lived. (Big Daddy Weave - Everytime I Breathe)

Now how could I after knowing One so great, respond to You in any way that’s less than all I have to give. But by Your grace I want to love You not with what I say. But everyday in a way that my life is lived. (Big Daddy Weave - Everytime I Breathe)

A Prayer When Facing Uncertain Outcomes

Scotty Smith

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Hab. 3:17-18

Dear heavenly Father, I approach the throne of grace today on behalf of those of us who are living in difficult stories, like Habakkuk, with unsettling circumstances and uncertain outcomes. I’m so thankful you always welcome us in our brokenness, never despise us in our anxiousness, and thoroughly understand our weariness. You, alone, are grace-full—bidding us cast our cares on you, even as you are prepared to catch everyone of them.

I pray for those of us facing difficult health issues—in our own bodies and minds, or in the lives of those we deeply love. Father, the promise and hope of our resurrection bodies never looked so good (2 Cor. 5:1-5).

We know that Jesus’ finished work has secured our ultimate healing (Isa. 53:5); but as our “outer man” further deteriorates, we trust you for wisdom, grace and the supernatural work of your Holy Spirit. It’s not a matter of “claiming healing,” but loving and trusting the Healer. Bring great glory to yourself, and peace to our hearts, no matter what you write in the next chapter of our stories.

I pray for those of us living in difficult relationships—marriage and family, church and vocation, neighborhood and community. Few things are as unsettling and upsetting, as broken, strained and messy relationships.

We praise you for Day when we will enjoy perfect relationships forever—in the new heaven and new earth. But until that Day, grant us mercy, strength and love—whether we get to see the beauty of reconciliation, or must bear the pain and grieve the loss of relationships.

I also pray for those of us facing uncertain outcomes in difficult jobs, legal proceedings, financial stress, parenting challenges, global fears, and in any of a number of hard providences—though we may not yet be see and fig leaves, grape buds, olive blooms, or baby calves, grant us a centering inner joy—knowing the gospel is true, we are your beloved children, and you are in complete control of all things. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus trustworthy name.

(Source: thegospelcoalition.org)

❝For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?
For what can a man give as an exchange (a compensation, a ransom, in return) for his [blessed] life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?❞

— Mark 8:36-37 AMP

A Prayer for a Renewed Soul-Thirst for Jesus

Scotty Smith

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lipsPs. 63:1-5

Dear Lord Jesus, we want what David had—an intense yearning and craving for you. Make us so thirsty that we’ll remain insatiable until you hydrate our hearts with the gospel; satiate us with your steadfast love; quench us with fresh grace.

It’s a dangerous thing not to miss fellowship with you, Jesus. It’s a deceptive thing to enjoy you, but no longer actually need you. It’s a deceitful thing to be satisfied with correct theology about you, without experiencing rich communion with you. It’s a deadly thing to find our ultimate satisfaction in anyone or anything else but you.

Only your steadfast love is better than life, Lord Jesus—only your mercy drenched, grace propelled, God-favor-filled affection for us. Nothing else will do. You’ve created a gospel-shaped vacuum in our hearts—a screaming empty place that fits only you. Forgive us when we try to cram human love, creature comforts, or anything else into that place. Keep us redemptively discontent until our hearts rest again in you.

Lord Jesus, our cry isn’t just for ourselves as individuals, but also for our churches. Forgive us for being so organized, creative, and “right,” that we no longer miss your presence. If you actually “left the house,” how long would it take before we knew the difference? Show us, convict us, forgive us, and change us.

Let us see and experience your power and glory in fresh ways, Jesus. We want to lift our hearts, voices, hands, and whole lives to you as a sacrifice of praise. May the truth and grace of the gospel satisfy us, as “fat and rich food”. So very Amen we pray, with longing and expectant hearts.

(Source: thegospelcoalition.org)

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David. (Isaiah 55:1-3 NLT)

(Source: instagram.com)

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David. (Isaiah 55:1-3 NLT)

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David. (Isaiah 55:1-3 NLT)

(Source: instagram.com)

Let The Peace of God Reign (Hillsong)

Father of life draw me closer. Lord, my heart is set on You
Let me run the race of time, with Your life enfolding mine
And let the peace of God, let it reign

Oh Holy Spirit, Lord my comfort, strengthen me hold my head up high
And I stand upon Your truth, bringing glory unto You
And let the peace of God, let it reign

Oh Lord, I hunger for more of You, rise up within me let me know Your truth
Oh Holy Spirit, saturate my soul, and let the life of God, fill me now
Let Your healing power breathe life and make me whole
And let the peace of God, let it reign

Let The Peace of God Reign (Hillsong)

Father of life draw me closer. Lord, my heart is set on You
Let me run the race of time, with Your life enfolding mine
And let the peace of God, let it reign

Oh Holy Spirit, Lord my comfort, strengthen me hold my head up high
And I stand upon Your truth, bringing glory unto You
And let the peace of God, let it reign

Oh Lord, I hunger for more of You, rise up within me let me know Your truth
Oh Holy Spirit, saturate my soul, and let the life of God, fill me now
Let Your healing power breathe life and make me whole
And let the peace of God, let it reign

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

— Romans 13:11-14 NIV

A Prayer for Relinquishing Ownership of Our Battles to God

Scotty Smith

Posted: 20 Mar 2014 03:36 AM PDT

The Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s. (1 Sam. 17:47) This is what the Lord says to you: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chron. 20:15)

Dear heavenly Father, I’m so thankful to begin this day relinquishing ownership of my battles to you. Your Word is so timely and encouraging. Though you call us into spiritual warfare and give us the appropriate armor to wear (Eph. 6:10-18), it’syou we must trust in as our “shield and buckler” (Ps. 91:4), high tower and safe refuge, mighty Warrior and faithful Deliverer.

I’ll fight, not a disengaged pacifist but as a fully engaged worshiper—”beholding the salvation of the Lord.” I’m never more than a little David facing a formidable Goliath; but with you, that is enough. Whether it’s a mere skirmish or an all-out assault, the battle belongs to you, Father. Fear and discouragement aren’t the order of the day; faith and peace are.

When dark plans and wicked ways threaten; when it seems like evil men and their destructive plots will triumph, let me hear your laughter in heaven, Father. Let me see your already-installed King, the Lord Jesus—for all things are subject to him,all things. Show me the occupied throne of heaven, and it will shut up my fears (Ps. 2; Rev. 4).

When I’m under attack by the seducer, accuser, and condemner of the brethren, once again let me see Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. Jesus, alone, is my wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30-31). My boast is in Christ plus nothing, not in anything in me.

When I get pulled into petty fights and relational turmoil, with friends, “brethren, and others, center me quickly by the power of grace, and bring me back to faith expressing itself in love (Gal. 5:6)—the only thing that matters.

When I’m in the presence of systemic evil and extreme brokenness, keep me sane, calm and wise. When my divided heart wages war inside of me, come to me in the storm, Father, and bring your peace that passes all understanding and transcends every difficulty. So very Amen I pray with confidence, in Jesus’ triumphant and tender name.

(Source: thegospelcoalition.org)

But you, O lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain (Psalms 3:3, 4 NLT)

But you, O lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain (Psalms 3:3, 4 NLT)

But you, O lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain (Psalms 3:3, 4 NLT)

So keep my heart pure and my ways true as I follow You
Keep my humble, I’ll stay mindful of Your mercies Lord
Day After Day (Tim Hughes)

So keep my heart pure and my ways true as I follow You
Keep my humble, I’ll stay mindful of Your mercies Lord
Day After Day (Tim Hughes)

It’s Him, the beginning and the end.

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!

2 Corinthians 9:10-15 NLT

A Prayer for Slaying the Beast of Perfectionism

Scotty Smith

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19

Gracious Father, the season of Lent is, once again, confronting me with my penchant for living more of a driven life, than a called life. The last few weeks have been a blur—filled with too much navel gazing and second-guessing, and performance-ism and perfectionism.

By your grace, I want to live with less fear and more freedom, less by frenzy and more by faith, with fewer obsessions and with much more adoration of you, the God of all grace and peace.

As I get older I just don’t have as much energy to juggle as many balls or spin as many plates as I used to. This is simultaneously a humbling thing and a good thing. For if greater grace comes to the humble, then accepting my limitations is essential for my liberation. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

It’s not difficult to see that my driven-ness and busyness are rooted in fear—the fear of not being enough and having enough, the fear of losing face and losing control, the fear of missing the mark and missing out.

Come, Lord Jesus, come. Perfection can only be found in you. Your perfect love alone can liberate this poser, performer, and perfectionist. Drive out my fears by a greater grasp of your grace and knowledge of your love. You lived a life of perfect obedience for us, as the second Adam—fulfilling everything God requires of us.

You died a death of perfect love for us, as the Lamb of God, exhausting God’s judgment against our sin. Your resurrection from the dead on the third day is the firstfruits and guarantee that one Day, we too, will be made perfect in love—the Day for which I long more than any other.

Lord Jesus, I love you because you first loved me and continue to love me. May your perfect love continue to drive every lingering and limiting fear from my life. So very Amen I pray, in your merciful and mighty name.

(Source: thegospelcoalition.org)

I have known the Father’s care for me. He’s been good, He’s been good. Through it all He’s always there for me. God’s been good to me. Ron Kenoly - He’s Been Good

(Source: thelastboyinlove)

I have known the Father’s care for me. He’s been good, He’s been good. Through it all He’s always there for me. God’s been good to me. Ron Kenoly - He’s Been Good

I have known the Father’s care for me. He’s been good, He’s been good. Through it all He’s always there for me. God’s been good to me. Ron Kenoly - He’s Been Good

(Source: thelastboyinlove)

Teach me to live Your love. Help me to give Your love
Show me Your way, Lord I’ll obey, Your word and live Your love

Live Your Love (The Katinas)

Teach me to live Your love. Help me to give Your love
Show me Your way, Lord I’ll obey, Your word and live Your love

Live Your Love (The Katinas)