Praying Through God's Word: Joshua
We thank You, Lord, that we have Your wonderful promise - "The Lord your God is with you" - well as Your clear command - "Be strong" (Joshua 1:9). Without Your promise, the command is no use. Again and again, we fail to keep Your commands. Again and again, we need to be reassured. You are still with us.This is what we need to hear. This is where our strength comes from. It comes from Your promise. It comes from knowing that You never fail us. You have never failed us. You never will fail us.
Help us, Lord, to "give a friendly welcome" (Hebrews 11:31). What a difference the friendly welcome makes! It's the word of encouragement that makes us feel loved. It's the act of kindness that lets us know that love is more than words. Lord, You are our Father. Help us to be like You - "when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him" (Luke 15:20). What amazing grace! Before the confession of sin - "Father, I have sinned... " (Luke 15:21), there is the friendly welcome. It's Your grace that inspires our confession of sin. It's Your grace that leads us into the joy of Your forgiveness. It's not only joy for us. It's joy for You - "my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate" (Luke 15:24).
Help us, Lord, to be active for You - "the people who know their God will be strong and take action" (Daniel 11:32) - and to wait upon You - "those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength" (Isaiah 40:31). We need both - prayer and action, seeking Your will and doing Your will. Give us wisdom to know Your will, and courage to do Your will.
Lord, You have blessed us so much. Help us never to forget this. We look at the world You have made for us - and we say, "Thank You, Lord." We look at the Saviour You have sent to us - and we say, "Thank You, Lord." Why must we keep on remembering You? - We "remember" so that we might learn to fear You (Joshua 4:23-24). We remember so that we may have hope for the future - "times of refreshing" (Acts 3:19).
Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, comes to us as more than our personal Saviour. He comes to us as the "commander of the army of the Lord" (Joshua 5:14). We thank You that "Christ, the Royal Master, leads against the foe." We thank You that He leads us "on to victory." Help us to be His faithful followers on His pathway of victory.
We thank You, Lord, that victory comes from You - "I have handed Jericho over to you" (Joshua 6:2). Help us to receive Your victory by faith - "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down" (Hebrews 11:30). We don't achieve this victory in our own strength. You give us Your promise of victory. Help us to believe Your promise - to receive the victory as Your gift, to stand upon Your promise and claim the victory that You give to us.
Help us, Lord, to take sin seriously. The world tells us that it doesn't matter how we live. Your Word tells us that it does matter how we live. Help us to think about our way of living. Help us to be honest with ourselves - to be honest with You: Are we living to please ourselves - or to bring glory to You?
Help us, Lord, to do Your work in Your way - believing Your promise and obeying Your command (Joshua 8:7-8). How are we to do Your work in Your way? We must read "all that is written in Your book" - the strong warnings that call us back from the way of sin, and the precious promises that lead us on in the way of holiness.
When we're following You, Lord, Satan is never very far away. He's always looking for ways of tripping us up and leading us away from You. Help us, Lord, to remember that You are stronger than Satan. Here-and-now, Satan has his successes - but he will not win the final victory. He will be defeated (Revelation 20:10) - and it will be clear to all that You are "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16).
We thank You, Lord, that we do not fight against Satan in our own strength. You fight for us (Joshua 10:42). Victory is never our own achievement. It is always Your gift: "Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Where does victory come from? Does it come from ourselves? No! It comes from You, Lord. You give us the victory. We give You the glory: "To God be the glory! Great things He has done. So loved He the world that He gave us His Son ... Praise the Lord!"
You call us, Lord, to "lead a life worthy of Your calling" (Ephesians 4:1). We say, 'I can't.' You say to us, "I have blessed you, in Christ, with every spiritual blessing" (Ephesians 1:3). Why we do allow our lives to be controlled by our own weakness when we can be transformed by Your strength? Help us, Lord, to think of all that You have given to us, in Christ, and to rise up, with new strength - Your strength - to live for You day-by-day.
We thank You, Lord, for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. In Him, You give to us "rivers of living water" (John 7:37-39). How are these "rivers of living water" to flow in us and through us? - We need less of this world - "Do not be conformed to this world" - and more of Your Word - "Be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2).
When, Lord, we settle for anything less than Your very best, we miss out on Your blessing - and we have no blessing to pass on to other people. Help us, Lord, to move out of complacency and into commitment, out of the 'No' attitude - 'no time for You, Lord' - and into the 'Yes' actions - "Yes, Lord, I will follow You, I will serve You."
Lord, we like to take it easy. We like to have a comfortable life. we don't want to be too committed. We've become half-hearted. Where does this apathy come from? Does it come from You? Are You not calling us to be whole-hearted? Lord, lift us out of a life pf paying lip-service to You and into a life of being changed by Your love and Your power.
We thank You, Lord, that Your love goes on and on. We may stop loving You - but You will never stop loving us. What a wonderful love You have for us. There is no love like Your love. Thank You, Lord, for Your love.
Help us, Lord, to hear Your Word, to speak Your Word, and to live Your Word. You speak to us. Are we listening? There are people who need to hear Your Word. Do we fail them? Do we keep Your Word to ourselves? the world is watching us. Are we living for You? In our hearing, speaking and living, help us, Lord, to be, more truly and more fully, all that You want us to be.
Lord, You have done great things for us. You are still doing great things for us. You will continue to do great things for us. When we say, "Thank You, Lord, for Your many blessings", help us never to take Your blessing for granted. Help us to keep on living in obedience to Your Word. Help us to see, more clearly, the vital connection between obedience and blessing: Keep the obedience going, and the blessing will keep on coming.
Help us, Lord, to mean what we say, and say what we mean. May our words of faith by backed up by a life of faith. In our life of faith, may we be unashamed to say, "I'm living this way because I love Jesus. It's not about me. It's about Jesus. He's changing me - "It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).