Tag Archives: prayer

The Simplicity of One Thing- A Prayer for the New Year

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after;

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in His temple.

Psalm 27:4

My Beloved Heavenly Father,

This new year I ask one thing, that I may have but one goal, one pursuit, one focus that sets the foundation for everything else I do. Help me put aside distractions, temporal things that would divide my interests or weaken my resolve, and grant that from this one simple resolution much good would come, and that good for Your glory.

This have I asked of you Lord, and make it so, that should I diverge from this path because of the weakness of my flesh, that you would pull me back on course. You are the One I come to, Lord, trusting in Your grace and kindness, resting in Your mercy and love, hoping in Your power and promises.

That one thing will I seek after, directing all my desires toward one holy passion; searching for it as if for lost treasure and following no matter the cost is this: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord in sweet communion and humble accord with You. Oh how great and undeserved a privilege it is to be part of the household of God! What better way to spend the upcoming new year than serving You, Lord, the One who loved me when I was unloveable and adopted me when I was unadoptable! Please, Lord, allow me this, to practice for my future vocation in heaven by fulfilling my joyous duty here on earth, loving You and obeying You all the days of my life.    

Oh, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and behold the perfect loveliness of God! A longing only partly here fulfilled, but someday completely so when I shall see You face to face! Father God, give my mind a holy curiosity, a daily desire to inquire in Your temple. Let my heart be intent on following hard after You, let my will find gladness in complete submission to Your Son, and allow my life to be characterized by a sanctified yieldedness to Your Holy Spirit. Make me a humble inquirer, a listening inquirer, a thinking inquirer, an obedient inquirer, and grant me the simplicity of this one thing, that I might live for You.

For Jesus’ sake,

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

Praying for the Glory of God

Lord's Prayer in greek in the Pater Noster Cha...

Image via Wikipedia

Sermon Notes-December 18, 2011
Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church – Pastor Carlos Cuellar

Praying in such as way as to glorify God. The “Lord’s Prayer” is a model but more than that, it is teaching us to acknowledge God’s Glory.

1. Pray with a heart of child-like faith.
…Our Father in Heaven…(Matt 6:9a)
Pray in faith, believing God hears.
-Pray relating to God as a Father.
-See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God…(1 John 3:1)
-Consider Mark 10:13-16 as a picture of the Father’s heart.
What it means to be childlike:
-without pretense, sincere
-excited about who God is
-in awe of God
-completely dependent upon Him
-full of trust

2. Pray with a heart of humble devotion.
…hallowed be your name. (Matt 6:9b)
Who God is, is wrapped up in His name. (Ex 34:6-7)
-Pray in a way that causes His name to exalted.
-Hallowed=valued, prized, adored, worshipped
-1 Peter 3:15; Ps. 115:1

3. Pray with a heart of willing submission to God’s rule and plan for your life.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6:10)
-Pray in the spirit of 2 Peter 3:13; longing for the day when Jesus comes again.
-Pray with a heart filled with a vision of the glory of the kingdom to come.
-Pray submitting to God’s will as revealed in the Scriptures.
-Pray asking for God’s will above your own will.
-Pray believing God’s will is best.
-See Rom. 12:2; John 4:34; Luke 1:38.

4. Pray with a heart of desperate dependence upon God.
Give us this day our daily bread…(Matt 6:11)
-Pray for daily provision from God.
-Pray affirming that every good and perfect gift is from God.
-Admit that we need God.
-Remember that God is glorified when we are dependent upon Him. 
-See Matt. 7:7-11.

5. Pray with a heart of brokeness and repentance over sin.
…and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matt 6:12)
-True repentance involves heart, will and mind.
-Repentance is necessary not only for conversion, but daily and necessary for our relationship with God.
-When we see the truth of our own sin, we find it easier to forgive others.
-See 1 John 1:8-9; Ps. 32:5.

6. Pray with a heart of purity that longs for holiness.
…and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matt 6:13)
-God does not tempt. (James 1:13-14)
-Pray asking not to be lead into any circumstances where my own heart will fail. Deliver me from myself!
-Pray confessing that my flesh is weak.
-Ask for deliverance from the evil one.
-As Jesus prayed, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)
-Pray with a heart that longs to be sanctified. (1 Thess 4:3)
-Also see Jude 24.

Realize that we don’t pray as we should, but there is hope because Jesus teaches us how to pray.

The Prayer Ministry of the Holy Spirit

Sermon Notes-Pastor Milton Vincent
Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church
November 27, 2011

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  Romans 8:26-27

intercede: to take up a case on behalf of another; to seek to obtain what is necessary for that person


1. He intercedes for us (not against us).
We often grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30) and we can quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 5:19). And yet, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us!

2. He intercedes for us as a way of helping us in our areas of weakness.
helps: to enter and share in the burden of another and to ensure that burden gets addressed; to enter the task of another so that the task gets done together
Weakness = Lack of strength
Weakness from sin
Weakness from temptation
Weakness as a result of difficult circumstances
Weakness in comparison to the difficulty of a task
Even in our weakness the Holy Spirit does not turn away from us but towards us.

3. He intercedes for us when we don’t know how to pray.

4. He intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
The word “groanings” denotes tremendous passion and sympathetic feeling, yet articulate and intelligent-not just wordless groans. Denotes the fact that the full satisfaction of the Spirit is dependent upon us getting the help we need in our weakness.

5. He intercedes for us according to the will of God.
The beauty of the Holy Spirit’s prayer is that not only does He exactly represent us, but He completely understands the will and heart of God.

6. He intercedes for us in a way that succeeds with the Father.
i.e. Psalm 1:6
Knowing is opposite of failing. God knows and approves what the Spirit prays for because the Spirit knows the mind of the Father.

Note from Terrie: This sermon was especially encouraging for me. To think that the third member of the Trinity intercedes before the Father on my behalf! Very humbling and reassuring at the same time. If you have a chance, check the Cornerstone website and listen to the sermon in its entirety.

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

This prayer was taken from The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. This little book is filled with beautiful words of praise to God. I’m sharing this one with you in honor of Thanksgiving.

Oh my God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee
in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express,
for what thou art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, Oh my God,
Through time and eternity.

(From The Valley of Vision, p. 26)


By His Grace and for the Gospel,

A Quick Catechism – Philippians 1:9-11

Catechism: instruction by a series of questions and answers

I keep a journal where I write down thoughts, prayers, sermon notes, Bible study notes, and morning meditations, etc. Every so often, I find that using a catechism format is a good way to slow down my thought process and think about what I am reading. Here’s an example:

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.  -Philippians 1:9-11

Q. Who is speaking and what is the purpose of this section?
A. Paul is praying for the Philippians that their love may abound more and more.

Q. In what way does Paul pray that love may abound more and more?
A. Paul prays that love may abound more and more in knowledge and discernment.

Q. To what end may love abound in knowledge and discernment?
A. So that the Philippians would be able to approve what is excellent.

Q. What is the result of being able to approve what is excellent?
A. The Philippians would be pure and blameless and filled with the fruit of righteousness for the day of Christ.

Q. Where does the fruit of righteousness come from and how does it fill us?
A. The fruit of righteousness comes from and through Jesus Christ.

Q. What purpose is accomplished when the Philippians are filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ?
A. All to the glory and praise of God! 

Christian love is more than sentimentalism (not to say that the emotions are totally uninvolved), but is based on knowledge and discernment resulting in our being able to embrace what is excellent. In this way we are able to (gladly!) put aside the things that would hinder our relationship with Christ and keep us from living joyful, fruitful lives until the day when our blessed Hope is realized, the appearing of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). And how is all of this made possible? Enter the Gospel! We love because He first loved us (I John 4:19). It is because of and through the Lord Jesus that our love is able to abound more and more. It is because of and through the Lord Jesus and His loving sacrifice for us that we can know and mirror His true and lasting love.  There is a connection between abounding love and the glory and praise of God.

Make this (Philippians 1:9-11) a prayer for yourself and your loved ones.

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

New Year

O Lord,

Length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in thy presence,
in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,
          sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
but may rely on thy Spirit
     to supply every thought,
     speak in every word,
     direct every step,
     prosper every work,
     build up every mote of faith,
     and give me a desire
          to show forth thy praise;
          testify thy love,
          advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters
     of this year,
  with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
          thee, O Son, at my helm,
          thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
          my lamp burning
          my ear open to thy calls,
          my heart full of love,
          my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
          thy comforts to cheer,
          thy wisdom to teach,
          thy right hand to guide,
          thy counsel to instruct,
          thy law to judge,
          thy presence to stabilize.
May thy fear be my awe,
          thy triumphs my joy.

From The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions (p. 206-207)

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