A Powerful Prayer for Firefighters

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

David, the author of this psalm, knew the power of prayer and the unmistakable evidence of God’s hand of protective power in dire situations. Firefighters accept the daily pursuit of walking into fires. They are heroes among us that face the shadow of death and great peril, voluntarily.

What hope do the shepherd’s tools in Psalm 23:4 grant? “The rod was a club worn at the belt, an instrument of authority, and also for counting, guiding, rescuing and protecting sheep” (NIV Study Bible/NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible).God is sovereign over all. He is in control and knows where we are and what we face. His protective hand never waivers. Our faithful and loving Father encourages us to lean into and on Him when our strength fails us. His power and His love embolden us to conquer impossible tasks. “The staff was a walking implement that doubled as a weapon in a time of need and guided and controlled the sheep; it was an instrument of support” (NIV Study Bible/NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible).This is the protective power of God’s Word we pray over firefighters, today.

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A Prayer for Broken Moments

“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” –1 John 5:5

One soft rug finally pulled the weight out from under me. After an hour-long state of frozen emotion, a stream of hopelessness fell beside the beautiful claw-foot tub. The hand on my shoulder felt familiar and firm, present now as in other periodic breakdowns. Even honest efforts to walk in our calling can leave us vulnerable to the cling of control.

“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” –1 John 5:5

Overcome,“nikao” in the Greek context of this verse, means “to conquer: to carry off the victory, come off victorious.” John wrote his letter during an era in which believers faced death and persecution. The strength to conquer the impossible adversity they faced came from Christ.

When we stand with Jesus, He links arms with us in victory. The release of broken emotions allows us to relinquish control. A lack of forgiveness, extended or accepted, can strangle our efforts to walk in peace. A burden to be strong for others can suffocate our own ability to breathe. Un-illuminated disobedience can leave us feeling as if no effort is good enough.

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A Prayer for God’s Direction

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14 (NLT)

Direction, “a purpose or orientation toward a goal that serves to guide or motivate,” has an inevitable flow in our lives. In consideration of our daily direction, the above verse from Romans aligns our internal compass with the One who breathes strength and purpose into the very muscles that compel us.

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible states that,“conclusions sometimes summarized key points in a work; love is once such point.” When we seek direction, does Love have the final say on our propelled steps? In Matthew Henry’s Commentary, he states many reasons the Corinthians were instructed by Paul to “be on guard.” There were people looking to deceive and corrupt their faith, to manipulate their direction. “A Christian is always in danger, and therefore should ever be on the watch,” Henry stated. Even today, we must stay alert to the current status of our life’s direction.

Our direction stems from faith. Paul encouraged the Corinthians to “stand firm in the faith.” Scripture tells us to take captive every thought, and to align all we hear with the truth of the Gospel. Reading Scripture daily builds godly confidence, preventing the propulsion down a path that doesn’t align with His unique purpose for our lives.

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A Prayer for Powerless Moments

By Meg Bucher

But when he, the Spirit of the truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come. John 16:13 (NIV)

No one could hear me. School was starting in less than 15 minutes and the whole family was out “shoveling” the driveway of snow. Without the normal break in silence that they were used to, they had no idea it was time to go.

It seemed that, along with every flu germ, my voice had been tossed out of the house.

Sometimes it takes a slight absence of normality to spin our heads around to attention. When we lose our voices, we come to grips with the fact life doesn’t run solely on our voice. John reminds us to operate daily on the power of the Holy Spiritthat is in us. He is louder than any volume we can conjure. In powerless …or voiceless …moments, tune into Him and follow His lead.

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A Prayer for Perspective

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

Ephesians 3:20

When my little Math whiz runs into a problem she can’t easily solve, it sends her little Irish temper into overdrive. Perspective, “the way you ‘see’ things as a result of who you are and what you do,”drives our daily lives. If we’re operating under the wrong influence, we can travel for long distances before we run out of gas and wonder how we ended up broken down.

Sometimes, just like my little and her minor Math conundrum, we can let small detours completely derail us.

“Take your time and figure it out,”I often remind her, “you’ll figure it out …you’re really good at Math.”

She will inevitably perk up a little as my compliments and encouragement sink in, but the hole in her Math paper remains as she tries to work around it to find the answer.

When minor mistakes and frustrations threaten to launch our temperaments into extremes, we can remind ourselves of the truth of this verse from Ephesians. Surely, our great God who is capable of all things, is not going to let a small mistake or frustration hold us back from the great life He has purposed for us. Not even a hole in our paper, or our plan.

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