Taking thoughts captive

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Location: Midwest, United States

Favorite smells: mown hay, turned earth, summer rain, line-dried laundry

29 December 2005

Praying Doxologies

While I was driving to Cedar Rapids yesterday, I was praying and thinking about prayer. After I had prayed for some time about chronic concerns, I suddenly realized that I was getting depressed. Then I simply prayed, "Lord, You know my concerns" and tried instead to recall scriptures and hymns that express praise. I think it is possible to actually become discouraged and depressed during prayers that are full of supplication for suffering people or chronic personal concerns.

Isn't it ironic that the devil can use the wonderful gift of communion with God and twist it to gain a foothold of discouragement in our lives? I think we need to be alert to this possibility, and--if we notice that we are becoming discouraged during prayer--try to redirect our thoughts from supplication to praise.

In my devotions from Ligonier's Tabletalk magazine this morning, I read that beautiful doxology from Jude 24-25: "Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."

Instead of laying my usual litany of specific supplications before God, I found great joy in simply praying: "Lord, You are the only One who is able to keep me from falling away from the faith. Please keep me from stumbling; present me blameless before the presence of Your glory with great joy. You are the only God, my Savior through Jesus Christ, my Lord. To You be all glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen."


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