Strength To Live A Life Pleasing To God
Strength to live or die
Derek Humphry's Final Exit is a disturbing book. It's as simple as a cook book. The recipes are easy to follow. The ingredients are clearly described. The procedures are detailed enough. The results are guaranteed: quick, painless, and sure.
The book in a way reflects the priorities of our culture. We want quick exits from difficult situations, and in the process who cares about who gets hurt? Who cares about guilt? Who cares about any thing, except that the “I” be allowed to reign supreme, end what is not its to end, affirm its own vulgarity of power, and deny the existence of the other or the supreme?
The book shows how to die by one's own hand. It does not show how to face death. Nor how to cope with the perils of living.
The problem, though, is not death. The problem is not even life. The problem is how to face the extremities of life or death.
It is how to help others (our parishioners, for example,) look at life or death and not be overwhelmed by the impossibility or the horror of it all.
It is to find a balance between anguish and serenity when perils of life or the certainty of death come knocking at our doors.I find my answer on the cross. The Man hanging there provides the perfect approach: agony and peace, fear and fulfillment, anxiety and composure are reflected in the way Jesus faced His ultimate crisis.
On the one hand, there was the dread of abandonment: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).
* On the other, there was the breathing of assurance: “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46).
Pastoral counseling and preaching can draw from the cross event lessons on the art of living as well as dying. First, we note that Jesus found His strength in life as in death in the inspired words of Scripture. He knew His Bible. From childhood He was a diligent student of God's Word.
In His boyhood confrontation with the rabbis, in His dramatic victory over Satan's assault in the wilderness, in teaching the disciples the meaning of His kingdom, in expounding the great truths of redemption to the multitudes, in defending the meaning of His life or the method of His mission, and now on the cross (Ps.
22:2; 35:1), Jesus found His defense and strength in the Word of God. Where the Word is cherished, strength is assured.
Second, Christ's serenity at the cross may be understood in terms of an accomplished mission. “It is finished,” Jesus reported to His Father (John 19:30). Throughout His life Jesus was conscious of His mission.
“My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34) was the driving force of His life. Every step of His way, every day of His life, God's work possessed Him.
On the sea, in the desert, in the Temple, on the streets, among friends or foes, Jesus had one single goal: to finish the work given to Him. His mission was one of revelation and reconciliation: to reveal God to the human race, and bring the human race back to God.
With this one purpose Jesus overcame every trial, met every onslaught, suffered every agony, and “became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). Where the mission of reconciliation is accomplished, strength is assured.
Third, we note that the Man of the cross was a Man of submission to God's will. The words “Father, into thy hands” (Luke 23:46), are the ultimate in commitment. God's will was paramount in Christ's life, and He died fulfilling it.
The affection of His mother, the zeal of the disciples, the constant distraction of His enemies, the arduous struggle of His mission, the agony of Gethsemane nothing distracted Him from going to the cross.
The way of the cross was the only option open to Him to fulfill the will of the Father, and that settled all issues of life and death for Him. Where submission to God is total and unconditional, strength is assured.
Finally, life and death in a Christological context take on a new meaning in what happened after the cross. The Resurrection is the empowering act of God: defeating death, on the one hand; enabling full and eternal life, on the other. Because it is a divine act in human history, Easter is not something one finds in science.
Zoologists cannot tell us about resurrection. They may talk of life. They may talk of death or even postpone death but after that the ways must part. The scientist's work stops at the grave. Test tubes do not function in the tomb. Cybernetics cannot probe beyond the embalming table. No electronic device can come up with resurrection.
That is the privilege of the Christian faith.
Resurrection, therefore, is not for the weak or the timid. It is for the strong—those who are ready to accept the unacceptable, believe the unbelievable, and follow the unreasonable.
It is for those who believe that in Christ life and death have meaning and purpose; for “he is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).
Where the power of the resurrection abides, strength is assured.
Where, then, is our strength to live, our strength to die? In the Word, in being reconciled and reconciling, in commitment to His Will, in the power of the resurrection.
Hence the apostle's triumphal assurance: “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life,…
nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:37-39).
*All Bible passages in this article are from the Revised Standard Version.
8 Prayers for Strength and Power in Prayer
Prayer is a powerful tool for communicating with our Heavenly Father. It is an opportunity to become one with the Creator and Giver of all things. Prayer helps us to find strength for today and hope for our future.
We should actively pray and trust in its power to change our circumstances for good. Your faith life directly correlates to the quality of your prayer life. Prayer has the power to change not only the people and things around you.
Prayer also has the power to change you from the inside out. Here are eight prayers for strength and power in prayer:
When you’re in need of strength, remember that God is the number one healer and can guide you in endless ways. If your heart and life are centered on God, His Word and His Holy Spirit, you can rest assured that He will direct your path. God’s primary means for giving us guidance is in the Bible.
“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and spirit.’” (John 3:5). If you’re ready to trust in God’s ability to direct your life, pray this prayer silently or out loud: Heavenly Father, as I arise today, I pray that Your strength pilot me, Your power uphold me, and Your wisdom guide me.
May Your eye look before me, Your hand protect me and Your shield defend me. Amen.
Strengthen My Mind, Body and Spirit
Our God has worked in history to defeat sin and Satan and hell and death. He did this through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has the power to strength your mind, body and spirit if you allow Him to be at work in your life.
If you’re ready for God to step in and transform you from the inside out, pray this prayer silently or out loud: Heavenly Father, I ask you to strengthen my mind, body and spirit today. When I’m weary, may I be refreshed. When I’m worn, may I be renewed. When I’m broken, may I be restored. When I’m fearful, may I become faithful.
I pray that I walk in complete confidence today knowing that the Lord Almighty is with me. Amen.
I Surrender All
God calls on all of us to make total surrender to God. If you’re in need of strength and are ready for a change in your life in a way that you’ve never known before, God demands that you allow the Lord to become the ruler of your life. We can only do this when we surrender to Him.
If you’re ready to fully let go and let God, pray this prayer silently or out loud: Heavenly Father, I surrender every area of my mind, will and emotions to You. I choose to dwell in Your goodness and faithfulness so that the good seeds You’ve planted in my life will take root.
Keep me close to You and direct my steps down the good path You have prepared for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thank You for Your Protection and Direction
When you’re in need of strength, one of the best things you can do is call on God for protection and direction. He will direct Your paths for good.
If you’re ready for His guidance and protection, pray this prayer silently or out loud: Heavenly Father, I come to You today giving thanks. Thank you for keeping and protecting me. Thank you for Your guidance and direction.
Thank you for picking me up when I was at my lowest. You are an awesome God and it is because of You I choose to live and walk in Your favor. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Help Me to Know the Power of My Words
We know from Scripture that our words have real power. God spoke the world into being by the power of His words (Hebrews 11:3) and we are in His image in part because of the power we have with words. Words do more than convey information or deliver a message.
The power of our words can actually destroy one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence if we’re not careful.If you’re ready for your words to bring positivity in your life and the life of others, pray this prayer silently or out loud: Heavenly Father, help me to change my negative words and intentionally transform them into ones that bring life no matter what challenges are placed before me.
Words of faith, strength, courage, success confidence, trust, peace, happiness and joy are just some of the positive attributes I want to reign in on my life. Guide me to recognize the power of my words, that they might give glory to You, and also give me strength. In Your name, I pray. Amen.
Strengthen My Family
It’s important that we ask God to bless our families and protect them from harm. God has the power to give them grace, forgiveness and strength to overcome all the difficulties they face.
He also has the power to keep your family together when the world tries to pull them apart.
If you want to lift up prayers to strengthen your family, pray this pray silently or out loud: Heavenly Father, thank you for today, Thank you for my dear family and all that You have blessed me with. I pray that you fill My family with peace and strength.
I pray that their days go smoothly and that their lives are touched in a special way. Reveal Yourself to them in marvelous ways. I pray that any barriers that separate us be let down, and that we would live as a team for You. I pray that Your will be done today and always. Amen.
God, Is My Life Pleasing to You?
This question helps me daily as we’re told in Galatians to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). When I’m choosing to live according to my “flesh,” I’m choosing thoughts and activities that do not please God.
In Romans we’re told that the “mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” but that “the mind governed by the flesh is death” (Romans 8:6).
I know that I can hardly trust my own ways as described in Proverbs 14:12 where even the wisest king wrote, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
I know my capacity for self-deception and going my own independent way. I know that there’s a part of me—my flesh—that desires things contrary to God’s ways. As I meditate on Galatians 5:16–25, for example, I see examples of the acts of the sinful nature that still dwell inside of me.
As we grow in maturity in Christ, we’re able to more and more keep in step with the Spirit and turn from the flesh by the Holy Spirit’s power. But at no time are we living under condemnation.
In my early twenties, I lived under so much guilt and condemnation for the sinful choices I made though I was a believer. I was clearly—in many forms—living out the acts of my flesh.I could recite 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” but when I asked Jesus to forgive me, I didn’t really know how to experience that love and forgiveness.
I often quoted Romans 8:1 to myself that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Over and over again, I mentally repeated this truth.
When we’re seated with Christ, the difference is that Jesus is with us, and we are looking at our sin together. He is giving us power to change. He isn’t shaking His finger or turning His face away when we come to Him with a repentant heart. He’s ready to embrace us in the midst of our sin. He loves me. He loves you. He delights in us. We are seated in this delight and acceptance.
The question “Is there anything in my life that doesn’t please God?” is one designed to cleanse the heart and help us deeply abide with Jesus.
Since I know my sin grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) and that it harms my sweet intimacy with Jesus (Psalm 66:18), I carefully consider my attitudes and behaviors.
I’m also aware that sin brings “trouble and distress” into my life (Romans 2:9), so I’m eager to examine my heart for any areas of sin.
We know that, although we are saved from the punishment of sin and that our sins are not held against us, we still battle the sin nature within us. But Christ sympathizes with us in our struggle with sin (Hebrews 4:15). I am seated in Christ, together with all the saints and with a God who understands, and now I can examine my life to grow into godliness
Growing in godliness, however, requires knowledge of the ancient paths that God lays out. He designs life to work best within certain parameters, but many people do not know what these boundaries are. They don’t know how to live uprightly because the culture has so diluted what it means to live a godly life. We need help to understand these paths.Consider this wonderful promise from Isaiah 48:17: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
When I ask myself, “Is there anything in my life that doesn’t please God?” I’m asking God to show me what is best and to lead me into the right kind of living. I want a life “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:11).
So I examine my life carefully and pray as David did:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23–24)
Ask questions to help you discern
All day long, we’re assaulted with different messages from the media and culture that can distract us from God’s best ways. A few years ago, I compiled a list of ten questions to help me, Paul prays, “to discern what is best” (Philippians 1:10).
I want to know “what is best.” Here are some questions that guide my life even today:
1. Does this activity bring me closer to Jesus or further away?
2. Is this activity against the law or another authority?
3. Is this activity forbidden in Scripture?
4. Does this activity help others know Jesus?
5. Would I be embarrassed if Jesus arrived and saw me doing this thing?
6. Is this decision more ly to bring me into temptation or into godly choices?
7. Do people I respect and admire agree with this activity?
8. Does this activity bring me under its power where I can’t control myself?
9. How do I feel about myself and my relationship with God after doing this thing or being with this person?
10. Is the Holy Spirit saying no, and am I ignoring Him?
I’ve turned off certain movies, closed certain books, ended various dating relationships, took different jobs, stopped certain addictive behaviors, and even moved because of these questions. I hope they help you as you begin to make godly choices for your life.
Remember, you are accepted and loved by God
As we grow as Christians and learn to make these good choices, we must remember that we are always accepted and loved by Jesus.
To help direct my soul into these truths, I remember the day a mentor asked me, “How do you think God feels about you right now?” At the time, I said— so many of us might—that Jesus was surely embarrassed, disappointed, and sad about me.
Not true! I learned to take those condemning lies and say, “I know that Jesus is absolutely delighted by me. I am His chosen princess at the royal table.”If you ask women what God feels about them, I highly doubt you’ll receive this kind of answer from many. So many of us believe Jesus doesn’t really love us.
We imagine a frowning, angry, and disappointed face when we think of Jesus.
When did we start imagining Jesus as disappointed and ashamed of us? I began to wonder if we lose the truth as we age, so I asked a small child—my own daughter—the question.
I asked my younger daughter, “How do you think Jesus feels about you?”
She smiled and her eyes lit up as she answered quickly and without a bit of hesitation, “Oh, He is so happy about me!”
We need to recapture the little girl inside us who knows Jesus is so happy about us.
Because I’m seated in Christ, when I look at the ways I must change, I don’t feel condemned. I feel excited to grow. I feel thrilled that Jesus would continue to refine and shape me into His image.
Try sowing to please the Spirit
When I first began asking God the question, “Is there anything in my life that doesn’t please you?” the answers were obvious. I knew that many things about my life went against God’s word.
I felt the deep conviction of the Holy Spirit about various behaviors and attitudes. I confessed those things, and I began to avoid places and people that encouraged me to compromise.
I learned to sow to “please the spirit” instead of my flesh.
I read in Galatians 6:8 that “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
” Sowing to please the Spirit meant doing things that helped develop the parts of my life that were God-honoring. It meant spending time in prayer and Bible study. It meant connecting with -minded people.It meant finding mentors who could help me grow and hold me accountable for temptation areas of my life. I learned to stop doing things that were “sowing to please my flesh” including certain books, movies, parties, and communities that only pushed me away from God.
I didn’t want anything to come between Jesus and me. I wanted, David prayed in Psalm 86:11, “an undivided heart” so I could praise God and walk closely with Him.
But is it worth it? Is a godly life that great that it outweighs the pleasures of sin? I will tell you this: Nothing—nothing!—compares with the peace of the Holy Spirit and knowing you are experiencing a close relationship with Jesus. Anything that would hinder you from God’s ways is a temporary happiness that will eventually reveal itself for what it is.
Enjoy the process
Think of Paul’s great question in Romans 6:21: “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” When I look back on my life, I can tell you that sin offers no benefit. It only brings pain and suffering and loss and shame.
But the times I spent journaling my thoughts to Jesus, praying, and studying my Bible? Those times have generated more wisdom, fruit, and well-being than you can imagine. God’s word, as it says in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “continues to work in those who believe.
” God’s word will work within me to lead me away from sin and toward godliness.
Today, I love asking Jesus, “Is there anything in my life that doesn’t please You?” This is a joyful, not condemning or depressing process. I’m seated in Christ, covered by Christ’s righteousness, and fully accepted.
Therefore, the reason I aim to live a godly life isn’t a “works” mentality or any kind of legalism. It’s because I want to continue to allow God to shape me into a woman who’s more and more Jesus. My motivation isn’t to please God or to earn His favor; that’s already decided.
My motivation is to enjoy Jesus more and more and to allow His Holy Spirit to lead me into deeper freedom and intimacy with Jesus.
Heather Holleman, PhD, is the author of Seated With Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison. She is a speaker, writer, and college instructor and serves on the staff of Faculty Commons with Cru. Heather lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their two daughters. To learn more about Heather, visit her at http://livewithflair.blogspot.com/
This excerpt was taken from Seated with Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison, ©2015 by Heather Holleman. Used with permission of Moody Publishers. This article is part of a 3-question series, read Question 1: Is knowing Jesus better than anything? here and Question 2: Will I live the life God asks me to? here!
Prayers for Strength: Powerful & Inspirational Prayer Requests
On this page you’ll find powerful prayers for strength. Life is tough as it is but these prayers will strengthen your body mind a soul to move forward and be close to God. We may come across times in our life where we are tested in body, mind and spirit. We may hit rock-bottom or we may just bogged down by everyday struggles.
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
It can be tempting to turn your back on God when it feels you have the weight of the world pressing down on you. But there is no need to panic when facing unexpected demands.
The bible says that God won’t ever leave you and God won’t tempt you more than you can stand. God fully equips you to handle any of the difficulties that come into your life.
So do not run away from God, especially in times of weakness.
By moving forward, you may see God’s strength come into its own in your weakness. However, sometimes you won’t be able to see God’s strength within your weakness. But believe that God and his power are there. All you have to do is ask for his strength.
Colossians 1:10-12 – We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul…Strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy…Strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that the Father has for you.
The glorified strength God offers is capable of enduring the endurable and spilling over into joy. Therefore, do not fear your limitations and weaknesses for they were designed to open you up to the power of God. Stay connected with God and trust in his limitless resources. Talk to God and listen to him as he talks your through each challenge or obstacle.
Luke 1:37 – For nothing is impossible with God.
Our natural tendencies are to plan out our life, in hopes of knowing what will happen. God prefers that we depend on him and trust him to guide and strengthen us as needed. Trust that life’s ups and downs will make you stronger in the end. Overcome the adversity to live a life worth living. Relax and trust in God’s strength.
Prayer for strength and comfort
I know I am weak Lord, so I will allow you to carry me through this valley. I struggle to think clearly, so I depend upon your living word to lift me. I feel such darkness around, so I look to your light.
I walk with a heavy heart, so I will give you each burden. I wonder if my heart can take the strain, so I rest in your love and peace.
I light a candle tonight to remind me of the warm glow of your hope in dark places.
Almighty Graceful One (a prayer for strength and patience)
I need to give out so much more than I can give alone. I need the strength that comes from you, Almighty graceful one. I need the strength of wisdom, so that just a tree, I can grow roots deep in you that others do not see.
I need the strength of gentle peace, so that just the sea, I can rise and fall each day and lead others gently onwards. I need the strength of steady love so that just wind, I can blow or hold my breath with patience deep and kind.
I need to give out much more than I can give alone.
I need the strength that comes from you, Almighty graceful one.
Basil of Caesarea
Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbour, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go.
And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace.
Requesting Strength, Wisdom, Courage, Serenity
Dear God I come to you for strength—strength of body, strength of mind and strength of soul. I feel the infilling of your Spirit. I feel the assurance of your upholding presence. Thank you, God, for strength.
Dear God I come to you for wisdom—wisdom to know what I should do, wisdom to choose the course that means growth and understanding. Thank you, God, for wisdom.Dear God I come to you for courage—courage to face every experience, courage to stand strong and firm in the midst of situations that require much of me. Thank you, God, for courage.
Dear God I come to you for serenity—serenity of heart and spirit. Bless me with your untroubled Spirit of peace. I feel your calming touch upon my heart. I feel your love enfolding me. Thank You, God, for serenity.
Nothing Blocks Me
I pray that the desires of my heart lead me to a happy and fulfilling life. I pray that I am free of tendencies and habits that do not contribute to my well being. Dear God I ask you to give me the strength needed to put aside unwanted habits and tendencies.
As I pray, I affirm the truth of the overcoming of God’s Spirit within. I feel strong and stable. I become a master of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I accept the heritage of complete freedom over my former self.
Dear God with your help I live in freedom and in accord with my best self.
In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.
Prayer for Strength to Succeed
Lord, I come to you today to ask for affirmation. I have done all things and stayed away from all the food I am not supposed to have. Bless me, Father, for more strength to keep it this way.
Give me the grace to be stronger and encourage me to keep pushing on. With you, my God, nothing is impossible. I believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Thank you, Father for listening to my plea.
I pray this with all your angels. Amen.
Hold my Hand in Weakness
Lord God, you are my strength. Hold my hand in my weakness and teach my heart to fly. With you, there’s nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. Hold me tight in your embrace, so that I can be stronger than the challenges in my life. Amen.
Prayer for Strength and Hope
Holy and gracious God, Thank you for the fact that no matter where I am, you are with me. When I make decisions, you are there to comfort me. God I pray that today you be with me each second. I am struggling with everything right now, and I pray that you give me the hope to go on.
Please give me hope and purpose so I have a goal to achieve. Please help me as I uncover your will for my life, and give me the strength to take steps in the right direction. I know you have a purpose for me. Reveal it to me and help me to have the strength required to overcome my shortfalls and insecurities.
Please be with me and help me.
In your Son’s holy and precious name I pray, Amen.
Strength to Overcome Daily Obstacles
Lord, thank you for your promises to never leave or forsake me. Please be with me this day, help me to overcome obstacles and never hesitate to remember that you are with me. Amen.
Prayer for Strength
Righteous God, I need your strength today and every day. Of myself, I can do nothing, but I can do all things only through Jesus Christ, Who will strengthen me.
I do need this strength almost every day, especially the older I get. You can uphold me by your righteous right hand, and only by your Spirit can I endure.
When my own strength fails, yours takes over, and I thank you for having access to you through Jesus Christ, in whose precious name I pray. Amen.
Bible Verses for Strength
Psalm 107:28-30 – Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and God delivered them from their distress. God made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and God brought them to their desired haven.
Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Psalm 28:8 – The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Isaiah 40:31 – They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength!
Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.