It’s essential to begin this season of prayer with the truth that existed before all else–God is Holy. Saturating ourselves in this truth reminds us Who we’re praying to, His true power, and just how radical it is that the Holy God has chosen to enter our mess and love us still. The vastness of God’s holiness exposes how different we are from Him in our idolatry, pride, desire to control, self-ambition, love of comfort, selfishness, and so much more. God uses this nakedness and exposure to help us realize our desperate need for Him, a need He has abundantly provided for in Jesus.
This is where we start our Lenten journey.
“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Isaiah 59:2
Do you believe your sins have made a separation between you and God? How have you experienced your separation from God? Talk to God about it.
*Remember! Once you have come to know Jesus as your Savior, there is not a single thing that can separate you from Him ever again (Romans 8:32-39). Even as you pray about your past separation, listen to God’s voice of acceptance and nearness to you as you talk to Him.
“I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord of hosts is his name. And I have put my words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of my hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” Isaiah 51:15-16
As you sit with God, imagine what it’s like for Him to command the waves with a single word while surrounded by angels and heavenly beings. Talk to Him about what this stirs in you. What is it like to be called “mine” by this God?
“And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.” Ezekiel 1:27-28
Close your eyes and imagine each of these descriptions of his power and beauty. Ask God to come near and show you His face. Ask Him to let you hear His voice. Sit and listen for the Spirit to renew your mind in the truth.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
God is eternal we are but a breath. As a mortal man, what is it like to think about God as the eternal beginning and end of all things? Praise him for this.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1
“And [God] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17
All things are held together by God. Without Him, literally nothing could function. How do you feel when you try to hold everything together. Let this stir you to worship Him as the only necessary being. God alone is indispensable, and yet He’s chosen to shower you with His love.
“I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.” Psalm 50:9-10 NIV
How quickly can you think of something you need? Talk to God about what it’s like for Him to need absolutely nothing, but to love you. Talk to God about how different He is from you. What does this stir in you?
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1-5
When you think of the Ultimate Being, the Greatest, the One who made the heavens and does miraculous wonders, what kind of being do you immediately imagine? Do you also imagine him with relentless, eternal love? Talk to God about His character as the God of all gods and yet the One who pours out abundant love on you. Thank Him! Worship Him!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
Consider what it means for God to never change. How is that different from you? Talk to God about how His unchanging character impacts your life.
What particular characteristics of His are you grateful never change?
If this is difficult for you to believe, talk to God about it. Ask Him to help your unbelief and show you why it’s difficult for you.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
Do you believe that this holy, unchanging God gives you nothing but good and perfect gifts? What specific gifts has He given you? Did you earn or deserve these gifts? Do you ever feel he gives you bad gifts? What emotions and thoughts does this bring up? Praise God and confess openly and honestly about these things.
“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.” Psalm 111:2-3
Take some time to study and think on the great works of your God. Talk to Him about what comes to mind. Do you delight in what He’s done do his work seem amazing or dull and dry? Ask God to to help you delight in all he does.
“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” Exodus 15:11
Who is the most selfless, compassionate, giving person you know? As wonderful as they are, look at how short they fall when compared to God and His glorious deeds. Talk to God about how wonderful He is, how He supersedes all human standards. Ask Him to help you redefine greatness by His character, by His holiness, by His standards.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” Psalm 139:1-6
Today, pray these verses back to God just as David sang these words to God as a prayer. As you read, let this passage lead you to pray. When a certain word or phrase brings up a memory, thought, or emotion, stop and talk to God about it. Sit and think on one verse for awhile. There’s great power, healing and growth when we let the Word of God lead our prayers.