Thank You that You reign, high and lifted up, over all the nations (Psalm 47:8). You reign over both the nations here on earth as well as all spiritual principalities in the heavenlies. You even rule over those set up against acknowledging You (Ephesians 6:12). You, O Lord, are the Ancient of Days — the One Who is above all, with thousands upon thousands attending You and myriads upon myriads standing before You as their righteous, holy Judge (Daniel 7:9-10). Praise You for sending Your Son long ago to live our life and die our death that we might stand faultless before You, our Judge (Jude 1:24). With confidence, we enter within the veil by the blood of Jesus and speak out our requests (Hebrews 10:19-20).
Father, enlarge the influence that this tent of our body represents. Reveal what it means to lengthen our cords and strengthen our pegs (Isaiah 54:2). Surely this is not something we can do, but You alone can do this work (Philippians 2:13). Thank You that even now You are busy bringing it to pass (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Place upon our “loins” (the inner depths of our emotions and desire – Psalm 51:6) Your belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14). May Your truth so electrify and purify us that we resemble Your Son, burning as with fire (Ezekiel 1:27). May this blazing passion for truth extend into our actions – affecting not only our intentions but also our feet (Philippians 2:13).
As You affect our outer man, may You also burn an intensity within us for prayer (Colossians 4:2). Like Your Son, may we have feet of fire (Revelation 1:15; Ezekiel 1:27) that we plant upon the very neck of our enemies (Joshua 10:24). While we love man, may we demolish all demonic forces that are raised up against knowing You (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). After all, our enemies are not flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12) — the very prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2).
Since the battle is great, teach us to pray with boldness (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19). Teach us to pray with the authority that You freely give Your children (Luke 10:19)— the authority to take back that which man lost in the fall. You are our consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Consume all within us that is not of You (Malachi 3:1-4). May our prayers — indeed our very lives — resemble Your brilliance, so that when people look at us, they glorify only You (Matthew 5:16).
Set our hearts and minds aglow with the very radiance of who You are (Ezekiel 8:2). Grant insight so clear that we begin to resemble the very brightness of heaven’s expanse (Daniel 12:3). May You, our Light, lead many to see that their own righteousness is sourced only and always in You (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Thank You for giving us the very mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Hallelujah. May we use it to comprehend Your Love and so be filled up to the fulness of God (Ephesians 3:19).
Grant us to be strengthened with power through Your Holy Spirit in our inner man (Ephesians 3:16), so that we may display strength and take action in the coming year (Daniel 11:32). May we be a source of understanding to many and never fear the repercussion of speaking truth (Daniel 11:33).
Thank You that Your Kingdom has come down to live within us (Luke 17:21; Colossians 1:27). Reveal to us how best to keep unlocking the heavenly doors onto earth (Matthew 16:19). May our prayers be powerful to see Your Kingdom increase upon the earth, just as Your Kingdom is, even now, divinely supreme in heaven (Matthew 6:10). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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An ordinary package — taped, addressed, and covered with postal stickers. An ordinary journey — traveling by railcar the 229 miles from New York City to Washington D.C. An ordinary postal worker — delivering the package from his satchel, from which he had delivered so many others.
Yes, almost everything about this package was conventional for the USPS — everything, except the contents. Within the plain, brown wrapping lay one of the most valuable shipments in U.S. history: the Hope Diamond.
Even in 1958, this 45-carat, dark-blue diamond had a value of one million dollars. Today, that value is closer to $250 million.
Yet, for a period of time, this diamond of immense wealth was enveloped in ordinary, brown paper.
What a beautiful picture of the children of God— humble in packaging, but glorious in content. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7). As His children, we house the very brilliance of God. “For behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).
Our God had been planning His move into us for a long time. Both Zechariah and the Ezekiel prophesied of His indwelling Spirit. “I will be the glory in her midst” (Zechariah 2:5). “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you…and I will put My Spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
You now are a “temple of God,” built for the very purpose of housing the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). “You are being built up as a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). This dwelling place, this residence within you “shall be called a house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13). When we pray, “the glory of the Lord (fills) the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:11). Because of the outpouring of His Spirit within your temple, everything within you is automatically crying “Glory!” (Psalm 29:9).
Granted, our minds and emotions get in the way from hearing the prayer and holy worship that is going on within our inner man. All too often, we spend our time being influenced by the information from our physical senses. But when we turn our inner eyes to “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen,” we find ourselves “with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 4:18; 3:18).
May we purpose our minds and emotions onto the reality within. Let’s “keep seeking the things above, where Christ is” (Colossians 3:1). “Set your mind on the things above, not of the things that are on the earth” (Colossians 3:2), “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
“His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). He “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Let’s forget “what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13), by letting our minds dwell on those things which are honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute , excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). Let’s set our minds on the heavenlies, so that when we arrive there one day, we will already be at home there. After all, in the midst of our humble packaging, we have the Hope within (1 Peter 3:15).