Today’s Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2
If you are a parent, you have most definitely heard these words from your children at one time or another, “But you said…” What that means is they are holding you to your word. Nothing is more incriminating than being quoted and held accountable. It seems that the only time they do listen is when it’s a promise or commitment.
God is a Father and He who keeps His word loves to hear His children tell Him, “but You said.” I think that thrills the heart of God. In Hebrews 4:12, we are told that the Word of God is powerful. If you take God’s powerful Word and pray it back to Him, that is exponential in power. Adding a “You said” to your prayer language gets God’s attention just as a “you said” does for any parent. I don’t think anything is more powerful than when you pray the Scriptures. You are just reminding God of what He told you.
I want to give you a great prayer to start your day. It’s using God’s words in prayer. It is basically saying, “If You said, then why wouldn’t You hear and respond”: “May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, MSG).
Consider the trilogy of requests: put a fresh heart in me, invigorate my work, enliven my speech. Let’s briefly unpack each of these so we can spot it when God answers it in our day. That’s called “watch and pray.” If we ask for something, we have a responsibility to watch with expectancy.
First, ask God to put a fresh heart in you. Fresh is the word you would use when describing how you look when you’ve just returned from a two-week vacation. How do you freshen up your heart? How do you make your heart look as though it just got off vacation? Let your heart take a trip . . . a trip to heaven. Each morning let your heart take a trip into the presence of God. You cannot make that trip without coming out with a fresh heart.
Second, ask God to invigorate your work. The word invigorate means to give strength and energy to what you do. How does God invigorate your work? He has to refocus your attention on who you are doing it for. Listen to what the apostle says in Colossians: “Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others” (Colossians 3:23, TPT).
Your work is invigorated when you do it for Jesus. Every activity counts, not just church activities. Martin Luther King Jr. said it like this:
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music. . . . Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
Whatever your occupation—CVS cashier, TSA agent at the airport, police officer, first responder, teacher, or ambassador. Whether you work for the government or the church, may God invigorate your work. You work for the Boss, so you’re doing it for Him.
Third, ask God to enliven your speech. The word enliven means to make your speech more entertaining, interesting, and appealing. When you open your mouth, you want life to come out. Not complaints, not ingratitude, just joy and encouragement.
As Proverbs 18:21 reminds us: Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose” (MSG). Let’s choose words of life today.
My prayer for you and me today is this: “God, put a fresh heart in us. Invigorate our work. And enliven our speech. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Now go and have an amazing day!