Prayer Journal: Week 3

As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray. (Martin Luther)

This Week’s Scripture

·         Jeremiah 32:1-3, 6-15
·         Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16
·         1 Timothy 6:6-19
·         Luke 16:19-31

Adoration

Psalm 91:1-2

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”


Come, Thou Almighty King
 (verse 1)

Come, thou almighty King, help us thy
name to sing, help us to praise! Father all
glorious, o’er all victorious,
come and reign over us, Ancient of Days!

(Anonymous)

(Take time now to offer God your praise and worship.)

Confession

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing thou has made, and doest forgive the sins of those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, truly lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wickedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (The Book of Worship forChurch and Home, 1965)

(Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. Ken Boa)

Thanksgiving

Help us to pray always and not to faint, in everything giving thanks, offering up the sacrifices of praise continually, possessing our souls in patience, and learning in whatsoever state we are therewith to be content; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. (Fielding Ould)

(Ask the Spirit to search your heart and mind and then spend some time thanking God for who he is and the many ways he has poured out his goodness and grace in your life.)

Supplication (Petitions – prayers for yourself)

·         Spiritual Insight
o   Understanding and insight into the word
o   Understanding my identity in Christ
§  Who I am
§  Where I came from
§  Where I am going
o   Understanding God’s purpose for my life
o   My activities for this day
o   Special concerns

(From Ken Boa’s Handbook to Prayer)

Supplication (Intercession – prayers for others)

·         My family
·         Believers
o   Personal friends
o   Those in ministry
o   Those who are oppressed and in need
o   Special concerns

(From Ken Boa’s Handbook to Prayer)


My God… Thou art all my good in times of peace, my only support in days of trouble, my one sufficiency when life shall end. Help me to see how good thy will is in all, and even when it crosses mine teach me to be pleased with it. Thou bottomless fountain of all good, I give myself to thee out of love, for all I have or own is thine, my goods, family, church, self, to do with as thou wilt. (from The Valley of Vision)

Prayer Journal: Week 2

Lord, we beseech thee, give ear to our prayers, and by thy gracious visitation lighten the darkness of our heart, by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (Thomas Cranmer)

This Week’s Scripture

·         Jeremiah 8:18 – 9:1
·         Psalm 79:1-9 or Psalm 4
·         1 Timothy 2:1-7
·         Luke 16:1-13

Adoration

Psalm 79:9

Help us, O God of our salvation,
    for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and atone for our sins,
    for your name’s sake!

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise (verse 1)

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise
.
(Walter Chalmers Smith)

(Take time now to offer God your praise and worship.)


Confession

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Loving and devoted God, we confess that, more often than not, we act like rebellious children in the face of your unconditional love, and fail miserably to treat you as the loving Father that you are. Forgive us, we pray, and make us sensitive and responsive at long last to your gracious initiatives. Make us worthy recipients and channels of love, and thus true brothers and sisters of Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen. (Paul A. Laughlin)

(Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. Ken Boa)


Thanksgiving

O Thou, Who art the hope of all the ends of the earth, and on Whom the eyes of all do wait, Who crownest the year with Thy goodness, and openest Thine hand and fillest all things living with plenteousness: every day we give thanks unto Thee, and praise Thy Name for ever and ever; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (William A. Knight)

(Ask the Spirit to search your heart and mind and then spend some time thanking God for who he is and the many ways he has poured out his goodness and grace in your life.)


Supplication (Petitions – prayers for yourself)

·         Growth in Wisdom
o   Developing an eternal perspective
o   Renewing my mind with truth
o   Greater skill in each area of my life
·         My activities for this day
·         Special concerns

(From Ken Boa’s Handbook to Prayer)


Supplication (Intercession – prayers for others)

·         My Family
o   My immediate family
o   My relatives
o   Spiritual concerns
o   Emotional and physical concerns
o   Other concerns

(From Ken Boa’s Handbook to Prayer)


O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth: for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth. (Psalm 96:1, 13)

Praying for Forgiveness

The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 51

Question 126: What does the fifth request mean?

 Answer: Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors means, Because of Christ’s blood, do not hold against us, poor sinners that we are, any of the sins we do or the evil that constantly clings to us. [1]

 Forgive us just as we are fully determined, as evidence of your grace in us, to forgive our neighbors. [2]

[1] Ps. 51:1-7; 143:2; Rom. 8:1; 1 John 2:1-2; [2] Matt. 6:14-15; 18:21-35

Prayer Journal: Week 51

He who labors as he prays, lifts his heart to God with his hands. (Bernard of Clairvaux)

This Week’s Scripture

·         Exodus 3:1-15
·         Psalm 105
·         Romans 12:9-21
·         Matthew 16:21-28

Adoration

Psalm 105:1
Oh give thanks to the LORD;
call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!

O Happy Day, That Fixed My Choice (verse 1)
O happy day, that fixed my choice on thee, my Savior and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice, and tell its raptures all abroad.
Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray, and live rejoicing every day.

(Philip Doddridge)

Take time now to offer God your praise and worship.

Confession

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:9-10)

Righteous Father, I have acted as if I hated thee, although thou art love itself; have contrived to tempt thee to the uttermost, to wear out thy patience; have lived evilly in word and action. Had I been a prince I would have long ago crushed such a rebel; Had I been a father I would long since have rejected my child. O, thou Father of my spirit, thou King of my life, cast me not into destruction, drive me not from thy presence, but wound my heart that it may be healed; break it that thine own hand may make it whole. In Christ I pray. Amen. (The Valley of Vision)

As David did in Psalm 139, ask the Lord to search you and know you through and through. Confess the sins God brings to mind, knowing you are forgiven and that He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Thanksgiving

All-wise Lord of heaven and earth, I am grateful for the direction you give me for my life. I am humbled and thankful that you have not left me to grope in darkness to search in vain for the right path, but your Spirit has provided a light for me so I may follow the same road as my Savior. I pray Father, in your power, give me strength to follow your will for my life. Enable me to let my love be genuine and to abhor what is evil. Help me love others with a brotherly affection and continually and consistently show them honor. May I never be slothful in my zeal, but fervent in spirit, always serving you. Let me faithfully rejoice in hope, show patience in tribulation, and be constant in prayer. And may I think of others before myself by contributing to their needs and showing hospitality to them. Then, gracious God, when people see my life, let it point to you so that you, and you alone, receive all the praise and glory. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen. (based on Romans 12:9-13)

Spend some time reflecting on the prayer of thanksgiving above and then thank God for who he is and the many ways he has poured out his goodness and grace in your life.

Supplication (Petitions – prayers for yourself)

·         Help me to grow in wisdom and become who you created and redeemed me to be.
·         Renew my mind and enable me to cultivate a godly perspective and attitude regarding the various spheres and circumstances of my life.
·         Today’s events and interactions with others, planned and unplanned
·         Other needs

Supplication (Intercession – prayers for others)

·         My family, immediate and extended
·         Those struggling with sin, illness, or difficulties in their workplace
·         Other needs


God wants to get us out of the love of virtue and in love with the God of virtue – stripped of all possessions but our knowledge of him. (Oswald Chambers)

Advent 2022: Day 8

Luke 7:28-35

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

31 Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

“ ‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.’

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”


Ambrose: If someone plucks this reed from the nursery garden of the earth, divests it of what is unnecessary, strips off the old man with his deeds, and fits it to the hand of a swiftly writing scribe,19 it begins to be not a reed but a pen. This pen imprints the precepts of Holy Writ in the inner mind and inscribes them on the tables of the heart. … Imitate this pen in the moderation of your flesh. Do not dip your pen, your flesh, in ink but in the Spirit of the living God so that what you write may be eternal. Paul wrote the epistle with such a pen, of which he says, “You are the epistle of Christ, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.” Dip your flesh in the blood of Christ, as it is written, “that your foot may be dipped in blood.”22 Moisten the footprint of your spirit and the steps of your mind with the sure confession of the Lord’s cross. You dip your flesh in Christ’s blood as you wash away vices, purge sins and bear the death of Christ in your flesh, as the apostle taught us, saying, “bearing about in our body the dying of Jesus Christ.”


Devotional Prayer based on today’s readings

God of grace, on this second Sunday of Advent, we thank you for reminding us that our Lord came to heal the sick, not the “healthy.” He came to dine and enjoy fellowship with sinners, not “the righteous.” Help us to follow his example and precepts by seeking and caring for the least, last, and lost. Cause our hearts to be burdened for such as these. And give us an understanding that we too were in such condition before you sought and saved us in our need.

We pray also for the “righteous” among us. Give them eyes to see their need. Help them understand the folly of depending upon themselves and, instead, turn their trust to you. Enable them to finally comprehend that, in reality, they too are the least, last, and lost as understood by your Kingdom economy, if not our earthy one. Make us all pens in your hands, writing the good news of Jesus Christ and his coming to all who will read us. We thank you for your kindness and mercy in Christ’s name and for his sake. Amen.

Praying for God’s Provision

The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 50

125. Question: What is the fourth petition?

Answer: Give us this day our daily bread. That is: Provide us with all our bodily needs[1] so that we may acknowledge that Thou art the only fountain of all good,[2] and that our care and labor, and also Thy gifts, cannot do us any good without Thy blessing.[3] Grant therefore that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures, and place it only in Thee.[4]

[1] Ps. 104:27-30; 145:15, 16; Matt. 6:25-34. [2] Acts 14:17; 17:25; James 1:17. [3] Deut. 8:3; Ps. 37:16; 127:1, 2; I Cor. 15:58. [4] Ps. 55:22; 62; 146; Jer. 17:5-8; Heb. 13:5, 6.

Prayer Journal: Week 50

How can you expect God to speak in that gentle and inward voice which melts the soul when you are making so much noise with your rapid reflections? (Francois Fenelon)

This Week’s Scripture

·         Exodus 1:8-2:10
·         Psalm 124   
·         Romans 12:1-8    
·         Matthew 16:13-20

Adoration

Psalm 124:8
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (verse 1)
Love divine all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling; all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.

(Charles Wesley)

Take time now to offer God your praise and worship.

Confession

 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)

Almighty God, who lookest upon the inward man, forbid us in thy presence the vain endeavor to hide from thee what we have thought and done and truly are. Give us candor to acknowledge freely to thee what must be forever hidden from the knowledge of others, and may no false shame keep us from confessing those sins which no proper shame kept us from committing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Author unknown)

As David did in Psalm 139, ask the Lord to search you and know you through and through. Confess the sins God brings to mind, knowing you are forgiven and that He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Thanksgiving

Gracious God and Giver all good gifts, I praise you for the gifts of your Spirit that you have given to the Bride of Christ, the Church. You have given us those who prophecy, serve, teach, exhort, contribute, lead, and who do acts of mercy, just to name a few. Father you know how much we need these faithful servants and stewards. None of us alone can minister to the Church, in a comprehensive and meaningful way. We need others who devotedly utilize their gifts and calling. Such dependence is ultimately a picture of our need for you, for we are not sufficient in and of ourselves. I am grateful that you provide for our every need. Please continue to make me a vessel of service to others in your name and for your glory. Amen. (based on Romans 8:3-8)

Spend some time reflecting on the prayer of thanksgiving above and then thank God for who he is and the many ways he has poured out his goodness and grace in your life.

Supplication (Petition – prayers for yourself)

·         Help me to mature in my faith and to increasingly please God by my thoughts, words, and deeds.
·         Particular struggles in various relationships
·         My activities for this day
·         Other needs

Supplication (Intercession – prayers for others)

·         My Family
·         My local church 
·         My denomination
·         Para-church ministries, particularly Christian education and discipleship  
·         Evangelistic ministries 
·         Other needs

Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God. (William Carey)