Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some Thoughts on Prayer

"Heaven is full of answers to prayers for which no one ever bothered to ask." (Billy Graham)

"I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing great things for them. It's so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see him." (C. S. Lewis)

"In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without heart." (John Bunyan)

"I have often learned more in one prayer than I have been able to glean from much reading and reflection." (Martin Luther)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Song of Quiet Trust

The words of Psalm 131:

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up

my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things

too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child wit its mother;

my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord

from this time on and forevermore.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Man After God's Own Heart

Eugene Peterson writes: "The goal, the highest good, of the human creature is that the knowledge of God and prayer to God converge."

Could this explain why God calls David "a man after his own heart"? David was a man of prayer. Despite the circumstances of his life, and some enormous mistakes of his own doing, David never ceased to pray to God. In the Psalms, if the historicity of the superscriptions are credible, we have preserved for us many prayers of David, uttered at high points and low points alike in his life. Simply, David never forgot God, and God continued to bless him.

Let us learn from David and communicate with God often and unceasingly.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lord, Make a Regular Man Out of Me!

A prayer of Edgar A. Guest:

This I would like to be--braver and bolder,

Just a bit wiser because I am older,

Just a bit kinder to those I may meet,

Just a bit manlier taking defeat;

This for the whole year my wish and my plea--

Lord, make a regular man out of me!

This I would like to be--just a bit finer,

More of a smiler and less of a whiner,

Just a bit quicker to stretch out my hand

Helping another who's struggling to stand,

This is my prayer for the whole year to be,

Lord, make a regular man out of me!

This I would like to be--just a bit fairer,

Just a bit better, and just a bit squarer,

Not quite so ready to censure and blame,

Quicker to help every man in the game,

Not quite so eager men's failings to see,

Lord, make a regular man out of me!

This I would like to be--just a bit truer,

Less of the wisher and more of the doer,

Broader and bigger, more willing to give,

Living and helping my neighbor to live.

This for the whole year my prayer and my plea--

Lord, make a regular man out of me!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Father's Goodness

Father God, your goodness surpasses all.

The prophet sang, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul."

These words I lift to you, O God. Their truth is eternal. Your goodness is forever.

In a world filled with dark things, your light shines forth, bringing warmth, guidance, comfort, and assurance. Your goodness surpasses all.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Prayer of David

The words of Psalm 8:

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

"Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, and sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thoughts on Prayer

Oswald Chambers writes: "Every time we pray, our horizon is altered, our attitude to things is altered, not sometimes but every time, and the amazing thing is that we don't pray more."

C. S. Lewis offers: "It would be rash to say that there is any prayer in which God never grants. But the strongest candidate is the prayer we might express in single word encore."

Ethel Barrymore observes: "When life knocks you to your knee--well, that's the best position in which to pray, isn't it?"

William Cowper and John Newton sing: "Satan trembles when he sees // The weakest saint upon his knees."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Holy Spirit & Prayer

Romans 8.14-17, 26-27 (NRSV):

Paul writes, "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, 'Abba! Father!' it is that very same Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ--if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. . . .

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Prayer for Patience

Father, patience is such a difficult thing.

I want it now! I can't wait! I am overcome with worry. Why can't the answer come now? Why do I have to wait?

These are my emotions. I am human.

But, I am also your child, and patience is a godly virtue. Patience comes from faith. I can be at ease. I can wait for an answer. I can wait because you are God. You are Lord. This is your world. I am yours.

Bless me with patience, Father. Help me to wait. Help me to trust that a better day awaits.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Paul's Prayer for the Philippians

Paul's prayer for the Christians at Philippi (and by extension, Christians throughout time), preserved in Philippians 1.3-11:

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

"It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God."

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Father, as your church gathered today to worship and to fellowship, I was reminded once more of one of your greatest blessings: the companionship of brothers and sisters. You have not asked me to walk this life of faith alone, to stand firm and resist the evil one by myself. You have given me a family, a fellowship of men and women, young and old, who walk beside me, encouraging me, inspiring me, challenging me, comforting me, keeping me alert, well-directed, resolved. What a blessing. Thank you, Father, for your eternal love.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

911 Prayers

They tell us the 911 emergency system is the state of the art. All you need do is dial those numbers, and you will almost instantly be connected to a dispatcher. In front of the dispatcher will be a read-out that lists your telephone number, your address, and the name by which that telephone number is listed at that address. Also listening in are the police, the fire department, and the paramedics.

A caller might not be able to say what the problem is. Or perhaps a woman's husband has just suffered a heart attack, and she is so out of control that all she can do is hysterically scream into the telephone. But the dispatcher doesn't need her to say anything. He knows where the call is coming from. Help is already on the way.

There come times in our lives when in our desperation and pain we dial 911 prayers. Sometimes we're hysterical. Sometimes we don't know the words to speak. But God hears. he knows our name and our circumstance. Help[ is on the way; God has already begun to bring the remedy.

--Author Unknown

Friday, July 6, 2007

A Prayer of Jesus

A prayer of Jesus, Luke 11.2-4:


hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And lead us not into temptation.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Prayer for Perseverance

Father, life throws a lot of curveballs! We can prepare ourselves for many things, but at times we are confronted with things that take us off our guard, things with which we are not prepared, things that come like a body blow. Father, help us during these times. Bless us with the wisdom and strength to stand firm in even the most uncertain of times. May we persevere.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Prayer Request

Please keep my family in your prayers and especially my wife, Melanie. She suffers from depression and experiences a major "break" this past week, brought on my lack of adequate sleep and missing a few days of medication. In addition, her doctor had been weaning her off an anti-depressent and may have gone about it too quickly.

Melanie has been hospitalized at Exempla West Pines in Wheat Ridge, Colorado (NW Denver) since Monday of last week. We're hoping she may come home sometime this week.

A Father's Prayer

Give me, O God, the wisdom that I need

To mold the tender lives within my care;

Give me the power that I may gently lead

Them into righteousness--true joy is there.

I ask for them no rainbowed path of ease;

I ask for them no store of wealth or fame;

I only ask that by their lives they please

Thee and the world with an untarnished name.

I know that man is weak, and life is strong,

And sometimes honest roads look very drear;

That winning laurels often takes too long

And luring vistas from all sides appear.

But while my young are still beneath my wing,

God, help me guide them right in everything.

Author Unknown