Sunday, March 21, 2010

Out of the Depths

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord;
O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.

If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in His word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

O [man], put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with Him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

Psalm 130

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Whole Being, Praise the Lord

The prayer of Psalm 146:

My whole being, praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praisies to my God as long as I live.

Do not put your trust in princes
or other people, who cannot save you.
When people die, they are buried.
Then all of their plans come to an end.
Happy are those who are helped by the God of Jacob.
Their hope is in the Lord their God.
He made heaven and earth,
the sea and everything in it.
He remains loyal forever.
He does what is fair for those who have been wronged.
He gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free.
The Lord gives sight to the blind.
The Lord lifts up people who are in trouble.
The Lord loves those who do right.
The Lord protects the foreigners.
He defends the orphans and widows,
but he blocks the way of the wicked.

The Lord will be King forever.
Jerusalem, your God is everlasting.

Praise the Lord!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The One Who Hears Prayer

Praise is rightfully Yours, God, in Zion;
vows to You will be fulfilled.
All humanity will come to You,
the One who hears prayer.
Iniquities overwhelm me;
only You can atone for our rebellions.
How happy is the one You choose
and bring near to live in Your courts!
We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
the holiness of Your temple.

You answer us in righteousness,
with awe-inspiring works, God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the distant seas;
You establish the mountains by Your power,
robed with strength;
You silence the roar of the seas,
the roar of their waves,
and the tumult of the nations.
Those who live far away are awed by Your signs;
You make the east and west shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it abundantly,
enriching it greatly.
God's stream is filled with water,
for You prepare the earth in this way,
providing people with grain.
You soften it with showers and bless its growth,
soaking its furrows and leveling its ridges.
You crown the year with Your goodness;
Your ways overflow with plenty.
The wilderness pastures overflow,
and the hills are robed with joy.
The pastures are clothed with flocks,
and the valleys covered with grain.
They shout in triumph; indeed, they sing.

The prayer of Psalm 65 (HCSB)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Night Prayer

Answer me when I call,
God, who vindicates me.
You freed me from affliction;
be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

How long, exalted men,
will my honor be insulted?
How long will you love
what is worthless
and pursue a lie?
Know that the Lord has set apart
the faithful for Himself;
the Lord will hear when i call to Him.
be angry and do not sin;
on your bed, reflect
in your heart and be still.

Offer sacrifices
in righteousness
and trust in the Lord.

Many are saying
'Who can show us
anything good?"
Look on us with favor, Lord.

You have put more joy
in my heart
than they have when their grain
and new wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep
in peace,
for You alone, Lord, make me
live in safety.

Psalm 4 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Meaning of Worship

To worship is:
To quicken the conscience by the holiness of God.
To feed the mind with the truth of God.
To purge the imagination with the beauty of God.
To open the heart to the love of God.
To devote the will to the purpose of God.

by William Temple

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Power of the Bended Knee

Birds go to sleep on their perches, but they never fall off. This is because of the tendons in the bird's legs. They are so constructed that when the leg is bent at the knee, the claws contract and grip like a steel trap. The claws refuse to let go until the knees are unbent again. The bended knee gives the bird the ability to hold on to his perch so tightly.

Isn't this also the secret of the holding power of the Christian? Daniel found this to be true. Surrounded by a pagan environment, tempted to compromise with evil, urged to weaken his grip on God, he refused to let go. He held firm when others faltered because he was a man of prayer. He knew the power of the bended knee.

From sleeping birds we can learn the secret of holding things which are most precious to us--honesty, purity, thoughtfulness, honor, character. That secret is in the knee bent in prayer, seeking to get a firmer grip on those values which make life worth living. When we hold firmly to God in prayer, we can rest assured he will hold tightly to us.

--Rollin S. Burhans

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thoughts on Prayer

They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright! (Drummond Burns, b. 1823)

Between the humble and contrite heart and the majesty of heaven there are no barriers; the only password is prayer. (Hosea Ballou, b. 1771)

Prayer is the voice of faith. (Richard Horne, b. 1803)

You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. (Kahlil Gibran, b. 1884)

O God, if in the day of battle I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me. (William King, b. 1663)

God warms his hands at man's heart when he prays. (John Masefield, b. 1878)

Pray as if everything depended upon God, and work as if everything depended upon man. (Francis J. Spellman, b. 1889)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Higher Thoughts

Lord, let me not be too content
with life in trifling service spent--
Make me aspire!

When days with petty cares are filled,
Let me with fleeting thought be thrilled
Of something higher!

Help me to long for mental grace
To struggle with the commonplace
I daily find.

My little deeds not bring to fruit
A crop of little thought to suit
A shriveled mind.

Author Unknown

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sincere Prayer

'Tis not enough to bend the knee,
And words of prayer to say;
The heart must with the lips agree;
Or else we do not pray.

For words,without the heart,
The Lord will never hear;
Nor will he to those lips attend,
Whose prayers are not sincere.

Author Unknown