Archive for the ‘Prayers’ Category

courtesy of heartlight.org

I liked this thought so much that I wanted to share it.  I hope you enjoy it and are blessed by it as I was.  May we all grow in His grace and knowledge and love, not to remain on milk, but mature with ‘solids’ each day (or week, or month, or year, as long as we’re continually pursuing growth).

THOUGHT:

At one time or another, most of us raised an angry fist to fate and cursed the darkness. Each of these actions is about as equally effective. But to deny there is a God is something else altogether.

To rob heaven of God is to rob ourselves of grace, hope, and future. How foolish indeed to forget that behind a Creation of wonder, order, variety, beauty, power, and pattern is the Creator.

He is far greater than his handiwork and we dare not ignore, deny, or dismiss him.

8 ways to encourage your pastor…

have you encouraged him lately?

https://i2.wp.com/www.bibleexplained.com/other-early/1&2-Kings/Joash-king.jpg2 Kings 11-13 “God Thwarts the Plans of the Wicked”

Athaliah killed the entire royal family, or so she thought. There was a baby name Joash, who was taken and hidden in the house of the Lord. He later became king and Athaliah was eventually killed.

How can you not believe in providence? God chose Moses before time, spared him as a baby and providentially guided his life as a vessel for His glory. God also thwarts the plan here of Athaliah. Did she really think that she could overpower God and all His covenant promises? Apparently so…to her death.

Herod also thought he could thwart God’s plan by killing the baby Jesus. Again, no one, absolutely NO ONE can thwart the counsel of God.

So it is today. His plan will stand against all the fury hell will throw at Him. The gates of hell will not stand. They will crumble as His Church advances. Take heart believer!!!

Prayer-

Lord, thank You for Your Sovereign hand which accomplishes all the good things you have ordained. Forgive me for doubting Your hand or inquiring of Your secret counsel. Help me to simply trust in Your plans and submit myself to Your will, whatever it may be. Thanks you that your plans are to prosper those whom You love and that You will work ALL things for my good. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will NOT fear. I will trust in YOU.

Excerpt from St. Patrick’s Prayer:

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of demons,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

1 Peter 4:12 “Deal With It (Suffering)”

Posted: June 19, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in 1 Peter, Devotional, Prayers

1 Pt. 4:12 Deal With It (Suffering)

1 Pet. 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

Is it just me or does it seem like most believers are perplexed when trials befall them? Do we not try to find the root of the trial and get rid of it as soon as possible? Often times we think along the lines of Job’s ‘friends’ who concluded that his trials must have something to do with hidden sin.

While certain trials may in fact be a result of sin that needs to be dealt with, many are simply ordained by God for our sanctification. Doesn’t sound like fun, does it? Doesn’t sound like, “Your Best Life Now”, does it? Yet, listen to what Peter tells us to do in the midst of suffering:

13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Rejoice? Really?

I think we all need a good dose of BIBLE and stop acting like it is the end of the world when God serves us up a bit of suffering. We are told not to be surprised and act like something strange is happening. This mindset is almost foreign in American Evangelicalism and we need to regain a Biblical theology of suffering or else we might whine ourselves out of God’s Kingdom. Think of how God felt about the whining wilderness generation…He could barely stand it. I know that it seems impossible to rejoice or be thankful for the testing God’s providence leads us through in this life, but your other alternatives are whining or anxiety, which are both condemned as responses unbefitting the believer. Let us not mind a little suffering.

Prayer –

Forgive me for the many times I have failed the tests set before me, either by whining or complaining or distrusting you with sinful anxiety. Help me to embrace the tests Your providence deal me and may they ever increase my joy for that day when Your glory is revealed in its fullness. Amen.

No, I am not mocking contemporary worship or dealing with the regulative principle or any of that. Instead, I am responding to what Israel’s captors asked of them in Psalm 137:

3 For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

Babylon is making a mockery of Israel’s worship be requesting it be played for their mockery or entertainment. Well, how did Israel respond?

8 O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed, blessed shall he be who repays you with what you have done to us!
9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!

I know that this beatitude pronounced upon Babylon’s avenger and the Psalmist’s desire that the Babylonians be destroyed may seem harsh…well, because…it is harsh. As harsh as it is, the point to be taken is that it is the proper restitution for belittling the worship of God. He won’t stand for it and will crush all who despise the worship of God.

Prayer-

Lord, may I never cease to worship You. May I be zealous for your glory and the hallowing of Your name. May Your name be worshipped forever and ever. Though captors seek to mock and belittle the song on our lips, may we worship you nonetheless and may sinners be converted. Amen.

2 Kings 1-2 “Fire From Heaven”

Posted: June 19, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in 2 Kings, Devotional, Prayers

King Ahaziah sent two groups of 50 soldiers to apprehend the lone prophet Elijah and were destroyed by fire that Elijah called down on them. The third group of 50 begged for mercy and Elijah was permitted to go down with him where he subsequently prophesied the King’s death. In 2 Kings 2, the ascension of Elijah and double blessing upon Elisha dominate the chapter. It also ends with that interesting story where 42 youths were devoured by bears because they were mocking the prophet. Anyhow, I really want to focus on the fire from heaven.

There is a similar NT parallel in Luke’s Gospel:

Luke 9:51-56 (ESV)
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him.
53 But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
55 But he turned and rebuked them.
56 And they went on to another village.

I’m sure that James and John were craving a raw demonstration of power from their prophet, but they were rebuked rather than commended. Why? God had sent fire on His enemies before, why not now? One can’t also claim that God is just plain nicer in the NT, after all Acts does record cases of God striking people dead.

I think that God is showing that He will do what He so wishes and retains the freedom to do whatever His hand pleases to do, BUT He would rather we love and pray for our enemies than wish their harm and destruction. Our God doesn’t delight in the death of the wicked. May we never forget that. Though He will destroy the wicked, He doesn’t have a sadistic pleasure in such acts and warns us against developing such ill-will towards others. Well some might be wondering, “What about the imprecatory Psalms?”. “Can Christians pray for God’s harm on others?”. There are appropriate times to pray for the destruction of a leader, but it must be in conjunction with prayers for their repentance. I pray for Kim Jong Il to repent of his wickedness, but could also see the good of God taking him out of office. I wish God to send fire down on Him, I really do…just as I am sure Bonhoeffer wished the same for Hitler.

Anyhow, this post is developing into more areas than I had intended. Needless to say, there are times when we can pray for one’s repentance and God’s vindictive justice and revenge to be carried out in the here and now of things. We must NOT, however take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Our feelings ought to be conflicted. When we captured Saddam, I was joyous that he was brought to justice. When he was hanged, I wasn’t giving high fives with a grin on my face. I stood speechless at the news, silent and humbled before the God who can raise kings up and bring them down. If not for God’s grace, we would all be like the youth who were mocking Elijah. We were God’s enemies…children of wrath.

Prayer-

Lord, thank you for your longsuffering with me and not striking me dead in judgment when I rebelled against You and mocked Your Word. You won me over with Your love and I am no longer your enemy. Grant me with this same love for others. Rather than calling down fire from heaven, may I weep for the lost and all who wish me harm and do me harm. Amen.

https://i2.wp.com/theresurgence.com/files/penal_substitution.jpg

My evening readings were in 1 Pt. 1-2 and there is so much precious truth in it all, however 1 Pt 2:24 sticks out  for me today:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

I had the chance to visit with a dear brother this morning who is a missionary to the Ukraine and we ended up spending some time talking about the work of Jesus upon the cross. I informed him that the doctrine of penal substitution (Jesus satisfied our penalty for sin on the cross) is under attack today. He was shocked.

“How could they do that? Why did Jesus come to die then?” he asked.

I gave him the reasons and he was appalled that people have a problem with the idea that Jesus actually took our sin, its filth, the Father’s wrath against it, everything with Him into His body on that cross. You are left with an empty cross… a most unfortunate martyrdom that the Father had nothing to do with. How is this glorious?

Anyhow, Peter tells us plainly that Jesus bore our sins in His body. That is glorious in and of itself, however the good news doesn’t end there. Peter adds a purpose clause following that great statement, “…that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

Jesus not only satisfies the penalty and wrath for our sin, but purchases on the cross sanctifying power for the believer to die to sin and live for Him. This is great news!!! He not only forgives us, but empowers us to live a life pleasing to Him for His glory. 1 Peter has several important imperatives that help shape exactly how the ‘justified’ believer is to live out ‘sanctification’. Let us praise our Lord that He truly “healed” us on that cross through the wounds He endured.

Prayer-

Thank you for saving me and not appointing me to destruction, but rather unto newness of life. Thank you for choosing to come and carry out the mission that the Father gave you to purchase me. Thank you for enduring every stripe and wound for my sin. As I ponder your wounded body, may I see in it the death of my own flesh and the power to live for You. I live for you Lord…for Your glory. I am not ashamed of the cross…it is a stumbling block for many, but you have made it precious in my sight. I have tasted Your sweet goodness and I long for more. May Your goodness shape me as a vessel to be used for Your glory. Amen.