Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lenten Prayer # 8: For a Renewed Passion for Worship

Psalm 70:4

But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The LORD is great!”

Luke 10:21
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Lord Jesus, we want to worship God with the same gladness that gave you such joy.  Open our eyes to see what pleases the Father.  May the Holy Spirit fill us in the same way that she fills you, so that we can be a people overflowing with joyful praise!  Amen

An early fresco of the Trintiy

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lenter Prayer # 7 For the Glory of God

Isaiah 60

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

John 17:22

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—

God, it seems that spiritual darkness engulfs our communities. We cannot dispel the shadows merely by the flickering flames of our own goodness.  Bring your light.  Incinerate the shadows of shame in our lives.  Prepare us to be worthy reflections of your beauty.  May a great, reflected glory, penetrate the murky darkness of our cities.  We especially pray for people working to bring spiritual light into particularly difficult places--our inner cities, places of poverty, prisons and more.   If Jesus' statement were not in the Bible, we might consider it blasphemy to touch, much less to wear, the glory of Jesus.  Grant us to carry the true power of Jesus, the brilliance of his love. And grant that our fractured denominations and churches may come to the kind of unity that will be a glorious spectacle of what can happen when many people follow One Magnificent Person!  Amen

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lenten Prayer # 6: For Consistency

Luke 18:1 all times they ought to pray and not lose heart...

Lord, it is all too easy for us to lose heart.  Some of us have often berated ourselves for our lack of prayer, blaming our full and busy lives.  But perhaps we have not been overwhelmed by our schedules but have instead lost heart.  Sometimes it is difficult to believe  that you really do hear us.  Help us to sense a renewed urgency to pray with tenacity and determination!  We know that our own resolve is not likely to be enough.  Infuse us with a genuine zeal for what is good, true and right.  Help us to understand that you are pleased with our attempts, feeble though they may sometimes be, to pray with persistence.  We ask that you reveal yourself to the one who has lost hope, encourage the one who is tired, bring clarity and purpose to the one who is lost in confusion.  Teach us, Lord, to pray.  Amen

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lenten Prayer #5: For the Water of God's Holy Spirit

Isaiah 44:3-4 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground. I will pour out my Spirit on your children and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.

John 7:37-38 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart* shall flow rivers of living water.”

God, without your Spirit we become like barren soil, packed and parched.  We cannot irrigate the dusty deserts of our lives.  Pep talks and positive attitudes can make us all the more aware of our inner dryness of spirit.  Come as a rushing stream, flooding our dry ground. Inundate us with your love and life!  Soak us with steady streams so that what lies dormant now will blossom in the time you appoint blessings.  Call us to come and slake our thirst with living water.  Transfer all who believe into streams and then rivers of your life.  You are the source, but let us be the course through which you will send your life to many.  Amen

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lenten Prayer # 4: For Pure Hearts

Oh Lord, how can we ask you to change our area, our city, our country...without first asking you to change us?  Cleanse our hearts and minds, and help us to stop blaming others for the problems around us.  Grant to us enduring spiritual strength and power to serve with integrity and resolve.  We long for the joy of devotion to you, our Holy God.  Amen

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lenten Prayer # 3: To Break Through Pride & Complacency

These people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.  Therefore, once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.  Isaiah 29:13-14

Come to me...Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  Matthew 11: 28-29

God, we have become proficient in religious performance.  We can say all the correct words, but sometimes we still leave our hearts far behind.  Have we have practiced our worship to  make it predictable and safe, becoming as bored as we are proud?  Where you find it, break through false religious pride.  Surprise us with Your supremacy.  Stun us with how dangerous You are!  

We have sometimes kept ourselves busy.  But for many, self-sufficiency has left exhaustion in its wake, and we are left anxious and bereft.  We give up trying to get our act together!  We come to you now, as you have summoned us.  Show us your heart and train us in humility.  Amen

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lenten Prayer #2 For Rescue from Sin's Power

If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness...My soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen wait for the morning--put your hope in the LORD, for with God is unfailing love and...full redemption...from all sins. Psalm 130:3-8

God, If we were to suffer the repercussions of our sins, we would have been annihilated long ago. Instead, you have gone through the record of our wrongs, and by the power of your love, our sins have been wiped away. We stand in awe of your mighty mercy. Why then do we still wait, hope, and yearn for even more? Because you have promised more! Not only do You pardon our sins, but you free us from the debilitating power of sin. We can be more certain of your love and your word than we can of the sun's rising. So today we focus our hearts together on the hope that you will continue to deliver us...fully redeem us. Cause us to LIVE and to LOVE like you! Amen

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lenten Prayer #1 For a Lasting Awakening

I've been wanting to get back to my neglected little blog for some time.  Now seems like a good time.  Later, I will post a bit of personal stuff, but for now I'm beginning with prayers leading up to Easter.

Our church is using a prayer guide from Waymakers during these days of Lent. I'll be posting a few excerpts from the booklet, along with (sometimes) thoughts and prayers of my own.  I just wanted to give credit to the authors, and to the prayer guide called "Seek God for the CIty 2012."

We'll begin with prayer for a lasting awakening.

Will you not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in you?  Show us your unfailing love, O LORD...I will listen to what God the LORD will say; God promises peace to the people...the saints...but let them not return to folly.  Surely, the salvation of God is near...that...glory may dwell in the land.  Psalm 85:6-9

...Go on before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give to the people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us...  Luke 1:76-78

In time past You have surprised Your people by bringing Your presence upon them in vast heavenly might.  You have come upon Your people as if the sun was descending from the sky and touching the earth.  Bring the early dawning rays of your tender mercies.  Expose the hidden sins which you are so eager to forgive!  Get us ready for days of great change.  Amen