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Archive for the ‘prayer’ Category

This morning the theme of chapel was ‘disobedience’. I offered the following public prayer which is based upon the prayer of Daniel for restoration after exile and from an unknown puritan.

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All of us here have had moments when we have disobeyed God, for some even today you are being disobedience. The Lord calls us all to forsake sin and cling to him.

Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6 We have not listened to nyour servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 tTo the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 All of us have transgressed your law and turned aside, vrefusing to obey your voice.

Lord our corporate sin, our greed and consumerism have blinded us from  living lives of justice and mercy. We, O Lord, live in our paneled houses while the temple of your people in Haiti lies in ruins, we accept O Lord that if we had acted as a nation, as a church and as individuals to see Haiti out of poverty then this disaster would not have led to such significant loss of life. We O Lord have too often bowed our knee to the zeitgeist of consumerism and greed by failing in times past to proclaim justice, we have blood on our hands!

We deserve O Lord, as a nation, as a church, as individuals the full force of your covenant curse to come upon us. Yet we thank thee that thou hast set your love upon us, though we have lived  as rebels in darkness, we have received the  light of thy son.

We praise you  O Lord for thy son Jesus, he is our prophet, our priest and our king, he is the judge who was judged in our place, we praise you that he became a curse for us, we thank you that he crushes Satan’s head and that sin and death have lost their power.

We thank you that you, as with the women caught in adultery, lift us up, have mercy, and say ‘Go and Sin no more;

Holy Lord, we have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in our daily lives. Our transgressions and short-comings present us with a list of accusations, but we bless Thee that they will not stand against us, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue our corruptions, and grant us grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring our spirits into subjection, but do Thou rule over us in liberty and power.

We thank Thee that many of our prayers have been refused. We have asked amiss and do not have, we have prayed from lusts and been rejected, we have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to our wrongful prayers, and fitting us to accept it. Purge us from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which we ares subject, for sometimes putting us into the furnace to refine our gold and remove our  dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give us a  choice to live in pleasure and keep our sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give us sanctified affliction. Deliver us from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in us, everything that prevents us taking delight in Thee. Then we shall bless Thee, Lord God, for helping us to be upright.

To you O Lord, be all praise and glory for ever and ever.

Sola Deo Gloria! Amen

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Sunday Prayers

Puritan Prayers from the Valley of Vision,

Confession and Petition

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee. Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.

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Mark 7:14-23 (ESV)
14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

1

(Random notes on the Passage)

IF you keep the law then your in, your part of the community. If you don’t keep the law then you are an outsider. This is the issue Paul faced in Galatia and it is an issue which Jesus spoke about in this passage.

  The enemy, as with modern western imperialism, is located outside of oneself- whether the enemy be the communists of the cold war or Islamists of the 21st century.  Jews located the enemy as being Rome. Rome was the political, military and economic superpower.  Some Jews wanted to see the arrival of the kingdom of God in the destruction of Rome (and Gentiles). If you are are a loyal Jew then you had to keep up the covenant boundary markers so that it was clear who was loyal, who was in, and who was outside and apostate. The enemy and uncleaness come from without.

 

Jesus turns this upside down. Uncleanness, and the enemy, are found with the covenant people, within the individual.  Jesus responds by saying that all the ‘evils’ of the gentiles are found in the hearts of these extreme law keepers.  Israel were always called to be a light to the nations, yet the law which was supposed to be a blessing is now being used to define who are the enemy. Jesus challenges the religious assumptions of the day, showing that sin is found within each person.

 

Application: As a church, a covenant community, we must remember that evil is found within each person. We simply can’t just point the finger at those outside (liberals, secularists) without recognising that we, along with them, are broken messed up people. The church can also be confident that the ‘Lord will have mercy upon us because of his unfailing love’.

 

It may be appropriate to end with a puritan prayer. Taken from

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1738692/posts

Confession and Petition

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee. Then I shall bless Thee, , for helping me to be upright.

 

1 The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

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THE PRAYER OF MANASSEH

I found the following prayer from the Apocrypha. It is the prayer of Manassah.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Manasseh

What a brilliantr prayer. I know some of you may wince given it comes from the Apocrypha. But just pretend its John Owen. It does sound like a calvinistic prayer doesn’t it.

1 O Lord, Almighty God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of their righteous seed; 2 who hast made heaven and earth, with all the ornament thereof; 3 who hast bound the sea by the word of thy commandment; who hast shut up the deep, and sealed it by thy terrible and glorious name; 4 whom all men fear, and tremble before thy power; 5 for the majesty of thy glory cannot be borne, and thine angry threatening toward sinners is importable: 6 but thy merciful promise is unmeasurable and unsearchable; 7 for thou art the most high Lord, of great compassion, longsuffering, very merciful, and repentest of the evils of men. Thou, O Lord, according to thy great goodness hast promised repentance and forgiveness to them that have sinned against thee: and of thine infinite mercies hast appointed repentance unto sinners, that they may be saved. 8 Thou therefore, O Lord, that art the God of the just, hast not appointed repentance to the just, as to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, which have not sinned against thee; but thou hast appointed repentance unto me that am a sinner: 9 for I have sinned above the number of the sands of the sea. My transgressions, O Lord, are multiplied: my transgressions are multiplied, and I am not worthy to behold and see the height of heaven for the multitude of mine iniquities. 10 I am bowed down with many iron bands, that I cannot life up mine head, neither have any release: for I have provoked thy wrath, and done evil before thee: I did not thy will, neither kept I thy commandments: I have set up abominations, and have multiplied offences. 11 Now therefore I bow the knee of mine heart, beseeching thee of grace. 12 I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge mine iniquities: 13 wherefore, I humbly beseech thee, forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, and destroy me not with mine iniquites. Be not angry with me for ever, by reserving evil for me; neither condemn me to the lower parts of the earth. For thou art the God, even the God of them that repent; 14 and in me thou wilt shew all thy goodness: for thou wilt save me, that am unworthy, according to thy great mercy. 15 Therefore I will praise thee for ever all the days of my life: for all the powers of the heavens do praise thee, and thine is the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Apocrypha : King James Version. Bellingham WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995, S. Pr Man 1:1-15

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Prayer of Epistemology

Epistemology is study of how we know things. For those who are epistemologically confident they have direct answer to the truth and know the naswers. For those who are epistemologically confused (esp in areas of theology) it can be a time of great confusion as one does not know what to believe, or know how to go about getting ‘truth’. In this prayer I seek to ask God to directmy epistemological endeavors.
Lord and Heavenly Father, your mercy pours down into soul- into my mind, my body, my spirit- daily. I thank you that thou  know all things yet you love me. Lord you ahve a God’s eye view on all things, you know my goings out and mu coming in. Lord you knwo my sins, my history, you know my skeletons. Lord you know what others do not know, Lord you know what I keep hidden. I thank you Lord that although you know all things that you have abudnant mercy on me. For me to praise thee is amiracle of your grace. That you would let me speak to you is a testimony to your sons blood which covers all sins.
Father of all knowledge, God is who is tuth in itself, I ring before you the issue of epistemology. Father I ask that you would give me confidence to sepak the thinsg which are from you, and humility to accep he things I cannot know.
Lord take from me the arrogance of thinking that I have absolute truth and that I know things in their totality. Lord help me in my conversations to not seem ‘spistemologicaly certain’ when in fact I am not. Lord I am not ‘god’ and even to sugegst I have total truth is an afront to your Lordship.
Lord in stripping away my epistemoloogical arroagnce I ask that you would direct me in your truth. Lord if you whisper to me open my ears, lord if scripture has a meaning, open my eyes to it. Lord I proclaim you as the Lord of knowledge, will you not open my eyes to glimpse soemthing of your truth. Lord I pray that you would only reveal to me in my studies what is honouring to you. I thank you that before we reach out to you with our finite minds, that you have reached out to us. Lord when we doubt, you still remain. When we turn our midns from you, you still hold us in the palm of your hands.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. (psalm 115:3). Lord I am not your consellor, your ways are greatre than my ways, I do not understand all things, or even anything in its totality. Lord you are the one who is ‘epistemoligcally confident’ will you not make me epistemologically humble, that I amy be dependnant on you daily fro my bread (truth). Lord let me have a spirituality taht is not built on my own rationalistic foundations but le me have a spirtuality which is built on relationship. I am desperate for you, forgive me for times that I am more desperate for knowledge, that I am for your praise and glory.
Lord i thank thee for thy holy spirit which is at work in my mind, that willcomplete what he has set out to accomplaish. Lord transform my mind, regenerate it when it functions in ways which do not magnify you. To you be all praise and glory, honour and thanks.
Amen

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