A Russian-made Tupolev 154 plane carrying 168 passengers crashed into the small Iranian city of Qazvin. All 168 of the passengers died and the plane has created a small crater in the land of the city of Qazvin. Please join us in prayer as we intercede on behalf of the families of the passengers.
As many are mourning the death of their family and friends who were passengers on the Caspian Airlines flight 7908, I pray that you would be a comforter. Speak words of comfort and solace to them. Heal the wounds of those who are suffering heartbreak because their loved have passed away. In due time, let it all be well with their souls. Considering the history of the Tupolev 154 planes, I pray that you would give the engineers knowledge, wisdom, and discernment, to know in advance any problems that would prohibit the aircraft from making a safe journey. Be a restorer in helping the town of Qazvin to rebuild after any structural damage that was sustained from the crash. May every person that was and will be affected by today’s plane crash look to you to be the lifter of their heads. May we all turn our hearts toward you for a moment of prayer for those we have lost.
In Jesus’ Name,
A part of praying plain and simple is realizing that prayer has already been well laid out for us in the Bible. Praying God’s word back to Him is one of the most simple things we can do and it doesn’t require a lot of lofty words on our part. It just necessitates us reading His word, meditating on it, and then praying it back to Him. From time to time, I will share some of my favorite prayers and scriptures that can be prayed from the Bible. I encourage you to share your favorites too so that all may be edified.
Here is the first of the Bible Prayer series from Numbers 6:24-26:
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.”
The Lord gave Moses this special blessing to give to Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel. I’ve often thought of this scripture as a prayer of blessing for my family, friends, colleagues, strangers, and anyone whom I meet on any given day. It’s such a simple scripture, but it has such profound power because it came from the mouth of the Lord as His blessing to His people. What more could we need for an assured blessing?
Consider using this the next time you are at a loss for words during your prayer time. Read it, meditate on it, and bring people to mind that you want to be under the authority of this scripture. And in doing so, may the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.
Our impulse to beat ourselves up in order to find God dies hard.
The wonderful film “Babette’s Feast” tenderly and playfully challenges Christendom’s assumption that self-denial cuts a path to spirituality. The story takes place on the desolate coast of Denmark in the late 1700′s. Martina and Philippa are the two beautiful daughters of a devout clergyman who prior to his death preached salvation through austerity. Both girls sacrifice their youthful passions, marriage and family to carry on their father’s legacy. Now years later, they still manage to keep alive his version of faithfulness among the townspeople.
Then one stormy night Babette, a refugee from France’s civil war finds her way to their doorstep. She is weak and frightened, and the sisters quickly bring her in. For room and board Babette agrees to cook and care for the house. The sisters draw up rules about what they should eat and how it should be prepared – bland fish and potatoes without seasoning. Babette faithfully complies. Years pass.
Then one day Babette learns that she has won a French lottery. Her winnings would give her full independence. But instead of leaving her new home Babette asks permission to prepare a gift of gratitude for her village – a gourmet French meal! Babette, it turns out, had been one of the most renowned chefs in Paris.
In the end her friends accept her gift and come to see, reluctantly perhaps, that God has created all good things for our enjoyment.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good!” says the Psalmist (Psalm 34).
Do you have a prayer hero, a role model or “guide” for spiritual direction? Whether or not we choose one consciously most of us probably have some impression in our minds about what proper prayer looks like and that impression probably came from someone we considered an expert in the field.
Sometimes our selection of “experts” leaves something to be desired. Jennifer Schuchmann and I relay a story our book Six Prayers God Always Answers about a particularly powerful, but warped picture of spirituality.
It is said that St. Catherine’s Monastery near Mt. Sinai Egypt, still honors the final will and testament of three monks who lived there twelve centuries ago. One monk was a doorkeeper. He wanted to keep his job forever and so to honor his request, his mummy still sits beside the door he guarded in life.
Behind the door lived the other two monks. Each had taken a vow to devote his life to perpetual prayer. One would pray while the other slept. They never saw each other or spoke to one another. Their only connection was a chain that ran through the wall and was attached to their wrists. When one had completed his prayers, he would yank the chain as a signal for the other to begin.
When the two men died, their skeletons were laid side by side in caskets. And there they rest today, still united by the same links of chain.
Some historians believe that rigorous monastic disciplines like the one practiced by these monks helped preserve civilization during the cultural deterioration of the early Middle Ages.
But anecdotes like these, told as sermon illustrations by well-intentioned pastors, have unintentionally decreased not only the occurrence of prayer but also the number of active pray-ers. When an average twenty-first century Westerner hears of such eccentric dedication, the typical response is, “If this is what it takes to pray to God, count me out.”
Prayer isn’t accomplished by some divine formula. Its power isn’t amplified if we assume some sort of ascetic or monastic posture.
Question: Do you have any ascetic tendencies in your spiritual life? Do you imagine that prayer has to be “hard” to be “worthy?” Where does this assumption come from? Is it correct, now that you think about it? What does this say about your image of God? What would you like to believe about God?
Ice Cream: A Prayer of Thanks
“God, thank you for ice cream. Well done! Sure, we humans have been clever enough to combine your goods in a creative way, But you made the milk, the eggs, sugar, the flavors we use to fancy it up and the ice that makes it cold. Thank you, thank you. And please enjoy it with me. Jesus, you never
posted 8:58:40pm May. 30, 2013 |
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“I Need a Job” - A Prayer
"Lord, you know I need work. I want to do my part and carry my weight. I’m not asking for a handout; but I do need your help landing the right employment. It’s been too long and I’m feeling frustrated. You know exactly the situation that fits my skills, my interests and my experience. You know
posted 2:02:50pm Mar. 28, 2013 |
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Super Bowl Power Outage: Let There Be Light - a Prayer
“God, light matters. We need light and when light goes out, we’re thrown into confusion and even fear. When power fades or goes out, we need to turn to you. God, you are our power source. You are the source of light. As the lights have gone out in the Super Bowl it reminds us that you alone are
posted 8:52:33pm Feb. 03, 2013 |
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SAD: A Prayer for Joy and 'Vitamin G’
“God, I need vitamin D, but even more I need ‘vitamin G.’ Today, I am heavy with sadness. These winter days are gloomy and cold and I crave the light. I was made for light. Even my body knows this. I need the vitamin D that comes from light, and now, in the shadows I feel pushed down and heavy
posted 6:58:33am Jan. 30, 2013 |
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Egypt: A Prayer
“God, today we pray for Egypt, a nation one again in great turmoil. Save Egypt from violence and despair. You love this land, and always have, even when that love demanded your hand of discipline and judgment. Egypt along the Nile is intricately woven into the fabric of our histories together. It
posted 8:15:16am Jan. 29, 2013 |
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