Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

“Down-and-Dirty, Honest-to-God!”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I read again today an old poem of prayer.  It’s 3,000 years old, but tell me, can you relate?

 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
      and he turned to me and heard my cry.
 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
      out of the mud and the mire.
 He set my feet on solid ground
      and steadied me as I walked along.
 He has given me a new song to sing,
      a hymn of praise to our God.
 Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
      They will put their trust in the Lord…

 Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.
      Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles surround me–
      too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
      I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
      I have lost all courage.

Please, Lord, rescue me!
      Come quickly, Lord, and help me… (Psalm 40:1-3, 11-13)

Desperate. Truthful. Humble. Direct. Real. That’s good and proper prayer.

The author’s name was David, the Hebrew King and his lyrics are in the Bible as Psalm 40. David lived as a man totally honest with God. His prayers didn’t get trapped into formulas or religious rites. He spoke his mind, and his heart. And God honored that simple honesty and said that David had a heart after God’s own heart. I want that as my byline! How? I’ll follow David’s model of down-and-dirty, honest-to-God prayer.  

Pray for Iran Plane Crash Family and Friends

posted by nsymmonds

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.

Heavenly Father,

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,

Amen

Bible Prayer: The Priestly Blessing

posted by nsymmonds

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.  

 

Eating Prayer

posted by Mark Herringshaw

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).

 

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