Here’s a printed copy of the Ash Wednesday message. Ash Wednesday Sermon
Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category
I have learned from the bible, I believe, and I teach others that God is a Father to us. He is a Father who delights in us and loves to have us approach him in prayer at any time for any concern. But I am often such a poor father. How often am I irritated when my kids come asking for something? How often do I respond with a grudging heart? God forgive me! And what do I teach when I do this? They are to learn to know God as their Father and that He delights in them and is eager to hear from them. But they have this often poor example of an earthly father to confuse things. God help me. God help us all to honor Him.
This should have gone out much earlier today. Here are three readings we considered at our prayer service this evening:
Daniel 9:1-19. I love the humility. I love the focus on confession. I love the ground and basis of Daniel’s prayer toward the end, on the mighty saving acts of God, his mercy, God’s own reputation. Can you hear the earnestness of Daniel’s cries? Oh that we we pray with such desperation and appeal continually to the mercies of God. I love the appeal that God would honor again the place/people on which he had put his Name. And where has God put his Name today? And keep reading to see the awesome response of God to these humble prayers.
Colossians 4:2-18. We read Paul’s exhortation to devoted prayer. We see the example of Epaphras “wrestling in prayer.”
Luke 11:1-13 We see the example of Jesus in prayer. We learn from his teachings: The great outline for prayer–our Lord’s prayer. The example of boldness and persistence. The focus on the goodness and generosity of our Heavenly Father. The promise of prayers answered–especially those prayers which seek the gift of God’s Spirit.
How can we read these and not be moved to cry out to our Father who loves us and longs to bless us?
Thursday, May 3rd is the National Day of Prayer. We will meet for a Prayer Service at 6PM in the OSL Sanctuary. Please join us as together we, devote ourselves to prayer. (see Colossians 4:2)
According to “Operation World,” this North-Central African nation has “one of the lowest literacy levels in the world,” at 53.7%. There are also “more unreached peoples in Chad than in any other African country.” Please pray for the spread of the Gospel in Chad and for God to bless the people of this land.
Last week I went for a short hike for a time of prayer. As I hiked I reflected on:
Psalm 63:1-3 A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah. “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”
Are we finding our satisfaction in Christ? Or in the fleeting pleasures and experiences of life? Are we hungry for God and His righteousness? Or are we content in our own feeble righteousness–which is no righteousness at all. Are we desperate for God, recognizing the world for what it is–a gift but not the giver. Do we recognize the love of God as the best part of living–or merely the icing on the top?
Here’s a quick example from my AM bible reading of God changing his plan in response to prayer.
See 1 Kings 20:1-6.
Prophet Isaiah announces for the LORD that Hezekiah will die and needs to put his “house in order.”
Hezekiah prays and weeps before the LORD.
While Isaiah is leaving Hezekiah, God instructs him to go back to tell Hezekiah he’s heard his prayer and is granting him fifteen more years of life.
Operation World has me praying for Saudi Arabia today. “Saudis who come to faith in Christ face the death penalty if discovered; executions are definitely known to occur.” (pg. 729)
News reports reveal that Iranian Pastor Nadarkhan is being imprisoned and has received the death sentence in Iran for refusal to renounce Christ. Praise God for the faith God has given this brother to remain true to Christ even in the face of death itself. Please pray for our brother to remain faithful to Christ. Please pray for miraculous release (see Acts 12:5-11 ) from prison. Please pray for strength of faith and peace, provision and protection for his family and the believers under his care. Here is an early report from Voice of the Martyrs.