January 25, 2020

Moses’ prayer of complaint


Earlier this week, someone posted an article on the Internet with images showing what happens to the brain when we complain. Reportedly, a habit of complaining rewires the brain, making a person more and more aware of every little negative thing!

When Moses led God’s people out of slavery and toward the promised land, he had to deal with countless complaints by countless people. As mediator between them and the Lord, he presented the grievances directly to God in prayer:

Exodus 5:22-23 – a prayer of Moses

And Moses returned unto the Lord,
and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou
so evil entreated this people?
why is it that thou hast sent me?

For since I came to Pharaoh
to speak in thy name,
he hath done evil to this people;
neither hast thou delivered thy people
at all.

From the Book of KJV Prayers – actual prayers from God’s Word collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, from the King James Version of the Bible

Exodus 5:21-22 – a prayer of Moses

Lord, why
have You brought
so much trouble
on Your people?

Why did You send me?

Ever since I got here
things have gotten worse,
and You’ve done nothing
to help!

From the Book of KJV Prayers – actual prayers from God’s Word collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, from the King James Version of the Bible

Continual candor and persistent prayer in frequent heart-to-heart talks with God helped Moses to develop a deep faith and trust. Undoubtedly, those choices and actions also kept his brain from being hot-wired to attract negativisms!

Today, scientists assure us that simply becoming aware of the tendency to complain is the first step in stopping the problem. In fact, the brain has a remarkable plasticity by which it can rewire itself as we conscientiously change our thought patterns. How? We have only to look back about 2,000 years for the answer that, as God-incidence would have it, happens to be today’s verse from Bible Gateway:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things,” Philippians 4:8, King James Version (KJV.)

May the Lord God help us to hear and heed!




January 20, 2020

The conflicting prayers of Moses


Have you ever responded eagerly to a call by God only to have fear or apprehension enter the equation? Moses did.

At first, the Burning Bush consumed his curiosity – but, amazingly, not the bush! As he turned aside to better see, he immediately heard God’s call.

Moses answered like a school kid at roll call! But when he realized God wanted him to do something big, trepidations set in, and he begged God to send someone else.

You know the rest of the story. Despite his hesitation, Moses obeyed God’s will and did the job he’d been asked to do – leading God’s people out of slavery.


Exodus 3:4 – a prayer of Moses

And when the Lord saw that he
(Moses)
turned aside to see,
God called unto him
out of the midst of the bush, and said,
Moses, Moses.

And he (Moses) said,
Here am I.

Exodus 4:13

And he
(Moses) said,
O my Lord, send, I pray thee,
by the hand of him
whom thou wilt send.

From the Book of KJV Prayers – actual prayers from God’s Word collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, from the King James Version of the Bible

Exodus 3:4 – a prayer of Moses

Here I am, Lord.

Exodus 4:13

O Lord, send someone else!

From the Book of Bible Prayersactual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations and paraphrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019

May God help us to discern the tasks we’ve been given to do, trusting that the Lord will also give us everything we need to carry out the job.







January 10, 2020

Jacob prays for a blessing


After being away for a couple of decades, Jacob heads home with two companies of peoples and a massive amount of livestock. Clearly, God has blessed him! So why does he pray to be blessed?


Genesis 32:26 – a prayer of Jacob

And he (a man of God or angel)said,
Let me go,
for the day breaketh.

And he (Jacob) said,
I will not let thee go,
except thou bless me.

From the Book of KJV Prayers – actual prayers from God’s Word collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, from the King James Version of the Bible


Genesis 32:26 – a prayer of Jacob

Lord, I will
not let
You go
until
You bless me!

From the Book of Bible Prayersactual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations and paraphrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019


Jacob had already prayed for deliverance from his brother Esau and sent over 500 animals ahead as a peace offering. He remained behind with his family and servants, but sometime during the night, he arose, divided the people into two groups as a safety precaution, and sent them on ahead. He would have been all alone – except for the Angel of God with whom he wrestled.

As day began to break, the Angel insisted Jacob let him go, but Jacob refused until he received a blessing. Obviously, this was no request for material goods or riches. Nor did the prayer repeat a desire for God to be with him since the Lord already was! Jacob had God’s presence, protection, and power, but a blessing can also mean permission, approval, or anointing.

On that night, God bestowed every aspect of blessing, including forgiveness, as He changed Jacob’s name (one who supplants or displaces) to Israel – one who triumphs with God.









January 2, 2020

Jacob prays for deliverance


Trickery and an aptitude for manipulating people marked Jacob’s early years, but after being treated that way for a long time by his father-in-law, this son of Isaac headed home with a new attitude.

The problem was, Jacob didn’t know what his twin brother Esau, whom he’d tricked more than once, might do! However, Jacob did know God had blessed him. Humbling himself before the Lord, he asked for protection and deliverance in this prayer.


Genesis 32:10-11 a prayer of Jacob

I am not worthy
of the least of all the mercies,
and of all the truth,
which thou hast shewed
unto thy servant;
for with my staff
I passed over this Jordan;
and now I am become two bands.

Deliver me, I pray thee,
from the hand of my brother,
from the hand of Esau:
for I fear him, lest he will come
and smite me, and the mother with the children.

From the Book of KJV Prayers actual prayers in God’s Word collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, from the King James Version of the Bible


Genesis 32:10-11 a paraphrased prayer of Jacob

Lord, I am not worthy
of all the loving kindness
and faithfulness
You have shown me,
for I began with nothing
and now have far more
than I could ever need.

But, Lord, I’m alarmed
by those I fear might
harm me and my family.
Please deliver us, I pray.

From the Book of Bible Prayers actual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations and paraphrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019


May God help us to let go of the past as we humble ourselves before Him and begin the New Year in prayer, praise, and appreciation.


Mary Sayler, ©2020




December 28, 2019

Simeon prays over the Infant Jesus


According to the Law of Moses, every Jewish couple had to present their first-born son to God and offer a sacrifice, so the child would be “holy to the Lord.” As Mary and Joseph obeyed this ruling from the Torah, the Holy Spirit urged a devout man named Simeon to enter the Temple, where he saw the Baby Jesus and took Him into his arms. 


People did not expect the Anointed One – the Messiah, the Christ – to come as a newborn, but Simeon immediately recognized the Baby as The One. Since the Lord had promised the aging man he would not die before seeing the Messiah, Simeon blessed the family and burst into praise and this prophetic prayer:




Luke 2:29-32 – a prayer of Simeon

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant
depart in peace, according to thy word:

For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared
before the face of all people;

A light to lighten the Gentiles,
and the glory of thy people Israel.

From the Book of KJV Prayers – actual Bible prayers collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, from the King James Version 


Luke 2:29-32 – a prayer of Simeon

And now, Lord, Your bond-servant
can go in peace,
for You have kept Your word,

and my eyes have witnessed Your
salvation –

the salvation You prepared
in the presence of all nations –

the Light You revealed to everyone,
the glory You have with Your people.

From the Book of Bible Prayersactual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations and paraphrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019




December 17, 2019

Magnificat: Mary’s Magnificent Prayer


Can you imagine the Virgin Mary’s puzzlement and awe when Gabriel, the Angel of God, appeared before her? Then even more puzzling and awesome, the Angel announced that God had chosen her to bear His Son!

Immediately, Mary believed him but, naturally, had questions. Gabriel answered, explaining how the Holy Spirit would come upon her or, as many translations say, “overshadow” her.

As Mary took this all in, Gabriel went on to tell her something only Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah knew: that the elderly couple would soon have their first child.

By then, Elizabeth was only three months away from the birth of a son, who would become known as John the Baptist. But, perhaps because of her age or Zechariah’s temporary muteness as a result of his unbelief or because she didn’t know how people would respond after years of taunting her for being barren – for whatever reason, Elizabeth had kept herself confined for six months. Surely she needed help! And, now with child herself, the young virgin hurried to help.

As soon as Mary arrived, Elizabeth’s unborn baby jumped for joy. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth exclaimed over Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42.)

With unimaginable joy and awe, Mary burst into praise. And that prayer became known as the “Magnificat,” which comes from the first line of the prayer as translated from its original Aramaic language into Latin, “Magnificat anima mea Dominum.” When translated into English, the Magnificat joyously proclaims, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

Luke 1:46-50, from the King James Version (KJV) 

And Mary said,
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced
in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded
the low estate of his handmaiden:
for, behold, from henceforth all
generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath done
to me great things;
and holy is his name.

And his mercy is on them
that fear him
from generation to generation.

From the Book of KJV Prayers – actual prayers from God’s Word collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, from the King James Version of the Bible

Luke 1:46-50, in contemporary English

With all my heart, I praise You, Lord!
What favor You have shown!

From now on, every generation 
will call me blessed
because of the great things
You have done for me.

Holy is Your Name!

In every generation,
You give mercy upon mercy
to all who honor You.

From the Book of Bible Prayersactual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations and paraphrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019


May you have a blessed Christmas and 20/20 vision in a joyous new year.

December 11, 2019

Bible Prayer to Prepare the Way for Christ


In this prayer from the Bible, the Jewish priest Zechariah praised God and prophesied over his son John, who was to prepare the way for the coming of Christ.

May this season of Advent help us to do the same as we make more and more room in our lives for the Lord Jesus.


Luke 1:68-70, 76, 77 – a prayer of Zechariah

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;
for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

And hath raised up an horn of salvation
for us in the house of his servant David;

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets,
which have been since the world began:

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet
of the Highest: for thou shalt go before
the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

To give knowledge of salvation unto his people
by the remission of their sins.

From the Book of KJV Prayers – actual prayers from God’s Word collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, from the King James Version of the Bible

Luke 1:68-70, 76, 77 – a prayer of Zechariah

Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel!
You have visited us and provided
redemption for Your people!
You have raised up a mighty Savior
from the house of David,
just as You promised ages ago
through the holy prophets.

And, now my child will be
a prophet of the Most High
to go before the Lord
and prepare the way
for You to give people
good news of salvation
as You forgive our sins.


From the Book of Bible Prayersactual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of English translations and paraphrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019