November 29, 2012

Bible prayer for wisdom, for hope

“May God the Father of Glory
give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation
as you come to know our Lord Jesus Christ.

And with your heart enlightened,
may you know
the hope to which God has called you
and know
this rich and glorious inheritance
among the saints,
and know
the immeasurable greatness
of the power of God for us who believe.

God put this power to work in Christ
Whom He raised from the dead
and seated at His right hand
in the heavenly places
above all
rulers and authorities
and powers
and above every name named,
not only in this age but in the age to come.

And God has put all things
under the Lord’s feet
and made Christ the head
over all things
for the church body,
filled now
with Him
Who fills all in all.”


Ephesians 1:15-23 (c) 2012 prayer-a-phrase by Mary Sayler.

~~

November 24, 2012

James calls us to pray

In one of today’s timely readings, James exhorts Christians with this timeless, biblical word on prayer:

Are any of you suffering?
Pray!

Are any of you cheerful?
Sing songs of praise!

Are any among you sick?
Call the elders of the church
to pray over you
and anoint you with oil
in the name of the Lord.

Pray in faith to save the sick.
Pray, and the Lord will restore you,
and sins will be forgiven too!

So confess your sins to one another.
Pray for one another,
so you may be healed.

The prayer of the righteous has power!
The prayer of the righteous has a powerful effect.

Remember Elijah?
He was human like us,
but he prayed with passion for no rain
to come, and no rain came
for three and a half years!

Then Elijah prayed again,
and the heavens released their rain
and the earth released its harvest.

Oh, child of God, if any of you wander
from the truth, bring them back!
You will save a sinner's soul from death
and cover countless sins.

James 5:13-20 (c) 2012 prayer-a-phrase by Mary Sayler.


November 23, 2012

Persistent prayer and our persistently loving God

In Luke 18, Jesus told His followers a parable to illustrate the need to pray and pray without getting discouraged.

“And Jesus said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who showed no respect to God nor to people. In that same city lived a widow, who kept coming to the judge and saying, “Grant me justice against my foe!” But the judge did not. Finally though, he realized that, even though he had no fear nor reverence for God or mankind, this woman would keep on pestering him until he gave her justice, and so he did.’

“Then Jesus said to His followers, ‘Pay attention to what the unjust judge realized then you will realize this: God will defend and protect His children, who cry to Him day and night. God will not delay help but will surely defend and protect and grant you justice. But, let Me ask you this: When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18:1-8.

Question:
What hinders your prayers or discourages you most often? What do you believe God wants you to do – or not do – about any personal triggers for discouragement? In what way(s) was the widow's persistency an act of faith in justice? In what way(s) does prayer persistency show an act of faith in God and in ourselves as His children?

Personal Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father and Most Merciful Judge, we thank You that You can always, always be trusted to listen, hear, care, love, and render a fair, just, loving, kind, and wise decision as You answer our prayers with “Yes,” “No,” or “Wait!” Thank You for knowing and doing what is best for us. And, O LORD, please, please let there always be faith on earth in the Whole Church Body of Christ and also in me, Your child, in Jesus’ Name.

~~
© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved, but if you’ll acknowledge this site, you’re welcome to pass it on! May God bless you and your prayer life in Christ and the Church.

~~

November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving prayer of thanks to God

One of the psalms for today's reading provides an ongoing prayer of thanks, especially timely during the coming week of Thanksgiving.

As you continue to pray this Bible prayer from Psalm 136, substitute one of the following synonyms for “endure” with each new reading, now and throughout the year:

Withstands
Bears
Tolerates
Sustains
Suffers
Continues
Persists
Stays
Goes on and on and on!

Psalm 136
poem paraphrase by Mary Harwell Sayler

Thank You! Thank You, LORD,
for You are good.
Your mercy *endures forever.

Thank You! Thank You, God of gods.
Your mercy *endures forever.

Thank You! Thank You, Lord of lords.
Your mercy *endures forever.

Oh, the great wonders You do
for Your mercy *endures forever!

By Your wisdom You made the heavens,
and Your mercy *endures forever.

You spread earth upon the waters.
You spread light and more light –
in the day sun, night stars and moon,
for Your mercy *endures forever.

You rescued Your people in the Bible,
and You rescue us and will rescue us
for Your mercy
*endures forever and forever.

Thank You! Thank You, God!

We give thanks to You
for Your enduring mercy is great,
and we need You forever and ever.

Psalm 136 as paraphrased poem, ©2012 by Mary Sayler



November 15, 2012

Pray for wisdom. Pray for faith.

Bible Prayer, Call to Prayer: James 1:1-8

Bible Pray-er or one who prayed: James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ

Prayer Conditions: James wrote to encourage Christians, facing trials of every kind, to “Consider it all joy!” Huh?

Joy by trial?

Why, oh why would such a wise man (and possibly member of Jesus’ family) offer such weird advice?

As James himself explained, “Because you know the testing of faith helps you to endure. And when your endurance has been strengthened, you will be spiritually mature, lacking nothing.“

Having spiritual maturity and lacking nothing are surely causes for joy. The catch is having the faith and wisdom to see that coming!

James’ Ongoing Call to Prayer: “If any of you lacks wisdom ask God, who gives generously and willingly to each of us, and wisdom will be given to you. But, ask in faith! Do not doubt! For doubting sets you adrift as though you’re on a wave in the sea, driven and tossed by wind. Oh, do not be double-minded and unstable and unable to grasp anything from the Lord!”

Prayer from there to here: Dear Lord God, thank You for being all-generous and bringing us all-joy, no matter how things look! Thank You for speaking through James to give us Your word to us today as we face trials – spiritually, mentally, physically, financially, and even literally in a courtroom! Gives us Your wisdom, Lord. Calm the seas around us, so we do not drown but become immersed in Your healing word to us in Jesus’ Name.


© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved, but pass it on!

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