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The blessing of Melchizedek - a blessing also for you!

In collecting prayers for the Book of Bible Prayers , I focused on actual prayers prayed by real people who lived in Bible times – people who pleaded, whined, praised, asked, expressed thanks, cried real tears, complained to God, and interceded for others – just as we do today! According to early chapters of Genesis, people began to call on the Lord a couple of generations after Adam and Eve, but (maybe because they couldn’t write yet!) we don’t know what the actual words were. (Probably, “God, help!") Those references to prayer have generally been omitted, and so have most of the many, many blessings that laud God but don’t talk directly with or to the Lord. A few blessed exceptions have been paraphrased as blessings that speak to God rather than about Him (for example, the high priestly prayer of Aaron.) However, in the case of Melchizedek, the king-priest’s words to Abraham remain as the first recorded blessing, appropriately beginning  the  Book of Bible Prayers .

NEW! the Book of Bible Prayers

After decades of researching what the Bible has to say about prayer and buying a bunch of prayer books that weren’t quite what I wanted, I felt led to collect the  actual prayers in the Bible then prayer-a-phrase (prayerfully paraphrase) them into THE prayer book I personally want and need. If you do, too, you’ll be happy to know the Book of Bible Prayers is now available on Amazon. With the gathering of these prayers, I saw things I’d never before noticed. As the Foreword notes, for example, “The prayers in the Hebrew scriptures (aka Old Testament) are frequently pleas, praise, thanksgiving, complaints, and petitions, but in the New Testament such requests or responses are less likely to occur. Instead, Paul and other apostles typically ask believers in Christ to pray for them. Or, more often, they offer parental blessings over the Christian communities they’re addressing. Similar to the priestly blessing of Aaron in Numbers 6, these New Testament blessings are directed toward

Jesus prayed for Himself too

Here on earth, Jesus prayed to God for help. The Only Son prayed with a shout and tears to the Only One Who could save Him from fears of death, and God heard this prayer of trust. Even Jesus, the Son of God knew obedience through misery. And because He obeyed – completely, perfectly – Jesus became our High Priest like Melchizedek, and in this way Christ gave eternal salvation to all who obey. © 2013, Mary Harwell Sayler , prayer-a-phrase poem, Hebrews 5:7-10

Melchizedek: A priest prays for Abraham

Background: When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured by the joint forces of four kings, he rounded up 318 men from his servants and set out to rescue his brother’s son. Abram not only accomplished this military feat, he also freed the people and possessions taken from their homes in Sodom and Gomorrah. Afterward, the king of Sodom came out to greet the returning hero in the Kings’ Valley and told him to keep the things belonging to the people of his town, but Abram refused. As he explained, he did not want anyone thinking the king of Sodom had made him rich! At some point during this conversation, the Bible reports that the priest-king of Salem also came out to meet Abram, bringing bread and wine. No one knows anything about the ancestry of this priest-king to whom the fifth chapter of Hebrews later refers as “a priest forever.” Regardless, the man came from an area whose name stems from the Hebrew word “Shalom,” meaning “peace.” “Melchizedek, the king of Salem and