Teach me such obedience

Almighty God and gracious Father,

You have granted me another day. Thank You for the rest of last night and the beauty of this new day. Thank You for the house we live in, the security we enjoy and your providence in every way. We are blessed and privileged. Please accept my thanks in the Name of Christ.

You have spoken to me from your word this morning. The instruction of the Apostle to Timothy is your instruction to me as someone called to preach the Word and take care of the flock of the Lord Jesus.

The study of the paragraph brought home to me the enormity of the charge. I feel as if I can’t do the work. I look back on my ministry over years, I confess that I stand guilty before You. I beg for your forgiveness and ask that You will accomplish your will, even through my stumbling efforts. I plead the blood of Christ and the sanctifying work of your Spirit upon it. Hear my prayer, dear Father.

I accept by faith and experience that your Word is indeed holy. It is the lamp for my feet and the light for my path.

I thank You for those who taught me to love the Word. I thank You for your grace in many generations who preceded me who loved your Word, and for the faith in which my parents taught me so I could teach my children too. You are the God of your Covenant.

There were also relatives, many Sunday School teachers, many friends, and many ministers over many years. But most of all, it was your Spirit who illuminated my mind constantly to understand the message and the importance of the message.

Because I know the outcome of the lives of those who taught me the Word, I can continue in it.

The Word gives us insight and wisdom. I know it by experience because of the salvation in Jesus Christ. You want us to grow in knowledge and deeper understanding of your Word. Give me a deeper love for your Word, and help me to understand the beauty and splendor of your revealed will for my life.

When You instruct me from your Word, give me the grace to humbly put my life at your feet to bow before its authority because it is God-inspired. And because this is the case please open my eyes to its teaching. Build me up by teaching me.

When You find it necessary to rebuke me because of stubbornness and sin in my life, give me grace to understand that You mean the best for my spiritual growth to be holy before You. Your Word is like the two-edged sword which cuts deep into the marrow and wrists, dividing soul and spirit, exposing the dead wood and cutting out the festering sin which stifle growth. When You speak like that to us, it hurts. We have to make adjustments and have to leave behind things we might even enjoy doing. But it is good for our growing in You. Give me grace, Lord.

I pray that your Spirit will lead me to correcting my ways. Forgive me for doing my own thing and sometimes just want You to follow where I go. Help me to see the path as You walk ahead and correct me conduct to eventually end up with You in heaven.

My righteousness is not my own. It is the righteousness of my Lord and Saviour. I thank You for giving me that perfect righteousness. But to only confess it, to only know about it is just to beginning. Your Word is our instructor to train us in that righteousness. I need to understand how to apply it more and more in my life. It implies growing, more and more. Teach me, Father, the depths of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Form my mind and thoughts to determine the way I would think and talk and walk before You to the benefit of others.

Equip me therefore to do good work. So, in what I say and do, and even in the things I don’t say and do, your Name might be glorified, and others around me will benefit from. The good works You want me to do are things You have already worked out for me. Teach me obedience to your guidance so that I will never add to, or even go beyond, what You want me to do. I guess, Lord, want You want is the obedience of a child who fully trust his father and just what to please his father. This is my prayer this morning: teach me such obedience.

To receive the charge to be your minister is enormous and so responsible and wide that I shrink at the wideness of it. The solemnity of being called, being inducted and being charged by the most holy God who is Creator of the universe, and Father of my Saviour, is almost overwhelming. But isn’t it just what Paul wanted Timothy to know? He charged Timothy by oath: under God and under Christ who will judge the living and the dead. You are over all things. You triumph over time so that You have given life in the beginning has the right to take it once again when You have accomplished your purposes; but then You have the right to judge and call to account of how we lived our lives. And for this task You call your ministers. Your Kingdom will appear, You will open the books, You will demand from us how we discharged of our duties and stewardship of time, talents and otherwise.

You did not purpose for your Word to return to You void. Through the preaching and teaching of the Word You determined that people be prepared for eternity. Your Word will secure for You a harvest of saved people in Jesus Christ. Thank You Lord, that You know the number of your elect. There will not be one missing one the day of your return. I can rest in this thought. But it also charges me once again to with my full might and full diligence commit myself to the preaching and the teaching of it. To do this and to accomplish what You determined I cannot go on my own. I need to submit to your will and your leading. I need your empowerment. Please, Lord, grant me this prayer and save the lost through my preaching of your wonderful Word. I may only ask this if You will get the glory. So, strip me of conceitedness and pride, and make me like clay in your hands. Hear my prayer, Lord.

Need need you daily empowering to really keep going even when the times and opportunities to do so may look, according to my understanding, not the best. Give me faithfulness to do it in good and bad times. All times belong to You in any case.

As I am corrected by the Word, help me to correct with the Word. As You rebuke me, help me to with love and compassion rebuke others and not shrink at opposition. Teach me to always have a view of your purpose of rebuking: You want to teach your children that You want them to be holy; You don’t want to hurt for the sake of hurting people. You want them to understand that being disciplined is to be receiving the instruction of a father. If we were not legitimate children, we would not have received this grace. So, Lord, help me to represent You in your love and righteous and just love to rebuke when I need to do so.

Give me the grace also to encourage. What a ministry this is! To encourage presupposes love, understanding, a relationship, but also personal development to help others to another level of service. Help me to be an encourager of others. Use my prayers for them. Give me opportunities to do so through personal interest, maybe a book or just a visit. If we do not encourage one another, some might fall away like we read about it in Hebrews. Help me to be and encourager to other in Jesus Christ. Hear my prayer, Lord!

May my preaching be faithful and careful instruction of the Word to help stem the tide when people would rather love to hear what their itching ears would love to hear. May the Word of truth have a greater attraction for them to overcome the desire to drink from other fountains.

You prepared me today for hard times too. I thank You for the smooth ride thus far. I don’t particularly look for persecution, but You also declare in this part of the Scriptures that who want to be godly will be persecuted. Thank You for the example of Paul: he endured hardship, and he testifies that You helped him through it. So, Lord, when You want me to prepare for hardship, please give me the grace to endure, always trusting You. You are ever faithful; and what counts is not to just make it through this life, but to one day stand before You who will judge the living and the dead.

Empower me, Father, to do the work of an Evangelist and to complete fully the work of a minister called and charge with this responsibility. I humbly stand before You with nothing in my hands, but failures of the past. Forgive me Father! Make me a willing servant of the Most High. Accomplish your purposes through my ministry. I tremble at the sight of the responsibility. Give me grace, comfort me and help me. Hear my prayer, Lord Jesus; go ahead before me, Holy Spirit. Be glorified in me. For Your sake.
AMEN.

 

Pray for Christians Under Fire in Nigeria, Sudan and Tunisia

Beheaded in Tunisia

Assist News Service has reported on a young male convert to Christianity being beheaded by Islamic militants in Tunisia. Graphic footage filmed in Tunisia was aired on Egypt Today, showing the militants reciting the Quran and chanting Islamic slogans and curses in Arabic, while the “apostate who had refused to recant his conversion to Christ, was calmly praying before being beheaded. It was not long ago that Tunisia was regarded as the most free and open of all Arab states. The popular support for murdering of Arabs who convert to Christianity, bodes ill for the Arab Spring.

Jihad in Nigeria

At least 15 people were killed and more than 40 seriously injured on Sunday, 3 June, when a Boko Haram suicide bomber drove his car into a checkpoint outside The Living Faith Church in Bauchi. The explosion, which occurred at 9:20am, sent shrapnel through believers who were fellowshipping outside, after the church’s first worship service. The explosion also hit the Harvest Field Church only 25m away across the road, causing part of the church building to collapse on worshipers.  Read more …

 

For spiritual growth

Our Father in Heaven,

In silence and adoration I once again come into your presence.  I do so in the Name of Jesus Christ, my only righteousness.

I come with praise and thanksgiving.  Thank You for being my Father; thank You that You have adopted me, saving me by the grace of Jesus Christ, giving me a willing heart to respond to the Gospel call, planting within me the Holy Spirit to give me a responding new heart to come to You and be forgiven, justified and adopted as your child.

I read about You being the Father of all families in Christ Jesus.  The Good News of being included into the family of God, being part of the temple indwelled by the Holy Spirit with all believers, about your incomparable great love and power for those whom You love.

The Word this morning also talked about the church and its members as a place where Christ lives.  I know there are so many things in my life where You would need to make changes to live.  I pray Lord, that You would continue your sanctifying work in my life and the life of the congregation You gave to me to minister to.  We know so little of the purifying work of the Spirit.  We are sometimes just satisfied that You have died for us, that You rose again and You are seated at the right hand of the Father.  But of spiritual growth and maturity there is very little to be seen.  Change this attitude, Lord.  Give us, as your apostle prayed, the grace to grow to the full measure of the grace of our Father.  Give us an understanding of the depth, the height, and the width of the love You have for your church in Christ Jesus.

Give us the insight and the ability to understand that You can do much more that what we can even think or ask.  But prevent us from thinking that we may ask of You to only enjoy the benefits for our own pleasure.  Help us to be in tune with your revealed will in the Scriptures, help us to be understand your will, and help us to have an understanding of what You really want your church to be doing for your glory in the world.

 

Daniel’s Intercessory Prayer of Confession

Commenting on Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9, Bill Muehlenberg writes:

“We have so very much to repent of. But for most churches it is business as usual. They would not dare to bring up the topics of sin, repentance, confession and holiness. That would keep the numbers down – and worse yet, it would keep the income down.

Therefore many churches today are quite content to offer people just what they want to hear: a completely me-centred gospel, which makes no demands, costs nothing, and offends no one. Such churches will always be popular of course – but they will also be spiritually barren – if not spiritually dead.

But it is silly of me to keep writing here. We all should simply read this prayer of confession, and read it again. Indeed, we should keep reading it until God breaks through and we get out of our spiritual deep freeze, and we see God begin to move again.

We need to do this corporately and individually. Yet such prayers of repentance must start with ourselves. With me.”

In encourage you to read this article

Confession and joy

Dear Lord,

In the Name of Jesus Christ, my Saviour, I come to You in confession.  I stand in the righteousness of Christ and nothing of my own.

I admit and acknowledge that I am sinful, and that I have sinned before You.  My sins are an abomination in your sight, and it screams against your holiness.  I ask for forgiveness.  I am ashamed of the fact that although You have saved me, I am still only a child in faith.  I stumble; fall and every time come to You for forgiveness.  It seems as if my life does not show signs of growth and victory.  What I read about the Christian life in your Word sometimes seems  so unattainable.  If I have to believe the tempter, I sometimes even wonder if I am indeed saved.

And still, there is only one place I can go to:  You.

Your holiness and grandeur to me are both an attraction and something I would sometimes just run away from.  Your holiness is beautiful, more beautiful than the best I might have seen and known in what You have created.  I want to come back to it and enjoy it more and more.  But being there, I realize how hopeless and sinful I am; it scares me and I want to stay away from You.  I sometimes just want to hide under the bush like Elijah, wishing to die.

The fact that I offend your holiness, knowing that I deserve your righteous judgment, creates in me a sort of despondency.  There is so little of the victory seen in my life.

My prayer time is hopeless and insufficient.

And yet, the joy of knowing You surpasses all understanding.  The satisfaction of reading your Word and to pray is just tremendous.  When I am riding the crest of joy in You, I just can’t understand why I turn away from it to drink from cracked cisterns filled with polluted water.

With the testimony from the Word I must say, with You I have the words of life and there is no other place to go.

Please forgive me!  Forgive me my sins and save me from sinfulness.  I declare once again that I know that your grace and love are the only ground I stand upon.  I am ashamed of my sin.  And what scares me most is the fact that what I do, can bring disrepute to your Name.  Please, wash away my sins in the blood of that fountain gushing from Calvary.  Hold me close in your arms, close to the heart of my Saviour, so that I will always see Him on the cross, dying for me and atoning for my transgressions.

Let the grace of love and the joy of forgiveness never become something I get used to.  Let it always be new like the sun rising every morning.  I plead that You will never let me go.

Thank you, Father, for not giving up on me.  Thank You once again for the good books I was privileged to read.  For the things your servants wrote about, good to ponder, beneficial to chew, and fruitful to follow.  But most of all, I thank you for your Spirit who time and time again open the Word to the depths of who You are.

I thank You for your Son, my Saviour.  I declare my love to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Help me that my love will be more than words.  Help me to show to You, in the fist place, that I love You.  Help me that the time I spend with You will be witnessed in my actions, so that my testimony will be something people would want to follow.

I thank You for not allowing the things that I contemplate about and foster in my private life are known to other people.  They would then not even think of being a Christian themselves.  I mourn over these things and ask that You will give me victory, not because of my good intentions, but because of what I already possess by faith in Christ.

I praise your Name, Lord, for not leaving me by the roadside when I stumble.  In spite of knowing how to follow You, I sometimes just go my own way in sinful stubbornness.  Forgive me, Father!  Your faithfulness is more that what I can fathom.  I feel like the lonely sheep who have wondered away. I then, looking up, I see your hand once again.  I thank You for the promise that You will not allow anyone snatch me from your hand.

I thank You for your Bible and the richness of it.  Help me to constantly and continuously find in it the wonder of grace and salvation.

I bring this prayer to You in the Name of Christ, my Redeemer and Saviour.  It is with stumbling words that I declare my love for You.  Help me to fall in love with You every day, so that the newness of salvation in Christ will drive m y day and program in your service.

AMEN.

Gratitude

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for a very special day yesterday.

Not only did You feed us with your precious Word, we had also had the privilege to sit at the Table of the Lord. We had communion with You and one another, and we celebrated your death and resurrection. You gave us your body and blood to make us your family. Give us the strength and conviction to present You as great to our community, while we live us a body of saved sinners for your glory, our mutual edification and the good of our town.

Thank you, Lord, for the songs we could sing: the words were meaningful, and the singing was uplifting. We praise You for the gift of music and the ability You gave to others to serve your church by writing music and lyrics which reflect the truth of your Word.

Thank you, Father, for the warm fellowship after the worship. It was up-building to spend the whole afternoon together, to hear people talk about the truths of the Bible and the greatness of Christ, our Lord.

I pray that You continue to bless your church. Help us to grow to maturity in Christ. Help us keep to our eyes focussed on Christ to expect great things of Him.

In his Name. AMEN