The Kingdom of Heaven: Humble Prayer

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Matthew 6:5-14, NKJV

Have you ever heard someone lead prayer at your church and you found yourself wondering, “Did they plan this whole prayer out ahead-of-time?” The perfectly-worded sentences, the expert weaving in of Scripture, the lack of pauses, and maybe the addition of a “speech-giving voice” combine to make it all seem very scripted.

And then there’s the ones who are truly genuine – but again, their prayers seem so perfect that it can be intimidating to the simpler folk among us who haven’t quite attended that level of “prayer quality.” Continue reading

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Ask for Rain

Ask the Lord for rain
In the time of the latter [spring] rain.
The Lord will make flashing clouds;
He will give them showers of rain,
Grass in the field for everyone.

(Zechariah 10:1)

 

We have a CD with this verse put into song. I’ve heard it dozens of times, but never really thought about what it was saying.

Read it again. Does anything strike you as odd?

It says to “Ask the LORD for rain.” When? In the time of drought or famine?

No! It says to “Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain.”

In the season when rain is expected and practically assumed to come – ask God for rain.

 

Don’t take your blessings for granted. Remember from Whom they come, and consider that it is in His power both to give and to take away.

A Prayer of Confession

Holy, righteous LORD,

You are the King of kings, the Lord of lords, our great High Priest, our perfect Lamb. You did no sin, committed no crime, and yet suffered as if You had. When You were reviled, You did not revile in return. When You were struck, You did not strike back – but You turned the other cheek and offered Yourself up for further blows – though it was in Your power and Your rights to obliterate Your enemies. You, Who had every right to be angry at the perpetrators of injustice toward Yourself, remained silent. You, Who had every reason to defend Yourself as innocent, breathed not a word. You, Who had every cause to lift Yourself up in pride, chose to live – and die – in the utmost humility. You, Who are worthy of the entire earth’s servitude, came instead as a Servant to all – and invited us to serve with You.

And how we have failed, LORD.

How I have failed! Continue reading