“Keep, sanctify, unite, glorify thy people”- Christ.
The Lord’s Prayer is the most well known but his high priestly prayer in John 17 is all-encompassing.
This is why his name above all names is Jesus Saviour.
“Are we there yet?” “Where are we?” “I want that now!” “What if?…..” “Don’t forget!….” We’ve all heard and asked these questions before, and usually get answers like, “Trust me.” “We get there when we get there.” “Stop worrying.” or simply, “no.” Why do we ask these questions? Because we want to know? Because we’re curious? Because we don’t trust? Because we worry? What is worry? What is trust?
Often times I find myself in a stage of life where I’m not sure who to turn to. Worry clouds my thought and judgment. I can’t think straight. I am driven by a single thought. “What if?” I find no comfort in friends, no comfort in family. My home feels like a prison and my life, hell. Worry is all around me like the storm on the Sea of Galilee, and I am Peter, sinking slowly.
Why didn’t Jesus save Peter…
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These would be my personal prayers mid 2017:
“Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” Psalm 90:15-17
“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:12-15
What Prayer Is
Sermon read last Sunday (23/4/2017) at CERC Singapore. Originally preached by Rev. Carl Haak….a MUST if you are getting weary in prayer or any of the disciplines of the Christian life.
I find this prayer and it’s answer one of the most remarkable in the Bible, for two reasons: first it’s specificity, Eliezer asks for something quite detailed and specific and second he says it in his heart (v45). This shows that our prayers don’t have to be actually spoken out loud and they can be about the most small, specific or detailed subject in our lives. What a gracious privilege to be God’s covenant friend.
Rev. Ron VanOverloop (Grace Church, Michigan)
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith”
Sung Psalm 1
Readings Ephesians 1:16-19 and 3:14-20 (see also his prayers in Philippians and Colossians)
Generally we pray for folk who are ill or going through trials of some kind and this is right, but Paul after listing all the blessings these saints have, and thanking God for them, focusses his prayer on spiritual blessings namely the knowledge of God, his power and love, the hope of his calling and his inheritance. To know him is to love him and I believe he prays that the mutual indwelling of the covenant Christ in his people is more and more their experience (Gal.2:20, II Cor. 6:16, Col.1:27, John 14:20).
We discussed how a person knows they are predestined/elect and the Canons of Dort are wonderfully clear mentioning “infallible proofs”: (Head 1 Article 12). Notice that our election, our indwelling sinfulness (Head 5 Article 2) and our perseverance (Head 5 Article 12) are all reasons for humility and when we are humble Christ dwells in us!
The tabernacle (also temple)-Old Testament picture of God dwelling with his people. We are now the temple of God!
First these wonderful truths from the Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 9:
Q. 26. What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?
A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;1 who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence2) is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;3 on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;4 and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;5 for He is able to do it, being Almighty God,6 and willing, being a faithful Father.7
Requests from Psalm 90:
12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.
17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
Thank you for your love through prayer!
In Genesis 32 I believe Jacob wrestled with a pre-incarnate Christ who was confronting his unbelief. Through a vision of angels and a message directly from heaven God had promised to bring him back to the promised land and bless him with innumerable seed, including the Messiah (Gen.28:13-15). The angels were visible confirmation of divine protection and supply.
So why the wrestling? It was wrestling in prayer as Hosea 12:3-4 elucidates. Jacob with tears sought to really lay hold on the promise and have it confirmed by Jehovah himself before he would let go his opponent. In what way was and is God our opponent in prayer? Surely if he has promised to bless us we have no need to persuade him! He is of one mind and who can turn him? Perseverance in prayer is portrayed in the lengthy wrestling match, something Christ advocates clearly in the parable of the widow and judge in Luke 18:3-5 and his admonition in Matthew 7:7. Prayer does not change God’s mind (his decree is eternal) but it does change us! He inspires it in us!
Our real enemies in every aspect of our Christian lives are the world, our flesh and the devil who commands hosts of wicked demons. In this situation Jacob’s major opposition was himself, his old sinful nature that he relied upon to dupe others and gain what he needed from them. Even with his presents of droves of animals for Esau he had no assurance he or his family would live another day as his brother undoubtedly had murderous intent (400 men are not for a peace party!) Christ, who wrestles in us by his Spirit wrestled truly and literally as man to man with Jacob and the proof was that he crippled Joseph with a supernatural touch to his hip joint, dislocating it. So God, in Christ, was prevailed upon to bless him and simultaneously he humbled him physically. The fact Jehovah salvation (Jesus) renamed him Israel meant much. From being a heel-holder (meaning of Jacob) he became a prince (meaning of Israel), the third in the famous line of patriarchs and the one who gave his name to all the Old Testament church and even believers today (Gal.6:16). What we see here is the physical realty of what the Spirit of Christ does in God’s people (Gal.5:17). Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor.15:57).