Thirty-one Ordinary Prayers, #21

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Prayer of Plain and Simple Praise (A Paraphrase of Psalm 135)

There is only One in this universe who deserves our adoration—You, LORD. Your name ought to be featured on every flag, inscribed on every banner, stamped on every endeavor we undertake here on planet earth. You deserve to be praised by each of us who are Your servants, Your children, Your people freed from the terrible bondage of sin.

For You are good. Every intention of Your heart, every word of Your mouth and every action You take is wholly good and will bring complete and ultimate good to those who love You, LORD. We praise You.

You are great. You are the only uncreated Being—existing without beginning or end, unparalleled in Your position of supremacy. All creatures will one day bow before You. We praise You.

You are powerful. You are able to accomplish anything You intend; Everything You created on earth, in sky and sea is for Your pleasure. What better reason for us to exist, and what is more fitting than to say we praise You?

You are personally involved in each of our lives. Nations rise and fall according to Your ultimate plan to bless humanity through Your Son, Jesus Christ. We praise You.

You are loving and compassionate. Your mercy and grace are released into the lives of those who welcome Your presence. One day Your justice will finally wash over this earth and bring all things wrong to right. We praise You.

Until then, You patiently watch as people create their own gods outs of whatever they value most—anything they think will satisfy their pursuit of pleasure. Those gods are no more truly alive than the people who hope in them. They are nothing more than hollow, empty shells about to topple, taking their subjects down with them.

But You, LORD, stand firm and dependable, supporting, strengthening, and giving solid hope to those who bow only to You. There is nothing truer than for us to say, plain and simply, “We praise You!”

 

(Photo Credit: Sunset over the Vercors mountains, seen from Grenoble. By © Guillaume Piolle /, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4994157)

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Thirty-one Ordinary Prayers, #20

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Prayer in the Night (A Paraphrase of Psalm 134)

Here in the middle of my night, LORD, I come to You. In the midst of my disappointment and confusion, my hurt and regret, there is yet a place where I praise You. My thoughts turn to You in Your Sovereign majesty and know that You are making all things right, even now when all is dark and I am at my weakest.

Your presence is all too easily obscured by the chaos of my world, LORD. The rebellions, the distortions of truth, the profanities and the threats I hear around me hide You. Make Your presence known to me now in this quiet hour; let me hear Your whisper reminding me that even when all seems wrong You are worthy to be praised.

I lift my hands in surrender and honour toward You. I am on my knees knowing this posture must reflect my heart or You will remain hidden here in this dark and dying world. And then suddenly, this quiet sanctuary in the dead of night opens for me a greater sense of the eternal life and light that is central to Your Being.

LORD, Maker of heaven and earth, of daytime and nighttime, bless Your people who find themselves in the midst of nighttime worship. Bless us with an awareness of Your presence. Comfort us with Your peace. Bring the light of dawn so that our praise may fill the morning sky. Complete in us the work You designed our worship of You to produce. We praise You.

(Photo Credit: By Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO – http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1638a/, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51533658)

Thirty-one Ordinary Prayers, #19

Prayer for Unity (A Paraphrase of Psalm 133)

How good and pleasant it is, LORD, when our families live in a state of unity and peace. You, as our Heavenly Father, know the value of that among Your children, LORD. We’re called to love You and to extend that love to others. Yet on our own it is so difficult to do.

We quarrel and grasp and gossip when we ought to use our words and actions to bring health and healing to those around us. We forget our common hope, our shared faith, and our bond of peace through which Your Spirit makes us a family.

May Your Spirit enable us to live lives obedient to Your goal of unity until finally in Heaven that will be complete and perfect. Like oil poured on the head of old Israel’s priests and kings is our anointing to this end. Like fresh dew falling on valley fields and grassy mountain slopes is Your blessing on this pursuit.

We joyfully anticipate our eternal home with You, Father, where our lives will be blessed in unity with one another and with You. May we find that blessing here in our lives today too, and may that unity bring You glory, Father of Hope and Prince of Peace.

Thirty-one Ordinary Prayers, #18

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Prayer of Consecration (A Paraphrase of Psalm 132)

O God, I’m using the devotion of Your servant David as a pattern for my own life. His heart’s desire was for You, O Mighty One of Heaven, that You would have a dwelling-place on earth. It would be a place where You could be worshiped for all of Your splendor, where You would abide, where reminders of Your might would be housed. Your priests would be clothed in righteousness and Your saints would sing for joy.

Here I am discovering Your plan to fulfill David’s dream through people like me. You want my spirit to be Your dwelling place, my body to be Your holy temple. Your righteousness washes me and then clothes me so I may serve You in holiness. Your splendor and power is meant to flow through me in love and mercy toward others. How can this be?

Because of Your great sacrifice, Jesus, I am able to be part of this amazing and glorious plan. You are the King of Kings for whom David’s throne was prepared. You are the High Priest who makes my life a holy temple

So I consecrate myself to You again today, LORD, to be Your dwelling place. My body, heart and soul are in it. My life is a room cleansed by Your forgiving love, ransomed by Your death and dedicated for holy and eternal use by Your death-defying resurrection. My life belongs to You now. It is Your handiwork from start to finish. Be the Master of it, LORD. Reign here, rule forever here; be the rest I long for.

I’m looking to You, LORD, for every need to be met: my hunger with Your bread of life, my vulnerability with Your compassionate salvation, my deepest yearnings with rightful worship of You.

Jesus, help me stay true as I daily consecrate myself to participating with You in Your purposes for this life of mine and this world in which I live. Dwell in me and with me and through me. Help me to abide in You and with You and through You. You are the Anointed One—the Crowned One who rules my heart.

(Photo Credit: Eastern Wall of Jerusalem, By Yaakov Shoham – Own work (own picture), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1894985)

Thirty-one Ordinary Prayers, #17

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Prayer of Simple Trust (A Paraphrase of Psalm 131)

My prayer today, Lord, is a simple one. I just want to tell You that I’m trusting You. I’m turning my thoughts away from myself—those foolishly high and lofty wonderings of my mind. So much focus on self has got to go. I’m putting away those imaginings that I can impact the world with my beauty, brains, and brawn. Others seem to inhabit that realm where power and prestige are Goal One, but I’ve left all that.

What is in my power is only this: I settle my soul in Your love and faithfulness. In those rare, quiet moments when I’m really honest with myself—when all those false grand notions of my identity and importance are put away—I feel a stillness and quietness knowing You are here with me. Never leave me!

When I realize that everything I am and have and do is bound up with You I feel a deep, comforting peace. I’m like a weaned child with her mother. I do not demand to accomplish great things, go far places, or experience all that this world advertises. Just being with You exceeds all that.

Your presence fills and satisfies me like nothing else. I know all who put their hope in You find the same sense of rest. Help me remember, Lord, that this is the goal of faith: simple, soul-deep trust in You.

(Illustration Credit: [[File:Léon Perrault, 1894 – Mother with Child.jpg|thumb|Léon Perrault, 1894 – Mother with Child]])

Thirty-one Ordinary Prayers #16

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Prayer of Confession (A Paraphrase of Psalm 130)

I’m calling to You, LORD, from a place lower than I’ve been before. I’ve fallen into a pit I’ve dug myself; I’ve sinned. I’m asking for mercy, Father, because I don’t deserve even to be heard by You.

Yet, You are a forgiving Father. Everyone who stands in Your presence is only there because You keep no record of our sins. I am completely in awe and fear of Your power and kindness and faithfulness to fully forgive. I realize my ultimate survival depends upon it.

So You have my full loyalty, LORD. I trust You and Your promises implicitly. The depth of my being waits for You to help me yet again, to lift me out of the quagmire of my sin, to enable me to sense Your presence with me once again, to live in victory.

I’m waiting for this dark night to become a distant memory, for Your glory to burst into my existence like the dawn of a new day. You promise You will do this for me if my heart is humble and contrite before You.

I want to share with others my firm conviction that hope placed in You is a secure thing: “for with the LORD is unfailing love, and with Him is full redemption.”

Jesus, Your act of redemption means everything to me—to all who are becoming Your children—because You have dealt thoroughly and completely with our sins. We are eternally indebted to You. Thank you.

Thirty-one Ordinary Prayers, #15

Prayer of Perseverance (A Paraphrase of Psalm 129)

From its infancy, Jesus, the body of Your believers has faced opposition. From the first to the twenty-first century—for two thousand long years—we have known the antipathy of Satan’s power deceiving the cultures around us, but Your people have persevered.

The regimes of Iran and Iraq, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, North Korea, South Asia, and even North America have sought to destroy Your people, Lord. But the LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed: You have not allowed our suffering to gain any ultimate victory over us.

In Your justice You have freed every one of us from the various grasps oppression attempts. Some of us You miraculously remove from difficulty—responding to the prayers of Your people and rescuing by Your mighty hand.

To some of us You give the grace of endurance; lessons learned in captivity or under the tyranny of the faithless have been the testing-ground for developing Christ-like character.

And some of Your beloved ones You allow to experience death at the hands of ruthless persecutors. Yet we all know Your presence more powerfully than fear. Your faithfulness shines brightest in our darkest moments.

Your blessing is for those who persevere. Lord, help me honour Your greatness by joining the throng of the faithful, of whom it will be said, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you; we bless you in the name of the LORD.”

[Photo Credits: By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Typhoon in Hong Kong. Mcyjerry~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=267320

By NASA/Tim Kopra [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]