Prayer Life


Psalm 119:33-40
Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law;
yea,
shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments;
for therein do I delight.
Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity;
and quicken thou me in thy way.
Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
Turn away my reproach which I fear: f
or thy judgments are good.
Behold,
I have longed after thy precepts:
quicken me in thy righteousness.
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I went through a number of boxes in a closet today. I found a number of old pictures and my old brown leather Bible cover that I was given when I first became a Christian. Looking back in reflection through those old pictures I wonder about the zeal that I had back then. I was not afraid to talk to anyone about the love of Christ, the free offer of grace, and the realities of life without God.

We ebb and flow in our Christian experience, but with the Lord’s help we should not lose our zeal for Christ or what the book of Revelation calls ‘our first love’. We should all examine ourselves and see where our allegiance lies. At times, for me, the fear of man, holds me back. Other times I feel spiritually empowered to speak of the great things of God. We should strive for perseverance, for growth in grace and knowledge, and above all, a greater dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ. As the song we used to sing in the praise circles went- more of you Lord, less of me.

For the sake of Christ and the next generation of believers, do not lose your first love. I have some praying to do.

“The lush green color of springtime in the congregation [at Ephesus] has disappeared, and the fading shades… of Autumn are now prevalent. To put it differently, the church that Jesus addressed no longer consisted of first generation believers but of second and third generation Christians. These people lacked the enthusiasm their parents and grandparents had demonstrated. They functioned not as propagators of the faith but as caretakers and custodians. There was an obvious deficiency in evangelistic outreach as a result of a status quo mode of thought. They loved the Lord, but no longer with heart, mind, and soul.” –Simon Kistemaker

Last night at prayer meeting we sang through the Psalms that discuss the nations. It is amazing how many promises there are that will be fulfilled through the reign of King Jesus. I advertised a book there that I used in my undergraduate program. It is called Operation World and gives specs on each country in the world as well as information about how the Lord Jesus Christ has worked in the people as well as prayer requests. This book is quite helpful in our ongoing quest to become world Christians.

* One point about the book that I should mention is that it is not from a Reformed worldview. It is quite broad in its evangelicalism, either way, it is a very helpful tool that I would recommend to anyone who wants to expand their prayer life.

Part of my internship is leading the “prayer and praise” during summer Wednesday evenings. We gather at the home of one of our members and sing and pray. We use the United Presbyterian Psalter of 1912 in our congregation so the following numbers correspond with this book of praise. Last week we went through ‘the Church’ in the Psalter and looked at some of the ways that she is described as well as some of her duties. This discussion and Psalm sing led to some very good prayer for the church and her faithfulness. We will be looking at some other themes as the summer continues. If you would like to join us feel free to email me and I will give you further directions. I hope that the following copy of the handout can be helpful to your own family worship or private worship.

THE USE OF CHURCH IN THE PSALTER

50: Diverse, faithful, everlasting.

63: Redeemed from adversity.

69: Secure, peaceful, and happy.

125: Regal, loved, and wedded.

205: Christ’s inheritance, saved by grace.

224: Fought against by God’s enemies.

260: Rejoices over God’s work on earth.

368: Shouts with joy and is Christ’s glory.

373/374: Indwelt by God & sings His praise.

375: Praises and blesses God’s name.

403: Built, cared for, and blessed of God.

West Michigan has been a dry place this summer. This is not good for those who work in agriculture. It is also not good for my rose gardens. Please pray for West Michigan to be given an abundance of rain. Ask that it falls on the just and the unjust alike. Pray that the unjust may see God’s blessings and turn unto Christ Jesus.

O GOD our heavenly Father, who by thy gracious providence dost cause the former and the latter rain to descend upon the earth, that it may bring forth fruit for the use of man; We give thee humble thanks that it hath pleased thee, in our great necessity, to send us at the last a joyful rain upon thine inheritance, and to refresh it when it was dry, to the great comfort of us thy unworthy servants, and to the glory of thy holy Name; through thy mercies in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Book of Common Prayer, 1662

Godly reader, why do you complain about your spiritual deficiency and your bodily tribulations if you are so negligent in prayer, so lax to engage in prayer, so listless while praying, and so quickly finished? Pray if you are desirous for something. Such excuses as made by many who are lazy in the practice of prayer–and which cause grief to some tender godly persons –will not avail here. If you were diligent in prayer, you would avoid these excuses or very readily have an answer for them, so that you would not be hindered by them (III: 470-471).

Well folks, it seems as though they found the still in the cellar. Just kidding! I will be back next week.

  • Please pray for me as I preach at Rose Point Reformed Presbyterian Church this coming Lord’s Day
  • Pray that the semester gets off to a good start, I have 19 credits, plus my job.
  • Pray that my Dutch Reformed Ecclesiology professor sees the superiority of the Westminster over the Three Forms of Unity.

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