Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
My prayer life needs help.  I often find myself at a loss for words, tempted to mindlessly repeat the same prayers with the same words and the same expressions.  Worse yet, I regularly have to fight against the tendency to reduce prayer to a “give me” list of things I want God to do. 

To be sure, the first “go-to” source for aid in our prayers is the Scriptures.  Simply put, praying the Scriptures is using the sacred words of the Bible as the guide and fuel for our prayers.  Praying Scripture enables us to pray the same things in new ways, and may even lead us to pray in new and deeper ways.  And it follows the example set by Jesus (Matt.27:46, Lk.23:46) and the early church (Acts 4:23-26).  Here are several passages of Scriptures that can be used to easily shape and guide our prayers: 1Chron.16:8-36; Ps.5, 8, 51, 86, 92, 139, 145; Jon.2; Matt. 6:5-14; Eph.1:15-23, 3:14-21; Phil.1:9-11; 2Thess.1:3-12 (see “Praying the Bible” by Donald S. Whitney).

In addition, for years I have used “The Valley of Vision” (by Arthur Bennett), a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions; which I highly recommend.  These short but powerful prayers not only guide my prayers, but teach me how I should pray.  Another book that has helped me greatly is John MacArthur’s prayer book titled, “At the Throne of Grace.”

Lately, I have discovered another phenomenal new resource to help put words to our heartfelt prayers.  The book is “Piercing Heaven”, by Robert Elmer.  Like “The Valley of Vision”, this book is another collection of “Puritan” prayers but written in a way that is less poetic and more conversational.  These prayers reflect both the deep theology of Scripture, and deep longing of the Christian’s heart.  Let me encourage you to both get and read this book.  It serves as a great catalyst to form and inform our prayers.  Here is one example:

O Lord,
Teach me to pray, that I may call upon your name.  Prepare my heart to seek, and open your ears mercifully to hear me.
Almighty and eternal Lord God, you are the Creator and Continual Preserver of all things, both in heaven and earth.  By your gracious providence I was at first fearfully and wonderfully made, and even now you keep me and preserve me.
I am the workmanship of your hands, and I desire to humble both soul and body before your heavenly majesty.
So here in your presence, Lord, I confess my own unworthiness to come before you, to call upon you, or to perform the least duty that will concern your worship and glory.
Because my heart is polluted and unclean, I beg you to be gracious to me for Jesus Christ your Son’s sake.  For the sake of his promise, truth, and mercy, have mercy upon me.
Pardon and forgive all the sins, iniquities, and trespasses I have ever committed against you, in what I have said or what I have done.
Amen.

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #46):
Deuteronomy 13-15; Ezra 1-5; Psalm 131-133; Ecclesiastes 7-8; Zechariah 1-7; Acts 15-16; 1 Peter 4-5
Recommended Reading:
“Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans” by Robert Elmer

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