Category: Prayer (Page 2 of 24)

Father, Forgive






which divides nation from nation,
race from race,
class from class;

which exploits the labors of men and women
and lays waste to the earth;

of the welfare and happiness
of others;

to the plight of
the homeless and the refugee;

which uses for ignoble ends,
the bodies of men and women;

which leads us to trust in
ourselves and not in God;

~ Coventry Cathedral

Two Boats and a Helicopter

You’ve heard the story. A man was trapped on his roof in the middle of a terrible storm while the flood waters rapidly rose around him. The man was in trouble and he cried out to God, “Lord, save me!” A neighbor paddled by in a canoe and called to the man, “Let me get you out of here!” But the man refused. “No, thank you,” he said. “My God will save me!” And the waters continued to rise.

An hour later a police rescue boat cruised down the man’s street. “Jump in!” the officer called. But the man replied, “I’m trusting in the Lord!” and stayed on his roof and prayed. And the waters continued to rise.

Another hour went by and a rescue helicopter arrived on the scene. A rope ladder was lowered to the man but he wouldn’t get on. “God is going to save me!” he said. “My faith is in God, not in man!” And he prayed. And the waters continued to rise.

An hour later the raging waters tore the man’s house apart, sweeping him under the river where he instantly drowned. Upon entering the afterlife, he complained to God, “Why didn’t you save me? I prayed to you, I begged you to rescue me, I confessed my faith in you, I publicly testified to your power! Why didn’t you save me?”

The Lord replied, “I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What more do you demand?”

It occurs to me that we spent the whole spring and summer of 2020 begging our God to take away the coronavirus. Heal us, we prayed. Father, remove the virus from our world. Intervene, Lord, and give us a cure. You are the Great Physician, God. Save us from COVID-19. We were all praying those prayers. All of us. We were all confessing our faith in God to provide the remedy, we were publicly testifying to his sovereignty over the disease and the terrible effects on our health and economy. God, please heal us of COVID-19.

In his great mercy, he gave us three vaccines.

Yet, many Christians are still sitting on their roofs, proclaiming their faith in God while refusing his good and gracious rescue.

Seriously. What more do you demand?



In Everything, By Prayer

If we really believe that God is who the Bible says he is; if we really believe that he is the almighty true and living God, the powerful creator and sustainer of heaven and earth; if we really believe this God is personal with us and not only hears our prayers but faithfully answers them; if we really believe that, then our prayers will be continuous. And filled with passion.

Not eloquence. Not etiquette. Not posture and syntax and order. Our prayers will be characterized by passion.

Abraham pleading for Sodom. Jacob wrestling with God at midnight. Moses fasting and praying for God’s people in the wilderness. Hannah intoxicated with sorrow. David heartbroken with grief and remorse. Huge, passionate prayers. Jesus overcome with loud cries and tears in the garden. Elijah exploding with confidence on Mount Carmel. Paul courageously petitioning on behalf of the new churches.

Tonight at GCR, we’re going to pray some passionate prayers together. As a church family, we are going to pray for the people of Afghanistan. We’re going to beg our God to provide safety for that nation’s people, particularly the women and children. We’re going to ask God to bring an end to the violence there. We’re going to pray that God will protect the Christians in that country and give them the strength to remain faithful. And we’re going to pray for the safety and well-being of those in Afghanistan we might consider enemies.

We’re also going to pray for the COVID-19 situation in Midland and our West Texas region. We’ll ask God to heal the sick. We’ll pray that he give strength, encouragement, and endurance to the doctors, nurses, and health care providers who are in the thick of the battle. And we’ll ask God for his divine peace and patience as we resist the hostilities and division that seem to be related to the pandemic.

And we’re going to pray for our church family at GCR. We will lift the burdens of our brothers and sisters at GCR, we’ll request heavenly wisdom and guidance for our shepherds, and we’ll pray that God empowers us to fulfill his mission for this congregation of his people.

E.M. Bounds famously said, “Prayer does not prepare us for greater works; it is the greater work.” We’re taking that to heart at 7:00 this evening at GCR. If you live in Midland, I’m inviting you to join us.



Today We Pray

What does a disciple of Jesus do about the violent chaos in Afghanistan? How does a church respond to the terror and desperation of so many thousands of people on the other side of the world? Well, today we pray. There may be an opportunity to do something else soon, but today we can pray.

This is a video we shot yesterday for our church family here at GCR. In it, I reference an email from Dan Bouchelle and Mission Resource Network containing texts messages and emails he’s received from those working with the Christians in Afghanistan. The messages contain specific prayer requests, which I share in the video.

There is also this line from one of the Afghan Christians: “We are confident that God is leading us forward and will triumph. We are committed to witness to the greatest movement of salvation among Muslims from the ashes of this catastrophe.”

That is our prayer. That is our hope. We belong to a God who is able to keep everything and everyone we have committed to him until that great day. I ask you to join me in holding the people of Afghanistan – all the men, women, and children of that country – before our Lord today in love and faith. And hope. May our God have mercy. And may his will be done in Afghanistan just as it is in heaven.



Lord, I Am Yours

Lord, I am yours;
I do yield myself up entirely to you,
and I do believe that you take me.
I leave myself with you.
Work in me all the good pleasure of your will,
and I will only be still in your hands and trust you.

~Hannah Whitall Smith

Ash Wednesday Confession

A few of us attended the Ash Wednesday service today with our brothers and sisters at First Presbyterian. This is the prayer of confession we prayed together near the beginning. You know, every day as a Christian is a dying and a rising, a dying to self and a resurrection with Christ, a putting down and a taking up. I trust this will bless you as you begin or continue your own journey with Jesus to the cross.

Holy and merciful God, we confess to you and to one another and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed by what we have done and what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven. Have mercy on us, O God.

We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives.

We confess to you, O God, our self-indulgent appetites and ways and our exploitation of others.

We confess to you, O God, our anger at our own frustration and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves.

We confess to you, O God, our negligence in prayer and worship and our failure to commend the faith that is in us.

Have mercy on us, O God. And in your mercy, cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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