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Pray Better

Calvin’s 1542 Genevan Catechism included a series of prayers. Prayers were meant to serve as models of prayers to be said. They were for training our minds and encouraging our souls to pray daily. Some prayers could be memorized others were longer and were inspirational because of the language taken from Scripture (mostly the Psalter). Here are some sample prayers:

When waking up:
My God, my Father, and my Savior, since you have been pleased to give me the grace to bring me through the night to the present day, may you also now grant me the gift of spending this day entirely in your service, so that I may not think, or say, or do anything except to please you and obey your good will, so that in this all my works be done to the glory of your name and to the edification of my neighbors. And just as you are pleased to make your sun shine on the earth to give us bodily light, so illuminate my understanding and my heart through the light of your Spirit, to guide me along the straight paths of your justice. Thus, whatever my undertaking, may my main goal and intention always be to walk in the fear of you, to serve and honor you, expecting that all good and prosperity comes to me from your blessing alone, so that I do not attempt anything that is not pleasing to you. Furthermore, while I work hard for the sake of my body and for the present life, may I always cast my gaze further, namely, toward the heavenly life that you have promised to your children. Yet may it please you to be the protector of both my body and my soul, strengthening me against all the devil’s temptations, and delivering me from all the earthly dangers that may threaten me. And because a good beginning is worthless without perseverance, please guide me onto your holy paths, not only for today but for my whole life, daily continuing and increasing your grace in me, until you bring me to full unity with your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is the true Sun of our souls, shining endlessly and perpetually day and night. And in order that I may obtain these graces from you, please forget my previous faults, forgiving me for them according to your endless mercy, as you have promised to all those who wholeheartedly ask this of you. (more…)

Westminster Shorter Catechism 99

Q. 99. What rule hath God given for our direction in prayer?

A. The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called the Lord’s prayer.

The Christian is more than a sinner who has been forgiven. They are the sinner declared both righteous and a child of God. We could say “the forensic leads to the relational”. The relational aspect of worship and prayer fills the life of the Christian. And prayer isn’t only for the individual but for the corporate as well. Prayer is a command from God (“pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17) and thus sometimes we pray even when we don’t understand how it will turn out. We continue to be obedient in prayer and it fosters that fellowship with our heavenly Father.  (more…)

A Homily Given at the Memorial of Jim Ross

empty-pulpitThe Blessed Estate of Those Saints Who Die in the Lord

Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

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Invocation and Benediction for 79th BSTB

Below is the Invocation and Benediction I delivered to the 79th BSTB on December 4, 2010 for the Army Ball.


INVOCATION


Father in heaven. We call on You, invoking the triune God where One is called all are called (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We call on you great Creator of heaven and earth. Sovereign and Holy God you alone create, provide and sustain. Who are we Lord that you would allow us to come before you in your holy throne room? Have you simply created us and then left us? Are we here alone? Is our suffering heard? You answer and your response is “I have come in the flesh, I have eaten with you and I will bring you to me” (more…)

Christ Prays for You to Persevere

As a believer, you should deny anyone who teaches you that
“Christ nowhere prayed for an unfailing perseverance of believers in faith.”


A teaching from the Canon of Dordt  speaks to this.

For they contradict Christ himself when he says: I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail (Luke 22:32); and John the gospel writer when he testifies in John 17 that it was not only for the apostles, but also for all those who were to believe by their message that Christ prayed: Holy Father, preserve them in your name (v. 11); and My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you preserve them from the evil one (v. 15).

John 17:11 And I am no longer in the world, but  they are in the world, and  I am coming to you.  Holy Father,  keep them in your name,  which you have given me,  that they may be one,  even as we are one.

John 17:14  I have given them your word, and  the world has hated them  because they are not of the world,  just as I am not of the world.

John 17:15 I  do not ask that you  take them out of the world, but that you  keep them from  the evil one.

John 17:16  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

John 17:17  Sanctify them  in the truth;  your word is truth.

John 17:18  As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

John 17:19 And  for their sake  I consecrate myself,  that they also  may be sanctified  in truth.

Be encouraged friends Christ prays for you