Nebuchadnezzar? Praising God? The great king of the Babylonian empire who had a large golden statue of himself be built to worship? Yes, that one. Babylon was one of the greatest empires in history that conquered most of the known world at the time, beginning around 626 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar ruled from 605-562 B.C., being one of the greatest emperors known. He was also ruthless. He destroyed Jerusalem and tore down it’s walls, looted the temple and brought the Israelite people into exile, killing many and enslaving many. When he has his dream, he asked his counselors not only to interpret his dreams but to tell him what it was! When they could not, he threatened to cut them all to pieces and burn down their houses. He executed any who would not bow down and worship his image of gold. But, God revealed the dream to Daniel and its interpretation giving him favor with the king. The king let his pride get the best of him, and God brought him down and showed him His majesty and power. When the king was at his lowest he realized how great God was and turned to Him. God used Daniel and used the king’s circumstances to reveal His greatness and to bring him to righteousness. I believe that Nebuchadnezzar was saved at this time. Only God knows for sure. God will use many ways to draw people to Him. He is a God of mercy. No matter what you have done in the past, where you are at in life, He seeks your love and wants you to be saved. He sent His Son to die on the cross, that our sins may be forgiven. He uses other people to be a witness so others would see the truth and turn to him. Sometimes He will allow us to stumble from our own selfishness and pride to a low point to bring us to surrender to Him, so that we can have eternal life. He uses all things for good, so that we can become His children. This is the prayer of Nebuchanezzar (or, more like a proclamation of how great God is) after he was brought down by God and restored. Continue reading “Nebuchadnezzar’s Prayer of Praise”
In our last discussion we talked about how Paul encouraged others in his prayer for them. He also never ceased to give God praise for all that He has done. This is something we all should remember in our prayers. As we talk to God, we should acknowledge how great a God He is, how good He is to us and all the things He has done for us. There are so many scriptures to choose from that have prayers of praise, particularly from the Psalms, but also many in both the Old and New Testaments. Many scriptures acknowledge God’s greatness and may not actually be part of a prayer, but I think by reading these and perhaps using some of them in our prayer will honor God. As the authors do, let us not only acknowledge Him in our prayers but share it with all those around us. Continue reading “Praise Prayers”
Pauls’ epistles, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians are some of my favorite books in the Bible. There is so much here to learn from, about life and about Jesus Christ our Lord. Within them, he shares His love for the church and other believers, as we all ought to. He encourages them by telling them the that He prays for them and what He prays for. I try to pray for my family and my church for these as well, though not as often as I should. Of course, I try to stay away from ‘recited’ prayer, but I think using scripture within your prayer is good. As believers, we need to be intercessors for others. That is what Paul is doing in His letters. These intercessory prayers encourage and guide us in our prayer life and in our life. When I read them, I also feel He was praying these prayers for all of us.
Last week, we talked about the model prayer from Matthew 6, that many call “The Lord’s Prayer.” I think it is more fitting to call Jesus’ prayer in the garden “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is His prayer. As He prepares Himself to give His life and take on the sins of the world onto the cross, He prays a heartfelt prayer for His mission, for His disciples and for all believers.
Continue reading “The Lord’s Prayer; no, not that one”
I thought I would switch gears a bit and discuss something many of us fall short of: Prayer. As you look through the Bible, there are many prayers. Some are short, some are long. All are heart-felt and sincere (except for one that I can remember where the Pharisee is praying that he is not like the sinner before him who is praying with sincerity…that is a good lesson for another time). If you have never watched the movie, The War Room,” you should. Powerful movie. Be sure to get the DVD and watch the bonus features. They provide a lot of insight and lessons from the movie. One thing I remember from one of these is that every church need to be ‘a praying church,’ not just a church that prays. Prayer should be a center activity in our lives and in our churches. Paul says, “pray without ceasing.” Whatever you are going through, good or bad, pray about it. If someone around you needs prayer, be an intercessor for that person. Seek out who needs prayer and pray for them.
So, what is prayer and how do we pray? I think there are many ways to pray. Sometimes it is just a short sentence praying for someone or something going on. Other times it is thanking God for all His goodness and remembering who He is. It may be confessing a sin or struggle you may have or asking for healing or comforting for yourself or someone you know. It is simply talking with God. What do you think? Do you have any experience in your prayer life you would like to share? Prayers answered? Frustrations? Questions? Please comment. Continue reading “Prayers of the Bible: The Model Prayer”