Prayer


A Prayer Based on Exodus 20:4-6

““You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Exodus 20:4–6, NASB95) Heavenly Father, you are truly glorious. There is no god like you; and there is no creature like you. As we look around this world we see many creatures, many things which captivate our hearts because of their beauty; but you are above all things. Even we who are made in your image are poor reflections of your glory. You are Jealous for your glory so that it will not be lied about, and just in asking that we respond to you, and not to a god of our own making. You are loving and merciful to generation after generation of those who love you. We turn our hearts this morning to your love, and cry out that you will visit your love on those […]


A House of Prayer

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series The Gospel of Luke

  The Cleansing of the Temple is a call to repentance, and a call to come seek joy in the presence of God through prayer. One of my favorite Facebook posts I’ve seen says, “If anyone ever asks you ‘what would Jesus do?’ remind Him that flipping over tables and chasing people with a whip is within the realm of possibilities.” It’s not entirely clear whether Jesus was using the whip to drive out the people or the animals – and some people want to argue about it. But doing so misses the point. The temple cleansing is less about the cleansing and more about the reason it was being cleansed. Jesus is rightly consumed with a zeal for His Father’s house; a zeal too often lacking in ourselves. It is a brief text, but please stand with me and read Luke 19:45-48. Luke doesn’t tell us when the temple cleansing happens, but Mark 11:11-12,15 shows that it was Monday of Jesus’ final week. And John’s gospel (John 2:13-17) reveals that Jesus actually cleansed the temple twice. One apparently at the beginning of his earthly ministry, and the second time here at the end. That ought to be enough to get anybody’s attention; not only the first century Jews but […]


“How do you set about praying? From our point of view, there is a fairly obvious order of priorities. We’re usually in some sort of mess, and we want God to get us out of it. Then we’ve usually got some fairly pressing needs, and we want God to supply them. It may strike us at that point that there’s a larger world out there. Again, we probably move from mess to wants: please sort out the Middle East, please feed the hungry, please house the homeless.
But then, once more, it may dawn on us that there’s not just a larger world out there; there’s a larger God out there. He’s not just a celestial cleaner-up and sorter-out of our messes and wants. He is God. He is the living God. And he is our Father. If we linger here, we may find our priorities quietly turned inside out. The contents may remain; the order p 7 will change. With that change, we move at last from paranoia to prayer; from fuss to faith.
The Lord’s Prayer is designed to help us make this change: a change of priority, not a change of content.”

Tom Wright, The Lord and His Prayer (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1996), 6–7.