Matthew 17 Verse by Verse

Matt photoA few disciples have a mountain top experience with Jesus as witnesses of his Transfiguration.  Upon coming down, they find the rest of their group unsuccessfully trying to help a demonized boy.

Matthew 17.pdf

Matthew 17.mp3

A Prayer Prompted by Concern for God’s Kingdom as Seen in Matthew 17

Heavenly Father,

We declare Jesus to be King of kings, Lord of lords and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. We also declare him to be King, Lord and Ruler over our lives.  

May your Kingdom come and your will be done.  We ask your help in discerning your will so that we will more faithfully represent Christ as we go about our earthly business.  Help us to know how to exercise Christ’s authority in the spiritual realm, in our families, in our church and in our daily community life.  Help us to see when we are not doing so, especially when that is the result of a lack of faith. We admit that our faith needs to grow.

Help us also to see all those numerous cases when submission to earthly rulers is the right thing to do.  We thank you that we live in a place where we are free to worship you.  We pray that you would give those that govern wisdom to govern according to your will.  We also pray that you would have mercy on them and lead each of them into a saving knowledge of you.

And finally, we look forward to the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

A Prayer for More Faith Prompted by the Centurion in Matthew 8:5-10

When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 

Heavenly Father,

I often pray “in Jesus’ name,” but I am not sure I recognize his authority or my own unworthiness to ever have you answer my prayers.  Neither is my heart sufficiently moved by the needs of others.  Give me the faith of this centurion.

Let it start by being willing to ask.  So often I simply fail to pray when I know full well that I am in need of answers from you.

Further, I sometimes retain a hint of my own self-righteousness.  I expect you to do things for me because of who I am or what I have done, or the justness of my cause.  In reality I deserve nothing.  All that I have or ever will have from you is purely of grace.  I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.

I also see that this centurion was praying for his servant.  He was clearly not an arrogant man in his dealings with others.  Considering his rank and position I wonder if it might have been completely acceptable for him to to care very little about this servant’s well-being.  His concern was personal as he transformed his servant’s need into his own. Move me to that kind of intercession.

Finally, there is the matter of Christ’s authority.  I am not certain that I see him as Lord of the universe and Lord of my life as I pray in his name.  Maybe I know these things as facts, but there are too many times when I treat Christ as more of my servant than my Master.  Help me to make this a thing of the past and never treat Christ as anything but the King of kings that he is.

Again, give me the faith of this centurion as I lift up my requests to you.

In Christ my Lord,

Amen.

A Prayer for Wisdom and Revelation – Ephesians 1:15-23

ephesus-grand-theatre - from Ephesus Breeze

A Prayer for Wisdom and Revelation
Ephesians 1:15-23

After describing our rich blessings in the heavenlies, Paul now prays that we would better understand them.

Ephesians 1.15-23.pdf          Ephesians 1.15-23.mp3

Central Streaming: Church and State

Paul’s Letter to the Romansapostle-paul

Christ must have our first and complete loyalty.  Still, human government is also instituted by God.

Romans 13.1-7.pdf       

Romans 13.1-7.mp3