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.

Central Reflections: Prayer is a priority.

The Letters of Paulapostle-paul

Prayer ought to be front and center among the things that the church is involved in.  If we want the church to have lasting impact, then God’s will must be our primary concern.  That happens through prayer.

                     1 Tim 2.1-8.pdf              1 Tim 2.1-8.mp3 

Central Streaming: Jesus in Prayer

gospel-of-john

  • It is the night before Jesus is crucified.  Christ is fulfilling the role of a high priest by interceding for his followers – both in prayer and by then going to the cross.  He prays for both the disciples that were with him and future disciples like us.

John 17.pdf

John 17.mp3

 

 

 

Central Reflections: Who Does God Use?

Lxx_minor_prophetsAmos had no intentions of being a prophet.  He was minding his flocks and tending his figs when the Lord called him to confront he high priest at Bethel with a message for the nation and the king.

Amos 7.pdf                 Amos 7.mp3

Palmer St. Podcast: Idolatry, etc.

 

We are wired for worship.  When we reject God, we quickly find an idol to fill the gap in our meaningless existence.

Exodus 32.mp3

Exodus 32.pdf

Exodus 32.pptx

Palmer St. Podcast: A Lesson on Prayer

It’s interesting. Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach or teach the Bible. Nor does it seem they ever asked Him. But they frequently observed Him praying – the God-Man communing with His Father. On at least one occasion they were motivated to ask Him for a lesson on the topic – so He gave them one. Paul now gives Timothy a brief lesson here.

1 Tim 2.01-08.mp3

1 Tim 2.01-08.pdf

1 Tim 2.01-08.pptx

Palmer St. Podcast: Colossians 1:1-14

 

Paul didn’t know the Colossian church personally. Still, Paul takes the time to write to them and, as we’ll see, he takes the time to pray for them. In so doing he sets an example for us to follow. We don’t want to get stuck in the rut of thinking that the only things worth praying about are the things that matter directly to us.

Col 1.01-14.mp3

Col 1.01-14.pdf