A Prayer Prompted by the Resurrection in Luke 24

Lord Jesus,

It is truly amazing that you could lay down your life for our sake, knowing that you would rise from the dead shortly after.  We do not want to be slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.  Help us to understand, just as you helped those early disciples, all that is written in the Scriptures concerning yourself.

We believe that everything written about you in the Low of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.  Much of that was fulfilled by you in your first coming.  We await all that has yet to be fulfilled with eagerness.

Help us now also to be fully engaged in the work of proclaiming repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations.  Please clothe us with power from on high, the power of your Holy Spirit as we now give our lives completely to serving you.

We trust you as our Savior and worship you as our Lord,

Amen

He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures – Luke 24:24-25

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

A while back, GQ magazine got some attention by putting the Bible on a list of books not worth reading.  I never actually read the list in GQ myself.  I only learned about it from USA Today.  Feel free to check out at least the headline there.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/04/23/gq-magazine-puts-bible-list-classic-books-not-worth-reading/541325002/

By writing such a thing, maybe the GQ columnist was hoping to increase GQ readership as compared with the Bible. If so, I don’t believe it worked.

There is something here that is understandable though, and that is that the Bible can be hard to understand.  Christ’s own disciples were often stumped by it, just as they were often stumped by Christ.  After the resurrection, however, much of that began to change.  Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  And that brings us to where we are today.

We are far removed from the people and events of the Bible, both by time and by geography.  Sitting here in my office on the edge of downtown Indianapolis, the events of the Bible happened a long time ago on a continent far, far away.  And that can be troubling.  

We can feel much like those early disciples.  Confused, bewildered, baffled.  If we give up too soon, we can come to the premature conclusion of the GQ guy and think the Bible just isn’t worth reading.  We need Jesus to explain things to us.  Like the psalmist we may cry out,

Open my eyes, that I may behold
       wondrous things out of your law. (Psalm 119:18)

Jesus even promised that the Holy Spirit would come to teach us.  In John 14:26, he said, 

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 

Without God’s help we just might not get it.  But with his help, we can find ourselves agreeing again with the psalmist,

92 If your law had not been my delight,
    I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
    for by them you have given me life. (Psalm 119:92-93)

When Jesus challenged his disciples, the Peter gave a response that all of us should be able to repeat after him.  Here it is in John 6,

67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

Let’s make God’s word our delight and far from being critical of it, we will find that it will become for us a source of life.

A Prayer Prompted by Luke 4

Father in Heaven,

Thank you for all that we can learn from Jesus and the way he carried out his ministry.

Thank you that he showed us how to defeat the devil by only being filled with the Spirit and filled with your Word.  Please fill us with your Spirit this day.  Help us further to be students of the Scriptures.  We want to be able to use the Bible rightly whenever we face the many temptations that we do.  

Help us also to have discernment to know the difference between the truth, which comes from you, and the lies that our enemy so craftily tells us.

Teach us to pray about every need, not least the many sicknesses that we face in this life.

And finally, help us to seek you first, so that we might constantly grow in our faith, and help us to set our priorities in accordance with your will.

In Christ,

Amen.

 

A Prayer Prompted by Mark 7

Dear heavenly Father,

You are an all-powerful, all-loving, unchanging God. We, however, need to change because without change we will never experience growth.

Help us to see where we have fallen into spiritual ruts. Help us not to get stuck in the patterns of religiosity, in human traditions. Instead, let us learn to draw near to you in all reality, sincerity and truth.

Jesus has taught us by both word and example that our lives need to be grounded in the Scriptures.

Prevent us from either adding or taking away from your word, but rather establish us firmly in it.

And from that foundation, bring us to the place where our faith truly grows.

In Christ,

Amen.