A Prayer Prompted by Luke 9

Dear heavenly Father,

We believe that Jesus is the Christ, your Son in whom you are well pleased, the Holy One of God. We can see that he exercises authority over nature and the spirit world.  We understand that he exercises divine authority because he is God – such as declaring us forgiven of our sins.  He has the right to demand our complete loyalty and trust for the same reason. He is God.  

We accept that following Jesus means we need to be open to being sent out in various ways to serve him.  It means we will have to trust him when that service goes beyond our abilities.

Please help us to see him as fully God as well as one of us, and to see ourselves as no better than others. Please make us willing to give him our complete loyalty and devotion regardless of the sacrifice that requires.

In Christ,
Amen.

Luke 8 – Verse by Verse

Photo for Luke

Luke 8 starts with teaching, but this will be followed by several amazing examples of Christ’s power.  Jesus will encourage us to share the word with hope and to trust him when things begin to look hopeless.

Luke 08.pdf

Luke 08.mp3

A Prayer Prompted by Luke 8

Our Father in heaven,

In sending your Son, you gave us a person who we can watch, listen to, learn from and follow.  Help us to be receptive to all that Christ wants to teach us. In other words, give us “ears to hear.”  Help us to trust that you have everything under control, even when some of the circumstances in our lives seem out of control from our perspective.

We know that Jesus has all power over raging storms, physical illness, armies of demons and even death.  Let us always be ready to seek Christ’s help and to follow him all the days of our lives. This is obviously what you, as our Father, want for us.

In Christ,

Amen.

 

A Prayer Prompted by Mark 10

Dear heavenly Father,

We acknowledge that we are sinful people who live in the midst of a sinful nation. Particularly in the areas of marriage and sexuality we have so distorted your desires for us that there is no way left for us to untie the knots.

Please forgive us, please transform us and please help us to make right whatever we can.

Help us to rely fully on the sacrifice of Jesus to cleanse us of our sin.

Help us to exercise a childlike faith and trust in you.

Like the blind beggar Bartimaeus, we really are helpless and have nothing at all to lose – except perhaps our sin and shame.

Therefore, we submit fully to Jesus as our Savior, Messiah and Lord.

In Christ,

Amen.

Only believe – Mark 5:36

These words that Jesus spoke to Jairus regarding his daughter can easily apply in any number of situations that we face.  Here is how they appear in context.

35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 

The context in this case is vital to understanding what Jesus is saying.  

Jairus came to Jesus as his daughter was dying, asking for help.  Before they got home, however, the daughter had died.  When all was lost, Jesus encouraged Jairus with the words, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”  As it happened, Jesus raised her back to life.

Why does God so often wait until all hope is lost?  Perhaps it is so we are more focused upon hoping in him.  There is something spiritually healthy about being brought to the end of ourselves.  Self-sufficiency can be an enormous obstacle to faith.  Hope in anything or anyone but Jesus can redirect us away from trusting him.

When it is obvious that we cannot do anything to fix our situations, and neither can anyone else, God has the opportunity to intervene without interference.  He must like that, because he puts us in that place of helplessness pretty often.

What hopeless situation are you facing right now?  I am facing a few of them, but I won’t clutter this post with their tedious descriptions.  Christ’s message to us might be the same as his message to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; only believe.”

A Prayer Prompted by Matthew 26

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the love that you expressed by sending your Son to save us from our sins.  We are forever grateful that our salvation depends upon your love and Christ’s death and not on anything that we can do for ourselves.  He alone has conquered sin and death by rising from the grave.

Left to ourselves, like Peter, we would deny him.

Left to ourselves, we would sleep rather than pray.

Left to ourselves, we might even betray him.

But because of what Jesus did, we can come to you and call you Father. We can put our trust in you when we know that we cannot trust ourselves.

Help us to always give to you that which is most precious to us.  Thank you for your great love.

In Christ’s name,

Amen.