The Power of Prayer

During a famine that plagued Scotland in the mid-nineteenth century, John Murray was once at the riverside praying for guidance. In the middle of his deliberations about whether he should join the many others who were emigrating to America, he heard a thud on the ground beside him. A salmon had jumped out of the river and was now within his reach. He took this as God’s answer that he would provide for him in Scotland.

God doesn’t always answer our prayers this way, but sometimes he does. When he does, we need to listen.

Source: Iain H. Murray, The Life of John Murray (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1982), 10n; as cited by Dale Ralph Davis in 1 Samuel: Looking on the Heart (Fearn, Ross-shire: Christian Focus, 2000), 200.

Published in: on September 30, 2011 at 10:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Appeal to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Feel free to use as you see fit. His email address is pm@pm.gc.ca.

Dear Prime Minister,

As a citizen of Canada and a Christian pastor, I am thankful for the public statement of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird against the execution of Iranian Christian pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani. I appeal to you to encourage Minister Baird to continue his efforts, not only to stay the execution but also to have this pastor acquitted of all charges and set free. I also appeal to you as Canada’s prime minister to make a public statement as well, and to use whatever means are within your power and the power of your government to bring about justice for Pastor Nadarkhani.

I thank you for considering my appeals, and continue to pray for you and your government.

Sincerely,

Rev. Dr. Theodore E. Lodder
Minister of the Word and Sacraments
Cloverdale Canadian Reformed Church
Surrey, British Columbia
CANADA

Published in: on September 29, 2011 at 11:40 am  Comments (1)  
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God’s Ways

Sometimes the clearest evidence that God has not deserted you is not that you are successfully past your trial but that you are still on your feet in the middle of it.

Dale Ralph Davis

Published in: on September 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Prayer for Persecuted Pastors

Deliver your servants, O God; protect them from those who rise up against them.
Deliver them from evildoers and save them from bloodthirsty men.
See how your enemies lie in wait in for them!
Fierce men conspire against your servants for no offense or sin, O LORD.
They have done no wrong, yet their enemies are ready to attack them.
In particular, we pray that you would preserve the life of Pastor Youcef in Iran.
Give him wisdom, courage, and endurance.
Uphold his wife and children.
Bless the efforts of his attorney and all who are coming to his defense and help.
Continue to grant him joy in the face of death.
Keep his eyes fixed on Jesus, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame!
O LORD God Almighty, rouse yourself and bring deliverance.
We watch for you, O God, our fortress and our loving God.
You will go before those who are persecuted for your sake, and will let them gloat over those who slander them.
You will remember those whose blood is poured out like water for you.
We will sing of your strength and in the morning we will sing of your love;
for you are our fortress, our refuge in times of trouble.
To you our Strength we sing praise, our fortress and our loving God.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Pastor Joucef Nadarkhani is a Christian pastor in Iran who has been sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. His life is in the scales.

Based on Psalm 59 and Hebrews 12.

A Prayer for Discipline in Eating and Drinking

Merciful God and Father, you are the Giver of every good and perfect gift. All things belong to you. The food and drink that we consume is also a gift from your hand, something we forget all too easily with our full cupboards and inviting supermarkets. Still, the eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at their proper time. If you do not open your hand to us, we do not eat.

Prevent us from grabbing more than we need. Deliver us from gluttony and overeating. Save us from drunkenness and unbridled thirst. Give us hearts and wills to share with the hungry and to allow ourselves to get hungry before eating again.

Fill us with the Spirit of your Son Jesus Christ, whose food was to do your will and whose delight was always in you. May our bodies and souls always thirst for you, the living God, and may we be satisfied with the Bread of heaven and the daily food and drink that you allot to us in good measure and at the proper time.

We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our food and drink to life eternal. Amen.

Based on Psalms 24; 40; 42; 63; 145; Proverbs 23; John 5, 6; Ephesians 5; James 1; Form for the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper

A Prayer for a Sick Child

Father in heaven, be with this child who is sick.
May her angels, who can always see your face in heaven, keep watch over her.
Make your face shine on her and keep her.
When she feels pain, grant her relief.
When she cries, hear her.
When she is afraid, calm her.
When she is tired, give her sleep.
Lay your healing hand upon her.
As long as she must suffer, carry her in your comfortable bosom.
Remember her name, even if she cannot yet say yours.
Sustain her father and mother;
may this little one experience your everlasting love through them.
Bless the doctors and the nurses, the medicine and the treatments.
You are the One who heals all sicknesses, so we plead with you to heal her.
Whatever happens, let no one snatch her from your hand.
Father, do this for the sake of Jesus, her Good Shepherd.

Amen.

Based on Numbers 6; Psalm 103; Matthew18; John 10.

This prayer is for Hadley, recently diagnosed with cancer.

Published in: on September 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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An Evening Prayer


Watch, O Lord, with those who wake,
or watch, or weep tonight,
and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Give rest to your weary ones,
bless your dying ones,
soothe your suffering ones,
pity your afflicted ones,
shield your joyous ones,
and all for your love’s sake.

Amen.

Adapted from Augustine

Published in: on September 16, 2011 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Style of Prayer

Abraham Kuyper says this about the style or “form” of prayer in Our Worship:

[T]he form of prayer should always be loving dedication, peaceful anointing, and brief sentences that are easy to follow. This is the form (without many conjunctions and parenthetic clauses) of nearly all Old Testament prayers, and also the Lord’s Prayer. It may be an ideal hard to achieve, yet it must always remain our holy example.

What may seem obvious here is indeed hard to achieve. Pray for us pastors who need to set an example in this holy and most blessed discipline.

Published in: on September 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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