A PRAYER BEFORE READING THE BIBLE

962108_96068789John Piper:

“I use the acrostic I. O. U. S as I come to the Bible.

I. Incline my heart to your testimonies. Psalm 119:36 (Since my heart is inclined to sleep and to work and to lots of things other than the Bible.)

O. Open my eyes to see wonders in your word. Psalm 119:18 (Since my heart is so often dull and blind to the wonders of the word.)

U. Unite my heart to fear your name. Psalm 86:11 (Since my heart is often divided and distracted in many directions)

S. Satisfy me with your steadfast love. Psalm  90:14 (Since my heart is so tempted to be satisfied in other things.)”

(Photo: abcdz2000)

PRAYING IN CONCENTRIC CIRCLES

file8121255508383John Piper:

“Consider praying in concentric circles from your own soul outward to the whole world.

This is my regular practice.

I pray for my own soul first. Not because I am more deserving than others, but because if God doesn’t awaken and strengthen and humble and fill my own soul, then I can’t pray for anybody else’s. So I plead with the Lord every morning for my own soul’s perseverance and purification and power.

Then I go to the next concentric circle, my family, and I pray for each of them by name.

Then I go to the next concentric circle, the staff and elders of Bethlehem. I name them all by name.

Then I pray for you, Bethlehem Baptist Church.

And then I go out from there to different concerns and groups at different times: our missionaries, our denomination and its schools, the Baptist General Conference, Evangelicalism in general and the church around the world, especially the suffering church. The wider circles include the city and the state and the nation and the cultural and social issues of the world.

“If you ask, What do I pray for myself and my family and my church and the missionaries and the city and the nations, the answer is pray Scripture.”

(Photo: Melodi2)

A PRAYER BEFORE PREACHING THE GOSPEL

971609_49264542Trevin Wax:

God our Father,
Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all that is:

Thank you for calling me to faith,
for planting your Word in my heart,
and for delivering me from my sin.

Thank you for calling me to your service,
for giving me the ability to teach your Word
and share this good news with others.

I am overwhelmed at the thought of teaching on the gospel.
I feel so inadequate to deliver something of value about news that is priceless.
I am unworthy to be given the privilege of thinking deeply
about news too marvelous for angels to comprehend.

Be ever gracious to me.
Let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding.
Give me confidence in the power of your gospel.
Grant me clarity in understanding and proclaiming the truths of your Word.
Edify your church through this work.

Father Almighty,
empower your people to tell the gospel story,
to recount your wondrous deeds
which shine light on your glorious and holy character.

Lord Jesus Christ,
empower your people to announce the good news
that you have brought to earth the life of heaven,
that you have sacrificed yourself for sinners,
that you have been raised from the dead
and exalted as Lord over all creation.

Holy Spirit,
empower us to live in light of the gospel,
declaring its truth with our words,
and embodying this truth through our actions.
Give us love for you and love for one another.
Amen.

(Photo: Simeon)

YOU CAN’T PRAY FOR EVERYTHING

992556_82204706-1Kevin DeYoung:

“Prayer can feel like the biggest burden of all.

We can always pray more, and we can’t possibly pray for every need in the world.

Even if we are extremely organised and disciplined, we won’t be able to pray consistently for more than a handful of people and problems.

But that doesn’t mean our prayers are limited to the items we can write on a postcard.

If your aunt’s cousin has up-coming heart surgery, pray immediately after you hear about it.  When a missionary shares her requests, pray right on the spot for them.

Don’t let the moment pass you by.  

Pray a short prayer.  Trust God for the results and, in many cases, move on.”

(Photo: joejoe77)

PRAYING THE CHURCH DIRECTORY

Church DirectoryMark Dever:

“Model for your congregation faithfulness in praying through the directory in your own devotional times, and publicly encourage them to make praying through the directory a daily habit. 

Your prayers for people don’t have to be long – just biblical. 

Perhaps choose one or two phrases from Scripture to pray for them, and then pray a meaningful sentence or two from what you know is going on in their lives at present. 

Get to know the sheep in your flock so well so that you can pray for them more particularly. 

And for those you don’t yet know well, simply pray for them what you see in your daily Bible reading.”

A PASTOR’S PRAYER

Rumunia_5806Bishop Daniel A. Payne:

“Lord, You know my weakness;
be my strength.

You know my ignorance,
be my wisdom.

Teach me,
that I may not be a blind leader of the blind,
but a scribe well instructed about the kingdom of God.

Oh, let not the people see me;
let them see You in Your vesture dipped in blood!

Let not the people hear me;
let them hear You in your voice of saving truth!”

(Photo: Darwinek)

PASTOR, ARE WE…?

1427667_31525848“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.” (2 Timothy 1:3)

Jonathan Griffiths:

  • Are we praying for our people regularly?
  • Are we giving thanks for God’s work in our people?
  • Are we praying for our people before we teach and admonish them?

(Photo: jamesclk)

8 WAYS TO PRAY DURING SERMON PREPARATION

1427667_31525848Mike McKinley:

  1. Lord, please help me to understand the meaning of this text and how it points to Christ.
  2. Lord, please increase my love for the people who will hear this sermon.
  3. Lord, please give me wisdom to apply this text to the lives of the people in our congregation.
  4. Lord, please use this passage to help me grasp and love the gospel more so that I might help my hearers do the same.
  5. Lord, please help me to see how this passage confronts the unbelief of my hearers.
  6. Lord, please help me to be obedient to the demands of this passage. Help me to enter the pulpit having already submitted my life to this truth before I preach it.
  7. Lord, by your Spirit please help me to preach this sermon with the necessary power and with appropriate affections.
  8. Lord, please use this sermon to bring glory to your name, joy to your people, and salvation to the lost.

(Photo: jamesclk)

Do you publicly pray for other churches?

Greg Gilbert:

“Each week, I choose one or two churches and pray for their services that day.  I pray for the church to be attentive to the Word of God.  I pray for the pastor to speak boldly and accurately from the Bible.  I pray for people to be convicted of their sin, for Christians to be encouraged in the faith, and for non-Christians to be converted.  I also thank the Lord that we live in a city where we are not the only church in which the gospel is proclaimed.”

Why is it a good thing to do?

  • It helps to crucify a spirit of competition in the pastor.
  • It helps to crucify a spirit of competition in the members.
  • Praying for other churches communicates that we are all on the same team and we have the same mission.
  • It helps the pastor to cultivate friendships with the pastors of other local churches.
  • It reminds everyone that God is glorifying His Son through the work of churches all over cities and the world. 

See HERE.