Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Prayer for Morning

There has always been it seems an ongoing debate between extemporaneous prayers and written prayers. Without rehashing this age old discussion I think, like anything in life, there is a time and place for both. Each type of prayer has its own merits and shortcomings.

My purpose this morning is not to engage a discussion in the rights and wrongs but to expose you to one of my favorite “written” prayers. I take this prayer out periodically and make it my own as I pray it to our Lord. I wanted to share it with you this morning. It comes from the Valley of Vision, edited by Arthur Bennett, published by The Banner of Truth Trust, in both Carlisle, PA and Edinburgh EH 12 6EL UK. I hope you enjoy and can make it your own on occasion:

O God the author of all good, I come to Thee for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world; I carry about with me an evil heart. I know that without Thee I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept by Thy power. Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe.

Preserve my understanding from subtilty of error, my affections from love of idols, my character from stain of vice, my profession from every form of evil. May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore Thy blessing, and in which I cannot invite Thy inspection. Prosper me in all lawful undertakings, or prepare me for disappointments. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, Who is the Lord? or be poor, and steal, and take Thy name in vain.

May every creature be made good to me by prayer and Thy will. Teach me how to use the world and not abuse it, to improve my talents, to redeem my time, to walk in wisdom toward those without, and in kindness to those within, to do good to all men, and especially to my fellow Christians. And to Thee be the glory.


RCUBEs said...

What a beautiful prayer. Amen! Thank you for sharing. God bless you.


A wonderful morning prayer Gregg but due to time zones it is 4pm.

Have a great day.

Kansas Bob said...

Love this Gregg! I find that even when I read a prayer I find myself extemporaneously adding to it.

LibbyLibbyLibbyLibbyLibby said...

I really love it! It covers alot of ground! Jesus recommended to us a written prayer (Our Father to Whom art in Heaven, Holy is Thy name, Thy Kingdom Come, They will be Done....) so whenever a written prayer is written very close to my heart I too like to fashion it as mine.

arlee bird said...

This is a very eloquently written prayer. I pray for most of these things on a daily basis. The part I question is: "Give me neither poverty nor riches." I certainly don't want poverty, but I would like prosperity and abundance, not for frivolous show, but to help my church, my family, others, as well as to provide myself and my wife security and comfort. So I don't know if I like praying for God not to give me "riches", or am I misinterpreting what is being said or is my thinking wrong in some way.

Tossing It Out

Gregg said...

RCUBEs - you are welcome! It is one of my favorites, so I was compelled to share it.

Yvonne - well Lord willing tomorrow is another day with a new morning. That is quite a time difference!

KB - thanks! I loved it too, glad you liked it. You are 100% right on, you can certainly take a written prayer and "make it your own" with your own vocabulary, diction, speech, empahsis, changing words, adding to, and etc.

LLLLL - yes, we have several written prayers in the bible, all of which are guides and can be made ours, or personal to us. Thanks for that reminder!

Arlee - not sure if I would say you missed something, but the author this prayer is repeating something King David once prayed. He seems to know his heart, and most people would be the same, when we are over-abundantly blessed, many follow the pattern of the nation of Israel in the OT, they forget the wealth came from God and they, as James reminds his readers, consume the excess on their own lusts, or desires.

Most people, by that I mean most Christians, not all, there are always exceptions to the rule, you may certainly be one of them, fail to ask the question when they receive a raise, more income, etc how can I use this to further God's kingdom. Most buy a new or bigger house, more furniture, new car, take a vacation, etc. Those things aren't bad in and of themselves, but how much do we really spend on our own enjoyment and desires vs advancing the kingdom of God.

I think his desire was to be given enough to take care of himself and do that which God had called hikm to, so that he isn't faced with a temptation to "forget" God and to exploit his desires.

Most believers would say that they would never do that, but we don't know how we will react until someone hands us a huge check. Then the rubber meets the road.

All he is doing is humbly and by his own conviction trying to think with eternal perspective vs a temporal perspective.

It is a matter of the heart, between a person and His God. I know we live in a material and financial world, and I know we have biblically mandated responsibilities to ourselves, our family, and those around us - no argument - but we can provide comfort and as much protection as we can for our family, but we can't provide security. (This is argumentative dependingn on definition) Only God keeps us as "secure" as He sovereign desires and designs in his plan and purpose.

Read Isaiah 43:1-7, chapters 46, 48, I Cor 10:31 - ultimately God is not focused on our happiness, comfort, or security - everything God does is motivated by the desire for praise and for His glory. God's motivation is not for our immediate happiness is as much as it is for his absolute glory.

That is why we are called, the Apostle Paul and Peter said to a life of suffering. When God does bless and provide it is a wonderful thing for us. When he doens't that is a wonderful thing too.

I can say like Paul,(I think it was Paul) I have been poor and I have been rich, I injertect rich is better, but my perspective is I was blessed with riches once, and I did eventually forget God and who hte source of those blessings were from and I did consume or use his increase of my wealth on the satisifaction of my desires.

When God brought me around I was appalled. I never thought it could happen to me like that.

So, my prayer is to not be so poor that I have to resort to steal and dishonor God's name, but I don't want so mjuch wealth that I am tempted to sin against God.

I am happy to have what God has determined for me. Now, two things, I am not trying to be sanctimonious (hopefully we have interacted long enough for you to know that) second, I am not coping out of my responsibilities as a husband, Christian, or pastor.

Thanks for a chance to share.


Brother Gregg

Thank you for some more excellent insights into God's Word. I have a prayer today. I pray that God will continue to use you to teach and bless people in the blogosphere with sound Bible teaching.

in Jesus Name Amen!