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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Prayers and words for my family (and anyone else who dares to read them)

I try to pray every morning before I get out of bed, if possible, and many times I get so caught up in thoughts (and sometimes confusion) about the matters of prayer that I'm not sure exactly what I should be saying to the Lord about them. So at those times I often reach for my Kindle and read a prayer by Charles Spurgeon from this wonderful book, and pray along with his words. The prayer I read this morning contained some words (in italics) that I thought were especially relevant to the members of my family (always my biggest topic of prayer), and perhaps they will be to others as well...

Blessed are the hearts that have been softened, that have been made ready to receive the truth in the love of it! Blessed be the sovereign grace of God that hath chosen unto Him a people who delight in His Word and who meditate in it both day and night!

Do you delight and meditate on God's Word? God creates a desire for it in his children, so if you really know him you will have at least some of that inclination in your heart, even though it might be crowded out by the cares of this world or dampened by sin. As Martin Luther said in the very first of his 95 Theses, "The whole life of the true believer is one of repentance." So don't be surprised if you need to repent (even if it's the thousandth time or more) of your lack of delight and meditation on God's Word. I have to do that regularly, and I'm guessing you do too. Ask God to forgive you for not recognizing the value of this gracious treasure where the thrice holy God of the universe actually condescends to communicate with insignificant, undeserving sinners like us.

Lord, we ask that Thy Word may chasten us whenever we go astray, may it enlighten us whenever for a moment we get into darkness. May Thy Word be the supreme ruler of our being. May we give ourselves up to its sacred law to be obedient to its every hint, wishing in all things, even in the least things, to do the will of God from the heart and having every thought brought into captivity to the mind of the Spirit of God.

Not only should we desire and meditate on God's Word more than we do, but we should allow it to be the authority for all of our thinking and actions. Whether it's the issue of how we spend our time and money, whether we believe in hell, who we date, what we put into our body, what we watch on TV, what we do with doubts about God and Scripture, whether we participate in gossip, or whatever else, the way we go should never be determined by what we feel or think is right according to our wisdom, but our choices should all be based on what God says in the Word.

I know the battle is real--believe me I know. I know that some things God says can feel so wrong to us at any given time in our lives and some things that are against what he says can seem so right to us. But remember, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Prov. 14:12, 16:25). Do you realize how many millions of times the strongest feelings and intuitions of people have tragically been proven wrong by the timeless Word of God? "The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord stands forever" (Isa 40:8, 1 Pet. 1:24). Don't let that happen to you--put your trust in the Creator rather than the creature when it comes to what you believe and do.

Oh! dear, dear Saviour, what could we do without Thee. We are as yet in banishment, we have not come into the land of light and glory; it is on the other side the river, in the land where Thou dwellest, Thy land of Immanuel, and till we come thither be Thou with us. We have said unto ourselves, How shall we live without our Lord; and then we have said unto Thee, “If Thy Spirit go not with us, carry us not up hence.” Oh! be to us this day as the fiery cloudy pillar that covered all the camp of Israel. May we dwell in God; may we live and move in God; may we be conscious of the presence of God to a greater extent than we are conscious of anything else.

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