Friday, June 24, 2011

Scripture praying

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Luke 1:57-80

TO CHEW ON: "'And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, To give knowledge of salvation toHis people….To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.' So the child grew and became strong in spirit. Luke 1:76-77; 79-80

I love the prayers of prophetic blessing in the Bible, especially the ones that fathers prayed over their children. Our reading today is the powerful prayer / prophecy that Zacharias prayed the day he and his wife brought their eight-day-old baby to the temple to be named and circumcised. And isn't the outcome of Zacharias's prayer exactly what we want for our kids and grandkids - physical growth and spiritual strength?

So why not pray the same way for our kids? We may not have the original Holy Spirit inspiration that Zacharias did on the day he prayed this prayer, but we do have all of inspired scripture on which to base our prayers. Why not pray it for and over our kids?

Dick Eastman in his book The Hour That Changes the World gives a three-part plan for devising scripture prayers.

1. Listen to or read a passage from the Bible.

2. Stop listening or reading the moment you discover a verse or two that impress truth on your heart:
- Meditate on what the verse is saying to you.
- Ponder every aspect of the passage.
- Evaluate how the passage might be transformed into a specific petition.
  • Does this verse prompt me to pray for something specific?
  •  How can this passage be directly applied to my petition?
  • Can I use some of the words of the passage verbatim as I pray?

3. Using your mediation "form a personal prayer 'enriched' by that promise from God."

- Dick Eastman, The Hour That Changes the World, pp. 59-60.

Here are a couple of my favourite passages on which to base prayers for the babies and children in our lives:

"So Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground." 1 Samuel 3:19

"And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God was on Him." Luke 2:40

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man." Luke 2:52

PRAYER: Dear God, please bless (___insert names of loved ones) and keep them. May You make Your face shine upon them and be gracious to them. May You turn Your face toward them and give them peace. Amen (prayer based on Numbers 6:22-27).

MORE: Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Today the church celebrates the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

Here is the collect that begins the day's liturgy:
"Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

"Birth of St.John the Baptist" by Luca Signorelli (1445-1523)

(This is a re-post - devotion first published on June 24, 2010.)

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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