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I think I know what DB means. As we are prayerfully intimate with Jesus, then his heart and will becomes ours.

When our will wholeheartedly enters into the prayer of Christ, then we pray correctly.”

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1987-074-16, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.jpg

Biblical Kings and Psalms show us the way

Many of us have felt called to pray for Donald Trump and America. I love to pray the words of Scripture. So as he takes the oath of office and as I search through prayers by and for kings, I’ve been surprised by the rich inspiration and example. In their words…

 

Heavenly Father, with Jewish King Hezekiah we declare, “You are enthroned above the mighty cherubim. You alone are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.”

May our new president declare this daily in his heart before you. May he enter the oval office with a deep sense that you rule. And he rules under your supreme power, your watchful eye and loving care.

With Babylonian King Nebuchadrezzar we agree, “Your dominion is an everlasting dominion, and your kingdom endures from generation to generation…you do according to your will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay your hand or say to you, ‘What have you done?’”

Lord, you have clearly raised up Donald Trump. You may have done it for blessing. Or judgment. Or both. But we look to you in trust and not doubt asking, “What have you done?”

Like Nebuchadnezzar, we praise and honor you “because all your works are right and your ways are just.”

And like him we agree: “Those who walk in pride you are able to humble.”

Lord, we all struggle with pride. In our lives, in President Trump’s life, we pray that you would expose it. Show us how much we need to walk in step with you. Create in us humble hearts that love and serve you and others.

King Solomon humbly confessed that when it came to ruling this great people he felt like a child, “not knowing how to go out or come in.” His Father, King David, sat down before you and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”

God, may you give Pres. Trump that same humble heart. And may he turn to you and seek your face continually, like David and Solomon. May he trust not in his own works but in the atoning death of the Lord Jesus for forgiveness and a life of blessing with you.

Also we pray with Solomon, Give our president “an understanding mind to govern your people, that [he] may discern between good and evil.” May he lean into you and your Word and receive wisdom that surprises even him. May he surround himself with godly advisors who will seek you and counsel him from the riches of your Word.

As Solomon prayed, “Give the [president] your justice, O God, and your righteousness! May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor. May he have pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.”

For the rest of the post…

Christians, Let’s Pray for President Trump

  January 20, 2017

Today I have a piece in The Washington Post on why Christians ought to pray for our new President, Donald Trump.

Here’s an excerpt:

Consistently, no matter who is in office we are to pray for success. That doesn’t mean we pray for all of any leader’s ideas to be realized. But it means that we pray that he or she would succeed, would carry out an agenda that leads to the flourishing of the rest of society and, particularly, so that the church may “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” In contemporary American society, we’re supposed to want those we like to leave office as heroes and those we don’t to bumble and fail. That should never be our attitude.

For the rest of the post…

“A Christian community either lives by the intercessory prayers of its members for one another, or the community will be destroyed. I can no longer condemn or hate other Christians for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble they cause me. In intercessory prayer the face that may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed into the face of one for whom Christ died, the face of a pardoned sinner. That is a blessed discovery for the Christian who is beginning to offer intercessory prayer for others. As far as we are concerned, there is no dislike, no personal tension, no disunity or strife that cannot be overcome by intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the community must enter every day.”

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”

~ Oswald Chanbers

Justin Taylor

December 4, 2015

565fbbef1b0000150129f11eChristianity Today executive editor Andy Crouch has a pitch-perfect response to the critique that “God isn’t fixing this” and that politicians and people of faith should stop saying our “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims of the San Bernardino shooting and that action is needed rather than prayer.

Crouch writes, “We can say with some confidence that all the following are true.”

[The bold headings are my summations. What follows are excerpts from each of Crouch’s points.]

[1. Almost all of us naturally express empathy in our familiar terms.]

1.a. When news of a tragedy reaches us, almost all of us find our thoughts overwhelmed for minutes, hours, or days, depending on the scope, severity, and vividness of the loss. This is called empathy—our ability to put ourselves in the place of others and imagine their suffering and fear, as well as heroism and courage, and to wonder how we would react in their place.

1.b. Almost all human beings, whatever their formal religious affiliation, find themselves caught up in a further reaction to tragedy: reaching out to a personal reality beyond themselves, with grief, groaning, and petition for relief. . . .

1.c. Unless the tragedy is literally at our door, this empathic response—call it “thoughts and prayers”—is all that is available to us in the moments after terrible news reaches us. . . .

1.d. It is unrealistic, and arguably cruel, to ask for fresh words in the moment that we are confronted with suffering and loss, let alone horror and evil. Every human being, in these moments, falls back on liturgies—patterns of language and behavior learned long before that get us through the worst moments in our lives. . . .

1.e. Politicians and public figures are fundamentally like all other human beings and have the same basic responses to tragedy. This is true no matter their position on controversial issues of policy (say, gun control). So it is no surprise that they respond immediately, like the rest of us do, with familiar words and phrases that express their human solidarity with those who suffer. . . .

[2. Prayerful lament is right and does not ask God to “fix” things.]

2.a. To offer prayer in the wake of tragedy is not, except in the most flattened and extreme versions of populist Christianity, to ask God to “fix” anything. . . .

2.b. An equally valid and instinctive form of prayer in the face of tragedy is lament, which calls out in anguish to God, asking why the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. . . .

2.c. No honest accounting of history can deny that God, if there is a God, is terrifyingly patient with evil. And yet, over and over, astonishing goodness, holiness, and reconciliation have emerged from even the most heinous acts of violence. . . .

[3. Prayer and action should not be played against each other.]

3.a. To suggest that we should act (though usually without specifying how those of us not physically present could act in the immediate wake of tragedy or terror), instead of pray, therefore, is to ask us to deny our capacity for empathy.

3.b. At the same time, the Bible makes it clear that God despises acts of outward piety or sentimentality that are not matched with action on behalf of justice. . . .

3.c. Therefore we must never settle for a false dichotomy between prayer and action, as if it were impossible to pray while acting or act while praying. . . .

3.d. To insist that people should act instead of pray, or that we should act without praying, is idolatry, substituting the creature for the Creator. . . .

[4. The victims are in our thoughts and prayers.]

4. Therefore the victims of the shootings in San Bernardino, and all those who were caught up in the violence and live this very moment in its awful continuing reality and consequences, and also those who perpetrated the violence, are in our thoughts and prayers.

For the rest of the post…

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray and gather my thoughts to you, I cannot do it alone.
In me it is dark, but with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not desert me;
My courage fails me, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace;
in me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.
Father in Heaven praise and thanks be to you for the night

 

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A prayer written in Tegel prison, Berlin

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray and gather my thoughts to you, I cannot do it alone.
In me it is dark, but with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not desert me;
My courage fails me, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace;
in me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.
Father in Heaven praise and thanks be to you for the night
 

Dietrich BonhoefferA prayer written in Tegel prison, Berlin

“The entire day receives order and discipline when it acquires unity. This unity must be sought and found in morning prayer. The morning prayer determines the day.”

My surgery began earlier than scheduled. I was on the operating table by 12:10 pm. The anesthetist had me sleeping soon after that. The operation lasted one hour and five minutes. When I woke up, I had no idea where I was. It was such a deep sleep. The surgeon told me in post-op that there was a major tear in the meniscus in my right knee. Now, it is rest, elevation and ice.

And prayer and the Word!

The Lord has slowed me down!

God is good, all the time!

Bryan

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