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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

In the Morning

But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me  a fortress
and  a refuge in  the day of my distress.
Psalm 59:16 (Zabur)

This morning I was encouraged and inspired by this poem written by Musa Burki. It is a poem about the early morning prayer, fajr (it happens before sunrise). It makes me want to start my day focused on God, full of gratitude and praise. I hope you’re encouraged as well.

As we rise in the morning
Our souls possess a yearning
To fill our hearts with spiritual light
Kneeling as a humble servant in His sight

The dawn rings out a peaceful solitude
Rising from our slumber to show gratitude
Revealed words which emanate from the heart
A beautiful ritual for our day to start

Standing before Him in all His glory
While He encompasses our entire life store
Pleading and begging for a measure of grace
As we wipe the tears from our face

Prostrating and bowing in complete humility
Desiring to feel the mercy and tranquility
Releasing our fears and anxiety
Increasing us in our level of piety

We feel the trembling of our soul as it’s shaken
As the wind and the sun begin to awaken
Completing our spiritual practice at the start of day
Asking for our Lord to light the way

A wonderful contentment rests in our spirit
Obeying the call to prayer as we hear it
Our day can now begin with clarity and peace
Hoping that our love for Him will increase.

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Lack Peace of Mind? Pray!

From The Works of God:

D.A. Carson, on God and prayer in the midst of suffering:

The degree of our peace of mind is tied to our prayer life (Phil. 4:6-7). This is not because prayer is psychologically soothing, but because we address a prayer-answering God, a personal God, a responding God, a sovereign God whom we can trust with the outcomes of life’s confusions. And we learn, with time, that if God in this or that instance does not choose to take away the suffering, or utterly remove the evil, he does send grace and power. The result is praise; and that, of course, is itself enjoyable, in exactly the same way that lovers enjoy giving each other compliments.

I cannot tell you how many times I have visited some senior saint who is going through serious suffering, perhaps terminal illness, only to come away feeling that it was I who benefited from exposure to a believer who was already living in the felt presence of God.

D.A. Carson, How Long, Oh Lord? p. 217-218.

 

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The CNN Belief Blog recently had a helpful primer on prayer in Islam. If you don’t know much about how and why Muslims pray each day, I would encourage you to read it.

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Strengthen Me, O Lord

I’ve been praying this a lot lately for myself and my family:

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. – Colossians 1:11

Strengthened with how much power? All power.

According to whose might? God’s might.

What kind of might? Glorious might.

For how much endurance? All endurance.

Just meditating on this text makes me feel strong.

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The Prophet Noah

Because we named our new son after the prophet Noah, I have spent some time reading the story of Noah and thinking about ways I can be praying for our son from the things I see in his life. As I have read the prophet Noah’s story (in the Bible it is found in Genesis 6-9), I have pulled out five things that I am praying for our Noah.

1. Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD

Noah lived during days of great wickedness. The Bible says, “The LORD saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God determined to judge the people of the earth for their wickedness, but he would save Noah, for “Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8).

2. Noah did all that God commanded him

God gave Noah the crazy command to build a giant boat in the middle of the desert. I cannot imagine the kind of ridicule he must have faced as he built that boat far from any water. It was not a small act of obedience and it was not a simple act that Noah could accomplish in a day and then go on being “normal.” It would have required lots of resources, lots of enduring of ridicule, and lots of faith. What was his response? “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22).

3. God remembered Noah

After the ark was completed God told Noah to get on with his family and all of the animals. Then the Lord shut him in and it began to rain and rain and rain. It rained so much that the entire world was flooded and all living things, animals and people, were destroyed. It was catastrophic. And there was Noah and his family floating on a truly endless sea. God did not forget him. “But God remembered Noah” (Genesis 8:1). He caused a wind to blow over the earth so that the waters subsided, the ark settled on dry ground and Noah and his family were able to come safely out.

4. God blessed Noah

After Noah came out of the ark, his first act was to build an altar and worship the Lord. God promised that he would never again curse the ground because of man. “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth'” (Genesis 9:1).

5. God established his covenant with Noah

The covenant God made was to never again destroy every living creature. It was a covenant of life. It was a promise of life. I am still amazed that God would come to our level and actually make covenants with us, that he would bind himself to promises made to creatures.

So I am praying:

  1. My Noah will find favor in the eyes of the LORD, that God will be pleased with him.
  2. My Noah will obey all that God commands even when others might thing he is crazy.
  3. God will remember Noah, that in the midst of all he encounters in his life the Lord will remember him and then act to bring salvation, deliverance and good into his life.
  4. God will bless Noah (see my posts on God’s blessing for what I mean by this [Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4]).
  5. God will establish his covenant with Noah and specifically that it would give him the new covenant promises so that Noah will be among his people and God will be his God, that Noah will experience the full blessing of all of God’s promises that are yes in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 1:20).

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A Very Biblical Hadith

The hadith come from the traditions and sayings of the Prophet Mohammad. I read the following hadith on the blog Mind, Body, Soul and was struck at how thoroughly biblical it is. I am pasting it below from his blog with the addition of biblical references.

Hadith Qudsi: “I accept the prayer…”

Allah, ever exalted is He (Psalm 46:10), says: “I accept the prayer of one who humbles himself before My Grandeur (2 Chronicles 7:14), who does not seek to dominate My Creation (Colossians 1:16). who does not pass a night persisting in disobedience of Me (Deuteronomy 27:10), who devotes his day to My Remembrance (Joshua 1:8), who is merciful to the poor, the homeless, the widowed and to all who suffer misfortune (Luke 6:36; James 1:27).

The light of such a one is like the light of the sun (Proverbs 4:18). I shall preserve him by My Might (1 Corinthians 1:8-9), and My angels will protect him (Psalm 91:11). I shall provide him with light where there is darkness (Psalm 119:105), and forbearance where there is ignorance (Romans 2:4). His likeness among My creatures resembles the Highest Garden in Paradise (Psalm 1:1-3).”

Shaykh Ibn Arabi (ks) narrates according to the collection of al-Bazzar (R)

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