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Maturing Our Prayer Lives Praying With Other Christians (via Renee Tan at Gospel Coalition Australia)

Wednesdays I meet with local pastors to pray in the morning, and folk from MGPC to pray in the evening.
Apart from Sundays my week revolves around these two gatherings.
At Gospel Coalition Australia Renee Tan writes about the ways that corporate prayer deepens, focuses and develops our prayer lives.
An excerpt:

As we articulate our prayer needs, we are faced with the desires of our heart. After all, the mouth speaks what the heart is full of (Luke 6:45). Do our thanksgiving prayers reflect a self-centeredness or a Christ-centeredness? Do our prayer requests reflect kingdom priorities? Maybe in Sunday school we used to pray for (nothing greater than) a good day at school or for the rain to stop ruining our soccer games. But are we still praying such limited prayers years later?
When we journey with other Christians, rub shoulders and huddle together in prayer, we will see growth in ourselves and each other. We will learn to pray for needs deeper than our material ones. We will prayers that sound like they come from the early church; prayers that beg God to teach us how to forgive our enemies; prayers for joy amidst tribulations; prayers for a faith that remains steadfast until Jesus comes again.

Read the whole post.

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The Priceless Gift Of A Contented Heart (via Scotty Smith at Heavenward)

A prayer from Scotty Smith asking for what we really need, and for the grace to be satisfied with whatever else God grants us:

You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor” Ex 20:17
Godliness with contentment is great gain 1 Tim. 6:6
Love does not envy 1 Cor. 13:4

Heavenly Father, this tapestry of Scriptures is both convicting and consoling. It’s convicting, because on a daily basis (sometimes hourly), I can be envious of anyone in sight, and covetous of anything within reach. I can get envious of people who have less hassles and more resources; friends who can eat a whole cheesecake and lose weight; extroverts who are at completely at ease in every setting; and men who can fix anything broken in houses, cars, and boats.
I don’t covet my neighbor’s ox or donkey. But I’d love his ability to run every day without knee pain; and not forget names or where he put his car keys. I don’t covet my neighbor’s male or female servant. But I’d love his 2-handicap golf game; and ivy-laden, tree-shaded cottage at Rosemary Beach. Alas, I need grace.
But as convicting as these verses are, Father, they are even more consoling. Because through the gospel, I realize that all I really need is Jesus, plus what you choose to give me. If I owned everything I envy and covet—as your Word says, my bones would rot. It would never be enough.
Father, thank you for showing me that ingratitude is soul cancer and hoarding is heart disease. Selfishness is dignity thievery and comparison is relationship homicide. Acquisition is soul depletion and driven-ness is whole-life paralysis.
There’s a Jesus shaped vacuum in all of us that only Jesus can fill. Thankfully, he is—more and more. Free us to be more content in Jesus, more present with people, and more generous with what we have.
So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ beautiful and more-than-sufficient name.


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New City Catechism Question and Answer 41

Question 41
What is the Lord’s Prayer?

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

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New City Catechism Question and Answer 40

Question 40
What should we pray?

The whole Word of God directs and inspires us in what we should pray, including the prayer Jesus himself taught us.

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GAA Prayer Meeting

Each morning numbers of folk who arrive early for the meeting of the General Assembly of Australia gather for prayer.

It was so heartening to walk in at the designated start time on Tuesday to find those gathered had already started.

To these are added those who are praying for this meeting around our nation and around the world.

For those praying, I believe God is leading us in unity, wisdom, and peace as we seek to follow Jesus together.


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Remembrancing In Public Prayer (via Jeffrey Arthurs)

The act of leading a congregation in prayer gives voice to present hope and future expectation by invoking the memory of God’s person, works and promises.
In corporate prayer, the people of God remember who God is, and who they are.

Remember that in public prayer you are a remembrancer. When a pastor leads in prayer, he or she embodies the theology, values, and ethos of the church. The pastor also actualises memory. We can draw worshipers from the undertow of the world to breathe again life-giving truths about God even as we address God in prayer. Perhaps this is why many of the prayers in the Bible speak at length about God while making supplication to God. For instance, in David’s prayer to dedicate the building materials of the temple (1 Chronicles 29:10-19), I estimate that 50 percent of the prayer rehearses who God is: “blessed,” “the God of Israel our father, forever and ever,” “all things come from you,” the one who :tests the heart and has pleasure in uprightness,” and so forth. The prayer also states who we are in relation to God: strangers and sojourners, “our days on earth are like a shadow,” and so on. Remembrancers take every opportunity, including public prayer to remind the body of who God is and who they are.

Jeffrey D Arthurs, Preaching As Reminding, IVP, 2017, pg 143.

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Where God Will Lead His People This Week (via Scotty Smith)

Scotty Smith offers a prayer about where God leads His people.
Not where we’d go by our own decision, but it’s where we need to go.
It’s written for a Monday, but as the week flows along you can see how the prayer is being answered.

Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Rom. 2:4

Heavenly Father, on this June Monday, we are so grateful for the riches of your kindness, forbearance, and patience. You have enriched us beyond all measure in Jesus.
All of these good gifts converge in this one verse from Romans. The most certifiably insane thing we do is to “show contempt” for these treasures. After all, this wonderful triad of graces will only take us to the address called freedom on the path called repentance.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit will never direct us to self-contempt or condemnation, but only to a place of greater liberty and Christlikeness. Because of Jesus’ finished work, your ongoing work in our lives — even when it hurts, is so good.
When we resist the convicting work of the Spirit and refuse to humble ourselves, we’re worse than silly. We’re toxically foolish. You give grace to the humble and resist the proud. Who in their right mind would ever want your resistance? We want grace, Father, as much as you will give us.
Thank you for leading us to humility, not humiliation; to shelter, not shame; to repentance, not penance. Thank you for teaching us that repentance is collapsing on Jesus as our righteousness, not making vain promises we can’t and won’t keep.
So kind Father, fill our week with the beauty of Jesus and quick repentances. As your kindness leads us to repentance, may it also lead us to loving others as Jesus loves us. Give us more joy in walking with you this week than being admired, appreciated, and applauded by our peers. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.