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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.

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Our King In A Crib (via Scotty Smith)

Scotty Smith provides a Christmas Eve prayer, that is true on Christmas Day and every other day, as well.

He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was room in the inn available for them. Luke 2:1-7 (NIV)

Lord Jesus, whether or not you entered our world anywhere near our December 25th is irrelevant. What matters is that you actually came from eternity into time and space—not as a metaphor, myth, or legend, but as our incarnate Creator, perfect Savior, and glorious King.
Any other king would’ve come with great fanfare and a royal entourage, seeking to impress. But you came into our world in utter humility and profound weakness, seeking to save. Every other king was once a baby. You’re the only king who reversed the order and became a baby.
No room in the inn” wasn’t an insult to you. It was your choice, your way—the essence of the gospel. After 33 years of life, it is you who made room for the cross. We bow in awe.
Indeed, you didn’t consider your equality with God something to be selfishly hoarded. Rather, you made yourself “nothing.” You emptied yourself by becoming one of us—fully man, yet never ceasing to be God.
As the Second Adam, you fulfilled the law for us. As the Servant of the Lord, you died in our place. As the Grave Robber, you rose for our justification. As our Glorious Bridegroom, you’re coming back for us. Hallelujah… we cry, over and over and over.
On this Christmas Eve, we worship you for coming to us, Jesus, and giving yourself for us. Thank you for saving us from our sins and selves. Thank you for ruling the world with your truth and grace, this very moment. Thank you for committing to make all things new and wiping all tears away. So very Amen we pray, in your great and gracious name.

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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 48

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 48

123.
Q. What is the second petition?
A. “Your kingdom come.” That is: so govern us by your Word and Spirit that we may more and more submit ourselves unto you. Uphold and increase your church. Destroy the works of the devil, every power that raises itself against you, and all wicked schemes thought up against your holy Word, until the full coming of thy kingdom in which you shall be all in all.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 47

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 47

122.
Q. What is the first petition?
A. “Hallowed be your name.” That is: help us first of all to know you rightly, and to hallow, glorify, and praise you in all your works through which there shine your almighty power, wisdom, goodness, righteousness, mercy, and truth. And so order our whole life in thought, word, and deed that your name may never be blasphemed on our account, but may always be honored and praised.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 46

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 46

120.
Q. Why has Christ commanded us to address God: “Our Father”?
A. That at the very beginning of our prayer he may awaken in us the childlike reverence and trust toward God which should be the motivation of our prayer, which is that God has become our Father through Christ and will much less deny us what we ask him in faith than our human fathers will refuse us earthly things.

121.
Q. Why is there added: “in heaven”?
A. That we may have no earthly conception of the heavenly majesty of God, but that we may expect from his almighty power all things that are needed for body and soul.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 45

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 45

116.
Q. Why is prayer necessary for Christians?
A. Because it is the chief part of the gratitude which God requires of us, and because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit only to those who sincerely beseech him in prayer without ceasing, and who thank him for these gifts.

117.
Q. What is contained in a prayer which pleases God and is heard by him?
A. First, that we sincerely call upon the one true God, who has revealed himself to us in his Word, for all that he has commanded us to ask of him. Then, that we thoroughly acknowledge our need and evil condition so that we may humble ourselves in the presence of his majesty. Third, that we rest assured that, in spite of our unworthiness, he will certainly hear our prayer for the sake of Christ our Lord, as he has promised us in his Word.

118.
Q. What has God commanded us to ask of him?
A. All things necessary for soul and body which Christ the Lord has included in the prayer which he himself taught us.

119.
Q. What is the Lord’s Prayer?
A. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day 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. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen”


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A House Of Prayer (via Jason Helopoulos)

Jason Helopoulos provides counsel to guard against prayerless worship services, which will contribute toward prayerless Christian lives.

…worship services should be filled with prayer. It’s insufficient to sing a few songs, read a text of Scripture, sing another song, and close the service. Though songs can be understood as a form of prayer, they’re not enough. Without formal prayer throughout the service, we are robbed of opportunity to learn and participate in the prayers of God’s people.

Read the whole post here.