Category: Prayer

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

October 1, 2012 (Psalm 4:1)

October 1, 2012

‘Be merciful to me and hear my prayer.’ (Ps. 4:1)

God’s deliverance is an act of mercy. David knows that. He also knows that any righteousness of his own comes from such mercy; the king wholly depends upon his King for holiness.

Hope springs from mercy. If a sinner like David can know deliverance from sin through mercy alone, then one has little trouble to cry out for mercy again, whether for oneself and for others. That is helpful to us as we cry out to God on behalf of our corporate sexual immorality. Like David, we remember our own sin, and how mercy alone set us free.

‘When I kept silent, my bones wasted away, and Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you; I confessed it to You, and You forgave the guilt of my sin.’ (Ps. 32:3-5)

‘Our hope lies in Your mercy, not in our native righteousness. We can bear the unbearable through mercy alone. We cast ourselves upon Your mercy, the blood and water that flowed from Your sacred heart for us.  In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and to other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

Download PDF

September 30, 2012 (Psalm 4:1)

September 30, 2012

‘Give me relief from my distress’ (Ps. 4:1); ‘In my troubles, You make a way.’ (NAB)

David is in distress. He does not ask for God to remove His distress but rather to make a way for him to bear it. Today we would be wise to experience the distress of our corporate sexual immorality. The New York Times recently mocked Rick Santorum in an editorial by flouting the ‘new normal’: well over half of today’s Americans declare as morally acceptable: having a baby outside of marriage, government-funded contraception, as well as gay and premarital sex. Those advocating ‘gay marriage’ straddle 50%. (Charles Blow, March 3rd, 2012)

That distresses me. If the statistics are accurate, most Americans are at odds with their Maker due to sexual immorality. Is it any wonder we have little authority to uphold marriage? I urge you to not turn away from that truth. Rather, ask God to help you bear the truth with His help. Only through Him can we bear the unbearable.

‘I never sat in the company of revelers…I sat alone, because Your hand was on me, and You had filled me with indignation.’ (Jer. 15: 17)

‘Father, our corporate shame is ever before us. We have turned away from You and done what seemed right to us. Forgive us for shirking the weight of that shame. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and to other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

Download PDF

September 29, 2012 (Psalm 4:1)

September 29, 2012

Answer me when I call to You, my saving, righteous God…’ (Ps. 4:1)

David trusts God. His hope rests entirely on the God who delivered him in the past, and who he trusted would deliver him again. For the king, God is not an abstract ethic or idea—He is the one who has power to save him from death, both now and for eternity. David’s child-like trust pervades the adult intrigue in which he is entangled. May his example strengthen our faith in the God who employs His righteousness to save us.

‘Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely upon ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope, that He will continue to deliver us…’ (2Cor 1:9, 10)

‘Father, grant us the faith of Your servant David. We call to mind the way You have delivered us in the past. Would You deliver us again? In your righteousness, extend the mantle of Your unfailing love over our sorry state. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and to other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

Download PDF

Restoring Hope – September 28, 2012 (Psalm 4:1)

‘Prayer is the first and greatest work of love we can do for our brothers and sisters.’ (JPll)

 As we begin our 40-days of prayer together, King David grants us a way forward.

David is distressed by son Absalom’s murderous pursuit of him. We share a similar distress when we consider the aggressive and barely resisted move to normalize homosexuality in our day. At stake is the dignity of young people, and the God who made them in His image, male and female.

I caught a talk show the other day featuring a Christian lesbian’, model-perfect in appearance, who was advocating for a very confused girl/boy (gender unrecognizable) on the grounds that our public schools must accommodate ‘degendered’ persons. No-one in the audience protested. As the charming ‘lesbian’ claimed Christ as her guide, it was fair game for any Christian in the audience to share the truth about God’s image and redemption. No-one did.

The church is asleep, afraid of the kickback for taking a stand on gender wholeness. So ‘gay marriage’ advances, therapies helping people change are outlawed, and charming deceivers parade in the public square without resistance.

A new low involves Brian McLaren, seminal leader of the ‘emergent’ church movement. For years, Brian kept all in the dark on his views of homosexuality; last week he performed a same-sex commitment ceremony for his son and ‘spouse.’

With David, we cry out, aching for the truth that sets willing hearts free. ‘Give us release from our distress; be merciful and hear our cry.’ (PS 4:1) For the next 5 days, we shall meditate together on that verse.

God gave us all release from our distress through the inaugural gathering of the Restored Hope Network last week in CA. We set our hope on Him, and spoke freely of the gender shame and brokenness that He assumed for us. In turn, He is raising up a people whose very clarity as men and women, and commitment to one another, is founded on Mercy.

Jesus is gathering a humble people who rely upon His redeeming love. Pray that our light will shine in the darkness and make a way for many to come home.

————————————————————————————————————————————

September 28, 2012  (Psalm 4:1)

 ‘Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous, saving God.

Water ehartGive me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.’ (Ps. 4:1)

David is in trouble. The righteous king seduced Bathsheba then murdered her husband, which incited a series of betrayals that came back to haunt him. Now one of his sons, Absalom, wants David’s blood. (2Sam. 11-18)

David is clean. His sins are washed, his heart turned to the God who had shown him mercy. Still he must face the kickback of familiar sins.

He is no different than us amid the sexual idolatry of our day. Though we don’t face the immensity of David’s challenges, we can agree that sexual sin is an equal opportunity offender. Whether porn, romantic obsession, same-gender sensuality, premarital sex, or any number of ways we try to meet our needs in defiance of our Maker, we have all sinned and fallen short of Someone glorious. (Rom. 3:23) And something glorious—the dignity to live uprightly, valuing others fully clothed because they are worthy of value, not because they turn us on.

In the shameless, naked mess we’ve made our sexuality, we the forgiven must admit: our sins have been passed down to a generation more disoriented than we are. How else to explain our stammering response to ‘gay marriage’, as if we must apologize for defining marriage as male and female and thus oriented toward new life?

During the next 40 days, we will indeed cry out for the four states that have ‘gay marriage’ votes in November—Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington. But first things first: we will simply ask God to have mercy on us for our sexual sin.

‘Like David, we acknowledge our sins as consequential, seeds sown that now reap a whirlwind. (Hos. 8:7) In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.’ ‘

Download PDF

Clothe us, O God

Tomorrow we begin our 40-day fast. Please join me in this extended meditation on Psalm 4, as we seek God’s heart for the sexual and relational brokenness all around us. Instead of seeking mere creatures to solve the moral mess we are in, we will seek our Creator and Redeemer as broken creatures desperately in need of Him.

Clothe us, O God!

40 Days of Prayer for Cleansing and Covering our Shameful Nakedness

September 28th – November 6th, 2012

 

Prayer Guide

Psalm 4

1 Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.

4 Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the Lord.

6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.

8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.

Download PDF
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: