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Prayers Drawn from Micah for Vespers - 26 January 2020

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Ah, LORD God, you once spoke through your servant Micah about the popular prophets, and how they lead your people astray, crying ““Peace” when they have something to eat, but declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths. Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination. The sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be black over them; the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God” (Micah 3:5-7). We pray for those who pervert and twist your truth for their own gain and greed, adulation and advantage (…). Grant them repentance, that they may escape the snare of the devil. Grant them to see what they are and what they’re doing, and how it is blaspheming your name among the unbelievers. And if they will not turn, bring their councils to nothing. O Lord, hear our prayer.
Further, LORD, you promised in Micah that your Son would be born in Bethleh…

"Gospel Brokenness" by Clay Werner. A Review

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Gospel Brokenness by Clay Werner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can any good thing come out of Athens, Georgia? Some would say “yes” because bands like the B-52s and R.E.M. arose from that city. But there’s another reason to answer “yes” to the question. Clay Werner, Lead Pastor of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Athens, Georgia and author of “On the Brink: Grace for the Burned Out Pastor” has just presented to the world a darling little 130-page softback, “Gospel Brokenness: The Unexpected Path to Deep Joy”. This is a straightforward walk through Psalm 32 written for moms, dads, bachelors, bachelorettes, widows, widowers, pastors and parishioners. Simple, but substantive!

Werner guides his readers on a hike across Psalm 32. He takes them to the depths of sin, and all of its foolhardy ways. But also welcomes readers to revel in the unexpected grace of God found solely in Jesus Christ. As The author puts it, this book “seeks to help you along in the journey of knowing gospel brokenness a…

"Most Loving Father" - 19 January 2020

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Most loving Father, who has called us into your family by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by the working of your Holy Spirit, give us strength and desire to walk worthy of our calling, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity produced by the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).
We ask you to aid and support Dan and Carol Iverson in Japan; the Pardigons; Mark and Lori Berry in Peru; Dan and Becky Young in North Mexico; Teresa as she prepares to return to Thailand; Shane Hatfield RUF-OSU, Scott Morris RUF-OU, and Caleb Harlan at RUF-TU. Grant to them goodwill, safety, reliable co-laborers and all the financial resources they need in their mission work; and may their labor produce more than they could humanly concoct.
Look upon your Church throughout the world, along with these congregations in the greater OKC area; Redeemer Lutheran Church, Resurrection Lutheran, St. Mark Lutheran, and St. Paul’s Luth…

"Our Help Is in the Name of the LORD" - 12 January 2020

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Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121.2). Hear us, O Lord our help, and for Christ’s sake answer us.
O Lord of the Harvest, have regard to the prayers of your servants in this church; send us forth as laborers into your harvest; fit and prepare us by your grace for our vocation and ministry; increase in us the Spirit of power, love and sober-mindedness; strengthen us to endure hardships as good soldiers of Jesus Christ; and grant that your Holy Spirit may prosper our work, that by our life and doctrine we may show forth your glory and be instrumental in the salvation of many.
Look upon your Church throughout the world, including these congregations in the greater OKC area; Santa Maria Virgen Episcopal Church, Ascension Lutheran, Lord of Life Lutheran and Our Lord’s Lutheran Church. Give your church your comforting, courage-inspiring aid. Strengthen your people in their longing to serve you more faithfully, cause them to succeed in genuine godliness,…

A Short Illustration on Praying Scripture using a Journal

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I have given a sample of this before, but it is worth offering another. The picture is part of my prayer journal. You can see that I date it, and list what passages of Scripture I read this morning. One of the passages I read was Hosea 8-12. Inside those chapters are several warnings, encouragements, and enticements to draw near to Yahweh in repentant faith. The verses that stuck out to me are the following: Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. You have plowed iniquity; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your warriors (Hosea 10:12-13).My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all (Hosea 11:7).the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD is his memorial name: “So you, by the help of your God, return…

"God In Himself" by Steven J. Duby. A Review

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God in Himself: Scripture, Metaphysics, and the Task of Christian Theology by Steven J. Duby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The role of natural theology does not always get a good rap among some Protestants and Reformed camps. But just the other day Steven J. Duby, associate professor of theology at Grand Canyon University, and author of “Divine Simplicity: A Dogmatic Account,” came out with a dense and demanding 352-page paperback that seeks to give the subject its due! “God in Himself: Scripture, Metaphysics, and the Task of Christian Theology” makes bold to present a way “theologians today can appropriate Reformed orthodox insights on matters like the nature of theological knowledge, the viability of natural theology, and the theological use of metaphysics” (8). This weighty work, part of IVP Academic’s “Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture,” methodically and meticulously treks its way through theologians, esoterica and substantial loci of natural theology, metaphysics and the inca…

"O Director of Our Steps" - 5 January 2020

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Almighty God, though a man’s heart plans his ways, it is you who directs his steps (Proverbs 16.9); therefore, we pray – O director of our steps – for this world and your church.
Lord God, as we plan our ways for this year, guide us inch-by-inch and mile-by-mile. May our confidence in you increase throughout 2020. May we come to know you more than ever before, love you more deeply than we have in the past, and serve you with greater enjoyment and enthusiasm. May we have eyes to see you doing great things – even in the modest and mundane moments. May we have hearts and voices ready to rejoice in your great goodness, even if the wind gets kicked out of us. May we be known as a people who enjoy making much of you!
We ask you to alleviate the suffering, angst and fretfulness of those who are in dire need of your healing or help … Please restore them by filling them with your unsurpassable peace to guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and give them rock-hard reasons to have hope in …