Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday evening

It is now Saturday evening. As I sat here realizing this, I remembered something from the Packer lectures I am listening to concerning the Puritans. He said Puritans families would spend much of Saturday evening, often with other families, preparing themselves for church on Sunday. That preparation would include prayer, repentence and any other spiritual work that would make them eagar to go to church on Sunday and be with God. Well, I have spent much of Saturday evening preparing my Bible study lesson on Psalm 32, and truth-be-told, I need to focus a little more on preparing myself.


This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus
and your love for all the saints, I never stop giving thanks for
you as I remember you in my prayers. [I pray] that the God
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give
you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of
Him. [I pray] that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are
the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and
what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who
believe, according to the working of His vast strength.
(Eph 1:15-19, CSB)

Father, as I study your word, I see great things. But, I know I am just scratching the surface. Show me great and wonderful things in your word so that I may follow you and praise you more fully. Give me a thirst for your word so that I would seek out your wisdom. Show me the greatness of your word so that I may drink from its wisdom and satisfy my thirst.

At night, I look at the stars and am filled with wonder at your universe. Then, I see pictures from Hubble and Spitzer and realize what I see with my eyes barely begins to tell of your universe. In fact, what I see with my eyes almost hides the real greatness. My eyes allow me to see the beauty of the stars, but my eyes make me think these little white dots are all there is to see. But, in reality, the stars are brilliant furnaces that dwarf the Sun. Many of those stars are galaxies of billions of stars. And there are billions of galaxies too faint for my eyes to see, and yet those galaxies are billions of times brighter than anything I ever see.

In the same way, I fear that sometimes my scratching the surface of your word can lead me to think I have seen what's there. But, whenever I scratch a little deeper, I find more than what I scratched. The greatness grows the more I look. Father, help me to see more and more, to scratch deeper and deeper. Help me to see wondrous things in your word.

And Father, I pray for my church. Give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. Open the eyes of our hearts than we may know the hope of his calling. Open our hearts to the joy of your inheritance. Open our hearts that we may know more of the immeasurable greatness of your power.

Father, I will walk in your truth; unite my heart to revere the glory of your name (Ps 86:11).

I bring to you all my concerns and desires, for you are the loving father who saved me from my sins; I know you will also give me every other good thing.

Father, I ask that you be with Marsha tomorrow. Give her strength and endurance to run the race. Let her be a witness for you. Let your praise be in her mind as she runs for the good of another.

Father, I ask that you continue to prepare Frank and Rhonda. Bless them.

Father, be with the many students who are getting ready to take their mid-term and final exams. Many students are stressed; give them strength and comfort. Be with the teachers during this stressful time as so many papers need to be graded and decisions must be made.

Father, I heard today that Cheyanne's mother died in a car accident. I cannot imagine the pain this must be for a 7th grader. I can only ask that you comfort her and let her know you love her. Give her peace that can only come from you. And somehow use this for your glory and the good of everyone touched by this death.

And father, I pray that during tomorrow's Bible study you will use me to teach your word, but that most importantly, your word will shine through anything I say. I pray that people will leave the study knowing you a little better and praising you for the forgiveness of sins. Those of us who have unconfessed sin, I pray that your hand would be heavy enough on us to bring us back to you. I pray that when we need it, you would use the bridle to pull us back. But, I also pray that we would be sheep, not mules. I pray that we would hear our shepherd's voice and come to him (Jn 10). I pray that we would follow him with complete trust and rest comfortably under his care.

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice,
you righteous ones;
shout for joy,
all you upright in heart.
(Ps 32:11, CSB)

I ask all these things in the name of my shepherd Jesus Christ. Amen.

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