Prayer Chain IV

“We Pray to obey God, not to ‘play God’. We pray, not to change God’s mind, but to change our own; not to command God, but to let God command us. We pray to ‘let God be God’. Prayer is our obedience to God even when it asks God for things, for God has commanded us to ask (Mt. 7:7)”.[1]

God is Love

Heavenly Father,

Bless these people who gather together to serve You and our community through Your global Church. Help us in our work to be sensitive to the needs of those we serve – open to the various problems that occur – wise in the decisions we make – caring in our attitude towards all the different types of members; supportive of each other as staff and committed to the Christian principles of the Bible. May the words of our mouths and the thoughts of our hearts be acceptable to You, our God and Savior. Amen.[2]

Lord, you tell us that we are we to pray for those in authority, and so we do. We pray for state legislators in our land. Cause them to use their authority wisely, especially when it touches on the care of children and those matters that are taught in public schools. We pray that you would give them an understanding of how you have made us and what things are good for people. We pray for the protection of religious freedom in public schools. We thank you for the amount of liberty that we’ve had in this land for so long to speak about you, and we pray that that would continue. For our own officials here in the Lakewood, we do pray for honesty in their work. In your kindness to people in Lakewood, we pray that you would root out corruption in this government. We pray that funds that are taken from honest taxpayers would be used wisely and well. And Lord, we do pray for our mayor and Governor; we pray for them personally; we pray for their relationship with their spouses, through all the trials and difficulties of having that job. Amen.[3]

Weekly scripture

Salt and light

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”[4]

Commentary:

“5:13–16. To demonstrate the impact these people would make on their world, Jesus used two common illustrations: salt and light. Jesus’ followers would be like salt in that they would create a thirst for greater information. When one sees a unique person, who possesses superior qualities in specific areas, he desires to discover why that person is different. It is also possible that salt means these people serve as a preservative against the evils of society. Whichever view one takes, the important quality to note is that salt ought to maintain its basic character. If it fails to be salty, it has lost its purpose for existence and should be discarded.

A light is meant to shine and give direction. Individuals Jesus described in verses 3–10 would obviously radiate and point others to the proper path. Their influence would be evident, like a city on a hill or a lamp … on its stand. A concealed lamp placed under a bowl (a clay container for measuring grain) would be useless. Light-radiating people live so that others see their good deeds and give praise not to them but to their Father in heaven. (V. 16 includes the first of 15 references by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount to God as “your [or ‘our’ or ‘My’] Father in heaven,” “your heavenly Father,” “your Father.” Also, see vv. 45, 48; 6:1, 4, 6, 8–9, 14–15, 18, 26, 32; 7:11, 21. One who stands in God’s righteousness by faith in Him has an intimate spiritual relationship to Him, like that of a child to his loving father.)”[5]

Footnotes:

[1]Peter Kreeft, Prayer For Beginners (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2000), 15.

[2] Terra Lynn Dearth, The C in YMCA (Long Beach, CA: YMCA of Greater Long Beach, 2007), 16.

[3] “Sample Corporate Prayers from December 2, 2007,” 9Marks, 2019, https://www.9marks.org/article/sample-corporate-prayers-december-2-2007/.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 5:13–16.

[5] Louis A. Barbieri, Jr., “Matthew,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 29.

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