Monthly Archives: November 2012

Praying for Others

 

Article by J.C. Ryle

Read the entire article at http://gracegems.org/Ryle/a_call_to_prayer.htm

 

We are all selfish by nature, and our selfishness is very apt to stick to us, even when we are converted. There is a tendency in us to think only of our own souls, our own spiritual conflicts, our own progress in religion — and to forget others. Against this tendency, we all have need to watch and strive, and not the least in our prayers. We should study to be of a public spirit. We should stir ourselves up to name other names besides our own before the throne of grace. This is the highest charity. He loves me best — who loves me in his prayers.

 

This is for our soul’s health. It enlarges our sympathies and expands our hearts. This is for the benefit of the church. The wheels of all machinery for extending the gospel are moved by prayer. They do as much for the Lord’s cause who intercede like Moses on the mount, as they who fight like Joshua in the thick of the battle. This is to be like Christ. He bears the names of his people, as their High Priest, before the Father. Oh, the privilege of being like Jesus!


Prayer requests

 

Please pray for

Our brothers in the band as they compete at the Pipes and Drums Festival tomorrow (Dec 1) at West Coast Park. Pray also for fine weather. (And support them with your presence if you can.)

Our mission team which will depart for Bangkok on Sunday (Dec 2) — for journey mercies and that the Lord bless their service richly.

The ongoing BBSG — that the Lord be glorified as the BB serves the community.


Psalm 51

 

When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

A broken and contrite heart is the mark of all God’s children. Read about it at http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/a-broken-and-contrite-heart-god-will-not-despise


Thankful

 

http://skitguys.com/videos/item/thankful1

 


The skinny on prayer

 

http://skitguys.com/videos/item/the-skinny-on-prayer

 


Psalm 63

 

 

1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

 

David in the Wilderness

There was a time when David was king and a fugitive from his own land and forced to flee to the desert, namely, the time when his son Absalom rebelled and tried to overthrow his father’s throne. According to 2 Samuel 15:23 David fled the city, crossed the brook Kidron, and went into the wilderness. This is probably the experience behind the psalm.

 

“O God, Thou Art My God”

When David says, “O God, thou art my God,” he reasserts the rock under the quicksand of his own emotions. When he cries, “O God, thou art my God!” he doesn’t mean that he is always lifted above the pangs of soul-thirst. When he says, “O God, thou art my God,” he means at least these two things:

  1. When he thirsts, he will seek to slake his thirst on God alone and not on anything else: “O God, thou art my God.”
  2. And he means that when he seeks his God, God will be there and meet his need. “O God, thou art my God!”

 

Are You Like David?

Are you like David this morning? When you are driven into the wilderness by tragic and painful circumstances and you begin to suck for air in the quicksand of your own emotions, can you cry out among the jackals and the snakes, “O God, thou art my God!”? The covenant stands! There is a rock beneath and it will rise in time.

 

The Essence of True Worship

Even though worship does involve expressions of thankfulness to God for his gifts, this is not the essence of true worship. In fact there is a gratitude to God for his gifts that has no true worship in it at all. In other words there are people who love their health and family and job and hobbies, and thank God for them often, but don’t love God. They don’t savor God. And when God is not savored for the sweetness and excellence of who he is, he is not worshiped.

 

Desiring God More Than Life Itself

David makes this plain by the way he expresses his longings in verses 1 and 3. In verse 1 he says, “O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee.” This is not primarily a thirst for any of God’s gifts. It is a thirst for God. David has a heart for God. He has a taste for fellowship with God.

He makes this even more explicit in verse 3: “Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee.” This means that David wanted God more than he wanted life. And if you want God more than you want life, then you want God more than you want all the joys of this life—family, health, food, friendship, sexual relations, job-satisfaction, productivity, books, skateboards, computers, music, homes, sunsets, fall colors. When David says that the love of God is better than life and therefore better than all the beauty that life means, he is not denying that all these good things come from the love of God. He is warning us, rather, that if our hearts settle (even gratefully!) on the beauty of the gift and do not yearn for the infinitely greater beauty of the Giver, then we are idolaters and not worshippers of God.

 

Why We Need the Wilderness

I wonder whether this is why we cannot do without the wilderness experiences life. If all of life were a paradise, as so many people think it should be and as so many try to make it, then would we not much more often become addicted to savoring the gifts of God rather than God? Surely that is why Jesus said it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. And surely that is why he takes his loved ones again and again through the desert fires. He would disenchant us with the world and give us a taste for eternity.

And don’t think it came easy for David to give up the gifts of God. Not many days hence the rebellion in Jerusalem will be quelled, and Absalom dead with the darts of Joab, and David in his chamber crying, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son” (2 Samuel 18:33).

The wilderness is the way of God to wean us from the most precious things in the world. And those who savor the vision of God know that his love is better than all that this life can give.

 

Taken from the sermon “Your Love is Better Than Life” by John Piper. Listen or read his entire sermon at http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/your-love-is-better-than-life


Confidence in prayer