Praying the Psalms ~ The King of Glory

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord , strong and mighty,
the Lord , mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory!

[Psalms 24:7‭-‬10 ESV]

Oh, who is not guilty of glory-stealing? We all are. We all seek to satisfy good ole number 1 — ourselves. That is why I am always convicted when I read these verses from Psalm 24. But God, the King of Glory is worthy; Him and Him alone. Just reflect and meditate on what God has done through Jesus Christ and you will soon be reminded of why He is called, the King of Glory. Let us pray…

Oh to praise You, oh Lord.
Oh to sing of Your mighty name.
For Your name is glorious,
Your name is Life.
You have lifted me up from the miry bog of sin and have rescued me from the clutches of the Deceiver.
You have sealed me with Your Spirit and marked me for Life.
You have claimed for me an inheritance through Christ Jesus my Savior.
You have shielded me from my enemies; placing a guard over my soul.
You reign victorious and thus Your title, “the King of Glory”
But I confess that at times I have sought my own glory. I confess that at times I have tried to make it about me.
Oh God, King of Glory, I confess and repent. Forgive me.
I open the gates of my heart that You may enter in.
You are my King.
You are the Creator.
You are the Mighty One.
You are the Lord of hosts.
There are none that can compare with You; none that can stand against You.
There are none beside You who is worthy of worship.
You are the King of Glory.
Oh Lord, my God, the Lord of hosts,
To You I lift up my head and praise You.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

Shamelessly Persistent

The following is the opening prayer for the sermon I am preaching on Sunday, July 28. The text is Luke 11:1-13; Jesus teaching the Lord’s Prayer and the story of the persistent friend. To God be the glory. Let us pray…

Good things. That’s what we want, oh God, is good things. But too often those good things that we desire are only for our comfort and peace; for self-glorification. We want healing. We want stuff. We want notoriety. We ask and ask and ask some more. Maybe we even recruit others to ask on our behalf, because, after all, the more who are praying the better our chances. But that’s not how it works. Convict our hearts of this error, oh God. Give us understanding. Give us intimacy. Give us Your good gifts. We ask but we are too short-sighted. We long for something and become idolatrous. Forgive us, oh God, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Give us your good gifts. Through faith in Jesus Christ, may we long for the gift that only You can give. And thus, may we be shamelessly persistent in our prayer for the good gift of You. Now may the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, oh God, our rock and Redeemer. Amen.

Oh God, You are Lord of All

[Inspired by Job 38-42]

Holy God; Creator and Father, Lord of all,
The depths of Your being is beyond comprehension.
There is no limit to Your knowledge.
Your strength and power is unmatched.
Your authority is absolute; even the waves and the waters obey you, and creatures without understanding know their prescribed limits. You have set everything in motion and You sustain all that You have made.
Oh God, You are Lord of all.
You know the deepest recesses of the earth – nothing is hidden from You.
You know the secrets of all living things – You breathed the breath of life.
Your providence is unmatched in all the world – only from You do we have our sustenance.
Oh God, You are Lord of all.
Darkness is not dark to You for You are the Light, and nothing can overcome You. The most heinous of evil is no match for Your power and rule; for it has already been overcome. Actually, it never had a chance. You are King and sovereign.
Oh God, You are Lord of all.
You are the source of all wisdom – You are omniscient.
You are the source of love – You are love.
You are the source of all morality – everything is judged by You.
Oh God, You are Lord of all.
You are filled with majesty and honor – clothed with splendor unmatched.
You are enthroned on high – King of all creation.
You and You alone are worthy all all praise and worship.
Oh God, You are Lord of all.
Who am I to question You – to doubt Your actions?
Who am I to make suggestions – to dare tell You what to do?
Who am I to resist Your commands – to disobey, to act contrary to Your will.
I am but a worm in Your presence; nothing but clay molded by You; a creature without understanding.
In all my ways and words, I despise myself and repent. For the sake of Jesus Christ forgive me, heal me, remake me, mold me.
Oh God, You are Lord of all.

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 27:1-6

Psalm 27 is the Psalm reading for worship this Sunday (July 21). As I read and meditated on it, I wrote this prayer for the first 6 verses. Adversaries will always oppose you if you follow God through Christ Jesus our Lord, but let them oppose, for God is your defender. Let us pray…

Oh God,
the Light of my life;
You are my salvation and my hope.
You are my strong fortress – a shield about me.
You are my hedge of protection – a guard for my life.
You are a mighty warrior – none can overcome.
You are victorious and You are for me.
Therefore, oh God, whom shall I fear? Why shall I be afraid?
What can overcome me?
Who can bring me down?
Adversaries oppose me; they oppose Your Church, but they shall not prevail.
They strike me on the left and the right; in front and behind,
but when they fight against me, it is You they oppose; for You are my God and my Defender.
They will be spin their wheels and gain no ground against You.
I am at peace as adversaries make war against me and Your Church;
for You have overcome them all.
Oh God, I hide in You.
I long to gaze at Your beauty and to know You better.
I long to dwell in Your temple; my home, to worship You without end.
I long to sing Your praises with the hosts of heaven as You lift me above my adversaries.
You are my salvation – my hope, and thus I do not fear.
Victory is Yours.
I am Yours.
And thus I will sing my praises to You,
here on earth and in Your courts forever.
Alleluia and Amen!

Overflow

This is part of the Holy Communion liturgy that I wrote based on the preaching text, Luke 10:25-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan…

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God through Christ Jesus our Lord. For through Jesus’ death and resurrection, You have shown mercy and compassion to an unclean, sinful and lost people. You did not pass us by, but You have bandaged our wounds of sin and have brought healing to our souls. You have given us a home for which we long. You have given us hope. May our hearts be filled with Your love, so much so, that it overflows into acts of compassion and mercy to our neighbor; as we walk humbly with You. And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven we join in singing Your unending praise…

Preaching Preparation Prayer

Holy God, Your Word is truth. Your Word is Life. Your Word is living and active. Your Word speaks to the heart and inflames the soul. Oh God, speak to us this morning through Your Word and through the words that I speak. May this not be a self-glorifying speech but a faithful proclamation of Your Word; for I am not a good speaker, preacher or writer therefore if this were left up to me I would surely bring it all to ruin. And so, I beg of You to send now Your Holy Spirit, not just to guide me but to open our hearts to receive this Word, for Your Word is truth. Your Word is Life. To You be the glory now and forever. Amen.

Evening Peace

You gather me in as a hen sheltering her brood under her loving wings.
You protect my life as a brave and fierce guard taking his post on the city wall.
You watch over me as loyal shepherd keeping watch over his sheep for the hungry wolves.
You hold me close as a nursing mother longingly gazing at her sleeping child.
Oh God, I will sleep in peace this night for You are with me. I commend myself to You. I am Yours. Amen.