The Doxology

As the Lord’s Prayer ends, we are taught to say “Amen”. Amen means, yes, it shall be so. When asked by the disciples about how to pray, Jesus said, When you pray, say… He gave us the words and thus it makes sense that God is pleased with the words we pray. It is like a teacher giving you the answers to the quiz. It behooves you to use them. Here, in this prayer, we can be confident that we will get that for which we pray. So when you pray, say with confidence: Amen!

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How should I pray?
You have given us the words;
words pleasing to You,
so we know we’ll be heard.

For You’re our Father,
Holy are You.
Your kingdom is coming.
Your glory is due.

And what do you want?
Our hearts to believe;
Satan’s schemes to be defeated;
Your Word to be received.

You’re the Great Provider.
The Forgiver of my sins.
May I forgive others,
and when tempted may I win.

And now I have the words,
to lay at Your feet,
pleasing to Your ears,
perfect and complete.

Yours is the kingdom,
the power and the glory.
Yes, it shall be so,
for I am in Your story.

Deliver Us From Evil

This series of poems exploring the Lord’s Prayer has been a valuable devotional exercise for me – I hope it has been for you too. If you want to recap any of these, simply go to “Categories” on the bottom of the right sidebar of this page and scroll down to “Praying the Lord’s Prayer”. I know I will be reviewing these from time to time.

Now, for this second to last installment – Deliver us from evil. Here, at the end of this prayer, we are praying for deliverance from bodily evil/harm and from the Evil One. On that Last Day, we ask to be saved from this evil world and delivered to God to abide with Him forever. Praise be to God that we have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Deliver me, oh God, from all evil.
Save me from all harm.
Help me,
Strengthen me,
Shield me with Your arms.

Satan never tires of his prowl.
He’s always seeking.
Looking,
Watching,
As a lion sneaking.

I am not strong enough to fight the fight.
I am very weak.
Overpowered,
Overwhelmed,
I am very meek.

Jesus Christ is my victorious king,
He saved me by grace.
Amazing
And awesome
My sins he erased.

Oh Lord, show me Your mercy on that Day.
Take me to Your side.
Mercifully
Lovingly
With You to abide.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

As a Christian, simply claiming, “the devil made me do it“, to justify a sin is never a defense. We are sinners, plain and simple, and thus we are guilty of disobedience. Satan, the father of lies, is the master deceiver and he will be judged and condemned. For the Christian, our only hope is Jesus. He saves us from our sins, but in this life now, we still must be alert and fight the battle of temptation. Praise be to God that there is forgiveness through faith in Christ. In the meantime, fight, but know that you do not fight alone.

God,
Father,
Lord,
I am weak.
I am a sinner and thus it’s You I seek.
Satan is the father of lies,
He deceives and leads away.
He does this without fail,
Every single day.
I give in,
Even though I know Your way.
THIS I do every single day.
Going astray,
Oh, how I disobey.
I do what I do not want to do.
I don’t do as I should.
I don’t listen as I ought,
Oh how I wish I understood.
Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life.
Your Way is wholly right.
Oh God, I want to walk the straight and narrow,
For Jesus is my great delight.
I know that you don’t lead me into temptation,
That falls to the father of lies.
So help me, Lord and Savior,
For I do not want to die.
And so I cry out to you,
For I am helpless and weak.
Without You, oh Lord my God,
My outlook would be very bleak.
Lead me,
Guide me,
Show me Your way.
This I ask that You do,
Please, Lord, every single day.

Amazing Forgiveness

God’s forgiveness of our sins is amazing when you consider what we deserve. We deserve death and condemnation, but through faith in Christ there is forgiveness. Wow! But to go about one’s life, refusing to forgive others means you really don’t understand God’s forgiveness of your own sins. That’s why clear, consistent and frequent Gospel proclamations are so necessary, lest we forget what God has really done through Jesus Christ. With that, I present the following poem. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…

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The command is given
The sign is clear
Do not do this
and do not go amiss.

But yet I disobey
I just ignore
I disregard
the command I discard.

And now I deserve wrath
from God my Lord
I’ve disobeyed
For it’s God I’ve betrayed.

Punishment is certain
for my trespass
I deserve it
for that I must admit.

Oh God, please forgive me
in Jesus name
for my trespass
would Your wrath please surpass.

Your grace is amazing
Your love complete
my soul You’ve spared
even though I have erred.

So now may I forgive
and show much grace
as You have done
to show how You have won.

Oh God You’re amazing
Me a sinner
Jesus my King
Oh God, what a nice ring.

Daily Bread

When praying for “daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer, we are not just praying for some good sourdough for supper (or dinner depending where you live). Daily bread is so much more than what we often think about. Martin Luther, in his explanation in the Small Catechism, offers a list of things included. To probe the depths of this petition requires more than a short post, but hopefully the following poem will begin to help you think more deeply about this petition when you pray, Give us this day our daily bread...

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Give me this day my daily bread.
All that I need to live each day.
You’re my Provider and my God,
Putting Your glory on display.

Food and water and air I breathe.
Home and clothing and family.
Work and income and friends with me.
All these blessings come happily.

But there is more than what I see,
Your holy gifts are more complete.
Your grace extends beyond my eyes.
Your blessings just can not be beat.

What I need is Jesus my Lord,
the true and only living bread.
Without this awesome grace from You,
I would most certainly be dead.

But this bread is not mine alone.
You bless that I may give and give.
Turn my heart to see more than me.
Oh God, my greed, oh please forgive.

So may I see Your holy gifts;
returning to You praise that’s due.
Without this holy bread each day,
My days would certainly be few.

Thy Will be Done

What is God’s will? What does God want? That is the age-old question that many people ask concerning their lives, but often the question is asked in selfish terms. Is it God’s will for me to get this job? Is it God’s will for my kids to get into Harvard? Is it God’s will for this cancer to be healed? I have no doubt that God has plans concerning those questions, but we need to ask another question. What is God’s will – for God’s glory? Ultimately, that’s what we are praying when we pray the 3rd petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done“. It is not about our will; what we want. The following poem begins to address this petition of what God wants.

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God’s will is God’s will,
and it happens without my effort.
No strength or plans of mine,
will be able to change or subvert.

God’s rule is mighty,
and His wisdom is perfect and pure.
God’s will is complete,
no one will be able to detour.

So what is God’s will?
What is the desire of His heart?
To keep His name holy,
and from Him to never be apart.

He defeats all His foes;
everyone who would oppose His reign.
God our loving Father,
longs to keep us firm in Jesus name.

So this I ask of God,
that God’s will be my hearts request,
keep me and protect me,
for in His Word I am truly blessed.

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.