Saturday, December 27, 2008

January Newsletter Article

Here is a sneak preview of the January article for the church newsletter. After visiting the blog today and realizing I still had not posted the article for December. While I hope this series has been helpful to others, I know that it has been edifying for me to think through how important Scripture is to the whole of my own life, in addition to its obvious importance to the life of the church as we gather to worship.

The Word in Worship:

Pray the Bible (continued)

If you read last month’s article and wondered how to use more Scripture in your prayers, I wanted to write this month’s article to assist you further. First, John Piper has written a brief, wonderful article, “Tips for Praying the Word,” which I would direct you to as a good method for praying Scripture.

In addition, I thought it might be useful to see an example of praying the Bible using the 23rd Psalm. Since I often become distracted in my prayer, I sometimes use the A.C.T.S. approach to assist me in praying fervently and purposefully. This acronym stands for “Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication” (supplication is offering specific prayer requests to God for others and yourself). Let us see how the 23rd Psalm might be used for each of these purposes of prayer.

Adoration: “Father, You are the Great Shepherd. You are faithful to guide me and restore my soul. I long to dwell in Your house forever, because I long to be with You. Because I have You as my Shepherd, I have all I could ever want.”

Confession: “Father, forgive me for worrying and fearing at times, since I lose sight of the fact that You are with me. Forgive me for veering off as You lead me in paths of righteousness. When I go off course from Your leading, give me a heart that is quick to repent.”

Thanksgiving: “Father, I have so much for which to be thankful. You have restored my soul time and again. When I walk through valleys, thank You for being my comfort, and thank You for protecting me with Your rod and bringing me back with Your staff.”

Supplication: “Father, just as You guide me personally, I pray that You’ll guide our church. Lead us to do things that are right, and help us not to fear even economic valley. Also, please save my lost family members, so that they may have You as their Shepherd.”

I pray this was helpful to you. May God bless us as a church and as individual believers as we pray in accordance with His Word.

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