Daily D – Romans 15:13
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ROMANS 13:13 (NLT)
The 4-H Pledge says:
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
This organization was prominent in the agricultural community where I grew up. I attended one of their awards events with a friend when I was in high school. At one point, another friend of mine was on the program to lead in prayer. He was a good guy, a pleasant and likable young man. However, I do not think he had much prayer experience. He stumbled around in search of coherent thought for a bit and then stopped talking. After an uncomfortable pause, most of us looked up to see what was going on. My friend looked at everyone and said, “That’s it!”
There was no, “In Jesus’ name.” There was no, “Amen.” There was only, “That’s it!”
His mother, one of my sixth-grade teachers who was a rather fastidious soul, was likely uncomfortable with her son’s effort. Uncomfortable may not be the word. What is more uncomfortable than uncomfortable? Whatever it is, that is what she was most likely feeling.
Sitting in my comfortable chair forty years after this event provides me with the kind of distance from which I can look down my nose at my friend’s effort if I so choose. However, I have been there, done something like that myself on more than one occasion.
There were times I prayed to impress people with what I said or how I said it. There were times I was at a complete loss of what to say or how to say it. Even today, there are moments when I struggle with public prayer. How about you?
Private prayer is a deeply ingrained habit. It grows richer with the years. It is an unending conversation uninterrupted by unnecessary Amens. Put me on the spot in a crowded room, however, and I have a tough time moving from private prayer intimacy to public prayer propriety.
I have learned a helpful practice to help in cases like this. I memorize Bible prayers and use them as prayer guides. What is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer in Matt. 6:9-13 is one I return to again and again. I do not pray it verbatim. However, I use it to shape what I want to say and how I say it.
Another Bible prayer I use is Psalm 23. These words contain truth every ear needs to hear and every heart needs to feel.
Today’s text, Rom. 15:13, is another I will memorize. This benediction, this blessing, is the kind of prayer that straightens weakened spines. It encourages wavering hearts. It strengthens weary hands. This prayer reminds us to live in the overflow of God’s gracious goodness to us. We can “overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Someone needs to hear that from you today.
Someday you and I will be called on to pray when we are not ready to pray publicly. We can get ready in an instant by taking a Bible prayer and allowing it to shape our own. As saints of old liked to say, “When we pray God’s word, we pray God’s will.” What better to pray than a prayer that we know was heard and answered when it was prayed and preserved for such a time as this?
I will turn Bible prayers into personal and public prayer guides.
Our Father, teach me to pray. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.