Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"A Guide to Prayer"

When it comes to praying, I'm an irritant to myself. I remind myself to pray, and sometimes, I even remember to pray. One thing I do know is that when I focus on praying according to a program, I pray more, and my prayers mean more. I also tend to pray more often. Seeing something will remind me to pray.
I want to ask you to join me in prayer for the next several days.
I'm using something the Methodists published some time ago, it's called "A Guide to Prayer" and the publishing house is The Upper Room. It follows a liturgy and is intended for minister to use in the spiritual development of themselves. I find this book very useful when I remember to pick it up and use it :)
Here's what you do:
1. Speak an invocational prayer
2. Read a Psalm
3. Read a scripture selection
4. Read some reflective devotional material (supplied in the book).
5. Pray for the church, others, and yourself
6. Reflect on the scriptures you've read, silently, and write down your thoughts.
7. Sing a hymn
8. Pray a benediction.

The week begins on Monday, and runs to Sunday. you use Sunday to figure out where you are on this calendar. This week is Devo #33: "Christian Maturity"

Psalm is 84

Scripture reading for
Monday : Luke 18:18-30.
Tuesday : Galatians 5:16-24.
Wednesday : Philippians 2:12-18
Thursday : 1 Timothy 4:6-16
Friday : 2 Timothy 2:1-13
Saturday : 1 John 4
Sunday : 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27; Psalms 46; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17; Mark 4:26-34

Here's the Psalm:

84:1 How lovely is your dwelling place,

O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!
Selah

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Selah

9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

 From this Psalm, comes this song:

Psalms were meant to be heard as song. While incomplete, it's a good effort I think.

My goal, over the next week, is to continue this devotional and prayer book, and to do it for the week after that, etc.
I would also like you to join me in prayer, in the contemplation of Psalm 84, and in the application of scripture to the here and now.
If you would like to share insight, please do!
Tomorrow I will post some thoughts on the Scripture for the day.
My goal will be to pray and blog each day about this series of scriptures. Keep writing. Just keep writing...

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