And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'?" (Mark 11:17)Having entered Jerusalem toward the end of his earthly ministry,Jesus proceeded to the Temple and began driving out those who were buying and selling there.In this context, Jesus quoted Isaiah 56:7, a prophecy thatthe latter-day te...Keep Reading
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Sheep wander the lowland darkness, nibbling at the hardwoods that grow among the bogs and the burnt hollows. An impossible ridge separates them from green meadows, azure pools, and the golden throne of God, and the flock knows it not. Wolves also wander there. And we, the sheep, follow in their wolvery....
King David had enemies who wanted to kill him. He poured out his heart in this song, the first of seven penitential psalms, and though I am not a warrior with adversaries in pursuit, I know what it is like to be grievously misunderstood. At night, while trying in vain to sleep, the unfairness of it all brings copious tears, prompts twisting of the sheets and grappling with pillows....
David starts out this psalm on a high note. He doesn’t muddle around with eyes downcast as he considers his failures and those of his people. Per the Living Translation, “O what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven; whose sin is put out of sight!” (vv.1-2) Wow, talk about skipping straight to dessert......
"I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason...Keep Reading
The house of my soul is too small, O Lord, for you to enter.---Make it more spacious by your coming.It lies in ruins.---Rebuild it, O Lord.Some things are to be found here which will offend your gaze.---I confess this to be so and know it well.But who will clean my house?---To whom but Yourself can I cry?Cleanse me of my hidden sins, O Lord, and restore in me a clean heart...Keep Reading
Do we enter into the deep distresses of our hearts when we pray? Or do we hang back emotionally, bringing requests to the Lord from a dutiful distance?...Keep Reading
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, taught the following prayer, known as the "Covenant Prayer." This prayer is a great example of the kind of "riffing" on the Lord's Prayer we talked about Sunday, touching on many of the same themes. Take a moment to look for the connections. May this prayer encourage you as you pray to our Father this week.I am no longer my own, but y...Keep Reading
This Sunday we begin our new series on prayer by looking at the Lord’s Prayer....Keep Reading
Psalm 130 (ESV)1Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!2 O Lord, hear my voice!Let your ears be attentiveto the voice of my pleas for mercy!3If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,O Lord, who could stand?4But with you there is forgiveness,that you may be feared.It's said that physical maturing is one long separation process. From the very moment a baby is born, it begins l...Keep Reading
Psalm 102:2, 1112 (ESV)Do not hide your face from mein the day of my distress!My days are like an evening shadow;I wither away like grass.But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever;you are remembered throughout allgenerations.Lent is a solemn time of fasting, reflection, and preparation. It is appropriate to reflect on where we need hope in our lives. Our planet is in distress...Keep Reading
Psalm 51: 1-2, 10, 12"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit."Sinour inevitable y...Keep Reading