Praying Through God's Word: Deuteronomy
Lord, You call us with Your challenge. You call us to make our choice. We are to put the past behind us. We are to press on into the future - with You and for You. We hesitate - and we end up doing nothing. Help us, Lord, to turn from our self-centred ways. Help us to walk with You in Your way - the way of faith, the way of obedience.
We thank You, Lord, that You are greater than all our problems. As we look back on the way You've led us, help us to say, "Grace brought me safe this far." As we look to You to lead us into the future, help us to say, "Grace will lead me home." Thank You, Lord for Your "amazing grace."
Sometimes, Lord, Your blessing seems to be "so near and yet so far." Help us, Lord, as we seek Your blessing, to remember that it is never our own achievement. It is always Your gift to us. We do not achieve victory in our own strength. You give to us Your victory. When, Lord, we feel like we are in a barren wilderness, help us to remember that the place of testing can become the place of triumph - when we put our trust in You.
Lord, You have saved us. Help us to serve You. In all our service, may we never forget Your salvation. May we always serve You with "the attitude of gratitude."
We thank You, Lord, for the Scriptures. They lead us to our Saviour - Jesus. The Scriptures speak to us of His suffering and our salvation. When we think of all that Jesus has done for us, may we receive, from You, the spirit of thanksgiving - joyful thanksgiving, heartfelt thanksgiving.
Lord, we are called to fear You - and to love You. We tend to think that fear and love are opposites. You teach us something else, something very different. Fear and love belong together. You are the holy God, the God who cannot look upon our sin (Habakkuk 1:13). We fear You. You show us our sin so that we might be brought to Jesus, our Saviour. We come to Jesus. We learn how much You love us - and we begin to love You.
Lord, living for You is not easy. We have a fight on our hands. Satan is a determined enemy. Help us to remember that He's also a defeated enemy. When the battle seems to be getting too much for us, help us to remember that we are "kept by the power of God" (1 Peter 1:3-5).
We thank You, Lord, that "we do not live by bread alone" (Deuteronomy 8:3). We need bread for the body. We also need Jesus, the Bread of Life (John 6:35). Help us, Lord, not to become too easily satisfied by the things of this world. Help us never to forget that we need Jesus. Without Him, there will always be something missing. With Him, there will be a new - eternal - sense of meaning, purpose and direction.
Help us, Lord, to listen to You and live for You, to speak to You and speak for You. Help us to receive from You and respond to You. Help us not to get caught up in the "What do I get out of it?" way of thinking. Help us to ask the more important question: "How can I give myself more fully to You, Lord?"
Lord, You give us Your promises and Your warnings. You show us the better way - and You say to us, "Make sure that You don't go back to the old way of living, back to the world's way of living, back to the way of life that will never satisfy."
Who chooses what is important to us? Is it You, Lord? or Are we the ones who are in control? Help us, Lord, not to pay lip-service to You - without really opening our hearts to You and giving You first place in our lives.
Lord, You are the God of love. You are also the God of holiness. We like to hear about Your love. It makes us feel good. We're not so keen on hearing about Your holiness. You are the holy God. You are the God who calls us to be holy. Help us, Lord, not to be content with the half-truth, contained in the words, "All you need is love." We do need love - but we also need holiness. Help us to "strive ... for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).
Lord, You call us to belong to You. This is wonderful. It makes our hearts glad. You also call us to serve You. We're not to remain what we were before we became Your redeemed people. We're to be renewed - "beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Lord, we celebrate Your love. We rejoice in Your salvation. Your love is a dying love. We see Your love in the death of Jesus, our Saviour. It's also an undying love. It's the only love that never dies. It never comes to an end. It's eternal love, shown to us in the sacrificial death of "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
Help us, Lord, to be obedient to Your Word. Help us, in our obedience, to remain humble. How can we possibly bring glory yo You if we're thinking about how obedient we are when we should be rejoicing in the great love by which You have saved us and the great power by which You keep us walking in the way of faith? Even when we're pressing on to a closer walk with You, help us never to forget this: "Who is a God like You, forgiving sin ... " (Micah 7:18-20).
By Your grace, Lord, You call us to be Your soldiers and servants. Help us not to be "fearful and fainthearted" (Deuteronomy 19:19). Help us to be "good soldiers of Jesus Christ" (2 Timothy 2:3). When we hear your challenging question: "Who is on the Lord's side?", may we give our committed answer: "By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine, we are on the Lord's side; Saviour, we are Thine."
We thank You, Lord, for Your amazing love - "while we were Your enemies we were reconciled to You by the death of Your Son" (Romans 5:10); "Once we were no people but now we are Your people; once we had not received mercy but now we have received mercy" (1 Peter 2:10).
Help us, Lord, to be caring people. Where does this love for one another come from? It comes from Your love for us. Where there is a growing appreciation of Your love for us, there will be an increasing commitment to sharing Your love with others. Help us to love people without loving the ways of those who "live as enemies of the Cross of Christ" (Philippians 3:18). May our love for them be a true expression of Your love for them. May it call them to return to You, to be forgiven by You, to make a new beginning with You.
Show us, Lord, what we really are - without You. Make us, more truly and more fully, what You want us to become - by Your saving grace. Fill us with Your holiness - and fill us with Your love. You've lifted us out of our sin and into Your salvation. This is Your doing. It's not our own achievement. we're called to be Your holy people - but we dare not imagine that we're better than everyone else. We're set apart for You - but we must never forget that we'll never be anything more than sinners, saved by Your grace. Your love has reached. Your love changes us. Make us more like Jesus - walking with You on the pathway of holiness and reaching out, in love, to others, inviting them to receive the Saviour's love and respond to His call: "Follow Me" (Matthew 4:19).
We thank You, Lord, that You love us. We thank You that You have done great things for us. We think of Your great love. We think of all that You have done for us - and we say, "To God be the glory."
Lord, You have saved us. You call us, now, to live in obedience to Your Word. Teach us Your way, Lord, and help us to walk in it. May the light of Your love shine upon us. May Your love for us fill us with more love for You.
Lord, You speak to us Your Word of warning - and Your promise of blessing. You call us back from the way of disobedience - and on to the pathway of obedience and blessing. Where does the blessing come from? Does it come from our obedience? No! It comes from Your love. It comes from Your promise. Your love reaches us in our sin. Your blessing increases in us as we learn to turn from our sin and give You first place in our lives.
Why, Lord, do You speak to us the Word of warning and the promise of blessing? There is a good way to which we must turn - and there's also a bad way from which we turn. How can we really appreciate and embrace the good way if we do not see the clear contrast between the good way and the bad way? Help us, Lord, to choose the good way - to choose Jesus, who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6).
Lord, Your Word speaks to us about the "secret things" and "the things that are revealed" (Deuteronomy 29:29). There are some "things" that we will never understand. These "things" belong to You, Lord. Help us to focus our attention on "the things that are revealed", the teaching that comes to us from "the holy Scriptures", the Gospel which brings us to Jesus, our Saviour - calling us to put our faith in Him and live in obedience to Him (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
Lord, You are not a god who keeps his distance from us. You are not a god who keeps his silence.You come near to us. You speak Your Word to us (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). How do we know that You are near to us? How do we know that You speak Your Word to us? Jesus is "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). He is "the Word made flesh" (John 1:14). Thank You for Jesus - He comes near to us and He speaks to us. Help us, Lord, to treasure His presence and to respond to His Word.
We sing to You, Lord. We sing our song of praise. It's the song of Your salvation. It's the song that gives glory to You. May our song of praise be more than words. May it be the song that arises from our hearts. May it be the song that comes from lives that are being transformed by Your grace.
Lord, You speak to us the Word of condemnation. You tell us that we are "a perverse generation" You tell us that "You will hide Your face from us" (Deuteronomy 32:20). You also speak to us the Word of compassion - "The Lord will ... have compassion on His servants, when He sees their power is gone" (Deuteronomy 32:26). Help us, Lord, to hear the Word of condemnation - to know that "our power has gone", so that we can hear the Word of compassion, the Word that comes to us in our weakness, the Word that brings us into Your strength - "a new creation in Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We thank You, Lord, that You are "the eternal God." You are "our Refuge." You hold us in Your "everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27). This doesn't mean that life will be easy for us - but it does mean that You will be with us -whatever happens, and You'll never let us down. You'll always be there for us. You are "for us" - whatever problems we may have to face, may we learn to say, with triumphant faith, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).