Archive for August, 2013

Praying through the Bible #82 – 1 Samuel 1 – A Prayer of Emptiness and Dedication

Friday, August 30th, 2013

There is an emptiness that consumes. When this emptiness is God absent, we can hunger and thirst after righteousness and be filled. When an unhealthy emptiness is like a black hole, it swallows everything around it into non-existence. Sometimes the pressure is self-inflicted, at times forced on us by family; even society can be guilty […]

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Praying through the Bible #81 – Ruth 1:16-17 – A Prayer that is a Family Promise

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Did you hear the joke about the mother-in-law? Apparently, neither did Ruth. In the little book bearing her name, there are no recorded prayers; but there is a prayer-like promise invoking God’s name. The story of Ruth is not about Ruth. The focus is not a love story between the progenitors of David, Ruth and […]

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Praying through the Bible #80 – Judges 21 – A Prayer that is Ignored

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Does God ever ignore prayers? Get ready to shake your head in disbelief at how quickly stupidity catches up to those living a repeating cycle of self-made idiocy by doing what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21.25). Righteousness and rage, vengeance and vows make for unpredictable results and unthought-of realities. Israel is rightfully […]

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Praying through the Bible #79 – Judges 19-20 – A Prayer of Mutual Destruction

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

In the 70’s, the United States and the Soviet Union got MAD. They formed a treaty of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). Armed with nuclear weapons, each nation could completely destroy the other. In war, there would be no victory, no peace, just retaliation and annihilation. Oddly, the goal was peace. Oddly, this reminds me of […]

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Praying through the Bible #78 – Judges 17-18 – A Prayer that Seemed Right

Monday, August 26th, 2013

The story begins in Ephraim where Micah steals 1,100 silver pieces from his mother, confesses, she praises him, then gives him back the silver, consecrates it to God, and together they make an idol. Then the son installs his non-Levite son as priest (Judges 17.1-5). It seemed like the right thing to do. Understand, this […]

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Praying through the Bible #77 – Judges 16 – A Prayer for Lost Strength

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

It is fitting Samson is a man who tells riddles (Judges 14.14), because his life is a riddle. Called a man of faith (Hb 11.32), he does not lead armies, dispense wisdom, or lead by example. The one faithful act that applies to this manly conundrum is, “gained strength after being weak” (Hb 11.34). Before […]

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Praying through the Bible #76 – Judges 15 – A Prayer of “You Owe Me God”

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Samson’s prayer begins by acknowledging God’s strength, but seems self-serving in the end. “You have accomplished this great victory through Your servant. Must I now die of thirst…?” (Judges 15:18). Sounds like, “God you owe me!” Samson’s life is filled with seemingly bad decisions involving women, leading to revenge on his enemies. When divinely empowered, […]

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Praying through the Bible #75 – Judges 13 – A Prayer for Every Parent

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

“Please Lord, let the man of God you sent come again to us and teach us what we should do for the boy who will be born” (Judges 13.8). That is the prayer of Manoah, concerning his unborn son. That must be the prayer of all parents. When the “man of God” comes again, Manoah […]

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Praying through the Bible #74 – Judges 11:29-40 – A Prayer that Loses a Child

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Every parent’s greatest fear is losing their children. Some lose them spiritually, which is the greatest heartache. Others lose them emotionally, when a distant grows between them. Some even lose them physically, leaving a hole forever in their lives. Whether innocent or guilty, there is a gnawing agony of remorse and the haunting question, “what […]

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Praying through the Bible #73 – Judges 10:6-16 – A Prayer of Tough Love

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Love is tough, and tough love is hopeful. Israel falls into the same pattern again: sin, suffering, supplication, and salvation…except this time God says no. Sin brings suffering. “Then the Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD” (Judges 10.6). Evil is defined by breaking the first commandment, and Israel breaks […]

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