Into the Holy Place

Today is Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

Day 22,251

Spring Training begins tomorrow!!!!

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”
Ken Olsen, President, Digital Equipment, stated in 1977

The word of the day is marvy. It means, “marvelous; delightful.”

I wound up having a brief conversation with my mother yesterday morning, so I didn’t call last night. Plus, we were looking at possible vacation plans last night. We haven’t nailed anything down, just yet. We had talked about going to Memphis/Nashville, as I have never had any kind of leisure trip to either place. I would love to see the Sun Studios, and, hey, I might as well be able to say I’ve been to Graceland, right? Plus what musician wouldn’t want to see Nashville just once, right? I have been there, but it was for a college trip when the ETSU Trombone Choir attended the International Trombone Workshop at Peabody College. There wasn’t much time for sight-seeing, plus we didn’t have any transportation to get around the city.

Nothing else much going on, so on to the devotions.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.
Psalm 52:9

Today I am grateful:
1. For the bond that exists between the people of God, especially in our local church group.
2. For examples of prayer in the Bible.
3. For Jesus’s model prayer.
4. For the Ten Commandments.
5. For Martin Luther’s suggestions on prayer.

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not fall.

(The Book of Common Prayer, Psalm 16:7-8)

So, how did I do yesterday? The topic of yesterday’s devotion was listening to God. I have to confess that I didn’t do all that great on it. There was one moment where I felt the prompting to ask a fellow associate how her dog was doing. She doesn’t have any kids, so her dog is like family to her, and the dog had been having some health issues, last week. She was very grateful that I asked and said the the dog was doing better. But, as is so often the case, the rest of the day pretty much went by without me remembering to listen for God.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
James 5:16

Today, I’m focusing on a Tabletalk reading called “How to Pray.”

As Paul explains the benefits of being counted righteous by God, in Romans 5, he describes one of the blessings in verse 2: Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. In other words, we have access to “enter into the most holy place and commune with the Lord because of Jesus.”

This is the purpose of prayer; it is why prayer has been given to us. Through prayer, we enter into that holy place and commune with God. Sadly, too many of us (myself included) do not often take advantage of this privilege. Yes, I have certain times of day dedicated to “prayer,” but all too often all I wind up doing is bringing God what more or less amounts to a “laundry list” of my own needs. Or maybe it’s not even my own needs but needs of people I know who have given me prayer requests. I also find that my mind wanders quite easily.

The obvious model that we have comes from Jesus. He gives us a model prayer in both Matthew 6 and Luke 11. It is more than a Scripture passage to be quoted in unison at some churches. It is a guide to how our communication with God should be structured. “Fundamentally, this prayer tells us to ask that God’s name be hallowed so that His kingdom may come and His will be done.” Personally, I have found great blessing in going through my list of friends and their needs and praying that God’s will would be done in their lives, on earth as it is in heaven.

Martin Luther suggests, in A Simple Way to Pray, that we should pray through the Ten Commandments. I have to confess I have never thought of that. He also suggested praying through the model prayer, as well as the Apostles’ Creed, “using each line as a springboard for adoring God, confessing sin, expressing gratitude and pouring forth supplications.”

As the “Coram Deo” segment of the reading (Coram Deo means “living before the face of God”), the following is suggested: “As an illustration of Luther’s advice, take some time today to pray through the Ten Commandments. Take each stipulation and confess how you have violated that particular law. Worship Him for the perfection of His character revealed in each commandment. Thank Him for enabling you by the Spirit to be faithful to His Law and ask for His kingdom to come so that all may love and obey Him. Make it your aim to pray to our heavenly Father without ceasing.”

Father, today I pray that I might be more faithful in prayer, and that I might follow the above suggestion. Remind me, throughout this day, to do this, that I might enter into Your holy place and commune with You.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Soli Deo Gloria!