This Present Age—Guided Prayer

Scripture Focus: Titus 2.11-14

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Frodo: I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.

Reflection: This Present Age—Guided Prayer

By John Tillman

We often wish we were some “when” and perhaps some “where” else, but God calls us instead, to live for him today, “In this present age.” (Titus 2.13) 

There was never an age of this earth in which evil did not wreak havoc, governments did not mishandle justice, and in which the church, in one capacity or another did not fail to fully live out the gospel. Our faith must not be in those things. We join in a prayer today based on what Paul declared the Holy Spirit would teach. 

Teach Us, Holy Spirit

Teach us, Holy Spirit, that in this age and in this space, you have placed us and called us.

May we be made eager to do good for the sake of the gospel.

May we all, men and women, live as examples: temperate, worthy of respect, and self-controlled.

May we be sound in our faith and in our love for others, and carry out the work of the gospel.

May we live reverently and truthfully, quenching any spark of slander and never sharing or spreading anything that is not factual.

May we be unfailingly kind and submissive to other another.

May no one be able to malign the word of God because of us.

Teach us by your Holy Spirit to show integrity and seriousness, taking care that no one can mistake or condemn what we say.

May even those who oppose us have nothing bad to say about us.

May we be models of integrity to our employers and fellow-laborers, trustworthy, and immune to corruption.

Teach us to say “no” to desires that are of this world, even ones that seem “good” to human wisdom. Teach us to say “yes” to desires that lead us closer to you, even when they seem “foolish” to human wisdom.

It is no more difficult to live in this age you have placed us in, Lord, than any other age of the church, and probably it is easier. You have placed us here and called us now, to live for you in this place, in this culture, in this time.

Make us ready, Lord, for the challenges that we will face as we await the blessed hope of Jesus Christ, who will redeem us from all wickedness and set right all that is wrong.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him. — Psalm 62.6

Read more about Doing All Things Well
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things wel

Read more about Kingdom Manifestation :: A Guided Prayer
Ask God to make you the answer to this prayer. You are called to make manifest the kingdom of God.


Praying for Repentance :: A Guided Prayer

Scripture Focus: 2 Timothy 4.3-4
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Reflection: Praying for Repentance :: A Guided Prayer
By John Tillman

Paul says that the “time will come,” when people will not put up with sound doctrine. He sounds like he is speaking of the future, but it certainly seems as if there were a lot of Paul’s past experiences in Acts that might be described as people not putting up with sound doctrine.

Being stoned, being beaten, being imprisoned, and being run out of town by mobs doesn’t exactly sound like acceptance or tolerance. Doctrinal diligence is needed in every age of the church. Defending correct doctrine is the task Paul is quite seriously commanding Timothy to prepare for. We need to prepare for it too.

But as we think of these people Paul writes of, who will gather teachers to suit their own desires, we need to think about our desires. As we pray for people who turn their ears away from the truth, we need to think about how often we turn away from facts that don’t fit our paradigms. Let us remember that people are not our enemies, only sin.

Let us pray for our culture and ourselves this weekend, a prayer of repentance. Our prayer today is based on yesterday’s readings from chapter 3, verses 2-5 and Paul’s description of sinful, self-interested people who are lovers of themselves. 

A Prayer for Repentance
Lord we remember your prophecy from yesterday’s reading about how sinful people would become. Empower us to confess and repent of these sins, reversing them in our lives to bless others. 

May we pray this passage not as an accusative attack against our culture, but as a lament for the condition of our own hearts and the heart of Christ’s church.

Lord rather then become like the people Paul warned Timothy of, 
May we be found by you and seen by the world as we are:
Showing love to outsiders
Shunning the allure of money and wealth
Praising others not ourselves
Being humble
Healing others in words and deed
Honoring our elders and parents
Living in gratitude
Being made holy by the Holy Spirit
Indwelt by love beyond ourselves
Forgiving
Truth telling and affirming
Calming
Tender and caring
Loving the good
Showing loyalty,
Sharing wisdom,
Shunning the spotlight
And sacrificing our pleasure to serve others.

May our repentance bring glory to Christ and not to ourselves and may Jesus’ name be praised.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
Our God will come and will not keep silence; before him there is a consuming flame and round about him a raging storm. — Psalm 50.3

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
2 Kings 14 (Listen – 5:06)
2 Timothy 4 (Listen -2:48)

This Weekend’s Readings
2 Kings 15 (Listen – 6:21), Titus 1 (Listen -2:24)
2 Kings 16 (Listen – 3:46), Titus 2 (Listen -2:01)

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Read more about Confessing, Instead of Weaponizing PropheRather than weaponize Paul’s words to attack our culture with an accusing cry, we should instead cry for forgiveness and mercy as we recognize that these faults are also in us.

#WeaponizingTheBible #ConfessingSin #KingdomOfPriests #Repentance

https://theparkforum.org/843-acres/confessing-instead-of-weaponizing-prophecy/

Read more about Praying as Priests
As followers of God today, a part of our identity is as carriers of the blessings of God that are intended for the world.

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