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Let Us Pray...

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“Let us pray…” When we hear those words our response is conditional, expected and routine.  We know to bow our head, close our eyes and tune our hearts to God and His Will.  Our prayer then follows a typical type of pattern; concern for self, concern for others, praise of God, or request for something.

While studying this final prayer of Habakkuk I found myself thinking about some of the “great” prayers in the Bible. 

  • Hannah’s Prayer of Praise - 1 Samuel 2:1-10. When Hannah received the child she begged God for, her first instinct is to praise the One who provided. She wants to thank Him for His greatness and His deliverance. Too often we pray before receiving, but then forget to pray after God answers.
  • David’s prayer for deliverance - Psalm 3. This prayer provides a concise portrait of crying out to God in the midst of great stress. David’s words are no less relevant to our modern workplace and lifestyle as they were to his battles.
  • Jonah’s Prayer for Salvation - Jonah 2:2-9. We may never be swallowed by a great fish, but we can still experience the shame and regret that Jonah felt after he ran from God. The prophet’s plea to the Father provides a rising scaffolding for our own prayers of repentance. And remember that God heard and answered this humble, honest prayer.
  • The Lord’s Prayer - Matthew 6:9-13. This prayer is the true classic. Most of us have said this prayer and could likely recite it right now. But there’s much more to this model that Jesus gave us than rote recitation. This is a prayer with real power: God’s kingdom coming, God’s will being done, all that we need for the day. It’s truly power packed.

Then there is today’s prayer - Habakkuk 3:1-19. Habakkuk prayed because he was overwhelmed by God’s splendor. “I stand in awe of Your deeds” (Hab. 3:2). He had seen a vision of the greatness of God, recorded for us in verses 3–15, and this vision left him weak and helpless (v. 16). All he could do was cry out to God. “Let us pray…” Pastor Jeff

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The Best Version

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The Best Version of Me!
 
How do I include God in the various aspects of my life? Is God a true priority in my daily activities? In what ways does God provide meaning to my work, marriage, family, possessions, ministry, and personal interests? Am I striving to be "the best version of me that God created?"
 
Our study in Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 brings us to an often difficult section to wrap our minds around.  If you have read ahead in the scriptures you know exactly what I'm talking about and you could understand why some might want to obviously "shy" away from this section. Shying away will not be my intent this week rather there is much to learn and to take away from this very illustrative section of scripture.  
 
The fact is, in order for you and for me to be "the best version of me that God created"  we need to enjoy what God has given us while we can. There is no guarantee that we will have our health and loved ones tomorrow. Therefore, live your life with enjoyment today! And remember satisfaction in life is found by enjoying God's blessings.
 
The teacher (Solomon) concludes this section by observing that life is too short to worry about behavior, miscues, or shortcomings. The challenge becomes that we need to learn to be submissive to our great God for He alone knows the end from the beginning. He is the only sovereign One.  God is the potter and we are the clay - the clay that He is shaping to be..."the best version of me that God created."

Pastor Jeff
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