Aloha Friday Message – January 4, 2013 – A Morning Prayer

1301AFC010413 A Morning Prayer

Read it online here, please.

Numbers 28:1-5

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel and say to them, ‘My offering, my food for my food offerings, my pleasing aroma, you shall be careful to offer to me at its appointed time.’ And you shall say to them, This is the food offering that you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs a year old without blemish, day by day, as a regular offering. The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; also a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with a quarter of a hin of beaten oil.

E pili mau na pomaika‘i ia ‘oe a me ke akua ho’omaika’i ‘oe! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you!) Aloha nui loa, ‘Omea! Much love, Beloved! Today we begin to look at prayer. Each week we will look at a prayer from someone we know – this week it’s George Washington – and sometimes from someone we don’t know like the world-famous author, artist, and intellect, Anonymous. According to the new imperative, the general pattern will be three parts: [1] a Bible passage as always, [2] a prayer, and [3] a question with a discussion about the question. Now, let us begin with this prayer from George Washington’s Prayer Journal, composed when he was around 20 years old. George was a lot like me – long winded!

George-Washington-Praying-2     Almighty God, and most merciful father, who didst command the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day, receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee; I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated to thine own service and for thine own honor. Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do mine own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou requirest of me.  

     And since thou art a God of pure eyes, and wilt be sanctified in all who draw near unto thee, who doest not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in thy courts, pardon, I beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into thy temple, and compass thine altar, my prayers may come before thee as incense; and as thou wouldst hear me calling upon thee in my prayers, so give me grace to hear thee calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus. Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith, and that it may accomplish in me, Gracious God, the good work for which thou has sent it. Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God & guide this day and for ever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

You can see more here. The source is

From William J. Johnson: George Washington, the Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, New York & Cincinnati, 1919), pp. 24-35.

In the prayers I sent you earlier this week – Terrific Tuesday – there was a three-part daily offering prayer. There are many formulas, patterns, and guidelines for morning prayers for Christian evangelicals, Catholics, Jewish, and Muslims. Daily prayers, if you consider how widely they are used, must be important. Why do we pray?

Anthropology, the study of all humanity and all history of human endeavors from culture to sociological development to economic and religious influences, finds that virtually every established aggregation of human beings there is a belief in a spiritual entity. That’s a fancy way of saying we are “hard-wired” to seek and to communicate with a Supreme Being. In the language of the Abrahamic religions named above, God created us to know him, to love him, and to serve him; therefore, God created us to communicate with him which means he talks to us and we talk to him. According to Scripture from all of these faiths, God always listens to us, but we do not always listen to him. Prayer is a specialized form of communication that sets up a conversation between us and God. What is it that makes prayer special? I believe it is simply Faith.

We have faith there is a God or we would not talk to God. We have a faith that God will listen because otherwise we’d be talking to the inside of our heads. We have faith that God will be receptive to our prayers, otherwise we would not be so persistent about them, We have faith that God cares that we pray because we have faith that God care for and about us. Prayer is faith-based communication. Unfortunately for many it is a one-sided conversation. We pour out our requests to God in endless streams of pleading, but sometimes it seems like we might as well be talking to the inside of our heads because “nothing happens.” Is it because of lack of faith? Is it because of a lack of knowledge about the “secrets” of prayer? Is it because of a lack of listening for God’s response? I believe that most often it is that – failure to listen; and I believe we fail to listen because we fail to believe God answers, that God can and does speak to us. Have you ever heard him speak to you? I have. I do. I hear him now in my head and in my heart and with my spirit, I know he’s speaking. Does that sound like vaunted pride or blasphemy even? Not to me. To me it sounds like “this-is-the-way-it-works.”

So, Beloved, this week I want you to pray every day, especially in the morning. Go for sixty seconds longer than you usually pray. If you usually pray zero minutes in the morning, then for this coming week you will pray for one minute. If you pray for an hour every morning, you will pray for an hour and one minute. Remember, it’s a conversation, so be conversational!

Good morning Lord! Thanks for another night of rest and another day of life. I’m ready to get things done today, so I’ll try to pay attention to what you tell me or lead me to do. Glad I had a chance to chat with you a bit. I’ll check in later to see how things are going, but for now, that’s all. Amen.

That will take about 20 seconds. You can read it two times if you like, and then sit quietly for another 20 seconds to listen for God’s voice. Hint: when God speaks, it usually sounds a lot like your own voice. It’s not always like the thunderous, booming voice with a British Accent like in the movies. There you are. Next week another Bible passage, another prayer, and another meditation on a question. See you there! Thanks for stopping by.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

chick

1 An ephah is about a bushel (22-35 liters) or about 8 dry gallons. Ephah is a unit of dry measure.

2 A Hin is about 1.5 gallons (around 5.7 liters). Hin is a unit of liquid measure.

 

And we’ll close with this beauty sent in by MB:

 

 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxSqMbsHeJ8

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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