Prayer Guide: Peace and Praise (Ephesians 2:11-22)
Ever have hostility with someone and not know what to do about it?
Ever have hostility with God?
(Hint: Before you became a follower Jesus, the Bible says that we were God’s enemies.)
Because God has saved uss—by grace, through faith, in Christ—we no longer have hostility separating us, but we are at peace. Peace with God, and peace with others.
Jesus’ sacrifice obtains peace for us, both with God and others, because in his body, he destroyed the barrier and made two groups one. He reconciled all of us and preached peace to all.
In the text, Paul is writing about how Jesus unified two groups—Jews and Gentiles, who were historically hostile to each other—in his one body. The result was peace.
If God could bring together in peace two groups who were at odds, then his peace overflows to us today.
This week, pray prayers of praise and peace. Praise God for the peace you have with him, and pray that his peace will overflow into your relationships with others.
Prayer Guide: Psalm 80
Ever have a bad day? Or a string of bad days? Or a bad season?
In times like that, it’s easy to struggle to feel the presence of God.
We believe that God has promised us things, and when those things don’t happen, or seem to be taken away, we can lose confidence…and faith.
Imagine, then, the people of God in the Old Testament—living by promises made by God that they would hold land, be led by a King, and worship in a Temple. Imagine their thoughts when these things were taken away from them—the promises of God, crumbling around them.
How should they pray? How would you pray?
Psalm 80 teaches us how to pray with hope in the midst of disappointment.
Remember, as you pray, to pray the “so that” — that God will answer prayer so that he will become known as the God Who Restores.
Prayer Guide: Psalm 95
Psalm 95 is one of my favourite psalms. It begins with praise and worship. It is good for us to praise God.
And the psalmist records a number of reasons for why God is praiseworthy:
These are all praiseworthy things God has done for us.
But then the psalm takes a turn (8-11), and it begins to challenge us about our receptivity to God’s gifts.
“Today, if only you would hear his voice, [d]o not harden your hearts…”
The psalmist details the ordeal of the Israelites in the wilderness, who hardened their hearts against God by refusing to listen to him.
The result? “They shall never enter my rest” (11).
We have a choice in our relationship with God. It can be one-sided, where God gives and gives and gives until he shuts it off because it is unreciprocated, or we can soften our hearts, listen to him, and submit ourselves to our shepherd.
The choice is yours. Pray well this week.