| 101 Most Powerful Prayers in the Bible |
By Steve Rabey, Lois Rabey and Claire Cloninger
Genre: Inspirational & Self-Help
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In his book on prayer, Richard J. Foster referred to the heart of God as "an open wound of love." He described the Father as the one who "aches over our distance and preoccupation" . . . who "mourns that we do not draw near to him" . . . who "grieves that we have forgotten him."
Seeing the heart of God from this viewpoint is compelling. How could we not rush headlong into the arms of the God who loves us so much, the one who longs to commune with us? How can we realize that he is waiting daily to meet with us, to speak to us, to hear us? And yet in our busyness we rush right past him.
God will not force us to return to him from our worries and concerns, but he will continue to draw us to himself. Even now he is inviting us to learn the language of the Spirit, to come to him through the doorway of prayer.
There are many facets to the language of prayer. To pray is to open our lives to God's overcoming love, which is continually reaching out to us. It is to communicate from the heart with him as our most trusted Friend. It is to worship him for who he is, to sing with joy to him, to thank him for his blessings, and to cry out to him in our pain and grief. It is to confess our sins and receive his forgiveness, his restoration, and his healing. It is to seek his guidance and wisdom.when we feel lost or confused. And it is to embrace the practice of intercession as we go to him on behalf of others.
But prayer is not merely telling God how things are with us and asking him for what we want. It is also learning to listen to God in the quiet places of our hearts as he reveals how things are with him and tells us what he expects from us.
The Bible is the ultimate textbook on prayer. There are literally hundreds of examples of people who have met their challenges by praying. And there are the prayers themselves-the book you are holding contains 101 such prayers. Many are presented with examples of how these prayers have affected my life or the lives of loved ones and friends. I pray that everything the Lord has led me to include in this book will enrich your own prayer life as it draws you closer to God.
Before I close, I feel compelled to add that we will never learn all we need to know about prayer by reading about it. We will learn best to pray by praying.
Father, bless us as we begin. We long to know you in a deeper way. Teach us to love you through the language of prayer. In Jesus' name, amen.
Return to the Garden
A broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
ONCE there was a garden where prayer flowed like rivers, where thanksgiving sprang up like grass, and worship fell like morning rain. In that garden, that distant land, that long-ago paradise, a friendship with the Father was the most natural thing on earth. In that garden we walked and talked with God.
That relationship was the one for which the Creator designed us. And although it contained everything we would ever require for fulfillment and joy, we let it go. We let it slip away. We let go of love and touched temptation and the garden vanished.
Now many times we move through our lives without even realizing that the most essential part of who we are is missing, like a phantom limb. We experience an aching emptiness at the center of ourselves we can't quite express. As we navigate snarled lanes of traffic, juggle the minutiae of our jobs, work at being the best parents, children, or friends we can be, we know that something fundamental is missing. As we try to pull together the hundred loose ends of our lives that should provide meaning, we so often come up empty. Even we Christians, who know on some level that we are God's forgiven children, find ourselves longing for a deeper sense of connectedness with him; a deeper sense of union.
How can we reclaim the sweet intimacy of the Garden of Eden the place where the man and the woman walked with God in the cool of the day without shame and with total abandon? How can we move into that place again?
God is showing us the way. He has left us every clue to his presence and every evidence of his yearning for us, like scattered bread along the path of prayer. He is waiting for us to come with broken spirits and contrite hearts. He is drawing us to himself, saying, "Here I am. Come to me.
"Come with a trusting heart like David when he prayed, 'Because you are my help, / I sing in the shadow of your wings' [Ps. 63:7].
"Come with a surrendered heart like Mary when she said, 'May it be to me as you have said' [Luke 1:38].
"Come with a thankful heart like Paul when he praised me as the one who is able to do 'immeasurably more' than all he could ask or imagine [Eph. 3:20].
"Come home, my child. I am waiting."
O Lord, thank you for inviting us to pray. Thank you for calling us back to you: out of our weariness into your rest, out of our need into your abundance, out of our loneliness into your friendship. Continue to draw us to you. Teach us to pray. Amen.
Excerpted from 101 Most Powerful Prayers in the Bible , by Steve Rabey, Lois Rabey and Claire Cloninger . Copyright (c) 2003 by Claire Cloninger. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.Back to top