Saturday, 8 November 2014

Praying Through God's Word: 1 Samuel

1 Samuel 1:1-28
We come to You, Lord, with sadness. You give us gladness. How does this gladness come to us? It comes to us when we stand upon Your Word, when we believe Your promises. Our life is not controlled by our feelings - the feelings that drag us down, the feelings that pull us away from You. Your promises lift us out of these feelings. They lift us into Your presence. They assure us of Your love. They lead us into Your blessing. Thank You, Lord, for Your promises and Your presence, Your love and Your blessing.

1 Samuel 2:1-36
Lord, there are two ways of living. There's the way of holiness and joy, the way of living in the strength of Your Spirit. There's the way of living to please ourselves, living without the joy that comes from You, living in the weakness of the flesh. Help us, Lord, to keep on choosing Your way, and not to persist in going our own way and doing our own thing.

1 Samuel 3:1-4:22
"Here I am, Lord ... I have heard You calling in the night. I will go, Lord ... I will hold Your people in my heart" (Daniel L. Schutte). Lord, You come to us. You come with Your Word. It is a Word for ourselves. It is a Word for others. We receive Your Word. We share Your Word. Glorify Your Name, Lord- in us and through us.

1 Samuel 5:1-6:16
Lord, You are the true God, the living God, the everlasting God (Jeremiah 10:10). You are our Saviour (Isaiah 43:11). Speak to us Your truth. Breathe into us Your life. As Jesus draws near to us, help us to trust Him and be led by Him on the pathway to Your eternal glory.

1 Samuel 6:17-7:17
"Holiness, holiness, the only life that the Lord will bless" (Don Francisco). Lord, You are the holy God. You call us to be holy. The way of holiness is the way of blessing. Help us, Lord, to walk with You in Your way - the way of holiness, the way of blessing.

1 Samuel 8:1-9:10
Lord, You are the King. There is no king like You. No human king can even begin to compare with You - the divine King, the "King of kings" (Revelation 19:16). We lift to You our song of praise: "O worship the King, all glorious above. O gratefully sing, His power and His love."

1 Samuel 9:11-10:16
"Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is they health and salvation!" When, Lord, we say that You are the great King, may we not think only of the greatness of Your power. May we think also of the greatness of Your love.

1 Samuel 10:17-11:15
"Praise, my soul, the King of heaven; To His feet thy tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like thee His praise should sing?" No earthly king could ever bless us the way You, Lord, have blessed us. What a great Saviour You have given to us! Jesus is greater than any earthly king. He does for us what no earthly king could ever do for us. He brings us into Your everlasting Kingdom.

1 Samuel 12:1-13:15a
We thank You, Lord, that You speak to us the right Word at the right time. Sometimes, we need to hear Your Word of promise. Sometimes, we need to hear Your Word of warning. Assure us, Lord, that, in all life's changing circumstances, "Your grace is always sufficient for us" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

1 Samuel 13:15b-14:23
Is there any hope for us, Lord? Sometimes, we wonder. It seems like we're in a dark hole - and we can't get out! Then, Lord, You come to us. You say to us, "I am the God of hope, I will fill you with hope (Romans 15:13). In ourselves, there is no hope. With You, there is real hope. Our future is in safe hands - "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27).

1 Samuel 14:24-52
"We all make mistakes. If any one makes no mistakes ... he is a perfect man" (James 3:2). Lord, there is only one perfect Man - Jesus. When we get it wrong, help us to look to Him - to put it right, to make us right. Our difficulties may not disappear, but, with Jesus on our side, we will rise above them.

1 Samuel 15:1-35
Again and again, Lord, we take the easy way out. We avoid conflict. We side with evil, when we should be choosing good. Why are we like this? - We've always been like this. It's the story of our life. It's everybody's story. Can we be changed? We'll never be perfect, but we can begin to triumph over evil. Help us, Lord, to begin with You, to receive Your strength - strength to do good rather than evil.

1 Samuel 16:1-23
"Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me" (Daniel Iverson). Lord, it's Your Spirit who makes the difference. He changes us. We lose heart. He gives us new strength. We feel like giving up. He keeps us going on. Thank You, Lord, for Your Holy Spirit. Lead us out of our emptiness and into Your fullness.

1 Samuel 17:1-58
Often, Lord, we feel like David - facing Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Everything seems too much for us. Was Goliath too much for David? He wasn't too much for You - and You were on David's side. We're not alone. Help us to remember this. When we feel weak, help us to remember that You are strong - and Your strength has been given to us. Thank You, Lord.

1 Samuel 18:1-20
What a difference there is between the love of power and the power of love. The world is all about the love of power. You, Lord, are all about the power of love. Your power is never power without love. Your love is powerful love. Fill us with Your power - and help us to give glory to You, the God of loving power and powerful love.

1 Samuel 19:1-24
What are the most important things in our lives? Why are they so important to us? Everything revolves around ourselves, Lord. We forget about You. Call us back, Lord - back from the brink, back from "the broad way that leads to destruction" (Matthew 7:13). Call us into "safety, certainty and enjoyment" (George Cutting) - saved by You, assured of Your salvation, enjoying Your salvation.

1 Samuel 20:1-42
Where does true love come from? It comes from You, Lord. It comes from Your love. Give us real love. Give us Your love. When we know that we are loved by You, our love will grow strong - our love for You, our love for one another, our love for people who need You.

1 Samuel 21:1-22:23
Deliver us, O Lord, from religion without compassion. We don't want to be Pharisees. we want to be followers of Jesus. Give us compassion - but may it always be compassion without compromise. Help us not to sacrifice truth and righteousness for the sake of relevance. Help us "to be the best that we can be for truth and righteousness and Thee." Help us to see what relevance really is. Help us to see where relevance really comes from. It doesn't just emerge out of our own minds, our own creativity. It's based on truth. We didn't create truth - and we don't create relevance. "Your Word is truth" (John 17:17). Your Word is relevant - because it is truth: truth unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable. Lord, help us to be faithful to Your truth - and help us to care for people who need to be set free by Your truth, set free by Your Son (John 8:32,36).

1 Samuel 23:1-29
Help us, Lord, to be honest with You - Do we want to get our own way or to do Your will? Set us free from the self-centred illusion that You will always support us  in everything that we decide to do. Help us to see that there's a great difference between 'what I want' and 'what You want.' Teach us to choose Your will rather than our own will.

1 Samuel 24:1-22
Help us, Lord, never to imagine that we can ever hope to be fruitful for You if we are not committed to being faithful to You. Help us, Lord, to be more than people who serve You. Help us to be people who love You. May we serve You because we love You. May we love You because "You first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

1 Samuel 25:1-44
Life is full of surprises. Sometimes, Lord, these surprises come from You - blessings that fill our hearts with your joy. Sometimes, the surprises come from Satan. He's trying to catch us off guard. He's trying to trip us up. He's trying to lead us away from You. Help us to turn Satan's surprises into Your surprises. When Satan comes to tempt us, to draw us away from You, help us to face him in Your strength. Help us to tell him that You were there before he arrived on the scene. - You are the eternal God. Help us to tell Satan that You are still here - the God who is with us to bless us, the God who is living in us to give us Your victory over Satan.

1 Samuel 26:1-25
Lead us, Lord, in the way of true wisdom - "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10). How foolish we are when we choose to go our own way rather than walking in Your way. Help us, Lord, to choose Christ every day - "O happy day, that fixed my choice on Thee, my Saviour and my God ... That vow renewed shall daily hear."

1 Samuel 27:1-28:2
What a difference there is between fear - "I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul" - and faith - "The Lord will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine" (1 Samuel 27:1; 1 Samuel 17:37). Sometimes, fear, sometimes faith - this was the story of David's life. It's the story of our life. How, Lord, are we to overcome fear? How are we to grow strong in faith? It's Your "perfect love that casts out fear." It's Your love that makes us strong in faith and gives us the victory (1 John 4:18-19; 1 John 5:4-5). Lord, fill our hearts with Your love. May there be, in us, more faith and less fear.

1 Samuel 28:3-25
Help us, Lord, to take sin seriously - "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). Help us to take Your salvation even more seriously. Help us to believe that the story of our life is more than the story of our sin. It's also the story of Your salvation. When we are deeply aware of our sin, may we become even more deeply appreciative of Your promise of salvation: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).

1 Samuel 29:1-30:15
When, Lord, things are going badly, we start feeling sorry for ourselves - when we should be getting strengthened by You. You are "our strength and our shield." You give us Your "strength" and Your "peace" (Psalm 28:7-8; Psalm 29:10-11). Give to us the peace that comes to us from knowing that we are not alone. May we not fall down in our weakness. May we stand up in Your victory.

1 Samuel 30:16-31:13
Far too easily, Lord, we accept defeat - when You're leading us on into Your victory. What's wrong with us? It's sin. That's our problem. It never goes away, this problem of ours - but we don't have to fight against it in our own strength. Our sin may seem to be inevitable - "That's the way I am. That's the way I've always been. That's the way I'll always be." Our sin isn't invincible. Jesus triumphed over sin. That's what He did when He died for us and rose again. Jesus won the victory for us. He gives His victory to us. Help us, Lord, to receive His strength, to walk in His victory, and to say. "This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes" (Psalm 118:23).  

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