Sunday, 2 July 2017

Hallelujah! - Teach us to worship You, Lord, in everything we do (prayers based on Ezekiel 39 - 42).

Ezekiel 38:1-23
We read, Lord, of Your judgment upon ‘Gog from the land of Magog’: ‘When Gog attacks the land of Israel, My hot anger will be aroused... I will execute judgment upon him...’ (Ezekiel 38:1,18,22). The names ‘Gog and Magog’ are also found in Revelation 20:7-10. There, we read of rebellion against You, Lord - ‘They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people...’ We read of Your judgment - ‘Fire came down from heaven and consumed them’. In this divine judgment upon ‘Gog and Magog’, we see Your final triumph over ‘Satan’: ‘The devil who had deceived Gog and Magog was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur’ to be ‘tormented day and night for ever and ever.’ ‘Hallelujah! Our Lord God Almighty reigns’ (Revelation 19:6).
Ezekiel 39:1-29
We read, Lord, about Gog's defeat. Teach us to look beyond this to Satan’s final defeat (Ezekiel 39:1-6; Revelation 20:10). We look ahead to Your final victory over Satan. While we’re here on earth, teach us never to forget that Satan is a very powerful enemy. He will do all that he can to make us sin against You, Lord. We see this in the life of Your people, Israel. They allowed Satan to get the upper hand - and You were not pleased with them: ‘The nations shall know that the people of Israel went into captivity for their sin, because they were unfaithful to Me’(Ezekiel 39:23). We thank You, Lord, that Your Word assures us that - even when Satan has gained the upper hand - , we can be ‘brought back’ to the place of blessing. We thank You, Lord, that You will ‘have mercy’ on us. You will ‘pour out Your Spirit’ upon us (Ezekiel 39:25,29). ‘Restore us, O God...’ (Psalm 85:4).
Ezekiel 40:1-49
Lord, You were revealing Yourself to Ezekiel. ‘The hand of the Lord was upon’ him. He received ‘visions of God’ (Ezekiel 40:1-2). You told him not to keep this revelation to himself: ‘Tell the house of Israel everything you see’ (Ezekiel 40:4). Help us to learn from ‘the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord.’ Like them, we are to seek to bring ‘sinners’ back to the Lord, showing them ‘the error of their ways’ and pointing them to Your way of salvation. This work is to be done prayerfully. May we never forget that ‘the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective’ (James 5:10,16,19-20). We thank You, Lord, that You promise great blessing to those who are faithful in this work of winning others for You: ‘Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars for ever and ever’ (Daniel 12:3).
Ezekiel 41:1-42:20
‘This is the Most Holy Place’ (Ezekiel 41:4). Here, Lord, You're speaking about the Temple. The Temple was the place where Your people were to gather together to worship You. There is another ‘holy place’, another place where You are to be glorified: ‘Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit... Glorify God in your body’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We worship You, Lord, when we are in the place of worship. That is only a part of our worship. Our heart is to be a ‘holy place’ where You alone are worshipped. Teach us to worship Him in everything we do: ‘Be holy in all you do.’ At the heart of our worship, may there be thanksgiving for Your love. At the heart of the holy life, there is love. Teach us to ‘obey the truth’ - to ‘love one another deeply from the heart’ (1 Peter 1:15-16,22).

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