Volume. XXI, No. 45
Thursday, 03 May 2007

From the Pastors Heart: Some Prayers


Prayer infuses Christian life. We cannot think of Christian life without prayer life. Even the Lord Jesus taught His disciples about prayer, and it has been known in the form of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus prayed, His disciples prayed, and the Bible offers many prayers by various people from different backgrounds and life situations. Today I’d like to share some prayers with you. I trust that these prayers will inspire you and me. My first example is more like a hymn, probably written as early as the third century. It was inscribed on an ostracon-a fragment of pottery. It was found in the 1920s at Oxythynchus. It says:
May none of God’s wonderful works
Keep silence, night and morning.
Bright stars, high mountains, the depths of the seas
Sources of rushing rivers:
May all these break into song as we sing
To Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
May all the angels in the heavens reply:
Amen! Amen! Amen!
Power, praise, honour, eternal glory
To God, the only Giver of grace.
Amen! Amen! Amen!
Although persecutions ceased in the Roman Empire with the Edict of Milan, King Shapur II of Persia unleashed a wave of persecution between 339 and 344. The persecutions brought many more names to the book of martyrs. One of them was Gustazad, who was a high official in the king’s court. He initially renounced his
faith but then returned to the Christian faith. He became a martyr for Christ. He prayed as following:
Praise to you, Lord Jesus: I was a lost sheep, and you brought me back; I had strayed from your holy fold, and by the exertions of that most capable of your shepherds, Simeon [He was a Persian bishop who was martyred the day after his protégé], you found out where I was. He went out to look for me, and he put me with those of your sheep that had been fattened for the slaughter. I was to be a son to the apostles, a brother to the martyrs who had received the garland in the west, a good example to your people in the east. Let them not fall away, let them not lose the true faith - faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the truly Existing, the glorious King, whom all that worship the Holy Trinity, in heaven and on earth, confess and ever will confess, age after age. Amen. 
The next prayer comes from a fifth century Egyptian epitaph.
O God, give him rest with the devout and just in the place where green things grow and refreshment is and water, the delightful garden where pain and grief and sighing are unknown. Holy, holy, holy Lord God, Sabaoth; heaven and earth are full of your holy glory. 
Alcuin (ca. 735-804) prayed:
Eternal Light, shine into our hearts,
Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil,
Eternal Power, be our support,
Eternal Wisdom, scatter the dark ness of our ignorance,
Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us;
That with all our heart and mind and soul and strength
We may seek thy face and be brought by thine infinite mercy
To thy holy presence; through Je sus Christ our Lord.
Gregory of Nazianzus (329-89) was one of the three Cappadocian Fathers. He stressed Christ as the Light in his hymn/prayer as following:
O Light that knew no dawn that shines to endless day,
All things in earth and heaven are lustred by thy ray;
No eye can to thy throne ascend, nor mind thy brightness compre hend.
Thy grace, O Father, give, that I may serve in fear;
Above all boons, I pray, grant me thy voice to hear;
From sin thy child in mercy free, and let me dwell in light with thee.
Theophan the Recluse (1815-94) was a Russian bishop (Russian Orthodox). He answered to the questions about prayer, he replied:
The practice of the Jesus Prayer is simple. Stand before the Lord with the attention in the heart, and call to Him: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me!” The essential part of this is not in the words, but in faith, contrition, and self-surrender to the Lord. With these feelings one can stand before the Lord even without any words, and it will still be prayer.” 
Martin Luther prayed:
Almighty God, who by the death of your Son has brought to nothing sin and death and by His resurrection has brought again innocence and everlasting life so that, delivered from the devil’s power, we may live in your kingdom: Grant us that we may believe in this with all our heart and, steadfast in this faith, praise and thank you always; through the same your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
My last example is from Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556). He prayed for unity:
O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly Union and Concord: that, as there is but one Body, and one Spirit, and one Hope of our Calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may henceforth be all of one heart, and of one soul, united in one holy bond of Truth and Peace, of Faith and Charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
I used these examples as translated by Mark A. Noll. God bless!
Lovingly, Your pastor

More Lively Hope



1. Shorter Catechism Question 95:To whom is baptism to be administered?Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.

2. Please pray for health & God’s healing: Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe, Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction. "Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Ps 16:1).

3. Please pray for – a) CambodiaMissions - Bro Samnang & Sis Shulamy; b) Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam; c) India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers; d) Kuching Missions- Teo family; e) Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim; f) Journey Mercies Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng (Adel); Bro Jan Bennik (Melb), & all those travelling this week; g) Jobs: Sisters Gillian Ong, Juanita Tong & Mag Yu; h) Drought - for more rain.
4. Praise and Thank God for – a) Journey mercies -Pastor Ki (Adl); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng (S’pore); Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (NZ); Bro Charles & Sis Peng Ha Yeo (Adl), Sisters Amanda Fu & Maggie Wong (S’pore), & all those who have arrived safely at their destinations; b) God’s blessing on Ps Ki’s ministries in Kuching & Cambodia; BSAG, Joy & Maranatha Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; Ladies’ Fellowship Prayer & Share; Sparks4Christ (S4C) Ministry.
5. Ladies’ Fellowship event: Mother’s Day Lunch at Imperial Peking, 3/111 Payneham Road, St Peters, at 12:00 noon sharpon Sat, 12 May, followed by Ladies’ Fellowship meeting at the Stone Mansion. Please contact Sis Sally Law if you are able to come.
6. Looking Ahead: 21st Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on 27 May 2007.



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