Words that are all too common to the shoppers amongst us! Sometimes we are barely over the threshold before being accosted by a smiling shop assistant asking what they can help with! Of course, this can sometimes be a little irritating when one wants to just have a wander around and is not seeking anything in particular. But what of those for whom shopping is a challenge whether through anxiety, sight challenges etc. They can be reassured that help is available should they need it, that their needs will be met.
These words should also be commonly spoken amongst Christians for Jesus instructs us “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40.
I wonder what changes we could see in our communities if all our churches were to ask How Can We Help You Today?
Someone recently told me about a man living alone in the most horrible condition who was completely overlooked by all agencies etc. There was no one willing to help him. This is one man’s story, but how many others live in dire need of help in our communities?
I pray that each one of us has the strength and kindness of heart to ask How Can We Help You Today?
Hello everyone! It has been some time since I have had the opportunity to blog but here I am and I recently learnt a wonderful prayer technique that I would love to share with you.
Having struggled recently with my prayer life, having been very distracted, I have been desperate to find something that I can connect with and I am quite sure I will take this technique with me throughout my life.
I love to read, and I love to write so this form of prayer is perfect for me, however, I appreciate it is not for everyone and if this is not for you please pop back and visit my website again as I plan to share more prayer styles with you such as creative prayer and contemplative prayer.
I have come to acknowledge that prayer style is as unique as the individual themselves and it can be hard as we feel as though we must slide into a prayer norm that we have witnessed or been taught. I have written previously about prayer so please refer back if you would like to read more about prayer in general.
The technique that I wish to discuss today involves taking a piece of Scripture and writing a prayer using words and phrases from the specific passage. You can use this for any type of prayer, perhaps a prayer of desperation when life becomes too much or a prayer of thanks as you look around and feel blessed by God or in worship of our wonderful Creator God. For the example I have detailed below I have used the style of the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13. This is the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (worship)
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (aligning our will with the will of God)
Give us today our daily bread. (Asking for provision)
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (confession of sins and seeking forgiveness)
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” (asking for wisdom)
In and of itself this is a fantastic prayer to pray when you just don’t know what else to say or if you need to align yourself with God during the day etc.
However, it is also possible to use this as a frame in which you can develop your own prayer. You will see in brackets above the general subject of each line.
So, to do this, you must choose a piece of Scripture, I have given some suggestions below if you are unsure what to choose. Read through the passage so you are familiar with it and look for words or phrases that tie in with the subject of your prayer. Perhaps write down the subject headings of your prayer i.e. Worship, Provision, Confession etc. and then write beneath these relevant words or phrases. Once you have completed this begin to write your prayer using the words and phrases you have collected. Of course, you can add in your own words to tie it together or sentences of your own that have been guided by your reading. You now have a personal scripture inspired prayer that you can pray to your Father!!
Here is an example that I created earlier using Genesis 20-21:-
You will note that I have inserted the verse and chapter numbers following the text so you can see where I found the words and phrases in Scripture.
“I call upon the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God (21:33). I worship you as my living water (21:19), you who are with us in all we do (21:22), you who hears our cries and lets us not be afraid (21:17).
Aligning our will
Your promises you never forget, and your plans are unalterable (21:1). As we welcome your kingdom and await the return of our Lord, let others see your glory within us as Phicol and Abimelech saw you with Abraham (21:22).
Asking for provision
Provide us with our daily needs as you provided so graciously for Hagar and Ishmael (21:19) and teach us to ask only for what we need and keep us from the greed and materialistic nature of the world around us.
Confession of sins and seeking forgiveness
Tell me how I have sinned against you (20:9), show me the sin that troubles me (21:17), bring guilt upon me (20:9) and in my asking for forgiveness, heal me (20:17-18).
Asking for wisdom
Let me listen for your commands (21:4) and grant me integrity of heart to carry these out (20:5). Bring laughter to me Lord (21:6).
In the name of your precious Son, Amen
Here is the prayer in full, omitting verse and chapter references:-
“I call upon the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. I worship you as my living water, you who are with us in all we do, you who hears our cries and lets us not be afraid. Your promises you never forget, and your plans are unalterable. As we welcome your kingdom and await the return of our Lord, let others see your glory within us as Phicol and Abimelech saw you with Abraham. Provide us with our daily needs as you provided so graciously for Hagar and Ishmael and teach us to ask only for what we need and keep us from the greed and materialistic nature of the world around us. Tell me how I have sinned against you, show me the sin that troubles me, bring guilt upon me and in my asking for forgiveness, heal me. Let me listen for your commands and grant me integrity of heart to carry these out. Bring laughter to me Lord. In the name of your precious Son, Amen
I hope you enjoy this prayer method. I find it wonderful because as you look for relevant words and phrases within Scripture you are spending time with God in His Word, allowing Him to teach you and reveal Himself to you. Throughout this exercise your heart is praying to God.
If the Lord’s Prayer is a bit complex for this exercise, you could use ACTS that I discussed in a previous blog. ACTS – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication – that is, worshipping God, confession of sins to God, thanking God and asking of God.
Of course, as I wrote earlier you can also use this for a specific prayer, and I have given some Scripture suggestions that may be useful to you below from the Book of Psalms:-