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Revive Thy Work O Lord! August 14, 2007

Posted by Joe in Prayer.
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Revive Thy work, O Lord,
Thy mighty arm make bare;
Speak with the voice that wakes the dead,
And make Thy people hear.

Revive Thy work, O Lord,
Disturb this sleep of death;
Quicken the smold’ring embers now
By Thine almighty breath.

Revive Thy work, O Lord,
Create soul-thirst for Thee;
And hungering for the Bread of Life
O may our spirits be.

Revive Thy work, O Lord,
Exalt Thy precious Name;
And, by the Holy Ghost, our love
For Thee and Thine inflame.

Revive Thy work, O Lord,
Give Pentecostal showers;
The glory shall be all Thine own,
The blessing, Lord, be ours.
– words by Albert Midlane 1858

(Note: It is best to read this out loud and with some passion!)

Update from DG July 13, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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I received this praise/prayer request today by email from Desiring God:

From a writer this past week:

Thank you so very much for your sale! What a crazy amazing thing that you did. I am chronically ill and suffer pain constantly. I run a small support group of women who suffer from chronic pain and illness. We are a Christian group. I was able to order “Suffering and the Sovereignty of God” for the five charter members. I was also able to order my sister a Bible. My husband is an excellent provider and we do have health insurance but things are still extremely tight financially. So, I cannot afford to buy many books. I know that to some it was just a great deal and it was. But, to some of us it was…like a miracle. I could have never done something special like this for my group…or bought a Bible for my sister.

We thank God for the response to our $5 book sale! Here are some highlights:

  • Total orders: nearly 11,000
  • Total books ordered: 127,115
  • Total number of countries represented: 24
  • Orders were placed from all 50 states, two military APOs, two territories and Washington, DC

We are very grateful for this overwhelming response. But those are only the numbers and it is the souls that matter. Please pray that God would powerfully work through these books to bring hundreds of people to himself and to strengthen the faith of those who already believe.

Thursday Morning Prayer July 5, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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“They did according to all the abominations of the nations that the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.” (1 Kings 14:23)

Father, Your righteous indignation is aroused when those who are called by Your name conform to the evil and adulterous ways of the world.  Repeatedly You call us to be salt and light in a world that is decaying in darkness.  You sent Your Son into the world to deliver Your people from this evil age (Gal. 1:4).  How tragic, then, when Christians find their pleasure in the same wicked pleasures which the world delights in.  Set us free, O God, from the fleeting pleasures of sin.  Grant us to abhor what is evil, and to hold fast to what is good (Romans 12:9).  Forbid that we should pay money to be amused by things that belittle Your glory and trivialize the horror of sin.

Tuesday Morning Prayer July 3, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (Matthew 13:16-17)

Grant us this day, O God, to have gratitude for the amazing privilege that we have of having seen the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.  Many prophets and righteous people longed to see what has now been revealed to us by Your Spirit.  Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, David, Isaiah, and so many others longed to see the coming of the Redeemer.  Yet they all perished before He entered this world of sin and darkness.  But through the eyes of faith, we have seen Christ.  Though we do not see Him now, help us to rejoice in Him with joy that is inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).  Help us to taste what a marvelous gift we have in living after the time of the coming of Christ, where Your love for sinful people like us has been most vividly demonstrated.  And help us to live lives that are worthy of the high calling that we have received.

Tuesday Morning Prayer June 26, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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Who made me to know You, but You
When dead in sin You gave me new life
Now my heart is filled with love for You, Jesus

Father, thank You for Your Spirit’s work in me
For opening my eyes to the Christ of Calvary
Jesus, You gave Your life in exchange for mine
Now I will live for You who died, Jesus

You placed a crown of grace on my head
You covered me in robes of righteousness
Forever I will always be Yours, Jesus

Words and music by Pat Sczebel
As recorded on Valley of Vision

Monday Morning Prayer June 25, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)

Help us, Father, to love You more than even our best gifts on earth.  Nothing is more precious in this world than our earthly families, but whoever loves family more than You is not worthy of You.  The gate is narrow that leads to life, and only few find it.  Guard us from veiling the truth about You for the sake of keeping peace in our families, for You came not to bring peace, but a sword.  Nevertheless, may we display a humility, tenderness, patience and love with the lost so that our character would not nullify the truth that we proclaim.  Use us, O God, as instruments of Your glory by carrying our cross today, knowing that ‘to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’

Sunday Morning Prayer June 24, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?

Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

Psalm 43

Friday Morning Prayer June 22, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me;
heal me, for I have sinned against you!” (Psalm 41:4)

So often, Father, we do not cry out like this for Your grace, because we do not know the depths of our own sin.  Help us this day, to see sin for what it is: infinitely ugly and offense to Your holy nature.  Reveal to us our hidden iniquities, and open our eyes to the wonderful provision You have made for all of our sins to be wiped away by the Cross of our Lord Jesus.  And having received that forgiving grace, may Your grace also transform our desires and joys so that we kill the sin that is remaining in us.

Wednesday Morning Prayer June 20, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.”

Psalm 39:4-7

Tuesday Morning Prayer June 19, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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18 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 22 And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18-22)

This is tough love, Father. Tough because You call a man to renounce even his most valuable of earthly goods. The one who follows You may have no place to lay his head. The one who follows You may be called to forsake his earthly family. This is hard, even for the most committed of disciples. But this is love, because in forsaking all else, You call us to follow You. And You are the One in whose presence is fullness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures forevermore. Help us, Father, to taste and see that You are good, and more to be desired than every earthly good we have. And being freed by that joy in You, help us to follow You down the narrow road that leads to everlasting joy, no matter what it costs us in this life.

Monday Morning Prayer June 18, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13)

The gate is narrow, O God, and the way is hard, that leads to life.  Few find it, according to Jesus (Matthew 7:13-14).  Help us, Father, to walk that narrow road, no matter where it takes us in this life.  For Paul that meant frequent beatings, imprisonment, and death.  Only You know what it mean for us.  But it surely is not a life of ease and comfort.  Help us, Lord, to be so satisfied in You that we would be freed to take risks in the cause of spreading a passion for Your name and renown.

Sunday Morning Prayer June 17, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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“My Master God, I am desired to preach today, but go weak and needy to my task.  Yet I long that people might be edified with divine truth, that an honest testimony might be borne for Thee.  Give me assistance in preaching and in prayer, with heart uplifted for grace and unction.  Present to my view things pertinent to my subject, with fullness of matter and clarity of thought, proper expressions, fluency, fervency, a feeling sense of the things I preach, and grace to apply them to men’s consciences.  Keep my conscious all the while of my defects, and let me not gloat in pride over my performance.”

From Valley of Vision

Meet My Dad June 16, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Links, Prayer.
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Joe,

I was informed yesterday that my dad started a blog almost two years ago. He says he is writing on it as a ‘legacy’ for me and my two sisters, which seems odd since I just found out yesterday that he has been writing on it for nearly two years! As Michelle searched around it yesterday, she came across this post, in which my dad describes why he is an atheist.

I am posting this for two reasons:

1. To give praise to God that He rescued me out of such darkness and into His marvelous light. Had God not unveiled my eyes to see the unsearchable riches of Christ, I have no doubt that I would be just as cynical and proud as my father.

2. To solicit your prayers. Dad is coming to church tomorrow to hear me preach for the first time. As I wrote earlier, I am preaching on making the Cross our only boast. It is a message that is diametrically opposed to his worldview. So if you think of it, pray for him tomorrow morning, that God would take this heart of stone and melt it.

Larry

Saturday Morning Prayer June 16, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11)

Help us, Father, to receive this words as a reflection of Your heart toward us.  The enemy attacks so many believers with the lie that You are angry with us, that You are out to get us and that You will not give us what is good.  But these words of our Lord Jesus destroy every lie that the enemy seeks to sow into Your people.  Even an earthly father, if his son asks for a fish, will not give him a serpent.  If he, being evil, gives good things to his child, how much more will You give what is good to Your children.  Indeed, those who seek You lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10).  Remind us this day that Your heart is to do good to Your children, and may that confidence bring us to our knees in prayers without ceasing.

Thursday Morning Prayer June 14, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:8-11)

All of creation bears witness to the surpassing greatness of Your power. You spoke, and the heavens and the earth came into existence. You said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light in the world. You said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was the light of faith in our hearts. You have made Yourself known to Your people, Father, and You command that we be in awe of You. You have absolute authority over all things, even the hearts and plans of the wicked (v.10). None can frustrate You, but You do all that You please in heaven and on earth.

Help us, Father, to be in awe of such magnificent power. We feel awe as a harsh and powerful thunderstorm passes by, yet You are infinitely more powerful than that, and so often our hearts are dull toward such greatness. Awaken us from our slumber, O God, so that we might joyfully stand in awe of You, and how You have exercised Your power not to bring us death, but to give us life through Your Son.

The Cross: Our Only Boast June 12, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer, Scripture Meditation.
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That is the title of the message I am preaching this Sunday morning, the first in a twelve week series at our church on the Cross.  I have been doing a lot of linking over the past few days, because my blogging time has been limited.  It probably will be over the next few days as well.  It’s always tough to preach on Sunday morning because of the time factor.  It’s got to be 40-45 minutes, whereas when I preach on Sunday nights there is no time limit.  I may go 45 one week, or 65 the next (usually closer to the latter!).

So I will be busy this week trying to boil a wonderful text on the Cross down to 40 minutes.  Here’s the text:

11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen. (Galatians 6:11-18)

I would greatly value your prayers for me and for our church as we begin this series.  I’ll try to post an outline of my message tomorrow,

Larry

Tuesday Morning Prayer June 12, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:3-6)

Our days are often filled with distress and hardship.  Maybe our cities are not burned, but each day brings its own unique challenges that tempt us to despair.  In this world we will have tribulation, Jesus said (John 16:33).  Help us, Father, to follow the example of David, a man after Your own heart.  His soul was bitter and full of distress, but he ‘strengthened himself in the Lord his God.’  Help us, Lord, to see You in such a way that it becomes clear to us that You are enough.  The Psalms are so full of rich illustrations of David strengthening himself in You.  Help us, Lord, to have the same discipline and perseverance.  Forbid that the attacks of our flesh, the world and the enemy should distract us from the great hope we have in Christ.

Monday Morning Prayer June 11, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:1-4)

Saturday Morning Prayer June 9, 2007

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“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  (Matthew 5:3-12)

The Beatitudes of Jesus turned the world rightside up.  Jesus calls a life marked by these characteristics ‘Blessed’.  It is a strange, counter-cultural pathway to happiness.  The world esteems pride and the pursuit of carnal pleasures.  You esteem brokenness and mourning.  The world esteems eat and drink, for tomorrow you die; You esteem hungering and thirsting for righteousness.  The world esteems the glorification of sin; You esteem purity of heart.  To follow Jesus is to live as an alien of this world.  Help us, O God, to be set apart, so that You would be displayed as the infinitely valuable treasure of our hearts.  Empower us with a fresh filling of Your Spirit, so that we might joyfully live such a life before others, that they would see Your light and give You the glory You deserve.

Friday Morning Prayer June 8, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)

It is in the wilderness of trial and hardship where Your glory shines at its brightest, Father.  While the world esteems comfort and ease, You tell us that You tear us, in order to heal us.  Forbid that we should reject the bitter providences of life, O God, and help us to walk as the Apostle Paul, who was ‘sorrowful, yet always rejoicing’ (2 Corinthians 6:10).  Grant that Your people would press on to know You more and more with each passing day, even in our days of affliction.