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Saturday, October 27, 2018
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Archive for the Prayer Category


Nov 14

Praying for Paris

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Prayer

Yesterday, France was brutalized by Islamic terrorists.

This is a time for praying against what God is against, and for what God is for. God is against murder, and he is against the false gods that demand the slaughter of the innocent. He is for the putting down of injustice, and he is for the knowledge of his glory filling the earth, even through the salvation of former worshipers of Allah.

There are many things to pray on a weekend like this. Denny Burke recommends we pray the words of Psalm 10, and that’s a good suggestion:

Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.

The Lord is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.

Here are some helpful reflections, suggestions, and articles from around the web on this and related tragedies.

Jun 28

Troubled and Trusting: A Sunday Prayer after the Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Prayer

On Thursday of this past week the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a ruling that requires the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in all fifty states.

As Christians, we are not of this world, but we are in it and we care about and are concerned for what happens here. And so on Sunday we prayed in reflection on the Supreme Court’s decision for our nation, for the church, and for everything in-between. Here’s how we prayed together:

Father, increasingly, our nation is calling evil good and good evil, and we have a mixture of emotions about this.

On the one hand, we know who rules the world, who set the stars in their place, and who orders history. You do. The nations are as a drop in the bucket to you, and our leaders, in all of their righteous and unrighteous decisions, are ultimately working out your plan for history. And so we are calm and we are confident because history is yours, and we belong to you.

And yet, though trusting you fully, we are troubled in so many ways. We look to you, yet we lament.

  • We’re troubled for a nation that has set its way against the Creator. Marriage is something it can and should recognize and regulate, but marriage is not the state’s to change, for the state did not design human beings. It governs them. Lord, we trust you with calm, serious, and happy reverence for the institution you made, even if we look crazy for it.
  • We’re troubled for those who experience same-sex attraction, that the affirmation of their desires as good might put them farther from the life-saving truth about sin and salvation in the gospel. Lord, we trust you to perform the miracle that is always your to perform in conversion—to open blind eyes and save sinners.
  • We’re troubled for those in our lives whom we love, people made in your image, who believe and even celebrate a lie that leads to death. This is so very sad. Lord, may we trust you and your Word when it seems like so few do.
  • We’re troubled for children yet unborn who will inherit a world with a more confused vision of marriage than we’ve known ourselves, children who will have a lesser chance of growing up with the mother and father who made them. Trends in other lands confirm what we would expect: that laws teach norms and norms matter. Lord, may we trust you to be the Father of the fatherless.
  • We’re troubled for what it will mean to be wrongly identified by culture and law as bigoted—for what this will mean for our influence in the schools, as teachers, as parents on PTO boards; for what it will mean for our workplace relationships when we can’t congratulate a friend on their engagement or attend their wedding; when we are ruled out for a promotion or position of influence; when certain vocations, in time, are simply out of bounds for people who believe what we do. Lord, may we trust you more as exiles in this world, as strangers and as aliens.
  • We’re troubled for how this will effect the freedom of people of all revealed faiths—Muslims, Jews, Christians, and others—who hold to a traditional understanding of marriage, and for the temptation they will face to deny what they know and so sin against their conscience. Lord, may we trust you with hard work for the just freedom of all persons to believe without coercion and exercise their religion in the normal course of their lives.
  • We’re troubled for how this may over time effect our work together for the common good in Christian day-cares, schools for children, Christian colleges and universities, campus ministries, military chaplain programs, adoption agencies, and even perhaps Christians who desire to foster and adopt little ones. Lord, may we trust you with persevering and painstaking work for the good of our communities.
  • We’re troubled for the pressure our elected officials will feel to be on the so-called “right side of history” on future erosions of marriage that seem inevitable when marriage is untethered from the twoness of the sexes. May we trust you with patient, persevering, and prudent self-government.
  • We’re troubled for the temptation Christians and churches will face to abandon a faithful witness by either denying the sinfulness of sin and so losing the gospel, or by affirming the truth about marriage in a way that denies its beauty and repels sinners. Neither response will ensure that we are a refuge for sinners who need refuge when sin’s empty promises leave them hurt, guilty, and alone. Lord, may we trust you—we need you—to keep us from timidity and from pride. May we make sin known and be known for our Savior from sin.
  • Lord, we are troubled about many things. We are even troubled by how much others are or aren’t troubled by these things we have lamented. Give us unity around the main things and wisdom together to know when those things are at stake. Give us patience in our listening and wisdom and winsomeness in our speech.

Thankfully, while there many reasons to lament, there are still many more to trust, and in trusting, to sing and to rejoice.

  • And so we rejoice in Christ, risen from the dead and seated. Our world changes, but he isn’t going anywhere. We fear nothing for nothing can separate us from him.
  • We rejoice in Christ, who was a stranger in this world. Every difficulty for his sake confirms that we are his.
  • And we rejoice in Christ, who is building his church. Maybe now, Father, you will be pleased to receive more glory in us as we give you more glory in our marriages against the backdrop of a place that is trading it in.

Glorify your Son—the King of Glory, the Highest Judge, our Risen Lamb—in whose name we pray.

Amen.

Helpful responses to the Supreme Court ruling:

Books to equip you for crucial conversations:

For a helpful tone-setting response to the decision, here’s a video from Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Finally, in case you missed it, click here to watch or listen to a three part seminar hosted last year at Desert Springs Church, titled, Homosexual Marriage: Seeking Clarity, Conviction, and Compassion.

Oct 31

Pray for New Mexico’s Teachers and Preachers

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Prayer

From October 22-24, DSC hosted the third annual Charles Simeon Trust Albuquerque Workshop on Biblical Exposition.

If that’s an earful, which it is, it’s enough to say that this workshop serves as a kind of spring training for a number of teachers and preachers in our area. Each workshop is made up of three elements:

  1. Six instructional sessions to sharpen tools for Bible interpretation
  2. Three Bible exposition sessions to demonstrate the power of the Word faithfully preached
  3. Six hours of small group interaction on Biblical texts

This year our workshop was concentrated on the gospels and, specifically, the Gospel according to Mark. To learn more about the Simeon Trust workshops, click here.

Naturally, our prayers are often centered on what’s happening in our life, our city, and our church. In addition, we often pray for the remotest parts of the world. This is all very good. But as you read this post, consider praying for the teaching and preaching ministries of the churches throughout our region, and specifically New Mexico. God gets his work in the world done through the Word. The church needs men who are progressing in their work with the Bible. That’s what this workshop week was about, and it’s what we can pray will continue for the strength of the church in our place.

Here are some photos from the week:

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This year we were joined by 45 preachers and teachers on site from 27 different churches, including 20 preaching pastors from churches around the region. Assuming each of these guys will go home more faithful in his teaching and preaching, 5300 congregation members will hear the Bible more clearly for the investment of these men in this week of study.

Nov 19

A Prayer for the Philippines and for the Unborn

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Prayer

The following is a prayer adapted from the pastoral prayer from Sunday, November 17, 2013. 

Great Father of glory, we rejoice as we ponder your salvation.

Salvation is yours and you are on your throne. And one day we will know this salvation in its fullness in the new creation: a place without sin; a place without competing and false gods; a place without the proud human opposition to your throne, which though futile is everywhere around us, and in us; a place without sin, sadness, and death.

While we wait, we pray now for those caught in a fallen world.

We want to pray for those who have been devastated by the winds and waves in the Philippines. Rows of bodies are even now being collected and staged for burial in mass trenches. The body count is devastating. The heartbreak of parents and of children is unlike anything most of us here have known. This Typhoon was not beyond your jurisdiction. It was a part of the world you cursed because of Adam’s sin. It is a reminder that the entire world is under judgment, even if this tragedy is not a specific judgment for the specific sins of a specific people. Father, as your Word says, the creation groans. We have heard it grown this week. We pray that these dark days would lead to great light and hope for the people of the Philippines. May your work through your people with your Word bear great fruit. We pray for help, and comfort, and safety for those sleeping under the stars even now, perhaps especially for women and for children without the protection of the husbands and fathers they have lost. And most of all we pray that this shake up of everything familiar to these precious people would mean a shake up of their lives at levels deeper than they could imagine. We may not be able to track it and trace it, but perhaps you would be pleased to grant salvation to many through the doors that this tragedy will open for the gospel.

And Father, we pray for the unborn sons and daughters in the wombs of mothers in our city. Specifically, in light of the ordinance brought before our city this week, we pray for the restraining grace of human government to be more closely aligned with the reality of human life in the womb, and the reality that all human life is valuable as such, and not just certain kinds of human life. We are a people in history uniquely privileged and accountable with our hand on the wheel here, not only governed but governing through our political process. And so we pray for the day when we will look back on these years as a nation with great contrition and embarrassment at what our laws taught, approved, and even promoted, and with great joy at how you have answered our prayers.

We pray for the witness of the church and for many conversations to take place this week. We pray for conversations this week with those who are considering an abortion, that our words and our lives would clearly and beautifully demonstrate the preciousness of human life. We pray for conversations this week with men and women who have committed abortions, that we may offer the hope of the gospel to them, which forgives all of our sins. We pray for conversations with this week with those who approve of abortion, that their minds and that their hearts may be changed.

Father, we remember that the New Testament Scriptures were written in the midst of the great darkness that is this world, in the midst of persecution, and in a world filled with great evil. And yet they were written with resilient hope and a certain confidence in your wise purposes centered in Jesus Christ. We thank you for bringing us into this hope. We thank you for opening our eyes and calling us into the light. We pray that you would do that for many in our city through the preaching of the gospel this week.

Gracious Father, we need your Word. We are dead without it.

In Jesus’ name we pray these things,

Amen.

Oct 3

Pray for New Mexico’s Preaching Pastors

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Prayer

If the church is to be strong for her work in the world, she will need to be established in the Word. Preachers are a primary way God gets that done. Listen to how Paul described Timothy’s job:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. – 1 Timothy 4:1-2

And so this is how we can pray for the church: by praying for God’s preachers to preach God’s Word.

This week at DSC we’ve had 40 pastors from throughout the region on site for a preaching workshop led by Simeon Trust. It’s called, the Simeon Trust Workshop on Biblical Exposition and this is DSC’s second year to host this three day event. Its purpose is to help pastors grow in their confidence in and ability with the Word of God. For those interested in theological training who desire to know and teach the Bible well, Simeon Trust also offers an online course worth checking out here.

Below are some pictures from the last few days of the workshop. As you browse these photos and as this workshop comes to mind, please pray for these men and for their encouragement in the lofty, difficult, and wonderful task of preaching the Word.

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This Sunday morning, Juan Sanchez, one of this year’s workshop speakers, will be preaching for us. Prepare for his sermon, titled, “When God is No Longer Silent,” by reading 1 Samuel 3. Juan is the preaching pastor at High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, and a council member for The Gospel Coalition.