When I’m reading the Bible (be it for a sermon, Bible class, or my own devotional reading), prayer is usually a part of the picture. God speaks to me in his Word, and this often leads to me speaking to him in prayer. It’s a great privilege that I have only because Jesus has given me this access to my heavenly Father! (Eph. 2:18)
Sometimes, though, I find that one specific passage is just screaming for a prayer. When I read one of these passages, I almost can’t help but pray about it. Since one of the reasons I have this blog is to allow myself to practice expressing my thoughts (and my prayers), I thought I’d share one of these particular verses here, along with a prayer to go with it.
A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord’s work! ~ Jeremiah 48:10
Dear Heavenly Father,
You have called me into the faith in my baptism. You have called me to serve you as a pastor. You have given me the privilege of doing your work for your people. But, Father, I have often been lax in this work. I have not lived up to your standards. I have let my frustrations, my ideas, and my laziness get in the way of the work you would have me do. I know that this sin brings a curse. I know that not only do I not deserve the position and blessings you have given me, but I also do deserve your punishment, both now and forever.
As I look to you for mercy, Lord, I give thanks that it is already mine! You sent your Son Jesus to bear this curse in my place. My curse was given to your Son in his suffering, his blood, and his death. Jesus’ reward of life, which he proved was his by rising again, you have given me by faith. You have covered me with your Son’s righteousness by faith. You have removed my sins far from. I can never thank you enough!
Yet I do thank you! I thank you by serving you! Fill me, Lord, with the strength to do this! Give me insight through your Holy Spirit when I study your Word. Give me energy and strength to perform your work that you have placed before me. Destroy in me the temptation to turn from your work to do my own thing. Create in me a new heart to serve you willingly and fully.
I pray this and ask you this not because I deserve your help and blessings, but because Jesus Christ has given this privilege to me. I pray knowing you hear me and will bless me for your Son’s sake. I pray this in his name. Amen.
This prayer won’t apply to everyone, of course, especially if you’re not a pastor, but I hope some of the thoughts might spark your own thinking when God’s Word is screaming for a prayer from you, too.