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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What Is Prayer?

Have you ever felt far from God, separated by feelings of failure and personal problems?  The secret of a close relationship with God is earnest prayer.  Prayer is a relationship with God.  And what happens when we are in a relationship?  We learn.  We grow.  We change.  We listen.  We love.  As we pray, we learn more about God.  We grow more in our walk with Him.  We change (for the better).  We listen more to Him.  We love Him more.

In short, prayer is time with God.

As I began reading and studying on prayer, I knew that to begin with, I would have to define it.  I wrote down: Prayer is communication with God.  It seemed simple enough.  But then I looked at those first two words—Prayer is…—and began to add.  Prayer is your lifeline to God…Prayer is a weapon against evil…Prayer is not a way to control God, but a way for us to submit to Him…Prayer is what best glorifies God.  Pretty soon, what was meant to be a basic intro to prayer turned into twenty pages of notes and quotes.

So…I thought it would be fun to let professionals tell you what prayer is (don’t worry…I cut the twenty pages down).  However, don’t just skim through a post of quotes.  Actually let their words sink in, because much of what you read here will be needed to fully understand the posts that follow.

All About Prayer:  Imagine meeting your best friend for coffee at your favorite cafĂ©.  Your friend knows everything about you.  You can count on your friend being exactly where they say they’ll be.  Anytime you need them, you can call and they won’t be upset with you.  They are willing to listen and respond with love and concern.  That is just like prayer.  The only difference is that your best friend is God.  You can talk to Him about anything that concerns you.  Tell Him your desires and passions.  Share your concerns for your loved ones.  Talk out your fears with Him.  Prayer is our direct line with heaven.

Matilda Andross:  Prayer is more powerful than habits, heredity, and natural tendencies.  It can overcome all these.  It is more powerful than the forces that hold the planets in place.  Prayer, though it comes from the heart of an unlearned child of God, can suspend the laws of the universe, if such be God’s will, just as the sun stood still when Joshua prayed.  There is no other power on earth that the enemy of souls hates and fears as he does prayer.  We are told that ‘Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.’

Henry Ward Beecher:  Prayer covers the whole of a man’s life.  There is no thought, feeling, yearning or desire, however low, trifling, or vulgar we may deem it, which, if it affects our real interest or happiness, we may not lay before God and be sure of sympathy.

Winfield Bevins:  Prayer is one of the foundational disciplines of a disciple (John 15:4).  Prayer is personal communion with the living God.  It refers to the greatest privilege a Christian can have—access to God Himself.  Through prayer, disciples become intimate with the Lord.

Prayer is the medium that brings individuals into contact with the same Spirit who inspired the writers of the Bible.  To hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying through the Word, you must encounter God through prayer.  Without the assistance of the Holy Spirit in prayer, our Bible study will be in vain.

Ambrose Bierce:  Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

E.M. Bounds:  Prayer is of transcendent importance. Prayer is the mightiest agent to advance God's work.  Praying hearts and hands only can do God's work.  Prayer succeeds when all else fails.

Prayer is the easiest and hardest of all things; the simplest and the sublime-est; the weakest and the most powerful.

Prayer is the genius and mainspring of life.

Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid.

Phillips Brooks:  Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance, but taking hold of God’s willingness.

Thomas B. Brooks:  Prayer crowns God with the honor and glory due to His name, and God crowns prayer with assurance and comfort.  The most praying souls are the most assured souls.

John Bunyan:  Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin entice a man to cease from prayer.

Oswald Chambers:  Prayer is not an exercise.  It is the life of the saint.

Prayer does not equip us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.

Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry:  Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.  It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made.  Prayer is the place of admitting our need and claiming dependence upon God.  It is the exercise of faith and hope.  Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord.

Christian Answers:  Prayer is the connection of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to Him.

Jim Cymbala:  Prayer is the opening of the heart so we can receive all these good things that God has for us every day.  It's like sitting down at a table that God has prepared for us.  He says, 'I have everything you need today – all the grace, all the wisdom, all the provision that you need – but sit down at the table and eat.  Don't be so rushed and so busy and try to live without My supply.'

Mark Driscoll:  Prayer is conversing—communicating with God.  This includes speaking out loud.  This also includes silent prayer.  Prayer can include journaling.  For some, it includes songwriting and/or poetry.  It’s communicating, speaking with God in the most general sense.  Prayer also includes listening to God.  Silence and solitude.  That’s how we build our relationship with God.

Billy Graham:  Prayer is spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him.  Prayer to God is like a child’s conversation with his father.  It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs.

Priya Johnson:  Prayer is the utterance from your spirit to God.  In simple terms, talking to God is called prayer.  It’s the simple opening of one’s heart to our Father in Heaven.  It’s coming to Him and telling Him everything in our heart.

Chiang Kai-shek:  Prayer is more than meditation.  In meditation the source of strength is one’s self.  When one prays, he goes to a source of strength greater than his own.

Peter Kasirivu:  Prayer is going to Him and spending time in fellowship with Him.  Therefore, prayer is intimacy with God.

In Genesis 5, it notes that Enoch lived long and walked with God. this chapter, it mentions plenty of other people.  It mentions how many children they had—some had plenty more than Enoch.  It mentions how long they lived—many lived longer than Enoch.  Yet...Enoch is the only one mentioned as having walked with God.  This shows us that it doesn’t matter how long we live, or how much we prosper.  What matters is our relationship with God.

Prayer is waiting upon God.  Prayer is not just about getting a fix for your problems, but having a relationship with God—and relationships are not built by speed, but by time (Isaiah 40:29).  Most of us do not like to wait.  We have cars and microwaves and broadband and Federal Express...there is always a rush to get somewhere or do something.  We want to put God in this instant mode.  But God cannot be rushed.  God desires time.  He wants us to spend time with Him.  You might ask, “What am I doing in prayer?”  Just.  Be.  There.  Remember those early times with your (eventual) spouse?  You spent all of your time with each other.  You talked about just talked.  That’s what God wants with us.  And when we do that, God exchanges our weaknesses with His strength.  He takes away our failures and gives us His abilities.

Tim Keller:  The point of prayer is to get the heart back in the true orbit.  To worship and center on God.  Prayer is not to say that He’s’s to make Him central.

F.B. Meyer:  Prayer means not always talking to Him, but waiting before Him till the dust settles and the stream runs clear.

J.I. Packer:  I believe that prayer is the measure of the man, spiritually, in a way that nothing else is, so that how we pray is as important a question as we can ever face.

Arthur W. Pink:  Real prayer is communion with God, so that there will be common thoughts between His mind and ours.  What is needed is for Him to fill our hearts with His thoughts, and then His desires will become our desires flowing back to Him.

Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.

John Piper:  Earnest, heartfelt prayer is the means by which we couple ourselves to the locomotive of God's power… The Bible tells us not to put our trust in men.  What can man do?  The most valuable thing people can do is pray to a God with whom all things are possible.

Prayer is not a bell to call the servants to satisfy some desire we happen to feel, it is a battlefield transmitter for staying in touch with the general.

Prayer means asking God for things.  By "things" I don't mean objects – stuff.  I mean, generally, whatever your heart desires or needs.  And, of course, what your heart needs most is God – to know Him and trust Him and love Him and obey Him.

Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God.

The essence of prayer is the expression of our dependence on God through requests.

Praying is the way we mirror God.  A mirror faces away from itself to its source of light so that it might have some use in the world, and prayer faces away from itself toward God so that it might be of some use in the world.  A mirror is designed to receive light and channel it for the good of others, and prayer is designed to receive grace and channel it for the good of others.  The value of a mirror is not in itself, but in its potential to let something else be seen.  And the value of prayer is not in itself, but in its potential to let the power and beauty of God be seen.  A mirror is utterly dependent on the source of light from outside itself, and prayer is the posture of the childlike, utterly dependent on the resources and kindness of the heavenly Father.

Prayer is more precious than life.

Prayer is the means of grace that God uses to keep us secure and cause us to persevere to the end in faith.

Prayer is intentionally conveying a message to God, and that prayer can be at least five different kinds of message:
-         You can ask for something—this is the most basic meaning of prayer, and God delights for His children to ask Him for help.
-         You can praise Him or marvel at Him or give expression to your adoration of Him.
-         You can thank Him for His gifts and his acts (which is not the same as praising Him for His nature).
-         You can confess your sins and tell the Lord that you are sorry.
-         You can complain to the Lord.  It’s not good to have a complaining heart.  The heart should trust God in all His sweet and bitter providences.  So why then say we should complain to the Lord?  Because sometimes our hearts do complain about the circumstances God has given us, and even though our hearts shouldn’t do this, it is better to consciously direct it toward the Lord than to think He doesn’t see it.  Acting like you are not complaining is hypocrisy and will make you a very phony, shallow, plastic person in the end.

Chuck Smith:  Prayer is the most important activity a born-again Christian can perform.

Charles Spurgeon:  Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus.  It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian.

John R.W. Stott:  Prayer is not a convenient device for imposing our will upon God, or bending His will to ours, but the prescribed way of subordinating our will to his.

A.J. Swoboda:  Prayer is trust in the form of silence and contemplation and honesty.

To be sure, it’s almost certain that God didn’t invent the garden because He needed more vegetables.  He invented the garden and put Adam and Eve in it because He wanted someone to walk around with and talk about vegetables.  ‘God, how did you invent carrots?’  ‘How’d you pull that whole sunset thing off, God?’  The garden is about friendship, not farming.  God could have simply invented a carrot if He was hungry.  God’s invention of the garden was simultaneously the invention of prayer.  Prayer, I guess, is a result of eating the fruit in Eden, isn’t it?
“Before that, prayer consisted of nothing more than coming out of your tent right by the avocado trees and walking up to God by the river and saying, ‘Hey, wanna go swimming?’  I think that was the sort of thing God was after when He started the world.  Afternoons with Eve and Adam.  Just being together in the river by Eden.  Soon, though, eating the fruit forced their modes of conversation to change.  It went from face-to-face to eyes-closed-for-a-minute, ending with an ‘amen’ and ‘in Jesus’s name,’—like a married couple deciding to relate only by tweeting each other through the day.  What a sad replacement.
“From walking with God in Eden to formulaic statements...But while the Bible says that the first Adam led us all into sin, the Bible also says that a second Adam came who would redeem everything.  His name was Jesus.  Jesus came to redeem and turn around all the ridiculousness that the first Adam created.  It is implied in the Bible that the second Adam got done everything that needed to be done.  No one else could do what He did.  Prayer is practicing the realization that you are not the third Adam.  Someone else already got the stuff done that needs to get done.
“Prayer just keeps the book open.”

Mother Teresa:  Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself.

John Wesley:  Whether we think of; or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for Him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than His love, and the desire of pleasing Him.

Lord, I thank You for the words of these much wiser speakers and writers.  I thank You for providing me the time and patience to find them all, organize them, and use them for Your purpose.  I thank You for trusting me with Your message.  I pray that this post shows the reader that prayer is easier than many believe, yet more vital than most make it.  That it is an exciting and marvelous gift that You have given us, yet not something to be taken lightly.  Lord, I pray that these words speak to as many as possible, and that the Spirit moves in the reader (and myself) to begin a new, focused, dedicated, and fervent prayer life.  I pray this all in Jesus’s name, amen.

Next week:  Why we pray.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An Intro to Prayer

In the weeks and months to follow, I am going to be writing a lot about prayer.  Why?  Because it’s ridiculously important.  Romans 12:12 says that we are to be “devoted” to prayer.  Acts 1:14, 2:42, 6:4, and Colossians 4:2 also mention being “devoted” to prayer.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 says that we should “pray without ceasing.”  One website that I named a couple weeks ago listed 222 prayers from the Bible.  Another sermon that I listened to said that there are over 650 prayers in the Bible (377 references to praise and 375 references to prayer).  Go through all of my posts so far and look for references or instructions to pray.

It’s important.

Yet, how’s your prayer life?  Do you “pray without ceasing”?  Are you “devoted” to prayer?  I’ll bet not.  I know I’m not.  I’m terrible at praying.  It is hands-down the weakest part of my faith, when it needs to be my strongest.  Sound familiar?

In a sermon given a few years ago, John Piper noted that fifty students in a North American seminary, who were planning to go overseas in ministry for the summer, were interviewed.  Only three of those fifty (6 percent) admitted to regular devotion to prayer.  Piper said, “We assume that our pastors and missionaries are the models, but we would be shocked, I am afraid.”  He’s right.  In an Ellis Research survey for Facts and Trends, they recently found that just 16 percent of pastors are very satisfied with their personal prayer lives, 47 percent are somewhat satisfied, 30 percent are dissatisfied, and 7 percent are very dissatisfied.  Pastors.

We don’t pray.  Notice I didn’t add the word “enough” there.  That’s because “We don’t pray enough” isn’t correct.  We don’t pray.

Jim Cymbala:  Paul says in 1 Timothy, “First of all, I want men and women in the church to pray.”  I don’t think it’s our “first of all” priority.  We’ve lost the element of prayer.
Todd Nighswonger:  We’ve lost the joy of prayer.  Prayer puts us in His presence.  That should be awesome, but we’ve forgotten that.  We’ve forgotten this honor.
John Piper:  One of the great short-term tragedies in the church is how little inclination we have to pray...The hard truth is that most Christians don’t pray very much.  They pray at meals.  They whisper prayers before tough moments.  They say something brief as they crawl into bed.  But very few set aside specific times to pray alone.  And we wonder why our faith is weak.  Our hope is feeble.  Our passion for Christ so small.

That’s just a taste of what’s out there, but I think you get the point.  I’m not trying to guilt you into a stronger prayer life.  Praying because we feel guilty not praying goes against what God wants.  Guilt isn’t the answer.

Then what is?  Unfortunately, to answer that question, we have to look at a different one: Why don’t we pray?  That answer is so complex that it’s actually going to be an entire post by itself.  For starters: We don’t have the time...We don’t know how...It’s boring.  Just a few common responses.

Many Christians don’t even fully understand what prayer is or why we should do it.  A lot of us don’t know how to pray, so we don’t bother.  Many use the term lightly—“I’ll pray for you!!” (and then we don’t).  We don’t fully comprehend the importance or value of someone praying for us.  We don’t know when God has answered...or if He’s answered...or how to respond when He says no.  For that matter, we treat God like a genie in a bottle—like He’s supposed to obey our every command—and then we get pissed and toss Him away when He has the audacity to say no.

We are great at taking things for granted.  It’s one of the areas of life that we do the best.  Our biggest problem is not disbelieving in God—it’s talking to Him.  We take that line of communication for granted.  We use it only when we need stuff.  For many of us, prayer is our most selfish act.

The purpose of these posts is to help.  Help you (and me) to understand why prayer is so important to our faith.  Help us understand how to pray.  When to pray.  Heck...take a look at my outline.  Here are all the concepts I hope to cover.  Many will be posts by themselves.  Some might be joined.  Some may get cut.  Some may be so long that they have to be split.

Possible topics:
-         Why we should pray
-         How God answers (yes, no, not now...through signs?...through other people...)
-         How to respond when God does answer (yes or no)
-         When does God answer?
-         How we should pray
-         What should we pray about?  (Who should we pray for?)
-         What should we not pray about?
-         The Lord’s Prayer
-         When should we pray?
-         When God doesn’t answer (or Why He says no...or Why can’t I hear Him?)
-         The Hour-Long Challenge
-         How do I know if my answer comes from God?
-         What praying does for us (and others)
-         Why God rejoices when we pray
-         Prayer as a weapon (vs evil)
-         Where should you pray (private, in church, with others, etc)
-         What is prayer?
-         How praying with others brings you closer to them as well
-         Why do so many people close with “ Jesus’s name, Amen.” Or “ Your Son’s name, Amen.”
-         What is fasting?  Why does it frequently appear in the Bible with prayer?  Do you HAVE to fast with prayer?
-         Why DON’T we pray?  What keeps us from praying?  What distracts us?

I hope you are beginning to see the massive undertaking I am diving into (if you can think of anything else you’d like me to add to this list, I’m all ears).  I have been prepping for this since school let out.  During the last three weeks, I have visited over 100 websites, read over 70 articles/columns and literally hundreds of scripture, and watched and/or listened to over 70 online sermons.  To date, I have over 700 pages of notes that I’m sifting through.  To be perfectly honest, I’m overwhelmed.  I feel like I’m in over my head here.  The Bible says that the teachers are judged harder, and I’m far from experienced here.  Most of my posts have been more motivational than instructional so far…I don’t feel ready (or qualified) to teach.

Yet…that’s exactly what I feel God is telling me to do.  Here.  Now.  So, I’m terrified, but I’m doing it.  That’s probably why I have so many notes.  When all of this is finished, I hope that prayer is not only easier for us, but it becomes something we love to do.  I hope we get excited about it.  I hope…actually, John Piper spoke on this, and I like the way he phrased it better:

1. I dream of thousands of people daily finding a secluded place and time for personal communion with God, confessing sins, thanking God for blessings, praising him for his perfections, asking for help in your life, and interceding earnestly for others.  Every day in your solitary place and time.
2. I dream of hundreds of married couples on their knees together, not with the children at meals or for family devotions, but just the two of you praying out loud together for each other's holiness, and for your marriage, and for your children, and your church, and your neighbors, and our missionaries, and the advance of God's saving power in the world.
3. I dream of hundreds of families where every day not just at meal time but in the morning, or in the evening, or both, the children are gathered and the word of God is read and everyone prays so that the smallest children learn from the earliest times: prayer is an essential part of my parents' lives and our life as a family.
4. I dream of hundreds of small groups and hundreds of deep friendships where people are praying for each other—hands on prayer for healing, for reconciliation, for lost loved ones, for seemingly intractable sin, for endurance in faith, and where groups and friends are uniting to pray for a cause together, and where the mission of the church is carried in prayer.
5. I dream of worship services in which everyone is radically, deeply, joyfully, authentically engaged with God in prayer all through the entire service—praying as you come, praying as you sing, praying as you listen, praying as you go.

There is a movement going on right now.  I was swept up in it back in January, but now I see it everywhere.  The Spirit is moving in 2012.  A.T. Pierson said, “There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.”  Praying needs to become front-and-center for all of us.  We cannot afford to let prayer be a passive verb in our lives anymore.  It needs to be the strongest action verb in your day-to-day operations.

John Piper said, “The deepest need of every person is to know God.”  We can’t do that without prayer.  We all say that we want to be like Jesus.  Well…Jesus was a man of prayer.  Let’s be like Jesus.  Let’s be devoted men and women of prayer.  I think you and I are in for quite a journey.  Let’s hold hands, bow our hands, and jump in together.

Next week:  What is prayer?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Biblical Prayers, Part 5

Throughout all of my posts in the early stages of Cromulent Thoughts, I have referenced prayer numerous times.  Clearly, prayer is important.  In fact, many times, while mentioning prayer in a post, I have added some form of this tag: “Which I will address in a future post.”  In short, I have hinted at prayer frequently, but really have not written about prayer at all (the closest being the Listening to God post).  This was done on purpose, as I knew the issue of prayer would require a lot of research that I simply did not have time for during the school year.

Postponing these posts proved prophetic.  Since my last post, I have begun researching prayer and all the different directions I could go with it.  I am roughly one-half – to – two-thirds finished with my research…and have 110 pages of notes.  Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me and need more time.  Still, I didn’t want to leave my die-hards hanging (Hi, Mom!!), so I decided to put together an introduction to my future prayer posts.

What I’m giving you this week is a glimpse of all the different prayers provided in the Bible.  This is straight-up NIV scripture.  However…putting this together, I ran into another problem.  The prayer scriptures accumulated over fifty-three pages.  So…in a Cromulent Thoughts first…I am going to provide one post a day this week.  Each day will be roughly ten pages of verbal prayer provided from scripture.

A few notes: I used this site for a lot of help.  It’s actually a pretty cool site, so check it out.  It provides more information than I’m giving here.  According to his site, there are 222 noted prayers in the Bible.  I disagree with him on a few…as I’m sure you’ll disagree with him and/or me on a few.  Current count: I will be providing 126 prayers this week.  Now, technically, one could argue that every psalm is a prayer.  Due to that, I only included Psalm 77 because it’s awesome but long.  I also tried not to include any conversations with God (like Adam and Eve talking with God…Moses…etc).  I also didn’t include any prayers that people prayed to Jesus while He walked the earth—mainly for the sake of space.  Also for space, I tried to stick to just the prayer, so parts of many verses have been edited.  Additionally, if the Bible merely noted that someone prayed, it is not included in this list, or on the site linked above.  The goal is to show actual worded prayer being sent via Biblical Express to the Big Guy.

The purpose of this week is to show how people in the Bible prayed.  These prayers will be referenced a lot in future posts—not just the prayers themselves, but who prayed…why they were praying…how they prayed…how/if their prayer was answered…and how they reacted to answered prayer.  So look for patterns in prayers, and then open your Bibles to find out how (or if) God responded.

Finally, I’m sure I’ve missed some, and I’m sure there are a few that are included that you might consider an Old Testament conversation with God and not a prayer…but cut me some slack.  The Bible is loaded with prayers, and I’m not a biblical scholar.

New Testament
6:9-13 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.’”

11:25-26 “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.”

26:39, 42 “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will…My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

27:46 “Eli, Eli,  lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

7:34 “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”).

2:29-32 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
    which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

18:11-12 “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.”

18:13 “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

23:46 “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

11:41-42 “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

12:27-28 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say?  ‘Father, save me from this hour’?  No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  Father, glorify your name!”

Chapter 17: “Father, the hour has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.  They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.  Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.  For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them.  They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.  I pray for them.  I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.  All I have is yours, and all you have is mine.  And glory has come to me through them.  I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you.  Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.  While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.  None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.  I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
“My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.  Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.  I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

1:24-25 “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.  Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”

3:6 “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

4:24-30 “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.  You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
“‘Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
against the Lord
    and against his anointed one.’
Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.  They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.  Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.  Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

7:59-60 “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit…Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

4:8 “‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.”

4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”

5:12 “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”

5:13 “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

6:10 “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

7:10 “Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

7:12 “Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.

19:1-8 “Hallelujah!
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
     for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great prostitute
    who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
And again they shouted:
The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”
The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried:
“Amen, Hallelujah!”
Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
“Praise our God,
    all you his servants,
you who fear him,
    both great and small!”
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
    For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her to wear.”

22:20 “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.