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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Biblical Prayers, Part 3

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.


Old Testament
Job:
1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

7:17-21 “What is mankind that you make so much of them,
    that you give them so much attention,
that you examine them every morning
    and test them every moment?
Will you never look away from me,
    or let me alone even for an instant?
If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
    you who see everything we do?
Why have you made me your target?
    Have I become a burden to you?
Why do you not pardon my offenses
    and forgive my sins?
For I will soon lie down in the dust;
    you will search for me, but I will be no more.”

9:25 – 10:22 “My days are swifter than a runner;
    they fly away without a glimpse of joy.
They skim past like boats of papyrus,
    like eagles swooping down on their prey.
If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
    I will change my expression, and smile,’
I still dread all my sufferings,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.
Since I am already found guilty,
    why should I struggle in vain?
Even if I washed myself with soap
    and my hands with cleansing powder,
you would plunge me into a slime pit
    so that even my clothes would detest me.
“He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him,
    that we might confront each other in court.
If only there were someone to mediate between us,
    someone to bring us together,
someone to remove God’s rod from me,
    so that his terror would frighten me no more.
Then I would speak up without fear of him,
    but as it now stands with me, I cannot.
Chapter 10: “I loathe my very life;
    therefore I will give free rein to my complaint
    and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
I say to God: Do not declare me guilty,
    but tell me what charges you have against me.
Does it please you to oppress me,
    to spurn the work of your hands,
    while you smile on the plans of the wicked?
Do you have eyes of flesh?
    Do you see as a mortal sees?
Are your days like those of a mortal
    or your years like those of a strong man,
that you must search out my faults
    and probe after my sin —
though you know that I am not guilty
    and that no one can rescue me from your hand?
“Your hands shaped me and made me.
    Will you now turn and destroy me?
Remember that you molded me like clay.
    Will you now turn me to dust again?
Did you not pour me out like milk
    and curdle me like cheese,
clothe me with skin and flesh
    and knit me together with bones and sinews?
You gave me life and showed me kindness,
    and in your providence watched over my spirit.
“But this is what you concealed in your heart,
    and I know that this was in your mind:
If I sinned, you would be watching me
    and would not let my offense go unpunished.
If I am guilty —woe to me!
    Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head,
for I am full of shame
    and drowned in my affliction.
If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion
    and again display your awesome power against me.
You bring new witnesses against me
    and increase your anger toward me;
    your forces come against me wave upon wave.
“Why then did you bring me out of the womb?
    I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
If only I had never come into being,
    or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!
Are not my few days almost over?
    Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy
before I go to the place of no return,
    to the land of gloom and utter darkness,
to the land of deepest night,
    of utter darkness and disorder,
    where even the light is like darkness.”

14:13-22 “If only you would hide me in the grave
    and conceal me till your anger has passed!
If only you would set me a time
    and then remember me!
If someone dies, will they live again?
    All the days of my hard service
    I will wait for my renewal to come.
You will call and I will answer you;
    you will long for the creature your hands have made.
Surely then you will count my steps
    but not keep track of my sin.
My offenses will be sealed up in a bag;
    you will cover over my sin.
“But as a mountain erodes and crumbles
    and as a rock is moved from its place,
as water wears away stones
    and torrents wash away the soil,
    so you destroy a person’s hope.
You overpower them once for all, and they are gone;
    you change their countenance and send them away.
If their children are honored, they do not know it;
    if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it.
They feel but the pain of their own bodies
    and mourn only for themselves. ”

40:3-5 “I am unworthy —how can I reply to you?
    I put my hand over my mouth.
I spoke once, but I have no answer —
    twice, but I will say no more.”

42:2-6 “I know that you can do all things;
    no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me to know.
“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.’
My ears had heard of you
    but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
    and repent in dust and ashes.”


Psalms:
77:1-12 I cried out to God for help;
    I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
    at night I stretched out untiring hands,
    and I would not be comforted.
I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
    I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing;
    I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
    the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
    My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
“Will the Lord reject forever?
    Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
    Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
    Has he in anger withheld his compassion? ”
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
    the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”


Isaiah:
37:16-20 Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.  You have made heaven and earth.  Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.
“It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands.  They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.  Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are the only God.”

38:3 “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.”


Jeremiah:
1:6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

4:10 “Alas, Sovereign Lord! How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats!”

10:23-25 Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
    it is not for them to direct their steps.
Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—
    not in your anger,
    or you will reduce me to nothing.
Pour out your wrath on the nations
    that do not acknowledge you,
    on the peoples who do not call on your name.
For they have devoured Jacob;
    they have devoured him completely
    and destroyed his homeland.

12:1-4 You are always righteous, Lord,
    when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted them, and they have taken root;
    they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
    but far from their hearts.
Yet you know me, Lord;
    you see me and test my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep to be butchered!
    Set them apart for the day of slaughter!
How long will the land lie parched
    and the grass in every field be withered?
Because those who live in it are wicked,
    the animals and birds have perished.
Moreover, the people are saying,
    “He will not see what happens to us.”

14:7-9 Although our sins testify against us,
    do something, Lord, for the sake of your name.
For we have often rebelled;
    we have sinned against you.
You who are the hope of Israel,
    its Savior in times of distress,
why are you like a stranger in the land,
    like a traveler who stays only a night?
Why are you like a man taken by surprise,
    like a warrior powerless to save?
You are among us, Lord,
    and we bear your name;
    do not forsake us!

14:20-22 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,
    and the guilt of our ancestors;
    we have indeed sinned against you.
For the sake of your name do not despise us;
    do not dishonor your glorious throne.
Remember your covenant with us
    and do not break it.
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
    Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, Lord our God.
    Therefore our hope is in you,
    for you are the one who does all this.

15:15-18 Lord, you understand;
    remember me and care for me.
    Avenge me on my persecutors.
You are long-suffering —do not take me away;
    think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.
When your words came, I ate them;
    they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name,
    Lord God Almighty.
I never sat in the company of revelers,
    never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand was on me
    and you had filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain unending
    and my wound grievous and incurable?
You are to me like a deceptive brook,
    like a spring that fails.

17:13-18 Lord, you are the hope of Israel;
    all who forsake you will be put to shame.
Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust
    because they have forsaken the Lord,
    the spring of living water.
Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
    save me and I will be saved,
    for you are the one I praise.
They keep saying to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it now be fulfilled!”
I have not run away from being your shepherd;
    you know I have not desired the day of despair.
    What passes my lips is open before you.
Do not be a terror to me;
    you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
Let my persecutors be put to shame,
    but keep me from shame;
let them be terrified,
    but keep me from terror.
Bring on them the day of disaster;
    destroy them with double destruction.

18:19-23 Listen to me, Lord;
    hear what my accusers are saying!
Should good be repaid with evil?
    Yet they have dug a pit for me.
Remember that I stood before you
    and spoke in their behalf
    to turn your wrath away from them.
So give their children over to famine;
    hand them over to the power of the sword.
Let their wives be made childless and widows;
    let their men be put to death,
    their young men slain by the sword in battle.
Let a cry be heard from their houses
    when you suddenly bring invaders against them,
for they have dug a pit to capture me
    and have hidden snares for my feet.
But you, Lord, know
    all their plots to kill me.
Do not forgive their crimes
    or blot out their sins from your sight.
Let them be overthrown before you;
    deal with them in the time of your anger.

20:7-12 You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived;
    you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long;
    everyone mocks me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
    proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
    insult and reproach all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
    or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
    a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
    indeed, I cannot.
I hear many whispering,
    “Terror on every side!
    Denounce him! Let’s denounce him!”
All my friends
    are waiting for me to slip, saying,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
    then we will prevail over him
    and take our revenge on him.”
But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior;
    so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
    their dishonor will never be forgotten.
Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
    and probe the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
    for to you I have committed my cause.

32:17-25 “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.  You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the parents’ sins into the laps of their children after them.  Great and mighty God, whose name is the Lord Almighty, great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds.  Your eyes are open to the ways of all mankind; you reward each person according to their conduct and as their deeds deserve.  You performed signs and wonders in Egypt and have continued them to this day, in Israel and among all mankind, and have gained the renown that is still yours.  You brought your people Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror.  You gave them this land you had sworn to give their ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey.  They came in and took possession of it, but they did not obey you or follow your law; they did not do what you commanded them to do.  So you brought all this disaster on them.
“See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city.  Because of the sword, famine and plague, the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians who are attacking it.  What you said has happened, as you now see.  And though the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians, you, Sovereign Lord, say to me, ‘Buy the field with silver and have the transaction witnessed.’”

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