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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Biblical Prayers, Part 4

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
Lamentations:
1:20-22 “See, Lord, how distressed I am!
    I am in torment within,
and in my heart I am disturbed,
    for I have been most rebellious.
Outside, the sword bereaves;
    inside, there is only death.
“People have heard my groaning,
    but there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my distress;
    they rejoice at what you have done.
May you bring the day you have announced
    so they may become like me.
“Let all their wickedness come before you;
    deal with them
as you have dealt with me
    because of all my sins.
My groans are many
    and my heart is faint.”

2:20-22 “Look, Lord, and consider:
    Whom have you ever treated like this?
Should women eat their offspring,
    the children they have cared for?
Should priest and prophet be killed
    in the sanctuary of the Lord?
“Young and old lie together
    in the dust of the streets;
my young men and young women
    have fallen by the sword.
You have slain them in the day of your anger;
    you have slaughtered them without pity.
“As you summon to a feast day,
    so you summoned against me terrors on every side.
In the day of the Lord’s anger
    no one escaped or survived;
those I cared for and reared
    my enemy has destroyed.”

3:55-66 I called on your name, Lord,
    from the depths of the pit.
You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears
    to my cry for relief.”
You came near when I called you,
    and you said, “Do not fear.”
You, Lord, took up my case;
    you redeemed my life.
Lord, you have seen the wrong done to me.
    Uphold my cause!
You have seen the depth of their vengeance,
    all their plots against me.
Lord, you have heard their insults,
    all their plots against me—
what my enemies whisper and mutter
    against me all day long.
Look at them! Sitting or standing,
    they mock me in their songs.
Pay them back what they deserve, Lord,
    for what their hands have done.
Put a veil over their hearts,
    and may your curse be on them!
Pursue them in anger and destroy them
    from under the heavens of the Lord.

Chapter 5: Remember, Lord, what has happened to us;
    look, and see our disgrace.
Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
    our homes to foreigners.
We have become fatherless,
    our mothers are widows.
We must buy the water we drink;
    our wood can be had only at a price.
Those who pursue us are at our heels;
    we are weary and find no rest.
We submitted to Egypt and Assyria
    to get enough bread.
Our ancestors sinned and are no more,
    and we bear their punishment.
Slaves rule over us,
    and there is no one to free us from their hands.
We get our bread at the risk of our lives
    because of the sword in the desert.
Our skin is hot as an oven,
    feverish from hunger.
Women have been violated in Zion,
    and virgins in the towns of Judah.
Princes have been hung up by their hands;
    elders are shown no respect.
Young men toil at the millstones;
    boys stagger under loads of wood.
The elders are gone from the city gate;
    the young men have stopped their music.
Joy is gone from our hearts;
    our dancing has turned to mourning.
The crown has fallen from our head.
    Woe to us, for we have sinned!
Because of this our hearts are faint,
    because of these things our eyes grow dim
for Mount Zion, which lies desolate,
    with jackals prowling over it.
You, Lord, reign forever;
    your throne endures from generation to generation.
Why do you always forget us?
    Why do you forsake us so long?
Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return;
    renew our days as of old
unless you have utterly rejected us
    and are angry with us beyond measure.


Ezekiel:
4:14 “Not so, Sovereign Lord!  I have never defiled myself.  From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals.  No impure meat has ever entered my mouth.”

9:8 “Alas, Sovereign Lord! Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”

11:13 “Alas, Sovereign Lord! Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel?”


Daniel:
2:20-23 “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
    You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
    you have made known to us the dream of the king. ”

9:4-19 “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong.  We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.  We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.
“Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame —the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you.  We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you.  The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets.  All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.
“Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.  You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster.  Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem.  Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth.  The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.
“Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong.  Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill.  Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant.  For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.  Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name.  We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.  Lord, listen!  Lord, forgive!  Lord, hear and act!  For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

12:8 “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”


Amos:
7:2 “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”

7:5 “Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”


Jonah:
1:14 “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life.  Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.”

2:2-9 “In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.
“When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.
“Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”

4:2-3 “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home?  That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish.  I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.  Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”


Habakkuk:
1:2-4 How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
    so that justice is perverted.

1:12-17 Lord, are you not from everlasting?
    My God, my Holy One, you will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
    you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
You have made people like the fish in the sea,
    like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
    he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
    and so he rejoices and is glad.
Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
    and enjoys the choicest food.
Is he to keep on emptying his net,
    destroying nations without mercy?

3:2-19 Lord, I have heard of your fame;
    I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
    in our time make them known;
    in wrath remember mercy.
God came from Teman,
    the Holy One from Mount Paran.
His glory covered the heavens
    and his praise filled the earth.
His splendor was like the sunrise;
    rays flashed from his hand,
    where his power was hidden.
Plague went before him;
    pestilence followed his steps.
He stood, and shook the earth;
    he looked, and made the nations tremble.
The ancient mountains crumbled
    and the age-old hills collapsed —
    but he marches on forever.
I saw the tents of Cushan in distress,
    the dwellings of Midian in anguish.
Were you angry with the rivers, Lord?
    Was your wrath against the streams?
Did you rage against the sea
    when you rode your horses
    and your chariots to victory?
You uncovered your bow,
    you called for many arrows.
You split the earth with rivers;
     the mountains saw you and writhed.
Torrents of water swept by;
    the deep roared
    and lifted its waves on high.
Sun and moon stood still in the heavens
    at the glint of your flying arrows,
    at the lightning of your flashing spear.
In wrath you strode through the earth
    and in anger you threshed the nations.
You came out to deliver your people,
    to save your anointed one.
You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness,
    you stripped him from head to foot.
With his own spear you pierced his head
    when his warriors stormed out to scatter us,
gloating as though about to devour
    the wretched who were in hiding.
You trampled the sea with your horses,
    churning the great waters.
I heard and my heart pounded,
    my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
    and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
    to come on the nation invading us.
Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

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