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Our Prayer Is Our Work

Benedict founded his Benedictine order as a reaction to the worldliness of the sixth-century church. His slogan was Ora Labora, from the Latin ora, “pray,” and labora, “work.” He taught his followers that to pray was to work, and to work was to pray. Following that rule, the Benedictine order broke down the artificial dichotomy between work and prayer. From there they also bridged the gap between the manual arts and the liberal arts, the physical and the intellectual, and the empirical and the speculative. A great tradition developed in which learning, science, agriculture, architecture, and art flourished. Much of what is considered beautiful “nature” in Europe today, particularly in France, was created by the Benedictine monks who drained swamps and cleared forests.
We must learn that prayer is our chief work. Only then can our work become prayer: real service, real satisfaction. This simple truth alone explains why so many people in the church find themselves exhausted, stretched to the breaking point, and burned out.

Ora Labora – Pray and Work (biblical support)
Col. 4:12-13 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.

Why do we pray?
Eph. 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Eph. 6:18 Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Helpful pattern for prayer:
Exultation/Adoration-
Col. 1:27 “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Confession- Psalm 139:1-12; Psalm 32:1-2, 51:1-2
Petition-                                                                                                                                                            Col. 1:3-14 “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Intercession-                                                                                                                                              I Tim. 2:1 “ First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,”
Eph. 6:18 “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Thanksgiving-                                                                                                                                            Psalm 145:1-5” I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.”

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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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For your prayer life…

The Bible identifies several different types of prayers we can pray. One model for how we should pray is captured in the acrostic A.C.T.S. Each letter stands for a specific aspect of prayer, arranged in a very natural order.

A: Adoration (Worship)
C: Confession (Of Specific Sins)
T: Thanksgiving (Gratitude)
S: Supplication (Specific Requests)
Adoration: Jesus essentially taught us the same thing in the Lord’s Prayer, which begins, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name” (Matthew 6:9). This puts things in perspective for us. A good example of this type of adoration is found in Psalm 95:1-7. When we take time to praise and worship God in our prayers, we are placing God where He rightfully belongs. As a result, our problems and needs come into their proper perspective.
Confession: The closer we draw to God, the more we sense our own sinfulness. When Isaiah came into God’s presence, he said, “Woe is me, for I am undone!” (Isaiah 6:5). The confession of our sin removes any barriers and clears the air of anything that would cause God not to hear our prayers. As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us . . . ” This is, once again, modeled in the Lord’s Prayer. After “Our Father who art in heaven,” we find, “Forgive us our sins” (Matthew 6:12).
Thanksgiving: Our immediate response after confession is thanksgiving. We should be thankful that God would indeed cleanse and forgive us. Should we give thanks because everything is going perfectly in our lives or because we are in a good mood? No, we should give thanks because God deserves our praise. Psalm 118:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For his mercy endures forever.” As another translation puts it, “His love endures forever.” By giving thanks, or simply expressing gratitude for what we have, we prevent our focus from shifting to what we do not have.
Supplication: If we are faithful in the first three steps, the last step will not degenerate into some spiritual shopping list. Too often in prayer, we cut to the chase instead of spending time in adoration, confession, and thanksgiving first. Yet, God does want to hear our needs and requests. Scripture tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6-7). We are also promised, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:l9).
Do not neglect this vital part of your Christian walk. As someone has said, “Prayer is the breath of the newborn soul, and there can be no Christian life without it.”

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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