Pray for me or pray for my ---

Von Gruff

We often see this on the forums or hear it from friends who are (generally) having health concerns and some time back a good (internet) friend mentioned his wife was having health difficulties(breast cancer). He has a somewhat sketchy understanding of God, the Bible and even faith so this is what I wrote to him

I have been wanting to write a prayer for you both at this time of health concern but have struggled with what is often seen as general platitudes and the often meaningless "I will pray for you". It was early this morning that it came to me that the subject of this prayer email should be in two parts with the first part being about what is the most complete and all inclusive prayer that has ever been spoken. In Mathew chapter 6 The deciples ask Jesus how they should pray and He in answering said ---
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
So often this prayer is said with very little contemplation of what it actually encompases. When we say in V9 "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name", we are acknowledging the first 3 chapters of Genesis with an understanding and exceptance of His creating all of Creation, and the innocene, perfect health and life we were created to enjoy with complete face to face engagement with our Creator. It also acknowledges the introduction of the evil that satan bought into the world and the Promise of God for the Redemer to come who would destroy that evil.
In V10 we are acknowledging every prophesy throughout the Bible of the new earth and the eventual return to the Edenic life that God had planed for us, where His Will of Love for each is fulfilled and in a singular prophesy read chapter 21 and 22 of Revelation which is the culmination of the epocolypse that is soon comming, and is even now speeding toward fulfillment with prophesy being almost daily comming to be with the world events exactly following what we are told throughout the Bible.
V11 is one that encompases all of lifes needs which is not just the bread (basics of food and shelter) that we need to sustain life but also as is John 6:51where Jesus says
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
He is telling us that our prayers include a plea for a closer personal relationship with Jesus without whom our life is not sustainable.
V12 is self explanetary but in essence We are asking for Gods Grace to forgive those who sin against us as He forgives us who sin against Him. Where Jesus gave himself which was Gods Grace toward us we are asking for God who lives within us to help us forgive others, as we are told in 1 Corrinthians 3:16
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
V13 is asking God to deliver us from temptation which goes beyond outward sins and includes the inward sin of tying our faith to results. We are asking that God deliver us from the evil that satan bought into the world which includes the ill health that (-------) is currently experiencing as well as all the other evil that stalks the world. And we finish by re emphasising that all of Creation from its begining to the fulfillment of His promise is Gods alone where he is the authour and finisher of our faith and will be our God for ever more.
In Mathew 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The second part of this prayer email I wanted to share with you is on Psalm 23 which I spoke on at church and it has always been a great comfort to me.
1 (A Psalm of David.) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
When I spoke on this Psalm I concentrated on the first sentence "The LORD is my shepherd"
If you look at this verse with an emphasis on each word in turn it delivers a great deal of meaning.
Starting with the word THE. this is an indication of the Supremecy of THE Lord. There are and were many lords and lordlings which is a simple word to indicate that authority of a certain person and while it may not be used as much today as in times past the meaning and understanding is there. THE Lord is the Lord of all the other under lords that might seem to have power and authority.
The word LORD when contemplated is a way for our hearts to try and understand the imensity of this title which is expsnded in Revelation19:16
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
The word IS makes this a definitive statment and intensifies the meaning of each of the words before and after it
The word MY personalises this verse to each of us who reads and believes. While Jesus is the shepard of every willing person on the face of the earth, He is MY shepard and has personally given His Life that he may have me with him always if only I will except and believe. He also uses the example of a hen gathering her chick under her wing to protect them in Mathew 23:37
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

And the word SHEPARD brings to mind having dealt with sheep all my life I know how each sheep is valued and what a good shepard will do to look after and protect every single one of them. Sometimes I think that part of the reason we have such an afinity for our children is so that we can appreciate the depth of love that they bring out of us and is one way for God to give us an indication of how deep is his love for us even though we as frail humans can barely comprehend how much His love for us cost him in terms of the sacrifice he willingly gave so we might enjoy the salvation he holds out for us to except.

I do pray that you may both recieve His Comfort from these words and that your faith be strengthed
Bless you both.
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