Monday, March 30, 2009

Preparation in Prayer

In the Christian tradition, the weeks (approximately 40 days, but that's another discussion) between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday are known as the Season of Lent. It is a time particularly devoted to prayer, confession, self-denial and service, a time to prepare our souls for intense and personal remembrance of Jesus' death and resurrection.

While speaking recently with Jason M, he shared some from his journey through Lent. With his permission, I'd like to share it also with you:

Before Nehemiah rebuilt Jerusalem, he prayed, and his was a prayer of repentance. During this Lent season, let this passage fill you, for God is at work in Salt Lake City, and he is building His church. However, we should approach this in humbleness and not in pride, and what better way to humble ourselves than to repent and expose our authentic hearts to His awesome presence like Nehemiah did:

"Then I said: 'O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his commandment of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my Father's house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying "If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if you exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to a place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name."
They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.'
I was cupbearer to the king."
-- Nehemiah 1:5-11

How are you preparing your soul?

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