Prayer for the Persecuted

Life in Tension by Stephen W. HiemstraPrayer for the Persecuted

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Eternal and Compassionate God,

We thank you, Lord, for visiting us when we are afflicted and suffer unjustly.

For you are a God who cares, who understands our grief, our wounds, our sorrows, our diseases.

We lay our afflictions before you for we cannot bear them alone.

Heal our wounds, comfort us in our griefs, and purge us of disease.

Restore us; redeem us; save us; in doing so teach us to bear the wounds, griefs, and diseases of those around us and to point them to you.

Teach us to intercede for the people around us in action and in prayer.

For you are our God and we are your people.

You are with us; you are for us; and you have given your name to us.

In the power of your Holy Spirit, let our security reside only in you, now and always.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

Also see:

Grief Prayer 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/2vfisNa

 

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Prayer for Healing, Comfort, and Deliverance

Red Roses

Prayer for Healing, Comfort, and Deliverance

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

God Almighty, Great Physician, Holy Spirit:

We praise you for your goodness in granting us life,

which we often take for granted, living as if tomorrow was always promised,

but knowing that this is not true.

Break the power of sin over our lives—forgive us for our presumptions, for our neglect of giving thanks, and for living selfishly for ourselves, though we are unworthy.

Thank you for your eternal presence, your healing touch, and sending others to comfort us in our hour of need.

Break our bondage to worthless idols—heal our broken bodies, our troubled spirits, and our damaged relationships, for your name’s sake.

In the power of your Holy Spirit, send us doctors to offer your healing touch and nurses to offer your comfort in lonely hours.

Grant us strength for the day; grace for those we meet; and peace in a troubled world that we might rest only with you, this day and every day.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

 

Also see:

Prayer for Shalom 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/2vfisNa

 

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8. Prayers of a Life in Tension by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Prayers_of_a_Life_in_Tension_webFather God, Beloved Son, Holy Spirit,

We praise you for your example in life. In you, the law and the prophets are fulfilled, not in words, but in actions.
We are no longer without hope—good news is preached; broken hearts are healed; liberty is proclaimed for the captives.
In you, there is jubilee;  in you, there is comfort;  in you, death is forever banished. That we may never mourn again. Amen and amen.

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Prayer Day 42: A Christian Guide to Spirituality by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Espera verano 2015
Espera verano 2015

Oh dear Lord. Thank you for answering prayer. Thank you for visions that bring comfort; for healings that relieve pain; and for your presence that instills peace in our lives. Grow my faith. In the power of your Holy Spirit, shape me in the image of your son. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Oh, querido Señor, gracias por responder a la oración. Gracias por las visiones que nos confortan, gracias por la sanidad que alivia el dolor, y gracias por Tu presencia que infunde paz para nuestras vidas. Aumenta nuestra fe. En el poder del Espíritu Santo, moldéanos a imagen de Tu hijo. En el nombre de Jesús oramos. Amén.

 

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2 Corinthians 1: Sealed, Guaranteed, and Comforted

Rainbow over Fairfax, VA
Rainbow over Fairfax, VA

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22 ESV)

Paul begins his second letter to the church at Corinth with a statement of his apostleship:  Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God (1:1).  An apostle in the New Testament has roughly the same job description as a prophet in the Old Testament.  Prophets do not volunteer; prophets are called (e.g. Jeremiah 1:4-9).

Paul follows the normal form of a letter—from, to, and greetings—but he adds his own twists.  Most of his letters then offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the recipient.  Here, Paul follows the greeting with a lengthy (1.3-7) blessing of comfort suggesting the purpose of his letter.

In my experience, God is mostly obviously present in times of trial and can be recognized by the comfort He brings.  The psalmist writes:  Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. (Psalm 33:18-19 ESV)  Noah recognized God’s comfort and covenant through the sign of a rainbow (Genesis 9:13).  The apostle Paul writes:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (1:3-4)

Interestingly, Paul talks about God’s seal—a sign of ownership and protection—and guarantee—the Holy Spirit given as a down-payment on eternal life.  The Apostle John uses the word, Paraclete (παράκλητος; John 14:26 BNT), which is often translated as helper or comforter.

Garland [1] identifies 4 motifs in this chapter:

  1. Affliction and suffering;
  2. Comfort;
  3. Life and death; and
  4. The interconnectedness between Paul and the Corinthians.

Affliction and Suffering (1.4, 6, 8).  As we have discussed previously, affliction and suffering help us to abandon our idols—particularly the idol of control—and focus on God.  Paul writes:  But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (1:9).

Comfort (1.3, 4, 5, 6, 7).  As mentioned above, the Holy Spirit specializes in offering comfort.  Holy dreams and visions, for example, often not designed to inform us but simply to offer comfort.  To let us know that we need not be afraid.  Paul writes:  Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (1:7)

Life and death (1.8, 9, 10).  Paul is not a complainer, yet, he sketches out a recent near death experience to reinforce the point that God is not only our comforter, but also our deliverer.  Likewise, the Jewish people remember the Exodus from Egypt not as a spiritual salvation, but a deliverance from physical destruction (Exodus 14:26-28).

Paul’s Relationship with the Corinthians (1.6, 7).  The Corinthians are the beneficiaries of Paul’s afflictions.  Paul writes:  If we [Paul and his friends] are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. (1:6) Elsewhere, Paul makes it clear that Jesus is the template for our life, death, and resurrection (Philippians 3:10-11).  When we minister to others, we then perform a similar sacrificial function on their behalf, like Christ for Paul and Paul for the Corinthian church (and us).

Comfort is God’s trademark.  Paul looks to God in his own afflictions.  So should we.

[1]David E. Garland, 1999. 2 Corinthians: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture.  New American Commentary.  Nashville:  Holman Publishing. Pages 56-58.

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