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

Prayers_of_a_Life_in_Tension_webGod of All Compassion and Mercy,
Forgive me, Lord, for the sins of my youth where I fell short of the plans you had for me. When in your great compassion you were kind to me and patient,teaching me your law and demonstrating your grace. Forgive me, Lord, for the transgressions of my youth when I disobeyed your law when in your mercy you looked the other way and disregarded my attitude, teaching me forbearance and gentle persuasion.
Forgive me, Lord, for the iniquity of my youth when I failed to help those around me. When in your everlasting love you sent your son to die to me, atoning for my sin, my transgressions, and my iniquity so that I might grow to be a man mindful of compassion, mercy, and love that were modeled for me all the days of my life through the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

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

Cover for Prayers of a Life in Tension

16. Prayers of a Life in Tension

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Amazing Lord,

Teach me to be like you—to love your grace like Christ and to love your laws like Moses and to have confidence in your compassion, meekness, and strength. For there is none like you: glorious and loving and yet truly humble. For you and you alone are Holy—creator of all that is, that was, and that will ever be; creator of heart and mind.  Help me to build on the work of Christ—to comfort the afflicted, to aid the poor, and to offer gentleness and hospitality in place of worldly crudeness and war. Grant me the strength to learn and to apply what I learn; grant me eyes that see, ears that hear, and a heart that is open to prayer. In the power of your Holy Spirit, teach me to be like you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Also see:

Bothersome Gaps: Life in Tension 

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

Prayers_of_a_Life_in_Tension_webGod of All Compassion,

Draw near to me in my grief. Let me not mourn alone, but instead turn to you. I remember how you walked with me during sunny days—days when the trees were bright with leaves and the flowers bloomed along the beach and the hills and the forest. Now that autumn has come and the days grow shorter, be ever near as a I walk along along stormy paths that wind through the shadows and under leafless trees. Forgive my aloofness, ever at a distance, thinking that the sun would always shine and warm breezes would stay near. Forgive my tight-fisted attitude, grasping at time, grasping at resources, grasping for myself.  Grant me a clear mind, a generous heart, and helpful hands through your Holy Spirit, Almighty God. That I might be like you. Now and always. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

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Prayer Day 47: A Christian Guide to Spirituality by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Disponible en Amazon.com
Disponible en Amazon.com

Gracious Father. Rest with us. Grant us the energy to care. Let us focus a day each week on being your people and modeling your love to those around us. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Padre de gracia, descansa con nosotros. Concédenos la energía para preocuparnos. Permite enfocarnos un día cada semana en ser Tu pueblo y modelar Tu amor a los que nos rodean. En el nombre del Padre, del Hijo, y del Espíritu Santo. Amén.

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Day 36: A Christian Guide to Spirituality by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Espera verano 2015
Espera verano 2015

Compassionate Father, beloved Son, ever-present Spirit. Thank you for giving us healthy boundaries in your law. Cleanse our hearts of jealousy, envy, and other evil passions that lead us to sin. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Padre Compasivo, Hijo Amado, Omnipresente Espíritu, gracias por darnos límites saludables en Tu ley. Limpia nuestros corazones de los celos, la envidia, y otras pasiones malvadas que nos llevan a pecar. En el nombre de Jesús oramos. Amén.

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Jesus: Show Mercy, Receive Mercy

Life_in_Tension_web“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matt. 5:7 ESV)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Our tension with God is never more obvious than when we need to model ourselves after his mercy. Mercy is mentioned about 30 times in the Old Testament and all but 4 times it is God’s mercy that is in view (Guelich 1982, 88). We understand this point intuitively because Christ died on the cross for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). Christ’s atonement is a debt that we can never repay. So we will fall short no matter how hard we try and we are certainly not always in the mood even to try.

Mercy appears in many word forms in scripture, but the form used in this beatitude is used nowhere else. Merciful (ἐλεήμων) means “being concerned about people in their need, merciful, sympathetic, compassionate” (BDAG 2487). It has the same root as compassion (ἐλεημοσύνη) and mercy (ἔλεος). The word, forgiveness or to forgive (ἀφίημι), is closely related. In a real sense, mercy and forgiveness are two sides of the same coin [1], as the Psalmist writes:

“Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!” (Ps. 25:6-7)

The importance that Jesus placed on mercy shows up both in his repeated use of the term and the reciprocal form that he uses it in (France 1985,110). Jesus uses the word, mercy, in these verses:

  • “Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice [2]. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt. 9:13) [3]
  • “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” (Matt. 23:23)
  • And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (Matt. 18:33)

Some of Jesus’ closely related phrases are actually better known:

  • “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 7:12)
  • “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matt. 6:12)

Whether it is the Golden Rule or part of the Lord’s Prayer, clearly mercy is God’s signature character trait [4], as we read during the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai:

“The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exod. 34:4-7 ESV)

The reciprocal form of this beatitude makes it very convicting. We do not earn mercy by being merciful, but if mercy is God’s signature character trait, then we recognize His presence and blessing when we offer it and experience it.

Being created in the image of God, we identify ourselves as Christians when we reflect God’s mercy to those around us.

[1] See: Guelich (1982, 88).

[2] Hosea 6:6.

[3] Also: Matthew 12:7.

[4] “Mercy is a central biblical theme, because in God’s great mercy he does not give humans what they deserve, rather, he gives to them what they do not deserve…” (Wilkins 2004, 208)

REFERENCES

Bauer, Walter (BDAG). 2000. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. ed. de Frederick W. Danker. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. <BibleWorks. v.9.>.

France, R.T. 1985. Matthew. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove: IVP Academic.

Guelich, Robert. 1982. The Sermon on the Mount: A Foundation for Understanding. Dallas: Word Publishing.

Wilkins, Michael J. 2004. The NIV Application Commentary: Matthew. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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Prayer Day 27: A Christian Guide to Spirituality by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Available on Amazon.com
Available on Amazon.com

God of all compassion. You are the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. We praise you for your example of humility. We thank you for your sacrifice. Help us to confess our sins and forgive those who sin against us. In the power of your Holy Spirit, open our hearts, illumine our minds, and strengthen our hands in your service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Dios de toda compasión. Eres el Alfa y la Omega, el principio y el fin. Te alabamos por tu ejemplo de humildad. Te damos gracias por tu sacrificio. Ayudanos a confesar nuestros pecados y perdonar a los que pecan contra nos. En el poder de tu Espíritu Santo, abre nuestros corazones, ilumina nuestras mentes, y fortalece nuestras manos en tu servicio. En el nombre de Jesús oramos, Amén.

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Prayer Day 23: A Christian Guide to Spirituality by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Available on Amazon.com
Available on Amazon.com

Sovereign Father, lover of our souls, compassionate spirit. Holy, holy, holy is Your name. We praise you for creating us in Your image and loving us intrinsically, just as we are. Grant us the eyes to see others as You see them. Give us ears that hear Your voice above the crowds screaming for our attention. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Padre Soberano, amante de nuestras almas, Espíritu Compasivo. Santo, Santo, Santo es tu nombre. Te alabamos por crear nos a tu imagen y por amar nos intrínsecamente, tal y como somos. Concedenos los ojos para ver los demás como tu los ves. Da nos oídos que escuchar tu voz por encima de las multitudes que gritan por nuestra atención. En el precioso nombre de Jesús oramos, Amén.

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Prayer Day 19: A Christian Guide to Spirituality by Stephen W. Hiemstra

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Goto: http://bit.ly/T2PNEUMA, Enter discount code: 83WZLNW4

God of all compassion. We praise you for sharing yourself in the person of Jesus of Nazareth who in life served as a role model for sinners, in death ransomed us from the power of sin, and in resurrection left us with the hope of glory. Bind our wounds; heal our scars; raise us from death. Grant us awareness of your presence so that we also can be fully present to those around us. In the power of your Holy Spirit, make us whole people. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Dios de toda compasión. Te alabamos por compartirte a tí mismo en la persona de Jesús de Nazaret quien en vida sirvió como un modelo para los pecadores, en su muerte nos rescató del poder de los pecados, y en su resurrección nos dejó con la esperanza de gloria. Enlaza nuestra heridas; sana nuestras cicatrices; levantanos de la muerte. Animanos a estar conscientes de tu presencia para que también podamos estar completamente presentes para los que nos rodean. En el poder de tu Espíritu Santo, haznos personas enteras. En el precioso nombre de Jesús oramos, Amén.

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Prayer Day 17: A Christian Guide of Spirituality by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Goto: http://bit.ly/T2PNEUMA, Enter discount code: 83WZLNW4
Goto: http://bit.ly/T2PNEUMA, Enter discount code: 83WZLNW4

Loving Father. Beloved Son. Compassionate Spirit. We praise you for your example of unity in holiness. Set us apart in holiness; draw us together. Encourage us to use our spiritual gifts for the common good and to rejoice when others do too. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

 

Padre amoroso. Hijo Amado, Espíritu de Compasión. Te alabamos por tu ejemplo de unidad en santidad. Diferencia nos en santidad; Atrae nos juntos. Anime nos a utilizar nuestros dones espiritual para el bien común y a regocijar cuando también los demás lo hacen. En el precioso nombre de Jesús, Amén.

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