Sunset in St. Louis

Filed in PersonalTags: Missouri, Photos, Saint Louis

We've had some great weather recently. This weekend is gorgeous, and tonight we were blessed with an amazing sunset:sunset002_400x300Maybe the start of a photoblogging feature...?

OYB: January 7

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 16, Genesis 17, Genesis 18:1-19
NT: Matthew 6:1-24
Ps: Psalm 7
Pr: Proverbs 2:1-5

Today´s notable verse:

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:21 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog notes:

I think when we give anonymously or pray for others quietly or fast privately, we are really worshipping God. We are in essence saying, "God I am doing these things because of who you are, how great you are, and to let you know how much I love you. I don't need to let anyone know about this act of worship between me and you. You knowing is more than enough." Now, I do think there are times for communal giving, praying and fasting - but I love that Jesus challenges us to make sure we find private ways to worship God and God only - and not to bring glory to ourselves through public praise.

You found the key: bringing glory to God, rather than ourselves, through our "acts of righteousness." When we do something with the intent to receive the praise of men, then we are stealing the praise and glory that rightly belong to God. The very purpose of our lives is to live in relationship with God and to bring Him glory. If our motive in doing something is to bring glory to ourselves, then we are placing ourselves before God, in violation of the First Commmandment. We may receivce our earthly glory, but what a pathetic substitue for hearing, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!"

Based on our Matthew 6 readings today about the Lord's Prayer, let me ask you this: How do you pray? Or, in how many different ways do you pray? Do you pray specific prayers regularly, like the Lord's Prayer? Do you keep a list of people by your bedside to pray for regularly? Do you pray through writing in a journal?

I pray in many ways, depending on the situation, my mood, and the leading of the Spirit. I pray out loud; I pray in silence; I pray in song; I pray in the written word; I pray alone; I pray with a friend or a small group of friends; I pray corporately, in worship services. I generally pray with words according to the leading of my heart, or of the Spirit. I rarely pray "rote" prayers - though, I'm beginning to see some of the beauty and simplicity in such prayers as the Lord's Prayer, or other liturgical prayers to which I have been introduced through attending denominational services. I have some situations in which I keep a list of people and prayer requests. I have used a prayer journal in the past, and would like to regain the habit. My most meaningful prayer time seems to be the silent, meditative prayers in which I simply wait on the Lord. These prayers require me to "shut down my mind" or "separate" myself from my thoughts - something generally very difficult for someone of my personality! But, I think that is why this type of prayer is so meaningful; it is a sacrifice for the purpose of honoring God and an act of "dying to self" in order to hear from Him.