GRIPPED by GLORY
By Frog Orr-Ewing
2 Chron 5:2-7:10
Sometimes we learn more about praying from reading the prayers of other people than we expect. I have a collection of prayers by Puritans which I often read and their depth and honesty are really challenging. We sometimes think that no-one has ever felt the way we feel, or longed for the things we long for. In 2 Chronicles today, Solomon is worshipping, but he is also praying. And man, when he gets in the flow he is more interested in getting through to heaven than getting his lunch on time as he prays for a chapter or so (6:4-6:42). And when we read his prayers we realize that he may have been a famous king, but he had a genuine relationship with God.
His prayer started with getting his heart right in worship. Not only had the craftsmen worked hard (v.4) to make the temple beautiful, but the musicians (v.12) also had pulled out all the stops to honour God. Doing things to the best of our ability, using all our energy and strength honours the God who made us. And what strikes me here, and I wonder if this is true for you as well, is quite how many men are singing at the top of their lungs. Loads of blokes are worshipping (v. 3 said ‘all the men of Israel came together’) and lots of generations as well (v.12). And it was *** LOUD *** 120 trumpet players, for example. In the middle of this sound, and activity and worship a heavy sense of the presence of God seemed to enfold everyone…and then they were quiet.
Why not take a verse or two of Solomon’s prayer, and make it your own. I think I can safely guess that if you are reading this Bible in a year Blog you are not a king or a queen, but you have people you can pray for, your town, your school, your family. “May you hear the prayer your servant prays towards this place” (2 Ch 6:20)
1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1
Not everything we might want to do is going to build us up, or honour God. This passage makes it clear that just because we are ‘allowed’ to do something, doesn’t make it right or good. Nosepicking, for example! Vegetarianism was a big deal for some, especially those who were observed jewish customs about how meat should be slaughtered. Paul encourages the Christians to willingly give up some of their rights so others won’t be upset.
Nobody likes a bragger, or someone who can’t be trusted. Like (v.14) someone who haggles a price in a market, says they have been ripped off, then tells all their mates what a bargain it was. It is easy to do – pretend you have not revised, when you really have, just to unsettle the others who might beat you. Jesus wants us to be men and women of integrity.
Today’s picture was taken by…
Sarah Macfaden. Thanks Sarah!
If you’d like to take your own picture to potentially be featured on the blog, then get your Soul Survivor Bible in One Year, and take a picture of yourself – and your Bible – at some interesting or colourful location. Then email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pictures will need to be a pretty good resolution (we use 640px by 360 px so at least as big as that), landscape photos work best and if you include the day of the reading in the picture then make sure you send it to us a good few days before that reading, so we have time to include it in that day’s post! We’ll credit all photographers!