I’m no expert on written prayers. Those that I’ve scribbled down seem to be laced with the same raw desperation (which probably means the threat of hitting rock-bottom is a strong motivator).
It must take a deeper maturity to be able to pray about a wide range of things without defaulting to what is easy: requesting something or, as in my case, wailing about something.
It must take a different perspective to put to paper God-conversations that can be said in the secret of our hearts and in the presence of a congregation. And where do you start, whose words do you choose? There must be enough of you in those words to make the prayer worth anything, but still something else that echoes with others.
My supreme example is the Psalmist. What beautiful prayers! I’ve prayed some of those words at times and found that they helped me express something I wouldn’t have been able to on my own.
So I’m glad John MacArthur also wrote a book of prayers. Some of them resonate with me, some don’t (at least for where I’m at right now). But like greeting cards or quotable quotes, this book can help me find the words to say when I’m speechless (and before God, I often am).
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Harvest House Publishers; Abridged edition (October 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Karri James | Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***
John MacArthur is the pastor–teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California; president of The Master’s College & Seminary; and featured teacher for the Grace to You media ministry. Weekly telecasts and daily radio broadcasts of “Grace to You” are seen and heard by millions worldwide. John has also written several bestselling books, including The MacArthur Study Bible, The Gospel According to Jesus, The New Testament Commentary series, Twelve Ordinary Men, and The Truth War. He and his wife, Patricia, have four married children and fifteen grandchildren.
Visit the author’s website.
Announcing a special new release from Bible teacher John MacArthur…a select collection of powerful Scripture readings and prayers that inspire heartfelt communion with God and gratitude for all that He is and has done for us.
For more than 40 years, John MacArthur has steadfastly committed himself to the careful and faithful teaching of God’s Word. A key outgrowth of his study of Scripture is the profoundly God-centered prayers that precede his sermons.
John’s prayers are the offerings of a heart that is fully committed to honoring God, proclaiming and obeying His Word, and calling others to do the same. In this book, prayers and Scripture readings from across his years of ministry have been brought together to stir Christians toward more meaningful and edifying communion with God.
This book will guide readers, in the most intimate way possible, before God’s throne of grace…giving them a renewed passion and appreciation for their Lord.
List Price: $22.99
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Abridged edition (October 1, 2011)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
1 John 2:1-19
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.
The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
Our Gracious God, we thank You for our heavenly Advocate,
Jesus Christ the righteous, whose death on the cross
made propitiation for all our sins—
perfectly satisfying every demand of Your holy justice.
It is He who brought us
out of guilt and into forgiveness,
out of darkness into light,
out of our rebellion and into Your love,
out of death and into life.
He delivered us from this evil world, into Your glorious kingdom.
How we praise You for the wonder of Your love in Jesus Christ!
We thank You for sending Your Son, the Incarnate One,
who was despised, rejected, beaten, mocked, and crucified—
all in order to atone for our sin.
In Him Your love has outloved all other loves.
Your mercy extends beyond comprehension to sinners
with complete and permanent forgiveness of our sins
through faith in Jesus Christ.
We therefore long to love You with a love like Yours.
We know that is not possible, so with the apostle Peter
we plead that You would know our hearts, knowing we truly love You
in spite of what it often looks like.
Our hearts are too much like stone; we ask that
You melt them with Your grace.
Our private lives are too often gated and locked as if we could shut You out
and thereby do what we want.
Help us throw open the door and lose the key! May Your will rule our lives.
We worship You, Father, for Your great love and the gift of Jesus Christ,
Your only-begotten Son, which is to say God the Son.
We praise You, Lord Jesus, for the wondrous gift of salvation
You provided for us.
We adore You, blessed Spirit, for revealing to us the truth of the gospel
and for making our hearts Your dwelling place.
Heavenly Father, in us may Your Son see the fruit of His soul’s anguish and be glad.
Bring us away from all that we falsely trust,
and teach us to rest only in Him.
Never let us be calloused to the astonishing greatness of the gift of salvation.
May we pursue sanctification—ever-increasing holiness—with all our might!
Lord Jesus, Master, Redeemer, Savior, take possession of every part of our lives—
Yours by right through purchase.
Sanctify every faculty.
Fill our hearts with hope.
May we flee the many temptations that relentlessly hound us
and mortify the sins that continually plague us.
May there be no hypocrisy in us.
Help us trust You in the hour of distress.
Protect us when evildoers pursue us.
And deliver us from the evil of this present world.
Dear Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow,
we confess that You alone are the giver of every good and perfect gift,
and You have given us so many things,
richly supplying us with things to enjoy.
And we are reminded by the passage we have just read that
the greatest gift of all is Your Son, Jesus Christ,
who sacrificed His very life in order that
we might be freed from sin’s bondage.
Fill our hearts with gratitude, and may our lives
reflect overflowing thankfulness
so that all who see may honor You.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.