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Prayer of the Upright


Proverbs 15:8, 9


“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight,” Proverbs 15:8.




The prayer of the upright considers God’s will in any matter. The sacrifice of the wicked is fraught with selfish motives. God looks on the heart of every worshiper. Jesus declared that what comes from the mouth is dredged up from the heart. How many of our prayers are from a heart of selfishness?


In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “If it be possible, let this cup pass.” However, He knew what He came to earth to do. The human side of Jesus was deeply distressed; He was preparing to go to the cross. Finally, after three prayers, He willingly accepted the will of His Heavenly Father. Where does that leave us? How many prayers will it take for us to accept God’s will for our lives?


In Matthew 6, Jesus said the Father already knows what we need. In Romans 8:26-28, Paul told us that the Holy Spirit groans toward God for His will in our prayers. With mediation like that, we can relax with thanksgiving, knowing God will do something, and it will be in His perfect will (Phil. 4:6-8).


When we pray with selfish motives, not considering God’s will, it is the same principle at work that caused the sorcerer, Simon, to try to buy from Peter the power to dispense the Holy Spirit on whomever he wished. The praying Christian’s character must match his heart.








The heavens are brass when a worshiper’s heart is steel.




Robert Brock


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Sound Words



By Mike Yoho


For the past several months I have been training for a marathon. This event is scheduled to take place in January 2014. This is the first and probably the last time I will train for and participate in such an event.

One thing I have learned is that training takes time: hours and hours on the road alone with my thoughts, prayers and reflections. As I have moved along in times of training I have pondered lessons from running that might apply to life in general and spiritual lessons in particular.I thought about this article.

Twice in the last month I fell during my runs. Thankfully, I was not hurt physically. The only thing that was damaged was my pride along with my running tights (I know…you’re getting an unwanted visual image). After each fall, I jumped up and looked around to see if anyone witnessed my embarrassing tumble. I also thought about what might have caused my calamity since I am not accustomed to falling.

On both occasions, my fall came when I as looking at my watch. Another thing I have learned: running is a challenge for the mind. In order to manage the length of time I have found that focusing on a distant object or target can make the intervening time seem quicker. At the same time, since I usually run on uneven pavement I also have to keep watch on the obstacles in my immediate path. Look up and look down. It is possible to look towards the distant goal while keeping an eye out for the things that might trip me up in my nearer future.

This is true with my spiritual run as well. I am focused on Jesus and serving Him with my life and I am interested in overcoming the obstacles that are in my direct path. It is a long distance run, not a sprint. Hebrews 12:1,2 captures the thought well for me, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

What about my fall? Both times my fall came when I took my eyes off the road and looked at my watch trying to determine my pace and distance covered. I am reminded of the time Jesus called Peter out of the boat to walk with Him on the water. All was well until the distraction of the waves, he began to sink.

Times of falling happen when we turn our eyes from the path before us to the distractions that always present themselves. Is this not the lesson of David and Bathsheba along with many others from the Word of God? Thankfully, the Lord is always willing to extend His hand to help us up.

Hopefully, we learn to focus on the road ahead and limit the distractions that can so easily cause us to stumble.

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