I thank you Lord, for the beautiful memories of events that happened long years ago. I thank you that they have turned dull grey days into times of Joy and have sustained me through the dark and difficult times Thank you for all your gifts down the years. In Christ’s name I ask it – AMEN.
Lord, often my prayers just seem like empty words. Help me to feel the words that I read as I pray to you and make my life one kind of prayer or another. Forgive me that my prayers are so weak but accept them as sincere and help me to do better. I ask through Jesus Christ – AMEN.
Lord, I pray for students in universities today. Help them to grasp the opportunities before them with both hands, and to see the privilege they have in being able to attend an institution of higher learning. Motivate them to study diligently and to do careful research in all the subjects they are tackling. Prompt them to work doubly hard at exam time and to pass. I ask it in Christ’s name – AMEN.
“When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die’”.
Ex 20:18, 19 NIV
In the religion and worship we engage in today there is little sense of “fearing God”. Some of those who lead worship go to great lengths to make it as informal as possible. Joking and laughing have replaced the sense of awe and reverence that once was normal.
The giving of the law at Sinai and the enactment of the covenant was the most significant event, along with the exodus itself, in the whole history of the Israelite people. Here God drew near to them, and all manner of physical signs are recorded as having taken place – thunder and lightning, smoke, the noise of trumpets, and fire. The people felt that letting Moses meet with God and communicate with him was as far as they could, and should go. They had a great sense of the transcendence (otherness) of God. And they knew he was holy – and they weren’t.
Often in great cathedrals in Europe and elsewhere, visitors will whisper. That is a sign that they acquire a feeling of awe, a sense that they are in the presence of God. There is nothing wrong with this, and much of our worship would be enhanced and deepened if we re-captured some measure of the awesomeness and transcendence of God.
My God, how wonderful thou art, Thy majesty how bright!
How beautiful thy mercy-seat In depths of burning light!
O how I fear thee, living God, With deepest, tenderest fears,
And worship thee with trembling hope And penitential tears!
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