picture Bible commentary

 

All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were made of gold, and all the items in the Forest of Lebanon Palace were made of pure gold, not silver, since even silver wasn’t considered good enough in Solomon’s time! The royal fleet of Tarshish-style ships was at sea with Hiram’s fleet, returning once every three years with gold, silver, ivory, monkeys, and peacocks. King Solomon far exceeded all the earth’s kings in wealth and wisdom. (1 Kings 10.21-23 CEB)

praying for a change (9)

 

“At the time of the evening offering, the prophet Elijah drew near and prayed: ‘LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. I have done all these things at your instructions. Answer me, LORD! Answer me so that this people will know that you, LORD, are the real God and that you can change their hearts.’ Then the LORD’s fire fell; it consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up the water in the trench!” (1 Kings 18.36-38 CEB)

 

God,

My offering to you this evening is simply this: I lay my head down trusting you.

Trusting you will enable me to have voice again and again to confess your name.

Trusting you will accept and use what I have offered you today with my life.

Trusting you will answer whenever I pray to be made your instrument.

Trusting you will continue to change my heart and the hearts of others.

Trusting you will shape me more and more to act on your will.

Trusting you will give me eyes to witness your great work.

Trusting you will accept me as your simple servant.

Trusting you will raise me up in the morning.

Trusting, you, LORD.

Amen.

praying for a change (8)

 

“At the time of the evening offering, the prophet Elijah drew near and prayed: ‘LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. I have done all these things at your instructions. Answer me, LORD! Answer me so that this people will know that you, LORD, are the real God and that you can change their hearts.’ Then the LORD’s fire fell; it consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up the water in the trench!” (1 Kings 18.36-38 CEB)

God,

You are real and able. Able to do anything and everything good.

I am unable. Unable to do anything good without your enabling me to do so.

You have seen me through the night and brought me to the dawn of a new day.

This I long to be today: your servant. To do everything by your instructions.

So enable me, LORD, I pray.

May all with whom I interact today know through me that you are LORD.

Amen.

praying for a change (7)

 

“A man of God came from Judah by God’s command to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing at the altar burning incense. By the LORD’s word, the man of God cried out …

“When the king heard the word of the man of God and how he cried out … Jeroboam stretched his hand from the altar and said, ‘Seize him!’ But the hand that Jeroboam stretched out against the man of God grew stiff. Jeroboam wasn’t able to bend it back to himself. … The king said to the man of God, ‘Plead before the LORD your God and pray for me so that I can bend my hand back again.’ So the man of God pleaded before the LORD, and the king’s hand returned to normal and was like it used to be. The king spoke to the man of God: ‘Come with me to the palace and refresh yourself. Let me give you a gift.’

“Even after this happened, Jeroboam didn’t change his evil ways. Instead, he continued …” (1 Kings 13.1-2,4,6-7,33 CEB)

God,

Tonight I come to you with my stubbornness in mind.

How many times have I said to you, “If only I could see this or that would happen, I would truly change?” Any how many times have I seen this or that … and then not changed. I’ve lost count; you alone know.

How often have I intended to do better by you, only to see my good intentions become true actions only for a fleeting moment? You alone know; I’ve lost count.

How frequently have I asked others to pray for me and then, did nothing on my part to help their prayers be answered? I’ve lost count; you alone know.

And so I dare to ask one thing of you, LORD. Be more stubborn than me; stubborn in the way you do not give up on me and seek to change me.

Amen.

praying for a change (6)

 

A man of God came from Judah by God’s command to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing at the altar burning incense. By the LORD’s word, the man of God cried out …

When the king heard the word of the man of God and how he cried out … Jeroboam stretched his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand that Jeroboam stretched out against the man of God grew stiff. Jeroboam wasn’t able to bend it back to himself. … The king said to the man of God, ‘Plead before the LORD your God and pray for me so that I can bend my hand back again.’ So the man of God pleaded before the LORD, and the king’s hand returned to normal and was like it used to be. The king spoke to the man of God: ‘Come with me to the palace and refresh yourself. Let me give you a gift.’

Even after this happened, Jeroboam didn’t change his evil ways. Instead, he continued …” (1 Kings 13.1-2,4,6-7,33 CEB)

God,

You have given me time. Today. This very moment.

You have deliberately crossed my path with your will; you have spoken your word to me.

And for what?

That you may display your patience. Your persistence. Your great love.

And that I may have time to learn of you. That today I may obey you. That in this moment I would be yours.

Thank you, LORD.

May I not misuse or waste this moment and gift.

To your glory.

Amen.