Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Blessing of Redemption

There are times when I sit quietly to pray and can think of no words to utter to God.  I am sometimes plagued by the thought that everything I say is only a selfish request or spoken for selfish purposes.  Thankfully, the Bible provides us with language for prayer.  Language that is God-focused instead of self-focused.  I am learning to pray these words as the chief of my prayers.  Along with the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (the passage Jesus pointed to as the Greatest Commandment), I have been praying the words of Exodus 15:11,13, and 18 known to the Jews as the Blessing of Redemption (Birkat Geulah).  Here are the words from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

Vs. 11 - Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?  Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders?

Vs. 13 - In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed; you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.

Vs. 18 - The Lord will reign forever and ever.

Take some time in your daily devotion to pray these words slowly again and again.  This blessing will help shape your prayers into those that are God-focused instead of self-focused.