Pray the Word: The Beatitudes
Read Matthew 5
Matthew 5:3-12 include the beatitudes, these promises from Jesus of blessing on groups of people who have these characteristics. And, as we read these verses, we can't help but just to pray for these things in our lives. As I was reading through them, I was just praying, "Oh, God, may all of these things mark me." So I want to just lead us to pray all of these beatitudes over our lives.
Verse 3, start there and we'll just kind of go down, so, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." God, we pray to You to help us to be poor in spirit, humble in spirit before you, for we know that those who are poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. God, may we be poor in spirit. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." God, in our mourning, in our sorrow over sin, and suffering, and evil, and injustice in the world, we pray that we would know Your comfort.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth." God, make us meek. God, may this trait, this quality, characteristic that is so uncommon in the world around us be common among us. May our hearts be meek. May our demeanors be meek, for they shall inherit the Earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." God, we pray that our lives will be marked by this kind of hunger and this kind of thirst. May we long for righteousness, like we long for food when we're hungry and we long for righteousness like we long for water when we're thirsty. May we want it. May we yearn for righteousness in our lives, and in the process, experience Your satisfaction.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." God, you have shown us such great mercy. So we pray, help us to show mercy to others. Help us to be a reflection of your mercy, your undeserved love. Lord, help us to pour out that kind of mercy on those in need around us. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see." God, oh God, we want to see You. We want to see You, so make us pure at heart. Purify our hearts, we pray. Help us to grow in holiness, and purity of motive, and purity of thought, and purity of affection, and purity of ambition. Lord, we want to see you. Make us pure in heart.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Lord, help us to make peace. Help us not to cause division. Help us to promote peace around us. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." God, we pray that You would help us to endure trials, tribulation, persecution that comes our way as followers of Christ. Help us to have confidence in You and not to be swayed by the threats of this world, not to shrink back from trial, and tribulation, and persecution when it comes our way. Help us to endure suffering and persecution for righteousness' sake.
"Blessed are You and others revile You, and persecute You, and utter all kinds of evil falsely against You on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for Your reward is great in Heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before You." God, we pray that when we are reviled or persecuted, or evil is brought against us because of our association with You and our proclamation of the gospel. In those moments, oh God, help us to rejoice and be glad. Help us to be confident in the reward we have in Heaven. Help us to remember the reward we have in Heaven, and to realize that we stand in a long line of those who've gone before us, who You have shown yourself faithful to as they've walked through such persecution.
God, we pray for all of these things in our lives, and we pray that as a result of Your grace in us making these things that we would experience your blessing in all these ways. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
The Pray the Word podcast is used with permission from Radical. For more from Pray the Word, visit radical.net. http://radical.net/articles/podcast_type/pray-the-word