Last night our cell group met round at our house and was focused on prayer. I was leading the prayer section and, in order not to miss out the chance to summarise the recent teaching series on the epistle to the Romans (which would normally happen as the ‘Word’ component of the evening), took the idea of praying through the book of Romans, drawing out various ideas as starting points.
Looking at chapter four, I was struck by how Paul drew deeply on the narrative of Abraham, from what Christians now call the ‘Old Testament’. This suggested the theme of thankfulness for the full treasury of scripture that we have available in the Bible.
However, just before the meeting began, I grabbed a moment to check on my blogroll and one author had posted something strikingly pertinent, a prayer attributed to Origen (an early church theologian).
This morning, I fully intended to give credit to the blogger who provided this tasty morsel but, like yesterday’s manna, the entry seemed to have disappeared! Maybe it’s because the person who shared it misspellt ‘meditate’ as ‘medidate’ and the entry is offline for a quick overhaul? Whatever the cause, I’m not quite convinced about the manna analogy; I want to have the quote available for future reference. Fortunately, I’d repeated it enough last night to remember a few phrases which allowed me to hunt it down via Google!
Anyway, here it is. It still resonates with me in the cold light of day and so I’m glad to have tracked it down:
Lord, inspire us to read your Scriptures and to meditate upon them day and night. We beg you to give us real understanding of what we need, that we in turn may put its precepts into practice. Yet we know that understanding and good intentions are worthless, unless rooted in your graceful love. So we ask that the words of Scriptures may also be not just signs on a page, but channels of grace into our hearts.