Saturday, April 28, 2018

The first, last, longest, and shortest prayers in the Bible.

The first prayer.  It has been more difficult to isolate the first prayer in the Bible, but here are three tries.  The problem in the early chapters of Genesis is that the occasions people are recorded specifically speaking to God it is in the context of a conversation that God initiates.

1. Genesis 4:26b points out a time when men started calling upon the name of the Lord.  But this is not really a specific prayer.

25 Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.

2.  In Genesis 19 Abraham prays for God to allow Abimelech's household have babies again.  Here the essence of the request is given, but not the words.

17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children.18 For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

3.  In Genesis 24 we find Abraham's servant praying to the God of Abraham for help locating a wife for Issac.

12 He said, “Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14 now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’—may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.”

The last prayer in the Bible is pretty straightforward.  In the second to the last verse in Revelation, John prays, "Come, Lord Jesus."  And we continue to pray that prayer today.

It is very possible I have missed something in Genesis.


The longest prayer in the Bible is found in Nehemiah 9:5-38.  Most of the prayer is recounting their history of suffering with the closing observation, "So we are in great distress."  Verse 38 says that they are signing an agreement to keep God's laws presumably so that He would begin blessing them again.

The shortest prayer may be found in Nehemiah too.  It takes place in chapter two when Nehemiah prayed a quick prayer between the king asking him a question and his answer.  However, since this reference doesn't tell what he prayed the shortest prayer probably needs to go to Peter's brief and heartfelt prayer in Matthew 14:30 as he sank into the water after he had begun to walk on the water to Jesus.  Lord, save me!”  Now, that's a prayer ALL of us can heartily join in.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


I remember a few years ago when Curt Shacklett led the elders and deacons through Kent Hughes’ book Disciplines of a Godly Man.  I was struck by the title of chapter five, “Discipline of Friendship.”  I guess that I had always thought of friends as a nice social connection.  The idea of friendship as a discipline indicated that relationships are something that I should intentionally pursue for the benefit of the church, to bless others, and for my own Christian walk. 
Relationships are also essential for discipleship, a TBC core value.  I want to challenge every man at TBC to attempt to regularly (a least once a month) meet with at least two other men.  Find a relationship with a peer so the two of you can encourage and challenge each other spiritually.  Find another relationship where you are either mentoring (discipling) or being mentored.  These relationships with men at TBC can strengthen our church and benefit you and those you meet with.
Travis Jones is an example of someone who pursues these intentional relationships.  At our men’s breakfast, he is going to share some practical principles and pointers on how to engage in relationships with other men

“Few of the truly valuable things in life just happen.”  --Kent Hughes