21 Days of Prayer: Day 10
Today, we continue with the third stage of the Tabernacle Prayer: The Laver.
As Andy explained on Monday, the Tabernacle Prayer aligns our prayer activity with the seven stations in the Tabernacle, or dwelling place of God. These steps can help us connect with God and lead us through essential elements of prayer. Earlier this week, we explored the Outer Court, where visitors entered the Tabernacle to offer thanksgiving and praise, and the Brazen Altar, or cross of Jesus, where the Israelites sacrificed animals to atone for their sins.
While the Brazen Altar served as the site for cleansing sins through animal sacrifice, this day of the Tabernacle Prayer brings us to the Laver, or wash basin, where people would more literally cleanse themselves in ritualistic preparation for offering themselves to God. This seminal portion of the Tabernacle Prayer journey enables us to surrender and sacrifice our lives to God.
In Romans 12:1, the Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.”
The living sacrifice to which Paul refers is not an offering of human life in the literal sense (death). Rather, he implores us to give or devote our life to God by repenting for our sins and offering the totality of our being to him. Sacrificing our life – even in the form of devotion – is much easier said than done. But equally clear is the impact and reward of being intentional about living in harmony with God.
So, today, as we pray at the Laver, we look inward at our heart and motives, and recommit to surrendering our life to God. Giving our whole self to God encompasses all portions of our body and mind. This includes:
- Our tongue (or words) – to speak good and not evil;
- Our eyes – to see God and the needs of others;
- Our ears – to listen to God;
- Our hands – to do good works for God and our fellow man; and
- Our feet – to walk in God’s ways.
Just as we offer our body to God, so too must we offer our mind. In Romans 12:2, Paul continues, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I have the pleasure of participating in a weekly, early-morning Bible study group at CedarCreek. Each Wednesday at 6:15 a.m., our group of a dozen or so men convene at the Perrysburg campus to partake in fellowship through the exploration and discussion of various aspects of the Bible. For the past two months, we have been immersed in a thorough reading and discussion of the Book of Romans. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), we closed last week’s session with the first two verses of Romans 12, which were previously referenced in this devotional.
After reading verses 12:1-2 aloud, we talked about the challenges inherent in abiding by Paul’s directive to offer our bodies in living sacrifice to God and resist the temptation to succumb to the pattern of the present-day world.
As men of God, we openly acknowledge the tug of war between our devotion to God and the forces that challenge our resilience in consistently walking with him. Along with our fellowship, we know that we can also take comfort in knowing that God has made available to us the priceless gift of prayer to support and sustain our quest to live our faith.
The Alabama-based Church of the Highlands offers a Personal Prayer Guide, which serves as a companion of sorts to our 21 Days of Prayer. Within the guide is an excellent prayer devotional that offers suggestions for confession and cleansing as we present our heart to God. As we pray, we are encouraged to ask God to search our heart for:
- Sin – to receive cleansing and righteousness;
- Selfishness – to receive holiness and sanctification;
- Stress – to receive life and power; and
- Sickness – to receive healing and strength.
Today, pray this prayer to ask for God’s help in keeping his purposes and goals in view:
Heavenly Father, I thank you, as always, for the unconditional love and mercy that you so generously offer to me. Even as I surrender myself to you and seek to serve you as a living sacrifice, I ask for your help in resisting the lure of the pattern and ways of this world governed by man. Grant me the ability to keep you present and, in doing so, to remain ever mindful of my overarching commitment to walk in your ways. Amen.
This past weekend, Ben challenged us to pray about the step we might need to take in our spiritual journey. Of the four steps Ben outlined (Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Your Purpose, and Make a Difference) which do you need to take?
Who can you help take their next step?
This post was written by Todd Romain. Todd is a regular contributor to and editor of the LivingItOut Bible Study.
Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?
We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!