Praying Through the Minor Prophets

Leader (L): The Lord is in His Holy Temple.

Congregation (C): Let all the earth keep silent before Him.

L: The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and relenteth him of causing calamity.

C: Yahweh, we acknowledge with Jonah the prophet that "thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and relentest thee of causing calamity."

L: Almighty God, we cling to your loving character and bid that you would show your people today the same everlasting, unchanging love that you showed to Gomer, the sinful wife of Hosea. You encouraged Hosea to love Gomer "with the love the Lord hath toward the children of Israel," and he obeyed. So, too, Heavenly Father, you have commanded that Christ, the Greatest Prophet, love His bride with an everlasting love We rejoice in Your love today."

C: We rejoice in your promise of love from Hosea's day: "The number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God."

L: Righteous Lord, we confess that we need your mercy, for we are aware that "the day of the Lord is at hand" and apart from your mercy we cannot stand on the imminent day of wrath.

C: Sovereign Lord and Judge, we tremble at the thought of your judging the nations. We shudder at the words, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision, for behold, the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision."

L: Holy and Righteous Yahweh, because Nahum records that "you will in no way acquit the wicked" in that day, we come unto you now in humble confession." Do not let the pride of our hearts deceive us as in Obadiah's day. We desire to "break up the fallow ground" in our hearts and to "seek the Lord till He come" and "rain righteousness."

C: We heed your command, "Take with you words and turn unto the Lord: say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render" praise.

L: Chief Shepherd, we who preach the holy Scriptures and feed Your flock confess our ignorance of your word and lack of diligence in studying it. We agree with your words, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: . . . thou hast rejected knowledge, . . . thou hast forgotten the law of thy God." Have mercy on us and give us grace to be better spokesmen of your word.

C: Merciful Redeemer, we confess that we have not applied in our daily lives the words that we have fed upon in our congregational meetings. We confess that you have showed us, O God, what is good, but we have not put feet to your commands. We have failed "to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with You."

L: Father, we confess our dependence on outward ceremony and ritualistic devices of worship instead of on You, the living God. We repent of our religious hypocrisies and remember this day that You have "desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." We repent as well of offering "polluted bread" upon your altar in halfhearted acts of devotion. We have failed to give you our very best in acts of worship.

C: We confess, O Lord, that we have not prioritized your work of building up your temple in which your Spirit dwells. We have built our own houses. We have built big businesses. We have built huge ecclesiastical structures. But we have not built up the body of Christ through intercessory prayer, fervent love, and word-centered conversation, and thus your church has yet to attain to the full measure of the stature of Christ. We consider our ways today as Haggai instructed us and we see that in pursuing selfish priorities, we face the same situation that the people of Haggai's day faced. We hear you say, "Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink: ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put [money] into a bag with holes."

L: Lord, in confessing these our sins we do now turn to you "with all [our] heart, . . . and with weeping, and with mourning." We "rend [our] heart and not our [garment]" and turn unto you the Lord our God. Lord pour out upon us the Spirit of grace and supplications and help us to look with faith on Him whom we have pierced."

C: Lord Jesus, as we view Your wounds as full payment for our sins, we gladly take as our own Your promises to repentant rebels and say with Prophet Malachi, "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all [our] sins into the depths of the sea."

L: Lord Jesus, Our Mediator, we take from you the words that You as the Angel of the Lord spoke to Joshua the high priest who was clothed with filthy garments and who Satan accussed of being unclean. We hear you say, "Take away the filthy garments. . . Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment."

C. Savior Jesus, with our sins forgiven, we can say with Habakkuk, "Although the Fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet [we] will rejoice in the Lord. [We] will joy in the God of our salvation."

L: We now ask you, Lord, to help us to live by faith. Since you have said "The just shall live by His faith," we ask you to teach us to show our justifying faith by a life that faithfully works for Thee.

C: Lord empower us with the Spirit of Pentecost for thy service. You have promised, "In the last days, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Grant us vision and purpose for our lives today and the power to carry out your will.

L: Hear the Word of the Lord from Zechariah 4:1-14 "And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and Said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked , and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof, so I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying Not my might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house: his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and for through the whole earth. Then answered I , and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my Lord. then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."

C: Lord, we rejoice in the way the Anointed One, the Great High Priest and Davidic King pours out His Spirit to us and gives us grace to complete His will. We now consecrate our lives to You according to Your revealed will in Malachi.

L: Malachi has said: "From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles: and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts."

C: We consecrate our lives to world missions as an act of worship in which we seek to see You glorified and praised among the Gentiles.

L: Malachi has said: "For the priests lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts."

C: We consecrate our lives to our calling as part of the priesthood of believers. We dedicate ourselves to not only mastering the Scriptures with our minds but also fleshing out the Scriptures in our lives.

L: Malachi has said: "The Lord . . . hateth putting away."

C: We consecrate ourselves to conducting our lives among our family members in such a way that our devotion of God is unquestioned in our own homes and among our closest associates.

L: Malachi has said: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes."

C: We consecrate all of our worldly possessions and resources to You, Jehovah-Jireh, Our Provider. We pledge our faithfulness in giving the firstfruits of our labor to You. We pledge our faithfulness in making our homes places of hospitality where saints can be encouraged and sinners evangelized. We pledge our faithfulness in not refusing to give to him that asketh when it is in the power of our hand to give it. We pledge our faithfulness in being diligent to acquire the wealth you supply, in being prudent in saving that which You place in our hands, and in being generous in distributing that wealth among our physical and spiritual family members.

L: Malachi has said: "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name."

Malachi has also said, "Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with statutes and judgments."

C: Gracious Father, we commit ourselves to "speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs." We commit ourselves to going to the place of worship on Sundays with words of encouragement and admonition to give to our brethren. We commit to fearing You by departing from evil. We commit to thinking upon Your name by being renewed in the spirit of our minds. We seek grace to diligently read, meditate upon, and memorize Scripture. We commit to remembering You this week.

L: Malachi has said: "Ye shall say, "The Lord be magnified from the border of Israel." And Malachi has said, "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings."

C: We commit to magnifying Christ by being in the fear of God all the day long and by relying upon the Sun of Righteousness to bring complete wholeness to our souls. We make our goal to be Christ dependent and Christ exalting.

L: God will magnify His Son.

C: Hallelujah!

L: God magnifies the Son in rescuing His people from death.

C: Hosea 13:14 records, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues: O grave, I will be thy destruction."

L: God magnifes His Son in building His holy temple.

C: Zechariah 6:12 says, "Behold the man whose name is the Branch; . . . he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord.

L: God magnifies His Son in saving sinners.

C: Jonah 1:17 says, "Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." Later, "The Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land."

L: "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

C: "Salvation is of the Lord."

L: Hallelujah. The Lord delights to save.

C: "Fear thou not: . . . Let not thy hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy. . . . He will rejoice over thee with singing." (Zeph. 3:16-17)

L: The Lord is in His Holy Temple,

C: Let all the earth keep silent before Him."

Pre-formed Prayer: Planned prayers that aid in personal and public devotion