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Topical Scripture [P11b]

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Topical Scripture

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So on the day he had set he went in to take an inventory of the funds. There was great distress throughout the city. Priests prostrated themselves in their priestly robes before the altar, and loudly begged him in heaven who had given the law about deposits to keep the deposits safe for those who had made them. Whoever saw the appearance of the high priest was pierced to the heart, for the changed color of his face manifested the anguish of his soul. The terror and bodily trembling that had come over the man clearly showed those who saw him the pain that lodged in his heart. People rushed out of their houses in crowds to make public supplication, because the Place was in danger of being profaned. Women, girded with sackcloth below their breasts, filled the streets; maidens secluded indoors ran together, some to the gates, some to the walls, others peered through the windows, all of them with hands raised toward heaven, making supplication. It was pitiful to see the populace variously prostrated in prayer and the high priest full of dread and anguish. [2MACC 3:14-21]

While he lay speechless and deprived of all hope of aid, due to an act of God's power, the Jews praised the Lord who had marvelously glorified his holy Place; and the temple, charged so shortly before with fear and commotion, was filled with joy and gladness, now that the almighty Lord had manifested himself. Soon some of the companions of Heliodorus begged Onias to invoke the Most High, praying that the life of the man who was about to expire might be spared. [2MACC 3:29-31]

About this time Antiochus sent his second expedition into Egypt. It then happened that all over the city, for nearly forty days, there appeared horsemen charging in midair, clad in garments interwoven with gold - companies fully armed with lances and drawn swords; squadrons of cavalry in battle array, charges and countercharges on this side and that, with brandished shields and bristling spears, flights of arrows and flashes of gold ornaments, together with armor of every sort. Therefore all prayed that this vision might be a good omen. [2MACC 5:1-4]

Maccabeus and his companions, after public prayers asking God to be their ally, moved quickly against the strongholds of the Idumeans. [2MACC 10:16]

Timothy, who had previously been defeated by the Jews, gathered a tremendous force of foreign troops and collected a large number of cavalry from Asia; then he appeared in Judea, ready to conquer it by force. At his approach, Maccabeus and his men made supplication to God, sprinkling earth upon their heads and girding their loins in sackcloth. Lying prostrate at the foot of the altar, they begged him to be gracious to them, and to be an enemy to their enemies, and a foe to their foes, as the law declares. After the prayer, they took up their arms and advanced a considerable distance from the city, halting when they were close to the enemy. As soon as dawn broke, the armies joined battle, the one having as pledge of success and victory not only their valor but also their reliance on the Lord, and the other taking fury as their leader in the fight. In the midst of the fierce battle, there appeared to the enemy from the heavens five majestic men riding on golden-bridled horses, who led the Jews on. They surrounded Maccabeus, and shielding him with their own armor, kept him from being wounded. They shot arrows and hurled thunderbolts at the enemy, who were bewildered and blinded, thrown into confusion and routed. [2MACC 10:24-30]

But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain. They all therefore praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden. Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin. [2MACC 12:40-46]

When the Jews heard of Nicanor's coming, and that the Gentiles were rallying to him, they sprinkled themselves with earth and prayed to him who established his people forever, and who always comes to the aid of his heritage. [2MACC 14:15]

In his utter boastfulness and arrogance Nicanor had determined to erect a public monument of victory over Judas and his men. But Maccabeus remained confident, fully convinced that he would receive help from the LORD. He urged his men not to fear the enemy, but mindful of the help they had received from Heaven in the past, to expect that now, too, victory would be given them by the Almighty. By encouraging them with words from the law and the prophets, and by reminding them of the battles they had already won, he filled them with fresh enthusiasm. Having stirred up their courage, he gave his orders and pointed out at the same time the perfidy of the Gentiles and their violation of oaths. When he had armed each of them, not so much with the safety of shield and spear as with the encouragement of noble words, he cheered them all by relating a dream, a kind of vision, worthy of belief. What he saw was this: Onias, the former high priest, a good and virtuous man, modest in appearance, gentle in manners, distinguished in speech, and trained from childhood in every virtuous practice, was praying with outstretched arms for the whole Jewish community. Then in the same way another man appeared, distinguished by his white hair and dignity, and with an air about him of extraordinary, majestic authority. Onias then said of him, "This is God's prophet Jeremiah, who loves his brethren and fervently prays for his people and their holy city." Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him he said, "Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall crush your adversaries." [2MACC 15:6-16]

Maccabeus, contemplating the hosts before him, their elaborate equipment, and the fierceness of their elephants, stretched out his hands toward heaven and called upon the LORD who works miracles; for he knew that it is not through arms but through the LORD'S decision that victory is won by those who deserve it. He prayed to him thus: "You, O LORD, sent your angel in the days of King Hezekiah of Judea, and he slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand men of Sennacherib's army. Sovereign of the heavens, send a good angel now to spread fear and dread before us. By the might of your arm may those be struck down who have blasphemously come against your holy people!" With this he ended his prayer. Nicanor and his men advanced to the sound of trumpets and battle songs. But Judas and his men met the army with supplication and prayers. Fighting with their hands and praying to God with their hearts, they laid low at least thirty-five thousand, and rejoiced greatly over this manifestation of God's power. [2MACC 15:21-27]

I have fastened sackcloth over my skin, and have laid my brow in the dust. My face is inflamed with weeping and there is darkness over my eyes, Although my hands are free from violence, and my prayer is sincere. O earth, cover not my blood, nor let my outcry come to rest! [Taken from JOB 16:15-18]

"Let my servant Job pray for you; for his prayer I will accept, not to punish you severely. For you have not spoken rightly concerning me, as has my servant Job." Then Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, went and did as the LORD had commanded them. And the LORD accepted the intercession of Job. Also, the LORD restored the prosperity of Job, after he had prayed for his friends; the LORD even gave to Job twice as much as he had before. [Taken from JOB 42:8-10]

Answer when I call, my saving God. In my troubles, you cleared a way; show me favor; hear my prayer. [PS 4:2]

Hear my words, O LORD; listen to my sighing. Hear my cry for help, my king, my God! To you I pray, O LORD; at dawn you will hear my cry; at dawn I will plead before you and wait. [PS 5:2-4]

Away from me, all who do evil! The LORD has heard my weeping. The LORD has heard my prayer; the LORD takes up my plea. My foes will be terrified and disgraced; all will fall back in sudden shame. [PS 6:9-11]

You listen, LORD, to the needs of the poor; you encourage them and hear their prayers. [PS 10:17]

Hear, LORD, my plea for justice; pay heed to my cry; Listen to my prayer spoken without guile. From you let my vindication come; your eyes see what is right. You have tested my heart, searched it in the night. You have tried me by fire, but find no malice in me. My mouth has not transgressed as humans often do. As your lips have instructed me, I have kept the way of the law. My steps have kept to your paths; my feet have not faltered. I call upon you; answer me, O God. Turn your ear to me; hear my prayer. Show your wonderful love, you who deliver with your right arm those who seek refuge from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the violence of the wicked. [PS 17:1-9]

May we shout for joy at your victory, raise the banners in the name of our God. The LORD grant your every prayer! [PS 20:6]

LORD, the king finds joy in your power; in your victory how greatly he rejoices! You have granted him his heart's desire; you did not refuse the prayer of his lips. [Taken from PS 21:2-3]

As long as I kept silent, my bones wasted away; I groaned all the day. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength withered as in dry summer heat. Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide. I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD," and you took away the guilt of my sin. Selah Thus should all your faithful pray in time of distress. Though flood waters threaten, they will never reach them. You are my shelter; from distress you keep me; with safety you ring me round. [Taken from PS 32:3-7]

Malicious witnesses come forward, accuse me of things I do not know. They repay me evil for good and I am all alone. Yet I, when they were ill, put on sackcloth, afflicted myself with fasting, sobbed my prayers upon my bosom. I went about in grief as for my brother, bent in mourning as for my mother. [Taken from PS 35:11-14]

Listen to my prayer, LORD, hear my cry; do not be deaf to my weeping! I sojourn with you like a passing stranger, a guest, like all my ancestors. Turn your gaze from me, that I may find peace before I depart to be no more. [PS 39:13-14]

Once I prayed, "LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, I have sinned against you. My enemies say the worst of me: 'When will that one die and be forgotten?' When people come to visit me, they speak without sincerity. Their hearts store up malice; they leave and spread their vicious lies. My foes all whisper against me; they imagine the worst about me: I have a deadly disease, they say; I will never rise from my sickbed. Even the friend who had my trust, who shared my table, has scorned me. But you, LORD, have mercy and raise me up that I may repay them as they deserve." [PS 41:5-11]

O God, by your name save me. By your strength defend my cause. O God, hear my prayer. Listen to the words of my mouth. The arrogant have risen against me; the ruthless seek my life; they do not keep God before them. [Taken from PS 54:3-5]

Listen, God, to my prayer; do not hide from my pleading; hear me and give answer. I rock with grief; I groan at the uproar of the enemy, the clamor of the wicked. They heap trouble upon me, savagely accuse me. My heart pounds within me; death's terrors fall upon me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me; shuddering sweeps over me. [PS 55:2-6]

But I will call upon God, and the LORD will save me. At dusk, dawn, and noon I will grieve and complain, and my prayer will be heard. [PS 55:17-18]

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer! From the brink of Sheol I call; my heart grows faint. Raise me up, set me on a rock, for you are my refuge, a tower of strength against the foe. Then I will ever dwell in your tent, take refuge in the shelter of your wings. [Taken from PS 61:2-5]

O God, when you accept my vows and hear the plea of those who revere your name in prayer: "Add to the days of the king's life; may his years be many generations; May he reign before God forever; may your love and fidelity preserve him" - Then I will sing your name forever, fulfill my vows day after day. [PS 61:6-9]

To you we owe our hymn of praise, O God on Zion; To you our vows must be fulfilled, you who hear our prayers. To you all flesh must come with its burden of wicked deeds. We are overcome by our sins; only you can pardon them. Happy the chosen ones you bring to dwell in your courts. May we be filled with the good things of your house, the blessings of your holy temple! [PS 65:2-5]

I called to the Lord with my mouth; praise was upon my tongue. Had I cherished evil in my heart, the Lord would not have heard. But God did hear and listened to my voice in prayer. Blessed be God, who did not refuse me the kindness I sought in prayer. [PS 66:17-20]

But I pray to you, LORD, for the time of your favor. God, in your great kindness answer me with your constant help. [PS 69:14]

Long may he live, receiving gold from Arabia, prayed for without cease, blessed day by day. [PS 72:15]

LORD of hosts, how long will you burn with anger while your people pray? You have fed them the bread of tears, made them drink tears in abundance. You have left us to be fought over by our neighbors; our enemies deride us. O LORD of hosts, restore us; let your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. [PS 80:5-8]

LORD of hosts, hear my prayer; listen, God of Jacob. [Taken from PS 84:9]

Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and oppressed. Preserve my life, for I am loyal; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; pity me, Lord; to you I call all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant; to you, Lord, I lift up my soul. Lord, you are kind and forgiving, most loving to all who call on you. LORD, hear my prayer; listen to my cry for help. In this time of trouble I call, for you will answer me. [PS 86:1-7]

LORD, my God, I call out by day; at night I cry aloud in your presence. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry. For my soul is filled with troubles; my life draws near to Sheol. I am reckoned with those who go down to the pit; I am weak, without strength. [PS 88:2-5]

But I cry out to you, LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Why do you reject me, LORD? Why hide your face from me? [PS 88:14-15]

A prayer of Moses, the man of God. Lord, you have been our refuge through all generations. Before the mountains were born, the earth and the world brought forth, from eternity to eternity you are God. [Taken from PS 90:1-2]

LORD, hear my prayer; let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me now that I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. [PS 102:2-3]

The nations shall revere your name, LORD, all the kings of the earth, your glory, Once the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in glory, Heeding the plea of the lowly, not scorning their prayer. [PS 102:16-18]

"Give thanks to the LORD who is good, whose love endures forever!" Let that be the prayer of the LORD'S redeemed, those redeemed from the hand of the foe, Those gathered from foreign lands, from east and west, from north and south. [PS 107:1-3]

O God, whom I praise, do not be silent, for wicked and treacherous mouths attack me. They speak against me with lying tongues; with hateful words they surround me, attacking me without cause. In return for my love they slander me, even though I prayed for them. They repay me evil for good, hatred for my love. [Taken from PS 109:2-5]

Let my cry come before you, LORD; in keeping with your word give me discernment. Let my prayer come before you; rescue me according to your promise. May my lips pour forth your praise, because you teach me your laws. [PS 119:169-171]

For the peace of Jerusalem pray: "May those who love you prosper! May peace be within your ramparts, prosperity within your towers." [PS 122:6-7]

For the house of the LORD, our God, I pray, "May blessings be yours." [PS 122:9]

I say to the LORD: You are my God; listen, LORD, to the words of my prayer. My revered LORD, my strong helper, my helmet on the day of battle. LORD, do not grant the desires of the wicked; do not let their plots succeed. [Taken from PS 140:7-9]

LORD, I call to you; come quickly to help me; listen to my plea when I call. Let my prayer be incense before you; my uplifted hands an evening sacrifice. Set a guard, LORD, before my mouth, a gatekeeper at my lips. Do not let my heart incline to evil, or yield to any sin. I will never feast upon the fine food of evildoers. Let the just strike me; that is kindness; let them rebuke me; that is oil for my head. All this I shall not refuse, but will pray despite these trials. When their leaders are cast over the cliff, all will learn that my prayers were heard. [PS 141:1-6]

LORD, hear my prayer; in your faithfulness listen to my pleading; answer me in your justice. Do not enter into judgment with your servant; before you no living being can be just. [PS 143:1-2]

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is his delight. [PROV 15:8]

The LORD is far from the wicked, but the prayer of the just he hears. [PROV 15:29]

Wounds from a friend may be accepted as well meant, but the greetings of an enemy one prays against. [PROV 27:6]

When one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. [PROV 28:9] 

Therefore I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, And deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; Because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. [WISDOM 7:7-9]

But when he prays about his goods or marriage or children, he is not ashamed to address the thing without a soul. And for vigor he invokes the powerless [Taken from WISDOM 13:17]

For the blameless man hastened to be their champion, bearing the weapon of his special office, prayer and the propitiation of incense; He withstood the wrath and put a stop to the calamity, showing that he was your servant. [WISDOM 18:21]

He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard. [SIRACH 3:5]

My son, rob not the poor man of his livelihood; force not the eyes of the needy to turn away. A hungry man grieve not, a needy man anger not; Do not exasperate the downtrodden; delay not to give to the needy. A beggar in distress do not reject; avert not your face from the poor. From the needy turn not your eyes, give no man reason to curse you; For if in the bitterness of his soul he curse you, his Creator will hear his prayer. [SIRACH 4:1-6]

Be not impatient in prayers, and neglect not the giving of alms. [SIRACH 7:10]

Thrust not yourself into the deliberations of princes, and repeat not the words of your prayer. [SIRACH 7:14] [Note: This passage does not mean that one should never repeat a prayer. Jesus himself repeated his prayer (MT 36:36-44) as do the creatures in heaven (RV 4:8). Rather, one should not "babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words" (MT 6:7) but instead pray respectfully and sincerely, and "pray without ceasing" (1THES 5:17).]

Return to the LORD and give up sin, pray to him and make your offenses few. [SIRACH 17:20]

My son, if you have sinned, do so no more, and for your past sins pray to be forgiven. [SIRACH 21:1]

Prayer from a poor man's lips is heard at once, and justice is quickly granted him. [SIRACH 21:5]

Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the LORD? Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows, yet seek pardon for his own sins? If he who is but flesh cherishes wrath, who will forgive his sins? [SIRACH 28:2-5]

If one man prays and another curses, whose voice will the LORD hear? [SIRACH 34:24]

If a man again touches a corpse after he has bathed, what did he gain by the purification? So with a man who fasts for his sins, but then goes and commits them again: Who will hear his prayer, and what has he gained by his mortification? [SIRACH 34:25-26] 

He who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right. God indeed will not delay, and like a warrior, will not be still [Taken from SIRACH 35:16-19]

Fill Zion with your majesty, your temple with your glory. Give evidence of your deeds of old; fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name, Reward those who have hoped in you, and let your prophets be proved true. Hear the prayer of your servants, for you are ever gracious to your people; Thus it will be known to the very ends of the earth that you are the eternal God. [Taken from SIRACH 36:13-17]

Most important of all, pray to God to set your feet in the path of truth. [SIRACH 37:15]

My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you [Taken from SIRACH 38:9]

How different the man who devotes himself to the study of the law of the Most High! He explores the wisdom of the men of old and occupies himself with the prophecies; He treasures the discourses of famous men, and goes to the heart of involved sayings; He studies obscure parables, and is busied with the hidden meanings of the sages. He is in attendance on the great, and has entrance to the ruler. He travels among the peoples of foreign lands to learn what is good and evil among men. His care is to seek the LORD, his Maker, to petition the Most High, To open his lips in prayer, to ask pardon for his sins. Then, if it pleases the LORD Almighty, he will be filled with the spirit of understanding; He will pour forth his words of wisdom and in prayer give thanks to the LORD, Who will direct his knowledge and his counsel, as he meditates upon his mysteries. [SIRACH 39:1-7]

The people's hearts melted within them, and they were in anguish like that of childbirth. But they called upon the Most High God and lifted up their hands to him; He heard the prayer they uttered, and saved them through Isaiah. [SIRACH 48:19-20]

I called out: O Lord, you are my father, you are my champion and my savior; Do not abandon me in time of trouble, in the midst of storms and dangers. I will ever praise your name and be constant in my prayers to you. Thereupon the LORD heard my voice, he listened to my appeal; He saved me from evil of every kind and preserved me in time of trouble. For this reason I thank him and I praise him; I bless the name of the LORD. [SIRACH 51:10-12]

Trample my courts no more! Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me. New moon and sabbath, calling of assemblies, octaves with wickedness: these I cannot bear. Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of the load. When you spread out your hands, I close my eyes to you; Though you pray the more, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow. Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool. [ISA 1:13-18]

When Moab grows weary on the high places, he shall enter his sanctuary to pray, but it shall avail him nothing. This is the word the LORD spoke against Moab in times past. But now the LORD has spoken: In three years, like those of a hireling, the glory of Moab shall be degraded despite all its great multitude; there shall be a remnant, very small and weak. [ISA 16:12-14]

Thus says the LORD: The earnings of Egypt, the gain of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, tall of stature, Shall come over to you and belong to you; they shall follow you, coming in chains. Before you they shall fall prostrate, saying in prayer: "With you only is God, and nowhere else; the gods are nought. Truly with you God is hidden, the God of Israel, the savior!" [Taken from ISA 45:14-15]

Come and assemble, gather together, you fugitives from among the gentiles! They are without knowledge who bear wooden idols and pray to gods that cannot save. [ISA 45:20]

For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. [Taken from ISA 56:7]

You, now, do not intercede for this people; raise not in their behalf a pleading prayer! Do not urge me, for I will not listen to you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem? [JER 7:16-17]

Promote the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you; pray for it to the LORD, for upon its welfare depends your own. [JER 29:7]

Thus says the LORD: Only after seventy years have elapsed for Babylon will I visit you and fulfill for you my promise to bring you back to this place. For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the LORD, and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the LORD, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you. [JER 29:10-14]

After giving the deed of purchase to Baruch, son of Neriah, I prayed thus to the LORD: Ah, Lord GOD, you have made heaven and earth by your great might, with your outstretched arm; nothing is impossible to you. You continue your kindness through a thousand generations; and you repay the fathers' guilt, even into the lap of their sons who follow them. O God, great and mighty, whose name is LORD of hosts, great in counsel, mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of men, giving to each according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds: you have wrought signs and wonders in the land of Egypt and to this day, both in Israel and among all other men, until now you have gained renown. With strong hand and outstretched arm you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt amid signs and wonders and great terror. This land you gave them, as you had promised their fathers under oath, a land flowing with milk and honey. They entered and took possession of it, but they did not listen to your voice; by your law they did not live, and what you commanded they failed to do. Hence you let all these evils befall them. See, the siegeworks have arrived at this city to breach it; the city will be handed over to the Chaldeans who are attacking it, amid sword, famine, and pestilence. What you threatened has happened, you see it yourself; and yet you tell me, O Lord GOD: Buy the field with money, call in witnesses. But the city has already been handed over to the Chaldeans! Then this word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: I am the LORD, the God of all mankind! Is anything impossible to me? [Taken from JER 32:16-27]

Coniah, son of Jehoiakim, was succeeded by King Zedekiah, son of Josiah; he was made king over the land of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Neither he, nor his ministers, nor the people of the land would listen to the words of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah the prophet. Yet King Zedekiah sent Jehucal, son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah, son of Maaseiah the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah with this request: "Pray to the LORD, our God, for us." [JER 37:1-3]

Then all the army leaders, Johanan, son of Kareah, Azariah, son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, high and low, approached the prophet Jeremiah and said, "Grant our petition; pray for us to the LORD, your God, for all this remnant. We are now few who once were many, as you well see. Let the LORD, your God, show us what way we should take and what we should do." Very well! the prophet Jeremiah answered them: I will pray to the LORD, your God, as you desire; whatever the LORD answers you, I will tell you; I will withhold nothing from you. And they said to Jeremiah, "May the LORD be our witness: we will truly and faithfully follow all the instructions the LORD, your God, will send us. Whether it is pleasant or difficult, we will obey the command of the LORD, our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us for obeying the command of the LORD, our God." Ten days passed before the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah. Then he called Johanan, son of Kareah, his army leaders, and all the people, high and low, and said to them: Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to offer your prayer: If you remain quietly in this land I will build you up, and not tear you down; I will plant you, not uproot you; for I regret the evil I have done you. Do not fear the king of Babylon, before whom you are now afraid; do not fear him, says the LORD, for I am with you to save you, to rescue you from his power. I will grant you mercy, so that he will be sorry for you and let you return to your land. But if you disobey the voice of the LORD, your God, and decide not to remain in this land, saying, "No, we will go to Egypt, where we will see no more of war, hear the trumpet alarm no longer, nor hunger for bread; there we will live"; then listen to the word of the LORD, remnant of Judah: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: If you are determined to go to Egypt, when you arrive there to stay, the sword you fear shall reach you in the land of Egypt; the hunger you dread shall cling to you no less in Egypt, and there you shall die. All those men who determine to go to Egypt to stay, shall die by the sword, famine, and pestilence; not one shall survive or escape the evil that I will bring upon them. [Taken from JER 42:1-17]

It is the LORD who has spoken to you, remnant of Judah; do not go to Egypt! You can never say that I did not warn you this day. At the cost of your lives you have deceived me, sending me to the LORD, your God, saying, "Pray for us to the LORD, our God; make known to us all that the LORD, our God, shall say, and we will do it." Today I proclaim his message, but you obey the voice of the LORD, your God, in nothing that he has commissioned me to make known to you. Have no doubt of this, you shall die by the sword, famine, and pestilence in the place where you wish to go and settle. [JER 42:19-22]

He has hemmed me in with no escape and weighed me down with chains; Even when I cry out for help, he stops my prayer; He has blocked my ways with fitted stones, and turned my paths aside. [LAM 3:7-9]

Let us search and examine our ways that we may return to the LORD! Let us reach out our hearts toward God in heaven! We have sinned and rebelled; you have not forgiven us. You veiled yourself in wrath and pursued us, you slew us and took no pity; You wrapped yourself in a cloud which prayer could not pierce. You have made us offscourings and refuse among the nations. [LAM 3:40-45]

And Baruch read the words of this scroll for Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to hear it, as well as all the people who came to the reading: the nobles, the kings' sons, the elders, and the whole people, small and great alike - all who lived in Babylon by the river Sud. They wept and fasted and prayed before the LORD, and collected such funds as each could furnish. [BARUCH 1:3-6]

"Pray for us also to the LORD, our God; for we have sinned against the LORD, our God, and the wrath and anger of the LORD have not yet been withdrawn from us at the present day." [BARUCH 1:13]

Let your anger be withdrawn from us, for we are left few in number among the nations to which you scattered us. Hear, O LORD, our prayer of supplication, and deliver us for your own sake: grant us favor in the presence of our captors, that the whole earth may know that you are the LORD, our God, and that Israel and his descendants bear your name. [BARUCH 2:13-15]

"LORD Almighty, God of Israel, afflicted souls and dismayed spirits call to you. Hear, O LORD, for you are a God of mercy; and have mercy on us, who have sinned against you: for you are enthroned forever, while we are perishing forever. LORD Almighty, God of Israel, hear the prayer of Israel's few, the sons of those who sinned against you; they did not heed the voice of the LORD, their God, and the evils cling to us. Remember at this time not the misdeeds of our fathers, but your own hand and name: for you are the LORD our God; and you, O LORD, we will praise! For this, you put into our hearts the fear of you: that we may call upon your name, and praise you in our captivity, when we have removed from our hearts all the wickedness of our fathers who sinned against you. Behold us today in our captivity, where you scattered us, a reproach, a curse, and a requital for all the misdeeds of our fathers, who withdrew from the LORD, our God." [BARUCH 3:1-8]

Farewell, my children, farewell: I am left desolate. I have taken off the garment of peace, have put on sackcloth for my prayer of supplication, and while I live I will cry out to the Eternal God. [BARUCH 4:19-20]

They were bound and cast into the white-hot furnace with their coats, hats, shoes and other garments, for the king's order was urgent. So huge a fire was kindled in the furnace that the flames devoured the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into it. But these three fell, bound, into the midst of the white-hot furnace. They walked about in flames, singing to God and blessing the Lord. In the fire Azariah stood up and prayed aloud: "Blessed are you, and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and glorious forever is your name. For you are just in all you have done; all your deeds are faultless, all your ways right, and your judgments proper." [Taken from DAN 3:21-27]

And now we follow you with our whole heart, we fear you and we pray to you. Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy. [Taken from DAN 3:41-42]

So King Darius signed the prohibition and made it law. Even after Daniel heard that this law had been signed, he continued his custom of going home to kneel in prayer and give thanks to his God in the upper chamber three times a day, with the windows open toward Jerusalem. So these men rushed in and found Daniel praying and pleading before his God. Then they went to remind the king about the prohibition: "Did you not decree, O king, that no one is to address a petition to god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king; otherwise he shall be cast into a den of lions?" The king answered them, "The decree is absolute, irrevocable under the Mede and Persian law." To this they replied, "Daniel, the Jewish exile, has paid no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you issued; three times a day he offers his prayer." The king was deeply grieved at this news and he made up his mind to save Daniel; he worked till sunset to rescue him. But these men insisted. "Keep in mind, O king," they said, "that under the Mede and Persian law every royal prohibition or decree is irrevocable." So the king ordered Daniel to be brought and cast into the lions' den. To Daniel he said, "May your God, whom you serve so constantly, save you." [DAN 6:10-17]

It was the first year that Darius, son of Ahasuerus, of the race of the Medes, reigned over the kingdom of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, tried to understand in the Scriptures the counting of the years of which the LORD spoke to the prophet Jeremiah: that for the ruins of Jerusalem seventy years must be fulfilled. I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. I prayed to the LORD, my God, and confessed, "Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments! We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws. We have not obeyed your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land. Justice, O Lord, is on your side; we are shamefaced even to this day: the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel, near and far, in all the countries to which you have scattered them because of their treachery toward you. O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers, for having sinned against you. But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!... O Lord, in keeping with all your just deeds, let your anger and your wrath be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. On account of our sins and the crimes of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become the reproach of all our neighbors. Hear, therefore, O God, the prayer and petition of your servant; and for your own sake, O Lord, let your face shine upon your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O my God, and listen; open your eyes and see our ruins and the city which bears your name. When we present our petition before you, we rely not on our just deeds, but on your great mercy. O Lord, hear! O Lord, pardon! O Lord, be attentive and act without delay, for your own sake, O my God, because this city and your people bear your name!" I was still occupied with my prayer, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, presenting my petition to the LORD, my God, on behalf of his holy mountain - I was still occupied with this prayer, when Gabriel, the one whom I had seen before in vision, came to me in rapid flight... He instructed me in these words: "Daniel, I have now come to give you understanding. When you began your petition, an answer was given which I have come to announce, because you are beloved. Therefore, mark the answer and understand the vision." [Taken from DAN 9:1-9,16-23]

"Daniel, beloved," he said to me, "understand the words which I am speaking to you; stand up, for my mission now is to you." When he said this to me, I stood up trembling. "Fear not, Daniel," he continued; "from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the days to come; for there is yet a vision concerning those days." [DAN 10:11-14]

But Susanna cried aloud: "O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be: you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things with which these wicked men have charged me." The Lord heard her prayer. [DAN 13:42-44]

But the LORD sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah; and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. From the belly of the fish Jonah said this prayer to the LORD, his God: Out of my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me; From the midst of the nether world I cried for help, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea, and the flood enveloped me; All your breakers and your billows passed over me. Then I said, "I am banished from your sight! yet would I again look upon your holy temple." The waters swirled about me, threatening my life; the abyss enveloped me; seaweed clung about my head. Down I went to the roots of the mountains; the bars of the nether world were closing behind me forever, But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD, my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; My prayer reached you in your holy temple. Those who worship vain idols forsake their source of mercy. But I, with resounding praise, will sacrifice to you; What I have vowed I will pay: deliverance is from the LORD. Then the LORD commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore. [JONAH 2:1-11]

But this was greatly displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. "I beseech you, LORD," he prayed, "is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? This is why I fled at first to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish. And now, LORD, please take my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live." But the LORD asked, "Have you reason to be angry?" [JONAH 4:1-4]

[Jesus said,] "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." [Taken from MT 5:43-48]

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." [MT 6:5-8]

"This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions." [MT 6:9-15]

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once (Jesus) spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how (strong) the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God." [MT 14:22-33]

"If your brother sins (against you), go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that 'every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, (amen,) I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." [MT 18:15-20]

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