Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Practice of Prayer: The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments teach us the life of repentance. The Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:1-21.

You shall have no other gods.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

What is that work of the Holy Spirit of bringing us to repentance? It is the Law. The Law is that Word of God which points out our sin to us. It convicts us of our sin. It shows us that we deserve judgment for our sin. When we pray the Commandments we are praying in repentance. The practice of prayer means that we will be praying these Words of God as a prayer of repentance. That we have fallen short of God’s will for us and wish for Him to guide us to live according to His will.

The Ten Commandments encompass all of life. We have fallen short of God’s will in our lives, thus our continual need for repentance. In our prayers, we ask for forgiveness and look to the One who lived a life fully in accord with the Ten Commandments. Jesus did not fall short but did pay the penalty the Law demands of us. Ultimately, that is the work of the Holy Spirit—in driving us to repentance, He points us to Christ and His perfect life and sacrifice for our salvation.

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