Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne,
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.
James Russell Lowell,
from The Present Crisis (1844)
I remember reading for the first time about King Josiah, a righteous king who loved God. When he was just a boy he became king and he reigned for 31 years in Jerusalem. Josiah was intent on reform. He purged the city of pagan worship, tearing down temples, altars and carved images. Then, he set about rebuilding the house of the Lord "which the kings of Judah had let go to ruin" . During the renovation project, Hilkiah the priest finds the Book of the Law of the Lord - the scriptures! Can you believe they lost it? They did. And when Hilkiah finds it, he gives it to Shaphan the scribe, who upon giving his report of all that is going on with the renovation, starts reading from "a book that Hilkiah found". (2 Chronicles 34:18) Josiah tears his clothes in grief because he knows what he is hearing. God's word.
My fear is that God's word is becoming irrelevant and insignificant even among professing believers today. In today's popular culture, truth has versions and varied interpretations. Yours. Mine. But don't dare enforce your version on me! Truth is on the scaffold. And eventually, without the plumb line of God's truth, we will be lawless. Lost. Without hope in this world.
The Apostle John, who is best known for his writing on the love of God, begins his book, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1,14)
In the Greek translation, the word is logos. It is the intelligent expression of speech that humans can understand. Jesus is the logos of God.
Later in John's gospel, he records Jesus' prayer, "Sanctify them in the truth, Thy word is truth". (John 17:17)
We need to come back to the foundation already laid for us. Truth embodied in the person of Christ and in His Word. The truth that will set us free. (John 8:32)
Father, show me Your ways. Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation, on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5) Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth. Untie my heart to fear Your name. I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever. For Your lovingkindness toward me is great and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. You, O Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. (Psalm 86:11-13,15)
Father, keep my way pure, by keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You, do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. (Psalm 119:9-11) Give me understanding, Lord, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to dishonest gain. Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways. Establish Your word to me as that which produces reverence for You. (Psalm 119:34-38)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105) Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. (Psalm 119:133)
Your word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) Lord, sow it into the very fiber of my being. Till the soil of my heart and plant Your word there. And may it flow out of me, giving grace to the hearer seasoned with salt, that I may know how I ought to answer when asked about my hope. (Colossians 4:6)
Father, help me to discern truth from error. False teachers an heresies are everywhere. Many won't endure sound doctrine, but wanting their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4) Quicken me to know truth in my inner being so that I may recognize lies when they come. Thank You, Lord, that You are faithful to keep me from stumbling and present me faultless before the throne of grace. In the name of the Word made flesh, Jesus, Amen.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you struggle to find the words to pray.