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The Bronze Serpent: Tethering Your Life to the Cross with Scripture-Based Prayer (A 30-Day Devotional Guide)

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Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

John 3:14-15


There are many books on prayer and many books centering on Bible study.


My desire in this effort was to join the two: the Bible and prayer. Therefore, you'll notice that each prayer is also a theological and practical reflection on a particular passage of Scripture. My goal was to let the Bible inform my conversations with God, turning prayer into a dialogue that centers on my need to live completely in dependence upon the grace of God—in view of the cross.


As I walked through this project, the image that continued to stand out in my mind was the bronze serpent of Numbers 21.


The Israelites grumbled against the Lord and his representative, Moses, and as an act of judgment, the Lord sent poisonous snakes to invade the camp. Many people were bitten and died. As an act of mercy upon his people, he instructed Moses to construct a pole, and to put a bronze serpent upon it. The serpents remained a threat, but now, when someone was bitten, he or she could look upon the raised serpent upon the pole and be healed.


In John 3:14-15, Jesus applies that image to himself, saying that he is the One to whom sin-bit sinners should look for their healing—for their forgiveness and reconciliation with God.


That is why he was raised up on a cross, to be a substitute. He took the venom and died so that we, through gazing upon the cross in faith, might be forgiven of sin and imputed with the antidote of his righteousness.


My motive in these prayers is to know God through his word and through spiritual conversation so that I might more deeply and fully experience his grace. I trust that these prayers, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will enable you to share in that experience.


My suggestion is to use these prayers as kindling for your own conversations with your Abba, Father.


My prayer for you is that weaving Scripture and prayer will provide you with a style of prayer that is Biblical, theological, relational, practical, and most importantly, tethered to the message of grace in the gospel of the risen Jesus.

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