The Bible I’m currently using is called The Prayer Bible, which just means it contains prayers from church figures throughout church history that are interspersed with various texts. It’s designed to jumpstart a Christian’s prayer life by praying the scriptures.
As I was working my way through Matthew 12 recently—the portion in which Matthew quotes Isaiah 42 about the coming Messiah who would bring hope to the Gentile, I came across this prayer from John Bradford (a martyr who was burned at the stake in 1555):
“O Lord, you who have said you will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, be merciful, we beg you, unto all those who through fear and weakness, have denied you, by dissimulation [the act of deceiving] and hypocrisy. That it may please you to strengthen their weak knees (you who are the strength of them that stand), and to lift up their feeble hands, that their little smoke may increase into a great flame, and their bruised reed into a mighty oak, able to abide all the blustering blasts and stormy tempests of adversity …”
I don’t know about you, but his “little smoke” reference hits home for me. Will you join me in praying that the Lord would increase my little smoke and your little smoke into a great flame indeed?