DAILY CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS, WEEK 27, DAYS 1-7, JUNE 6-12, 2021

WEEK 27, DAY 1

Dear Billings Church of Christ congregation, will you help me fast (even just a few hours a week) and pray on behalf of so many still suffering from extreme consequences of COVID-19 and variants? You are my family, and I need your help. The people in India, South Africa, Brazil, etc., and in the United states intensive care units are desperately needing our collective powerful tools of prayer and fasting. Yes, I understand the world is weary of this treacherous corona virus enemy. On the other hand, we cannot ignore our brethren and those who might one day be our brethren, our enemies, our neighbors from all countries, and in short, the humans who are facing this crisis. Later this week, I will include some excerpts from Dr. Pagidipalli and what they are facing daily on their doorstep.  May we pray for them as we would for our dearest friends.  Amen

“The Lord said to Moses: write these words; in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel. He (Moses) was there (Mount Sinai) with the Lord 40 days and 40 nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.”  Exodus 34: 27-28  

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WEEK 27, DAY 2

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan (after His baptism) and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for 40 days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, He was famished.  The devil said to Him, ‘if you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’” Luke 4:1-3

“Jesus answered him, ‘it is said, do not put the Lord your God to the test.’  When the devil had finished every test, he departed from Jesus until an opportune time.”  Luke 4: 12 

Righteous Father, the tasks set before Moses (see yesterday) and the Messiah are unique to them and seem totally more important than Your tasks for me.  On the other hand, You gave the same gifts of fasting, praying, being tested to each of us as You decide.  I may not be able to fast forty days, but that is not the point, is it?  The point seems to be complete dependence upon You.  We are praying for help, Father and for relief for our sisters and brothers in Christ.  When our own preachers and their families were previously serving in lands so different from ours, the ones who were praying for them gave glory to You.  How different it would be without them here.  In the same way, may we pray for those unknown-to-us names and faces who need our love.  Protect them, please Holy God.  Amen

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WEEK 27, DAY 3

“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine; so he asked the palace master to allow him not to defile himself. Now God allowed Daniel to receive favor and compassion from the palace master. The palace master said to Daniel, I am afraid of my lord the king; he has appointed your food and your drink. If he should see you in poorer condition than the other young man of your own age, you would endanger my head with the king. Then Daniel asked the guard whom the palace master had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: please test your servants for 10 days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. You can then compare our appearance with the appearance of the young men who eat the royal rations, and deal with your servants according to what you observe.”  Daniel 1: 8-13

Righteous Father, I confess I've never really understood exactly what happens in us and through us during fasting, however, cherished believers in both Old and New Covenants fasted in respect for You. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah made the point their “hunger” was for You more than food. Will you help us honor You even with a less-than-clear-understanding of the way You work during fasts? At the same time, will You bring relief to our families, to our homes, to our country, and to our neighbors across the world?  We believe in prayer, Father. We believe in You. We believe in Your Son. We believe in the Holy Spirit.  We believe Your Word.  And we believe in the fellowship of the saints, no matter where they are in the world.  Amen

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WEEK 27, DAY 4

“So the guard agreed to this proposal for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah and tested them for 10 days. At the end of 10 days it was observed that they appeared better and fatter than all the young men who had been eating the royal rations. So the guard continued to withdraw their royal rations and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables. To these four young men God gave knowledge and skill in every aspect of literature and wisdom; Daniel also had insight into all visions and dreams.“  Daniel 1 : 14-17

Holy God, only You know all things.  For the insights you give us, we praise your name and eagerly anticipate every new lesson you want us to learn. May we follow the footsteps of Your Son who prayed earnestly. May we grow closer to You with every passing breath. Through our precious Savior's Name we pray.  Amen

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WEEK 27, DAY 5

Righteous Father, may this day be dedicated to the individual prayers of the reader.  May they be blessed in the closest relationship with You they have ever experienced.  Renew each one as only the Author of all creation can do.  As we approach Your throne, will you receive the names for whom we pray?

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WEEK 27, DAY 6

Dear Billings Church Congregation, please see the enclosed notes of anguish from our brothers and sisters in India and continue prayer and fasting for them.  The COVID situation is nearly untenable and is breaking the hearts of those who are working nonstop with so few resources.  At this time, there are no words that can ease the pain, except, please, Father, help.  Please, Father God, keep them steadfast against the evil one and do not let them lose their eternal victory in Christ.  Amen

 

“We are losing people and there is just nothing we could do about it. 

etc. 

Our state has 3rd highest # of cases of black fungus in India. There are no drugs available to treat. 

People are losing vision and in many, many cases black fungus is causing deaths. 

Our life here over these past months or so has been like a war zone.”

“I am especially worried about my two brothers Nani and Munna and other team members who are witnessing deaths on a daily basis. 

None of them are used to witnessing deaths let alone deaths on a daily basis.

As a physician I am "conditioned" to take in this kind of pain, suffering, deaths etc. through my medical training but only to an extent. 

But what we are witnessing here is just another level that no medical doctor has ever witnessed. 

Thank you for the continued prayers for all of us here.”

Love from India,

Mani Pagidipalli, MD”

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WEEK 27, DAY 7

Dear Billings Church Congregation, the Broadway Church of Christ in Paducah, Kentucky, is the sponsoring congregation for Dr. Pagidipalli, in case any of you would like to call or learn more about the ministry in India.

Please, Father, relieve this anguish from our brethren in India.  Preserve their faith, hope, and love despite this terrible microscopic foe and the interfering behavior of scared people who hoard when others are in desperate need.  Please keep them safe in Your divine care.  We ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen

“I put this "Plea" on FB and thought I would email this to y'all as well.

Please continue prayers – Mani Pagidipalli, MD”

DAILY CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS, WEEK 26, DAYS 1-7, MAY 30-JUNE 5, 2021, MEMORY

Week 26, day 1           MEMORY

Memory, definition:  the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information; something remembered from the past; recollection of a dead person; the length of time over which people continue to remember a person or event.

“And while He was at Bethany in the House of Simon a leper, as He was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over His head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, ‘why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than 300 denarii and given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. But Jesus said, ‘leave her alone. Why do you bother her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.’“ Mark 14: 3-9

Righteous Father, You have abundantly shared special abilities and gifts with humans, importantly the ability to remember.  The Messiah stressed the significance of memory for the event itself and implications thereafter.  This week, will You open our eyes to Your work and the work You do in and through the lives of many.  This woman who loved the Christ impacted Mark who told the story, and by its presence in scripture, subsequently has affected generations of minds/hearts who have followed.  Receive our praise for this woman’s love for her Savior, for the Messiah Who defended her, and for our brother Mark who recorded the story.  Amen

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Week 26, day 2    MEMORY

“And while He was at Bethany in the House of Simon a leper, as He was reclining at table,“ Mark 14: 3

Righteous Father, as we remember our lost or deceased loved ones this week, we recognize Jesus’ merciful interaction with other people. No one would eat with a leper, yet the Lord was with him and reclining at Simon’s table.  Our focus, Father, is often too narrow, and neglecting the stories in scripture may be similar to neglecting the stories in our immediate lives. This week, Father, remind us of the gracious hearts of those who love You because of Christ.  Amen

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Week 26, day 3    MEMORY

“a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over His head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, ‘why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than 300 denarii and given to the poor.’ And they scolded her.”  Mark 14: 3b-5

Ouch, Father!  How many times have I misinterpreted an act of kindness?  Or interfered in something kind someone else had already started?  Or haven’t stepped up as the instrument (“hands and feet of Jesus?)”    Today, Father, change my heart, allowing mercy to be first priority as it is with Jesus.  Amen

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Week 26, day 4      MEMORY

“But Jesus said, leave her alone. Why do you bother her? She has done a beautiful thing to me, for you always have the poor with you and whenever you want, you can do good for them.”  Mark 6-7a

Today, Father, lead us to whomever is in need.  Help us recognize the “beautiful things” others do.  Let us not scoff, scold, snit, sulk, skulk, or shirk.  How have You and the Messiah tolerated us for so long?  We bow before Your Love and praise Your Name, in the Savior’s Name.  Amen

 

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Week 26, day 5       MEMORY

“But you will not always have me. She has done what she could.” Mark 14:7b

Show us “what we can do” and help us to do it.

We ask it as Christ directed the naysayers to His truth. 

Amen

 

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Week 26, day 6      IN MEMORIAM

“She has anointed my body beforehand for burial.” Mark 14:8

Holy God, this sentence from the Christ is as indicting as any in scripture. 

Alone, he carried this burden of death without any human help, despite detractors, liars, schemers, betrayers, thieves.  He couldn’t even be anointed with ointment without someone having something negative to say about it.

Keep us clean, Father.  Help us think squarely.  Lead us to be merciful.  We ask because that is what the Christ did.  Amen

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Week 26, day 7       IN MEMORIAM

“and truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”  Mark 14:9

Today, Father, help us remember the acts of mercy given by You, Your Son, Holy Spirit, and those who love You.  Amen

DAILY CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS, WEEK 25, DAYS 1-7, MAY 23-29, 2021

WEEK 25, DAY 1      GROUP

Definition group:  two or more figures, people, considered or classed together.

“For where two or three are gathered in my Name, there am I among them.”  Matthew 18:20

As Jesus was teaching His disciples about unity, He emphasized the power of His Name, the power of being gathered into a group of “two or more” in His Name, and His promise He would be present “among them.”  Holy Father, thank You for Jesus teaching us the importance of being in Christ centered groups. As we meditate this week on Your purposes for us to be in groups/gatherings, open our eyes beyond what we think we know, leading us to what You want us to know.  In Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 25, DAY 2      PRAYER

Definition prayer:  a solemn request for help, of gratitude and praise, of lamentation (grief, sorrow, regret, disappointment, complaint) addressed to God.

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:5b-6

Father, how reassuring it is to know “the Lord is at hand.”  It’s also convicting to know “the Lord is at hand.”  This past week was filled with two sides of that coin for me as interactions with some others took bumpy pathways, but the same love and mercy attended the reassurance and conviction from You Father and from the Lord Jesus.  May my/our prayers reflect Your presence and the Messiah’s presence.  May I/we be responsive to Holy Spirit’s counsel and be grateful.  You tell us “do not be anxious about anything.”  So here is my prayer in thanksgiving:  please draw those who don’t yet know You to You through Christ.  Each of pleads for the names we each know; please Father before it is too late.  Use me when I can be helpful.  Exclude me when I cannot.  Help me to know the difference.  Amen

 

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WEEK 25, DAY 3      GROUP PRAYER

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power.”  James 5:16

Father, thank you for the untold combinations of gatherings/groups who come together to honor You, in person, electronically, in Zoom meetings, via postal letters, and even in chance brief meetings of strangers.  I appreciate every one of my prayer partners, some of whom I’ll never see again in this life.  They have upheld Your Word, Father, by honoring You.  Please protect them.

Thank you for the definitive language of our brother James instructing us to confess our sins to one another and to pray for one another.  So, just praying and talking with several special prayer partners last week, prevented my frustrations about many situations from turning into a bad attitude.  Thank You, Father, for Your commands for us to be together, confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another.  Help us to pray with others, especially in a “group of two or three.” Prayer partners have been among the greatest blessings in my life. Please protect each of them, we pray in Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 25, DAY 4      INDIVIDUAL PRAYER

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:6

Dear God, thank You for individual prayer.  I don’t even want to imagine how bereft we would feel apart from You and without the opportunity to pray to You alone.  Yet, You teach us additional different lessons praying with one other person, or with a few people, or with a large group.  Thank you for wanting our prayers, Father.  We are grateful Jesus gave us many examples of prayer when alone, while in the masses, and with individuals.  He is our King.  Hallelujah.  Amen

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WEEK 25, DAY 5      GROUP PRAYER

“Thus, the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.  Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses.” Exodus 14:30, 31

“Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, ‘I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider He has thrown into the sea.  The LORD is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.’” Exodus 15:1, 2

“Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods?  Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders?” Exodus 15:11      AMEN

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WEEK 25, DAY 6      GROUP PRAYER

“When the horses of Pharoah with his chariots and his chariot drivers went into the sea, the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them; but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.  Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing.  And Miriam sang to them:

‘Sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider He has thrown into the sea.’” Exodus 15:19-21

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 WEEK 25, DAY 7      GROUP PRAYER

“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.  And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.’”  Luke 1:39-45

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…….And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation.  He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.” Luke1:46, 50-53

Righteous Father, thank You for scripture filled prayers from Old and New Covenants, some from individuals alone, some from two together praising Your Name, some with estimated millions present. Thank You for the thousands of prayer avenues You have provided to us. As we walk, talk, live, observe, immerse ourselves in this lifetime, may we learn from our mistakes, love, forgive, and enjoy our friends, find prayer partners who extol Your Name, and may we remain forever grateful You and Your Son and Holy Spirit are drawing us back to You.  Amazing Grace.  Amen

DAILY CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS   WEEK 24, DAYS 1-7, MAY 16-22, 2021

WEEK 24, DAY 1

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Righteous Father, as we are concluding the snowstorms, ice storms, whiteouts, cold bleak skies, and slowed, difficult travel, may we confess we sometimes forget to thank You for the rest and rejuvenation for nature which winter season brings along with the wonder of its crystalline art. May we thank You for each season as it comes in nature, in our lives, and in the lives of those who love You in Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 24, DAY 2

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born ...”  Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2a

 This has been and continues to be a glorious spring, Father. The good earth and all You/the Word have made remind us to pay attention to Your ways, Your glory, and Your Majesty.  The new colts, calves, lambs, fawns, human babies give us hope and such joy. Thank you for Your creation and for sharing it with us in spectacular ways. We are grateful.   In the Lord Jesus’ Name, we are grateful.  Amen

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WEEK 24, DAY 3

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ... a time to die.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2b

The animal Kingdom reminds us there is indeed a cycle of birth, life, death, and all under Your direction. May we grow closer to You in understanding Your ways as we consider the works of Your hands. It is your glory, Holy Father. Amen

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WEEK 24, DAY 4

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ... A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.”  Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 2b

Yahoo, it is springtime!!  For many of us, it is joy mixed with anticipation when springtime arrives. Feeling the dirt in one's hands, working the earth, and being a steward of planting, tending, and harvesting brings great delight. Thank You for the work of Your hands and for extending that work to us. We love you Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit.  Amen

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WEEK 24, DAY 5

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ... a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” Ecclesiastes 3:5b

The Covid Pandemic has taught us not to take fellowship in person for granted.  There is deeper recognition in all the world, whether Christ followers or not, of what it means to be “together.”  May we never underestimate Your design for life on this planet.  We are the created.  You are the Creator.  Help us to pause in awe of the lessons we are learning, even if they are painful.  Jesus’ example of patience awaiting Your timing is our guide.  In Him, we pray.  Amen

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WEEK 24, DAY 6

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ... a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b

Righteous Father help us to remember these words. It is difficult to keep silent sometimes. At other times it is difficult to speak. Yet, you have allowed us choice and graciously teach us every day provided we listen to You. For any instance my speech has not brought comfort or mercy to someone else, I apologize with anguish. For speech that is helpful, I can only say thank you. Jesus chose his words carefully throughout his ministry. May we follow his example by learning what he taught. Only by His name are we given this chance to pray. Amen

 

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WEEK 24, DAY 7

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, let there be light, and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”  Genesis 1:1-5

Scripture resounds with clarity, Father; it is Your timing, Your plan, and Your glory. Thank You for the opportunity to feel renewed during the springtime, especially recognizing how You use each season for our growth.  Daily, help us find one more stroke of your creative gifts reminding us, “How Great Thou Art.” Amen.     In Christ. Amen

  

MAY 9-15, 2021    DAILY CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS    WEEK 23, DAYS 1-7

WEEK 23, DAY 1        MOTHERS

Righteous Father, as our country celebrates Mother’s Day nationally this year on May 9, 2021, may we as a congregation remember our heritage even as the Lord Jesus remembered His birth mother while breathing His last.  “…standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’  Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’  And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”

This art form responsibility of motherhood is scary and tedious at first, followed by a steep learning curve at the first and in the middle, concluded by a sense of overwhelm, joy, and confusion throughout the offspring’s life.   I praise You for my precious godly Mother and for her godly Mother.  I’m grateful for all the mothers of the Billings, India, and South Africa congregations.  I’m grateful for the extremes mothers will push themselves to care for their young in the human and animal kingdom.  And I’m grateful for each mother who loves her children.  May we honor Mothers in the manner Christ Jesus honored His mother, not with empty words but with respect and gratitude.  Amen

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WEEK 23, DAY 2       MOTHERS

“The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” Genesis 3:20

Holy Father, please forgive us for not always honoring the “mother of all living.”

Eve’s name has often been associated with disdain because of disobedience.  I wonder if any of us would have fared much better withstanding the cunning wiles of the deceitful serpent/evil one.  

We are grateful for the numerous notices in scripture:  our forebears were also simply humans, subject to sinning as are we. Thank you for each one who turned back to You Almighty God.  Keep us safe from our own judgmental attitudes. In Christ we ask it.  Amen

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WEEK 23, DAY 3       MOTHERS

“By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered Him faithful Who had promised.”  Hebrews 11:11

Father, unless we listen closely, unfortunately we miss the chronology and subsequent meaning of events You set into motion.  “She considered Him faithful Who had promised.”   “Sarah received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered Him faithful Who had promised.”  Father, it was Your plan for Sarah to be the mother of nations. “And God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.  I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her.  I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her’.” Genesis 17:15-16.  May we also honor You by “considering You faithful” to all You have promised.  In Your Son’s Name we pray.  Amen

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WEEK 23, DAY 4       MOTHERS

“Now a man from the house of Levi took as his wife a Levite woman.  The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months.  When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch.  She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the riverbank.”  Exodus 2:1-4   Pharoah’s daughter “saw the basket among the reeds…when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold the baby was crying.  She took pity on him.”  Exodus 2:5-6   The Levite woman at the direction of Pharoah’s daughter nursed him, bringing him back to Pharoah’s daughter when he grew older, and he became her son. “She named him Moses, ‘Because, I drew him out of the water’.” Exodus 2:10

For mothers who read this account, it must be impossible to consider giving up your child to someone else, especially to the enemy culture who does not love you or your Holy God.  But we are grateful for the courage of this Levite woman who worked to save her son. Thank you, Father, for the courage of mothers all over the world who seek the well being of their children, whatever the personal cost.  We love You, Father.   Amen

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WEEK 23, DAY 5       MOTHERS

“But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.”  Luke 1:7   “But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. “After these days Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, ‘Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”  Luke 1:24-25  “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.  And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit….”  Luke 1:41

Heavenly Father, how mysteriously You work!  In preparation for “good news of great joy that will be for all the people” to be physically present with us, You selected a couple “advanced in years and barren” and who were “both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.”  Equally mysterious, You chose to send this Good News to earth as a baby, selecting a virgin maiden to be the Mother of the King.  You chose obedient people who had and would bear shame and reproach (disgrace, shame, disapproval) in their own lives and anguish for the responsibilities their two sons would face.  How gracious You were to give these two mothers a kinswoman confidant in one another prior to the births of their sons.  Thank You for including mothers to be intimately involved in the births, lives, and nurture of the one who was to prepare the way of the Lord and the One who is the King.   We are grateful.  Amen

 

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WEEK 23, DAY 6       MOTHERS

Dear Father God, You have included the most unlikely people to accomplish Your work such as women who were barren and/or beyond child bearing age (Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth) and the unmarried Mary to carry Your Son.  It would seem the idea of “impossibility” is part of what You want us to examine.  “And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this it the sixth month with her who was called barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God.  And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’  And the angel departed from her.”  Luke 1:35-38

But, Father, this intimate relationship between a mother and the baby she is carrying reminds me of how You carry us.  Isn’t there more for us to learn from this extraordinary family experience of relatives Elizabeth and Mary?  You have given motherhood high priority in scripture, in humans, and even in the animal kingdom.  Will you help us dwell in respect for Your ways, meditating deeply on Your magnificent gifts You have given?  Please, Father, let us not take for granted (fail to properly appreciate someone or something, especially as a result of overfamiliarity) Your Glory which You astoundingly are sharing with us.  We love YouFatherSonSpirit.  Amen

 

WEEK 23, DAY 7       Thank you for MOTHERS

“Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!

 Early in the morning our song (souls) shall rise to thee.                                                                               

 Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty.                                                                                                                                  

God in three persons, blessed Trinity!                                                                                                                    

Who was and art and evermore shall be!”   Amen

    

DAILY CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS            WEEK 22, DAYS 1-7   PSALM 1

WEEK 22, DAY 1                   Psalm 1:1a

“Blessed (holy, consecrated, conferred divine favor) is the man (Hebrew singular godly person) who walks not in the counsel (advice) of the wicked (evil or morally wrong),”

Righteous Father, this week the meditation on Psalm 1 is before me.  Knowing me there will be distractions, interruptions, and frustrations about scratching out time to meditate (thinking deeply while focusing the mind in silence) obscuring my ability to hear You.  Joshua made a decision to draw his line in the sand about what he would and wouldn’t do regarding his triangular relationships with You, others, himself (‘….But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.’)”

Dear God, help me to stand firm and listen to and learn from You the only God.  Through Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 22, DAY 2              Psalm 1:1b, c

“...nor stands in the way of sinners (persons who transgress against divine law by committing an immoral act or acts), nor sits in the seat of scoffers (scornful, derisive, mocking);”

Heavenly Father, recently I have found some of my shadows, the hiding places of my secret scornful ways.  You have been patient as each developmental stage of maturation has allowed me more in-depth understanding of my flaws as a human.  You have allowed individuals, groups of people, nations, and the world time, opportunity, and even instruction to mature if one so chooses Your ways.  Please Father, count me among those who choose You, now and always.  Your son has paved the way.  May I always be grateful.  Amen

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WEEK 22, DAY 3            Psalm 1:2, 3a

“But his delight is in the law (instruction) of the LORD, and on His law he meditates (thinks deeply, focuses one’s mind for a period of time) day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.”

Father, it is clear from the Genesis story You had only to give the thought, Word, breath, for magnificent celestial, terrestrial, and subterranean creation to be accomplished. As a created human, meditation to understand You and Your ways is lifelong and difficult to learn and maintain.  The tree is rooted and secure in its set task/journey.  The salmon follow their prescribed upstream journey.  Monarchs and geese migrate in their journey as You have ordained.  I, on the other hand have been given so many choices, my journey without You gets snarled, mixed up, tangled at best.  Help me to ponder, examine, and desire Your instruction as exemplified in the habits of Your Son. 

In quiet expectation, may I listen.   Amen

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 WEEK 22, DAY 4            Psalm 1:3, 4

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers (flourishes, succeeds, is successful). The wicked are not so, but are like chaff (worthless things, trash) that the wind drives away.”

Father, You make it clear You desire us to be like a tree planted by streams of water.  Yielding fruit.  Not withering.  Prospering according to Your Plan.  Delighting in Your law and instruction. 

Father, will You help us reject what is valued by our surrounding culture that may be counter to Your plans of yielding fruit, staying alive without withering, and prospering?  Sometimes it is confusing what is of You versus what is of the world.

We are continually amazed by Your Son’s gift of perfect incarnate life, sacrifice, and love for us.  May we forever be grateful to You, Your Son, Your Spirit of Truth.  Amen

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 WEEK 22, DAY 5        Psalm 1:5

“Therefore (consequently), the wicked will not stand (def. stand:  endure experience or test without being damaged, remain upright) in the judgment (decision of the court or judge), nor sinners in the congregation (a group of people) of the righteous (morally right, justified);”

Almighty God, no thought could be more frightening than to no longer receive Your favor.  You are my Creator, my Father, my Abba God.  Without You, all is meaningless.  Yet, some days, I do not honor You.  Without the divine sacrifice, I would be just so much chaff.  This relationship You have offered through Your Son astounds me, humbles me, urges me on to obey You. 

Without Your choice to pursue relationship with Your created humans, all would be lost.  BUT, all is not lost!  No matter how many times and ways I thank you it will never be adequate to express my gratitude to YouFatherSonSpirit.  Amen

 

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WEEK 22, DAY 6     Psalm 1:6

“For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

Our Father, it is not popular to consider there is wickedness (evil) in the world.  It’s even less desirable to consider there is wickedness in us.  Yet, Your Word devotes many discussions about this unfortunate truth.

We do not want to be wicked.  We do not want to perish.  Hear our praises, O God, for the mercy You have offered to us.  You desire all come to this mercy.  Use us, Father, as conduits in Your mercy.  In the Lord’s Name we pray.  Amen

 

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WEEK 22, DAY 7       Psalm 1:1,2

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” 

May it be so, FatherSonHolySpirit.  Amen and amen

DAILY CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS             WEEK 21, DAYS 1-7

WEEK 21, DAY 1       JOURNEY - Children

“Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out.”  Exodus 40:36

Definition journey:  1.  an act of traveling from one place to another; 2.  a long and often difficult process of personal change and development.

Righteous Father, Your scripture is replete with illustrations and stories of journeys.  Whether epic or mundane, we recognize we all have been given a precious gift and responsibility of life journey.  This week help us to gain a deeper understanding of what You want that journey to look like for ourselves and for those to whom You direct us, children, family, friends, enemies, neighbors, strangers.

Our Father in Heaven, we love the little children.  Will you keep them in the palm of Your Hand as we know the children are precious to You.  “But Jesus called them to Him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”  Luke 18:16   

Father, will you show us how to teach our young friends that Jesus loves them, You, Holy God, love them, Holy Spirit loves them, and their families and their friends love them. May we help prepare their hearts for the journey they are making.  May they never part from You.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen 

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.  Little ones to Him belong.  They are weak, but He is strong.  Yes, Jesus loves me.  Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.  The Bible tells me so.”

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WEEK 21, DAY 2      JOURNEY – Family

“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

Righteous Father, we are grateful for the family unit, thanking You for the opportunity to live in sync with other people, establishing lifelong relationships based on the Way Your Son revealed to us.  “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  1Cor 13:13

Just as all people start out as children growing into middle schoolers, high schoolers, young adults, young marrieds or singles, “middle of lifers,” seniors, etc., the journeys and responsibilities morph and change.  Father, we respect the many scriptures of instruction You have given us for each of these stages.  And while we eagerly anticipate the first step of an infant, the first best friend for a child, the first “aha” moment for a middle schooler, the first triumph in confidence for a high schooler, the first employment for a young adult, etc., will You help us to remember the journey of family in this life is not over until our last breath?

Whether one is a part of a biological family unit or not, Peter reminds us we are part of a much larger family.  “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”  1 Peter 3:8.  Thank You, Holy God for the Christ who showed us a perfect journey.  Amen

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WEEK 21, DAY 3      JOURNEY – Friends

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”  John 15:13-15

Heavenly Father, forgive me for my times of “self-pity, loneliness, and isolation.”  Help me to reach above the earthly feelings of desperation and remember my Savior, my King, the Anointed One has called me friend.  This life journey can be difficult, and I admit the road can be tedious. But, Father, thank You for the Way, the Christ, the only God I Am.  Amen

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WEEK 21, DAY 4     JOURNEY – Enemies

Father, we look around and see a world in chaos.  Is that so different than all generations before us?  In our journeys, Father, You allow us to sense light/dark, kindness/ruthlessness (lacking compassion for others), success/defeat, still waters/torrential seas, forgiveness/unforgiveness, in short, good/evil.

There are times, Father, I’m not inclined toward forgiveness, especially when betrayed.  Yet, Your Son, on His journey to the Cross, “said to him, ‘Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?’”  Unfortunately, there are enemies in our journeys, Father.  Some are very close to us, some are not even known to us.  Your righteousness will prevail, and in the meantime, I understand I was once your enemy.  Yet, there were people who loved me, educated me, and shared Your Way with me.  “Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except though me.”  John 14:6  How can I ignore my responsibility in receiving this great gift.  Please, Father, help me to love my enemy and share Your love with him.  Amen

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WEEK 21, DAY 5     JOURNEY – Neighbors

Holy God, this subject is similar to finding oneself between a rock and a hard spot.  We are supposed to be neighborly (in 2021 in the middle of this chaos?) and “love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:39  (when hatred abounds, how am I supposed to do that??)  and eventually be able to share the Good News with them (exactly when and how can this work???).   

We ask for guidance while we reaffirm our intentions.  We love You, Father.  Through Christ we pray.  Amen

WEEK 21, DAY 6     JOURNEY - Strangers

Matthew 25:34ff.  “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?’  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?”  “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Holy God, You will judge this.  Please, Father, help us not be found wanting, not just because of fear of consequences but because we are growing to love everyone.  I am a stranger to someone.  I know I need to be loved.  Help me stand and welcome the stranger as Jesus did.  Amen

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WEEK 21, DAY 7     JOURNEY – Self

Father, it is astonishing Your Word covers even love of self. 

“Which commandment is the most important of all?  Jesus answered, The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Holy Father, thank You for this magnificent, troublesome, glorious, chaotic, love filled journey of life.  If there were no other words of comfort, Your commandments to love “Lord your God,” “love neighbor,” and even “love as yourself” would be enough to sustain Your intentions for our journey.  May it be so, as You have planned, as the Savior has shown us how to live and has given the ultimate sacrifice, and how Holy Spirit leads us.  Bowing before You and Your great purposes.  Amen

 

DAILY CONGEGATIONAL PRAYERS        WEEK 20, DAYS 1-7

WEEK 20, DAY 1

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:6

“Father, who is in heaven” Matthew 6:1b, receiving these instructions to pray secretly is nearly swallowed up by the remarkable thought of the difference in stature, power, and glory between us.  You are in heaven.  I am on earth.  You are Creator.  I am created.  You are stand-alone everything.  I am stand-alone nothing.  You need nothing from me.  I need everything from You.

And yet, You give me instructions to pray alone secretly.  Thank You I’ve finally realized the nearly unbelievable reward is the gift of being with You. There is nothing comparable.  The incarnate Son knew this and used every opportunity to be with You…………………alone.  Please, Almighty Father, forgive my thoughtlessness of Your grand offer in relationship.  Amen.

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WEEK 20, DAY 2

“But when you pray….”  Matthew 6:6

“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You;

I will praise Your Name, for You have done wonderful things, plans formed of old,

Faithful and sure.”  Isaiah 25:1

Father, You alone are my God.  In silence, this thought fills me with wonder.  In Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 20, DAY 3

“But when you pray….”  Matthew 6:6

“Be still,

Today I will be still.  I will quiet myself.  My ears strain to hear You.

And know that I Am God.”  Psalm 46:10

You alone are YHWH, Holy God, Righteous Father.  In Christ we are given the gift to know You are God.  Amen

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WEEK 20, DAY 4

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together!”  Psalm 34:1-3

Righteous Father, David was exuberant as he sought You, praised You, blessed You, and invited others to exalt You.

Today is the day, Father.  We bless You, praise You, humble ourselves before You, are gladdened by You, magnify You, and exalt Your Name together.  Because of the work of You, Your Son, and Spirit of Truth, we are given the gift to pray these things.  Amen

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WEEK 20, DAY 5

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you.”  1 Peter 5:6

“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”  1 Peter 5:4

Father, these words from Peter to the Shepherds are to be taken seriously by all of us: custodians, caretakers, parents, teachers, anyone who is Your child.  We are expected to humble ourselves before You and to each other.  But, keeping a humble (“modest estimate of our own importance/significance) persuasion, is often counter to our culture, Father.   Pull us back from ourselves, Father, if we forget to humble ourselves.  Please intervene and set us right.

We have heard these words many times, but they are still shocking to think about an “unfading crown of glory.”  That we may walk in this hope of “unfading crown of glory” in relationship with You, forever, stills the anguish of this life.  We long for the Lord’s return.  In the meantime, may we remember Your mighty hand, our Father and our God.   Amen

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WEEK 20, DAY 6

“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”  James 4:4

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us?’”  James 4:5

Holy Father, I gasp at the thought of You “yearning jealously over the spirit that You have made to dwell in me.”  I cannot do this alone, Father.  Help me to examine what I see, read, hear, watch, believe, and help me to find the ways I’ve become “a friend of the world.”  Never do I want to hear You say to me “enemy.”  Keep me in Christ, always, I pray.  Amen

WEEK 20, DAY 7

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  James 4:6-8

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”  James 4:10

So here we are back full circle, Father. 

Humility (submission) to You

leads to grace from You

leads to the devil fleeing from us

facilitating drawing near to You

which leads to YOU drawing near to us!!!!

And the expectation of You exalting us

To the “unfading crown of glory.”

And being with you in unencumbered relationship with You, forever.  Amen and amen

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