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

WEEK 19 (Click here for a PDF of the entire week w/ pics)

 

WEEK 18

WEEK 18, DAY 1

Heavenly Father, yesterday was silent.  Deathly silent.

The day between the 6th day of that excruciating week and the following 1st day of a new week.

It was the day between the crucifixion and the day that changed history.

But today:

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.  The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here but has risen.  Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’  Then they remembered His words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.  Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles.”  Luke 24:1-11.

Praise Your Name, Father God, we are not destined to live in the silent seventh day of that week.  Today is the first day, the day the crucified Christ arose.  Once and for always, the price is paid in full.  Hallelujah.  Amen

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WEEK 18, DAY 2

“Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus…Jesus Himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.”  Luke 24:13-16

Do our eyes deceive us, Father?  Is it so difficult to see, understand, believe this Jesus is Who He says He is?  In the clutter and noise of our days, is there, in reality, silence?  That awful, apart-from-You, silence?  Was that one of the reasons Mary and Joseph found Him “after three days” in the temple when He was twelve years old?  Luke 2:46. What did they learn from their fear and anxiety in those three days of waiting?

And “on the third day (He will) rise again.”  Luke 24:7   What did the believers learn from their overwhelming loss in those three days?

Will you open our eyes, Father, to daily recognize the Christ?  Help us to learn whatever it is You are teaching us in the days of waiting.  Amen

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WEEK 18, DAY 3

“They were saying, ’The Lord has risen indeed, and He has appeared to Simon!’  Then they told what had happened on the road (to Emmaus), and how He had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.”   Luke 24:34,35

“And when He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them saying,      ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this is remembrance of me.’”  Luke 22:19

“And taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to the heaven and blessed and broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.  And all ate and were filled.”  Luke 9:16,17

 

Righteous Father, sometimes we don’t understand all the multi-layered rich connections of object lessons You give us.  But we can always say thank you for Your abundant gifts.  We praise You for the Bread of Life, the Christ, given for the salvation of many.  Amen

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WEEK 18, DAY 4

“While they were talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’  They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.  “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?’  While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, He said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’  They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate in their presence.”  Luke 24:36-42

Well, I suspect I would have been frightened and overjoyed and wondering, too, Father.  Thank you for the appearances of the risen Lord to the believers and for the solidification of their faith when seeing Him talk, teach, and eat in these interactions.  Their faith and bravery help us 2000 years later.  Thank You for each one then and now who loves and worships You, almighty God.   In Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 18, DAY 5

“Then He said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you –that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’  Then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.”  Luke 24:44-45

Holy Father, we understand You allow us choice.  Will You “open our minds to understand the scriptures” at a deeper level than ever before.                                                                                                        

It is Your work, Your will, Your way. 

We love You, Father, Son, and Spirit.  Amen

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WEEK 18, DAY 6

“And He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’” Luke 24:46-49

The teacher, the rabbi, the Anointed One, the Messiah had returned to life after death!  Father, the pages of the scripture fairly shout out to us how much joy and reassurance the disciples must have felt.  Even though they didn’t know exactly what would happen next, the relationship was not lost even in the cruel death on the cross.  May we claim this reassurance and joy today, Father, wherever You send us, because of the accomplished work of the Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 18, DAY 7      The Ascension of the Risen Messiah

“Then He led them out as far as Bethany and lifting up His hands He blessed them.  While He blessed them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.  And they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And were continually in the temple blessing God.”  Luke 24:50,51

Righteous Father, Hallelujah.  Amen

Thank You, Father, for James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you,”

Thank You that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Hebrews 13:8

Thank You for sending Holy Spirit.  Luke 24

Thank you for the work of the prophets, the ones sent, the believers throughout the span of mankind.

Thank You for including us. 

Amazed at Your Grace.   

Amen

Week 17

WEEK 17, DAY 1      Ascent of the Baby/the Man

Luke 2:21,22, 40

“At the end of eight days, when He was circumcised, He was called, Jesus, the Name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.”  “And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.  And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom.  And the favor of God was upon Him.”

Years later, back in Jerusalem:  John 11:55, John 12:3,7. “Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand.”  “Mary….anointed the feet of Jesus….” “….(with expensive oil) intended for the day of my burial.”  John 12:13-14,23 “So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”  “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

Righteous Father, we have been blessed beyond measure by hearing this message, today, yesterday, many days.  There are those who have never heard Your Plan.  Yearly celebrations in December and in March/April come and go.  Please stop us from dismissing Your Words; send us to those who are desperate for the Good News.  We love You, Father.  Show us how to act like it.   The baby/the Man with the Name Jesus did.  Amen

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WEEK 17, DAY 2      Ascent of the News

Luke 2:36-38

“And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.  She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.  And coming up at that very hour, (at His 8 day old presentation to the Lord in the temple), she gave thanks to God, and spoke of Him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”

Years later back in Jerusalem:  John 12:44-45.  “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in Him who sent me.  And whoever sees me sees Him who sent me.”

Holy God, the stories of faithful believers are precious to all of us who yearn to be with You. Around the world, wherever the stories of the Good News are being shared, may Your Spirit be given fertile ground of open human hearts.  Embolden us to honor You, Your Son, and the Spirit of Truth by “speaking of Him to all who are looking.”  Amen

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Week 17, DAY 3     Ascent of the Boy to Manhood

Luke 2:41-52

“Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.  And when He was twelve years old, they went up according to custom.  And when the feast was ended as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.  His parents did not Know it, but supposing Him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for Him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for Him.”

“After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.”

“And when His parents saw Him, they were astonished.  And His mother said to Him, “Son, why have you treated us so?  Behold, Your father and I have been searching for You in great distress.”  And He said to them, “Why were you looking for me?   Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  “And they did not understand the saying that He spoke to them.  And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them.  And His mother treasured up all these things in her heart.”

Years later back in Jerusalem at Passover:  John 12:46 “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”

Heavenly Father, at such an early age to be this discerning in His assigned work as the embodied Savior, I marvel at Your timing and His willingness to “increase in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”   How long, O God, have You planned for your created humans?  Open our eyes to what we don’t see, who we don’t notice, the Words of Life we miss, how to be submissive, and help us “treasure up all these things in our hearts.”  Please.  In His Name we ask it.  Amen

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WEEK 17, DAY 4       Ascent of Fulfillment of All Righteousness

Matthew 3:13-17 

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.  John would have prevented Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’  Then he consented.  And when Jesus had been baptized, just as He came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him.  And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’”

Years later in Jerusalem:  John 12:49-50.  “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has Himself given me a commandment--what to say and what to speak.  And I know that His commandment is eternal life.  What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

Dear God, we humans whom You created cannot possibly comprehend the humiliation The Anointed One suffered on our account:  undergoing purification rites even though He is pure, being misunderstood even by earthly parents, being submissive to those who didn’t understand the mission, being baptized to “fulfill all righteousness,” all before His preaching ministry began.  And this isn’t even the worst of it.  Father, keep our hearts broken and open to what You are teaching us this year, this month, this week, this hour, this moment.  Amen.

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WEEK 17, DAY 5               Assent of the Son to the Spirit

Matthew 4:1-3

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

“And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.”

“The tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God……”

Years later in Jerusalem:  John 18:33 “So Pilate….called Jesus to him, and said to him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’”

 

                                        Assent of the Son to the Lord your God

Matthew 4:4,7,10

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”

“Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’”

Years later in the Garden:  John 18:5 “I am, He.”

 

Father, how disgusting to read the words “If You are the Son of God,” “are You the King of the Jews” addressed to the Christ.

As these words sink in, only the Spirit can express the anguish.  Amen

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WEEK 17, DAY 6          Ascent/Assent of Jesus’ Ministry

Luke 4:14

“And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about Him went out through all the surrounding country.  And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.”

Luke 4:16, 18-21

“And He came to Nazareth…to the synagogue on the Sabbath day…   The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor….liberty to the captives….recovering sight to the blind….liberty to those oppressed….to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Years later outside the city gates of Jerusalem: John19: 16-17 “So he delivered Him over to them to be crucified.  So they took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, Golgotha.  There they crucified Him….”

Father, how do we acknowledge and give thanks for the enormity of what You, the Messiah, and the Spirit have done to save us, all the while on this earth each of His steps drew Him nearer to the cross?  The Gospels tell us of His work.  “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did.  Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25. 

Jesus tells us ”My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.”  John 4:34   Today, Father, may that be our lesson?  Because of Him.  Amen

 

 

WEEK 17, DAY 7

John 19:30 

“Jesus said ‘It is finished,’

and He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit.”

Week 16

WEEK 16, DAY 1          ASCENT of the Prince of Peace                           

Isaiah 9:6

“For unto us a child is born, 

To us a Son is given.

And the government shall be upon his shoulder,

And His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God,

The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” 

Standing in wonder.  Amen 

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WEEK 16, DAY 2         ASCENT of the people

ISAIAH 9:2

The people who walked in darkness

Have seen a great light, (Light);

Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,

On them has light shone.”

Standing in light.

Standing in Light.  Amen

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WEEK 16, DAY 3          ASCENT of the born Christ

Luke 2:11, 9         

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord.”

The GLORY was shone.  Hosanna.  Amen

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WEEK 16, DAY 4            ASCENT for all the people

Luke 2:10, 20        

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’”

The fear was quieted.  Praise took its place.  Amen

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WEEK 16, DAY 5          ASCENT of the Child

1 Peter 2:4-6, Isaiah 28:16          Ascent of the Living Stone

“As you come to Him, a Living Stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

“For it stands in Scripture:

‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a Stone,

a Cornerstone chosen and precious,

And whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”

The Living Stone, the God through Christ.  Hosanna. Amen.

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WEEK 16, DAY 6          ASCENT of the decisions of the people

1 Peter 2:7-8, Isaiah 8:14-15

“So the honor is for you who believe,

But for those who do not believe,

‘The Stone that the builders rejected

Has become the Cornerstone (the Head of the corner)’

And

‘A Stone of stumbling,

And a Rock of offense.’

They stumble because they disobey the Word,

as they were destined to do.’”

I stand at the crossroads:  obey or disobey.  I know what’s next in this story, Father.

The cross looms. 

Help me, O God.  Rejection of the Christ Living Stone seems almost impossible.  Yet, daily, it is the choice.

How did You do it, Prince of Peace?  Amen

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WEEK 16, DAY 7          ASCENT of Choice given to the people

Luke 2:34

“Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mary, ‘this Child is destined for the rising and the falling of many in Israel and to be a sign to be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul, too.’”

1 Corinthians 1:22-24

“Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a Stumbling Block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

The Living Stone, Stumbling Block, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Light, Glory, Everlasting Father……………………………………….

 

Father, I am grateful to be given this great gift: the choice of belief.

Help me, Righteous Father, reconcile the inner thoughts and the outward actions. 

The cross looms.  It is clear, Holy God, there is a reason Jesus our Savior was called the Man of Sorrows. John 12:27, Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:34, Isaiah 53:3, Psalm 22:6, John 1:10-11.  

Many must make this choice. 

Here I am, Father.  Send me in Christ. 

Here we are, Father.  Send us in Christ.  Amen                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

WEEK 15

WEEK 15, DAY 1

Psalm 8:3-4 “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?”

At the time of this writing, it is March 11, 2021, one year from the date of the World Health Organization classifying the worldwide SARS-COV-2 infection (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2),  CoVid-19 (Coronavirus Disease-2019) as a pandemic.  The world’s population of 7,846,000,000 (over 7.8 billion) nearly simultaneously affected has been exposed to physical, emotional, and spiritual traumatization, and is exhausted, not just from the disease and the changes it has caused, but also from the inexplicable feeling of entrapment in flypaper, quicksand, quagmire, snare, pitfall, pit.

Regardless of one’s beliefs, the fact remains 2,641,762 people have died from this disease on this date of writing affecting 219 countries and territories.  In our own country, over 540,000 have perished.

The Bubonic Plague, aka, the Black Death, the most lethal pandemic in recorded human history, killed between 75million to 200million people from 1346-1351 AD (CE).  Before that (1315-1317), “the Great Famine is estimated to have killed 30%-50% of Europe’s population.”  Numbers almost too large to imagine.  Without You Holy God, it would be tempting to consider humans as dispensable.

Yet, King David marveled “You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings/angels and crowned him with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:5.

Our Father God, You have made us, pursued relationship with us, and shockingly allowed us “glory and honor.”

This week, Father, as we consider the woodshed, threshing floor, fields of labor, disguised as a pandemic, will You bring us into right relationship with You?  We have never experienced anything like this.  But, there is no clear evidence the Israelites had ever experienced anything like the flight from Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, and being led in the wilderness.  And we confess we scarcely know anything but the stories of what it was like for the WWII generation.  May we see clearly that You remain the only God and The One Who promises “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5c.                  Thank You, Father.  Thank you.                        In the Son’s name we pray.  Amen

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WEEK 15, DAY 2

Father, as we consider this CoVid pandemic, we remember the impatience of the Israelites.  Perhaps we remember because of our own impatience.

“And the people complained in the hearing of the LORD about their misfortunes, and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them…” Numbers 11:1

Father, how is it You tolerate our discontent?                                                                                                     “and be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you.’”  Hebrews 13:5b, c.

And what about our fears in the face of what You’ve told us?                                                                                    “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:6

May we lay it all down, Father?  Impatience, discontent, fear?  The pandemic is another wilderness similar to the Sinai, or the world wars, or the natural weather patterns of tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, typhoons, ice/snowstorms, drought, pestilence.  None of this was what You intended in the perfect world You created.  But, Holy Father, we cry out Thank You, for not leaving us alone.  Thank You we do not have to be apart from You.  We believe You: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Praise Your Name we are not alone no matter the circumstance.  Amen and amen.

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WEEK 15, DAY 3

Father, it is difficult to know where to start in prayer over something as immense as this pandemic affecting everyone, everywhere.  Yet, in heavily laden responsibilities and professions, it seems good to start somewhere and just keep going.  So today, may we bring before You the children and widows all around the world.  Some are hungry, some have lost parents, some have lost children, some are abandoned, some know You, some do not know You, some are among us, some are far away.  All the 2.6million (adults and children) who have died had/have a soul.  Will You direct us to the children and widows who need our help?  Help us to see them, note them, help them, love them, and will You Father save them?

We love our children.  May we learn how to love other children whom You send us. Show us what they need and how to help. And will you lead us to the widows who quietly and sometimes desperately need help in their isolation or economic status.  Lead us to Your destination planned for us, Father.   We love You, Holy God.  In Christ we pray.  Amen

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27. 

“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation.”    Psalm 68:5  

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WEEK 15, DAY 4

Today, Father, help us to remember the families who struggle to feed, clothe, educate, and shelter together.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

“If a brother or a sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,‘ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that ?” James 2:15-16.

And, Father, will You help those who need assistance let it be known.  Pride gets in the way sometimes.  Please don’t let them suffer in isolation.  Help us to watch, listen, and offer.  Thank you for so many who are and have been and who always are intervening and lovingly sharing with family, neighbors, and others in need. 

If the giver becomes a person in need, help us recognize the need and help shift the burden.  In Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 15, DAY 5

Heavenly Father, I’m struck by the repeated reassurances You’ve given us, written in the Word so that we can read, reread, recite, remember, and claim Your reassurance, no matter the disaster facing us. 

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5c

1 Timothy 3:16. “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:                                                                               HE (Who, God) was manifested in the flesh, vindicated (justified) in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory.”

“No one who denies the Son has the Father.  Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.  Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.  And this is the promise that He made to us—eternal life.”  1 John 2:23-25 

Eternal life.  No more disasters.  No more pandemics. No more loss.  Please help us fix our eyes squarely on the goal.  We claim these promises, Father, because You made them.  We understand that we are to “let what (we) heard from the beginning abide in (us).”   Thank You for this Covenant in Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 15, DAY 6

So, Father, what about those flytraps, snares, quicksand, pits, entrapments from DAY 1 this week that keep flying in our faces? 

Praises to You, Father, for giving us Word of imperfect people who preceded us and who struggled with many problems. Sometimes well.  Other times, not so well.  Yet, You have shared their stories.  We are grateful we are not unique in this struggle to stay upright.

Thank You for the writer of Psalm 91:1-4.  “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my  fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’  For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”

Help us to dwell and abide in You Holy God, our refuge, our fortress, our God, in whom we trust.  Amen

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WEEK 15, DAY 7

Psalm 91: 5-9.  “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, not the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge, no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.”

Not surprisingly, Father, we have questions.  But, for now, it is enough to know You are our refuge, our dwelling place, our shield, our buckler.  The Most High, we praise your Name through the Anointed One.  Amen

                                                                        

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WEEK 14

WEEK 14, DAY 1

1 Thessalonians 5:25 “Brothers, pray for us.”

Righteous Father, here we are approaching Your throne and depending upon Your promises of Your attention to even “two or three of us together in My Name, there I will be in the midst of you.”      Matthew 18: 20 

Last week brought us good news, Father, of our brothers and sisters in India and answered prayers from across America on their behalf.  Their major request is “Please do not forget us.”

And, Father, messages from Capetown, South Africa, came in this week with specific requests, but the overriding request was “Even if you just pray for us, our home, our church, God’s people in South Africa and our country as a whole, we know how powerfully Jesus moves when He needs to in His time.”

Holy Father, that sounds very similar to “Please do not forget us.”

Paul told the Brethren in Thessalonica to “pray for us.”

So here we are, Father, asking You to show us how to love and pray for children, women, men, aunts, uncles, moms, dads, grandparents, neighbors, orphans, widows, and the “little ones” whom we’ve never met but who ask us “Please do not forget us.”  Amen, Father, Amen in our Lord Jesus.

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WEEK 14, DAY 2

Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication (the action of asking for something earnestly or humbly). To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.”

In Capetown, SA, Mark and Sharon Russell need us to “Pray in the Spirit…”  So does the man Derek who lost his leg, the 18000 people who lost their jobs from the bus company closures, the SA businesses collapse, families who need rent, food, fuel, transportation money, the single moms like Shelley and their children, the newly diagnosed mental illnesses likely exacerbated by stressors from the Pandemic, the caretakers like Richard, transportation difficulties as Nicole is experiencing, Eileen who is trying to live on state pension, etc., etc., etc.

Father, we humbly admit we have no idea what exactly to pray, but You know.  The Spirit knows. The Lord Jesus knows.

So, Father, we take our stand, taking up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of You, Holy God.”  Ephesians 6:17. We pray in the Spirit Your blessings and protection for our brothers and sisters who are, who have been, and who will be in South Africa.  In Christ, Amen.

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 WEEK 14, DAY 3

We noticed last week, Heavenly Father, our brothers and sisters in India in the throes of their massive struggles, sent word of their prayers for us: “How are you doing in the midst of the terrible weather?  We are praying that you are staying safe and healthy.”

We apologize, Father, when our prayers are superficial, without understanding, and without “praying in the Spirit” Ephesians 6:18, earnestly, humbly.  Overwhelmed by the chaos of this world, we remember YOU are NOT a God of chaos but THE GOD of peace.  THE GOD of LOVE.  Today, Father, show us our frivolous ways, our flippant attitudes, and help us connect with our brothers and sisters wherever, whenever, whoever they are.   We are entirely grateful they are entrusting their hearts to us.  May we do the same for them.

Because of the Lord Jesus, who takes us to Himself as our brother, our salvation, our Lord.  Amen

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WEEK 14, Day 4

“Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.  Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it boldly as I must speak.”  Ephesians 6:18-20

Righteous Father, after the Resurrection and his conversion, Paul was driven to reach everyone he could for Christ.  As a congregation, we pray for:

  1. Mark and Sharon Russell who need encouragement as they reach one more person for Christ. 
  2. Rod and Lande Cullingworth who need encouragement as they reach one more person for Christ.
  3. Craig and Jeri Ford who need encouragement as they reach one more person for Christ.
  4. Dr. Mani Pagidipalli and his family as they reach one more person for Christ.
  5. The professors, teachers, preachers, shepherds, deacon/deaconesses, congregants (new and long duration), and children as they reach one more person for Christ.

It is Your Glory, Father.  It is Your bride, Lord Jesus.  It is Your guidance, Holy Spirit.

It is our privileged work You give us to do.  Amen

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WEEK 14, DAY 5

“Peace to the whole community,

And love with faith,

From God the Father

And the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Amen.   Ephesians 6:23-24

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WEEK 14, DAY 6

Father, Paul wrote “Peace to the whole community.”  Ephesians 6:23

It would seem in just a few short weeks our community has tripled in locations.

Would You show us how to foster these relationships, Father?

Pictures, letters, hopes, dreams, joys, sorrows, the stuff of life???

We love You, Father God.  We love You, Lord Jesus.  We love you Spirit of Truth.  We love you, new-to-us brothers and sisters in Asia and Africa.  Amen

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WEEK 14, DAY 7

1 Thessalonians 5:25

Paul wrote, “Brothers, pray for us.”

So, Father God, as You are showing us our brothers and sisters, lead us in earnest, humble prayers for them and for each other,  Your children in Christ.  Amen

WEEK 13, DAY 1

Dear Billings Church Family,

Your prayers for “one another” are being answered.  In Week 8, we began praying for brothers and sisters in Christ living in India and who are facing CoVid, earthquakes, persecution from other religions, famine, locust infestations, typhoons, etc.  Their most immediate prayer has been please don’t forget us.

God is at work.  Below is permission from Dr. Pagidipalli to share his letters with you.  The letters will be shared in parts over the next few days.

“Dear brethren,

Thank you so much for the partnership we have with you in this work of our Lord here in India. 

We are especially thankful for the partnership of prayer. 

I am so pleased to let you know of the good news that resulted through your fervent prayers. 

Mani  Pagidipalli”                          Continued-see WEEK 13, DAY 2

On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 12:47:50 PM CST, Gaddy, Mary MD  wrote:

Dear Dr. Pagidipalli,

Wonderful news!!!!

May I share this and any similar news with our Billings congregation?

Thanking you, Thanking Holy God, Thanking the Christ, Thanking the Spirit. Amen

“Dear Dr. Gaddy,       February 23m 2021

Yes, please share this and anything that I email you to the brethren there with you. 

Thank you so much for being a part of the Lord's work here in India.

How are y'all doing in the midst of the terrible weather?

We are praying that y'all are staying safe and healthy.

Mani Pagidipalli”

Holy Father, we here in Billings, MT, are humbled You would supersede time zones and vast distances to allow us to participate in one another’s lives.  Magnificent Father, thank You.  In Christ.  Amen

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WEEK 13, DAY 2

“Dear brethren,

Thank you so much for the partnership we have with you in this work of our Lord here in India. 

We are especially thankful for the partnership of prayer. 

I am so pleased to let you know of the good news that resulted through your fervent prayers. 

You might remember the lady who fell very ill a few months ago and her parents thought some witchcraft was involved. 

Her husband, though not a Christian, always accompanied her to worship services. 

One night he called my Dad in utter tears requesting prayers for his wife because she was talking gibberish. Many many Christians here along with y'all have been praying for her recovery and she finally is able to come worship two weeks ago. 

During her illness, even though she was not able to come worship, her husband continued to attend services. 

This past Sunday her husband, Mr. Suresh made the good confession and committed his life and soul to the care of the LORD and has been baptized into Christ for the remission of his sins. 

We just can’t thank y'all enough for all the prayers for this family! 

We are especially thankful to those who are specifically praying for brother Suresh to come to know the Lord. 

Mani Pagidipalli”                               Continued-see DAY 3

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WEEK 13, DAY 3

Letter from Dr. Pagidipalli continued:

“This pleasant story reminds us what kind of powerful impact the "respectful and pure conduct" (1 Pet. 3.2) of a wife would do to win her husband for the Lord.  And what kind of powerful impact it will have "if we have love for one another" (John 13.35) and the world will know that we are Jesus' disciples.  The church showered love on our dear sister and her husband during their difficulties.

And in the case of brother Suresh these two scripture passages came to life; ultimately winning him for our Lord.  Please continue prayers for both sister Indira and brother Suresh as they together continue their journey to the SON!”

 Yours in Christ,

Mani Pagidipalli”          Continued-see Day 4

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WEEK 13, DAY 4 

Righteous Father, thank you for this group of Hindus who were baptized into Christ as believers who have returned to You.  Here in Montana, we scarcely know how to pray for them and their families who may disown or worse, hurt them.  Please protect them.  In Christ’s name we pray.  Amen

“As the life goes on, the Lord continues to use his people to bring many others into his fold! Here is a group of Hindus!

Thanks for the continued prayers and the partnership in furthering the Gospel!

The struggles of the present day help us long even desperately for that new heaven and new earth! 

Happy New Year to you and the family from all of us here!”

Yours in Christ,

Mani”

DailyPrayWeek13Pic.jpg

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WEEK 13, DAY 5

Dear Billings Church, whatever you think of your own prayers, God hears you.  He is working in the lives of people all over the globe because of His Glory and because of the promises He gave to us believers.  Thank you, Father, that the believers in India trust us enough to specifically pray for them.  They ask specifically “please do not forget us.”  Help us to remember, Father.  Because Jesus is continually teaching us for whom and how to pray.  Amen

“ENGAGING ISLAM (What I can put in a 3-page update is very finite. For more photos and updates please visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mani.pagidipalli) The Lord has brought over 700 Muslim families into our lives through the COVID relief. Our Preacher Training students and staff are following up with great diligence and caution being fully aware of the difficulties each individual face with their families, especially the reality of persecution, honor-shame dynamics and honor killings that exist within their communities. Of the 240 Muslims who were immersed over the past month, here is a brother who has been disowned by his family for his faith in Jesus To paraphrase my friend Phil: COVID caused the Greatest Disruption of our lifetime. This is the Greatest Moment for the Great Commission in a Great longtime. People in your life are arguably more open to the Gospel than any other time in their lives because of the disruption. This disruption is the opportunity for Christians to shine out the hope within us.

Great Disruption (COVID) + Great Commission (Gospel) + Great Motivated Church (YOU) = Great Revival Yours in Christ, Mani Pagidipalli”

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WEEK 13, DAY 6

Our Father, Who art in Heaven. 

Father, wherever You are is where we want to be.

Help us not grow weary.  Help us not quit or give up.  Help us not make excuses.

Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Help us remember who we are.  Your children.  The children of the King.

Thank you for new believers.  Please keep them safe.

In Jesus’ name we pray. 

Amen

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WEEK 13, DAY 7

Psalm 119: 141 “I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.” 

Psalm 10:12 ‘Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up Your hand; forget not the afflicted.”

Almighty God, yes, without You we are small.  And those who despise us, have already despised You.

Yet, You allow us to pray in the Messiah’s name.  You tell us to engage in talking to You and listening to You.

And You even allow us to ask You to “Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up Your hand; forget not the afflicted” in India, in Cape Town, in Montana.

Thank you for the mighty works You have already set in motion.

Help us to walk with You.

It is Your will, Your work, Your way. 

Amen, Father, in Christ we stand.

WEEK 12

WEEK 12, DAY 1

Heavenly Father, my heart hurts.  

HV#1: Human voice #1:   My 97yo friend Alice passed away.  She is one of the dearest friends I’ve ever had.  I can’t stand this.  Why isn’t the rest of the world grieving the loss of this grand woman?  

CV#1: Conscience voice #1 of above human:  All of us are “to die.”  Ecclesiastes 3:2

HV#1:  But you don’t understand and maybe worse, don’t care.  She is the backbone of integrity, hard work, tenacity, and reliability.  People say, she’s had a long, good life.  Maybe so, but to me, she’s just not breathing anymore.  

CV#1:  Yes, we are knit in the womb, “born, live, die.”  Ecclesiastes 3:2.

HV#1:  NO!!  That is not the total sum of our lives.

CV#1:  OK.  Share with me the “total sum of our lives.”

HV#1:  Alice spread light and love; respect and honesty wherever she went.  No one could work harder, love the mountains and horses more, or pack the mules’ panniers better.  Her handshake meant that she was “all in” whatever she was doing.  She loved the Father, and the One who died for her.  She admitted she didn’t know exactly how to address the Spirit but was glad He was with her.  She helped save the lives of many young people putting them to work and painting an object lesson picture of how to live by breathing in each day and loving those she met.

CV#1:  Go on...........you are telling the correct story.

HV#1:  She was so much older chronologically, but magnificently young at heart, appreciating the sounds of the wind in the trees and the creek babbling, noticing the emotional pulses of her children and grandchildren, and providing safety for her loved ones and anyone who took safe haven in her home.

She loved me and helped to preserve my life.  I loved her and her husband (saying past tense only because they are not breathing any longer) and love her children and grandchildren and their spouses.  She accepted me.  I accepted her. She called me friend.   I called her friend.

CV#1:  Yes, human, you are confessing the age-old story of lives well lived.  Are you prepared to listen to the stories others may want to share about their lost loved ones???   TRULY LISTEN????? 

HV#1:  It helps that you are listening, Human.  It helps that you are listening, Conscience. 

Nothing helps more than You listening, Father God, Christ my King, Holy Spirit Who has been groaning for Alice.   So, yes, I will listen to others’ stories.  Please help me listen, Father.  Amen

WEEK 12, DAY 2

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

a time to be born, and a time to die;” Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 2

Today, Father, may all who have ever lost a loved one listen to Your voice, to Your wisdom, and take stock about this incredible verse: “a time to be born.”

 Why You chose us to be born is Your business. I'm just glad You did. We love You, Father. Through Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen

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WEEK 12, DAY 3

Righteous Father, may we celebrate the thought our loved ones who loved you will live again.

“Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’” John 11: 24

Will you bless each one who has ever loved anyone who has gone before?  Mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, child, neighbor, friend, enemy, teacher, colleague, daughter, son, Bible class teacher, scout leader, preacher, elder, school bus driver, librarian, mentor, lunch lady, coach, educator, and anyone not named.

We acknowledge You loved them first, before we ever were.  It’s because of Jesus, the cross, His sacrifice, and Your mercy we can hope for life forever with You.  Amen

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WEEK !2. DAY 4

“a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3: 4

Holy God, the words of this human are not enough. So, this week we continue to acknowledge how great it is to love even when there is loss. How You stood this while Jesus was on the cross, I do not yet know. I am sorry for our sins, Father. I am sorry that the plan of the cross had to go into effect. But I am entirely grateful for the mercy of the plan of the cross in the shed blood of your precious Son. Amen

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WEEK 12, DAY 5

Father, this week has been devoted to those who mourn and the ones they mourn.  It appears You condone our bereavement since You express Your own mourning via the words of the Bible writers chronicling losses and Your wisdom.  An entire book is written expressing tremendous loss. Lamentation: the passionate expression of grief or sorrow; weeping.  One of the most heart wrenching verses in all scripture is “Jesus wept.” John 11:35.   Is there any news more profound than this?

Jesus went on to say in John 11: 40, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”  

Lamentations 3: 41 “Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.”

Holy God, there are two sides to our losses: our mourning and weeping contrasted to the lessons learned from those losses. Help us learn the lessons You are teaching. We so love You, Father.                  In Christ’s name we pray. Amen

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WEEK 12, DAY 6

“I made Your Name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17: 26

Father, this is the promise You give.  How You teach us is Your business.  May we learn from our blessings and losses and credit You Creator for Your use of both the blessings and the losses, however You choose to use them and us.  Jesus Himself said, “Not my will but Yours be done.” Luke 22:41. Amen.

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WEEK 12, DAY 7

Father God, it is a new day.  We are grateful for the verse from Psalm 30: 5 “For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

We claim this promise with profound gratitude, Father.

In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen  

 

WEEK 11

WEEK 11, DAY 1

Last week, Father, You shone a light on our responsibility to “love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.” We asked “for help to recognize our own sins and poor attitudes. Help us to love Your Ways and to mature into them.”  Almost immediately, Hebrews 4:12 was given as a gift as an answer to this prayer.  Thank you for answering this prayer time after time as we fall and get back up, stumble and stand back up, fail and make amends, sin and repent, flame and rethink, bluster and subside.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Righteous Father, help us to pay attention to this verse, Your word, this week.  In Christ’s name we pray. Amen

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WEEK 11, DAY 2

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Descriptors of the word of God as You show us from this verse:  Living, active, sharp, piercing, powerful, discerning.  N.T. Wright notes “It will open me up, it is powerful and can pierce my heart, and (scarily), lay me bare.”  The word “discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  I feel grateful when I can bring You my true godly thoughts and intentions of the heart.  I feel ashamed, disappointed, frightened by You seeing my ungodly thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Dear Father, this has always been an exhilarating verse since You know me and understand what I think and feel.   At the same time, Father, this has always been a terrifying verse since You know me and understand what I think and feel.  The little poem describes my journey from godliness to gutter within a second. “When he/she was good, he/she was very, very good; but when he/she was bad, he/she was very, very bad.”  Father, I cannot hide from You, good or bad.  We cannot hide from You.  What we can do is praise Your name for giving us opportunity and time to grow and mature. In this, You teach us HOW to “love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.”  Who is like You, O God?  It is the Christ Who shows us again and again HOW to love our enemies…….and perhaps ourselves.  We love you, Father.  In His Name we pray.   Amen

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WEEK 11, DAY 3

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Jeremiah 23: 29 “Is not my word like fire, says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks a rock into pieces?” 

Father, You describe Your word as living, active, and powerful offering both warning and promise. Could it be our hearts are “like a rock that will be broken into pieces?”   Are You transforming us into that new creation that we became initially when we first believed?  And if we listen and learn from this brokenness, will You transform us to the point that we can finally and truthfully “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us?”  We are asking in Jesus’ name.  Amen

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WEEK 11, DAY 4

Isaiah 55:10-11

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

SO SHALL MY WORD BE

that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Holy God, here again You tell us of the power of Your word, living and active even in the work of the rain and snow, accomplishing Your purpose.  You have told us to love and to pray for our neighbors, sisters and brothers, our enemies, and for those who persecute us.  It is Your purpose.  It is Your Glory.  It is mine to do Your will.  It is ours to do Your will.  Thank you, Father, for including us.  In Jesus’ holy Name we pray.  Amen

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WEEK 11, DAY 5

Hebrews 4:14,15 “Since then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.”

Father, it’s here in print; Your perfect Son can “sympathize with our weaknesses” and “has been tested as we are, yet without sin.”  Lord Jesus, You know how difficult it is ”to love enemies.”  Some have had enemies in their own families.  You know how trying it is ”to pray for those who persecute us.”  Some of your children have been persecuted unto death.  Holy God, we are grateful for Jesus the high priest who continues to teach us through your word.  We are grateful for the prophets and writers of old who believed You. Who believed Your word.  And who obeyed You.  Help us to obey You, Father.   Through the Name of the great high priest.  Amen

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WEEK 11, DAY 6

Father, Paul writes in Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.”  Will You help us remember to do exactly this?  Help us to listen to the Spirit, ridding ourselves of pride so that He can guide us in words, deeds, actions, prayers.  We especially need this help in “forgiving our debtors, those that trespass against us.”

May we sit here in silence and listen to His groanings that are different for each one of us.

We come in expectation, Father, and thank You for the myriad ways You protect us, even from our own wayward devices.  It is by the Christ’s name we pray.  Amen

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WEEK 11, DAY 7

Father, hear our hearts as we pray the words from Jude 20.  “But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit…” 

As He continues to guide us in our love and prayers for others, help us to learn the depth You desire in our prayers.  You are God.  We are the created.  You are worthy of everything we can give; everything collectively we can give.  You are worthy of more than anything anyone can give.  Yet, You delight when we remember the orphans, widows, little ones, neighbors, enemies, those who persecute us, those who love us, one another.  What an astounding God Who would love us, protect us, teach us, be patient with us.

“When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?  Psalm 8:3,4

We are so grateful.

Through the Lord Jesus we pray these things while we listen to the Spirit of Truth and stand in amazement of You, Father.  Amen

WEEK 10

WEEK 10 DAY 1

Righteous Father, we approach Your throne room today with determination as You have given us tasks that require obedience, guidance, and selflessness. Last week as this week, we pursue the goal of learning how to pray for one another. You have shown us “one another” means all people that you created. Indeed, brothers and sisters in Christ are special to you, however, so are the Phoenician woman, The Roman centurion, Cornelius, the Samaritan woman, and all your created others.

Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.’” 

Specifically, this commands us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.  So, we gather here to honor this command. Show us who exactly our enemies are whether inside or outside our families biologically, our fellowships spiritually, or in our workplaces emotionally and physically.  The evil one hates us and preys upon our families, our fellowship, and our workplaces.  Help us not be naïve, Father. Equip us with Your discernment and help us to pray for our enemies even when it is difficult. Through the Sons name we pray. Amen

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WEEK 10, DAY 2

Romans 8: 26-27 “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

Holy God, I do not often know exactly what to pray.  Nevertheless, the Spirit of Truth “Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”  You’ve given that as a promise, therefore, remind me again.  Holy Spirit will guide the words of my mouth for whatever circumstance. What I have to do is listen. Thank you, Father. Amen

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WEEK 10, DAY 3

James 5:15-16 “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  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.”

We often pray for help with physical ailments, Father.  James points out we also equally need to be healed from our sins by Your forgiveness. May we not overemphasize one because it's more socially acceptable to ask for physical healing than it is to confess our sins to one another. Help us to be brave to confess our sins.  We ask for healing and forgiveness for ourselves and for one another. In His name we pray.  Amen

WEEK 10, DAY 4

Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.’”

Romans 8: 26-27 “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

So, it’s been a cranky week, Father.  Several people have shared as below.

“My kids caught a bug at school and were really sick. It was only a matter of time until I caught it.  I was so sick.”

“The security guard watched as a woman ambled toward the exit of this department store where I was shopping.  She was carrying bundles of stolen goods.  I called and called for help, but no one (including the security guard) did anything.”

“Someone going way too fast on these icy roads, rear ended my car, totaling it.  I’m almost out of insurance rental car money.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I need to be able to get to work.”

“Frigid temperatures, snowy roads, multiple car wrecks, and someone broke into my car stealing my warm gear.”

I need help with my attitude, Father.  Will you protect me from myself?  Will you draw me near to You and to brothers and sisters who can see my situation which is temporary, no matter how devastating.  In Jesus’ Holy Name.  Amen

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WEEK 10, DAY 5

Yesterday was cranky, Father.  I recognize there are people far worse off than I am.  Will You help me, Father, listen to Holy Spirit?  There is immediate need versus eternal need, both carrying weight, but with one far exceeding the other.  Gracious patience, everlasting love, glorious mercy.  Forgive me for my short sightedness.  It’s by Your Son we are given opportunity to pray these things.  Amen

Romans 8: 26-27 “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

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WEEK 10, DAY 6

James 5:15-16 “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  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.”

Holy God, thank You our crankiness can be forgiven.  We ask for help to recognize our own sins and poor attitudes. Help us to love Your Ways and to mature into them.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen

WEEK 10, DAY 7

We are praying for our enemies, Father.  This week, we’ve noticed the enemy sometimes lurks within us.  We do NOT want the evil one to live within us, Father.  Help us recognize the temptation to avoid our vanity.  You, alone, are God.  Jesus, alone, is the Way to You.  And You Both command “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you….”

Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.’”

Help us be real, Father.  Help us to listen to Holy Spirit.

Romans 8: 26-27 “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

We love you, Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  It is only because of the work that the Anointed Messiah accomplished that we dare pray these things.  Amen

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