Wednesday, December 16, 2009
As we reflect upon that, may we also take time to commune with the Father. One way to do it that is through praying scripture. This is something the early believers were taught to do. As the Bible is divinely inspired, they believed that praying scripture deeply connected them to the heart of God. Furthermore, as scripture was repeatedly prayed, it became memorised – this meant that memorised scripture could lead them to pray at any hour of the day or night.
Praying scripture is a way of entering deeply into the text with a heart alert to a unique and personal word from God. Words or verses that catch our attention become invitations to be with God in prayer. Often our prayers are more about maintaining control and offering God our agenda for his stamp of approval, praying scripture can return us to a simpler state of openness and attentiveness to God. We lay our agendas aside and open ourselves to the prayers given within scripture.
Psalms is a wonderful prayer book. It’s honest, it doesn’t clean up the mess of life before prayer – it brings everything to God. In Psalms we find prayers that voice our needs, fears, sorrows, anger, loneliness, dryness and joy. They invite us to be authentic and honest - to come to God, just as we are.
The Bible also contains wonderful prayers by people like Jesus, Paul, Daniel, Mary, Moses and Hannah. These prayers can provide a framework for intercession for people and nations. When we are at a loss for words and have no prayers in our heart, the prayers of scripture are ready to guide us to God. They can provide the help and structure we need when we are going through a difficult journey.
1. Use the Lord’s Prayer as a framework for your prayer.
2. When you are convicted of your own sinfulness, turn to Psalm 51 or Psalm 32. Offer yourself to God in repentance. Read the Psalm one verse at a time, stop, and talk to God about what you have read. Let the words of the Psalm comfort and sustain you.
3. When you are filled with concerns for the Church, place yourself in the presence of God and pray one of Paul’s prayers for the Church – Eph 1.15~21 or Phil 1.3~6, 9, or turn to Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
4. Is there a prayer in scripture that you can make your own? Memorise it and say it often to the Lord.
May you continue to experience the presence of the Lord as you develop an intimacy with Him through prayer.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Luke 1:35-48 NIV
The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.' 'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said.' Then the angel left her. At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!' And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Word for Today, Wednesday, 16th December 2009
Be dressed ready for service…
Luke 12:35 NIV
God can move so quickly that one day it feels like all hell has broken loose in your life, and the next, like you're seated in heavenly places. And in both instances: 'it is God which worketh in you… ' (Philippians 2:13 KJV). The Bible uses words like straightway, immediately, and suddenly to remind us that when God moves we must be ready to move too. He doesn't announce it with trumpets and a fanfare so you must stay prepared, especially for something you've been waiting for a long time. You may be just a moment away from the answer you've been seeking. That's all the time it takes God to change things; a moment! Don't let discouragement dull your faith or procrastination steal your opportunity.
Referring to His second coming, Jesus said, 'Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house' (Matthew 24:17KJV). You've got to decide whether you're going to accept what God has for you now and move forward, or return to your house, because your unfinished business can cause you to miss God's best. And so can waiting for others. A paralysed man missed his healing for thirty-eight years because he waited for others to act. He told Jesus: 'I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up… ' (John 5:7 NKJV). For years he sat beside the solution, but others caused him to miss it. Nothing is more important than what God is saying and doing in your life right now: not what's going on in your house, not the actions or opinions of others. What matters is being ready.
Daily Bible Reading:
Nehemiah 5-7, John 20:1-9, Psalm 105:37-45, Proverbs 30:20-23
Monday, December 14, 2009
Luke 1:26-33 NIV
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.' Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.'
Monday, December 14, 2009
The Word for Today, Tuesday, 15th December 2009
Work On The Inner You (3)
The inward man is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV
Be grateful for the outer you. Make peace with it. Rejoice in its strengths. Accept its limitations. Let it work hard. Be happy when it gets promoted. But remember, it's wasting away. The inner you, on the other hand, is capable of a glory you can't even imagine. 'Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure' (1 John 3:2-3 NKJV). Make your biggest investment in the thing that will last.
We have scales and mirrors and tape measures to track the development of our outer selves. But how can we track the well-being of the part of us that will last? This may look a little different for each of us, but here are a few mirrors and scales and tape measures that will help you get started: 1) self-examination and confession 2) friends who love you enough to speak the truth to you 3) time to be alone and listen to God 4) time spent in the Scriptures, renewing your mind 5) examination of your calendar and your chequebook 6) questions such as: How easily discouraged do I get these days? How easily irritated am I compared to six months ago? 7) attention to your thought life. What's your mind drawn toward? Where does envy, blaming, judging or lusting rob you of life and joy? Come on, get serious; work on the inner you!
Daily Bible Reading:
Nehemiah 1-4, John 19:30-42, Psalm 105:23-36, Proverbs 30:15-19
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