Corporate Prayer Guide – 10/4/2017

Evening Prayer: December 4,, 2017

1. Take a moment of silence to calm and center yourself before God; before you begin to speak to God, first come to Him ready to quiet your heart and to listen. Allow the Holy Spirit to focus your attentions and affections as you begin.

 

2. Meditate on and consider Psalm 130 —

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (ESV)

 

3. One of the aspects of our faith that we often find difficult is waiting on the Lord to act in our lives. What are some things you long for the Lord to do in your life and through your life? Make your requests known to God and surrender those requests before Him according to his will, timing, and good purposes.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7

 

4. During the Christmas season amidst our celebrations and rejoicing we want to take time to remember that even though the joy of a born savior is for all people in all places that there are some who are especially burdened at this time of year. In our church family and certainly in our community there are those who are facing their first Christmas without a loved one that they lost this year. Let us remember that there are many in our community without the physical resources to provide the kind of celebrations many of us will enjoy with our families, and even more than that there are those struggling to provide the most basic of needs. God has sent Jesus into the world out of his great abundance of love and grace, and we should extend the grace of the advent of our Lord to those around us.

9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
-Romans 12:9-21

 

5. Take some time this evening to pray for Freshwater and all of our sister churches in our community. Pray that our ministry to our city during the Christmas season would embody the full weight of why Jesus came into the world. Pray that we would love people the way that Jesus does. Pray that the joy of Jesus’ incarnation would be evident in the way that we live together as a community of faith across many local churches in front of our city. Pray that Christmas joy would fill our worship services. Pray that on Christmas Eve many people who would not otherwise go to church would visit a local church, hear the Gospel, and give their lives to Christ. Pray about who you will invite to church this Christmas season.

 

6. Pray on behalf of three specific people, entreating God to act on their behalf, to meet their deepest and most real needs.

 

7. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

 

Be blessed as you go; know that the work of prayer is a work of eternal significance.

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world” -Karl Barth

 

For Our Sister Churches – Evening Prayer 9/18/17

Every Monday night from 7:00-7:30 our church opens its doors for a time of corporate prayer. We believe that not only is prayer powerful and effective but we also believe that spending this time together is special and bonds our hearts together. We know that not everyone can make it out to the church building on Monday nights, and we would like to offer you the prayer guide that we use each week so that you can pray with the church from home this week. 

With Love,

Dave

 

Evening Prayer: September 18, 2017

1. Take a moment of silence to calm and center yourself before God; before you begin to speak to God, first come to Him ready to quiet your heart and to listen.  Allow the Holy Spirit to focus your attentions and affections as you begin.

2. Meditate on and consider this prayer from Ephesians 3:14-21:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. 

3. This evening we want to take some time to pray for our sister churches in the Bolivar community and for the pastoral leadership of these churches. Use the list below and pray that:

God would pour out His Spirit in power on the church and that the people would be revived to love each other well and to proclaim the Gospel boldly

• The pastors and leaders of the church would walk by the Spirit of God and lead with faith, vision, and courage; that they would equip and empower their people for the work of ministry

• The church would fulfill her calling to make disciples of all nations

Berean Baptist — Derek Lewright              Heritage Baptist Church — Gary Walton

First Baptist Church — Billy Russel            Southern Hills Baptist — Ted Bachman

Sacred Heart Catholic — Father Jose         Open Hearts United Methodist — David Collum

First Christian Church — Bill Nichols        Zion Lutheran Church — Tom Rhodes

Country Side Assembly of God — Gray and Michelle Nordan

St. Albans Episcopal — “Bishop Marty”      First Assembly of God — Gary Ankrom

Wellspring Baptist Fellowship     First Church of the Nazarene      Hwy 13 Church of Christ

Church of Christ — Darrin Chappell         Pentecostal Church of God — Daryl Miler

Bolivar Christian Church                             Seventh Day Adventist

New Life Community Church — Bill Jones          Central Church of Christ — Steve Stamatis

Mt Gilead Methodist Church — Hubert Parnell        Grace Fellowship Baptist Church

Mt Olive Baptist Church — Lindell Shelden

Calvary Missionary Baptist — Michael Calhoun

Maranatha Baptist Church — Keith Carnahan      The Heights — Matt Bunn

4. Pray that our church, Freshwater, would be a vessel of blessing to this community, that our fellowship would be bound together by the Holy Spirit, that we would be empowered and compelled to carry out God’s mission for us, and that by His mercy, God would release us from all our debts so that we might devote our resources more fully to the spread of the gospel  now and in the years to come.

5. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Be blessed as you go; know that the work of prayer is a work of eternal significance.

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world” -Karl Barth

Evening Prayer: August 21, 2017

 

  1. Take a moment of silence to calm and center yourself before God; before you begin to speak to God, first come to Him ready to quiet your heart and to listen.  Allow the Holy Spirit to focus your attentions and affections as you begin.

 

  1. Meditate on and consider this statement of the gospel:

 

The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, and that in him, the Kingdom of God is near. Through Jesus Christ, God is redeeming, restoring, and recreating everything that was broken, lost, and destroyed by sin in the fall. The Gospel is the proclamation of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection according to the Scriptures fulfilling the redemption begun in covenant with Israel and now carried out through the Spirit-empowered ministry of the Church to make disciples of all nations. The Gospel is freely given by God’s grace bringing salvation and eternal life to all who receive it and obey it by faith.

 

  1. Consider the moment the truth of the gospel intersected with your life or broke through in a way that led you to truly proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior. When did you receive the “good news”? What, in that moment was the good news for you? Praise God for opening your eyes to the beautiful truth of the gospel message.

 

  1. The good news of the gospel, at some point, was offered to you through the faithful witness of others. Who were the people whose faithfulness allowed you to receive the good news of the gospel? Who loved you enough to proclaim the good news to you? Thank God for their faithfulness and pray His blessings upon them; commit yourself to the same faithful proclamation and obedience that brought you the gospel through others.

 

  1. Read Paul’s words to the Corinthian church:

Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.  Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me.

For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, so we proclaim and so you have believed.

 

  1. Pray that the Spirit would awaken a new and fresh love for the beauty of the gospel, that it would be the foundation on which you stand each day, that it would be to you (as it was to Paul) of greatest importance.

 

  1. Praise God that the message of the gospel is the message of your sins being decisively dealt with, that the record of debt that stood against you has been paid in full by Christ’s sacrifice. Let that truth penetrate beyond your head and to your heart; accept the full forgiveness of sin from Jesus, the sinless one who became sin so that you might be made righteous before God.

When you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our trespasses, having canceled the debt ascribed to us in the decrees that stood against us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross! (Colossians 2:13-14)

 

  1. Praise God that the gospel fundamentally changes us; praise God that just as Paul, a persecutor of the church, was changed by the power of the gospel, so are we. Praise him that by the grace of God, you are who you are, not who you used to be!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

  1. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

 

Be blessed as you go; know that the work of prayer is a work of eternal significance.

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world” -Karl Barth

 

Prayer Guide – 08/21/2017

Evening Prayer: August 21, 2017

  1. Take a moment of silence to calm and center yourself before God; before you begin to speak to God, first come to Him ready to quiet your heart and to listen.  Allow the Holy Spirit to focus your attentions and affections as you begin.

 

  1. Meditate on and consider this prayer from Psalm 119:162-168:

 

I rejoice at your word

like one who finds great spoil.

I hate and abhor falsehood,

but I love your law.

Seven times a day I praise you

for your righteous rules.

Great peace have those who love your law;

nothing can make them stumble.

I hope for your salvation, O LORD,

and I do your commandments.

My soul keeps your testimonies;

I love them exceedingly.

I keep your precepts and testimonies,

for all my ways are before you.

 

  1. Peace is found in the presence of God and it is a gift to us in Christ alone. Take some time to confess all of the different places you have sought out peace. Ask the Holy Spirit to do a work of repentance in your heart that you might turn to Him for peace both now and in the future. Confess your trust in the Lord for his continued deliverance.

 

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.   – Romans 16:20

 

  1. We receive the peace of Christ in our life by faith in Christ. That faith might be expressed in recognizing the Christ is powerful enough to secure peace for you, and that he is good enough to give His peace to you; all of this by his cross and resurrection. Worship Christ the redeemer and peacemaker. Proclaim the glory of his excellence. Pour out your affection on the one who has made a way for you and brought you to God.

 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.   – Colossians 1:15-20

 

  1. The gospel of peace transforms us into peacemakers and into messengers of God’s peace in the world. Take a moment and consider the Scriptures below, and ask God to do a work in your life as one who brings His peace. What actions do I need to take? What relationships need to be restored? Where should I be preaching the gospel of peace?

 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9

 

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. – James 3:17-18

 

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

– Hebrews 12:14

 

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. – 2 Corinthians 13:11

 

  1. Pray on behalf of three specific people, entreating God to act on their behalf, to bring them peace, and to meet their deepest and most real needs.

 

  1. Pray that our church, Freshwater, would be a vessel of blessing to this community, that our fellowship would be bound together by the Holy Spirit, that we would be empowered and compelled to carry out God’s mission for us, and that by His mercy, God would release us from all our debts so that we might devote our resources more fully to the spread of the gospel  now and in the years to come.

 

  1. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Be blessed as you go; know that the work of prayer is a work of eternal significance.

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world” -Karl Barth

 

My Misconceptions about the State of Israel

Experiencing any culture for the first time can always be a shocking experience. I felt like my time in Israel was especially jolting because I had encountered a form of Israeli society in the Bible. It was too easy to import many of my presuppositions onto Israel. Here are a few examples of the misconceptions I had concerning Israel, and the truth of the matter I discovered.

  1. Only Jews live in Israel

Isn’t Israel supposed to be the homeland for the Jews? Therefore, only Jews should live there, right? On the contrary, Israel contains diversity within its population. Just under 75% of those living in Israel are ethnic Jews, while the second largest demographic (around 21%) are the Arabs.

So what’s the big deal? Why does it matter that not everyone living in Israel is a Jew? Israel seems to exist in perpetual conflict with herself because of the people living within her borders. Arabs are those who lived in the land of Israel (formerly known as the land of Palestine before the founding of the state of Israel in 1948) before Jews started immigrating there in the late nineteenth century. As can be inferred from the statistics above, the fact that so many Arabs still live in Israel to this day means that many are not willing to give up their land just yet. This reality brings with it conflict and racial tension.

  1. Everyone in Israel is religious

Maybe you were confused when I said that the majority of Israel’s population is comprised of “ethnic Jews.” “An ‘ethnic Jew’, you say? I thought Judaism was a religion, not an ethnicity!” Well, yes; Judaism is a religion, but just because a person is Jewish does not mean that they practice Judaism. A person is considered a Jew if they trace their lineage back to Abraham and are originally from the land of Judea (JEW-de-a). Jewishness is usually an ethnicity, not necessarily a religion. Although, a non-(ethnic) Jew can also be considered a Jew if they convert to the religion of Judaism.

Therefore, in Israel you can meet a “secular” Jew, a “religious” Jew, or an “ethnic” Jew. These qualifiers are meant to help us understand that not everyone who is born into a Jewish family decides to practice the religion that is connected to their heritage. It is important that you do not assume when talking to a self-identifying Jew that they are religious.

  1. Jews clearly have the sole right to live in Israel

This is one of the most controversial topics surrounding the nation of Israel. Most people believe that since Jews make up the majority of the population in the land of Israel that this is the way it has always been. As mentioned above, modern Jews did not start arriving in the land of Palestine before the late 1800’s. The land was largely populated by a group of Arabs, with only a handful of Jews living in the region. The Arabic exodus from the land of Palestine occurred for a variety of reasons, but one of the major immigrations occurred after the war for Israel’s independence in 1948. As a result of the war, 700,000 Arabs were forced to seek refuge in surrounding countries.

So now there exists two competing narratives concerning who has the right to the land of Israel. Israelis believe that they have the right to the land, appealing to their religious history. Arabs also believe that they ought to live in the land, appealing to their hundreds of years of existence in the land prior to the Jewish immigration. As an example of these two narratives, consider the names that each people group assigns to the 1948 war. Arabs call that war the Nakba (“the catastrophe”), because it was a day of tragedy for them. Israelis named it the War of Independence, since they gained their freedom from this war. This double narrative constitutes the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When approaching this conflict, we must have humility in the face of a complex reality.

  1. The modern nation of Israel was born out of religious fervor

Israel has been in exile for hundreds of years. They lived under foreign rulers for ages. They longed to return to their land, praying that God would give them that which He promised. This is the narrative I received in the Bible, so I believed that this must be the mindset of modern Jews as well.

Wrong.

Israel was born out of a movement known as “Zionism.” While this movement does have its religious proponents, its founders were mainly secular. Most of the early leaders of the Zionist movement were influenced by the haskalah, which “sought to reform the Jewish emphasis on tradition and collectivism and to import into Jewish society a more rational, analytical, intellectual, and individualistic way of life” (Daniel Gordis, Israel : A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, pg. 13). This Jewish reform directly resulted from the Enlightenment of the 18th century. Zionism mainly concerned itself with establishing a national homeland for the Jewish people, since the Jews had been facing violent persecution in their current European homes. It also desired to create a “new Jew,” unlike those Jews who lived like victims to their European colonial powers. This new Jew would be self-sufficient, strong, and powerful. This movement still exerts powerful influence in present-day Israel. Zionism presents a different picture of Judaism than what we are handed in the Bible, because modern Jews have a very different history than the Jews we find in the Bible (2,000 years have passed since the Bible was written!). We must be sensitive to modern narratives surrounding the Jewish people, not just ancient ones.

  1. Jerusalem looks exactly like it did when Jesus was alive

While this final thought is humorous, it is very true. When we entered into the golden city of Jerusalem, I half-expected to see donkeys, wooden carts, people wearing long robes, and lots of hemp sandals. Sadly, I only saw those things while on a tour in Nazareth at a place which was created to look like the Nazareth of Jesus’ day.

Modernity has reached Israel. On our way to the famous Western Wall, we passed Israeli coffee chains, pizza and burger restaurants, and souvenir shops. Our first night out on the town in Jerusalem included youth dancing to electronic dance music on the top of a van. People drive cars! Israelis wear Western clothes. Modernization has come to Israel, causing it to look very different from Jesus’ day.

I share my misconceptions to help you broaden your thinking about the nation of Israel. Sometimes in Christian sub-culture we can get so caught up in our own presuppositions that we don’t consider the reality of a situation. All that I have shared with you is incredibly condensed, but I hope that this post has stimulated you to consider alternate perceptions of the reality in Israel. I pray that these facts will help deepen your theological thinking about ancient, modern, and end time realities surrounding Israel. Many conversations in theology surround the role of Israel in God’s end-time plan, and some of the facts above have caused me to rethink my positions regarding Israel’s role. I also hope that these facts will help you engage political conversations about the nation of Israel in a more nuanced manner. Nuanced thinking destroys false presuppositions and thinking about Israel in new ways helps us engage theology and dialogue better.

When in Israel

I would like to welcome Collin Campbell to the Freshwater Blog. Collin and his wife, Laura, are apprentices at Freshwater and they have been with us since coming to Bolivar three years ago. Collin can often be found behind the drums on a Sunday morning; he loves coffee, travel, reading and discussing theology, and he really loves the newlywed life!

Over the next several posts Collin is going to be writing for the blog to share his insights from their recent trip to Israel. I hope you enjoy reading Collin’s reflections as much as I have, and I trust they will be insightful and meaningful to you. Please welcome Collin to the blog.    – Pastor Dave

One week after returning from our honeymoon, my wife Laura and I found ourselves on a plane once again. This time we ended up in a part of the world that neither one of us would have expected a year ago: the land of Israel. Neither one of us knew quite what to expect from our time in Israel, but neither one of us expected the land to change our hearts so much.

Laura and I returned from our trip a little over a week ago. Many people have asked us how the trip went, and I wanted to be able to share some of the insights we gleaned from the trip for the whole church. In this post I want to explain the nature of the trip so that you can know the context of some of the things I will be reflecting on in later posts.

First, the trip was sponsored by the incredible organization named Passages Israel. Passages exists to educate Christian leaders from the United States about the historical roots of their faith and the modern geopolitical situation in Israel. While in Israel, we split our time evenly between these two topics. We visited ancient sites such as Capernaum, Nazareth, the Upper Room, and the Mount of Olives, being taught about the historical and biblical significance of these sites. These sites in Israel were no farther than a two-hour bus ride from where we found ourselves at any moment, reminding us just how small the space Jesus spent His life in really was.

On the geopolitical side of things, we heard from speakers from all over the spectrum. We heard from Palestinian journalists, a Christian pastor living in Palestine, a member of Israel’s parliament, and others to garner multiple perspectives on the current political conflicts in Israel. It dawned on me during that the land of Israel is inhabited by more than just Jews, and that the Jews compete with other ethnic groups for the right to exist in the land of Israel. Our group also made visits to Israel’s borders with other countries so that the complex political relationship Israel has with her neighbors could be visualized and understood. Prior to this, I was completely unaware that Israel is not always admired internationally.

In the next few posts I will describe some of the reflections I had while on this trip. One will focus on the misconceptions I had about the modern state of Israel, while two others will describe spiritual reflections I had while on the trip. The state of Israel is a beautiful but complex mess, like most of us. My understanding of the modern state of Israel, my theological/biblical stance on Israel, and my personal faith have all been deeply affected and altered by my time in Israel. Understanding this land and its people have deepened my hope in the gospel and made me more aware of my spiritual heritage.  I hope that these posts can function to encourage you and help you understand these things for yourself as well.

Evening Prayer – June 05, 2017

 

  1. Take a moment of silence to calm and center yourself before God; before you begin to speak to God, first come to Him ready to quiet your heart and to listen.  Allow the Holy Spirit to focus your attentions and affections as you begin.

 

  1. Pray Psalm 131

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;

   my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things

   too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

   like a weaned child with its mother;

   like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord

   from this time forth and forevermore.

  1. Praise God for his glory clearly revealed in that which he has created:

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour out speech;

night after night they communicate knowledge.

There is no speech; there are no words;

their voice is not heard.

Their message has gone out to the whole earth,

and their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun.

It is like a bridegroom coming from his home;

it rejoices like an athlete running a course.

It rises from one end of the heavens

and circles to their other end;

nothing is hidden from its heat.

  1. Praise God for the goodness, glory, truth, permanence, and limitless worth of his commands and promises:

The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life;

the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.

The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad;

the command of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up.

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever;

the ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous.

They are more desirable than gold—than an abundance of pure gold;

and sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb.

In addition, your servant is warned by them,

and in keeping them there is an abundant reward.

  1. Ask God to search your heart and reveal the sin in your life, that He would not let you turn a blind eye to the sins you’ve committed by doing what ought not be done or by not doing what He has called you to do. Confess to him with the assurance that if we are faithful to confess our sins, our God is faithful and just to forgive!

Who perceives his unintentional sins?

Cleanse me from my hidden faults.

Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins;

do not let them rule me.

Then I will be blameless

and cleansed from blatant rebellion.

May the words of my mouth

and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable to you,

Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

 

  1. Take a moment of silence to receive with gratitude the forgiveness of sins that is yours through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, his body and blood broken and shed for the forgiveness of sin.

 

  1. As one who has been forgiven, ask God to reveal to you if there is forgiveness you need to grant; is there forgiveness you are withholding from another?  (Matthew 6:14-15)

 

  1. Pray on behalf of others, entreating God to act on their behalf, to meet their deepest and most real needs.

 

  1. Gregory Palamos, a 14th century monk once said: “This is the nature of prayer: that it raises one from earth to heaven, higher than every heavenly name and dignity, and brings one before the very God of all.”

 

  1. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Be blessed as you go; know that the work of prayer is a work of eternal significance.

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world” -Karl Barth