Daily Share-a-Prayer w/e 21/07/2019
Worship Leader, All Saints Church, Belton
Sunday 21st July
Heavenly Father, I sometimes wonder if people, moreover if I, simply think that Jesus is just a nice idea, a good idea, a very good idea; an easy way to feel better, so I employ him as my sacrifice
What could be simpler? If I do something wrong I give it to Jesus, simply brush it off and feel better, for a while at least. Perhaps pray occasionally, pop into church once in a while so people see I am good
A shallow faith in a figment of my imagination will surely do me no good at all. And it does not explain the things I have witnessed with my own eyes. It does not explain the things I have felt in my spirit
The Bible tells us that, if Jesus has not been raised from the dead, then our faith would be futile and we are to be pitied above all. If the dead are not raised "Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die"
But it goes on to say Christ has been raised, the first fruits and we too will be raised to eternal life. This is the Truth, Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. Therefore the reality of my sin cannot be brushed off, it is real too and pinned Jesus to the cross where the reality is Jesus paid for my sin
What I have done wrong should, must, break my heart. The weight of my sin on my shoulders should, must, force me to my knees. It is then, on my knees with a broken heart that I can cry out to You. You cannot heal a heart that is not broken. You cannot lift me up unless I first fall down. You are more than a good idea! Real person, real authority, real power. Real God. And I am really forgiven
Saturday 20th July
Heavenly Father, thank You for baptism; the outward sign of the inward change; the declaration to the world of what has been declared to Jesus; "I am Yours because You have chosen me, I'm Your child because You've called my name. And Your steadfast love will never change. I will always be Your precious child"
Thank You for the great symbolism that is shown in the act, the old life being immersed in the water and a new creation emerging, all sins forgiven and left to sink to the bottom of the ocean, as far as the east is from the west. The dirt and grime of the old life washed away and the cleansed soul appearing
Just as Jesus was dead and buried and then alive again, so the old life is dead and buried and the new life is alive
Thank You Father, thank You for the price that was paid by You, by Your Son Jesus, so that the symbolism of baptism has real value
Lord Jesus, thank You that, following Your baptism, You were confronted by satan and You showed us how to deal with him
Thank You that this warns us that we may be challenged after we have made our faith public, tested by the enemy, the accuser
Thank You for Your words; we need every word from God, we do not test God and we worship only God. We may be hungry, but Your Word satisfies. The enemy may test us but Your Word, Jesus, is the answer. The enemy may try to lure us but we offer our worship to You, submit to God and satan has to go. I am a new creation, no more in condemnation, here in the grace of God I stand. At the end we stand. Thank You
Friday 19th July
Heavenly Father, we tend not to believe in demons these days; we are more modern, sophisticated. People in those days, the past, the time of Jesus, were more primitive, more gullible, or so we perhaps think
It makes it easy for the enemy if we don't believe in him, or in his minions. Jesus did and dealt with them both. We sometimes hear people say "No-one in their right mind would ever..." Or people sometimes ask when someone does something particularly strange or out of character "Whatever possessed you...?" I suspect that very rarely is demonic or satanic influence considered
Keith Green wrote a song, sung from satan's point of view, "No-one believes in me any more". Nicky Cruz talks openly in his books 'Run, Baby, Run' and 'The devil has no mother' about how satan had worked in his life, the lives of his parents, the lives of people he knew, and how he, and they, had been delivered
I have no desire to seek out demons, and I don't believe every situation is because of demonic or satanic influences, but I guess I would be foolish to dismiss it out of hand. Just as Jesus exists, lives today, so the enemy still works to destroy, hating You, Your Son Jesus, and Your Holy Spirit and especially people who are made in Your image
Father, there are situations where satan is at work! Send Your Spirit, Your angels to bring deliverance. You alone can read my mind, so You know where I mean. No permission is required for this! Jesus is Lord; greater is He than he who is in the world. Thank You Lord
Thursday 18th July
Heavenly Father, how strange it would be if I asked someone a favour, perhaps to bring something from a shop, and then I follow them, at a distance, watching to make sure they go to the right shop, looking to make sure they buy what I asked
You tell me to give You my burdens, to lay them down, but as soon as I do I try to pick them up again! I wrestle with You, unable to trust You. I ask You to help me, look to You for guidance, but don't wait to see what You do, don't listen to hear what You say. Is it that I don't believe You will do anything, that I doubt Your love for me?
Who has the power? Who has the wisdom? Who knows everything, sees everything? Who has the riches of Heaven at His disposal? Who can move the mountain? Who can cause the earth to quake? Not me, certainly not me
Who causes the sun to rise? Who caused the Son to rise? You do all this and more!
Even before I ask, You have started working on my behalf; even as I sleep. How can You prove the depth of Your love? Surely taking the nature of a servant, giving up Heaven, being made in human likeness is sufficient? Surely dying in my place is enough? Enough is enough!
Nothing in all creation can separate me from Your love in Christ Jesus. Let me be still, let me step back and see what You can do. A Psalm says "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" I have heard people say "Let go and let God". Help me to let go. Help me to leave things to You, knowing, trusting that You are working. Thank You
Wednesday 17th July
Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible coincidences that happen so often when we pray; which are not coincidences at all, they are the work of Your hand, Your Spirit, alive and active in the world
Of all the words that there are in the Bible, in the whole vocabulary, choosing two to offer someone yesterday, and then opening my devotional today and finding it is based entirely on those two words is surely more than a coincidence. Thank You for the reassurance that brings to me, and hopefully to the person concerned!
You are a great and awesome God, a loving Father who will move heaven and earth to help Your children. This is exactly what You have done for us, moving heaven, coming to the earth in the flesh, moving mountains of need in answering the call of people as You lived and walked among us
You continue to do this by the power of Your Spirit, answering prayers offered to You in all kinds of situations. Your love, so deep, so strong, causes You to act on our behalf
Answers sometimes come immediately, but others take time. One thing we can be certain of is that You are not simply observing what is happening, but that You are fully involved our lives; walking with us through times of trouble, lifting us up when we fall down, all through the storms Your love is the anchor, and we can put our hope and trust in You
Strengthen my faith, help my unbelief, so I may be still and know that You are God, Jesus is alive, my Saviour, and Your Spirit lives in me. Thank You Almighty God and Father
Tuesday 16th July
Heavenly Father, thank You for watching me with Your loving eye. Occasionally I have been asked to keep an eye open for something or someone. All sorts of things: a pan boiling on the cooker, the postman with a parcel, a house when a neighbour is away
But the most important thing we can ever be asked to keep an eye on is a human being, a child perhaps? We say "I won't let him (or her) out of my sight”. We watch with an 'eagle-eye' noticing the smallest movement, vigilant, spotting even the slightest danger or threat, lifting the child away from something, taking an object from them that they may try to swallow
You watch over me with Your loving eye and counsel me, guide me, and even though I am no longer a child, You still watch over me. You don't watch me with a policeman's eye, ready to arrest me when I break the Law. You do not look down at me from a judge's bench ready to pass sentence with me in the dock. You do not view me as an enemy, with suspicion, ready to pounce, ready to kill me. You watch over me as a loving Father, with a loving eye
Jesus was arrested instead of me, judged instead of me, handed over to His enemies instead of me, crucified instead of me. All through, You had Your loving eye on me
Lord Jesus, You did all this for me; You too had Your loving eye on me. From the cross, Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me". Your loving eye turned away. "For a brief moment I abandoned You, but with deep compassion I will bring You back". All for me? Thank You
Monday 15th July
Heavenly Father, where do we go when we do not know the answer to a problem, when we cannot see the way forward, when we do not know which way to turn?
There are many passages in the Bible that tell me which way to go:
Isaiah said, whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying "This is the way; walk in it"
Another passage in Numbers says “Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left”
A further passage in a Psalms tells me “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you”
Help me Father to be patient, help me to listen. It may be that You have blocked a path; if this is so, why would I want to go that way? Simply because it is tempting? Deliver me from evil
Thank You that You speak to me, a voice, Your voice, telling me which way to go, what to do. Thank You for Your counsel, thank You for the Counsellor, Your Spirit. For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Thank You for Jesus, He knows the way, He IS the Way
When I am stuck, I know where to go, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, You will answer, You will guide me. I know You are with me, I know You are for me, I know You not let me down but will lift me up so I can see beyond the problem. Your loving eye, thank You