Scripture reading for May 21st: 2nd Samuel 13-14, Acts 28
Key Scriptures: Acts 28:7-10 “Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him. And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They also honored us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.”
Paul and the two hundred seventy-five others on the ship all made it in safely to shore from the shipwreck. The ruler, Publius, received them and took care of them for three days. Paul found out the Publius’ father was sick with a fever and dysentery and visited him and laid hands on him praying for his healing. God answered and the sick people from the island flocked to Paul for prayer and all were cured! This brought great joy to the people and those ship-wrecked were loaded with blessings when they were ready to leave.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great generosity to heal those who are sick, regardless of race, color or creed. Empower me today to act in faith, praying for those who are sick and in need. Pour out Your blessings on the outcasts and give them life!
2nd Samuel 14:14 “We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and He devises means to that the banished one will not remain an outcast.”
Scripture reading for April 30th: 1st Samuel 18-19, 1st Chronicles 3, Psalm 59, Acts 13
Key Scriptures: Acts 13:1-3 “Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”
The early church sought the will of God by fasting, prayer and worship. In the gathering of believers, some had the gift of prophesy and spoke prophetically to the believers concerning Saul and Barnabas. God had already revealed to them a calling to preach to the Gentiles and now their calling was confirmed during a prayer meeting. The church responded by obediently commissioning them through the laying on of hands.
Psalm 59:17 “O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for You, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, You alone have prepared the good works that You want me to do. Help me daily to see each day’s portion of Your plan as I worship and pray to You alone. Thank You that You are with me always!
1st Samuel 18:14 “And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him.”
Scripture reading for April 9th: Judges 7-8, Luke 22
Key Scriptures: Luke 22:40-45 “And when He come to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if Your are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, . . “
Jesus went to His designated place of prayer and asked His disciples to watch and pray with Him to avoid temptation. He withdrew by Himself and was praying with great agony and intensity, asking His Father to remove the cup of coming suffering, if it were possible. But Jesus submitted completely to the Father’s will. An angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him. He prayed again, more passionately than ever, even to the point that drops of His blood mingled with sweat coming from His brow. When He returned, He found sleeping disciples!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, You alone can deliver me from evil and temptation. Thank You for the Holy Spirit and the strength You give. Help me to be watchful and in prayer for me and my family as the terrible times of trouble come in these last days. Keep me from the snares of this world.
Judges 8:27 “And Gideon made an ephod of it (gold spoil), and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.”
Scripture reading for March 5th: Numbers 8-11, Colossians 1
Key Scriptures: Colossians 1:9-12 “And so from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
Paul prayed for the believers he had been told about, asking God for spiritual gifting and increased understanding and knowledge of God. He knew God was glorified when they would produce fruit as a result of knowing His will and doing it. Growth spiritually is not always instantaneous, but requires patience and endurance through many setbacks and obstacles. Prayer is the best thing we can do for new believers–and older saints!
Numbers 11:24-25 “So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. As soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.”
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit and wisdom today that I might speak Your Word with boldness and understanding. Thank You for the prayers of Paul that inspire me to pray for myself and others.
Scripture reading for November 12th: 1st Peter 4, Psalm 79-80, Proverbs 10
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 4:7-11 “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Peter encouraged the church to keep a sober attitude for the purpose of prayer as the last days counted down. Finishing well is important in the race of life and for the Christ-follower. Whatever we do, in word or deed, all must be done for God’s glory. He alone is worthy of all glory and dominion! Amen!
Faith Confession: I recognize we are living in the last of the last days and will continue to pray for God’s wisdom and strength to do all He has directed me to bring glory to Him alone. Praise His Holy Name!
Proverbs 10:29-30 “The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers. The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land.”
Scripture reading for May 13th: Acts 6, Psalm 95, Proverbs 2
Key Scriptures: Acts 6:2-6 “And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the Word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, . . .”
As the number of believers multiplied and diversified, the apostles soon felt the need to multiply the leadership and spread out the duties of pastoral care. They gathered all the disciples and shared their priority of prayer and preaching God’s Word. They also shared their solution–the appointment of Spirit-filled helpers to serve the widows. They chose seven men–full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom to come along side and serve. Character was more important than talent.
Faith Confession: Thank You Lord for this insightful record of how You helped the leaders in Your church to keep their priorities straight and chose helpers full of the Spirit and wisdom. Give me wisdom to multiply those serving Your church.
Proverbs 2:6-8 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.”
Scripture reading for September 11th: Proverbs 15-18, Colossians 4
Key Scriptures: Colossians 4:2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it, with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Believers are to be people of prayer. Pastors and missionaries need prayer and ask for it. Paul’s specific request was for open doors to preach God’s Word, the Gospel. He asked for boldness and clarity of speech for himself and for those he was writing to. Salt seasoning of speech is for all believers.
Proverbs 15:1-2 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”
Prayer: Lord, I ask You for open doors for Your Word today. May my speech be bold for you yet filled with wisdom and compassion, seasoned with salt by the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 27th: 1st Kings 7-10, John 17
Key Scriptures: John 17:13-15 “But now I am coming to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but them You keep them from the evil one.”
Jesus prayed for Himself, His disciples, and those who would believe as a result of their message. He stated that He had given them His Father’s Word. This would result in the hatred of the world and their need of protection from the evil one, Satan. Protection would come through prayer and the Father’s power.
1st Kings 8:44-45 “If Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for Your Name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.”
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for Your Word and answers to our prayers and the prayer of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Keep me from the world and the evil one today. Amen.
Scripture reading for January 12th: Genesis 32-35, Matthew 10
Key Scriptures: Matthew 10:34-38 “”Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.””
Jesus was talking to His disciples after He had sent them out two by two to the land of Israel. He warned them of the spiritual conflict they and future generations of believers would face. Our love for Jesus must surpass all other relationships! Conflict is inevitable! God will protect and bless His own!
Genesis 32:9-11 “And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that You have shown to Your servant. . . . .Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But You said, ‘I will surely do you good . . .'”
Prayer: Lord, we are weak when it comes to facing opposition, especially from our own family. May we be encouraged and made bold through Your Word and example. Protect our family by Your blood. Amen