Scripture reading for April 5th: Joshua 18-21, Psalm 15, Luke 18
Luke 18:1-8 “And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’ And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?””
Many times in our world it looks like the ‘bad guys’ always win. The circumstances of life are stacked against us. We look for an advocate, but they are few and far between. The woman in this parable of Jesus’ may have felt that way, but her faith caused her to appeal to the ‘unjust’ judge. She did this again and again and got his attention. The ‘unjust’ judge finally granted her justice just to get some peace. Now Jesus turned this parable around for us. God is not ‘unjust’ but the all-powerful Just and True Judge. We have been given access through prayer to His throne. Like the woman, we should be crying out day and night in faith, not fainting under the load of fear or trouble. Jesus promises a speedy answer! Why not believe Him and begin asking in faith?
Psalm 15:1-2 “O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; . .”
Prayer: Father God, the times we live in are filled with injustice and Your people are often mistreated. Give us more grace to pray instead of fainting. Help us to live by faith, despite hostile circumstances and persecution. We desire a ‘full inheritance’ and want to be found with faith when You return.
Joshua 19:49-50 “When they had finished distributing the several territories of the land as inheritances, the people of Israel gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun. By command of the Lord they gave him Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. And he rebuilt the city and settled in it.”
Scripture reading for February 2nd: Exodus 7-9, Psalm 105, Ephesians 1
Ephesians 1:16-20 “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, . . .’
As Paul began his letter to the Ephesian church, he recited to them the great blessings of salvation and then broke into prayer for them. Paul knew that prayer brought the Lord’s attention and action from heaven on earth. He did not ask for their temporal needs, however. He prayed for the Holy Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. He prayed for deeper understanding of God’s plans and purposes for them. He prayed for greater release of God’s power in their lives to bring transformation and the abundant life God provides. It was deeper thinking than Pharaoh’s pleading with Moses to have God remove the thunder and hail. Paul prayed for the life of joy and faith that results in eternal riches beyond our current understanding! He believed that God heard him and would act.
Exodus 9:27-28 “Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Plead with the Lord, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.”
Prayer: Father of Glory, Thank You for those in the Church family that you have used to pray for me and help me to grow in experiencing the joy and peace of the abundant life. Fill me again today with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. I offer my body to be used to share this knowledge and the power of the resurrection of Jesus to bring new life and transformation to those under God’s judgment.
Psalm 105:37, 43-44 “Then He brought out Israel with silver and gold, and there was none among His tribes that stumbled. ” . . “So He brought His people out with joy, His chosen ones with singing. And He gave them the lands of the nations.”
Scripture reading for July 6th: Matthew 6
Key Scriptures: Matthew 6:7-14 “”And when you pray do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by 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 debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.””
In this Sermon on the Mount, Jesus covered many topics, but focused in on prayer. Prayer was not to be endless repetitions of empty phrases, but should be short and concise and focused on the basics of everyday life. Prayer admits dependency and begins with worship. The disciple is to know and address God as “Our Father”. They are members of a family where the Father is the provider, protector, and mediator of trouble. The Father has plans and purposes that family members know and support in agreement and unity. The Father instructs His children to forgive others their debts just as each of them has been forgiven. If there is no forgiveness, there is no understanding of God’s amazing grace and God cannot give us grace either. It is not salvation by works however, but always salvation and forgiveness by grace alone through faith in God’s mercy offered through the Cross of Jesus Christ. Asking and receiving are all by faith.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for teaching us to pray simply for our basic needs. I need Your provisions for life and ministry, protection from evil and the evil one, mercy and forgiveness for my sins on a daily basis. I pray today this simple prayer: Our Father Who is in heaven, Hallowed by Your Name! Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, power and glory! Forever and ever! Amen!
Scripture reading for April 9th: Acts 4
Key Scriptures: Acts 4:27-31 “. . for truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, Whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the Name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God with boldness.”
Peter and John had just been before the Sanhedrin and were warned to never again speak or teach in the Name of Jesus. They told the Sanhedrin that they must listen to God and speak what they saw and heard from Him. After more severe warnings, they were let go for the man that was healed of his lameness from birth was over 40 years old. They went back to the gathering of disciples and shared what had happened. They all began to lift their voices in prayer and thanksgiving to God, declaring God’s plans and asking protection and power to speak His Word even more boldly! In answer, God shook the gathering place and they went out in great power.
Acts 4:33 “And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, shake my house and my church house as Your people gather to praise You and ask for more boldness! Work with us in signs and wonders to draw sinners to Jesus and heal broken people. Make me bold as the Lion of Judah! Amen! Let it be so!
Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Scripture reading for December 7th: Nehemiah 1-3, Revelation 5
Key Scriptures: Revelation 5:11-13 “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
Worship in heaven is awesome to behold and enter into. John was shown the throne room of heaven and the activity going on there. There was a seven-sealed scroll in the right hand of God. The question went out as to who was worthy to open the scroll and break the seals. No one in heaven or on earth was able to open the scroll or look in it. Then one of the elders spoke, “Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, has conquered, so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals.” As John looked, he saw “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain,” the Lord Jesus Christ alone was worthy! Worship flowed as Christ Jesus took the scroll!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy to receive all my worship, allegiance, and service, now and forever and ever! You are the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Lamb slain for my sins and the sins of the world.
Nehemiah 1:5-6 “And I said, “Oh Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God Who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those Who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant that I now pray before You day and night for the people of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against You. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.”
Scripture reading for October 15th: Lamentations, Psalm 137, 1st Peter 4
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 4:7-10 “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep on 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 grace; . .”
Peter recognized the signs of the last days in his last days on earth. He warned and encouraged the church to stay on track with their heavenly calling to honor Jesus Christ as Lord. They must be vigilant and watchful in order to pray effectively. They must major on love. Loving God with all the hearts and loving one another as the highest proof that Jesus is Lord. Love covers a multitude of sins. Christ Jesus demonstrates this selfless love when He died on the cross for our sins and now welcomes us into His household for eternity. We should serve others and show hospitality as He did.
Psalm 137:4-5 “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am watching for Your return and see the signs of the last days in my last days. Fill me again with Your Spirit of love and a servant’s heart that I might honor You and serve Your gracious purposes on earth.
Lamentations 3:21-23 “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Scripture reading for June 17th: Proverbs 26-28, 1st Thessalonians 3
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 3:9-13 “For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
Paul had been encouraged by the report from Timothy concerning the faith and steadfastness of the Thessalonians. It gave him great joy and comfort to know that the tempter, Satan, had not been successful in his tricks. But as a true pastor, he longed to return and further instruct them in God’s Word and see their faith increase. He entrusted them to the Father and the Lord Jesus to help them grow and abound in love. He prayed that their hearts would be blameless before God when Jesus Christ returned. Without holiness, no one can stand before the Lord.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word and the working of holiness into my heart by the Holy Spirit. Help me today to grow in faith and love towards You and my brothers and sisters that I may be able to stand before You when You come again. Hide me in Jesus Christ on the Day of Christ.
Proverbs 27:12 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
Scripture reading for June 2nd: 1st Kings 3, 2nd Chronicles 1, Psalm 42, Romans 8
Key Scriptures: Romans 8:26-29 “Likewise 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. And He Who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
Paul wrote to the Romans concerning God’s help for each believer through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Spirit bears witness that we are God’s children and God is our Father. The Holy Spirit helps us to pray when we are weak and don’t know how to pray. The Spirit knows all things we are going through and He knows the mind and will of God. When the Spirit intercedes, all things will work out for good to those who love God and are called of God. Faith arises inside us for calling, justification and ultimate glorification in the image of Jesus Christ!
Psalm 42:8 “By day the Lord commands His steadfast love, and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.”
Faith confession and prayer: Thank You Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I pray in the Holy Spirit to build my faith and believe all things are working out for my ultimate and eternal good and Your glory! Give me daily wisdom and conform me to Christ’s image!
1st Kings 3:9 “”Give Your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern Your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this Your great people?””
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.”