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Daily Share-a-Prayer w/e 19/07/2020

Derek Mill
Worship Leader, All Saints Church, Belton


Sunday 19th July


Heavenly Father, I have heard it said occasionally that some people come to church because, "They always put on a good show"
In some places of worship there will be a church choir, even cathedral choirs with professional singers, singing the most beautiful music which is filled with words of scripture, but what You will be looking at will be the hearts of the people, in the choir and the congregation. In beautiful robes and having practised and rehearsed the music to perfection for a breathtaking performance You may well be unimpressed, even hating what You hear!
"The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart".  Unless the worship, the music, the singing, the words are genuine, reverent, in awe of You, filled with Your Spirit, they are pointless, meaningless, in vain.  Jesus quoted Isaiah to the scribes and Pharisees when they came to Him, "These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules"
We are told we must worship in Spirit and in Truth, bow our heads, kneel before You. Putting on a good show means nothing unless we, "Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up"
Father, may our worship be genuine so You can lift us up
songs for today:
Come, Now Is The Time To Worship performed by Craig and Dean Phillips

We Bow Down performed by Robin Mark
He Leadeth Me performed by Fountainview Academy

Saturday 18th July

Heavenly Father, I found myself asking You, or myself, another question, "How far am I prepared to go?"
For many years I have known and sung a song which has the chorus, "Here I am wholly available, as for me I will serve the Lord." About the first few words I found myself thinking, "Unless I am holy, available, I can do nothing." Your Word tells us, "Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord"
If I want to be available I need to be holy, and wholly available, so how far am I prepared to go? Joshua said, "...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord".  Joshua fought and won the battle of Jericho, but he did so by being obedient to You and Your instructions; simply going and doing as You said
Following Jesus can throw up many challenges, sometimes actual, physical challenges; sometimes spiritual; in my mind, what do I believe, what should I do? There are three enemies: the world, the devil, and the flesh

When tempted by the world I must flee, run away; don't go there in the first place!
When the devil tempts me, in my mind, I must submit to You, my God, trust the Word, trust Jesus and the enemy must go; no doubt he will return at some stage
And the flesh, my own body and its cravings? I can deny myself one day, but it is back the next; it cannot be cast out

Help me to trust and obey You. I can do all things, (go all the Way?) through Christ who strengthens me. Thank You
song for today:
Here I Am performed by Chris Bowater

Friday 17th July

Heavenly Father, I once again found myself asking You a question yesterday as I walked round the village, "Who is pulling the strings?"  
I know it cannot be You as there are no strings attached with You. The enemy however, the devil, will constantly try to manipulate me, lead me away from You. Every lie of the enemy has strings attached. He would tie me in knots given the chance
Jesus said of the devil, "When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies".  I know I cannot blame the devil for everything as I am quite capable of deceiving myself!  Your Word tells me, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure
Who can understand it?"  Jesus said, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of"
The enemy has no compassion and will even tug at my heartstrings to put anything he can between You and me. He would have me believe there is nothing more important than family, health, financial security, home. While these things may be important, nothing is more important than You. When I put You first, everything else falls into place.  Jesus said, "Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well"
Father, cut all strings attached to me so I can walk with You freely. Create in me a clean heart full of Your goodness and love, ready and able to do Your will. What a storehouse!
songs for today:
Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God performed by Maranatha! Praise Band
You Raise Me Up performed by BYU Vocal Point (Josh Groban A Cappella cover) 


Thursday 16th July

Heavenly Father, when bad things happen to us, sometimes we say, "That's the story of my life"
Is this the Truth? Is this the Way of life? Is this Life in all fullness? Your Word assures me that Your plan for my life is not one of bad things happening one after another. "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"
Yes, life will throw up many challenges.  Jesus told us, "In this life you will have trouble".  However, You do not leave us alone in our time of trouble, You are with us to comfort us, You are with us to strengthen us, You are with us to guide us in our time of trouble. A mountain may be before me and I can turn away if I choose, defeated before I begin "That's the story of my life"
Or I can harness myself to You and climb the mountain, overcome the mountain and then declare, "That's the story of my life!"  Your Spirit in me has the strength and power I need to win every battle before me.  Am I defeated? Your Word tells me, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us".  I am prosperous when I live my life in You
Father, You are not far from any one of us, for in You, "we live and move and have our being".  You are not a negative God, You are a positive God!  You are not against us, You are for us.  Purify my heart, cleanse me from within, transform me by the renewing of my mind to find Your good, pleasing, and perfect will, to find I have hope and a future. Thank You
song for today:
Purify My Heart (Refiner's Fire) performed by Brian Doerksen


Wednesday 15th July

Heavenly Father, there is a TV programme in the UK where a member of the public is surprised in some way and is then invited to sing on stage as the "Unexpected Star of the Show!"  The person has usually been set up for this by their parents, spouse, or friends
Lord Jesus, when I was praying online with a friend yesterday it came up that in some ways You were the Unexpected Star of the Show!  Despite all prophetic words given to indicate how the Messiah would come, a Suffering Servant, born of a virgin, who would not break a bruised reed, a Prince of Peace, riding on a donkey, and many more prophecies, still someone different was expected!  You were 'set-up' to be the Unexpected Star by Your Father, but You knew all about what was going to happen; You told the disciples what was going to happen and You told them You had come to lay down Your life, willingly, of Your own accord
So Father, perhaps it should come as no surprise that You want our lives to be like that of the Servant King?  "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance"
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that we can come to our Father in Heaven for help?  "Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need".  Whatever trials we face we can come confidently to You to receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need and thus persevere
song for today:
From Heaven You Came: The Servant King performed by Pierre-Nicolas De Katow, Christine Reymond


Tuesday 14th July

Heavenly Father, thank You for the unexpected!  When I started on this journey with Jesus I had no idea where it would lead; in fact I did not even know I was on a journey with Him.  I had a different path in mind
My first aim was to destroy what I believed was "the myth of Christ, the fairy tale of the Bible".  Little did I realise I would find the Truth, not a myth.  Little did I know that little did I know!  In my arrogance I thought I knew it all when the reality was I knew nothing
The unexpected happened, as it did for Saul on the road to Damascus, and my life changed.  In looking into Your Word, to demonstrate it was all nonsense, I found myself realising that it made total sense.  (Is it just coincidence that Paul found himself on Straight Street?!)  My crooked way was set straight by the Truth
Saul, who became Paul, had his life changed by Jesus, from being persecutor of the church he became an apostle for the church.  From seeking to destroy the church he became one of the builders of the church, laying Christ as the foundation stone everywhere he went
Unexpected, You changed my life, from seeking to destroy to seeking to build my life on Your Foundation Stone, Jesus
Thank You for opening my eyes, as You opened Paul's
Thank that You did not write me off but wrote me down in Your Book of Life.  From destruction to resurrection, only Jesus can do this!  
Thank You, because He lives I can face tomorrow, and today
Such love was undeserved.  Such love is what You have for us.  Such love was unexpected
song for today:
Because He Lives (Amen) (an unexpected version?)


Monday 13th July

Heavenly Father, when I was praying yesterday, I mentioned the time when a woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus by the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, saying she should be stoned and it got me thinking "I wonder why only the woman was brought?"  As we often hear said, "It takes two to tango"
I suspect some things have not changed in over two thousand years; is there still one rule for them, women, and a different rule for us, men?  Are women treated as second class citizens?  Or worse?  Forgive me Lord for making any distinction by gender, or indeed by any other criteria, be it race, colour, nationality, wealth, profession, status.  You make no distinction between us as we are all equally valuable in Your sight; You did not come to the earth to die just for one group of people but for all people
How highly should we regard people, every person?  Regarding wives, You tell us, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..."  We should love our wives so much that we should be prepared to sacrifice ourselves for them, even to the point of death!
You tell us not to think too highly of ourselves, saying, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of others".  Each of us should use whatever gift we have received to serve others!  Forgive me for not doing this.  Help me to love and serve You and other people first.  Thank You
song for today:
Here I Am Lord / I, The Lord of Sea and Sky performed by John Michael Talbot



all songs (usually with lyrics) and talks courtesy of YouTube


image courtesy of