Daily Share-a-Prayer w/e 30/06/2019
Worship Leader, All Saints Church, Belton
Sunday 30th June
Heavenly Father, two expressions used in sport seem to contradict one another, one is "keep your eye on the ball" and the other is when a player is accused of "ball watching" having lost awareness of the position of an opponent. I guess I am trying to do what Jesus did and use this as an analogy to understand something about spiritual warfare
If I need to keep my eye on the ball, what does that mean in my life? What do I need to keep my eye on? I need to keep my eye on Jesus, I need to keep my eye on the Truth, I need to keep a grip on reality, I need to listen carefully to what You are saying to me through Your Holy Spirit and through my teammates, other Christians
I need to keep my eye on what You are doing and work alongside You to achieve what You are setting out to accomplish. At the same time, ah, I think I get it, at the same time I need to be aware of the enemy
I do not need to fear him, I do not need to focus on him, but I do need to know where he is, be aware of his schemes, his tactics, his strengths and weaknesses. His main tactic, his only real way of working is through lies, he will try to deceive me, try to tempt me
Also he will try to work behind my back, so I need to be aware of what is going on around me
His weakness? Jesus! Praise and worship! He cannot stand to be in Your presence as I worship You, sing Your praises. When I submit to You, my Father in Heaven, to Jesus my Lord, to You, Holy Spirit, the enemy is defeated, he has to flee. Thank You, I am on Your team! A winner!
Saturday 29th June
Heavenly Father, You tell us that the Church is built upon Christ, that He is the Beginning and the End, the Foundation Stone, the Cornerstone, and as we come to Him, the Living Stone, rejected by us but chosen by You, we also are like living stones
We are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to You through Jesus
I wonder if it is purely coincidental that the word Church has Ch at the beginning (Christ) and Ch at the end and You have said we are to be in the middle, UR. CH-UR-CH. I hear You saying to every one of Your children "You are Church!"
Thank You for involving each one of us in Your work, encouraging us to join in with You. I find it fascinating that when we join in Your work UR there again, YOUR. Thank You that each one of us is valued by You, that each one of us has been carefully chosen by You for the works You have planned
Father, forgive me for the times I move to places I am not meant to be, the wrong place at the wrong time, forgive me my trespasses. You know where You want me to be in Your Spiritual House, Your Church, and as a living stone You can tell me to move to where You want me to be
Thank You for cementing us together, giving us unity, (You-nity?) building us on a solid foundation. The Church's One Foundation is Jesus Christ, our Lord; help us to stay central, to stay centred on Jesus. What a privilege to be part of Your Church, a child of God
Father live in me today, a Living Stone with a heart of flesh
Friday 28th June
Heavenly Father, I wonder, although I doubt it very much, if Samuel Crossman would ever have thought that some words he wrote in 1664 would bring tears to my eyes as I sang them in a field in Burgh Castle in 2019; "O who am I, that for my sake, my Lord should take frail flesh and die?"
Similarly, I doubt if John Newton would have realised that "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me" published in 1799, would be sung at weddings and funerals so regularly 200 years later and be a hit song for Judy Collins in 1970
I wonder if it ever occurred to St Paul that letters he wrote to believers in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, etc. would become part of Scripture and give guidance to millions, even billions of people throughout the years since he wrote them
Thank You for all the words that have been written, the Bible, hymns, songs of praise, books that tell of Your love for us and in particular the love You have shown us through Jesus, Your Word to us
Thank You that You continue to inspire people today to write new song lyrics and music that bless us, helping us to understand and begin to appreciate the depth of Your love for us
I wonder still about King David’s "The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want; He makes me down to lie in pastures green He leadeth me, the quiet waters by". So many inspired words he wrote that we now know as Psalms! Did he realise the power of his words and that they would inspire so many songwriters and musicians?
Father, thank You, inspired, in Spirit
Thursday 27th June
Heavenly Father, there was a time when the words "Careless talk costs lives" were seen in railway stations, in newspapers, on advertising hoardings, and used as a catchphrase between people in their everyday chatter
We don't seem to use the phrase these days and yet it is just as true today and has always been true according to Your Word. You tell us "No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison"
As children, we may have been taught "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". What a lie, a downright lie, so we know where it comes from. Words can so easily be harmful, hurtful, spiteful, destructive; they can even cost lives
A tongue lashing can be just as damaging as a whip lashing, even more so, creating wounds that cannot be seen but go very deep and are difficult to heal. Nasty, vindictive words can make life unbearable so sometimes people simply opt out
Right from the start lies have been at the heart of our problems, the root, when the snake told us we would not die if we ate the forbidden fruit. Now we know all about evil and the world suffers the consequences to this day
However, by the power of Your Spirit alive in us, we can be different! You tell us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You tell us to forgive as we have been forgiven and to build up one another with words that are encouraging, compassionate and loving
Father, help my mouth to speak in the Way pleasing to You
Wednesday 26th June
Heavenly Father, thank You that I benefit from the consequence of Your action in creating the world and everything in it
Thank You that I benefit from the consequence of Your action in coming into the world
Thank You that I benefit from the consequences of Jesus' actions: His death on the cross paying for my sins, His words of forgiveness over my life as He hung there dying and later sending His Holy Spirit to meet with me
I realise that I do often suffer from the consequences of my own actions but also that so often I do not suffer those consequences because others forgive me for what I have done, and You forgive me for what I have done
The enemy tries to tell me I must pay for what I have done and that he has a hold on my life. He is a liar. You tell me that everything I have ever done, all that I will ever do has already been paid for by Jesus on the cross, that my life is in Your hands. As far as the east is from the west, so far have You removed our transgressions from us, all who believe and trust in Jesus
Of course there are consequences for my actions, You do not simply wipe out history, but all I can do is submit myself to You, do those things You have planned knowing the consequences will be for my good and for the benefit of others, and that the consequences may well be more than temporal, but eternal
I know that in all things You are working for good for those who love You, who are called according to Your purpose. May Your will be done in my life, here on earth, as it is in Heaven
Tuesday 25th June
Heavenly Father, when I was praying yesterday I mentioned that if the brakes failed on a car it may be because an enemy had interfered with them. I found myself thinking that I am glad I don't have such an enemy when I think I heard You say to me, very quietly, two words "You do"
Of course I do, the enemy, the adversary, the liar, the deceiver, the snake, satan. He is the enemy who would try to make my life lose control, who would wish to bring disaster, who would want me to jump. He is the one who would have me believe there is no escape and that a crash is inevitable
Thank You Father for reminding me about the enemy, but even more so for reminding me of the great Truth "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world". Jesus! Yes, in this life I will have trouble, but I can take heart because You have overcome the world! Jesus!
Thank You for what You have done for us, making us more than conquerors. Jesus!
Thank You that there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from Your love because we are in Christ Jesus
Thank You that even though the enemy prowls around, roaring like a lion looking for someone to devour, when I submit to You and resist him, he has to flee
Thank You that I can put on all the armour You have provided, all I need, to resist the devil's schemes; Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, Shoes of the Gospel, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation, Sword of the Spirit. Even death, the final enemy, has been defeated
Thank You for the cross, for Jesus
Monday 24th June
Heavenly Father, I've seen more than once scenes in films where a car is going down a steep hill and a driver puts their foot down on the brake but nothing happens, the brakes fail. As the car picks up speed the driver wrestles with the steering wheel desperately trying to keep the car on the road, all the while pumping the foot on the brake pedal hoping that somehow, miraculously the brake will start to operate. The reason the brake does not work is usually because some enemy has tampered with it!
As the terrifying ordeal continues, there always seem to be mountainous cliffs with stones flying over the edge, the car simply gets faster and faster and the conclusion seems inevitable. Occasionally the driver decides to open the door and make a jump to minimise the damage, assuming the enemy hasn't also messed with the door! Usually the car goes over a cliff, hits a tree or a lorry coming the other way; I have never yet seen it reach the bottom of the hill and simply roll to a stop
What an awful picture, and yet sometimes life can seem exactly like that, out of control, disaster being the inevitable outcome. No-one ever prays in the films, but in real life, You are always there, sitting in the passenger seat, listening, talking, guiding
While we do have an enemy who wants us to think that disaster is inevitable and there is no way out, the reality is there is a Way, that is the Truth, there is Life
Father, thank You, that You travel with us. Sometimes only You can put the brakes on. Slow me down!