Silver

Zechariah 11:13
“And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—the handsome price at which they valued me!  So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.”

Matthew 27:3-4
“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty coins to the chief priests and the elders.  ‘I have sinned,’ he said, ‘for I have betrayed innocent blood.’”

Titus 1:15-16a
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.  In fact, both their minds and their consciences are corrupted.  They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.”

Righteous God, your storehouses are vast and filled with grace.

silverWe have marred our minds with greed and for a pittance—a shiny moment of self-satisfaction—we have traded our souls.  To soothe our pride we barter with your name until we have reduced you to a commodity that benefits us.

Restore our purity, Lord.  Reverse the betrayals we have indulged in and let the currency of our daily transactions be solely love for you and love for others.

We are humbled that we are given permission to ask this because Jesus, at the cost of his priceless blood, purchased back the once worthless souls we sold.

Listen to ‘Judas Song (Psalm 41:9-10)‘ by Green Carpet Players

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Planted

Ezekiel 36:8-10a, 11b
“But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home.  I am concerned for you and will look upon you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you…I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before.  Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

Psalm 65:9-13
“You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.  The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.  You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.  You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.  The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.  The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.”

Matthew 13:23
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hear the word and understands it.  This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Lord of the harvest, you show your love for the land by tending it gently.

All that is chaff and stubble you turn into nourishment for spent soil.  With softening rain you bring to life ground gone stale and dry.

plantedPlough our hard hearts in preparation to receive the seed you plant.  With compassion till our fallow places into rich, rejoicing furrows.

We pray in the gracious name of Jesus, who by his season sown in death promises a great year of abundance.

Listen to ‘Mountains of Mercy’ by Grace Worship

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Tears

Isaiah 25:8 (NCV)
“…he will destroy death forever.  The Lord God will wipe away every tear from every face.  He will take away the shame of his people from the earth.  The Lord has spoken.”

Luke 7:12-13
“As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.  And a large crowd from the town was with her.  When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry.’”

Revelation 21:3-4
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’”

God of great compassion, you love us with an eternal love.

You do not look lightly on the sorrows of your children, but you place your hand upon our streaming, salty faces and know our deep pain.

tearsDraw us close to your vulnerable heart so that our weeping releases your great comfort.  Reassure us once again that you long for the day when you will dry our tears forever.

Thank-you for the gift of a Comforter to be with us, and for the one who took every heartache upon himself so that we will one day exchange tears for everlasting laughter.

Listen to ‘All My Tears’ by Sojourn

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Sleep

Genesis 2:20b-22
“But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.”

Acts 12:6-7
“The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.  Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell.  He struck Peter on the side and woke him up.  ‘Quick, get up!’ he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.”

Ephesians 5:14b
“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Saviour of all, you are the God of quiet miracles.

As we rest, you restore.  Our participation in your new creation is to surrender our restless efforts and await your touch.

sleep

Grant us the faith to lie down in peace when all remains unresolved.  Awaken us in your time and call us to a new obedience.

We ask this in the name of Christ, who from the sleep of death brought salvation, and drew life from his wounded side.

Listen to ‘All Praise to Thee My God This Night’ by Wendall Kimbrough & Friends

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Appointed

Exodus 18:17-21
“Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘…The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.  Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.  You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him…But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials…’”

Acts 6:2-4
“So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.  Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will turn this responsibility over to them…’”

Ephesians 2:10
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Lord and Leader, you are the designer of each act of justice and mercy.

appointedYour will is to draw us into full participation in your kingdom.  To this end you have chosen us as your divine delegates—displaying your workmanship by administering good works.

In joy may we respond to your calling, so that the gifts we have been given may be fully used to serve the needy children of God.  Appoint us to acts of creative compassion.

May our prayer be heard for the sake of your Son, chosen before the world began to accomplish the greatest work of all—the restoration of a pure relationship with you.

Listen to ‘Take My Life and Let It Be’ by Phillip Sandifer

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Throne

Psalm 89:14-15
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.  Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.”

Zechariah 6:13
“It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed in majesty and will sit and rule on his throne.  And he will be a priest on his throne.  And there will be harmony between the two.”

Hebrews 4:16
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

All hail to you, Almighty King, sovereign of this footstool earth.

throneFrom the dais of high justice, yours is the privilege to banish the corrupt.  At your right hand sits our royal priest, beckoning us forward as beloved subjects of the kingdom.

Reign supreme in our hearts as we kneel before your majesty.  By grace may we touch your throne as we offer up our reverent requests.

Boldly we pray in the name of Christ, who willingly abdicated his crown to grant us a hearing with the Father.

Listen to ‘Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace’ by Red Mountain Music

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Martyr

Matthew 5:43-44
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”

Acts 7:59-8:1
“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’  Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’  When he had said this, he fell asleep.  And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.”

1 Timothy 1:16-17
“But for that very reason I [Paul] was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen.”

Eternal God, you love without end and Christ patiently intercedes even for your enemies.

martyr

Countless times we have persecuted you, appointing ourselves as master and judge.  We hurl stones of rejection when we are confronted by the truth of the only King.

Forgive us, and by your Spirit help us forgive those who oppose us.  As in death Stephen prayed for the oppresser who would become an apostle, take our small martyrdoms and advance your kingdom.

For the sake of Christ, the best of men, we come as the worst of sinners and receive the prayer of forgiveness from his dying lips.

Listen to ‘Jesus I My Cross Have Taken‘ by Dave Hunt

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , ,