Living Stones

Nehemiah 4:6-7, 13-15
“So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.  But when [the officials] heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry…Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest point of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.  After I looked things over, I stood up and said to…the people, ‘Don’t be afraid of them.  Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.’  When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.”

1 Peter 2:4-5a
“As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house…”

Jude 1:20-21
“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

Lord God, you are the rock that breathes upon us and encompasses us with love.

living stoneWhen you are our foundation we take our life from you, and your love, like animated mortar, joins us to our brothers and sisters.

Build us into a worthy home for your Spirit, holy and beautiful.  Give us the courage to repair the enemy’s damage and fight for our spiritual family.

All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our living Stone, who rose from death’s rubble as the rock of our salvation.

Listen to ‘For All the Saints’ featuring Dan Haseltine

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Wisdom

1 Kings 3:5, 9a, 10, 12a, 13
“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’  Solomon answered, ‘…give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.’…The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.  So God said to him, ‘…I will do what you have asked…Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.’”

Mark 6:1-3a
“Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples.  When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.  ‘Where did this man get these things?’ they asked.  ‘What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!  Isn’t this the carpenter?’”

James 1:5
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

All-knowing One, the depths of your thoughts are beyond all mark or measure.

wisdomThe gift of discernment is a treasure worth more than the earthly rewards we strive for.  By its majestic presence a king may hope to resemble a carpenter.

Overshadow our foolish dreams with a vision of your profound understanding.  Transform our desires so that we abandon our self-advancement and seek only to be wise.

Humbly we ask this in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who pleased you with his wisdom and served us with his love.

Listen to ‘Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise‘ by Jaron and Katherine Kamin

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Coal

James 3:5-6
“Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

Isaiah 6:1b, 5-7
“…I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple…‘Woe to me!’ I cried.  ‘I am ruined!  For I am a man of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’  Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.  With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’”

Romans 10:8b-10
“‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:  That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Holy and beautiful are you, Lord God Almighty.

coalBy our untamed words we are guilty of igniting a blaze that burns foul and black.  Sin smoulders in our rebellious speech.

Touch our lips with forgiving fire.  May the coal of our confession that ‘Jesus is Lord’ refine and restore us.

Hear us for the sake of this atoning name that purifies the pyres we have set to flame.

Listen to ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ by City Hymns

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Anchor

Jonah 1:4-6, 10b
“Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.  All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god.  And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.  But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, ‘How can you sleep?  Get up and call on your god!  Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.’…(They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)”

Acts 27:14, 18, 21a, 22a, 25b
“Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the ‘northeaster,’ swept down from the island…We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard…After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: ‘Men…I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost…I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.’”

Hebrews 6:18b-20a
“…we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.”

Lord God, you ride over the earth on the wings of the wind.

If we refuse to cry out to you, we are tossed and terrified in the storm.  When our hope is anchored in your word, we sail through disaster in deep calm.

AnchorLike links in a chain, let our constant prayers secure us to solid ground.  May we boast in the weight of your glory and live to see the desperate saved.

In Christ’s name we pray, our Saviour who sank beneath the waves that we might rest in heaven’s harbour.

Listen to ‘Anchored’ (track 6) by Enfield

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Salt

Psalm 34:8a
“Taste and see that the Lord is good…”

Matthew 5:13a
“‘You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?’”

Jeremiah 29:4, 7
“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:…seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Gracious Lord, in your rich goodness you welcome us to your banqueting table.

By feasting with you we become infused with the flavour of your grace.  As we find satisfaction in you, our hearts are seasoned with the desire to serve.

saltPour us out as spiritual salt in cities that have lost the taste for you.  May we dissolve to self and stimulate a palate for peace in a hostile world.

In Christ’s name, who with his blood and sweat salted our earth, be merciful and hear our prayer.

Listen to ‘O Great God‘ by Dave Hunt

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Asleep

Mark 4:36a, 37-38
“Leaving the crowd behind, they took [Jesus] along, just as he was, in the boat…A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’”

Matthew 26:36, 39-40
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’…Going a little further, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.’  Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.  ‘Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?’”

Psalm 121:3-4
“He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

Saving God, with eternal vigilance you care for your people.

Gripped by fear, we desperately try to preserve our lives and feel you are absent.  Lulled by indifference, we abandon you when you are fighting for our souls.

asleep Give us faith to rest in the storm.  Give us fortitude to stay attentive to your calling through the dark watches of the night.

We ask this in the name of Christ, who was strong enough to sleep in death so that we might wake with him to eternal life.

 

Listen to ‘Hiding Place’ by Matthew Monticcio, featuring Brooke Annibale

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Yoke

1 Kings 12:3b-4, 6a, 7-8, 10-11
“…the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke…and we will serve you.”…Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon….They replied, ‘If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them…they will be your servants.’  But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him…[They] replied, ‘Tell these people…‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist.  My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier.  My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’’”

Matthew 11:28-30
“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’”

Psalm 68:19
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”

Humble King, you rule by serving us with undeserved compassion.

We burden you with our insincerity and our ceaseless complaints.  In return you reach down to lift the heavy loads we bear.

yokeCall us into your kingdom to save us from the weary toil of self-sovereignty.  Place your gentle yoke upon our bruised shoulders and take from us the weight of wilfulness.

We lay our prayers at the throne of the One who bore our scourging sin to ease our crushing burdens.

Listen to ‘Why So Heavy?’ by Red Mountain Music

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