1 Samuel 17:34a, 37a, 38-39
“But David said to Saul, ‘…The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’…Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic.  He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.  David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.  ‘I cannot go in these,’ he said to Saul, ‘because I am not used to them.’  So he took them off.”

Matthew 26:50b-52
“Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.  With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.  ‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.’”

Ephesians 6:10-13
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…”

Almighty God, your word has dominion over all the enemies of your kingdom.

Our weapons fail in the great fight between holiness and violence.  Darkness pierces armour we have forged in our own strength.

armourMay we advance only in your power, wielding swords of truth to breach the ranks of evil.  Shield us with an impenetrable faith.

We kneel in service to the name of Jesus Christ, who died by the sword so that we may live by the Spirit.

Listen to ‘Strong Salvation’ (track 2) by Enfield

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Esther 2:5-7, 8b, 15, 17
“Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai…who had been carried into exile…Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up…This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died…Esther also was taken to the king’s palace…When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted…) to go to the king…[she] won the favor of everyone who saw her…Now the king was attracted to Esther…So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen…”

Ephesians 1:4b-6
“In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

Romans 8:15b
“…the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”

Good Father, you demonstrate your love to the homeless and the helpless.

adoptedYou have included us as precious members of your household.  Because of your concern we are orphans made royalty.

Help us comprehend the honour and privilege we enjoy as your adopted children.  May we grasp the goodness you have entitled us to as heirs of your salvation.

This we ask in the name of Jesus our brother, through whom we have been rescued and placed in a palace.

Listen to ‘Jesus is Yours’ by Ordinary Time

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Luke 6:47-49
“As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.  They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.  When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.  But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.  The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

1 Corinthians 3:10b-11
“But each one should build with care.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Hebrews 3:6
“But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”

Lord of all, you are the immovable God who moves with mercy towards us.

foundationWe leave behind the soft work of sand to carve our footings into your solid truth.  When tested by the torrent we find your word outlasts the storm.

Anchor us deeply into the rock of Christ.  May we build sheltering places upon the granite of your grace to house the dislodged prodigal.

In the sure name of Christ we pray, the foundation we fix upon and the cornerstone that brings us to life.

Listen to ‘How Firm a Foundation’ (track 9) by Enfield

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Ecclesiastes 2:10-11
“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.  My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.  Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

Hebrews 12:1b-3
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

2 Timothy 4:7
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Mighty God, your presence is our ultimate goal and only resource.

We have pursued trophies as insubstantial as the breeze.  The chase has wearied our hearts.

raceBe our focus to ensure we run the race with consistent purpose.  Lay a course before us that finishes only to begin a new and everlasting joy.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, who persevered through pain because he prized us as his reward.

Listen to ‘Higher Ground’ by the Hymn Remix Project

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Daniel 2:47
“The king said to Daniel, ‘Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.’”

Colossians 2:2-3
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

1 Timothy 3:16
“Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”

As a deity, O Lord, you are entitled to enigma, and yet you generously impart your deep wisdom.

mysteryYou own the secret knowledge of love and life.  Hidden in humanity, Christ revealed divine truth, shining light where darkness shrouded understanding.

Thank you for entrusting us with the key to unlock your beautiful mystery.  As we receive clarity may we be humbled with even more profound questions.

In the name of Christ, the complete answer and the great mystery, we lift our prayers to you.

Listen to ‘God Moves in a Mysterious Way’ featuring Jeremy Casella

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Jeremiah 29:12-14
“‘Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you…and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’”

Luke 15:15-20a
“So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.  When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.  So he got up and went to his father.”

Lamentations 3:19-23
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.”

God our Father who seeks and saves, you do not abandon the children your heart treasures.

exileIn our wandering we stumble across your far-reaching love.  The further our exile, the closer we find you.

Call us home when we kneel in the desolate places.  Turn us from our empty rebellion.

For the sake of Jesus Christ, displaced from his Father’s home to seek us in captivity, have mercy on us we pray.

Listen to ‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing’ by Ordinary Time

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Daniel 12:3
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

Philippians 2:14-16a
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…”

Numbers 24:17a
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near.  A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”

King of the heavens, you adorn the earth with galaxies like bright garlands.

You have placed us in the dark night to shine clear and pure.  Our light glows with the glory of your true light.

starsLet us be guiding stars that point the way to life.  May we, by our love, become a constellation of Christ.

Because he has risen high to pierce death’s midnight sky, we pray this by the power of his eternal name.

Listen to ‘Creator of the Stars of Night’ by High Street Hymns

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