Lifted Up

Leviticus 26:12-13
“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.  I am the Lord your God…I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”

Luke 13:10-13
“On the Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years.  She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.  When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’  Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”

Psalm 3:3
“But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”

Mighty God, you dwell in the highest heights, but the depths are not beyond your merciful reach.

lifted upr;When we stoop beneath the weight of weariness and shame, you take our bowed head in your hands and lift our eyes to see your face.  Our crippled spirits straighten with the honour of your touch.

Free us from the grasp of sin that binds us to earth.  Heal us where we are afflicted so that we rise affirmed by your love.

This we pray through Jesus Christ, who bore our crushing infirmities to lift us up to you, our Maker and our God.

Listen to ‘Jesus Cast a Look On Me’ by Red Mountain Music

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Daniel 3:22-25
“The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.  Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, ‘Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?…Look!  I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’”

Isaiah 43:1b, 2b-3a
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine…When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”

2 Thessalonians 1:5b-7
“…as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.  God is just:  He will…give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.  This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.”

Everlasting Lord, hell’s fiercest flame cannot threaten the love you have for your own.

You enter the furnace of suffering with us and walk through the blaze that surrounds us.  Our souls are safe because the power of your holy fire can consume every trial we endure.

FurnaceComfort us in our burning distress by the cool breeze of your Spirit.  Protect us by your living water so that we emerge unscorched to bear witness to your name.

In the name of the Son of God we ask this, who entered a fiery pit for us and will return as our radiant conqueror and redeemer.

Listen to ‘Approach My Soul, the Mercy Seat’ by Jamie Barnes

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Psalm 91:3-4
“Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.”

Luke 13:34
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

Isaiah 31:5
“Like birds hovering overhead, the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.”

Tender Spirit of God, you cover your children with compassionate protection.

Like defenceless fledglings we do not see the snares of the Evil One, but you spread your shielding wing over us and keep us safe.

Aracauna Chick 3Quiet us in the nest of your sheltering love.  In danger may we fly to you—in your soft mercy rescue us from harm.

We ask this in the name of Christ Jesus, who willingly fell prey to our predator so that we might be gathered close to the Father’s heart.

Listen to “All Must Be Well” featuring Matthew Smith


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Poured Out

2 Kings 4:1, 2b-4, 5b, 7a
“The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord.  But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves…Your servant has nothing…except a little oil.’  Elisha said, ‘Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars.  Don’t ask for just a few…Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.’  They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring…She went and told the man of God, and he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts.’”

Isaiah 53:12b
“…he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.  For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Matthew 26:28
“‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”

God of all compassion, endless blessings flow down to us from heaven’s vast storehouse.

poured outWhen we were in desperate need, you provided the means to save us.  The spill of eternal blood guaranteed that our otherwise inconsequential lives were preserved.

As we have received, may we empty ourselves in acts of costly love.  Free us from the temptation to hoard our small offerings and enable us to become vessels of your miraculous grace.

It is through Christ we pray, who poured out his life to cancel our debts, and purchased us as children from the slavery of sin.

Listen to ‘O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done’ by High Street Hymns

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River of Repentance

1 Samuel 7:3, 6a
“And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, ‘If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only…’  When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord.  On that day they fasted and there they confessed, ‘We have sinned against the Lord.’”

Mark 1:4-5, 7
“And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of sins.  The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River…And this was his message: ‘After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.’”

Hebrews 10:22
“…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

Faithful God, righteousness flows as clear as crystal from your throne.

river repentenceAs prophets purified the hearts of the people before earthly kings and the Great King, we come to you in repentance to be immersed in floods of your forgiveness.

Drown our lusts and rebellious pride.  Wash us clean in the river of your mercy.

We ask this in Christ’s holy name, who sank with the weight of our sin into the waters of death to cleanse us and make us spotless in your sight.

Listen to ‘Jesus’ Precious Blood’ by Red Mountain Music

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Revelation 3:20
“Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

Luke 12:35-37
“…keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.  It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.  Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.”

Psalm 24:7
“Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.”

Beloved Master, with the gates of heaven thrown open wide you do not leave us imprisoned behind barricades of our own stubbornness.

doorYou purposefully walk our streets and you stand with familiarity on our doorstep.  When we invite you in, we experience the intimacy of receiving a meal prepared by your holy hands.

Keep our ears attentive for the sound of your knock.  When you request a reception may we pull back the bolts of our scepticism and graciously welcome you inside.

In Christ’s name we ask this, the door through whom we enter to enjoy an everlasting feast.

Listen to ‘To God Be The Glory’ by The Alone Instrument

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Genesis 27:5-10
“Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau.  When Esau left…Rebekah said to her son Jacob, ‘Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’  Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you:  Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.  Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.’”

Matthew 20:20-22a
“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.  ‘What is it you want?’ he asked.  She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’  ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said to them.

Psalm 37:4
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Loving Father, you have planned an inheritance beyond compare for your family.

desire for a blessing (2)In fear we define and pursue our own security and do not heed your promise to provide.  Our desires no longer bring joy and our delight in you as the Giver dissipates as we yearn only after your gifts.

Do not let earthly love strangle our love for you.  Purify all our affections by teaching us to adore you first.

In the name of the Son who humbled himself until God raised him up, bless us with the Father’s blessing.

Listen to ‘More Love to Thee’ featuring Matthew Smith

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