Hebrews 11:11-12
“By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.”

Luke 2:25-28
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.  He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.  When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God…”

Isaiah 40:29-31a
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”

Patient Father, every moment has meaning when we spend it in your presence.

waitYou ask for prolonged faith to mature our knowledge of you.  Enriched by time spent humbly in worship, we are more equipped to draw upon the strength you provide.

May we joyfully dedicate our years to anticipating the fulfillment of your promises.  Lighten the burden of waiting by your restorative touch.

Thank you for faith’s great reward, Jesus Christ, the hope of all generations—our Messiah and long-awaited Child.

Listen to ‘How Sweet to Wait’ by Red Mountain Music

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Deuteronomy 34:1-4
“Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo…There the Lord showed him the whole land…Then the Lord said to him, ‘This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’  I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.’”

Luke 9:28-31
“…[Jesus] took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.  As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightening.  Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendour, talking with Jesus.  They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.”

Hebrews 11:13a, 15-16
“All these people were still living by faith when they died.  They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance…If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.  Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.”

God of light and splendour, the vista of eternity unfolds before you.

mountaintopIn this lifetime we may only glimpse the glories of a new land, as your servant Moses did.  Yet from heaven’s realms, he returned to view the coming of a new kingdom.

Prepare us now to receive your certain promises, though faith does not result in immediate sight.  Allow us to trust that you are preparing our true homeland.

Thank you that we can pray these things in the name of the one who fulfills the vision of saints and prophets, Jesus Christ.

Listen to ‘Praise to the Lord, the Almighty’ by Jaron and Katherine Kamin

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John 21:4-7a
“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.  He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’  ‘No,’ they answered.  He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’  When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large numbers of fish.  Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’”

Acts 10:9b, 11-15
“…Peter went up on the roof to pray…He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.  It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air.  Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter.  Kill and eat.’  ‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied.  ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’  The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’”

Ephesians 2:12b-13
“…you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

Loving Father, you surround the nations with your saving Spirit.

net.1When hearts are stubborn, you fill your net with those who are most unlikely .  In our narrow view you welcome the outsiders with inappropriate generousity.

Throw wide the sheet and gather us in.  Though you find us on the wrong side and drifting far away, cast your love upon us and draw us near.

In Jesus’ name we ask this, the unpredictable fisher of souls who has given us hope by calling us clean.

Listen to ‘The Way Home‘ by Ryan McAllister

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Psalm 17:6
“I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.”

Mark 4:9
“Then Jesus said, ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.’”

Isaiah 50:4b-5
“He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.  The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.”

Almighty God, the door to your throne room swings wide as your children approach.

hearYou bend down to hear our faint whispers and urgent appeals.  Like knowing the intricacies of the ear’s design, you are acutely aware of the complexities of our heart’s cry.

More than being heard, may we desire to be faithful listeners.  Awaken us to the sound of your voice—instruct our deaf souls to respond to your commands.

For the sake of Jesus we ask this, who was attentive to your call and sang your words to wake our heedless race.

Listen to ‘From Deep Distress’ by Sojourn

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Isaiah 51:16
“I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand—I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations for the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”

Psalm 91:1
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Luke 1:35
“The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”

Lord Most High, we feel your benevolent presence stretched out in blessing over us.

overshadowResting in the shadow of your hand disperses all our fears.  As you cast your Spirit upon us we receive new birth.

Overshadow all that is uncreated within us, and live in us by your power.  May we be a shelter to the helpless because in love you have covered us.

For the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ we ask this, the miracle of the shadow of your hand upon a willing heart.

Listen to ‘Come Thou My Light’ by Keith Winder, featuring Anna Demme

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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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