Genesis 44:1-2, 7a, 12b, 17-18a, 33
“Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house; ‘Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry…Then put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack.’…And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack…Joseph said, ‘…Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave.  The rest of you, go back to your father in peace.  Then Judah went up to him and said; ‘Please…let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.’”

Matthew 26:39
“Going a little farther, [Jesus] fell with 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.’”

Isaiah 51:22
“This is what your Sovereign Lord says, your God, who defends his people; ‘See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again.’”

Righteous Judge, because you are holy, you call the merchants of darkness to account.

cupBy nature we betray your sons and daughters, and deserve to drink the cup of your anger.  With incomprehensible grace and love, our brother Jesus willingly transferred the blame upon himself.

Receive our inadequate words of thanks for our priceless freedom.  Invite those that stagger under the weight of unforgiveness to your throne for pardon.

We ask this in the name of Christ, who accepted the guilt of the goblet and laid down his precious life for us.

Listen to ‘Depth of Mercy’ by Summit Church

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Crying Stones

Psalm 61:1-2
“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.  From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Genesis 28:10-12
“Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.  When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set.  Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.  He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”

Luke 19:37b-40
“…the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’  Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’  ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet the stones will cry out.’”

Lord, you are an unchanging God; our firm foundation and our hiding place.

crying stonesWhen we have words to praise you, you surround us with your presence.  When we are alone and silent in a barren land, even then you reveal yourself.

Lead us to a resting place where we hear your praises echoing and see your glory descending.  Prepare our hearts to receive you so that we may join in the joyful song of creation.

Thank you for providing a higher Rock for us to rest upon, Jesus Christ, the one whose sacrificed body became the stairway allowing heaven to reach earth.

Listen to ‘The Secret Place’ by Red Mountain Music

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Isaiah 40:31
“…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Hebrews 12:1-3
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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.”

John 20:3-4
“So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.”

Immortal God, you are the ultimate mark and the only worthy aim.

runIn you we find rest enough to run.  With each stride in your direction we gain strength.

After weary hours of futile striving, sharpen our focus with the joy of the risen Christ.  Renew us with a vision of the One waiting for us at our destination.

Because Christ faithfully persevered to make a way for us to reach you, we step with confidence into your presence.

Listen to ‘Wondrous Love’ by The Journey Collective

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Deuteronomy 11:18a, 19
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Matthew 21:16
“‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him.  ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?’”

Romans 8:15
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”

Our beloved Abba, you claim authority and declare accessibility.

abbaLike a father listening for the first faltering syllables mouthed by his child’s lips, you hear us call out your name.  You delight even in our infant language when we run to you with outstretched hands.

Speak your words through us once we cry out that most fundamental word.  Let our voices prove our trust as we curl into your protective arm.

In the name of your Son Jesus, the firstborn through whom we enter the family of God, we address our prayers to you.

Listen to ‘The Lord’s Prayer‘ by the Gospel Coalition

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Leviticus 25:8a, 13a, 39-41
“Count off seven Sabbaths of years—seven times seven years…The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap…If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave.  He is to be treated as a hired worker or a temporary resident among you; he is to work for you until the Year of Jubilee.  Then he and his children are to be released, and he will go back to his own clan and to the property of his forefathers.”

Luke 17:3b-4
“‘If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.’”

Colossians 3:12-14
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Gracious Master, your laws are unyielding yet bewildering in beauty.

You insist on freeing us from the bondage of unforgiveness.  Not merely once in a lifetimeyou call us to cancel the debts owed us time without number.

jubileeInvite us by your Spirit to join a festival of forgiveness.  May we be filled with the joy of your Jubilee as we wholeheartedly release our brothers and sisters in love.

Through Christ we ask this, the servant willingly indentured who has offered us infinite pardon.

Listen to ‘I Will Glory in My Redeemer’ by Sovereign Grace Music

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Proverbs 18:15-16
“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.  A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”

2 Chronicles 9:1-4, 9
“When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions.  Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind.  Solomon answered all her questions…When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built…she was overwhelmed…Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones.  There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.”

Luke 7:36-38
“Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him…When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears.  Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”

King of all kings, a universe of riches could not compare to the glory of heaven’s threshold.

giftThough you deserve the homage of queens, you open the door for the outcast.  Instead of gold and precious stones, you accept tears and humble kisses.

May the small gifts we cherish be given to you in thanksgiving.  Draw us with your wisdom and overwhelm us with your mercy.

At the feet of Christ we make our requests, who gave the gift of his life and has now become our greatest treasure.

Listen to ‘Only Jesus’ by Sojourn

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2 Corinthians 1:21-22
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

Song of Songs 8:6
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death…”

Haggai 2:23b
“‘I will take you, my servant…’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

Loving Master, heaven is your household and you guard all you call your own.

sealThank you for the identity you have given us by imprinting the Spirit on our hearts.  We gladly bear the mark of your protection and promise.

Soften us to receive the only signature that will make us strong.  Place the seal of your love upon us, that we might be servants chosen to bear your image to others.

By the sign of Christ’s blood we ask this, who bought us and marked us as his own forever.

Listen to ‘Thou Thinkest, Lord, of Me’ by Sense the Call

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