Storm

Job 38:1, 24-25
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm.  He said; ‘…What is the way to the place where the lightening is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?  Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm…?’”

Mark 4:37-39
“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?’  He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet!  Be still!’  Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

Psalm 46:10a
“Be still, and know that I am God…”

Master of all, in your storehouse you keep each raindrop and every breath of wind.

Because you have infinite control, we are free to give up control.  Because you wield unlimited power we are free to simply be still.

stormCalm our hearts in the storm of suffering by the refreshing currents of your Spirit, so that our fears are quieted by the strength of your love.  Keep us tranquil in the tempest.

This we ask for the sake of him who stormed the gates of hell for us, forever dispersing all clouds of condemnation.

Listen to ‘O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus’ (track 9) by Enfield

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Prodigal

2 Samuel 15:10, 18:1518:33
“Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, ‘As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king’…And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him…The king was shaken.  He went up to the room over the gateway and wept.  As he went, he said:  ‘O my son Absalom!  My son, my son Absalom!  If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!’”

Luke 15:11,17a, 20
 “Jesus continued, ‘There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said to his father, ‘Give me my share of the estate’… When [the younger son] came to his senses, he got up and went to his father.  But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.’”

1 John 3:1a
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”

God, both Abba and King, you have promised us an inheritance far greater than earthly power or possessions.

In pride we have rebelled against your divine timing and have sought immediate status in the eyes of the world.  We have neglected your authority and have run from you in defiance.

prodigalForgive us, your children, Lord.  Wait for us, reach for us, look lovingly upon us.  Receive us when we retrace our insurgent steps.

We claim this forgiveness in the name of your perfect Son, who bore the Father’s judgement so that we might be restored to the heart of our heavenly family.

Listen to ‘Come, Repenting Sinner, Come’ by Grace and Peace

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Fruit

Deuteronomy 8:7-9a
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing…”

Matthew 7:16-17
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

Galatians 5:22-23a
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…”

Jehovah God, who leads us forward into spacious places, you have planted us in a beautiful land.

fruitDespite our barren, wandering ways you have blessed us with regeneration by your Spirit.  Your providing hand nurtures life—we blossom and ripen because we are filled by you.

May the fruit that we bear be rich in love, tasting of the promised Spirit.  Let us be orchards of joy and peace in your kingdom.

For the sake of Jesus we pray, who bore a season of suffering to bring us a harvest of salvation.

Listen to ‘O Lord, I Will Delight in Thee’ by Luke Morton

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Burning

Exodus 3:2, 4
“There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.  Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up…God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’  And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’”

Luke 24:31-32
“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized [Jesus], and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’”

2 Timothy 1:6-7
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Great I AM, you ignite the blaze that does not devour, declaring your presence with a tongue of fire or the glow of an eternal ember.

burningYou touch our passionless lives with the flame of your Spirit, setting our hearts alight with courage and compassion.  Our steps fall on holy ground when you walk by our side.

Kindle upon us that we might shine as lights in a dark world, radiant with both power and love.  Turn our timidity into a mighty torch.

This we ask in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who burned with an everlasting love for us, offering himself up so that we would not be consumed.

Listen to ‘Undone’ by Redemption Hill Music

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Sealed Stone

Daniel 6:16-17
“So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den.  The king said to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!’  A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.”

Matthew 27:65-66
“‘Take a guard,’ Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’  So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”

1 Corinthians 15:54b-55
“…then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’  ‘Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?’”

Immortal God, you cannot be contained nor will you ever be conquered.

Your power subdues the roar of lions, the command of kings and the rule of death.  Your name cancels the authority of all other names.

sealed stoneForgive us when we presume to assign you to the dark corners of our lives, and with arrogance mark the line we forbid you to cross.  When we feel the sting of fear and isolation roll back the stone, reversing the verdict and claiming the victory.

We remember the truth that Christ broke the seal of the tomb and the inevitability of death, and have confidence we are heard for his sake.

Listen to ‘Dead Friend Rising’ by the weak & the few

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Vision

Luke 1:18-20
“Zechariah asked the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this?  I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.’  The angel answered, ‘I am Gabriel.  I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.  And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.’”

Acts 9:5-8a
“‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked.  ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.  ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’  The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.  Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing.”

Romans 6:5, 8
“If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection…Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”

Lord of life, you designed our eyes to see your light and ears to hear your word.

loss lifeWhen our physical senses keep us spiritually insensitive it is only by your silencing that we receive a voice to speak, and by your blinding we receive new sight.

Take away our small strengths and transform them into gifts sharpened by the Spirit.  Replace our limited insight with your vision for this world.

We speak this request in the name of Christ, stricken with death to gain for us the full restoration of life.

Listen to ‘Thou, Whose Almighty Word’ by Summit Church

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Palms

Isaiah 49:15b-16
“…I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

John 20:26b-27
“…Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’  Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.’  Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”

Psalm 139:1-3
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.”

Tender Father, you surround us with compassion and never-ending love.

Our names are as familiar to you as the contours of your hand.  You cup us to yourself despite all our weaknesses and wanderings.

palmSecure us in the certainty that we are never forgotten by you.  Center us with the truth that we are known by you, that we might exchange our doubt for joy.  Remind us that you know our brothers and sisters as intimately as you know us, and love them as deeply.

We owe a debt of gratitude to you, Jesus, for receiving the nails in your palms, eternally engraving our names within those scars and leading us into a saving knowledge of you.

Listen to ‘O Lamb of God Who, Bleeding’ by Community Presbyterian Church

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