Anchor

Jonah 1:4-6, 10b
“Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.  All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god.  And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.  But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, ‘How can you sleep?  Get up and call on your god!  Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.’…(They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)”

Acts 27:14, 18, 21a, 22a, 25b
“Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the ‘northeaster,’ swept down from the island…We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard…After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: ‘Men…I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost…I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.’”

Hebrews 6:18b-20a
“…we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.”

Lord God, you ride over the earth on the wings of the wind.

If we refuse to cry out to you, we are tossed and terrified in the storm.  When our hope is anchored in your word, we sail through disaster in deep calm.

AnchorLike links in a chain, let our constant prayers secure us to solid ground.  May we boast in the weight of your glory and live to see the desperate saved.

In Christ’s name we pray, our Saviour who sank beneath the waves that we might rest in heaven’s harbour.

Listen to ‘Anchored’ (track 6) by Enfield

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Salt

Psalm 34:8a
“Taste and see that the Lord is good…”

Matthew 5:13a
“‘You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?’”

Jeremiah 29:4, 7
“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:…seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Gracious Lord, in your rich goodness you welcome us to your banqueting table.

By feasting with you we become infused with the flavour of your grace.  As we find satisfaction in you, our hearts are seasoned with the desire to serve.

saltPour us out as spiritual salt in cities that have lost the taste for you.  May we dissolve to self and stimulate a palate for peace in a hostile world.

In Christ’s name, who with his blood and sweat salted our earth, be merciful and hear our prayer.

Listen to ‘O Great God‘ by Dave Hunt

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Asleep

Mark 4:36a, 37-38
“Leaving the crowd behind, they took [Jesus] along, just as he was, in the boat…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?’”

Matthew 26:36, 39-40
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’…Going a little further, he fell with his 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.’  Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.  ‘Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?’”

Psalm 121:3-4
“He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

Saving God, with eternal vigilance you care for your people.

Gripped by fear, we desperately try to preserve our lives and feel you are absent.  Lulled by indifference, we abandon you when you are fighting for our souls.

asleep Give us faith to rest in the storm.  Give us fortitude to stay attentive to your calling through the dark watches of the night.

We ask this in the name of Christ, who was strong enough to sleep in death so that we might wake with him to eternal life.

 

Listen to ‘Hiding Place’ by Matthew Monticcio, featuring Brooke Annibale

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Yoke

1 Kings 12:3b-4, 6a, 7-8, 10-11
“…the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke…and we will serve you.”…Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon….They replied, ‘If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them…they will be your servants.’  But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him…[They] replied, ‘Tell these people…‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist.  My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier.  My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’’”

Matthew 11:28-30
“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’”

Psalm 68:19
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”

Humble King, you rule by serving us with undeserved compassion.

We burden you with our insincerity and our ceaseless complaints.  In return you reach down to lift the heavy loads we bear.

yokeCall us into your kingdom to save us from the weary toil of self-sovereignty.  Place your gentle yoke upon our bruised shoulders and take from us the weight of wilfulness.

We lay our prayers at the throne of the One who bore our scourging sin to ease our crushing burdens.

Listen to ‘Why So Heavy?’ by Red Mountain Music

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Reward

Genesis 15:1
“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram.  I am your shield, your very great reward.’”

Hebrews 11:6b
“…anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

1 John 4:15-16a
“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.”

Heavenly Father, only in you can we find the wholeness for which our hearts ache.

In response to our restless seeking you reward us with the only satisfaction that does not fail.  You offer us yourself, and you are Love.

rewardFix our eyes in faith upon the worthiness of this generous intimacy.  Sustain us with the promise that your abiding presence reduces all fears to powerless threats.

In the name of Jesus we pray; love’s greatest revelation and our profound reward.

Listen to ‘The God of Abraham Praise’ by Jacob Tilton

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Laugh

Genesis 18:10, 12-13a
“Then the Lord said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’…So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’  Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’  Is anything too hard for the Lord?’”

Luke 8:49-53
“While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler.  ‘Your daughter is dead,’ he said. ‘Don’t bother the teacher any more.’  Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.’  When he arrived at the house…all the people were wailing and mourning for her.  ‘Stop wailing,’ Jesus said. ‘She is not dead but asleep.’  They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.  But he took her by the hand and said, ‘My child, get up!’”

Luke 1:37
“For nothing is impossible with God.”

Mighty God, you created nature’s laws, and they are obedient to your command to remain or reverse.

laughYou state strange truths and ask us to believe your word though we see no visible evidence.  Arrogant laughter is our self-protective response.

Curb our cynicism so that we can humbly discern the voice of your Spirit.  Reclaim our lifeless losses and in your power raise up all we believed was beyond hope.

By the truth we have in Jesus we ask this—impossibly born and unbelievably raised from death to life.

Listen to ‘Come Holy Spirit‘ by Liz Janes

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Living Water

Jeremiah 2:13
“My people have committed two sins:  They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

John 7:37-38
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’”  

Revelation 7:17
“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Righteous God, like a river running deep and strong you are the wellspring of life.

Our parched souls long for sustenance, but we return to the cracked cisterns we have built by our own design.  We abandon the eternal spring to draw from leaking wells.

living water 2Call us by the sound of trickling joy back to the source of living water.  Quench our restless thirst with a drink from your pure stream.

We ask this is Jesus’ name, the water of life run dry in death who will one day end the flow of tears forever.

Listen to ‘River of Life’ by Rob and Rachel Badman

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Five

1 Samuel 17:40, 45, 50a
“Then [David] took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine…‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied’…So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand…”

John 6:8, 11a
“…Andrew…spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’…Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.”

Ephesians 3:20-21
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.”

With unlimited, expansive power, O God, you demonstrate the mathematics of your kingdom.

fiveThe less you make more; the weak you make strong.  You complete your perfect will through us when our share is surrendered insignificance.

Call into service the small handfuls of our lives that we clutch close in fear.  Multiply the crumbs and pebbles we offer up for your glory and overwhelm us with radical results.

Our prayers are in Christ, who, in illogical reversal, restrained his all-powerful hands upon a cross to defy death and give us infinite life.

Listen to ‘Be Your Heart’ by Michael Ketterer and United Pursuit

 

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Healer

Jeremiah 30:12-13, 17
“This is what the Lord says:  ‘Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing.  There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you…But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’”

Luke 5:12-13
“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.  When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’  Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.  ‘I am willing,’ he said.  ‘Be clean!’  And immediately the leprosy left him.

Isaiah 53:3-4a, 5b
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows…by his wounds we are healed.”

Great Physician, in power you create and in mercy you re-create.

Isolated by the shame of our imperfections, we are helpless to find the one who dares approach and heal.  Our bleeding feet walk a weary cycle of brokenness.

healerBe willing to restore us, O God, because your name is Compassion.  Touch our untouchable hurt; cure our incurable wounds.

We bow beneath the hand of Christ, who transferred our injuries upon his own flesh, and in exchange granted us his perfect wholeness.

Listen to ‘There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy’ by High Street Hymns

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Waves of Words

Isaiah 48:17-18
“This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.  If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

Mark 4:1
“Again Jesus began to teach by the lake.  The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.”

Habakkuk 2:14
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

Spirit of God, you hover over the waters of the earth you have created.

With the sound of the waves pulsing a melody, Christ spoke the words of heaven, and truth broke over the stony shores of our hearts.

wavesIn endless, perfect rhythm, may your compelling voice wash over us time and time again.  Erode our stubbornness; carve our cliffs into soft sand.

For the glory of Christ we ask this; the Word silenced by death’s dark wave before rising to an eternal crest.

Listen to ‘Savior More Than Life’ by Wildfire

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