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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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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