Exodus 25:8, 31-33
“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.  Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you…Make a lampstand of pure gold and hammer it out, base and shaft; its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms shall be of one piece with it.  Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other.  Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch…”

Isaiah 27:6
“In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.”

Hebrews 9:24
“For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.”

Great Designer, you have commissioned all beauty as a faint and earthly impression of your glory.

322You adorn your dwelling place with lamps and blossoms—light and life.  Your petals promise hope of a harvest.

With you as our centre, may our souls burst with the bloom of springtime.  Cause each tiny bud we bear to flower for the growth of your kingdom.

Remembering Christ, the true Branch, we ask this, who blossomed only to die, that we might taste the fruit of heaven.

Listen to ‘Praise to the Lord, the Almighty’ by Redemption Hill Music

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Psalm 103:2-4
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…”

Isaiah 28:5
“In that day the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people.”

Mark 15:17-18
“They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.  And they began to call out to him, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’”

Eternal King, you reign in majesty, mercy and love.

crownYou graciously give us a sign that we are your royal children by placing a crown of compassion upon our unworthy heads.  You encircle us with your presence like a cluster of costly gems.

At this our spiritual coronation, bestow on us the courage to represent your kingdom in this scornful world.  May we grant others the garlands of grace that you have given us.

We ask this in the precious name of Christ, the unrecognized King who took a crown of shame from those he came to bring into glory.

Listen to ‘Over the Grave’ by the weak & the few

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Job 9:16-17, 33-34
“Even if I summoned him and he responded, I do not believe he would give me a hearing.  He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason…If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more.”

Luke 11:11-13
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Romans 8:26
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

With generosity, Father God, you open your hand and bestow only what is for our ultimate good.

We confess that we cannot see beyond our confusing circumstances.  We strain for the immediate with the self-absorption of a child and fail to trust in the wisdom of your provision.

intercessorBless us with your Spirit, who deeply understands our troubled souls and does not bend to our short-sighted demands.  Free us to rest in the knowledge that our pleas are presented with love before your throne.

Thank you that through Christ you welcome our request for the Spirit, and through the Spirit you hear our true longings and answer in grace.

Listen to ‘Hail the Day’ by Sovereign Grace Music

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Rocks to Remember

Joshua 4:20-22, 24
“And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan.  He said to the Israelites, ‘In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’…He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.’”

Matthew 16:17-18
“Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church…’”

2 Peter 1:1, 3, 12a, 15
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,  To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:…His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness…So I will always remind you of these things…And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”

Faithful God, you take joy in repeating your acts of salvation throughout all generations.

rocks to rememberAs memorial stones reminded the Israelites of your suspension of nature’s laws, so Simon Peter reminds us of your power to transform our human nature.  By marking the miracle with a rock, evidence of your handiwork lives on.

Save us again with the patience you have shown us in the past.  May we remember you as you have remembered us.

For the sake of Jesus Christ we ask this; the Rock submerged under the river of death so that we might cross over to receive this precious faith.

Listen to ‘Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken’ by The Soul Miners

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Exodus 1:15-17, 20a, 21b
“The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, ‘When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him, but if it is a girl, let her live.  The midwives however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live…So God was kind to the midwives…he gave them families of their own.”

John 3:5-7
“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”

Galatians 4:19-20a
“My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now…”

By your word, Spirit of the Living God, you bring forth new life.

midwivesYour hands encourage and enable our safe delivery into faith and you smile at our first spiritual breaths.

Brood over us and protect us from harm.  Make a way for fragile souls to be born into your kingdom so that the angels rejoice over the arrival of each wondrous child of God.

By the precious name of Jesus we come before you, who laboured to give us life and calls the Holy Spirit close to usher us into our new birth.

Listen to ‘Still Small Voice’ by Trent

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Mark 14:50-52
“Then everyone deserted him and fled.  A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus.  When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.”

Genesis 3:21
“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

Isaiah 61:10
“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Father God, you are clothed in beauty, majesty and holiness.

strippedWe are guilty of fleeing from your presence in the garden, and in doing so we find ourselves naked and full of shame.  Our terrified escape leaves us vulnerable and exposed.

May we return to you, our Maker, to be adorned in your beauty.  Cover us in dazzling robes, dressed as your royal children and honoured to be found pleasing in your sight.

This we ask in the name of the one who hung stripped for us upon the cross so that we might be clothed in his eternal righteousness, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Listen to ‘Come Ye Sinners’ by Redeemer INdy

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1 Kings 17:2-6
“Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah:  ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.  You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.’  So he did what the Lord had told him…The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

Luke 12:24
“Consider the ravens:  They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

Psalm 81:10
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.  Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”

Creator and Sustainer of all valuable things, you tend us with great care.

ravenYou answer the harsh cries of your hungry flock, and with wings of provision you swoop to fill our mouths with life-giving morsels.

Supply us with the faith to trust your constant concern for us.  Give us the desire to soar with your Spirit, seeking to alight where we find others in need.

We bring our prayer before you in the loving name of Christ Jesus, who provides broken bread to feed our daily hunger and to remind us of our spiritual wholeness.

Listen to ‘My Maker and My King’ by Jacob Tilton

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