God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you have not only raised our Lord from the dead, but you have raised me as well. Therefore, you have called me to seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at your right hand. Thank you for such a glorious, yet humbling command. You have also called me to set my mind on things above. Please help me in this endeavor as I am inclined to set my mind on the temporal and fallen things of this world. But when you remind me that I have died to such things and that my life is now hidden with Christ, I can’t help but rejoice and give you glory. For Christ is my very life and when he appears, I too will appear with him in glory. Father, this is more than I can comprehend, but I am joyfully overwhelmed by what I do understand of it. For all of this and more, I give you thanks. Amen. (based on Colossians 3:1-4)
Blessed Redeemer, according to your great mercy, you have caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of your Son from the dead. You have given to us an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us. That very salvation is being guarded by your power. We rejoice in this good news, even when we find ourselves in the midst of trials and sorrows. We know that such times of testing refine our faith and draw us ever closer to you. Heavenly Father, we love Christ, believe in him, and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. We praise you for that which you have promised us, the salvation of our souls. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen. (based on 1 Peter 1:3-9)
A prayer as we prepare for this Holy Week...
God of tender providence, I praise you for your faithful hand in my life. You sent Joseph ahead of his family to prepare a place for them in Egypt. It cost Joseph many years of pain, suffering, and loneliness, yet he recognized it was your hand guiding and protecting him through it all. He also saw how you were the great Orchestrator who never left him nor forsook him. Similarly, the Lord Jesus went through pain, mockery, alienation, suffering, and death upon the cross for my sake. Yet, he knew it was his purpose and your plan. In and through it he prepared a place for me with you, as Joseph did with his family in Egypt. Indeed, all of my life reveals the fingerprints of your continual care. For your constant love and provision, O Lord, I am grateful. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen. (based on Genesis 45:1-15)
“Be not afraid to pray; to pray is right; Pray if thou canst with hope, but ever pray, Though hope be weak or sick with long delay; Pray in the darkness if there be no light.” (E.M. Bounds)
This Week’s Scripture
137 Righteous are you, O Lord,
and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
How Great Thou Art (verse 1)
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
consider all thy worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my souls, my Savior God to thee;
how great thou art, how great thou art!
Take time now to offer God your praise and worship.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:5-10)
“I confess that thou hast not been in all my thoughts, that the knowledge of thyself as the end of my being has been strangely overlooked, that I have never seriously considered my heart-need. …Let me not delay to come to thee; Break the fatal enchantment that binds my evil affections, and bring me to a happy mind that rests in thee, for thou hast made me and canst not forget me. Let thy Spirit teach me the vital lessons of Christ, for I am slow to learn; And hear thou my broken cries. Amen.” (The Valley of Vision)
As David did in Psalm 139, ask the Lord to search you and know you through and through. Confess the sins God brings to mind, knowing you are forgiven and that He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Gracious Lord and God of peace, I give thanks to you for all Christians everywhere who are growing in their faith. I offer you praise that where these Christians are assembled as local churches, so too is their love increasing. The Lord Jesus taught us that the world will know we are his disciples as we love one another as he loves us. Make that truth an increasing reality in our lives O Lord. I thank you for the faithfulness of the churches around the world who are afflicted by persecution. Please increase their faith more and more, that your glory will shine, even in the midst of their hardship and suffering. I ask this in the name of the One who suffered on our behalf, Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. (based on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4)
Ask the Spirit to search your heart and mind and then spend some time thanking God for who he is and the many ways he has poured out his goodness and grace in your life.
Supplication (Petition – prayers for yourself)
Supplication (Intercession – prayers for others)
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