Daily Devotions: Monday 7th September

Here are Monday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes.

The theme for this week’s readings is that all our rules for life come down to loving God and loving others.

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text: ‘The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.’ (Psalm 19:7-11)

Explanation: Our culture has an odd relationship to rules. On the one hand we hate the idea of being told what to do. On the other we have a tendency to shut down others who disagree with us.

The Bible is clear that rules are not able to make us right with God; we need to trust Jesus and what he has done for us. Yet the rules God gives us to live by can be enormously beneficial. Here the psalmist lists the good that comes from God’s law: a. it is refreshing for our souls, b. it is can be trusted because it is true, c. it shows us the right way olive, d. it is wise helping us make good decisions etc.

We are never made right with God by keeping rules. We receive new life through trusting Jesus. But if we understand God’s rules correctly they can nevertheless be a huge blessing in showing us how to live out that new life.

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. How do you respond to the idea that God has given us rules to live by? 2. Is there anything in the list from Psalm 19 that excites you or resonates with you? Why? 3. Where can you show practical love to someone this week?

Prayer: Father thank you that you know me from the inside out. Thank you that you understand what I need to flourish. Teach me your way so I may find joy and rest in living for you and in turn be used by you to bless others. Amen.

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen.

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Daily Devotions: Friday 4th September

Here are Friday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes. On Fridays we take a break from the theme of the rest of the week to read and meditate through John’s gospel.

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text: “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.  (John 5:7-15)

Explanation: When we left this story last week, Jesus had challenged the man who was lame about whether he actually wanted to be made well. Here we see his response. He claims that he does and so Jesus simply commands him to get up. In that moment he was healed and picked up his mat and left. 

It is striking that it is as the man gets up in obedience to Jesus that he experiences Jesus’ healing. He is then able to pick up his mat and walk off. We can be waiting for God to do something dramatic before we will obey him. Yet often it was as they obeyed Jesus that people received the blessing he promised. One application of this that is common in churches is the phenomenon of waiting for baptism. We want God to work in us before we will get baptised. Yet in reality it is as we are obedient in getting baptised that God works in us (cp Acts 2:38). Many other areas of life are similar: as we do what we sense God is telling us we experience his blessing.

Jesus concludes his interaction with the man he had healed by urging him to change the way he has lived. Jesus’ remarks are not intended to suggest that the man’s medical condition was a punishment for any particular sin (he specifically rejects that idea later, in John 9). But equally Jesus doesn’t want the man to think that his physical healing was all Jesus had come to bring; Jesus was far more interested in the state of his soul and his relationship with God and with others. It is important not to ‘bank’ the blessing of material answers to prayer and miss the far more important challenge of following Jesus and restoring our relationship with God.

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. Where is God challenging you to be obedient to him? What might you be waiting for before you step out? 2. What blessing would you like to ask Jesus for? What holds you back? 3. Why do you think it is tempting to take the benefits of answered prayer but miss the challenge of Jesus’ teaching?

Prayer: Father thank you for Jesus. Thank you that what we are unable to do for ourselves, he comes to do for us. Thank you that he has all your power to lead us and bless us. Grant me the courage to follow him in all his says. Amen.

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen.

Image Credit: Fadi Mikhail

Daily Devotions: Thursday 3rd September

Here are Thursday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes.

The theme for this week’s readings is that we are called to follow Jesus, reading his Word, listening to his Spirit and obeying his teaching.

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text: Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matthew 7:24-27)

Explanation: This is one of Jesus’ most famous parables. He told it to illustrate the importance of not only hearing and understanding what he taught but actually doing it. 

The story is pretty easy to follow. It is easy to miss, however, that the foolish and wise builders both appear successful at first. Indeed, it is possible that the foolish builder actually appeared to be constructing his house quicker and more easily than the wise. It was when the storms came – those times when our lives are shaken and things are hard – that the wisdom of building on a rock became apparent.

We will all face trials and storms. Life’s pain and seasons of testing come both to those who follow Jesus and those who do not. Yet if we put Jesus’ words into action – if we are willing to obey him – then those storms will not overwhelm us.

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. What values do you put first in your life? 2. Take a moment and read through Matthew 5-7. What part of Jesus’ teaching do you find hardest to put into action? Why? 3. What might God be challenging you about?

Prayer: Father thank you for Jesus. Thank you that his words will provide a foundation that can keep me and protect me in any storm. Help me to obey them and put them into practice. Amen.

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen. 

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Daily Devotions: Wednesday 2nd September

Here are Wednesday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes.

The theme for this week’s readings is that we are called to follow Jesus, reading his Word, listening to his Spirit and obeying his teaching.

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text:  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.(Romans 8:14-16)

Explanation: Getting to know what Jesus taught by reading the Bible is not enough for us to live as his followers. We need to know what it means for how we live now. Moreover, we often encounter situations which aren’t directly covered by something in the Bible. Jesus knew this and so he sent his Spirit on the church to equip us and lead us as we follow him. 

Paul describes how the Spirit works in the verses we have read above. God’s Spirit comes and works with and in us – ‘testifying with our spirit’. He assures us of our relationship with God and leads us in the way we should go. This process happens through our desires, our consciences and a developing awareness of what we should be doing even if it is not what we instinctively want to do. If we develop the habit of listening to God’s Spirit then ultimately our characters will be formed to be like Jesus.

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. How do you make time to be quiet, remove distractions and sit with God? 2. Have you sensed that God might be leading you to do something or speak to someone? 3. What hinders you from obeying the leading of God’s Spirit in your conscience etc?

Prayer: Father thank you for Jesus. Thank you that you gave us his Spirit to enable us to follow him and to become like him. Help me to listen to the way the Spirit is leading me and to learn to obey him. Amen.  

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen. 

Check out our latest Big Question:

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Tuesday 1st September

Here are Tuesday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes.

The theme for this week’s readings is that we are called to follow Jesus, reading his Word, listening to his Spirit and obeying his teaching. 

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)

Explanation: We can find it relatively easy to listen to (most of) what Jesus taught as it is found in the gospels. Our culture tends to find it much harder to relate to the teaching of the Old Testament. In part this is because the Old Testament writings feel so distant from our culture and time that they can be hard to understand both in terms of the genre of the books and also the attitudes and actions of the people involved. We should be honest, though, and accept that it is also because the Old Testament contains a lot of rules there and our culture hates, above all else, being told what to do.

For these reasons it is tempting to dismiss the Old Testament – after all, we have Jesus’ teaching so why do we need it? Jesus himself gives us the answer. His life and teaching can’t be fully understood without the Old Testament. He came ‘not to abolish’ it ‘but to fulfil’ it. In other words Jesus can’t be understood without the context of the Old Testament, while the Old Testament can’t be understood without the light and fulfilment of Jesus.

There is much more that could be said. For now, however, we should note that Jesus’ attitude means both (i) that we need to read and think about the Old Testament; but (ii) we don’t read it in a flat way as if it runs alongside or contradicts what we see in Jesus. Rather when we read the Old Testament we try to understand both as preparing for Jesus, and as he fulfils it.

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. Is it surprising that Jesus speaks so highly of the Old Testament writing? 2. How might it help to read the Old Testament in the light of Jesus’s life and teaching? 3.  Where might our attitudes to authority and obedience affect how we read the Bible?

Prayer: Father thank you for Jesus. Thank you that he came to fulfil everything that came before him. Thank you that through all those years you were working to prepare a place and time for Jesus to be born and in which he could be understood. Help me to understand my life and culture in the light of Jesus. Amen. 

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen. 

Check out our latest Big Question:

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Daily Devotions: Monday 31st August

Here are Monday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes.

The theme for this week’s readings is that we are called to follow Jesus, reading his Word, listening to his Spirit and obeying his teaching.

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text: ‘If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.’ (John 14:15-21)

Explanation: This passage is so dense and rich in everything that it says about Jesus that we cannot possibly unpack it all here. Here we are interested in what it tells us about how we should live. Jesus explains that being his followers involves, in the first place, doing what he said. When we want to know how we should live, we should start with the teaching of Jesus. Everything else flows from there.

A related point is that, his passage suggests it is a mistake to treat obedience to Jesus’ commands as different from a relationship with him. No relationship with Christ can be sustained if we willingly disregard the way he taught us to live. Our love for Jesus, then, is related to our obedience to him as is our experience of his love for us.

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. How well do you know what Jesus taught? 2. What could you do to get to know it more? 3. What might this mean for your life?

Prayer: Father thank you for Jesus. Thank you for all he taught us. Help me to get to know what he commands. Give me a heart of obedience and humility so that I may experience your love for me and grow in relationship with you. Amen.

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen.

Check out our latest Big Question:

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Daily Devotions: Friday 28th August

Here are Friday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes. On Fridays we take a break from the theme of the rest of the week to read and meditate through John’s gospel.

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text: Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  (John 5:1-6)

Explanation: In Jerusalem there was a pool which was known as a place of healing. It has now been excavated and can be seen if you visit Jerusalem. The waters would bubble up and, it was believed, the first person who entered it would be healed. Places such as this became a place for people who were sick or disabled to gather either because they wanted healing or because they had calculated that they could obtain money from other tourists or both. 

Jesus finds one such man who had been there for many years. Jesus was able to heal the man in an instant yet opens his conversation by asking if the man really wants to get better. Next week we will move onto how Jesus heals the man. For now, however, it is worth noting that it is instructive that Jesus had to ask him whether he actually wanted healing. 

This is a question we need to ask ourselves. Often we don’t want to be healed, whether in our souls or our bodies. Waiting and frustration and disappointment can so wear us down that we come to create an identity out of our pain (or the wrongs that have been done to us). Or the things we gain from the way others see us in our pain can be too difficult to let go of. If we want to know Jesus’ healing power in our lives we need to be willing to let go of these things and allow him to change us.

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. Where would you like Jesus to heal your life or body? 2. What holds you back from working with God’s power in your life? 3. What might this mean for your life?

Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus. Grant me the wisdom to see where I need your power and healing and the humility to accept it. Use me for your glory. Amen.

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen.

Image Credit: Fadi Mikhail

Daily Devotions: Thursday 27th August

Here are Thursday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes.

The theme for this week’s readings is that when we trust in Jesus and turn from our old lives, God brings us into his family and gives us his love.

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18)

Explanation:  A change in our characters has to be expressed in our actions. In this sense, love (in Christian thought) is more about what we choose to do than how we feel. As we sense the Spirit showing us opportunities to care for others material needs we should seek to meet them. This is love, expressing itself in actions and truth.  

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. Do you find it easy to show love in practical ways? Who do you struggle to show practical love to? 2. Where could you show practical concern for others this week? 3. What might this mean for your life?

Prayer: Father thank you for Jesus.  Thank you that he put his love for me into action and was willing to give himself for me. Show me where I can work in concrete ways for the good of others. Amen.

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen. 

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Daily Devotions: Wednesday 26th August

Here are Wednesday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes.

The theme for this week’s readings is that when we trust in Jesus and turn from our old lives, God brings us into his family and gives us his love.

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text:  For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them —yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)

Explanation:  While it is the Spirit who changes our characters, that doesn’t mean that we do not have to do anything. In this part of his letter to the Christians in Corinth, St Paul explains that God’s grace is effective in our lives when we work with it. God’s work in us takes effect as we cooperate with it and are willing to allow ourselves to be changed. Even that is only possible because God makes us able. 

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. Are there times when you have sensed God leading you and done nothing about it? 2. Where might God be leading and changing you now? 3. What might this mean for your life?

Prayer: Father thank you for Jesus. Help me to cooperate with you as you work in my life. Make me someone you can use to bless others and glorify you. Amen. 

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen. 

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Image Credit: Fadi Mikhail

Daily Devotions: Tuesday 25th August

Here are Tuesday’s morning prayers and Bible meditations. They are designed to be read in 5 to 10 minutes.

The theme for this week’s readings is that when we trust in Jesus and turn from our old lives, God brings us into his family and gives us his love.

Opening Prayer: Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
present in all places and filling all things,
the treasury of blessings and Giver of life:
come and abide in me.

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

Text: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:22-26)

Explanation: In his letter to a different church, St Paul describes how the process we looked at yesterday works in practise. As we keep in step with the Holy Spirit – listening to the way he leads us through our thinking and consciences – he starts to produce different characteristics in us. The image is like dancing: as he leads and we follow, we find ourselves moving the way he wants.

This doesn’t mean that we are immediately changed to be perfect. It is a process which takes time. Nor does it mean that the person who follows Jesus will necessarily be kinder etc than someone who doesn’t. But we are kinder than we were before and tomorrow we will be kinder still.

Questions: Take a moment and give thanks for all that Jesus has done for you over the last day. Then ask: 1. Which of the fruit Paul mentions would you most like to see in your life? 2. Where do you struggle most with this? 3. What could you do to keep more in step with the Spirit?

Prayer: Father thank you for Jesus. Thank you that you give me his Spirit to make me more like Jesus. Lead me and teach me to be more full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Amen. 

Prayer for the Day: Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all things are under Your care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Yourself in me. Amen. 

Check out our latest Big Question:

Image Credit: Fadi Mikhail

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