Patience and Persistence in Prayer

James 5

Father, You act in Your all-wise, all-loving time,
not on my anxious, self-centered schedule.
Help me to wait for You patiently,
as the farmer waits for rain (James 5:7-8).

Father, we consider the great saints to be greatly blessed of You.
They patiently endured suffering.
They remained faithful,
no matter how dark the days seemed.
Like them, help us to stay strong in faith (James 5:10-11). 

Father, as Your people,
help us to meet every situation with prayer:
suffering, with patient petition, relying on You;
joy, with thanksgiving and song;
sickness, with anointing and intercession;
sin, with confession to one another and forgiveness (James 5:13-18).

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Keep Us Strong in Faith
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Come to Me

“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.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

What burdens you right now? Various situations and concerns probably start parading through your mind. Each involves uncertainty and fear.

Fear creates an imaginary world for us—a world in which there is no God, with all His love and power and promised faithfulness. Don’t live another day in that dark world! Christ invites us to come to Him and know Him. As we do, fear and its imaginary world melt away in the light of His love.

But you may carry another burden that doesn’t immediately come to mind: the burden of self-concern. It’s the most constant, most distracting, most draining burden that any of us carries. It is the drive to constantly look out for ourselves and worry about ourselves and promote ourselves to those around us.

It is another burden that melts away as we come to Christ and know and trust Him. We come to Christ with many burdens. We leave with only one: the burden of pleasing Him. But what an easy burden it is! All He asks is that we trust Him who has proven Himself trustworthy and love Him who is so loving and lovely.

Bring all your burdens to Christ—now and every time they raise their heads. Trade them for His one burden: the burden of simply loving and trusting Him. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Come
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from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Worshiping in the Darkness

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me. (Psalm 23:4, NASB)

Father, sometimes all I can do is
worship You in the darkness.
Sometimes, whether from
sickness,
sorrow, or
moods I can’t control or understand,
I can’t sense Your presence.
I can’t feel Your love.
I can’t see You working.
I can’t span the distance between us.

You offer no explanations.
You seem silent,
unconcerned,
gone.

But God, I know You are my Father.
I know You are always good.
I know You are always here, even when I can’t
see You or
feel You.

So even when the darkness engulfs me,
I will remember who You are, and
I will worship You,
praise You, and
trust You. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Is Great, and God Is Good
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Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks

Rejoice in the Lord always…Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4, 6-7, NIV)

When I feel stressed, I tend to be impatient and
unkind to those around me.

Lord, help me make friends with
interruptions,
unfinished tasks,
unpleasant surprises,
delays,
demands,
uncertainties, and
feelings of inadequacy.
They are going to come.

How do You want me to react to them, Lord?

1. Rejoice in who You are.

2. Commit my need to You.

3. Give thanks for what You are already doing to meet that need.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Good Gifts
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Live His Love

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:44-48, NIV)

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV)

Our Father has freed us to be
as loving and generous as He is.
He has promised to provide everything we need
to care and to give as He does.
Will we trust Him for it?
Will we dare to live like Jesus? 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Live in Love
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from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Prepare for Ordinary Time

Father, thank You for ordinary time, when You
quietly,
patiently,
daily
order our lives by
the example and
the words of Jesus.

Thank You for the privilege of spending these days with
Your holy and perfectly-pleasing Son.
Like His first disciples, we
walk with Him,
talk with Him,
watch Him, and
listen to Him.
We work with Him and
relax with Him.
We feast on His words and
drink in the pattern of His life.

And as we follow Him,
His Spirit within us turns
His teaching and
His example
into faith and love in our own lives.

Father, thank You for these
ordinary, beautiful days
spent with Jesus. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Come and Follow Me
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The Source of All Wisdom

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read Proverbs 9

We say that God is omniscient. That means He knows everything. But it means more than God having all knowledge, with perfect perception and intelligence. As the Creator, all that is flows from Him. He has a complete, organic understanding of all reality, for it is from Him. He not only has perfect knowledge. He has complete and all-encompassing wisdom.

Thus if we want wisdom, if we want to understand reality and live in harmony with it, we need to know God. He is the source of all reality. He is the source of all wisdom.

Knowing Him and living in harmony with Him is the essence of wisdom. Or as the OT repeatedly affirms,

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
(Proverbs 9:10, NASB. See also Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 15:33)

The wonderful truth is this: God is not only willing to show Himself and share His wisdom. He is passionately eager to share Himself and His wisdom with us. This practical promise says it simply and clearly:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5, NASB)

Understand this: His wisdom involves more than factual knowledge. During difficult times in our lives, sometimes we impatiently wonder what lesson God is trying to teach us. But often the “lesson” is simply an opportunity to know Him better. He is allowing us to experience His love and faithfulness in a personal way. Wisdom is knowing Him.

God pours out His wisdom constantly and lavishly through many different avenues: through creation, through His written word, through the life of Jesus Christ, through His Holy Spirit, through other believers, and through special revelation—that is, through personal encounters between God and individual believers.

God is generous with His wisdom! But the question is, are you listening? And once you hear Him, how are you responding?

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Is Speaking
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Prayer Response to Romans 6

Father, I present all I am,
not to sin,
but to You,
as instruments to glorify You:
my heart, to desire only You,
my mind, to ponder You and Your truth,
my mouth, to speak Your words and Your praise,
my feet, to follow wherever You lead,
my hands, to freely share Your love.

God of all truth and goodness,
all life and love and salvation,
I am Your servant.
By Your grace and through my obedient response,
separate me entirely to Yourself.
Make me holy and
wholly Yours in
all I am and
all I do.

The end of sin is death,
so I leave it in the past.
My present and future are in You and
in Your boundless, unending life.
Praise to You, my Father!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Romans 6
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from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Prepare for Trinity Sunday

O Lord our God,
You share Yourself with us
so completely,
so graciously,
so beautifully.

You are our Father Creator.
Existence itself is Yours alone, and
You joyfully share it with us.
You lavish on us
Your life,
Your love,
Your wisdom,
Your glory.

You are Jesus, our divine yet human Brother.
You tenderly, sacrificially became
one with us in every way.
By sharing
our weakness,
our suffering, and
our death,
You reunited us with God our Father.
Thank You, Lord!
Thank You!

You are God the Spirit.
You breathe
into us and
among us
the life of the Father and
the life of the Son.

O boundless, mysterious, merciful, all-encompassing God!
You envelop us in Yourself
every moment in
every way.
In You we
live and
move and
have our being.
Today, Lord, help us
worship You for all You are! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Trinity Hymn
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Drawing Near to God

James 4 

Father, You have breathed into me
Your own Spirit,
Your own life and breath.
You jealously long for that Spirit
to return to You,
to seek You,
to love You and
desire oneness with You (James 4:5).
O Father, that is what I want!

You have promised that as
I draw near to You,
You will draw near to me (James 4:8).
Draw near, Lord!
Draw near!

Father, I want to exchange
all my desires for
Your desires.
I humble myself before You and ask for
the holiness,
the faith,
the love of Jesus Christ.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Heaven Here and Now
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