Where can Nigel place his hope but in You? Nothing in earth compares with You. His flesh has bedsores, his muscles are atrophied, and his lungs are recovering from pneumonia, but You are his strength and his portion forever.
Sovereign Lord, You are his refuge. Send the Breath of Life through his lungs.
You have been near to Nigel. O power of Christ, rest upon his bedsores like a balm.
Your strength is made perfect in his muscle weakness. Build his muscles in Your all-sufficient grace.
We proclaim Your goodness in bringing him from the brink of death. Amen.
Psalm 73:25-28, 2 Corinthians 12:9
Now when he came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? and who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23)
Lord, the leaders and teachers of the Episcopal Church question your authority today. Have mercy on us and put and end to their rebellion against you.
But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John–where was it from? From heaven or from men?” (Matthew 21:24-25a)
Holy Spirit, help our church leaders receive a baptism of repentance.
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” (Matthew 21:25b-27a)
Father, set the church free from weasel-worded answers and “carefully nuanced” statements that deny the plain truth of your word.
And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Matthew 21:27b)
Jesus, they have called good evil and evil good, and the truth is hidden from them. Have mercy on us for they are the leaders and teachers of your church.
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” (Matthew 21:28-31a)
Father, help us all do what you ask of us.
Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him. (Matthew 21:31b-32)
Holy Spirit, please help us welcome and assist many to come into your church and into your kingdom. Help us see the lost and the least all around us and bring them into the kingdom of God. Thank you.
Wednesday: 12, 13, 14; Amos 3:12-4:5; 2 Peter 3:1-10; Matthew 21:23-32
Thursday: 18:21-50; Amos 4:6-13; 2 Peter 3:11-18; Matthew 21:33-46
***** The Christ Church Sunday School lesson for this coming Sunday has been posted on http://christchurchsundayschool.blogspot.com/.
Psalm 2:7-8 (New International Version)
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD :
He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
It is clear from Holy Scripture that there is a geographical aspect in the desires of the Father’s heart. God set the boundaries of the earth (Psalm 74:17). The Promised Land figured prominently in the Old Testament. Jesus wept over a city (Matthew 23:37). He taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth.”
Although my experience is limited, I’ve a sense that prayer walking (praying on site) is a valuable form of intercession. Since Jesus lives within us and the Holy Spirit works through us, there is a sense in which our prayer-walking provides light in dark places and salt in unsavory places (Matthew 5:13-16). If our bodies really are a “temple of God” (I Corinthians 3:16) then where we go, we represent His presence. We can walk around and intercede for any place that is wielding influence, be it for good or evil.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are exalted above the heavens, and Your glory above the earth. We exalt You in (name of local geographic location) and ask of You to make it Your inheritance. We pray for Your kingdom to come and Your will to be done in (name of local geographic location) as it is in heaven. Amen.
Psalm 2:8, 108:5