As we gather for prayer today, I invite you to focus on Psalm 116. I love the Psalms…..the writers are so real, pouring out their hearts with all the doubts, fears, tears, questions and even anger……and then they choose to end up with words of worship and praise. They have learned a secret for victorious living: knowing that God is in control regardless of the circumstances. As you read the Psalm below (The Message version) take time to listen to what Father God is saying to you…..and what do you want to say to him? Where do you find yourself in these words? And notice we are not alone; we do this in “company with his people”. Thank you Father for speaking to us in your Word….. Psalm 116 The Message 1-6 I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help:“Please, God!” I cried out. “Save my life!” God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.7-8 I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”
9-11 I’m striding in the presence of God, alive in the land of the living! I stayed faithful, though bedeviled, and despite a ton of bad luck, Despite giving up on the human race, saying, “They’re all liars and cheats.”
12-19 What can I give back to God for the blessings he’s poured out on me? I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God! I’ll pray in the name of God; I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it together with his people. When they arrive at the gates of death, God welcomes those who love him.
Oh, God, here I am, your servant, your faithful servant: set me free for your service! I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of God. I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it in company with his people, In the place of worship, in God’s house, in Jerusalem, God’s city. Hallelujah!
Came to My Rescue https://youtu.be/rWPABE3gycs
Good evening RG family…I’ve been in a prayer class all week and one of the things we learn is that God wants to take the “trash” of our lives and transform it into treasure. God can take whatever we give him and redeem it. Joseph said this to the brothers that had tried to kill him, You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…..” (Genesis 50:20) A common message in my Bible reading recently is that we go through tough times but God will never leave or forsake us. That’s hard to believe when we have experienced pain and trauma but it’s the hope and truth we need to keep pressing THROUGH the tough times. The author of “Jesus Calling” says it well….
“LEARN TO APPRECIATE DIFFICULT DAYS. Be stimulated by the challenges you encounter along your way. As you journey through rough terrain with Me, gain confidence from your knowledge that together we can handle anything. This knowledge is comprised of three parts: your relationship with Me, promises in the Bible, and past experiences of coping successfully during hard times. Look back on your life, and see how I have helped you through difficult days. If you are tempted to think, “Yes, but that was then, and this is now,” remember who I am! Although You and your circumstances may change dramatically, I remain the same throughout time and eternity. This is the basis of your confidence. In MY PRESENCE, you live and move and have your being. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.; Psalm 102:1717 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea……”
Look at the past week through this truth….take it into the week ahead. He is with you.
Matt Redman “Never Once” https://youtu.be/n1bXG4WIesA
Dear RG family….I hope each of you is being blessed by joining in family prayers on Friday. I think we don’t realize what a blessing we have to be part of a family that prays for one another. I want to share the devotional thought from Jesus Calling this morning…and let’s ask God how this applies to our lives.
“Come to me with your defenses down, ready to be blessed and filled with My Presence. Relax and feel the relief of being totally open and authentic with Me. You have nothing to hide and nothing to disclose because i know everything about you already. You can have no other relationship like this one. Take time to savor its richness, basking in my golden Light. One of the worst consequences of the Fall is the elaborate barriers people erect between themselves and others. Facades abound in the world, even in my body, the church. Sometimes, church is the last place where people feel free to be themselves. They cover up with Sunday clothes and Sunday smiles. They feel relief when they leave because of the strain of false fellowship. The best antidote to this artificial atmosphere is practicing my presence at church. Let your primary focus be communing with Me, worshiping Me, glorifying Me. Then you will be able to smile at others with my Joy and love them with My love.” 1 John 1:5-7 5 This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.6-7 If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.
Holy Spirit Francesca Battistelli https://youtu.be/2zEiiZi2DKk
Dear RG family… I’ve been reminded this week how quickly we judge others and judge ourselves…..and how quickly we accept others’ judgments and allow that to impact us. My devotional reading this morning was a powerful reminder of this truth. I want to share it with you and am praying we all see through our Father’s eyes. ….” BEWARE OF SEEING YOURSELF THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE’S EYES.
There are several dangers to this practice. First of all, it is nearly impossible to discern what others actually think of you. Moreover, their views of you are variable: subject to each viewer’s spiritual, emotional, and physical condition. The major problem with letting others define you is that it borders on idolatry. Your concern to please other dampens your desire to please Me, your Creator. It is much more real to see yourself through MY EYES….My gaze upon you is steady and sure, untainted by sin. Through My eyes you can see yourself as one who is deeply, eternally loved. Rest in My loving gaze and you will receive deep peace. Respond to My loving Presence by worshiping Me in spirit and in truth.” quoted from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.
Hebrews 11:5-6 MSG By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him;
John 4:23-24 MSG “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”
My FAther’s Eyes by Amy Grant https://youtu.be/V4xqhXFRBmk