The Christian Year

Hearing God’s voice

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 15 – 21 October 2018

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org 

Sunday 21 October is the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost

Job 38:1-7, 34-41. A voice from the whirlwind (tornado) answers Job and the friends with a series of questions about their ability either to create or provide for the universe, the earth, and its inhabitants.

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c. A hymn praising God’s work in creation.

Hebrews 5:1-10. Jesus exercised his high priesthood, established directly by God, as was Melchizedek’s, through supplications, prayers, sufferings, and obedience.

Mark 10:35-45. The boldest misconstrual yet of leadership and position in the kingdom of God by disciples of Jesus. Leadership is service, not honor; and position is gained through suffering (cup, baptism, ransom) and God’s initiative, not self-promotion or favoritism.

This week in our daily confessions we begin a new cycle of our 21 day confession.  Remember to let God’s Spirit take you deeper into confession and transformation each time you do this cycle (we will follow it for three weeks)  The cycle will be found under the confessional focus for each day.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 12:7) O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us…

Confession: In what areas am I envious?  Does this envy “drive” my life in any areas?  How does this indicate restlessness within my own spirit?  How can my relationship with God help me with my envy?

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 11:7) For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice…

Confession: Does a seething anger just wait to rise up within my heart?   Do I find that I am quite controlled until I unexpectedly burst out in a rage?  Do I drive my car aggressively?  Ask God to allow you to acknowledge your anger and release its hold over your life.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Psalm 91:15 “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him.” Pray for those in trouble that they may call on the Lord and find deliverance.

Personal Prayers:

Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 10:16) The Lord is king forever and ever…

Confession: In the face of crying needs we often choose not to notice or even deliberately ignore them.  Ask God to open your heart to his call to serve.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse:  Philippians 3:1 “Finally my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!”  Pray that a spirit of joy may fill God’s people.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 9:1) I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.

Confession: Lord, make me aware of the pride in my life.  Pride that keeps me aloof and apart.  Pride that is rooted in insecurity and a need to prove myself.  Pride that makes me humiliate other human beings.  Lord, help me to make myself vulnerable and to serve rather than be served.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Revelation 3:20 “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me.”  Pray that those who do not know Christ may have ears that hear and that they may open the door.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Friday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 8:1) O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is you name in all the earth!

Confession: Lord, forgive me for alienating myself from this world that you love.  Help me to reach out in love and care.  Help me to make a difference.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse:  Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Pray that Christians may stand firm in their faith and not be misled by destructive forces that rob us of life.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 7:10) My shield is God most high…

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I invest huge resources for my own entertainment but will be resentful about a minor offering to alleviate another’s deep suffering.  Lord God, I pray for a generous heart.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse:  John 13:34 “A new commandment I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love you another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  Pray that God’s church may be united in its love and witness.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 6:9) The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I give all for my own ambitions and lose your call to share in love in important relationships in my life.  Help me to count the cost of loving and discover new joy in giving.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Psalm 92: 1+2 “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim you love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…”  Pray that God may increasingly release his church to bring praise to his name.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Going away sad!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 8 – 14 October 2018

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org 

Sunday 14 October is the twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost

 Job 23:1-9, 16-17.   Job tells his “friends” he is earnestly seeking God, trusting that God will listen to his arguments that his suffering seems unjust. Despite his seeking, God has been absent or non-responsive.

Psalm response: Psalm 22:1-15.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Do not be quick to apply this to Jesus. This is an ancient lament of a people seeking God in the midst of suffering they cannot explain. That is why it is such a fitting response to the reading from Job.

Hebrews 4:12-16. The word of God is not words in a book, but a living, energetic, and powerful force that exposes everything in our “interior” lives to God’s omniscient judgment. That’s why having a great high priest who has passed through the heavens and who has experienced what we have is vital for us. Jesus thus enables us to stand before God boldly, even as we seek mercy.

Mark 10:17-31.  An encounter between Jesus and a fairly wealthy man who has been faithful to the core principles of Torah toward other people seeks the secret of eternal life. Jesus tells him he need do only one more thing — sell all he has, distribute the proceeds to the poor, and come follow him. He goes away disturbed by what he hears, and his disciples are left wondering how anyone can be saved if a person so clearly “blessed” won’t be.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend time in silence.  In that stillness realise that God is all around you.  You don’t have to reach him, he is with you already. “Be still…”

Confession:  How have you lived as if God were not with you?   How would a continual sense of his presence change the way you live?   Focus on different areas each day.  Some possibilities: listening to God, conversation with God, energy to live, obedience to follow, resting and refreshing, morality, behavior, love for self, love for others, action, doing, meaning and purpose etc.  Then speak to the God who is with you!

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional aids.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  This week: Praying for new areas of God’s mission to be opened up.  Each day reflect on the world around us.  Pray that God would guide you into praying for new missions that have not yet begun but are very much needed.  Each day try to pray for a specific need. The disadvantaged.

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Transforming Verse:  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend time in silence.  In that stillness realise that God is all around you.  You don’t have to reach him, he is with you already. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty…

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying for new areas of God’s mission to be opened up.  Each day reflect on the world around us.  Pray that God would guide you into praying for new missions that have not yet begun but are very much needed.  Each day try to pray for a specific need. The lost.

Personal Prayers:

Transforming Verse:  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend time in silence.  In that stillness realise that God is all around you.  You don’t have to reach him, he is with you already. Jesus, the Alpha and Omega…

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying for new areas of God’s mission to be opened up.  Each day reflect on the world around us.  Pray that God would guide you into praying for new missions that have not yet begun but are very much needed.  Each day try to pray for a specific need. The cut-off, those feeling valueless.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend time in silence.  In that stillness realise that God is all around you.  You don’t have to reach him, he is with you already. God is love.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying for new areas of God’s mission to be opened up.  Each day reflect on the world around us.  Pray that God would guide you into praying for new missions that have not yet begun but are very much needed.  Each day try to pray for a specific need. Children and youth,

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend time in silence.  In that stillness realise that God is all around you.  You don’t have to reach him, he is with you already. I am with you always!

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying for new areas of God’s mission to be opened up.  Each day reflect on the world around us.  Pray that God would guide you into praying for new missions that have not yet begun but are very much needed.  Each day try to pray for a specific need. Those who have failed.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend time in silence.  In that stillness realise that God is all around you.  You don’t have to reach him, he is with you already. Worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness!

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying for new areas of God’s mission to be opened up.  Each day reflect on the world around us.  Pray that God would guide you into praying for new missions that have not yet begun but are very much needed.  Each day try to pray for a specific need. The hungry, cold and poor.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend time in silence.  In that stillness realise that God is all around you.  You don’t have to reach him, he is with you already. Take me to your sanctuary.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying for new areas of God’s mission to be opened up.  Each day reflect on the world around us.  Pray that God would guide you into praying for new missions that have not yet begun but are very much needed.  Each day try to pray for a specific need. The distressed.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28)

Deliverance!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 24 – 30 September 2018

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org 

Sunday 30 September is the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22.  Esther advocates to the king for her life and the lives of her people. Haman is executed on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. These stories are background for the feast of Purim.

Psalm 124. A psalm of thanksgiving to God for deliverance.

James 5:13-20. James calls for individual and corporate acts of prayer for healing and confession/forgiveness of sin and commends those who seek to restore persons wandering from the faith.

Mark 9:38-50.  Disciples of Jesus must never place stumbling blocks before others. Instead, they must focus on removing all forms of stumbling from their own lives, even if at high cost to themselves.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something of beauty.

Confession: This week focus on areas of your life where you are relying on your own strength.  Each day try to identify a way in which you resist allowing God’s presence to empower, lead and comfort you.  Then affirm your commitment to living out of God’s presence within you.

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional guidelines.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for the peace of the world, for the rulers of all the nations…”  (Our intercessions this week are taken from the Methodist Service Book.)

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something incredible

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for government in accordance with God’s holy will, and for a just and proper use of the natural resources of the world.”

Personal Prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly).  Today: Something comforting.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for the concerns and activities of this congregation (your congregation) and of this neighbourhood.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something reassuring.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for ourselves, our families, friends and neighbours.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly).  Today: Something challenging.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for all in sorrow, anxiety or sickness.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something awe-inspiring.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for the neglected, the persecuted and the lonely.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something inspiring worship.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for those in any need or trouble.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)