Monthly Archives: September 2016

Join me in my suffering

 

rivers-of-babylon-gebhard-fugel

By the rivers of Babylon by Gebhard Fugel

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 26 September – 2 October 2016

2 October is the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost.

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

 Use these readings in “The Word” step below.

Lamentations 1:1-6The destruction prophesied has come. Jerusalem and the temple are ruins. Exile from Jerusalem and Judah has begun. The prophet gives voice to the people’s lament: “Her foes have become her masters… because the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions.”

Psalm 137.  One of the most painful of all the psalms and a fitting and realistic response to the first reading.

2 Timothy 1:1-14. Paul’s greeting and opening exhortation in the second letter: Remember who you are, rekindle the gift in you, don’t be afraid. There is no shame in suffering when it comes from trusting and obeying the Lord.

Luke 17:5-10. Jesus teaches on faith and status. The disciples ask for more faith; Jesus says they need a different kind. They appear to want to be treated as equals of powerful persons; Jesus tells them to regard themselves as slaves who can’t be sold for profit.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: This week we praise God as the foundation of our lives. Today we praise God as the foundation for our hope.

Confession: Jesus Christ offers us a process of death to resurrection: we can die with Christ and be raised with Him.  This process transforms our lives.  What needs to die within us? What needs to be raised?  Each day kneel at the foot of the cross and bring something to God that needs to die, and then stand up and acknowledge a resurrection in terms of that issue or struggle.  Then walk in the newness of life that He brings you.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that the world may walk in the light of God. (See 1 John 1:7)  Today: Pray that in our personal lives we may walk in the light.

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)

Dedication:  Lord, in this day that is ahead of me, I commit myself to walking in your light.  Lord, shine on me!

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: This week we praise God as the foundation of our lives. Today we praise God as the foundation for our love.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that the world may walk in the light of God. (See 1 John 1:7)  Today: Pray that in the government of our land we may walk in the light and know that that light shines upon us.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Lord, in this day that is ahead of me, I commit myself to walking in your light.  Lord, shine on me!

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: This week we praise God as the foundation of our lives. Today we praise God as the foundation for our joy.

Confession: See Monday’s confession

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that the world may walk in the light of God. (See 1 John 1:7)  Today: Pray that in our hospitals and health care we may walk in the light.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, in this day that is ahead of me, I commit myself to walking in your light.  Lord, shine on me!

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: This week we praise God as the foundation of our lives. Today we praise God as the foundation for our peace.

Confession: See Monday’s confession

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that the world may walk in the light of God. (See 1 John 1:7)  Today: Pray for your police services that they may walk in the light and know that light shining upon them.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, in this day that is ahead of me, I commit myself to walking in your light.  Lord, shine on me!

Friday:

Adoration Focus: This week we praise God as the foundation of our lives. Today we praise God as the foundation for our thanksgiving.

Confession: See Monday’s confession

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that the world may walk in the light of God. (See 1 John 1:7)  Today: Pray that in your church life we may walk in the light and know the light of Christ shining on us.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, in this day that is ahead of me, I commit myself to walking in your light.  Lord, shine on me!

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: This week we praise God as the foundation of our lives. Today we praise God as the foundation for our fellowship.

Confession: See Monday’s confession

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that the world may walk in the light of God. (See 1 John 1:7)  Today: Pray that in your educational institutions we may walk in the light and know the light of Christ shining on us.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, in this day that is ahead of me, I commit myself to walking in your light.  Lord, shine on me!

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: This week we praise God as the foundation of our lives. Today we praise God as the foundation for our worship.

Confession: See Monday’s confession

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  This week: praying that the world may walk in the light of God. (See 1 John 1:7)  Today: Pray that in your worship we may worship in the light and know the light of Christ shining on us.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, in this day that is ahead of me, I commit myself to walking in your light.  Lord, shine on me!

Investing in the future hope

grapes on vine cc-by-sa

Seasonal Rhythm (Sundays after Pentecost: Ordinary Time)

“…this season emphasizes the church’s daily and weekly walk with Christ…” “During this season it is also proper to emphasize that we are called to live out the Gospel day by day, one day at a time, not only in the notable experiences of life, but also in the mundane. As Chuck Sackett wrote in a devotional on Preaching.com: “These Sundays remind us of a simple truth: ”most time is ordinary time, neither crisis nor climax, tragedy nor comedy, just ordinary.” (Internet Monk)

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 19 – 25 September 2016

18 September is the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost.

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

 Use these readings in “The Word” step below.

Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15 Jeremiah buys land in Jerusalem during the siege while he was imprisoned. This was a pledge and prophetic sign that “Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.”

Psalm Response: Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16“When the storms of life are raging”

1 Timothy 6:6-19. Paul calls on Timothy not to pursue riches but to be content with the abundant grace and supply of God, whatever that may be. What he should pursue is “righteousness, godliness, endurance, faith, love and gentleness,” and to teach the rich in the Christian communities around Ephesus to do likewise.

Luke 16:19-31.  Jesus tells the story of a nameless rich man and beggar named Lazarus.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “My Jesus, My Saviour Lord there is none like you…” (A song of praise)

Confession: This week we complete our three-week cycle of questions designed to help us examine some basic areas in our lives.  Today’s questions: In what areas am I envious?  Does this envy “drive” my life in any areas?  How does this indicate a restlessness within my own spirit?  How can my relationship with God help me with my envy?

The Word:

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)

Dedication: Lord I kneel at the foot of the cross, you gave your life in service for me, may I give my life to serve today.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “All of my days, I want to praise the wonders of your mighty love…” (A song of praise)

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: ”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:

Dedication: Lord I kneel at the foot of the cross, you gave your life in service for me, may I give my life to serve today.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: “My comfort my shelter, Tower of refuge and strength…” (A song of praise)

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

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord I kneel at the foot of the cross, you gave your life in service for me, may I give my life to serve today.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “Let every breath, all that I am never cease to worship you…” (A song of praise)

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

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord I kneel at the foot of the cross, you gave your life in service for me, may I give my life to serve today.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “Shout to the Lord all the earth, let us sing, power and majesty, praise to the King…” (A song of praise)

Confession: Lord forgive me for alienated 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: “I ask for your prayers for all in sorrow, need, anxiety or sickness.”

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord I kneel at the foot of the cross, you gave your life in service for me, may I give my life to serve today.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “Mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of your name…” (A song of praise)

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

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord I kneel at the foot of the cross, you gave your life in service for me, may I give my life to serve today.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “I sing for joy at the work of your hands…” (A song of praise)

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

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord I kneel at the foot of the cross, you gave your life in service for me, may I give my life to serve today.

Jeremiah’s lament

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Jeremiah lamenting Jerusalem – Rembrandt

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 12 – 18 September 2016

18 September is the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost.

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

 Use these readings in “The Word” step below.

 Jeremiah 8:18-9:1  Jeremiah cries out and weeps for the pain and destruction of his people.

Psalm 79:1-9  A strong and relevant response to the reading from Jeremiah. Don’t just read it: Pray it! Or better, sing it!

1 Timothy 2:1-7.  Paul provides direction for what should be included in the “prayers of the people” and in what order. The people’s ministry of prayer joins the ongoing priestly ministry of Jesus as mediator and participates in the will of God that all should be saved.

Luke 16:1-13.  Jesus praises a shrewd steward and commends his disciples to follow his example.

(In our confession this week we enter the second week of the 21-day cycle of confession)

Monday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 27:1)  The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

Confession: Lord, I have used my tongue as a weapon of destruction.  I have spoken words that break down and do not build up.  I have despised my heart that has not been able to silence my tongue.  Forgive me and fill me with your words and your heart that seeks for the best for all.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs encouragement.

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)

Dedication: Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee… Take myself and I will be, ever only, all for Thee. (Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79)

 Tuesday:

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

Confession: Lord, I am part of a people. I am part of a community that fall far short of your Kingdom ideals.  Forgive us I pray and enable us to realise that your Kingdom is among us.  Fill us with your justice, righteousness and peace.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to know that they are loved.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee… Take myself and I will be, ever only, all for Thee.      (Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Praise the Lord… who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed life the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:5)

Confession: Lord forgive me when I desire peace but am not prepared to sacrifice and serve in building peace.  Lord help me to follow where you have led and to give myself that others may live in fullness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to discover faith in God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee… Take myself and I will be, ever only, all for Thee.      (Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.” (Psalm 87:7)

Confession: Lord forgive me when I make your grace a “cheap” commercial product.  Help me to journey below the surface froth and bubble.  Help me to go deeper.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to find work.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee… Take myself and I will be, ever only, all for Thee.      (Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Because you are my help, I will sing in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 63:7)

Confession: Lord, I have neglected the gifts you have given me.  Some have atrophied.  Sometimes a lack of confidence has paralysed me, sometimes I have been caught up in struggle, sometimes I have been lazy.  Lord I pray that I may thank you for your gifts that you have given and that I may use them for your glory.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs strength in a struggle.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee… Take myself and I will be, ever only, all for Thee.      (Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. (Psalm 52:9)

Confession: Lord, forgive me for my sins of neglect.   Those things which I have not done where You have prompted me into action.  When you speak help me to act.  Help me to develop a habit of listening and responding.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to find joy in living.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee… Take myself and I will be, ever only, all for Thee.      (Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 33:11)  But his plans endure forever; his purposes last eternally.

Confession: Forgive me Lord, when I have been difficult to live with.  Forgive me when I have not carried my share of the load.  Forgive me when I have accepted unjust roles just because they have prospered my own comfort and interests.  Help me to make space for and to care for others.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs reconciliation.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee… Take myself and I will be, ever only, all for Thee.      (Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79)