Time to Return

 

 

Yearly Rhythm

What is Lent?  “Lent is a season of the Christian Year where Christians focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God.  Lent is a great time to “repent” — to return to God and re-focus our lives to be more in line with Jesus. It’s a 40 day trial run in changing your lifestyle and letting God change your heart.” (http://www.upperroom.org/lent101)

Weekly Rhythm

A prayer for you to pray during this week:

A Time of Turning Round

Truly dust we are, and to dust we shall return;
and truly yours we are, and to you we shall return.
Help this to be a time of turning round and beginning again.

Through the forty days of Lent, help us to follow you
and to find you: in the discipline of praying
and in the drudgery of caring –
in whatever we deny ourselves,
and whatever we set ourselves to learn or do.

Help us to discover you
in our loneliness and in community,
in our emptiness and our fulfilment,
in our sadness and our laughter.

Help us to find you when we ourselves are lost.

Help us to follow you on the journey to Jerusalem
to the waving palms of the people’s hope,
to their rejection, to the cross and empty tomb.
Help us to perceive new growth amid the ashes of the old.
Help us, carrying your cross, to be signs of your Kingdom. Amen.

— written by Jan Sutch Pickard, in Traveling to Easter with Jesus as our Guide, posted on the website of Patmos Abbey—The Order of Saint Columba. http://www.patmosabbey.org/

Daily Rhythm

 Devotional Diary 29 February – 6 March 2016

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org Sunday 6 March 2016 Fourth Sunday of Lent

Joshua 5:9-12. The “disgrace of Egypt” is rolled away. On the day after the Passover, the people are able to feast from the fruit of the land.

Psalm 32.  A sung confession of sin, disgrace, and God’s prodigal mercy cleanses and heals us.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21. In Christ, God was reconciling the world, not counting our trespasses, and makes those in Christ “ministers of reconciliation.”

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32. The story of a prodigal Father, the wandering and repentance of a younger son and a resentful firstborn brother.

 Monday:

Adoration Focus: O Lord of life, Thy quickening voice awakes my morning song; In gladsome words I would rejoice that I to Thee belong. (Methodist Hymn Book 930)

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:  See readings above or use your own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we focus on some issues that face our land and world.  In most of these areas we need to grow in Kingdom of God ways of praying and not simply pray out of fear and anger (although these need to be acknowledged). Each day we will suggest an area and you are invited to ask God how He would have you pray into it.    Today’s concern: Morality.

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: LEAD ME LORD I PRAY; TAKE ME, MOULD ME, USE ME, FILL ME; I GIVE MY LIFE TO THE POTTER’S HAND; CALL ME, GUIDE ME, LEAD ME, WALK BESIDE ME, I GIVE MYSELF TO THE POTTER’S HAND  (A Song of dedication)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: O love, how deep, how broad, how high!  It fill the heart with ecstasy, that God, the son of God, should take our mortal form, for mortals’ sake. (MHB 62)

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: See Monday’s focus.  Today’s concern: Aids.

Shared Focus:

Dedication: LEAD ME LORD I PRAY; TAKE ME, MOULD ME, USE ME, FILL ME; I GIVE MY LIFE TO THE POTTER’S HAND; CALL ME, GUIDE ME, LEAD ME, WALK BESIDE ME, I GIVE MYSELF TO THE POTTER’S HAND  (A Song of dedication)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus:  High in the heavens, eternal God, Thy goodness in full glory shines; Thy truth shall break through every cloud that veils and darkens Thy designs. (MHB 48)

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: See Monday’s focus.  Today’s concern: Crime.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: LEAD ME LORD I PRAY; TAKE ME, MOULD ME, USE ME, FILL ME; I GIVE MY LIFE TO THE POTTER’S HAND; CALL ME, GUIDE ME, LEAD ME, WALK BESIDE ME, I GIVE MYSELF TO THE POTTER’S HAND  (A song of dedication)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Father like He tends and spares us, well our feeble frame He knows; In his hands He gently bears, rescues us from all our foes. (MHB 12)

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: See Monday’s focus.  Today’s concern: Corruption.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: LEAD ME LORD I PRAY; TAKE ME, MOULD ME, USE ME, FILL ME; I GIVE MY LIFE TO THE POTTER’S HAND; CALL ME, GUIDE ME, LEAD ME, WALK BESIDE ME, I GIVE MYSELF TO THE POTTER’S HAND  (A song of dedication)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Earth rejoice, our Lord is King! Sons of men, His praises sing; Sing ye in triumphant strains, Jesus the Messiah reigns!  (MHB246)

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 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: See Monday’s focus.  Today’s concern: Violence.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: LEAD ME LORD I PRAY; TAKE ME, MOULD ME, USE ME, FILL ME; I GIVE MY LIFE TO THE POTTER’S HAND; CALL ME, GUIDE ME, LEAD ME, WALK BESIDE ME, I GIVE MYSELF TO THE POTTER’S HAND  (A song of dedication)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Born Thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, Born to reign in us for ever, now Thy gracious kingdom bring. (MHB 242)

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: See Monday’s focus.  Today’s concern:  Prejudice and racism.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: LEAD ME LORD I PRAY; TAKE ME, MOULD ME, USE ME, FILL ME; I GIVE MY LIFE TO THE POTTER’S HAND; CALL ME, GUIDE ME, LEAD ME, WALK BESIDE ME, I GIVE MYSELF TO THE POTTER’S HAND  (A song of dedication)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: I sing the almighty power of God, that made the mountains rise, that spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.  (MHB 46)

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: See Monday’s focus.  Today’s concern:  Unemployment and economic empowerment.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: LEAD ME LORD I PRAY; TAKE ME, MOULD ME, USE ME, FILL ME; I GIVE MY LIFE TO THE POTTER’S HAND; CALL ME, GUIDE ME, LEAD ME, WALK BESIDE ME, I GIVE MYSELF TO THE POTTER’S HAND  (A song of dedication)