Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: 7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; 11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. (Psalm 37:3-5, 7, 11. NIV)
The psalmist recommends the following responses to God’s invitation: trust in, take delight in, commit to and be still before. Because the end result is the inheritance and enjoyment of prosperity and peace, shalom of God’s presence.
Here in our present age, our inheritance of that future prosperity is experienced through salvation of others by the message of the gospel. New lives being born again.
So, let’s pray together according to Sunday’s message response: Let’s seek the Lord’s presence for our workplaces, or even at home if you are a homemaker, school for the students. Let’s pray for the Lord’s prosperity/shalom in all facets of our lives for his glory and salvation of others among us.
Prayer: God we thank you for the promise of your presence. We want to trust, take delight, commit ourselves to be still before you as we seek more of your presence and activity among us. Lord let us prosper with greater numbers of salvation among us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “Waiting here for you” by Martin Smith.(Click Here)
“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. 9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you.
(Hosea: 11:8-9 NIV)
The word for “plan” in Jeremiah 29:11 is the same word used for “thought.” God’s plan for his people is not in the same sense as planning for an event, but it is originated from the depth and thoughtfulness of his heart. In the Hosea passage above, we are given an incredible insight into the heart of God that is stirred with love. In light of this reality, let’s reconsider the questions posed during Sunday’s message response:
How have you walked into work? May the Spirit prompt you to change your mindset to trust in his plans for you. If you struggle with anxiety and worries about job security, be renewed with God’s eternal hope in your heart.
Before we end in prayer, spend a few minutes reflecting and hearing the Spirit speak his overwhelming care and concern over your life.
Prayer: Lord, you are God, the Holy One, who is your equal? Who can understand the depths of love that stirs your heart? We thank you and we will trust in your overwhelming care for our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29: 4-7, 10-12 NIV)
The Bible shows us God’s truth about human work as part of God’s good purpose in creation. The Bible brings the whole of our working lives within the sphere of ministry, as we serve God in different callings. By contrast, the falsehood of a ‘sacred-secular divide’ has permeated the Church’s thinking and action. This divide tells us that religious activity belongs to God, whereas other activity does not. Most Christians spend most of their time in work which they may think has little spiritual value (so-called secular work). But God is Lord of all of life. ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,’ said Paul, to slaves in the pagan workplace. [Cape Town Commitment IIA3. Truth and the workplace]
Prayer: May your church be a blessing to all around, wherever we go and whenever the situation, God you are the Lord of all of life. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s sing to this song: “Great Things” by Phil Wickham. (Click Here)
Colossians 3:24 NIV “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
“We have met the language of ‘inheritance’ earlier in Colossians (1:12), where we noted its rich Old Testament associations. ‘Inheritance’ language is used especially often in the Old Testament to denote the promised land, but the land becomes a tangible symbol of all that God promises to do for his people. In the New Testament, therefore, the ‘inheritance’ is ‘the kingdom of God’ (1 Cor. 6:9, 10; 15:50; Gal. 5:21) or ‘salvation’ (Heb. 1:14), an inheritance now ‘kept in heaven for you’ (1 Pet. 1:4) and to be given to God’s people in the last day.” [Moo, Douglas J., The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (PNTC)]
We all work for something: promotion, bonus, recognition for a job well done; even housework for well-fed and healthy children, etc. But the greater inheritance is a heavenly reward received now on earth in the form of salvation of lives through the ministry of the gospel. Let’s work for this reward!
Prayer: Lord, help me to do the work for the heavenly kingdom reward. May all that I do serve this purpose! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to this song “Hymn of Surrender” by Matt Redman (Click Here)
Colossians 3:23 NIV “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”
“Second, whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. The task may appear unimportant or trivial, but the person doing it is never that, and he or she has the opportunity to turn the job into an act of worship…The fourth one is perhaps not to be taken (with NIV) as a statement (It is the Lord Christ that you are serving) but, as is equally possible in the Greek, as a command: ‘Serve the Lord Christ!’ The force of this unusual phrase (Paul nowhere else allows the titles ‘Lord’ and ‘Christ’ to stand together without the name ‘Jesus’ as well) could be brought out by a paraphrase: ‘so work for the true Master—Christ!’ “[N. T. Wright, TNTC Colossians & Philemon]
Today let’s consider this question, “who am I working for?” Let us work for the true Master, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, at this moment I want to turn from the worldly way of living, to serve the true Master! I am your servant; help me to live each day to work for you. In your name I pray, amen.
Let’s sing with a heart of devotion: “Build My Life” by Housefires (Click Here)
Acts 10:37-38 NIV – You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
“Peter clearly attempts to show his audience that Jesus’ ministry was accredited by God. It begins with “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power,” and ends with “because God was with him.” In between are the words, “and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil.” These words remind one of Isaiah 61:1, which Luke cites Jesus as quoting when he began his ministry. Peter’s point is that the life and miracles of Jesus demonstrate that Jesus was God’s special messenger…the good deeds and miracles of Jesus are associated with his anointing by the Holy Spirit.” [Ajith Fernando, Acts, NIVAC, p. 335]
Let’s ask the Lord for his anointing over us, his church, by the Holy Spirit to do good works of preaching and healing all under the authority and power of Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, anoint us by the Holy Spirit and let there be more healings and salvations among us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Song: Let’s sing “How great is our God” by Christ Tomlin (Click here).
Matthew 4:23 NIV – Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
“Historians today are agreed that this is the only explanation for the crowds Jesus drew. He really did have remarkable powers of healing. But Jesus was never simply a healer pure and simple, vital though that was as part of his work. For him, the healings were signs of the new thing that God was doing through him. God’s kingdom—God’s sovereign, saving rule—was at last being unleashed upon Israel and the world, through him.” [N. T. Wright, Matthew for Everyone, p.33-34]
Let’s pray for the unleashing, pouring out of the Spirit in our churches. As we all continue in the ministry of healing and salvation, let’s ask God for the increase of his empowering.
Prayer: God of revival, pour it out, pour it out, pour it out! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Song: Let’s sing “God of revival” by Bethel (Click here).
James 5:15-16 NIV – And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
“A more fruitful approach is to focus attention on the qualification that James introduces: it is only the prayer offered in faith that brings healing. James’s language here again has a point of contact with the opening section of the letter, where he insisted that the believer who asks God for wisdom ‘must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.’” [Douglas J. Moo, The Letter of James, The Pillar NT Commentary, p.244]
Let’s bring up through prayer those who are in need of healing, believing and not doubting. Let’s come fully trusting Jesus who alone has the power to heal.
Prayer: Lord, I believe and put my faith in you. Increase my faith, God. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Song: Let’s sing “Believe” by Hillsong (Click here).
Isaiah 58:8 NIV – Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
“In these first two clauses the emphasis falls upon speed…In the Near East the light of day follows almost immediately upon the darkness of night. Hence, as the light suddenly breaks forth, replacing the night, so will break forth the people’s light, i.e. their felicity of well-being, salvation… the word ’arukah signifies the healing of a wound, or, if employed figuratively as here, the restoration of something. This healing is compared to a plant that quickly sprouts forth In these two clauses the emphasis falls upon light and life and the rapidity of their appearance.” [Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, V3, p. 421]
Let’s ask God that the healing and salvation will “quickly” happen in our midst. That there will be no time wasted but instead that we as his church will be quickly and fully immersed in the salvation life and healing.
Prayer: Spirit of God, come quickly! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Song: Let’s sing “Won’t stop now” by Elevation Worship (Click here).
Malachi 4:2-3 NLT – “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
“The righteousness of God for his pious ones will cause their ‘healing’ in the most comprehensive sense of the word. The thousand wounds that were inflicted upon them by the evildoers will be covered by new flesh; the “disaster” and “trouble” that were caused by their sins will be removed, and they will be reconciled; their whole existence will be radically changed and will be characterized by ‘abundant peace’ and real ‘life.’ This ‘healing’ ultimately will be the consequence of the vicarious suffering of the Servant of the Lord…According to this interpretation the shining sun of righteousness has a precious article in the fold of his garment, namely, healing in the all-inclusive sense of the word.” [Pieter A. Verhoef, The Books of Haggai and Malachi, NICOT, p.330-331]
Prayer: Jesus we thank you for the comprehensive healing we have because of your salvation. Let the Sun of righteousness shine down in all areas of my life. I lay down all my concerns, troubles and fears and place them before you and trust you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Song: Let’s sing “Majesty” by Delirious (Click here).