Day Five: Love Found Us to Pray

Psalm 36:9-10 NLT For you are the fountain of life, …
Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts.

There is nothing like the unfailing love of Jesus!
David responds to this fountain of life, and prays, “Pour out your unfailing love…”

“Whatever the shape of our prayer, wherever or whatever we are or have been, we are never without the grace and goodness of God…the psalmist describes our own experience of what has been and what will be:

…Blessed are those whose strength you are,
In whose hearts are the roads to Zion.
As they go through the bitter valley,
they make it a place of springs…

For those who long for God, who seek a life of prayer and love, every bitter valley at last will become a place of springs. Human beings cannot make springs. All prayer, all life, all love finally are the gifts of God’s generous grace that waters the world like the rivers of Paradise.” [Roberta C. Bondi, To Pray & To Love, p.138]

Our continuing response to God’s indescribable love is to “water the world” with ongoing urgent prayers for those who need to be found by the love of Jesus.

Let’s sing, “Fullness” by Elevation Worship (Click here).

As we do, pray: Lord, pour out your unfailing love on our college/graduate campuses, on the singles and families in our cities/communities, on the youth of this generation! May “love found me” be their heart cry! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– CH

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Day Four: Love Found Me to Love

Psalm 36:8-9 NLTYou feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.

Galatians 5:6b NIVThe only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Excerpts from Roma Black Testimony:
“When I said that sinner’s prayer, I literally felt my sins being lifted from me…I said, ‘I feel so light!’ The pastor said, ‘Son, that’s your sins. God has took ’em and threw them in the sea of forgetfulness.’…My brothers, after that, for the last 27 years I’ve been serving the Lord and it’s been a blessing.”
“Love truly, truly found me!”

Every moment and experience that God orchestrated to bring Roma into the forgiveness and freedom of his love are included in Spirit’s cry from his heart when he proclaims, “Love truly, truly found me!” This joy-filled cry is about the miraculous work of salvation but also testifies to the life of love that Jesus has won for us! As the Spirit transforms us, the faithfulness of Christ expresses itself through love in us and through us. We now live to serve the Lord with a pure heart and love others that they may come and see the true light and fountain of life who is Jesus.

Let’s sing, “Come and See” by Matt Redman (Click here).

As we do, pray: Lord, give us a pure heart to serve you. Fill us with your Spirit to love others with your “love found me” love.

– CH

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Day Three: God’s Love Unravels Us

Excerpt from Roma Black Testimony:
“…the preacher is preaching my life…he makes an altar call…there is no one beside me…a voice says into my ear, ‘Go.’ …the pastor says, ‘For some reason I can’t go on. There is someone here God sent today…I can’t continue my message until you come. It’s your last chance.’ When he said it’s your last chance, an invisible hand – I felt the hand. It touched my shoulder. And when that hand touched my shoulder, I felt the love that I can’t describe.”

Psalm 36:6-7 NLTYour righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths…
How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.

Through a dream, God gave Roma supernatural desire to be with church. This was just one part of the unraveling process that God orchestrated in his life. God’s love needs to unravel us so that what God is doing in us can take over and produce its full effect. In God’s empowering presence, Jesus touched Roma with his irresistible love. It was as tangible as feeling a hand on his shoulder. Who can fathom the power of God’s love and yet we can know his love like that! Let’s say “Yes” again to what God must do in us that he may love through us.

Let’s pray: Lord, have your way in my life. I surrender my all to your irresistible love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s sing, “Touch of Heaven” by Hillsong (Click here).

– CH

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Day Two: God’s Love Pursues Us

Excerpt from Roma Black Testimony:
“This little girl, a Christian girl walks into my store all the way past all of that garbage and she comes to me and gives me a track. And she says to me, ‘the Lord loves you.’ And you know what I did? I took the track. I balled it up and I threw it in her face and said, ‘Get out of my store. I don’t need God.’ What was amazing…when she looked at me, all I could see was love.”

God was in pursuit of Roma Black when his love came to him through this young Christian girl who courageously entered his world to share Jesus. When Roma angrily threw the track at her face, she looked at him and all he could see was love. Roma was enamored by that love.

Have we not also set aside God, ignored God, even refused God in our lives? Despite our selfish ways, has God not shown us his unrelenting faithful covenant-love? Who can understand this love? Who can measure this love? No one!

Psalm 36:5 NLTYour unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.

This unfailing love is Jesus Christ – his love is beyond comprehension and unlimited toward us!

Let’s pray: Lord, thank you for running towards me with your love and mercy. Captivate my heart with your irresistible love. Forever I am yours! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s worship God by singing “Pursue Me” by Worship Central (Click here).

– CH

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Day One: God’s Glorious Grace

Romans 3:23-24 NLTFor everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Ephesians 1:5-6 NLTGod decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

“All humans share a solidarity of impoverishment with one another in God’s sight. The one thing they have in common is that which makes them objects of both wrath and grace, their unworthiness before God.” [James R. Edwards, NIBC, Romans, p. 102]

Through the message of the cross, God revealed to all the heavens and earth that everyone has sinned and everyone needs to be found. And through God’s divine reversal, “Yet God, in his grace…” he has revealed his supernatural faithful covenant-love in Jesus for our salvation. All praise and worship belong to Jesus for he alone is worthy! Worthy is his name – the name that is above all names!

Let’s pray: Lord Jesus, you alone are our glorious grace! You alone are our salvation! You alone are worthy of all praise and worship! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s declare, “Worthy is your name, Jesus!” by worshiping to the song, “Worthy” by Elevation Worship (Click here).

– CH

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Day Four: Abiding Love

John 15:9,12(NIV)
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

Think of what Christ says: “As the Father has loved me”—what a divine, everlasting, wonderful love—“so have I loved you.” It was the same love with which He loved the Father and that He always bore in His heart that He now gave into the hearts of His disciples. He yearns that this everlasting love should rest upon us and work within us that we may abide in it day by day. What a blessed life! Christ desires every disciple to live in the power of the self-same love of God that He himself experienced…The Christ with whom you desire fellowship longs unspeakably to fill you with His love. [Andrew Murray, 365 Timeless Devotions from Classic Writers]

This is the nature of God’s love:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer 31)
“His love endures forever” (Ps. 118)
“How priceless your unfailing love” (Ps. 36)
How did Jesus demonstrate God’s love for us?
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5)

Meditate on these words. Believe these words. God holds us and keeps us in his love.

Prayer: Lord, fill me with your everlasting love. Help me believe and trust in your unfailing love. Keep me close to your heart. May my heart be captivated and shaped by your redeeming love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s worship to “Your Cross Changes Everything” by Passion, Matt Redman.

-CH

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Day Three: Abiding Prayer

John 15:7 (NIV)
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

This prayer is not asked in isolation but in the intimate, mutually indwelling relationship between Jesus and the disciples… the prayer, like the relationship, has Christ as the primary cause. This is because it is created in and guided from the entirety of Jesus’s message—his person and work. In light of our union with Christ, “whatever you wish” is not a blank-check prayer but participation in the life and mission of God. [E. Klink III, John, Zondervan ECNT]

Souls abiding in Jesus open the day with prayer; prayer surrounds them as an atmosphere all day long… Consistent asking comes out of abiding in Christ. Some believers pray by the yard, but true prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length. [Charles Spurgeon, 365 Timeless Devotions from Classic Writers]

Has it been a struggle to pray? Is your heart cold? Do you feel you don’t know how to pray? Prayer flows forth from a living relationship with Jesus, the very presence of him in us.

Prayer:  Lord, may your Spirit and words deepen my relationship with you. May your words become the prayers that I pray. May your will and glory be the answers I desire and wait for. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Waiting Here for You” by Jesse Reeves, Martin Smith, Chris Tomlin.

-CH

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Day Two: A Matter of Fact

John 15:1-2 (NIV)
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

“On a Sunday soon after, the church plant team received from John 15 that as branches that remain in the true vine, being pruned is a matter of fact – so we can’t and don’t need to avoid it. I felt relief as I received God’s perspective – he will always deal with the unfruitful areas in my life, not to crush me, but rather because he is determined to bring forth a greater fruitfulness than I think is possible. These were grace-filled, life-giving moments that began a new process of transformation in me. I began to notice the Spirit’s help and conviction in moments where I would have usually gotten stuck in my own opinions and understanding, and the Lord gave me desire and power to be taught and to agree with his ways.” [excerpt from Jennie Lin’s testimony]

Are you experiencing the Father’s sharp but loving pruning process to bring your life in line with his heart and ways? How are we to respond?

Prayer: Father, help me not to resist your grace-filled work in my life. Humble my heart to yield to the transforming power of your Spirit in me. Your ways truly lead to real life and greater blessing. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Gracefully Broken” by Matt Redman.

-CH

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Day One: Abide in Me

John 15:4 (NRSV)
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

He says, “Just as truly as the branch is in the vine, you are in me. And now, just as the Father abides in me, and works in me, and I work out what He works in me; and just as truly as the branch abides in the vine, and the vine gives its life and strength to the branch, and the branch receives it and puts it forth in fruit—even so do you remain in me and receive my strength. I will work with an almighty power in you and through you. Abide in me!” [Andrew Murray, 365 Timeless Devotions from Classic Writers]

Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are brought into union with Christ. We experience and live that union through the empowering presence of the Spirit of God who comes to indwell all believers.

To abide in Jesus is not about doing more for him. It is about being more with him, having more of Jesus in our lives and deeper intimacy with him.

Prayer: Lord, you are the true vine. Help me to abide in you. Fill me with the empowering presence of your Spirit. Renew my thoughts to be on you. Shape my will to depend on you. Fill me with greater desire for you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Abide with Me’ by Matt Redman

 

-CH

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Day 5: As the Father has sent me, I am sending you

Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

There are so many amazing wonders that God has accomplished on our behalf – salvation, transformed lives, reconciliation, renewal, healing, equipping and sending, church plants. But once again, the Lord is calling – “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And, “ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Worship and Prayer:

Anointing (click here), Jesus Culture

Lord, we cannot go unless you go with us. Pour out your Spirit upon us again. Anoint us with Your grace and send us as Your workers. Lead us to Your harvest field. Use us again to sow and reap and establish oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of Your splendor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-CH

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