Day 5: Maranatha

Luke 23:44-46 (NIV)
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  When he had said this, he breathed his last.

“Jesus emerged from the blackness before he died. He did not have to wait for an open tomb and a resurrection body. The face of his Father shone lovingly upon him again on this side of the grave. Darkness may still have covered the land. The fearful rending of the ‘veil of the temple’ might intimidate any who saw it. But for Jesus the battle was ended.” [John White. Daring to Draw Near: People in Prayer.]

“With this he ‘breathed his last,’ in control to the very end. The powers of darkness have not won but lost. In his death salvation was secured for humankind, and it came not when earthly or cosmic forces demanded but when God so willed. The greatest act of love humankind will ever know was now complete, and the powers of darkness were once for all conquered.” [Grant Osborne. Luke Verse by Verse.]

Prayer: Jesus, you are our only hope. May your kingdom come. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. By your Spirit, we commit our lives into your hands for today and the battles ahead. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “You Hold Me Now” by Hillsong Worship (click here).

-AS

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Day 4: My God, My God

Let us read aloud these passages together,

Matthew 27:45-46 (NIV)
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

 Psalm 22:1-5 (NIV)
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

“The darkness may not immediately lessen, but to cry out is natural and altogether appropriate. He waits tenderly and patiently to hear you cry, ‘O God, where are you?’ He knows then what you still expect of him.” [John White. Daring to Draw Near: People in Prayer.]

“When we are in the Spirit, we are not led to fear, anger, or distraction. We don’t trivialize the pain. Instead, we let the Psalms be our guide through the battle.”  [Adapted from P. Ed’s message.]

Prayer: My God, my God, I cry out to you. By your Spirit, I put my trust in the Holy One who hears and delivers. I put my trust in the Holy One who saves and does not put me to shame.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Is He Worthy” by Chris Tomlin (click here).

-AS

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Day 3: Forgiven and Forgiveness

Luke 23:34 (NIV)
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

“Stop grappling with your feelings. Raise the issue to an altogether higher level. Go to the Father and pray that the Father will forgive…God will in fact take you seriously when you pray for the forgiveness of another. The capacity to pray in this way is what makes you a priest. You are to follow in the steps of the High Priest and to plead for mercy for those who need it. In doing so you will transcend that form of forgiveness which merely affects the horizontal relationship between you and a fellow creature, and will be calling for divine forgiveness of sin from the only Source able to provide that forgiveness.” [John White. Daring to Draw Near: People in Prayer.]

“Jesus was described in the gospels as being full of the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit. How much we need the filling of the Holy Spirit as well. As we go through our own battles, it is only through the Spirit that we are able to live and pray as Jesus did.”  [Adapted from P. Ed message.]

Prayer: Father, thank you for your love and forgiveness. As you have forgiven me, forgive _______.  May you bring your salvation, healing, and reconciliation to our families, to our churches, to our cities, to our campuses, to our friends, classmates, and co-workers. May you receive all the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Endless Alleluia”  by Bethel Music & Cory Asbury (click here).

-AS

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Day 2: His Will

Matthew 26:37-39 (NIV)

37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

“We are observing the Son of God as he addresses the Father. More importantly we are seeing a man, the Son of man, approaching the Father of us all. And it is as man that I want us to observe him most. We cannot identify with his deity. But in humanity we are bound together with him and he with us.”  [John White. Daring to Draw Near: People in Prayer.]

“We find in Jesus, one who has journeyed through the darkest valleys of the human experience and overcame. This is good news for us. The prayers of Jesus are within the reach of all of us because Jesus lived a life that was fully-human, just like us. We can pray this way because we are united with Christ in his life, death, and resurrection. The Spirit of Christ empowers us to live like Christ.” [Adapted from P. Ed message.]

Prayer: Father, I pour out my soul to you. I am united with Christ. Christ lives in me. By your Spirit, I surrender to you, not my will, but your will be done. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Peace Be Still” by The Belonging Co ft. Lauren Daigle (click here).

-AS

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Day 1: Into His Hands

Let us read aloud this passage together,

Psalm 31:1-5 (NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
 
1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

“It was part of Jewish tradition to include Psalm 31 into the regular evening prayers before going to sleep.  It was upon the cross that Psalm 31:5 had taken a particularly unique and profound application in Jesus’ life, but it was certainly not its first utterance from Jesus’ lips.  Jesus regularly surrendered to God in prayer.  The approach to our last battle is shaped and informed by our first battle and every valley and mountain top in between.” [Adapted from P. Ed’s message.]

“This is a prayer for resurrection, and it is at the heart of everything we are and do.” [Grant Osborne. Luke Verse by Verse.]

Prayer:  Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit today.  Empower me to pray and live as Jesus did.  I put my trust into your faithful hands to rescue me.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “10,000 Reasons (Live In Times Square)” by Matt Redman (click here).

-AS

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