Day Five: March Right into Love

Let’s pray the Lord’s Prayer and read the following passages aloud:

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
help us to honor your holy name.
May your kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us for doing wrong,
as we forgive others.
Keep us from being tempted
and protect us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours.
Now and for ever.
Amen.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Psalm 89:1a,15-17 (NIV)
I will sing of the LORD’S great love forever…
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long…
17 For you are their glory and strength,
    and by your favor you exalt our horn.

Prayer: Lord, help us walk in the light of your presence, rejoicing in you every day. By your favor, fill us with compassion to march right into love wherever you send us. May we build altars of worship and prayer, so that others may know and worship the God of all comfort. All glory be yours! We worship you, Lord! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship God in singing “King of Glory” by CeCe Winans (click here).

-CH

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Day Four: Worship is a Choice

Psalm 13:3-6 (NIV)
3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

“To worship God is to tell Him that we believe Him for who He says He is. Every day we’re faced with the choice either to acknowledge and proclaim Him as the great and merciful God He declares himself to be or to deny Him… Yes, every act of worship is a choice—a decision to believe and respond to God for who He says He is—no matter how pressing our circumstances. And the greater the pain we’re experiencing, the greater a choice it may be. Sometimes we will walk blindly, unable to understand why we are going through a certain situation—our only comfort being the knowledge that God himself is not walking blindly, but instead is wisely, kindly, and firmly in control” (Matt and Beth Redman, Finding God in the Hard Times).

Prayer: Lord, in every circumstance, I trust in your unfailing love! My heart rejoices in your salvation! I will sing to you for you have been good to me! My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship singing “Blessed Be Your Name” (Matt and Beth Redman), over our present circumstances (click here).

-CH

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Day Three: Remembering God’s Track Record

Lamentations 3:19-24 (MSG)
19-21 I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
    the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
    the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
    and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
22-24 GOD’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with GOD (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left.

“Lamentations gives us an example of a worshiper who experienced pain and yet used the act of remembering God’s track record as a pathway to worship. The worshiper describes… never forgetting the trouble, feeling utterly lost… tasting the ashes, the poison he’s swallowed, the balance sensors so off alignment — the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing he remembers and keeps remembering – the tangible holding on, gripping onto hope manifested in worship. What this worshiper says is I’ll never forget the trouble…but I’ll also never forget and will keep remembering this very real hope I can tangibly grasp. God’s covenantal, loyal love has not run out, his mercy and love have not dried up! They are new every morning. How great is his faithfulness!” (Angie Wu)

Prayer: Lord, you are my hope! Help me again. I remember your mercy and unchanging grace. Thank you for all your loving rescues in my life. How great is your faithfulness! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s grip onto hope by worshiping God in singing “Mercies” by Matt Redman (click here).

-CH

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Day Two – When the darkness closes in…

Psalm 13:1 (NIV)
How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 
“Spiritual motion sickness is when we have conflicting signals to our minds and hearts — we desperately cling to what we know to be true about God, … that God is the Good Shepherd, he’s our Father, he is Love, he will never forsake us — and yet we feel the darkness closing in a very difficult life situation” (Angie Wu).

“In these dark seasons of the soul, faith is either strengthened or broken… History is full of people who chose the path of bitterness and found themselves in an even worse place than where they started. But wise worshipers know that the only healthy way ahead is to take all they know of God and turn it into trust and praise” (Matt and Beth Redman, Finding God in the Hard Times).

As God’s children, we have his promise of prayer – a way of trust and praise that leads us to peace, the very presence of God. Let’s voice every How long, Lord?  thought to God thanking him for his promise of peace.

Prayer: Father, thank you that faith is strengthened in my heart as I pray to you in trust and praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In worship and prayer, let’s sing “I Speak Jesus” by Charity Gayle (click here).

-CH

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Day One: Never Forgotten, Forever Loved

Let us read aloud and pray through this Scripture:

Isaiah 43:1-4 (NIV)
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.

No longer nameless, we are called “you are mine.” In this name we are given fullness of identity, humanity, dignity – precious, honored, never forgotten, forever loved by our Father. Before we could ever articulate our fears, he heard our cry and saw our pain. He promised to give everything in exchange for us, and he did. The Holy One redeemed us. In every hardship, when Jesus is with us, we will pass through. Hallelujah! (Beth Redman, God Knows My Name)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your unshakeable promise. Once again, I turn, surrender, and trust in your faithful Word and unfailing covenantal love for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship God with “Fullness” by Elevation (click here).

-CH

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