Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Evening Devotion 4/28/10

The Raising of Lazarus, Juan de Flandes, 1510


“Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’”
John 11:40


The life drained from Lazarus, there was nothing left for Mary and Martha to do but mourn for him with a pain that was so palpable. He was still young, with so much time still before him, or so they had thought. But now... now he laid there lifeless with no more days before him, with no more time ahead of him and all the great and big things he had intended to do with his life no longer even a prospect for his future.

Neither one of his sisters could understand. They knew that Jesus loved Lazarus, they knew that He cared so dearly and deeply for their brother, it’s why it was so difficult for them to comprehend. After all, they had come to Him and told Him that he ill and that he would die. Yet Jesus didn’t come rushing to him. By the time He finally did come to Lazarus, it had been four days since the life had left his body. There was no chance for healing, there was no chance to chase the sickness from the body, they knew there was nothing left to be done.

How could He have let this happen? Why would He let this happen? Why would He let this man whom He loved be ravaged by disease and death and not come rushing to him? It defied all that they thought they had known about the Christ.

Yet, for the pain that they felt, for as much as they must have felt that Jesus had let them down and let this befall them, having had the power to heal their brother, He would have an answer unto them....

“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

He would raise Lazarus from the dead, life returning to his broken form, the hope and the prospects for the future returned to his life.

In a world where there is so much hurt and sorrow, so much sin and iniquity, pain and suffering, we may not always understand what it is that God has planned, we may not always comprehend why it is that He lets certain things happen in this world despite the promises that He has made unto us. Nor does God even expect us to understand it all as it transcends our knowledge and our understanding. Joseph, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Apostles and the Disciples in the early Church perhaps didn’t always understand what it was that God had intended or why it was that events played out in the way that they did.

All we have to do is believe...

When knowledge and wisdom, enlightenment and understand leave us, we have to believe that God has a plan in all of this and that, though evil occurs despite Him, because of Him healing will come and our faith shall never be let down. Yes, there may be sorrow or hurt for a short time, but through His compassion and mercy that shall all be set to flight as His grace is shown to be sufficient unto us as He makes us strong where we once were weak, as He heals us where we once were broken, as He sets us free where we once were held in the most bitter of captivities.

There will come a time and a place when we see the glory of God as we stand before His throne and the answers will come to us, but until then, until that day and that time, we must see this world for what it is, placing our hope in God even when it defies reason and know that He moves through the course of human events, through the course of life to make miracles happen according to the promises that He has made unto His children in the love that He has for them.

Let us pray:

We lift our eyes on high to behold the mercy of Your grace O Lord...

We set our sights on high that Your love may encompass our lives in the assurances of Your blessings O Lord...

From You does all help come, from You all strength is made manifest amidst this temporal existence as hope is brought into the lives of Your creation.

Let then Your truth abide in the lives of Your people, let Your Spirit be cast upon the hearts of Your children that Your peace shall be restored and they shall be given rest in the green pastures of Your abiding, transcending love for them. Unto all who suffer, all who find themselves amidst the pain and the sorrow of captivity and bondage, slavery and oppression, poverty and destitution, sickness and disease, be the ever present help amidst their lives that they may have the endurance in all they face and the strength to persevere in all of it.

We may not understand why so much hurt comes amidst this world, we may not comprehend why it is that so many suffer. Yet, what we do know is that we come to You in the sacred faith of Your blessed Word and Your holy promises You shall be vigilant, drawing Your children close to You and restoring unto them the life that had been robbed from them by the sin and iniquity of this world.

For this do we pray, humbling ourselves before Your throne, that You may keep Your people from harm and heal their wounds, amidst the love and the compassion that You have for them and in Your time You shall set them free, setting to flight all bondage and breaking all chains that would so burden and break them.

Then shall we rest in comfort, even as we do not understand, as we rejoice in Your promises and rest in Your faithfulness.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Mid-Day Devotion 4/28/10

Samuel and Eli


“So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.’”
1 Samuel 3:18


Through the darkness that surrounds, whether temporal or spiritual, the voice of the Lord breaks through to call upon His children, to lead them, to guide them, to protect and to shelter them, to prepare them for a world that they, often times will little understand and that can shake the very basis of their faith. Shaping and molding His people, He moves in the most mysterious of ways, coming unto them in the most unlikely of times to reveal Himself to them in the most unusual of ways, His words shattering the world as it is known to re-make and re-shape perceptions of reality and the base understanding of the human mind.

Though it can bring fear when that voice is heard, though it can confuse and bewilder the mind, it is to be listened to and taken heed of for, though at the time it may not be seen, He moves for the good of His children in all that they are, and all that they face, in all the struggles that are before them and all the difficulties that would befall them.

Perhaps, at times, that’s hard to see in a world so prone to sin and iniquity. There is darkness that surrounds people, that encompasses them, swallowing them whole amidst the bitter captivity and the brutal slavery, the extreme destitution and the hateful oppression that comes upon them. Tyranny and persecution come so near, crushing the spirit and the soul, breaking the heart as hope is shattered and peace is lost.

This is why though...

This is why God calls unto His children in the faith that He has laid out for them and the grace that He has intended for them. It is so they can dwell in the love and the compassion, the mercy and the righteousness of His Spirit, as He sets them apart to do what is good and faithful in His eyes, standing for His liberty and His truth in a world that so often brings hurt and sorrow.

Like Samuel each of us, we need to listen for the voice of the Lord coming unto us, calling unto us, that we may answer as he did, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening” so that we may hear what He has to tell us that we may do what is right and good in His eyes as we are called, in love, to struggle for the cause of all who suffer amidst persecution and oppression, poverty and destitution, slavery and captivity. We must answer “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening” that He may reveal unto us how He will use us for the betterment of our fellow man even when the struggle is great and the challenges are overwhelming, because He will forge us in the fires of His love that we may do what is right and good in His eyes, making us more than we are, giving us more strength than we could have ever imagined that His will may be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Perhaps we may not understand that voice at first, perhaps it may seem a bit distant to us, perhaps it may confuse us or bewilder us, but through God’s love it does come. Ours must be, in faithfulness, to listen and to obey, ours must be to see God in everything and hear Him at all times, knowing that, even in the smallest of ways, God will use us to show the greatest of love unto our fellow man as His mercy and compassion is revealed unto the world by His Spirit moving through us as we contend for the cause of those who are in need or trouble.

Lord, grant this unto us all.

Let us pray:

In our distress we call upon You, our Lord and our Deliverer....

In our plights we cry out unto You, our Lord and our Shield...

In our anguish we trust in You, our Lord and our Hope, our ever present help in all dangers...

Answer our prayers.... hear our humble supplications and lift Your hand amidst this lost and fallen world, setting to flight all captivity and bondage, all darkness and oppression that, amidst Your hope, Your children shall come to dwell in Your peace.

In wonders of Your miracles we lift our praises and rejoice in Your holy name for the release of the four United Nations Peacekeepers who had been kidnapped in Darfur. Their struggle is over, their bondage is ended, their captivity has been set to flight as they have been restored unto their homes to heal from the pain that has been inflicted on them. Through You they were given the strength and the endurance to persevere. Unto all of Your children who suffer as hostages and prisoners, captives and slaves, give the same strength and bestow the same blessings, setting them free amidst the liberty that can only come from You.

Give unto us, Your servants, the strength to lift high the plight and the struggle, the challenges and the adversity facing those who find themselves now in this the grimmest of estates, that we may, with Your light and Your love, fight against the darkness that encompasses their lives, seeking justice for them even as it feels as if the hope has been robbed from their lives. Show us Your ways, call unto us with Your voice that we may be led down Your path that we may do Your good in this world for the cause of those who suffer.

Then shall Your grace be made manifest through this world as Your children are edified and uplifted in Your compassion and mercy and Your will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven for the betterment of all people in the faithfulness of Your promises.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Evening Devotion 4/27/10

Christ as the Man of Sorrows,
by The Master of the Presentation, 1420


“Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”
1 Kings 8:56


We may not always understand…

There are going to be times in our lives when the promises of God, they seem foreign to us as the struggles and challenges seem so near at hand. There are times when the assurances of God, they seem insufficient to us as we look to the trials and the tribulations that have come into our lives and we struggle, finding that we just can’t seem to find a reason or a purpose in all of this. It’s in these times that life is hard and God seems far removed from our lives, as if He is just watching or He’s not there as difficulties come upon us.

We want to believe that He is moving for us, that He is contending with us, but how can we when we feel the weight of the world bearing down on us and it just seems like it is so much, like it is too much for us to bear. The chains bind us and they are so strong that it feels that we will never be free from the sorrow that grips us, from the pain that has such a hold over us as darkness seems to encompass our lives and our hearts crack, and then break.

At the time we may not see it, because our struggles are so overwhelming, and this world’s bondage just feels so great, but the truth is that, in whatever we face, whatever we are forced to endure, God is there, just as He has been in the most ancient of days, moving in and through the course of our lives, the course of human events to stand firm and true to the promises that He has made unto His children in the love that He has for them. Bound to His promises He has never failed in them before, nor shall He ever forsake them in the future.

Our nature is to worry, it is to feel the weight of this world bearing down on us and to find that we are crushed by it as our spirits break and our souls are wounded. Yet we can always rely on God to bring the healing that we need and to contend with our cause in the love that He has for us, even when the meaning and the purpose of our struggle or our challenges escapes us and it seems like deliverance is so far away. Our Lord, our Heavenly Father shall move heaven and earth to strengthen us, to give us hope, to bring us hope and, with time, show us a meaning and a purpose in all of it so that we know that it wasn’t all for naught.

Even as the confining judgment of our present ordeal overwhelms us, we have to look to the cross of Christ and the promises of God, and know that even the greatest of things that humanity has been forced to face has been carried from them as He set to flight the deepest spiritual challenges that we were to face. How much more then can He do against the temporal struggles of this age and the enduring trials that wage their war against our hearts and souls?

Hold fast to His promises, keeping them near to your heart and know that He shall remain faithful to them even when it seems like all the world has risen against you in the love and the mercy that He has for you. No worries, no challenges, no adversity will then be able to touch you for the grace and the promises of God shall forever be a shield around you.

Lord, grant this unto us all.

Let us pray:

Your ways transcend our understanding O Lord, Your will surpasses our wisdom and our knowledge as we journey through this world and in this world of struggle and challenges. Yet, even through that, even in that, we know that Your promises stand through the ages, moving through the course of human events to stand for us in the love that You shall forever have amidst the compassion of Your mercy.

To these promises then do we flee O Lord, seeking and imploring Your grace, seeking and imploring Your mercy in the lives of Your people, that hope shall be restored in even the most hopeless of situations and love is brought to bear in the lives of all prisoners and hostages, all captives and slaves, that the bitter tyranny and oppression that now holds them shall be set to flight and they shall be brought to rest in the wonders and the miracles of Your blessed peace.

Rise up O Lord… rise up and deliver Your people in the promises You have made of Your deliverance. Let not persecution and hatred, intolerance and oppression, poverty and destitution, sickness and disease, captivity and slavery rob their lives of the intrinsic value that You have assigned to it, but through Your mercy and love move to break all chains that bind Your creation that freedom shall reign in their lives and liberty shall be restored to their souls.

Show unto us Your nature rightly amidst the justice of Your righteousness that love shall once more restored and Your will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, as our praises are poured forth in the love that You have shown unto Your children.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Mid-Day Devotion 4/27/10



“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Psalm 145:18

There are times in our lives when we are forced to stand amidst the deepest of trials. Little seems to make sense to us as the world just seems to have gone wrong and like things, they just won’t be right again. As these moments hit they seem so overwhelming, so overshadowing that it just doesn’t seem like its fair as we try to stand against the challenges that are before us and find that they just wage a war against our spirit and our soul, bringing us so much hurt.

It’s during these periods that struggle and adversity, hardship and pain come so near at hand as we are left to wonder to ourselves why it is that God has forced us to endure what it is that we have been made to face. It’s overbearing to us as, whether it’s of the body or the mind, the spirit or the soul, captivity comes and we are bound to the worst of the challenges we could have ever imagined.

Where are God’s promises? Where are His assurances in times like this? Was He not meant to be our deliverer? How could it then be that we are forced to live through times such as these?

Wherever we are forced to stand, whatever we are forced to face, we must remember that, in life, we must take the good with the bad, and know that, no matter how encompassing the bad may seem, no matter how much hurt it may try to inflict upon us, it is fleeting. Yes, it may surround us with such darkness as it puts a veil over our eyes and leaves our hearts broken as our spirits long and our souls yearn amidst our inability to grasp.

Even in these times God has a plan for us and for our lives, even in these times, no matter how far distant He may seem to us, He is there, staying true to His promises that He will never fail us or forsake us, that He will never abandon us, come what may, come what must. More than that though, out of the deepest of struggles, out of the greatest of challenges He makes us strong even in our weaknesses, showing unto us that His grace is sufficient for us… sufficient to make us into more than conquerors through He who loves us.

Trials and tribulation may rise, bondage and captivity may move, and wounds may be inflicted, but through the Lord there is a healing power that draws us near to Him as He, in His love and His compassion, mercy and grace, shows unto us that He shall always stand by His children, never letting them endure more than they can handle, and preparing a place of rest for them amidst the hope that He shall always bring into their lives. It is here that His endurance grants us perseverance and we know that the greatest of character, the greatest of integrity, the most upright of hearts grow amidst the care and love of the Lord’s nurturing hand, even as the greatest of winds blows against it, seeking to break it.

Whatever the challenge or whatever the trial, turn to the Lord and know that, through His righteousness you will be given then the strength and the endurance to meet all that comes before you in your life and through your life, as He guides and protects you with a peace that transcends all human understanding even unto life everlasting. All you have to do is trust in that sacred faith granted as a gift of grace by the power of the Spirit and made manifest in the love of Christ unto you.

Let us pray:

Unto You O Lord shall we raise all of our humble supplications…

Unto You O Lord shall we raise all of our troubles, all of our challenges…

Unto You O Lord shall we forever place all of our trust amidst the blessed assurances of Your encompassing word…

Hear our prayers, hear the calls of our lips and the yearning of our hearts and make haste to help us through all that we face amidst this world of trials and struggles, that we may find a resting place amidst the shelter of Your gracious precepts.

Hear our prayers O Lord as we commend into Your hands the life of the French tourist and his driver kidnapped in Niger.

Hear our prayers O Lord as we uplift to You the struggle in Somalia as gang wars have broken out, putting in jeopardy the lives of the hostages held there….

Rise up O Lord, and make haste to help Your children as bondage and captivity hold them in such bitter tyranny and oppression and darkness rises in their lives. Stand beside them as they find that death is so near to them, and in Your time, in Your way, set them free, bringing hope once more to reign in their lives as Your grace comes to bear in the grace that You bestow upon them. Be beside Your children, O Lord, that they may know that through it all, in it all, their God of deliverance is forever moving through the course of their lives to restore hope in even the most hopeless of situations, as all slavery and bondage, all captivity is put to flight, the chains are broken, in the liberty that You bestowed the spirit and the soul, the body and the mind with.

In the name of Your Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end. Amen.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Evening Devotion 4/26/10



“You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.”
Psalm 18:5


Though enemies may surround us, though governments may turn against us, though captivity and bondage may come so close to us, though poverty and destitution may strike at us, we have a shield of victory that shall protect us.

Though darkness may put a veil over our eyes, though the world may rise against us, though slavery may be near and human flesh may be traded, though the vilest of iniquity may grip the human soul, we have a shield of victory that shall defend us.

Though sorrow may grip the soul and anguish take the spirit, though the body may be left for broken, though peace may seem like it shall forever escape the heart and the mind, we have a shield of victory that shall forever shelter us.

The hand of the Lord, it shall sustain His creation even against the bitterest of bondage that so chains the people, and by His power He shall cast upon His people His Spirit that they shall be made great.

Suffering will always come amidst this temporal existence, and there shall always be times when hope seems so elusive, when it seems like it is so far distant from us and our lives. Yet, even in those days, even in those times we can rely on the Lord, knowing that He is always faithful to His promises and that He is always contending with the cause of His people. We may not see or understand how, at least not at the time, as so much comes, bring hurt into the lives of the people. Yet, through Him justice shall reign and He shall, in His time, in His way, make even the least amongst us great when they trust in Him and rely on the power of His might.

Let not the light be robbed from your life, even as it seems as if the tempests rage, and the winds howl against you. By God and through God there shall always be a value and a worth assigned to life and He shall guard against any dangers, drawing you close to Him in all that you re and all that you face, even as it seems like all the world is rising and nothing will be the same again.

Trust in that promise and know that He shall always and forever remain faithful to it in the love and the mercy, the strength and the hope that He brings to bear in the lives of His people, no matter how lost or broken they may feel.

Let us pray:

With all of our strength do we trust You O Lord...

With all of our hearts do we hope in You O God...

Be unto us a deliverer, be unto us an ever present help in all the dangers and the struggles of this temporal existence. Be unto Your children the rock in which we take refuge on when the waters rise and the storms come.

Let not those who suffer and find sorrow find the cords of destruction lead them down a path of sorrow unto even their own death but rise, with courage and strength, with hope and might in Your hands, that their distress shall be set to flight. Rise up O Lord, amidst the promises You have made, standing with all who suffer in bondage and captivity, in persecution and oppression, poverty and destitution, sickness and disease, that whatever tyranny seeks to infringe upon Your divine plan it shall be set to flight amidst the hope that You assign to life.

Forever guide Your children according to Your love to the places of promise where hope shall forever dwell and darkness shall be dispersed, that peace shall once more come to bear in their lives as they find that their trust in You has never been frustrated. Endow the spirit with liberty and the soul with justice, the mind with hope and the body with freedom, bringing them from whatever it is that wounds them and harms them in the gracious precepts of Your loving mercy that praise shall forever pour forth from their lips.

Give unto Your people the great victories of the spirit and the soul, and let them forever stand long against all that this world may seek to impose upon them that we shall see Your hand at work and rejoice in Your blessed and holy name through all that we are, all that we do and all that we face.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Mid-Day Devotion 4/26/10

Ships Running Aground in a Storm, Ludolf Backhuysen, 1690s


“Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me”
Acts 27:23


Hauled off to Rome to stand trial before the throne of Caesar, the apostle Paul, despite the time he had already spent in prison, despite the persecution that he had already endured, despite the inevitable death that he knew would come at the hands of the Imperial Authorities, had remained strong through all he had been forced to endure. Now though, as the waters rose and the storm beat against the hull of the ship that was carrying him to the seat of power, terror gripped everyone around him.

The ship would sink they feared, claiming them all with it, indifferent to who they were or the life they lived. But, if the sea didn’t take their lives first then the fact that they had run out of food would It would take the good with the bad, the young with the old, the prisoner with the free, with no thought or consideration given to any of it.

Yet, even through all of that Paul remained at peace, with little to actually shake him. It would there that he comfort the sailors, assuring them that they would not die, for the night before he sought the Lord and, through His angel, the Lord came to Him, in the promises of His protection and His love. Though they would be forced to endure this trial they would survive, sheltered by the hand of God.

The simple truth of the matter is that the world treats us indifferently. There are few things amidst this world that maintains the inherent principle of equality quite like pain and suffering, hurt and sorrow, darkness and bondage, death and destruction. It considers little of who were are. It takes the very good with the very bad, the innocent with the guilty, the weak with the strong, and it breaks all of them until it seems like there is little left for them amidst their lives.

Yet, even in the greatest of captivity, even in the deepest of bondage, there is another great equalizer. That is the love of God and the mercy and compassion that He shows unto His people. Whatever the challenge, whatever the trial or the difficulty, God moves Heaven and Earth to stand beside and to protect His children, to comfort them in all their woes and difficulties, moving amidst their lives to show unparalleled love unto them.

Yes, it may seem as all if all the world has risen up, it may seem as if bondage and captivity is so near at hand, as if persecution and oppression is so unavoidable amidst this world. It may be as so much hurt is brought to bear in the lives of the people. Yet this is why we must draw nearer to God, seeking to do His will on earth as it is done in Heaven, lifting our prayers to Him for the lives of those who find themselves in any need or trouble, working to show forth the love of Christ in this world. It is so we may implore the Spirit of the Lord and His angels to come upon all of those who find themselves in any need or trouble, that they may find the strength they need in all that they are and all that they face.

It is then that hope is brought to bear in the lives of the people through all that they are and all that they are forced to endure as they find perseverance and endurance through all the days of their lives...

Let us pray:

You, O Lord, are our refuge, our ever present shelter through the tempests of this temporal existence that bring upon us the long nights...

You O Lord, are our strength, our ever present help, vigilant amidst the cause of Your people, as You move heaven and earth to stand by them...

You, O Lord, mark the lives of Your children, contending forever in the promises You have made unto them even as they find that the challenges stand there before them.

Stay then true to Your assurances unto them through all captivity and bondage that seeks to so impose persecution and oppression, slavery and tyranny upon their lives. Lift from them the weight of those burdens, letting their lives be held dear and precious, with the value that You have assigned to it. Bring freedom to those who find that darkness surrounds them and let Your justice dwell amidst the hopes that they have that liberty shall once more come to bear in their lives.

So often do we see Your hand at work. In the four thwarted hijackings this weekend we have seen You move through the people to keep Your creation safe. We pray then that you move in the same way to stand by Your people throughout the world who suffering in any bondage, throughout their days that their chains may be broken and life shall be restored to them. Move through the course of human events to show Your face in even the deepest of challenges, and cast upon Your people Your angels to guard them and guide them in all that they are, in all that is before them.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Evening Devotion 4/21/10



"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”
Isaiah 42:6-7


There is no greater healing than that which comes through the hand of the Lord our God in the mercy and the love that He has for His children.

There is no greater deliverance than that which comes through the hand of the Lord our God in the compassion and the grace that He shows forth in the life of His people.

So often this world, it rises up against the weak and the innocent, the hurt and the broken-hearted, it tries so desperately to break them as it looks deep into the spirit and the soul to see who we are and what it is that we fear, and then uses it against us to shatter our hopes and our dreams as it wages trial after trial on us. It can be so overwhelming that we feel ourselves being bombarded by the temptations and the struggles of this temporal existence, as it seems as if one trouble fades just as another one is given rise amidst our lives.

Yet no matter how this world may emerge and awaken amidst our days there is a promise that is extended to all people regardless of who they are and what they may face. There is a God of hope, a God of deliverance who stands ready to stand with us, lifting us when we have fallen, and drawing us close to Him when it feels as if the world has just become too much for us.

It is through that hope that mercy and compassion extends to the further reaches of this world and the deepest places of the human soul, showing that there is no bondage, there is no captivity, whether it is of the spirit or the mind, the heart or the soul, that cannot be shattered when He raises His hand to it to set it all to flight. That is the glory of His transcending, encompassing love for us, that is the love He has made manifest through His Son, Christ Jesus, who came to ransom us all amidst the greater promises of God’s blessed assurances.

Whatever challenges lay before you, whatever challenges weigh you down, whatever trials or tribulations exist amidst this world, remember always that God is there through it all and in it all, and though they happen in spite of Him, they are only set to flight through Him by Him as He hears the cries of the people and raises His hand to them to lift them from the pits of darkness and carry them to the places where hope and healing shall forever and always dwell in the lives of His people.

Lord, grant this unto us all.

Let us pray:

O Lord, how You have contended with the cause and the plight of Your people since even the earliest of days…

O Lord, how You have shown forth Your mercy and Your compassion in the lives of Your people through the generations…

With Your hand You have set to flight all wickedness and iniquity, all unrighteousness and evil as You have brought Your deliverance into the lives of Your people. By Your love hope has been restored in the lives of Your creation as You have moved through the course of time and history to show forth Your grace amidst this temporal existence.

Be then now the fount of every blessing in the lives of Your people, showing forth Your mercy, pouring forth Your grace through Your unchanging love as You offer hope unto this lost and fallen world. Set to flight all captivity and bondage, all slavery and oppression, all poverty and destitution so that tyranny and persecution, hopelessness and despair shall no longer have a grim hold on Your people.

Let Your freedom ring, let Your liberty extend so that Your love shall be the guiding, encompassing presence of this existence as Your children find shelter under Your wings, and refuge amidst the blessed pastures of Your holy fields. Sanctify Your people, showing unto them Your mercy, and let compassion give unto them the justice that they so long for that through all that they are and all that they face, grace shall encompass their lives and they shall be restored to life even as death seems so near at hand.

Rise up and help Your people O Lord: redeem them and ransom them, setting to flight all captivity and bondage because of Your unfailing love.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Mid-Day Devotion 4/21/10

Seven Saints, Fra Filippo Lippi, 1448


“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8


Our minds race, our hearts begin to pound, and it just seems as if we can’t escape this feeling of darkness and anxiety that swells deep within us. We can’t stop our minds from racing to the worst possible thoughts, and it seems as if worries come so near to us that they give us nothing but hardships to meditate on.

That’s the world around us, isn’t it? Wrought with challenges and difficulties, wrought with trials and temptations, struggles and barriers that are placed before us, it just seems hard at times as we look around and we see that there is a captivity that comes so near at hand. Deep within us we feel the bondage of the spirit and the mind, the heart and the soul, and we can’t help but find our minds race to the most terrible of scenarios or situations. It’s just so easy to do that it becomes the simplest thing in the world for us…

Yet, no matter how we may perceive the world around us, no matter what it may do to us or the cruel war it may wage against us, God wants us to know that He is there for us, and that whatever the price, whatever the cost, He will deliver His people from the grips of whatever darkness or oppression, whatever dark slavery might so entangle them.

This is why we are told to meditate on all that is right and noble, all that is pure and admirable, all that is excellent and praiseworthy, because, in all things and through all things, this is the Lord, our God, the mighty hand of deliverance unto His people. In His love and His mercy He always and forever contends with the cause of His people as He binds up their wounds, and heals their broken hearts, as He shows that, regardless of the struggle or the trials that are before us, His grace is transcending and encompassing, moving across the span of time and space to make the weak strong as it provides a refuge through all that we face throughout this temporal existence.

So often it is easy for us to lose hope as we see the challenges that seem to move seamlessly through the course of life... so easy that it becomes the simplest thing in the world to lose heart. Yet, it is in those times that we need, more than anything else, to lean on our faith, to lean on the promises of our God, trusting in His assurances unto us, knowing that, no matter how dark it may seem as a veil covers our eyes like a foggy mist, when we reach out to the Lord He is always there reaching back to us in the love that He has for us.

Turn then your thoughts and your minds, your hearts and your focus to the Lord and know that through all that you are and all that you face, His righteousness and His nobility shall give you reason to praise His Holy name as He carries you through the storm to the places where His hope shall forever dwell.

Let us pray:

With our hearts raised to You O Lord we have heard the promises made by Your lips…

With our spirits extended to You O Lord we have seen the blessings of Your hands…

With our souls given over to You O Lord we now call upon Your blessed name…

Hear our prayers, feel our intercessions and see all that we raise up to You with praise to Your holy assurances made unto Your people through the ages and the generations as they have turned their hopes to You and sought refuge in Your gracious precepts.

Unto You do we commend the lives of the lives of the 77 taken hostage yesterday amidst those three Thai fishing boats that were captured; unto You do we entrust the lives of the 21 who were taken in the hijacking of the Voc Daisy. Rise up O Lord and show Your face unto them. Let them see Your mercy, let them know Your love that they shall, through their ordeal, know that by Your hand Your mercy shall extend to their lives and they shall find hope in even the most hopeless of situations.

Be unto them a rock of refuge, a blessed hope that shall move through the course of their lives, showing forth unto them the mercy and the grace that feels so far distant from them now, and then, in Your time, in Your way, raise up Your hand amidst Your righteousness to set to flight all wickedness and iniquity that has them, bringing freedom once more into their lives that they may find comfort and rest as they are returned once more to their homes and their families.

Let Your compassion encompass them and shine forth Your love in their lives that they may know that then by Your hand mercy shall forever guide their lives through the darkness and into the light that can only come through You and by You in the deliverance that You pour forth for Your people.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 4/16/10



Today's Devotion is taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer

First Devotion

A mercy-seat of pure gold - Exodus 37:6

“He made the atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide.”

This was the Propitiatory. Beneath it lay the tables of the law, which even Moses had broken, almost as soon as they came into his hands, but which had been renewed. Concealing and covering them lay this golden lid, encrusted with the blood which successive generations of priests sprinkled there on the Great Day of Atonement.

There can be no doubt that this golden slab sets forth our Saviour's obedience unto death. God set Him forth to be "the Propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

Our Lord's obedience is priceless in the Divine esteem. - What pure gold is among metals, that is His advent to do God's will, in comparison with all other endeavors to do it. It takes the first place, and is of peerless beauty and excellence. "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered."

His obedience was to blood. - His wounds tell the story. He held nothing back; but yielded all to blood-shedding. Blood is life, and life is in the Blood: this He freely poured out to meet the claims of justice, and herein gave the sublimest token of His love.

His person and work are the medium of our approach. - In Jesus the Shekinah of God's presence awaits us. On this priceless mercy-seat the Divine Fire trembles, and we may draw near with boldness. We are beloved children; but let us never forget that we are redeemed sinners.

There is a place where Jesus sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads;
A place than all beside more sweet -
It is the blood-stained Mercy-seat.

First Prayer:

Listen to our Prayers O Lord, ignore not our pleas, nor let our cries fall upon deaf ears, show unto the nations that we place our trust not on the idols of this world with ears that cannot hear and eyes that cannot see, with lips that cannot speak and hearts that does not bend to the deeper yearning of the people amidst their darkest struggles.

Hear us O Lord and see the thoughts that trouble us, for we are distraught at the presence of unrighteousness that rises up like the serpent and the adder to bit at the heal of Your people. Our hearts are filled with anguish by the march of wickedness as they bring suffering upon the head of Your children and show contempt amidst their anger and their hatred.

Attend to the cause of the five United Nations staff members who have gone missing in Afghanistan, take heed to the plight of the two French journalists kidnapped by the Taliban. Let not your people suffer needlessly at the hands of those who bring fear and trembling with their ways. Cast upon them the Spirit of Your mercy that they might be uplifted amidst the deeper trials that they face as darkness and chaos seem to surround them so ready to rip the happiness and the joy from their lives.

Restore hope unto this lost and fallen world as You carry Your children on the wings of a dove even unto the peace that has been so ripped from them amidst the brutal and bitter captivity that brings so much sorrow into this world.

Then shall Your people rejoice as their God, as their Deliverer saves them.

Then shall Your people come to rest as their Lord ransoms them, hearing their cries morning and evening and rising faithfully to bring them, unharmed, from the battles waged against them even as the enemies of Your righteousness stand with strength even unto their cause.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Devotion

In a Cleft of the Rock. - Exodus 33:22

“When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.”

That rock was Christ. In the Divine thought the position of Moses, first on the rock, and afterward in its cleft, was a moving emblem of the position in which alone we can dare to look out on the sublime progress of God's glory.

God is always passing by. - In the great movements of history which evolve His plans, and are leading to Christ's advent; in the passage of the ages, which are His swift chariots; in storm and catastrophe, which break up old forces and forms of evil; in the goodness of His daily mercy; in the revelation of His character - we are always living in the very midst of God's presence and power.

In our condition of weakness and sinfulness we need a position of stability and shelter from which to look on God. - No man can see that face of awful holiness and love and live. Sir John Herschel says that when sweeping the heavens with his telescope the brilliant Sirius suddenly burst on his view, he nearly fainted. Who then could behold God! But in Jesus, we are stable, established in Him, accepted in the Beloved; and in Him we are covered. The full blaze of the Divine glory is tempered to our gaze; it comes to us through the medium of the pierced hand. We stand on the rock; we are hidden under the covering hand.

Our Rock was cleft. - How scarred are the great Alps! Their sides have been split by the action of tempest, avalanche, earthquake, frost, and glacier. Hence their clefts. But who shall enumerate all that has been borne by our dear Lord for us! What storms have pelted on Him, that we might have a safe hiding. On Calvary, a niche was hollowed in which a world of sinners may take shelter!

Second Prayer:

Let not anguish take Your children O Lord, let them not go down alive to the grave as evil finds a lodging place amidst their lives and captivity and bondage rests in their lives. Stand firm amidst the plights and the struggles of this age that darkness and sorrow shall be set to flight and Your people shall be saved.

Unto You O Lord shall we cast all of our cares, trusting that You shall sustain Your children as You always have through the generations. Count them amidst the ranks of Your blessed and Your beloved and rise up as slavery and oppression, tyranny and persecution, poverty and destitution seek to cast them down. As temporal and spiritual bondage chains your people to despair and hopelessness break them free that they shall rise amidst a new hope as Your new creation that they may find peace amidst the wondrous rest that comes when You lead the sheep of pasture to the green fields of Your endless love.

As enemies rise let them come to see that their authority amidst this age is nothing compared to Your endless authority from age to age as Your mercy comes to bear amidst this lost and fallen world. Be the companion unto all who suffer, be the friend unto all who find themselves amidst anguish and agony, that unto them mercy shall encompass their lives and the blessed faith that is the gift of grace from Your hand shall not be frustrated amidst the darkness of it all.

Then shall we rest under the tree of Your blessings, sustained by Your waters of life as death’s dark shadow is put to flight and we are made to rejoice in the hope of Your love and compassion even unto the wondrous liberty You have endowed Your whole creation with as freedom comes into the hearts of all people in all places through all they are and all they face.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 4/12/10

Agony in the Garden, Andrea Mantegna, 1460


Today's devotions are taken from Spurgeon's Daily Meditations.

First Devotion:

“My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”
Psalm 22:14


Our blessed Lord experienced a terrible sinking and melting of soul. “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear?” Deep depression of spirit is the most grievous of all trials; all besides is as nothing. Well might the suffering Saviour cry to his God, “Be not far from me,” for above all other seasons a man needs his God when his heart is melted within him because of heaviness. Believer, come near the cross this morning, and humbly adore the King of glory as having once been brought far lower, in mental distress and inward anguish, than any one among us; and mark his fitness to become a faithful High Priest, who can be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. Especially let those of us whose sadness springs directly from the withdrawal of a present sense of our Father’s love, enter into near and intimate communion with Jesus. Let us not give way to despair, since through this dark room the Master has passed before us. Our souls may sometimes long and faint, and thirst even to anguish, to behold the light of the Lord’s countenance: at such times let us stay ourselves with the sweet fact of the sympathy of our great High Priest. Our drops of sorrow may well be forgotten in the ocean of his griefs; but how high ought our love to rise! Come in, O strong and deep love of Jesus, like the sea at the flood in spring tides, cover all my powers, drown all my sins, wash out all my cares, lift up my earth-bound soul, and float it right up to my Lord’s feet, and there let me lie, a poor broken shell, washed up by his love, having no virtue or value; and only venturing to whisper to him that if he will put his ear to me, he will hear within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of his own love which have brought me where it is my delight to lie, even at his feet forever.

First Prayer:

By Your faith endowed upon us as a gift of grace we lay all of this worlds grief at Your feet O Lord knowing the mercy of Your transcending love. Let us not be encompassed by despair, let us not be stricken by desperation or destitution but let us find compassion in Your tender precepts according to the hope of Your blessed assurances for our lives.

Be not far then O Lord from the lives of the crew of the MV Yasin C and the Rak Afrikana, hijacked and held captive, as they find the weight of bitter and brutal bondage now upon them. Walk beside these who are held in such grim estate and let not the sorrow of their bitter and brutal estate bear down on them. Let not their lives be held in the hands of wicked and unrighteous men, let not their souls be cast to the pits of despair but uplift them by Your love and hope as they are guided from to the places of Your peace and comfort.

Cast upon them Your Holy Spirit that they may find the courage to endure and the strength to stand firm, and by Your enduring grace set them free amidst the righteousness of Your hand that they shall find a new hope in their lives.

Then shall the light of Your love guide and protect Your people through all that they are and all that they face, carrying them from all darkness and destitution to the places where they may find rest from this weary world as the chains are broken and all bondage is set to flight.

Then shall Your name be praised for the mercy You bestow.... that mercy that always and forever shall be beyond compare.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Devotion:

But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.
Nehemiah 3:15

Mention of the king’s garden by Nehemiah brings to mind the paradise which the King of kings prepared for Adam. Sin has utterly ruined that fair abode of all delights, and driven forth the children of men to till the ground, which yields thorns and briers unto them. My soul, remember the fall, for it was thy fall. Weep much because the Lord of love was so shamefully ill-treated by the head of the human race, of which thou art a member, as undeserving as any. Behold how dragons and demons dwell on this fair earth, which once was a garden of delights.
See yonder another King’s garden, which the King waters with his bloody sweat—Gethsemane, whose bitter herbs are sweeter far to renewed souls than even Eden’s luscious fruits. There the mischief of the serpent in the first garden was undone: there the curse was lifted from earth, and borne by the woman’s promised seed. My soul, bethink thee much of the agony and the passion; resort to the garden of the olive-press, and view thy great Redeemer rescuing thee from thy lost estate. This is the garden of gardens indeed, wherein the soul may see the guilt of sin and the power of love, two sights which surpass all others.

Is there no other King’s garden? Yes, my heart, thou art, or shouldst be such. How do the flowers flourish? Do any choice fruits appear? Does the King walk within, and rest in the bowers of my spirit? Let me see that the plants are trimmed and watered, and the mischievous foxes hunted out. Come, Lord, and let the heavenly wind blow at thy coming, that the spices of thy garden may flow abroad. Nor must I forget the King’s garden of the church. O Lord, send prosperity unto it. Rebuild her walls, nourish her plants, ripen her fruits, and from the huge wilderness, reclaim the barren waste, and make thereof “a King’s garden.”

Second Prayer:

By Your love anointed do we bow before Your throne most High O Lord, seeking Your mercy in a lost and fallen world so prone to captivity and bondage. Let Your hope, Your grace, Your peace encompass the lives of Your creation and look upon the plight of those who suffer and struggle and hear their cries.

Cast Your Spirit upon Your people that they may be uplifted by the endowment of Your blessed gifts even as destitution and despair, hurt and sorrow, darkness and desperation seem so near at hand. Let not the agony and the anguish of captivity and bondage, slavery and persecution, poverty and disease so chain Your beloved children to a life of hopelessness and misery. Show forth Your mercy in their lives and give them rest.

O Lord there is so much unrighteousness, so much hurt, so much suffering. Yet it is You who restores the spirit and offers hope to the soul, it is You who mends the broken heart and binds up all wounds. Let the mercy of Your love and compassion encompass then their lives in the hope that You can offer unto them as Your light sets to flight all darkness that would so seek to break them.

Then shall the transcending grace of Your Holy works be glorified as Your children find freedom as they are delivered from all the bondage that would so seek to destroy them. Then shall Your Holy name be sanctified for the blessings that You have bestowed upon Your creation in the mercy of Your liberty granted in Your love.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 4/7/10



“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.”
John 16:23-30


Is there any greater blessing in this life that exceeds the promises that are given unto us in the assurances that we are offered through the power of prayer? Save salvation itself there is none, for it is how God makes manifest His truth and His wisdom, it is how He reveals Himself unto us in the hope that He has for us amidst the plans that He has made for us in our lives. Through prayer the Lord offers unto us the full measure of His devotion and grants unto us a divine reconciliation of His design with our understanding in order that we may more completely comprehend the true nature of all that surrounds us amidst this temporal existence.

This is the message of the lesson taught by our Saviour as He looked to the disciples and sought to impart upon them a deeper truth, a deeper awareness as to the true power of their relationship with their Heavenly Father and the place that their conversations with Him had amidst that. It is because Christ understood that God, He bases our prayers on His faithful dedication to us and His vigilant love for us, and, in that, lays the treasures of Heaven on our willingness to come before Him in humble submission to His Word, entreating Him with our supplications lifted to Him as we lay them at the feet of His Son, our Redeemer, trusting that our burdens will be lifted from us.

Too often though do we let ourselves flounder in our prayer life. We know the promises, we know the blessings that have been guaranteed to us, and the sacred vows that God has made in His pledge to stand beside us and answer our prayers. It is a precious gift that we keep locked up as we find little time in our lives to dedicate the necessary time to communicate with the Lord.

Our reasons for this are many... we have commitments that extend far beyond the time that we have, we go to church on Sunday’s and pray there, we have to dedicate this time to other relationships or other ambitions but we will make the time to work on this relationship with God later, our problems and our concerns, they are just too small for God or our sins have made us too unworthy to come before Him in a way that He will listen to us. Yet the deeper lesson of Christ amidst His admonitions is that all, regardless of who we are or what we have done or what we have going on in our lives, need the blessings bestowed upon us by the power of prayer in our lives, for it is God’s love extended to us in mercy, compassion and grace.

It is here that we have to understand that the worthiness of our prayers, and the ability for God to hear them and reveal Himself in the lives of His people, it is not based on our own works or deeds, it is not based on the value that we place on ourselves or on our own righteousness, but rather it is based upon the redemption we are given through our Saviour and the blessings that can be bestowed upon us by a loving Heavenly Father who looks past the sins and the iniquity of this temporal existence to the promises that He has made unto His children from even the most ancient of days.

This is the authority of God to break all bondage and captivity that would so grip the hearts and the souls, the spirits and the minds of His people in the darkness that could so ensnare them. This is the power of God to extend His healing touch to bind up the wounds of the afflicted, to make whole the broken-hearted, to offer hope to the hopeless and to mend the crushed spirits of those who find themselves amidst suffering and sorrow. This is the love that our Lord has for all of His people, the love that He has for all of His creation as He offers the miracle of His blessings to all who are moved by the power of the Spirit to humble themselves before Him and to ask for the help that they need, trusting that He shall grant unto them all that they need to be delivered amidst the mercy and the compassion of His divine grace.

Rightly then do we have to understand that prayer, it is not a task or a duty of a disciple of Christ, it is a gift given unto them to draw closer to God in all need and trouble, in all trial and turmoil. It is a promise offered to them that regardless of the struggle, regardless of the challenge God will be there for His people when they draw nigh to Him and call upon His Holy name, never abandoning them, never failing them or forsaking them. Whatever then one may know about the world or see in it, God is there to show that it is nothing compared to the authority in which He contends with the cause of His people as He shows unto them that He is their rock of refuge and their ever present shelter through all of the storms.

Trust in Him, and humble yourself before Him, knowing that He is there for you in the love that He has for you. Raise your prayers on high, being ever vigilant, ever faithful in your supplications to Him, knowing that He will always intercede for the cause of His people and guide them to the places of hope where His blessing dwell if we are willing to bow before Him and raise up to Him the troubles and the struggles of this temporal existence knowing that He is capable and willing to disperse all of the dark clouds that would so impose themselves on us.

Trust in Him and know that, as He hears your prayers, He will bend His ear to the cries of His people, and look upon the trials that seek to devour them and He shall rise up in mercy and love, compassion and grace to bring His blessed hope into your life as He girds you with His strength and gives you the courage you need to stand in His righteousness through all of the days that are before you.

What a wondrous assurance that is when we come before Him...

What a miraculous promise that is when it encompasses our lives in His love for us...

Lord, therefore grant this unto us all.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

First Prayer:

With the promises of Your love on our lips do we come before You, seeking and imploring Your mercy in the lives of Your people...

With the assurances of Your compassion in our hearts do we come before You, seeking and imploring Your grace in the lives of Your people...

Be not far from them as darkness descends upon them, be not distant from them as pain and sorrow comes upon their lives and they find that the struggle is before them. Look upon the faces of all who are taken captive and prisoner, all who have been made hostages and slaves, and let not persecution and oppression devour them amidst the tyranny that can be inflicted upon them amidst the agony and the anguish that they now feel.

In the vows You have made to uplift Your people raise up Your hand for the cause of justice, that they shall find hope in even these, the days of hurt and hardship that are now before them. In the faithfulness of Your devotion let Your mercy encompass their lives that they shall be led from bondage to the places of peace and rest that You have promised unto Your children.

Into their lives bring hope that they may find the light of Your love and the beacon of Your mercy that guides them from their grim estate that they may be, in Your glory, restored unto their lives amidst the integrity that You give unto life and the liberty You have endowed Your creation with.

With love in Your heart and mercy in Your eyes hear our prayers O Lord that our supplications shall find favour in Your sight and hope shall be restored in a lost and fallen world as Your compassion brings freedom in the lives of all who long for that blessing to encompass their lives once more.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Prayer:

By Your mercy do we find the hope to kneel before You O Lord, bowing before Your throne most high to seek Your divine grace the lives of Your people...

By Your love do we find the assurances to trust in Your promises O Lord, humbling ourselves before Your throne most high to implore Your compassion in the lives of Your children...

By Your grace do we praise Your name O Lord, knowing that through Your strength all things are possible in the lives of Your people.

Hear the names that we raise to You O Lord. Hear the names of all who are held in any captivity and bondage, look upon the face of all who are made slaves and prisoners, and lift Your hand for their cause, showing the faithfulness of Your devotion for them as You contend with their cause in the love that You have for Your creation.

Let not darkness encompass this existence, nor let it claim the lives of Your people. Though oppression and persecution may surround Your children, though poverty and destitution may seek to devour Your people, set it all to flight that Your hope shall find strength in the mercy that You extend as You give unto us Your strength as You shelter us in the shadow of Your wing.

Bless us... bless us in the shelter of Your name, creating a courageous heart and a strong spirit, as You teach us Your truth and give us Your hope in even this a lost and fallen world that so often finds itself so far from Your mercy, and let Your freedom reign in the lives of Your people.

Then shall we praise Your name for the love You have brought into the lives of Your people as Your song is raised on high from our lips, as we rejoice in Your compassion.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 4/6/10

Christ is Risen, Peter Paul Rubens, 17th century


“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
1 John 3:16


What are we willing to do? What are we willing to offer of ourselves? What are we willing to sacrifice for the cause of our fellow man? What are we willing to give, in love, in order to ease the pain and the suffering, the struggles and the hardship of others?

When our Saviour ascended on high to take his place seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, He imparted one message to his disciples, one great command that was meant to be the deeper calling for their lives, one final admonition for how it was that they were supposed to live. It was there that, amidst these words, the believer, those who held themselves to be faithful to the salvation granted unto them through Christ by the grace of the Lord in the works of the Spirit in their souls, were to find a renewed purpose in their lives even as they waited for His glorious and triumphant return.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

It’s here that we, as a people, find ourselves so often struggling. Even if we don’t necessarily recognize it at the time, we battle with this teaching as we seek, as we strive to live by it. We want, more than anything, to observe all that Christ has commanded of us, we want to preach it and teach it throughout the world, proclaiming that Gospel message of His love, yet, more times than not, we find that it is carefully elusive to us amidst our own understanding and our own comprehension. We bog ourselves down with doctrinal and theological debates and discourses, we argue dogma and canonical law and, in that, we keep ourselves carefully separate from one another.

Now let’s make no mistake, denominations, for all we argue, can be a good thing. Based on what a person believes, based on their personal relationship with God, based on their understanding of His truth, it gives unto them a home and fellowship where they can be uplifted and edified in the Word of the Lord. That gives them a place where they are capable of growing in their faith and in the love of God if the Scriptures are taught with a pure heart and a sincere longing for the body of Christ to draw closer to Him.

Yet, amidst that, it should never separate us from one another in the deepest of callings given unto us by Christ. There are, after all, only two commands that He gave unto the believers, two commands that were meant to surpass all other teaching, all other law and doctrine. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Its love... a perfect and holy love... that is the command that each of us must abide in, the command that we are given to carry forth into this world that we might live according to the calling given unto us by the Great Commission. It is love that is to be manifested in our lives in order that we may show forth the mercy and the compassion of our Saviour.

It was here that the Apostle Paul would declare, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2), for it was here that was the beginning and the end of all love. This was namely the nature of sacrifice, a sacrifice that was willing to give all in compassion and mercy that a blessed hope would encompass the lives of the people, leading them from brutal captivity to the places where liberty dwells in the promise of the blessed assurances of our Lord. It was the deeper lesson we were all meant to learn as it carried us forward to a calling for our lives as we showed forth our love for one another. After all,” A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)

What then are you willing to offer of yourself in love for your fellow man? What are you willing to sacrifice of yourself to live in the Great Commission given unto us by our Saviour? As the wondrous gift of Christ’s salvation encompasses your life and you are guided to the places of hope that he bought for us at such an awful price you should ask yourself, what are you willing to give to show forth his love and the love of God in your life.

Amidst a lost and fallen world there is always so much to do, so much that needs to be done. There is so much struggle, so much turmoil, destitution and hardship number the days of the people. As redeemed children of our Heavenly Father, freed from bondage and captivity ourselves, freed from the bitter slavery to sin, death and the Devil, it should be ours to lead the way, to lead the charge against tyranny and injustice, oppression and persecution, struggle and agony that love and hope will guide the lives of the people, showing that through God’s love they will never be forgotten in the trials and tribulations of this world.

Journeying through a world so prone to sin and iniquity, to transgressions foisted upon the lives of the people, ours must be to give of ourselves, to sacrifice of ourselves, offering all that we can that God can make use of the gifts that He has given us that our fellow man may be uplifted and edified even in the darkest of days that would so encompass their lives. Ours must be to give until we can’t find the strength to give anymore, and then, in the strength that can only be given unto us by God through the power of the Spirit, give just that much more of ourselves to care for the lives of others.

It is then that we know that we have lived in the mercy and the truth, the compassion and the love that God has intended for us as we pour forth His love in the lives of His people, looking to the lessons taught unto us by Christ, being guided by the sacrifices given for us by our Saviour and letting them guide us through all the days of our lives, through all that we are and all that we can offer of ourselves.

It is then that we will have truly and rightly shown ourselves to be his disciples as his mercy and truth forever guides our way through all the days of our lives.

Lord, grant this unto us all...

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

First Prayer:

We shall cry unto You O Lord, our God, to be merciful unto Your people, for it is in You that we place our trust...

We shall call out unto You O Lord, our God, to show unto Your children Your love, for it is You that we shall find the refuge for our hope...

We shall long for You O Lord, our God, to bring justice into the lives of Your creation, for it is under Your wings that we shall take shelter in all of our struggles...

We shall seek Your ways O Lord, our God, that compassion shall encompass the lives of Your people until all calamity shall have passed before our eyes...

As You have in ancient days, leading Your children from captivity and bondage, lift Your hand before Your people and be unto them their Deliverer as the challenges and the struggles of this world so threaten to overtake them amidst trials and tribulations. Look down from heaven and save Your people from those who turn from Your righteousness as their wickedness seeks to devour them.

As You have in the lives of the crew of the MS Taipan, that German ship whose hijacking was thwarted, show in the lives of all who are held by captivity and bondage the same mercy that endures through Your love. Raise Your cause to them that though they are surrounded they shall never be devoured. Exalt them O Lord that they shall be lifted high above their current ordeal and carried to the places where Your hope and Your peace shall encompass their souls in the compassion that You have for them.

Awaken Your glory in this slumbering world that Your name shall be raised on high for the mercy of heaven in the lives of Youe people as the chains are broken and bondage is forever set to flight.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Prayer:

Do not cast us off O Lord, do not scatter or disperse Your People. Turn not Your eyes from their suffering, nor deafen Your ears to their cries....

Do not cast us off O Lord, do not let captivity and bondage ensnare Your Children. Turn not Your eyes from the chains that would bind them and oppression that would destroy them...

Speak O Lord... In Your Holiness and Your mercy speak unto the nations, show that You are a living God, that You are the God of Deliverance and that from Your hand shall rise a force that shall set evil to flight and destroy the transgressions and iniquity of the wicked.

Hear our cries O Lord and attend to our prayers. Your people suffer, they struggle, all about them they find anguish and agony as oppression and tyranny, as persecution and captivity, as poverty and destitution, cast upon them the bitterest of estates and grim darkness encompasses their lives. Be unto them a shelter, a mighty city that shall offer to them refuge in their hurt and their pain that they shall find hope and peace amidst their lives. Be unto them their sword and their shield that they shall find the strength and the courage to persist even in the tribulation that lies before them

Count them amongst Your Saints O Lord and give them the perseverance they need to endure in the love of Your precepts as they are lead from darkness to Your light that they might find the rest and the comfort that has so eluded them amidst the struggles that they have been forced to face.

Abide with them... abide with us forever O Lord that we shall see Your face and sing praises unto Your name for the mercy that You have given amidst the liberty You have endowed Your creation with.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 4/5/10



Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Romans 12:19


How often?

How often do we long for vengeance? How often do we act out of the want for revenge?

It’s hard isn’t it? To look around at this world and see the evil that men are capable of. Just when we think our capacity to be shocked has been reached, just when we think our capacity to be horrified or terrified has been arrived at and that there are few things about the nature of humanity and the darkness it can bring, we find that there really is no limit to it. It mortifies to no end as darkness is foisted upon the human soul forever ripping our innocence away from us.

So often it fails to make sense to us. But then how could it? We claim to be a civilized people, an enlightened race, and yet, amidst our ranks, there are those who have the capacity for such cruelty against their fellow man. Nothing seems right, everything seems so out of sorts, and we’re left with this lingering feeling that longs for some sense of justice…for any sense of justice in a world that just, all too often has gone mad.

There is nothing wrong with desiring justice. Amidst the wrongs of this temporal existence who doesn’t want them to be set right? Who doesn’t want them to be set straight? Who doesn’t want to see the evil come face to face with righteousness and to fall before it with no real sense of power or authority?

Yet, all too often, our longing for justice, it’s twisted and perverted in us, it is distorted and tainted within our hearts as it is changed amidst our souls. Before long justice is no longer about doing what is moral or honorable, it is not guided by an upright spirit but rather has been run aground by the desire for revenge, for a longing for vengeance, for this belief that the wicked should be struck down where they stand and left to rot where they once had, in their vanity and their hubris, claimed the strength and the power to hold life and death in their hands.

From time to time, who doesn’t want to see that?

Seeing terrorists wage their unholy wars, watching pirates take people hostage, hearing of young girls bought and sold into slavery by human traffickers, finding that in the far corners of the world genocide is still committed against people, it’s not hard to want to see these people suffer, nor is it difficult to desire to see the same pain heaped upon them that they have heaped upon others. All around us there are those who oppress their fellow man, who persecute them and bring so much pain into their lives. Who wouldn’t want to see them then have returned t them the full measure of the sorrow in which they have foisted upon others? After all, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke 6:32)

Reflecting on Easter, its perhaps a good time to reflect on vengeance.

Imagine for a moment that God was driven by the same spirit, by the same urges and lusts as men. Imagine for a moment that God was driven by the same desires as we are driven by as we see evil in this world. Imagine for a moment that God repaid sin with vengeance as He took revenge upon all who transgressed against His law. Who amongst us would be safe from that wrath? Who amongst us would be free from that rage and that anger?

We may claim our sins, they are different than the iniquity of the slave traders and the tyrants, the pirates and the murderers. In our eyes and according to our laws we’re right. Our minor or petty transgressions, they are vastly different than taking hostages, making slaves or murdering innocents. Yet, in the eyes of God they’re not. Sin is sin and they all deserve the same punishment, the same fury from heaven above.

Yet, blessedly for us God, He’s not like us….

Though we were lost in our transgressions, though we were fallen in our iniquities He was merciful unto us and sent unto us redemption. Unwilling to deal with us in anger and in vengeance, He would send His only begotten son to die for us, all that we might find that our transgressions, they have been washed from us. In love He sent Christ that we would not, in anger, be sent wrath, and here we were washed from all guilt and blame as the blemishes of our souls were wiped from our hearts and we were given hope anew.

This is the mercy we are meant to emulate as we are told to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1), this is the love we are told to follow as we are told never to repay evil for evil (1 Peter 3:9) and that vengeance shall always belong not to us but always and forever to the Lord.

Therefore dear brothers and sisters long for justice to be done, for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven that all malice shall be set to flight. Pray for justice to come to bear in the lives of God’s people that integrity shall be restored in the lives of the captives and the slaves, the hostages and the prisoners. But never long for vengeance, never long for God to strike down our enemies or for evil to come upon them.

In humility and mercy pray for the Lord’s enlightenment to come into their lives, that they may repent and turn from their wickedness and their unrighteousness, and if their hearts are hardened to those supplications then pray that the Lord God Almighty shall remove them from the places where they claim power and authority that no longer will they have the strength to cause such harm and pain in the lives of the people.

This is then how you know that you have learned the deeper, abiding lessons of Christ as they encompass your spirit and your soul, guiding you to the true understanding of God’s nature and what it is that He has intended for us in our lives as we look to Him. Then shall His righteousness be our guides as, with a clean heart and a right spirit, we turn our trust and our hope to Him, looking to Him to guide this world to places where peace and hope do dwell in the love and the mercy, the compassion and the grace shown unto us by our Lord and our Savior Christ Jesus.

It is here that cruelty and darkness shall be chased from our hearts as love and mercy the example we offer in even the harshest of circumstances, in even the grimmest of times. Then shall we know that injustice shall be set to flight and true liberty, the liberty that frees humanity from hatred, malice and scorn, shall be the beacon by which we contend for the cause of true freedom in this world, for this world, for all of God’s beloved creation.

Lord, grant this unto us all…

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

First Prayer:

Give ear to our prayers O Lord and hide not Your face from our humblest of supplications…

Listen O God and let Your spirit guide Your people according to Your love…

Attend to the plight and the suffering of Your children as darkness encompasses them and sorrow comes so easily upon them. Let not enemies of Your divine love and Your transcending mercy rise up claiming to have the authority over the lives of Your people. Cast Your eyes upon the sorrow and the anguish that is heaped upon them and let Your compassion come to bear in their lives as they cry out for justice in a lost and fallen world.

It was through Your mercy that three cargo Dhows were released from captivity by Somali pirates. You have frustrated the plans of the unrighteous as they sought to wreck havoc upon the lives of the crews of these ships and have set them free amidst the love that You have for them.

It is in this love and this mercy that we pray for the crew of the Samho Dream now taken by pirates. Stand beside these 24 who have been ripped from their lives by wicked men of brutal iniquity and gird them with Your strength that they might have the endurance to preserver amidst the struggles that now threaten to overtake them. Stand beside these 24 and, in Your time, in Your way, set them free from the bondage that now grips them, carrying them to the places where Your hope does forever dwell, giving peace to the hurt and the afflicted, the wounded and the suffering.

Be beside them in all that they face and in that they find before them that they shall know that there is a God of Deliverance contending forever with their cause in the mercy and the compassion, the grace and the love that He has for them.

Then shall all praise be lifted to Your blessed name for the righteousness of Your justice as it comes to bear in the lives of Your people as they come to know that there is no darkness so grim that it can’t be set to flight by the hope of Your promises unto them.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Prayer:

Be merciful unto Your children O Lord, for this world so threatens them amidst it’s grim power and it’s dark authority that it wishes to assert over the lives of Your people.

Be merciful unto Your people O Lord, for this world so seeks to devour them as it rises up against them in iniquity and pain…

Let not Your creation suffer amidst captivity, let not the works of Your hand find sorrow in slavery, let not destitution and poverty, persecution and oppression grip them, strangling the life from them, but show that it is Your mercy that endures forever as Your love shines forth as a beacon in a dark and gloomy world.

In You shall we place the full measure of our trust…

In You shall we place the full total of our hope…

Be beside Your people in the blessed assurances of Your word that they may not be swallowed by iniquity and unrighteousness as the wicked transgress against them, casting them to pits of anguish and agony, sorrow and suffering. Give unto them Your strength where they are weak, and show unto them that Your grace shall always be sufficient for them through all the days of their lives.

It is You O Lord who can deliver the lost from death…

It is You O Lord who can release the wounded from captivity…

It is You O Lord who can liberate the slaves and the hostages, the prisoners and the captives…

It is You O Lord then that we shall praise for the righteousness of Your divine justice as we commend into Your hands their lives and trust that You shall be faithful to them, forever vigilant in their cause as You work to set them free.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 4/1/10



“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
John 13:34-35


“Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos... A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

Love...

If there was only one transcending, encompassing message of Christ... if there was but one overarching idea that gave significance to the meaning of Christ’s ministry, His life and death and resurrection, His sacrifice and His offering for humanity... if there was only one guiding lesson given unto us by the Savior it was love...

It was love that sent Christ into this world... that love of God that saw a sinful and unclean race, that saw the true nature of a lost and fallen humanity, and refused to abandon it or forsake it amidst its own iniquity and sin. He would give his only begotten son to be made man, to live as we did, to suffer temptation as we did, and to carry our awful load even unto His own death, all because He loves us and desires for us to be saved from that brutal and bitter captivity to sin, death and the Devil.

It was love that Christ taught throughout His temporal existence... a love that transcended human understanding and wisdom, a love that looked past our own wants and our own needs, a love that put behind us our own selfishness or our own hurt and taught to the people that they were to love their neighbour as themselves, that taught them to love their enemies and pray for them, to love those who persecuted and oppressed them and to hold not their transgressions against them. It was a love that called on to each of us, telling us to be better, to be stronger than ourselves as we were guided by the Spirit through a world that so rarely made sense to us.

It was a love that Christ exemplified in His life... it was a love that he lived as he put everyone and everything before himself and gave of himself until there seemed like there was nothing else that was left to give. It was a love that never questioned why or complained about the burden that it placed upon Him. It was a love that never asked what was the point, no matter how far past redemption mankind may have seemed, nor did it ever grumble or moan as the true weight and measure of that love crushed Him under the sin and the sorrow of man’s iniquity as it all bore down on Him with such an awful load.

It was a love that Christ would cling to and embody even unto the most brutal of deaths.... it was a love that made His sacrifice so necessary as He knew that there was no other way to redeem the sinful and unclean from the iniquity that stained their hearts and the transgressions that bound their souls except through His sacrifice as that perfect offering, that flawless and faultless Lamb of God who would complete the law that atonement would be brought for the wickedness of humanity. It was a love that would suffer humiliation and disgrace, brutality and cruelty as the hands of men were raised against Him in the most violent of ways, and all that we might find peace and compassion, mercy and hope that would forever guide us forward.

It was a love that Christ would command unto all of us who claimed to be His disciples... who claimed the blessings of His redemption and the grace that came from His salvation.

“Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos... A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

As another Holy Week is upon us and we look to the coming of Easter, that time when we mark the death and the resurrection of Christ, that triumph of our Lord and Savior, that long awaited Messiah anointed by the Lord who claimed that wondrous victory over sin, death and the Devil that we could not win by our merit or our own toils and struggles, as we mark the sacrifice of that Suffering Servant given unto us in the promises of God’s love in even the most ancient days as we were told that we would be freed from the power of the grave and the grim hold it had over us, we need to reflect upon ourselves and our lives. Do we love as Christ loved? Do we give as freely as He gave? Do we offer of ourselves as he offered of Himself? Do we live in that example given unto us by him in the love that he taught unto us?

We live in a world of brutal captivity even now...

All around us there is bondage and slavery as men and women and children are cast to the pits of despair. This world seeks to break them, it seems to tear them asunder as they are left with this lingering feeling of agony and anguish that seems to encompass them, threatening to devour them.

Whether they are held by pirates who grow bolder by the day, human traffickers who rip the innocence from their lives, brutal governments who use tyranny and oppression to suppress the people, racists who believe in the superiority of their cause, enslaving and using genocide as their weapons of choice, or rebels who commit acts of violence and brutality against others, holding people hostage and murdering to make their point, the corruption of this age chains the hearts and the minds, the bodies and the souls to hurt and hardship as turmoil and tribulation comes so easily into their lives.

Whether it is poverty that forces a family to live out of their car or choose between food or shelter, disease and sickness that eats at the body and the mind, leaving the withered frame of a person where their once stood, or the mental afflictions that can cast such a bitter and grim veil over the eyes of the people until there is nothing left but this lingering sense of darkness that seems to overtake them, the sorrow of this age destroys so many lives as it robs from the people any sense of peace or hope that they had, bring nothing but anguish and agony to mark their days.

These are those who Christ taught us to care for, to show love unto, to be compassionate towards, these are they that Christ taught us to be merciful in the lives of. These are those who our Savior taught us to make sacrifices for, to offer all that we can to as the power of the Spirit guides us to bless their lives, giving all that we can to and for that they may know the love of God made manifest through us and in us as we uplift them and edify them in all that we do for them.

Ours must always and forever look to the sacrifice of Christ and ask ourselves what more can we do, what more can we offer, what more can we give in the lives of others?

Ours must be to see the true nature of Christ and to sacrifice of ourselves, trusting that God will provide for us as we provide for others as we give of ourselves unto all who are in any sort of need...

Ours must be to pray for them, it must be to look for ways we can enter into their lives, giving unto them and the charities that help them, it must be to show them kindness and understand that healing enters into their lives as we show them that none are so lost amidst a road of despair that they can’t be guided back to a path of hope that is paved by the compassion of the Lord and the love of His blessed and beloved only begotten Son.

It is then that we can truly and rightly call ourselves the disciples of Christ as we make manifest his love in our lives through all that we are and all that we do, moving each and every day to draw Him closer to us by drawing our fellow man closer to us.

Lord, grant this unto us all.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen...

First Prayer:

Let Your love be made manifest in this lost and fallen world O Lord... let Your love be seen by all who suffer and toil, bound and chained amidst the wickedness of this age....

Let Your love shine forth in the lives of Your servants O Lord... let Your love guide them with a right heart to stand for all who need defending as sorrow and anguish come so easily into the lives of Your people...

Guide Your children from captivity, ransom them from the hands of wicked. Though the unrighteous may rise against them show unto them Your mercy and Your grace as it carries them through even these dark days of grim sorrow that grips their lives. Give them strength, gird them with courage, that perseverance shall give unto them endurance through all of their anguish and agony, that then, in Your time, according to Your love, set them free...

We have seen the great miracles, the glorious works of Your hand O Lord, we have rejoiced in the blessings You have bestowed upon Your people. We have witnessed the power of Your authority as you gave over 5 pirates to a US Warship, sinking their mother ship, freeing the innocent from that grim hold that these men would have gripped them with. We have praised Your name for the way You have revealed Yourself, making Your presence known in the lives of the people.

Rise once more O Lord... rise that liberty and love, justice and hope shall come into the lives of all others held in brutal estate and dark bondage that all shall be brought to that blessed air of freedom that You have endowed Your creation with and have wove into the integrity of their lives.

Then shall Your compassion and mercy, Your love and grace, taught unto us by Christ be the example by which we have seen the blessed assurances of Your promises and it shall teach us to be more, to do more according to the commands You have given us.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Prayer:

Show us Your good O Lord as we cry out for the deliverance of Your people...

Bless the creation of Your hand O Lord as we yearn for the freedom of Your children...

Bend Your ear and hear our longing as we look upon the captivity and the slavery of this age that is brought upon the lives of those who suffer and struggle. Destitution and despair, anguish and agony, suffering and sorrow come so easily into their lives O Lord and they guide for nothing more than Your love to guide them to the places where hope dwells in the blessings of Your compassion.

Let not their faith be frustrated, let not the power of wickedness claim authority over them, but lift them up by Your hand and carry them forth from these places of such hurt and pain to the comfort of Your peace amidst the blessings of Your liberty. Show unto them that Your authority reigns over their lives as You make for them a place to dwell and rest where peace shall encompass their being as Your light warms their spirits and their souls amidst the promises of Your love.

Then shall all see the miracles of Your hand, rejoicing in the wondrous mercy and the gracious compassion You have guided the lives of Your people with as You show the full measure of Your devotion unto them through all of the days of their lives.

Then shall all praise Your glorious name in the manifestation of Your love as it leads Your people to the places where Your truth does give hope and the lost are forever found.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.