Our church building may be closed, but God’s eyes are open and his ears are attentive to our prayers (2 Chronicles 7.15).
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Speak these words out loud:
‘Where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.’
from Matthew 6.21 (Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount)
Read the proverb through three or four times, slowly. Pause in-between, maybe write it out by hand – savour the words, let them speak deeply to you.
The human spirit can endure in times of illness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? (NIV)
Your will to live can sustain you when you are sick, but if you lose it, your last hope is gone. (GNB)
As I write, I’ve been unwell for five weeks now – I’m getting better, but it’s hard to take the rest I need to recover fully! Illness is hard to endure – especially when it starts to last for weeks, it really gets you down. And it can sometimes tip over into ‘a crushed spirit’ when the illness lasts even longer – when there is no end in sight.
And I think that’s what makes ‘a crushed spirit’: when there’s no end in sight. When all hope seems lost. When all light seems darkness.
Hope can be cruel, but it also brings life – especially when we have a promise like this:
We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.Romans 5.3-5 (NIV)
Hope can be cruel, but only when we put our hope in the wrong thing. We can put our hope in politicians, in work, in relationships, in money – all of them will let us down.
But, hope in God will never disappoint us. Why? Because it rests on the solid foundation of God’s love for us in Jesus. Why is that solid? Because it’s already happened. It can’t be changed! Love is not being nice or kind or accepting of others: love is what Jesus did on the cross. And that can never be undone.
That love, which led Jesus to give up everything he had, willingly, and for you – that is the love God wants to pour into your heart, which brings hope and life – no matter what you are going through.
Pray for Five – pray for your five friends / family from Thy Kingdom Come.
Our daily prayer sheet includes the names of everyone for whom we have a signed church family directory form – and local parishes and senior church leaders. Today we are praying for:
Taylor Family (Alex, Chris, Holly, John, Ruby)
Father, please bless them with your peace, and a deep awareness of your presence with them, every day and in every way.
We also pray for: Place of Welcome
Please pray for our leaders and healthcare workers, and all those working to keep us safe, well, and fed. Please pray that people would unselfishly put others before themselves.
Church Family Prayer
Come Holy Spirit,
and make us one in heart and action,
so that we can serve God faithfully:
abounding in love,
maturing in holiness,
and seeking out the lost.
Help us grow as disciples of Jesus –
in commitment, in depth, and in number –
that we may be a blessing to Amington;
to the glory and praise of God the Father.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus
the only way to the Father.
Psalm 127.1, Hebrews 12.2 & John 14.6
May Christ our Saviour give us peace.