Week 16: Word – Scripture

Preparation

  • Recite Psalms 130 & 131
  • Moment of silence

Presence through the word

  • Psalm reading (selected from below)
    • Morning:        Psalm 119:1-8
    • Noon:              Psalm 119:9-16
    • Vespers:          Psalm  119:17-24
    • Night:              Psalm 119:25-32
  • Moment of Silence
  • Scripture readings:
    • Monday:            Deuteronomy 11:13-21
    • Tuesday:            2 Chronicles 34:1-2, 14-33
    • Wednesday:      2 Chronicles 35:1-27
    • Thursday:          Ezra 8:1-18
    • Friday:                Isaiah 55:1-13
  • Moment of Silence

Practicing the presence

Reading the Word is important. However, reading God’s word without putting it into practice is personal deception. Knowledge is not a substitute for obedience.

Not every passage in the Bible is applicable to us today. Offering a Levitical sacrifice would not be the appropriate response to reading the text. However, there are clear commands and principles most can recognize through common sense. The Bible is very clear regarding caring for those who are helpless, being honest with people, treating others with kindness and respect, and seeking justice.

In what ways does the Word of God challenge you? In what one area do you feel most challenged? Determine to not just acknowledge the challenge–but respond this week to what God is challenging you to do through his Word.

Prayers

  • Prayers of thanksgiving and petition
  • Journaling or silent reflection
  • “The Lord’s Prayer”
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Week 15: Community

Preparation

  • Recite Psalms 130 & 131
  • Moment of silence

Presence through the word

  • Psalm reading (selected from below)
    • Morning:        Psalm 84
    • Noon:              Psalm 28
    • Vespers:          Psalm  133
    • Night:              Psalm 3
  • Moment of Silence
  • Scripture readings:
    • Monday:            Leviticus 19:1-18
    • Tuesday:            Leviticus 19:32-20:5
    • Wednesday:      Leviticus 25:35-43
    • Thursday:          Deuteronomy 6:4-25
    • Friday:                Deuteronomy 10:12-22
  • Moment of Silence

Practicing the presence

“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community… Let him who is not in community beware of being alone… Each by itself has profound perils and pitfalls. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and the one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation and despair.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

If you are not part of a community of people who share the same spiritual goals, then seek out community. God never intended Christianity to be some sort of individualistic faith. It is a communal faith. If you are part of a community evaluate your participation with it. Is it more an association of folks with similar interests or is it a community that is truly devoted to one another?

Compare your church community or small group to Acts 2:42-47. Does this passage describe your community? In what ways and in what ways does the passage confront your community?

Prayers

  • Prayers of thanksgiving and petition
  • Journaling or silent reflection
  • “The Lord’s Prayer”
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Week 14: Leadership (Joshua)

Preparation

  • Recite Psalms 130 & 131
  • Moment of silence

Presence through the word

  • Psalm reading (selected from below)
    • Morning:        Psalm 1
    • Noon:              Psalm 2
    • Vespers:          Psalm 26
    • Night:              Psalm 101
  • Moment of Silence
  • Scripture readings:
    • Monday:          Numbers 14:1-25
    • Tuesday:          Joshua 1:1-18
    • Wednesday:    Joshua 8:30-35
    • Thursday:       Joshua 23:1-16
    • Friday:             Joshua 24:1-33
  • Moment of Silence

Practicing the presence

Everyone is a leader to someone. The question is: who looks to you as a leader? Honestly review the people in your life that may see you as an example to follow. It could be co-workers, members of a small group, your children, or someone else.

Ask yourself, “If I am a leader, who have I learned from?” List the people you consider your leaders. Who has influenced you the most for better? What kind of follower were you?

Make the following commitments as a leader: 1) to regularly spend time with God in prayer, 2) to regularly study the scripture to see how God is challenging you to live, 3) to learn how to follow God.

Share this “practicing the presence” exercise with someone you respect and trust. Ask him or her to evaluate your responses. Does he/she think you have accurately evaluated yourself? What advice would he/she give you?

Prayers

  • Prayers of thanksgiving and petition
  • Journaling or silent reflection
  • “The Lord’s Prayer”
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Week 12: Exodus & Redemption

Preparation

  • Recite Psalms 130 & 131
  • Moment of silence

Presence through the word

  • Psalm reading (selected from below)
    • Morning:        Psalm 106:1-23
    • Noon:              Psalm 106:24-48
    • Vespers:          Psalm 135
    • Night:              Psalm 136
  • Moment of Silence
  • Scripture readings:
    • Monday:            Exodus 9
    • Tuesday:            Exodus 10
    • Wednesday:      Exodus 11
    • Thursday:          Exodus 12
    • Friday:                Exodus 13:17-14:31
  • Moment of Silence

Practicing the presence

 

Prayers

  • Prayers of thanksgiving and petition
  • Journaling or silent reflection
  • “The Lord’s Prayer”
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Week 11: The Gospel of Exodus–Suffering

Preparation

Recite Psalms 130 & 131
Moment of silence

Presence through the word

Psalm reading (selected from below)
Morning: Psalm 38:1-16
Noon: Psalm 38:17-39
Vespers: Psalm 39:40-55
Night: Psalm 39:56-72

Moment of Silence

Scripture readings:
Monday: Exodus 1:1-2:10
Tuesday: Exodus 2:11-25
Wednesday: Exodus 3:1-4:20
Thursday: Exodus 5
Friday: Exodus 7

Moment of Silence

Practicing the presence

Who are those suffering in your community? Reflect on Exodus 2:23-25 and how God views the suffering of his people. He “knows”–he is intimately involved in the suffering of his people

Consider Matthew 25:41-45 and how Jesus identifies with the suffering of this world. Together with your family decide how you can “visit” the suffering of God’s people this week (whoever they are). Journal your plans, record your actions, and your reactions. Have a supper discussion with your family about the results and then determine how to make this part of your life.

Prayers

Prayers of thanksgiving and petition
Journaling or silent reflection
“The Lord’s Prayer”

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Week 10: Forgiving the Unforgivable

Preparation

  • Recite Psalms 130 & 131
  • Moment of silence

Presence through the word

  • Psalm reading (selected from below)
    • Morning:         Psalm 25
    • Noon:             Psalm 32
    • Vespers:         Psalm 103
    • Night:              Psalm 130
  • Moment of Silence
  • Scripture readings:
    • Monday:          Genesis 42
    • Tuesday:          Genesis 43
    • Wednesday:     Genesis 44
    • Thursday:        Genesis 45
    • Friday:             Genesis 50:12-26
  • Moment of Silence

Practicing the presence

Make two lists. For the first list write down everyone who has offended you or hurt you in some way. For the second list write down who you have hurt or offended in some way.

Take the first list and name by name think through each offense. However, before you move from a name–pause, and ask God to forgive that person and to help you forgive that person. When you finish with this list, place it in a metal bowl, strike a match and burn the list. (Be certain you observe safety rules!)

Set the bowl aside and go to the other list.

For each name think of how you have hurt the person named. Before you leave a name, ask God to forgive you. Beside the name write down how you will respond (do you need to visit this person, call him/her, or send them a letter acknowledging your wrong and asking forgiveness?). Follow the rule provided by AA–seek to make amends unless to do so would bring harm to this person.

Go back to the ashes. If they are cooled, place them in an envelope, seal the envelope and place God’s name on the envelope. You may then go outside for a walk to the nearest trash bin (not your own trash can, but a public trash can). As you walk, spend time praying to God asking him to take these sins against you and to take their burden and the burden of vengeance away from you. When you reach the trash bin, say goodbye to the unforgiven sins and “mail” them to God. If you are tempted to revisit the wrongs any of these people have done to you, remember you burned them and effectively gave them to God: they are no longer your hurts to worry with.

Prayers

  • Prayers of thanksgiving and petition
  • Journaling or silent reflection
  • “The Lord’s Prayer”
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Special Week of Prayer: Peace for Ukraine

My dear friends,

Many of you know I work for an international ministry serving Eastern Europe. My focus is particularly upon the nation of Ukraine. If you have been following the news you know Ukraine is facing tremendous turmoil and pain.

During your devotional time, would you please spend this week praying for the Peace of Ukraine?

Preparation

  • Recite Psalms 130 & 131
  • Moment of silence

Presence through the word

Psalm reading (selected from below)

  • Morning:       Psalm 29
  • Noon:             Psalm 34
  • Vespers:         Psalm 85
  • Night:             Psalm 122
  • Moment of Silence
  • Scripture readings:
    • Monday:         Isaiah 53:1-6
    • Tuesday:         Matthew 5:1-12
    • Wednesday:   Ephesians 2:11-22
    • Thursday:       1 Peter 3:8-17
    • Friday:             1 John 4:7-21
  • Moment of Silence
  • Practicing the Presence

The least you can do is the most you can do: pray. Please pray each day for the peace of Ukraine. If you have friends in Ukraine, stay in touch with them. Do not make political judgments or statements–just offer them your love and let them know they are not forgotten.

Remember, too–nations are made up of people: people created by and love by God. Pray for Ukraine and Russia. Pray that peace will prevail. Pray that lives will be spared and that God’s love will overcome.

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