Sunday, 30 June 2013


Prayer:  Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One have mercy upon us.  Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One have mercy upon us.  Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One grant us Your peace.  Uphold in Your joy those who lead in worship this day.  Prepare our hearts and minds for Your worship.  Uphold in Your love those who work this day to bring healing to Your people.  This we ask in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Friday -

While we study God’s word,  it is equally important to remember our prayers.   Today we will be praying a Prayer of Forgiveness.
This is a meditative prayer.   Find a comfy place to pray.

Spend a couple of minutes just breathing before you begin this prayer.   Focussing upon our breathing helps us to focus upon our prayers.    

Breath inward and think of the love of God you are breathing inward.
As you breath outward,  think of all the love of God that is surrounding you.

Breath inward in the love of God
Breath outward knowing that the love of God surrounds you.

Begin this prayer.  Slowly reading and meditating upon each phrase.

Holy Holy Holy God,  Lord of Power and Might…..
We bring before You today our sins…..  the things that we have left undone….. the things we have left unsaid…   the hurt we might have caused our family and friends…… 

Great God,  we offer up to You today all stubborn opinions and negative thoughts we have had……

We bring before You today O LORD  those people who have upset us…… 

Forgive us O LORD and have mercy upon us……

For all our situations and people who have upset us O LORD,  we release them from our minds to You……

For all the things that have upset us O LORD,  we release them from our minds to You….

Heal us  and surround us with Your wisdom,  Your strength,  Your healing,  and Your love.

In Your love,  we live and move and have our being.   Holy Holy Holy God,  LORD of Love and Mercy,  grant us Your peace.    Amen.


Prayer:  Open our minds to new thoughts and new opinions today O Lord.  Amen.

Westminster Shorter Catechism Question #9:  What is the work of creation?

Answer:  The work of creation is,  God's making all things of nothing, by the Word of His power, in the space of six days, and all very good.

Genesis 1
Hebrews 11:3

Today, get out into God's creation.  Go for a walk today.  As you walk,  take time to see God's creation with new eyes.  God's creation is glorious and magnificient.  Thank God for each new thing you say today.

Prayer:  Holy God,  we thank You that You make all things new in Your sight.  Amen.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Thursday - authority

Prayer;  Dear Jesus,  show us what we need to know to make sense of a confusing world.  Help us to remember that You are our authority.  Amen.

Read:  St Luke 20: 20 - 26

The question of authority continues.  Spies are sent by the religious leaders trying to trap Jesus in his responses.  They ask Jesus if it is right to pay taxes to Caesar.  jesus asks them to show him a coin.  then he asks them who's  portrait is on the coin.  They reply that it is Caesar's.  Jesus say, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's  and give to God what is God's"  (St Luke 20: 25  NIV Zondervan 1983).  Inwardly,  the spies must have been saying, "Darn it!"

What of our churches today?  Do we give to the government what is the government's  and give to God what is God's?  What about property taxes?  Churches are presently exempt from property taxes... but is this fair for everyone else in the community and especially those in the community that have to pay property taxes on fixed incomes?  Do Churches always try and get a deal rather than paying full price for items? 

Prayer:  King of all,  may we truly give to You what is due to the glory of Your name,  not just the loose change from our pockets, but all the love in our hearts.  Amen.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wednesday - looking inward

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, You have gtiven us an example of the power of Christ to know the intention of humand hearts, and the motivations behind actions... help us to be aware of our own thoughts and the motivations.  Be with us today O Lord that we may know oursevles better and to serve You as never before.  Amen.

Read St Luke 20: 9 - 19

Jesus tells the parable of the wicked tenants in response to the Religious leaders asking him by whose authority Jesus heals and teaches.

Here Jesus is saying that the religious leaders are the wicked tenants. The servants that the Master sends are the prophets that the religious leaders have disregarded.  The prophets were sent by God to the religious leaders to they would return to God.  But alas,  the religious leaders did not return to God.  Then the Master sends his Son to the religious leaders... and they kill him too.

Jesus looks directly at the religious leaders and say, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.  Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces,  but he on whom it falls will be crushed"  (St Luke 19: 18  NIV Zondervan, 1983).

The religious leaders want to arrest Jesus immediately but they do not because they fear the crowd.  jesus is poking the religious leaders and making them not only responsibile for what they believe but also making them look inward at what they believe.  And the religious leaders are not happy with having to look inward at what they believe.

While we tsk, tsk away at the religious leaders of Jesus' day,  are we any different?  Are we like the religious leaders of Jesus' day with hard heartedness in our beliefs?  Do we lack responsibility when our beliefs are questioned?  Something to think about today.

Prayer:  When we face opposition, fear, and the uncertain reactions of our critics Lord,  keep us firm in our desire to serve only You!  Help us not to feel rejected but to know that whatever else happnes,  You do not reject us Jesus, as we seek to work in Your name to bring understanding and healing to all peoples.   Amen.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tuesday - authority

Prayer: Lord of heaven and earth, help us to follow Your example of wisdom and understanding and show us the deeper issues that people bring to us and not to deal with only the things on the surface but to touch on the issues which matter the most in Your Kingdom. May we truly live as followers of Jesus our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen. 

Read St. Luke 20: 1- 8
The religious leaders of the time question Jesus’ authority.   They want to know by what authority is Jesus healing and teaching.     

Jesus then asks them a question….  Was John’s baptism from heaven or from men?   The religious leaders know if they answer from heaven  then Jesus will ask why they didn’t believe John’s teachings.  If the religious leaders answer that the baptism was from men,  then the crowd will be extremely angry as they called John the Baptist a prophet.

Any answer the religious leaders given,  they will have their necks on the line.   So they decide to do nothing and not give an answer.     But by not answering,  they are giving Jesus an answer.  Their answer is  they don’t want the responsibility of having to put their necks on the line.

Do we do this in our Churches today too?   Do we not stand up for what we believe?    Unfortunately,  we frequently do not stand up for what we believe.  So what should we do?    If we see an injustice in our Church,  we must stand up for what we believe.  But what if we are blocked from correcting the injustice?   Then we pray about the situation and   go talk to the person or group that is doing the injustice.   If the person or group that is doing the injustice will not listen and will not change,  we keep the injustice in our prayers and ask God to continue to use us to help right all wrongs.    

Prayer: God of all authority, from You comes  the challenge to be a just and compassionate people, to act in ways that will build up and strengthen the power of the weak. Walk with us as we seek to act for justice in the places You lead us to today.   Amen

Monday, 24 June 2013

Monday - distractions

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, when we come into Your presence we are often confronted with many things that distract us from listening to Your voice and seeing You at work. Help us to cut through the clutter of our lives to find You today. Amen.


Read St. Luke 19: 45 – 48


Jesus enters the temple and begins to drive out those who were selling animals and monies for offerings.    The sellers were charging too much and making a living on the surcharges.  This is not what the original intent of having for sale pure animals  and special monies for offerings.    But it wasn’t only the sellers that had turned the selling of pure animals for sacrifice into commercialism. … the High Priest also shared in the profits of this selling.     


Yikes.     Something that started out as a convenience for all peoples turned into something that ended up with greed.    Yikes.  


And darn it,  “holy” commercialism didn’t just happen to  the Sellers of offerings during the time of Jesus.   “Holy” commercialism is unfortunately still rampant today.   Churches and TV churches that ask and ask and ask for money.    Tithing is one thing but when the Ministers of these Churches live in opulence and the organization keeps asking for monies,  something is wrong.  This is not the living church that Christ asked us to build.   


Prayer: O Lord eternal, help us to remove the distractions from our lives so that we can truly be in Your presence. May we know what we have to throw out of our lives, what attitudes we need to upset and where we need to make space for true worship of You. For this we pray in Jesus name. Amen.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sunday - Prayer for Worship and Work

Prayer:    Great God,  may we worship You this day in joy and praise.   May our prayers rise up to You like an evening offering.  May our voices rise up to You like hymns of praise.   May the words of the sermon illumine Your will so that we take Your word into our lives this week.    May the work of those who lead in worship serve to glorify You this day and always. Be with those Emergency  and Canadian Forces personnel who are working with the floods of BC, Alberta,  Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.  Protect them in their work and provide them with unlimited energy.  But in everything,  may Your will be done.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Saturday - decrees -- say what?

Prayer:  Open our minds to Your will this day O Lord.  Open our ears to Your call this day O Lord.   Open our eyes to Your new creation this day O Lord.  Amen.

Westminster Shorter Catechism Question #8
Question:  How does God execute His decrees?
Answer:  God executes His decrees in the works  of creation and providence.

Isaiah 40: 21-26

God executes His decrees in the works of creation (that would include us!) and providence.    It is through us that God brings about His plans for the world.   We are God’s hands and ears and eyes and feet.  This means we must always roll up our sleeves and  through prayer,  discern what God would have us do so that God’s plans can be begun and continued.     This means being a servant and a peacemaker.    

Prayer:  Divine Healer,  open our hearts and minds and eyes to Your creation this day.    May we listen to Your voice and help out to bring healing to this world.   May we see Your creation in a positive way and not get discouraged when our efforts seem to fail.  May we always delight in serving You.  Be with those who are struggling with floods in BC,  Alberta,  Saskatchewan,  Manitoba, and India.  Comfort all Your peoples knowing that the work of our hands will  help those in need this day.    Amen.  

Friday, 21 June 2013

Friday - welcoming and hospitality

Prayer:   Jesus,  as You wept over Jerusalem,  so too do we weep over the Church.   Revive us so that we open the doors of the Church for those in our community who need rest and to abide in You.  Revive us so that we take Your love out into the community by feeding and clothing the poor,  taking care of the prisoner,   looking after the afflicted,  and remembering the old.    This we ask in Your name.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 19: 41 – 44

As Jesus approaches Jerusalem,  he weeps for the people and for what could have been.    What must the disciples have thought as Jesus wept?   Did they go over to him and comfort him or did they stand back and shuffle their feet not knowing what to do?
Jesus says,  “If you had only recognized this day,  and everything that was good for you!  But now it’s too late.  In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you,  pressing in from every side.   They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement.  Not one stone will be left intact.  All this because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit.”  (Luke 19: 42 – 44 The Message  NavPress, 2005)

And Jesus wept over what could have been.  The religious community in Jerusalem is not ready for the redemption of God.      Does Jesus weep over our Church this day?   Does Jesus weep over what could have been with our Church and denomination?
Something to think about!

Jesus states that the religious community in Jerusalem did not recognize nor welcome God’s personal visit.   How do we welcome people in our denomination and churches today?   When a person is new to a Church,  hospitality is the first thing a new person will either find or not find in a Church.      In a church that has many members,  it is so important for the greeters at the door to know who is a visitor and who is a member. 

How does your church make visitor’s welcome?    Are they able to identify a visitor and then the visitor is shown around the church (coffee area and Sunday school and bathrooms)?     Is there a written record made of the visitor’s address?   Is the visitor’s book visible?   

Prayer:   Great God,  open to us again Your gift of hospitality.   May all Churches in all denominations be open to Your gift of hospitality.   May all  those who come to Church  -- both old members and new visitors -- find their souls refreshed in Your love and delight in Your presence.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Thursday - Joyous Singing

Prayer:  Holy God,  open our minds today so that we listen to Your Word.  Open our hearts today so that we learn to love Your Word.   Open our eyes today so that we can read Your Word and share it with all in Your world.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 19: 28 – 40

This portion of scripture is one we hear each Palm Sunday.    Jesus now heads straight to Jerusalem.    He sends two disciples to find a colt and bring it back.    The two disciples head off to the home that has the colt.    They bring the colt back to Jesus and Jesus rides the colt near the Mount of Olives.    Riding a colt  - donkey   into Jerusalem is a symbol that Jesus is coming not as a warrior King (who rides a horse)  but as a peaceful Messiah who rides on a colt.   

As Jesus continues to ride into Jerusalem,  the disciples and the crowd burst into song --   Blessed is he who comes,  the king in God’s name!  All’s well in heaven!  Glory in the high places!  (Luke 19: 38  The Message   Nav Press 2005).

What did the disciples do as Jesus was riding the donkey?  They burst into Song (Psalm 118).    Over the years,  we have discovered that dying Churches have little volume in their congregational singing.    Singing is one way of praying to God.   Yet when the congregation begins to stop singing with great gusto, every Session should perk up their ears and  discern what is wrong.     Churches that are dying or dwindling in numbers forget how to sing….. they forget how to praise God…. they forget how to bring the hospitality of Christ into their community.  And how sad. 

The Pharisees are disgusted at the singing of the Disciples and say to Jesus, “Teacher, get your disciples under control”   Jesus replies by saying, “If they keep quiet the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”   Singing is a very important part of our journey in Christ.   Singing is part of our worship to God.

Next Sunday listen to the singing in your congregation.   

Prayer:   Great God,  You bring joyous song into our lives.    When we are happy and filled with Your presence,  we sing to You with great joy.     Make us every mindful as our congregations begin to loose their song,  that our praise of You must never diminish.   This we ask in the name of Your Son.  Amen.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Wednesday - What gifts has God given to you?

Prayer:   Help us O God to live in Your way and to listen in the quiet for Your voice.   Amen.

Read St. Luke 19: 16 - 27

The Parable of the Ruler continues with a discussion of which servant made the gift of money work for his master…. And which servant kept the gift of money hidden and did nothing.

God has given each of us gifts.    What gifts has God given to you?    Do you use the gifts God has given to you to bring the love of Christ into the community?  Or do you keep the gifts God has given to you hidden away?

The amazing thing is the gifts God has given to each of us always lead to action.  For instance,  if we have the gift of hospitality,  we help feed others or greet others so they feel welcomed.   In First Presbyterian Church Winnipeg,  there is a gentleman by the name of Tom Denton.    Tom has volunteered for years welcoming new immigrants to Canada.   What a gift for the community!    Knox Presbyterian Church Winnipegosis does not have a minister but they have opened up a suite in the Church for ministers and families to come for a rest and preach on a Sunday.  What a gift for the community and for ministry families who find trying to find the finances for a holiday prohibitive!   

Prayer:  For all the gifts that You have given to us O LORD,  may we be truly thankful.    Inspire us today to use these gifts so that our communities may be made whole in Your love.  Amen.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Tuesday - building up the Kingdom of God

Prayer:   Spirit of Christ,  have mercy upon us.  Help us to remember that we are the Kingdom of God within our homes and within our community and within our Church.    Use us this day to be the example of what it means to follow You.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 19: 11 – 15

This portion of scripture is the  Parable of the ten Minas.   A mina was about thee months’ wages.       Jesus and the disciples are nearing Jerusalem and the people thought that the Kingdom of God was on hand.     Jesus tells them the Parable of the Ten Minas.

A man of noble birth goes to a foreign land and tries to appoint himself king.  The peoples of the land do not want him to be king.   Before the man goes to the foreign land,  he gives ten of his servants ten minas each.  He instructs them to put the monies to work.  

Huh?  What an odd parable.  What was Jesus trying to tell the people?   Some Scholars suggest that this was an illustration to the life of Jesus.   He is here now but will be crucified and leave the workers in charge of building the Kingdom of God.  Then when Jesus returns,  the workers will have to make an account of how they did building the Kingdom of God.

How well has our denomination  built up the Kingdom of God?    Working in a Military Museum,   I am always surprised by the number of Militia who were Presbyterian and did great things on and off the battle fields from the war of South Africa to WW1 and WW2 and beyond.      Many of our Presbyterians won decorations and awards for their leadership and their sacrifice.   Yet what about today?   Who would we hold up today as an example of a follower of Christ within the Presbyterian Church in Canada who is also an example of leadership and sacrifice within our community?    Have we ended up forgetting about our communities and instead whine and complain about how the Church is lacking in funds?     When we no longer involve ourselves within the community,   we keep the light of Christ hidden and dull.   

Today meditate how the Church can once again be involved within the community so that the light of Christ shines within the community.

Prayer:  Divine Healer,   use us to bring Your light and healing and strength and wisdom into Your world.   Kindle within us the light of Your love so that with great joy and enthusiasm,  we bring Your love into our community.   Amen.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Monday - a story of forgiveness and compassion

Prayer:  God, Creator and Savior, source of peace for the entire world: be our life today.  O Christ, you call us to share with others: unite us in your love. O Christ, our Shepherd, you come to seek those who are lost, you visit the lonely and the abandoned: give them new hope. Comforting Spirit, you place in us hope and joy: fill us with your love. Comforting Spirit, you awaken in us a love that forgives: come to us, Holy Spirit.  (Taize  Prayer for each Day.

Read St. Luke 19: 1 – 10

Zacchaeus, the Tax Collector.   What a great story of forgiveness and redemption.     Here is a man who was despised by his own peoples for being a tax collector.   Yet,  when he heard Jesus was coming,  he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a tree so that he could see Jesus.       Jesus looked up at Zacchaeus and said, “I  must stay at your home today”.   Wow!     The crowd is horrified.  Jesus has said he is going to the home of a sinner.   Gasp!     Yet,  by Jesus reaching out to Zacchaeus,      Zacchaeus’ heart is changed.   Zacchaeus said that here and now he gives away half of his possessions to the poor and will pay back four times the amount of anyone he cheated.

This story of Zacchaeus is in direct contrast to the Rich Ruler.    The Rich Ruler could not give away his possessions and could not follow Jesus.    Zacchaeus  gave away his possessions and paid back four times the amount of anyone he cheated.  Zacchaeus followed Jesus.    All because Jesus showed compassion and love to Zacchaeus.

Today meditate and ask yourself how your community could change if the Church showed compassion and love within the community.

Prayer:  Lord Christ, enable us to turn to you at every moment. So often we forget that your Holy Spirit dwells in us, that you pray in us, that you love in us. Your miracle in us is your trust, and your constant forgiveness.  (Taize Prayer for Each day.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sunday - Prayer

Prayer:  Prepare our hearts for worship this day O LORD.   Prepare our minds for worship this day O LORD.    May the Words of those who preach today be acceptable in Your sight.  We rejoice that we can worship You today with all Your peoples.   Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One  grant us peace in believing and joy in sharing Your Word with the world.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Saturday, 15 June 2013


Prayer:  Omnipotent God,  You know all things and are eternal.   You know us better than we know ourselves.    May we always rejoice in Your plans and love.  Amen.


Question #7 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism

Question:  What are the decrees of God?

Answer:  The decrees of God are, His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of His will,  whereby, for His own glory, He has  foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.


Psalm 119: 12

Psalm 33: 11

Isaiah 14: 24

Ephesians 1: 11 – 12


Decrees.   Rules.  Regulations.    Because I said so.     As leaders or teachers or parents,   we explain the rules…. we provide boundaries…. we say there are consequences to our actions.    Yet frequently,  we blow it.     We disregard the rules and then we kick ourselves because we knew better!


In this question,   the decrees of God are more than rules and regulations and “because I said so”’s.   The decrees of God are God’s plan for all of creation.  Eternal plans.    God knows us better than we know ourselves.  God already knows what our potential is better than we know ourselves.     Hallelujah!


Prayer:  Eternal God,  You are sovereign over all things and all events and all plans.  In Your love and mercy,  we are part of Your plan.  For this we give You our thanks.  Amen.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Friday - Jesus said, "What do you want me to do for you?"

Friday June 14
Prayer:    Jesus,  Son of God,  have mercy upon us.   Jesus,  Son of God,  heal our infirmities.  Jesus,  Son of God,  grant us Your peace.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 18:  35 – 43

As Jesus and the disciples are heading toward Jerusalem via Jericho,  a blind man hears a group of people walking past.   The blind man asks someone who is walking past.  The person says to the blind man, “It is Jesus!”  

At this moment,  the blind man calls out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”   The crowd try to shush him but the blind man calls out in a louder voice, “Jesus, Son of David,  have mercy on me!”  

Now the blind man is sitting by the roadside because his blindness is considered a sin and unclean.   The blind man can not go up to people and ask for money  nor healing.  But this blind man used his voice.  

Jesus stops and orders the blind man be brought to him.   Jesus asks the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man answers,  “Lord I want to see”.     Immediately,  the blind man is healed and praises God and then follows Jesus. 

Today,  meditate upon the question that Jesus asked the blind man ….   “What do you want me to do for you?”           Picture Jesus sitting beside you right now.     How will you answer Jesus’  question…..   “What do you want me to do for you”?

Prayer:   Divine Healer,    You are our life and our love and our strength.   May we be aware of You throughout this day as we reflect on Your love and Your healing and Your wisdom and Your strength.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Thursday - may peace reside

Prayer:  O LORD  may peace reside in our homes and churches and governments this day.    As we journey through our lives,  help us to be peace bearers in Your name.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 18: 31 - 34

Jesus and the disciples were heading up to Jerusalem.    As they journeyed,  they would be repeating the travelling Psalms  for Worship.       They were going to the Temple to Worship.   

Yet the death and resurrection of Jesus was hidden from the disciples understanding.    To the disciples,  this was a time in preparation for a Holy Festival,  not the death of their friend.   Perhaps they thought Jesus would be the political messiah to rescue them from the tyranny of the Romans.      But for now,  they worship together by singing the psalms.

While we know the rest of the story – death to resurrection,  let us join with the disciples in reflecting  and meditating upon Psalm 121.   This Psalm was one of many that was used on the journey to the Temple in Jerusalem.  

Psalm 121

Assurance of God’s Protection

A Song of Ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
    from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time on and forevermore.    Amen.
(   New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.)

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Wednesday - hanging too tightly onto the Church building

Prayer:  Our strength comes from You,  O God,  who made heaven and earth and the mountains and the seas.  Creator,  You  will not let us stumble.    Redeemer,  You will protect us by shielding us from harm.   Sustainer,  You  guard us all of our life…. when we leave and when we return.   Amen.

Read St. Luke 18: 18 – 30

The Story of the Rich Ruler.   Or the story of the Rich Man who rejects discipleship.   A ruler comes to Jesus and asks what he must do to inherit eternal life.   Jesus responds with the commandments.   The ruler says that he has kept the commandments since he was a boy.    Then Jesus says for the ruler to sell everything he has and give it to the poor,  then follow Jesus.

The Rich Ruler is sad as he will not sell everything that he has and he does not follow Jesus.   Which is harder to do?   For the Rich Ruler to sell all his possessions or to follow Jesus?    In this case,  both are too difficult for the Rich Ruler.  The Rich Ruler was hanging on too tightly to his possessions and cut himself off from following Jesus.  How sad.   

Those who were with the Rich Ruler and Jesus then reflect back to the original question….. how can we inherit eternal life.   The people then ask Jesus who then can be saved?   Jesus replies that with God all things are possible.  

Hanging too tightly onto possessions.    Are we today holding onto our Church buildings too tightly?    When our Church buildings begin to cost more money than the money we share in our missions,  should be a clue that we indeed are holding on too tightly to our possessions.     How will our Church follow Jesus this day?

Prayer:    May we follow You this day O LORD in love and mercy.   May we see You in everyone we meet this day.  May we share Your love with those we talk to this day and those who watch us from afar.   Guide our thoughts and our actions so that they reflect Your love and mercy.   Amen.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Tuesday - being blessed

Prayer:  Creator,  we give You thanks for this day.   For the moments that we will spend in Your love,  we give You thanks.    Send Your light and warmth into our lives today.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 18:  15 – 17

People began bringing their children to Jesus to have Jesus bless their children.   How neat is that!   A blessing.  But the parents got stopped by the disciples.   Jesus said to the children,  “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”  (NIV Zondervan 1983).

How often have we been like the disciples?   We know that we should come before Jesus in prayer but we think we will do it later.    And then later never comes.     We say a few words of prayer and figure that that will do for the day.   But we forget that we grow and are nourished each time we come before God in prayer.   

Today,   we will be praying a Body prayer --   A  body prayer brings our whole body into God’s care.  

Sit in a comfy chair.     As your reflect on all your body parts from the crown of your head to the souls of your feet,  after each body part say, “thank You God for creating me as one of Your children”.  
Reflect and acknowledge  your fore head, thank You God for creating me as one of Your children”.  
 your eyes, thank You God for creating me as one of Your children”.  
 your nose,   thank You God for creating me as one of Your children.
 your ears,      thank You God for creating me as one of Your children
 your mouth   thank You God for creating me as one of Your children”.  
your teeth,    thank You God for creating me as one of Your children
your tongue,   thank You God for creating me as one of Your children
 your voice box,   thank You God for Creating me as one of Your children
  your heart,   thank You God for Creating me as one of Your children
  your lungs,    thank You god for creating me as one of Your children
your stomach --   thank You God for creating me as one of Your children”.  
 and so on  all the way down your body to the souls of your feet.

Spend a few moments in silent prayer…… acknowledge that God is with you today and within you today.
End Prayer:    Holy God,   thank You for creating me as one of Your children.  May I live this day in Your love and praise.  Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.  As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,  world without end.  Amen.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Monday - prayer

Prayer:    God,  have mercy upon me,  a sinner.  Amen.

Read  St. Luke 18:  9 – 14

Jesus continues to tell the disciples the second parable of prayer.    A Pharisee and a Tax Collector   go to the Temple to pray.    The Pharisee stands up and in a loud voice so everyone can hear,   prays about himself.    The Tax Collector stands at a distance with his head bowed and quietly mumbles so that only God can hear, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner”.    (St Luke 18: 12) 

Jesus tells the disciples that the Tax Collector prayed a true prayer that reflected his soul.  The Tax Collector went home  made right with God.    The Pharisee prayed a prayer not to God but announcing all he had done to those who were around him listening to his words.   This man went home not in union with God.  

Today,  how will we be right with God?   How will we pray today?

Prayer:  Great God,  we come before You today with our hearts open to Your love and Your peace.  We ask that You forgive our sins……..  and make us whole.  Lord have mercy.  We give to You all our decisions to be made today…….   Lord have mercy.   We give to You today all our thoughts so that our thoughts can be a reflection of You.   Lord have mercy.    God,  give mercy and forgive me,  a sinner for in Your love I am made whole.      Amen.

Sunday - time of prayer

Prayer:    Great and Loving God  we come before You today in awe and praise.  Holy God, grant peace in Your world…….     Great and Loving God,  we lift up in prayer to You today Your Church.   May  Your Church be a place of worship and of joy….. may division and dissention cease.      Holy God,  grant us Your peace.     Great and Loving God,  we lift up in prayer to You today  Ministers and Elders who are our spiritual guides…….   Grant them wisdom in their decision and love in their envisioning of what our Church is to become.    Holy God,  grant us Your love.  Amen.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Saturday -

Prayer:  Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One  grant us Your peace today in all we do and say.    Creator,  Redeemer,  and Sustainer help us to grow in the full stature of who You have called us to be.  Amen.

Question #6
Question:  How many persons are there in the Godhead?
Answer:  There are three persons in the Godhead;  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God,  the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

1 John 5:7
Matthew 28: 19

We call the Father,  the Son, and the Holy Spirit -- The Trinity.  Three in one and One in three.      When we describe the Trinity,  we often use fruit or our roles in our family.   An apple  is a great example of the Trinity --   it has a seed/blossom for the centre,  it has a white part that we like to eat,  and it has a red outer cover.   Three things that make an apple an apple.   Just like the Trinity.      Our roles in our family….. we are a son  or a husband, or a father.  Three different roles but all the same person.   

Prayer:  Great God,  may the Holy Spirit touch each of us today and give us wisdom to know how to further Your love within our community and world.   May we take the teachings of Jesus with us in all that we do this day.   This we ask in Your Holy name.  Amen.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Friday - Persistent prayers for Justice and Peace

Prayer:  God be with us today.  Guide our thoughts and our actions so that we can see Your presence in our lives.   Amen.

Read St. Luke 18: 1 – 8

Jesus told the story of the persistent widow so that the disciples would always be persistent in prayer and never give up.   At least that is what verse 1 states.   But in this parable,  there is so much more!

The parable opens with a judge who declares that he does not fear God nor cares about anyone.   This is certainly not the kind of judge anyone would want to decide their fate.   This judge did not worship God.  This judge did not care about any one at all.     And in the midst of his callous heart,  there comes a widow who wants the judge to grant her justice against her adversary.

We are never told who the widow’s adversary is but with the widow coming before a judge we do know one thing about the widow.  She is all alone in the world with no children nor relatives.   If she did have  children or relatives,  the closest male would have presented her case before the judge himself.   Yet here is a widow coming before a judge herself.

The judge hears the widow’s  case and dismisses it.    The widow went away but came back again and again to the point where the judge says that even though he does not fear God nor care about men,  he will grant the widow her justice otherwise she will beat him down with her persistence.  

Verse 6 is essential to this parable.   “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”  (St. Luke 18: 6 – 8)

So the judge does give the widow justice due to her persistence.   Jesus said this is an illustration that our prayers must be persistent as well.    Jesus isn’t talking about the prayers of “Dear Lord,  I need a shiny new car”   or  “Dear Lord,  I want more money”.   Jesus is talking about persistent prayers for justice and peace.    

We read in newspapers and hear on radio and TV conflicts and wars in our world.   Do we say prayers for these situations?  Or do we just shake our head and say, “Oh that is horrible”.     Prayers are needed for each conflict and unjustice.    It is out of our great love for God that we bring these conflicts and unjustices to God. 

When the Son of Man comes,  will he find faith on the earth?   A good question for us all to meditate upon today.    

Prayer:    Great God,  we come before You today with prayers of justice and peace for those who are living in conflict and war.   Comfort and be with those O LORD,  who can not defend themselves.   Provide Your peace to those O LORD,  who are not living in safety.   Provide Your justice to those O LORD,  who govern all nations.   Use us this day O LORD to bring Your justice and Your peace into this world.     This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Thursday - disasters and change

     69th Anniversary of the D-Day Landing in Normandy (Juno Beach)
Prayer:  Great God,   we know that our enemy prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour.   Provide for us the courage and wisdom to stand up to the enemy so that Your love may be spread throughout our churches.   Amen.

Read St. Luke 17: 26 – 37

The Kingdom of God  or the Day of the Son of Man will be like the time of Noah.  Everyone was living the way they wanted to right up until the rains started coming down and homes were flooded.  Only then did people open their eyes and say, “Humm,  something is wrong here.  We’ve got to do something”.   But by that time it was too late.
Jesus then gives the illustration of the time when Lot and his family lived in  Sodom.  People were living selfish lives and only thinking of themselves…. that is until a firestorm swept down upon Sodom and destroyed the town. 

Why is it that we only look at the way we live when a disaster strikes?   Any disaster means a change in our life.   A disaster or emergency or hazardous event means a disruption to the order in our daily life.  

This Spring in Manitoba with forecasts of rivers flooding,  many Sessions and Boards met to create an Emergency Disaster Plan.   An Emergency and Disaster Plan is created so that Sessions and Boards will know what to do in the event of an emergency.  The Plan covers a contact list so that police and emergency personal know who to call first in the Church,  what services the church can offer the community,  and if the Church is going to be flooded and destroyed what records and objects need to be removed and in what priority.   Churches that do not have an Emergency and Disaster Plan are like the people during the time of Noah who say, “Something is wrong here”  but by the time they figure out what is wrong,  the emergency is upon them.        

As Christians,  we must have an Emergency and Disaster Plan as well.   Our Emergency and Disaster Plan is life long learning about the love of God  through  reading scriptures,  prayer,  meditating upon God’s Holy Word,  and worshipping together.  

Prayer:  Holy God,  show us today how we can be a positive influence of Your love in our community.  When disaster strikes or emergencies happen,  grant us the ability to help out so that we can further Your Kingdom here on earth and in the hearts of all.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.     Amen.