Week 28 Day 2
I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
“For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter…Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also…” (Rom. 2:28-29, 3:29-30)
In the Old Testament, God had chosen the Israelites to be His covenant partner on earth. He loved them like a faithful husband loves his wife. He was to be the source of their identity and hope. The land, the Law, the Temple, circumcision, and the blessings of the “good life” were merely symbols and by-products of the relationship. Those things, which came to distinctly characterize Jewish life, were never intended to carry weighty things like identity and hope. But Israel struggled to keep their sight on God and sometimes clung, instead, to the national symbols of Jewish life rather than God, Himself. The result of this failure was vain religion and, ultimately, judgment.
In Christ, the salvation of God visibly broke with any specific geopolitical identity; the criteria for determining “God’s people” moved away from Jewish nationality, ethnicity, and tradition and reordered around the heart and soul. Yet, we still have a tendency to mix external, nationalistic symbols and substance with our identity in Christ.
In what ways do you see nationalistic symbols and substance mixing with the identity of the American church? What are the real or potential consequences of this mixing, positive or negative?
What about your own heart? Are there any ways you’ve sought cultural or nationalistic symbols or substance to satisfy the longing of your heart in an unhealthy way?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the cultural or nationalistic symbols to which you may be clinging for comfort. Ask Him to remind you now of the simple truths of the gospel. Ask Him to satisfy the longings of your heart.
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Month’s Scripture Memory:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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.