Monday Prayers

 

 

bottles

Father God,
You are full of grace
Even when we omit to do
The good we desire to do.
In our inner being
In our core
We long to be like You.
We delight in You
We delight in Your ways
The war is waging against our hearts and our minds
We feel like prisoners
To our own selves.
We feel wretched before You
Lacking in grace.
But You are Grace
You will rescue us from these bodies of death
Thank you Father
We are redeemed through Jesus Christ
Our Lord.
Amen.
Romans 7 v 14- 25

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Monday Prayers

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Father God,

We set our hearts to return to You

Although at times we feel torn to pieces

You will heal us

Although at times we feel injured

You will bind up our wounds

After two days You will revive us

On the third day You will restore us

That we may live in Your presence

May we acknowledge You always Lord

May we press on to acknowledge You

As surely as the sun rises

You will appear

You will come to us like the winter rains

Like the spring rains that water the Earth.

-Hosea 6 v 1-3

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A Way of Understanding the Love of God

father

Father; Founder or Originator (Oxford English Dictionary)

‘It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons…’- Johann Schiller

I remember it as clear as day. It was very early in the morning, I lay there resting in that peculiar state of semi-consciousness, not fully awake but aware. It was 14th August 2007.

Without warning and in almost a natural way this sentence ran vividly through my mind, word after word;

“The knowledge of the love of God increases with a revelation of his fatherhood”

That was it. Nothing else followed but a calm silence as I repeated the words in my mind again. I knew God had spoken. I rushed to find a pen and paper and scrawled the words across the page, worried that I might lose the essence or forget the sentence if I didn’t write it down immediately.

That word revolutionised my walk with God.

My experience of ‘fatherhood’, like so many others, had been one of abandonment and absence. I had no real concept of what it meant to be ‘fathered’ by my dad or anyone else. I began to investigate the meaning of Fatherhood. I read ferociously, grasped hold of every related resource I could find and listened to countless messages on the topic. This took years and I am still on that road of enlightenment.

I began to pray differently, seeing in the scriptures how Jesus spoke and prayed to the Father. I realised that He was calling me to pray to the ‘Father’ also. He spoke of His father many times, but He also declared in prayer in Matthew 6 v 9 ‘Our Father’. OUR Father.

I felt like David when he penned Psalm 139 ‘Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain’.

So, what does fathering look like?

‘In Psychological literature, fathering is usually translated into father’s presence status and father’s involvement. Social Scientists define involvement as varied paternal functions such as; endowment, acknowledging the child as one’s own; protection, protecting the child from sources of potential danger and contributing to decisions that affect the child’s welfare; provision, ensuring that the child’s material needs are met; formation, socialisation activities such as discipline and teaching; and caregiving.’- Erini Flouri ‘ Fathering and Child Outcomes’

God is not a man that He should lie. I can verify that almost 6 years after receiving and responding to that word, the roots of my knowledge of His incredible love have increased and gone down deep. His Fatherhood is becoming ever real to me.

God is jealous (in the best way) and zealous for us to know Him as our Father, as Jesus Himself declared;

‘And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father’, for you have one Father, and He is in heaven…’

– Matthew 23 v 9

Our Father has chosen to provide for us, protect us, define us and direct us. If you have Jesus, you have the Father- You can’t have one without the other.

Knowing this, we have the divine privilege and responsibility to search out what Fatherhood is all about, to determinedly increase our revelation of the love of God. We then have the opportunity to share this with those around us, those desperate to know the love of a real Father.

MenDo you know the love of the Father? Could you share some of what you know with another? Could you offer fathering to someone?

WomenDo you know the love of the Father? Could you share some of what you know with another? Could you connect those in your life to someone who would father them?

‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!’- 1 John 3 v 1

Have you explored the Fatherhood of God? 

The Centrality of Love

Recently, the scripture verses in Matthew 24 v 12-13 seemed to jump out at me from the pages of my bible. The Holy Spirit was evidently peeling back another layer of truth and allowing me a glimpse of its deeper significance. It states;

‘Because of the increase of wickedness, the LOVE of most will grow cold, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved.’

 

The context of Matthew 24 speaks of the signs of the end times, which I believe we are entering. After reading the verse, I sat deep in thought. I thought about life. I thought about society and the ills people face on a daily basis. I thought about my own needs and the intensity of the needs and brokenness of people around me. Then I thought about love.

 

As followers of Jesus, how can we keep our love from growing cold? By remaining rooted and grounded in love. Staying rooted despite the bad news reports every evening, the rampant selfishness and evil within society, the failures and disappointments in our own lives. This will indeed take effort and determination to live out on a daily basis.

This is about choices really…

Choosing to immerse ourselves in what the bible says about God’s kind of love and how He views us.

Choosing to meditate regularly on the grace, love and mercy of God.

Taking every opportunity to counteract culture and show love to ourselves and others.

When it’s convenient, but especially when it’s not.

 

The whole chapter of Matthew 24 and in particular v 12-13 highlight the importance and centrality of love if we as believers are to survive in this day and age. The centrality of walking in, knowing, showing and living in the revealed love of the Father is a practical foundation that will keep us strong to the ‘end’. It is also what will make us stand out in the crowd, at work, at church and in ministry to others.

 

The darker society becomes… the brighter our words and actions have the potential to be.

1 Corinthians 13 beautifully describes the outworking of love;

  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Not envying
  • Not boasting
  • Not proud
  • Not dishonouring others
  • Not self-seeking
  • Not easily angered
  • Keeping no record of wrongs
  • Delighting in truth, not in evil
  • Protecting
  • Trusting
  • Hoping
  • Persevering

1 John 4 v 8 clearly states that God is LOVE.  If we aim to dwell in and demonstrate love then we are dwelling in GOD and demonstrating GOD to others.

 

One of my prayers for 2013 is that I would have an increased sense of the Lord’s presence in my life. By default then, I am really praying that I would have an increased sense of love in my life. Sensing this love should hopefully have an impact on how I perceive the world and others, influencing my words, actions and decisions. Ultimately, helping me to stand firm to the end and be saved.

 

Have you explored the Father’s love?Image

When you love you should not say,

“God is in my heart”,

But rather, “I am in the heart of God”.  – Kahlil Gibran