Evening Prayer

FATHER’S INSTRUCTION

[Proverbs 4:1-4]

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Tonight

I pray that you will listen to your father’s instruction. May you pay attention to what he teaches you so you will gain understanding. Lay hold of His words in your heart that you may live life to the fullest. I pray that you will remember the wisdom He passes on to you, so that in times of need you may draw from it. May God bless you with wisdom as you heed your father’s instructions today.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Live Loved

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; not about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”

[Matthew 6:25]

Worry Doesn’t Work

Shortfalls and depletions inhabit our trails. Not enough time, luck, credit, wisdom, intelligence. We are running out of everything, it seems, and so we worry. But worry doesn’t work.

“Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And because you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life.” (Matthew 6:26– 27)

Fret won’t fill a bird’s belly with food or a flower’s petal with color. Birds and flowers seem to get along just fine, and they don’t take antacids.

What’s more, you can dedicate a decade of anxious thoughts to the brevity of life and not extend it by one minute. Worry accomplishes nothing…

When legitimate concern morphs into toxic panic, we cross a boundary line into the state of fret. No longer anticipating or preparing, we take up membership in the fraternity of Woe-Be-Me. Christ cautions us against this. Look at how one translation renders his words: “Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life” (Matthew 6:25).

Jesus doesn’t condemn legitimate concern for responsibilities but rather the continuous mind-set that dismisses God’s presence. Destructive anxiety subtracts God from the future, faces uncertainties with no faith, tallies up the challenges of the day without entering God into the equation. Worry is the darkroom where negatives become glossy prints.

[Fearless]

Father,

Though you urged us not to worry, we often do just that. We’re anxious over things we can’t control. We fret about the maybes and what-ifs. Help us remember that you care for the birds, you care about your creatures, and you care about each of your children. When anxious thoughts come to mind, help us turn them over to you. Replace them with calm confidence in you, our loving Father,

Amen.

“I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God.

[Ezekiel 34:15]

The Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

[Deuteronomy 31:6]

~ Max Lucado ~

Live Loved

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

[James 1:27]

The Nazareth Manifesto

God makes the poor his priority. When the hungry pray, he listens. When orphans cry, he sees.

Jesus, in his first message, declared his passion for the poor. Early in his ministry he returned to his hometown of Nazareth to deliver an inaugural address of sorts. He entered the same synagogue where he had worshipped as a young man and looked into the faces of the villagers. They were simple folk: stonecutters, carpenters, and craftsmen. They survived on minimal wages and lived beneath the shadow of Roman oppression. There wasn’t much good news in Nazareth.

But this day was special. Jesus was in town. The hometown boy who had made the big time. They asked him to read Scripture, and he accepted. “And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written” (Luke 4:17)…

He shuffled the scroll toward the end of the text and read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted” (v. 18, quoting Isaiah 61:1).

Jesus lifted his eyes from the parchment and quoted the rest of the words. The crowd, who cherished the words as much as he did, mouthed the lines along with him. “To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (vv. 18–19).

Jesus had a target audience. The poor. The broken-hearted. Captives. The blind and oppressed.

His to-do list? Help for the body and soul, strength for the physical and spiritual, therapy for the temporal and eternal. “This is my mission statement,” Jesus declared. The Nazareth Manifesto.

[Outlive Your Life]

Precious Lord,

You showed us by your life how to be compassionate. You reached out to the poor, the sick, the hurting. You healed their bodies and their souls. You cried over broken hearts, and you smiled when the downtrodden were lifted up. Teach us to do the same. Let our arms reach out to help the oppressed. May we willingly spend our lives serving those in need,

Amen.

“He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”

[Luke 4:18]

~ Max Lucado ~

Evening Devotional

Complete Safety

Of Benjamin he said: The beloved of the Lord will live safely by him; he protects him all the time, and the Lord places him on his chest.

[Deut 33:12]

Yes, there is no safety like that which comes of dwelling near to God. For His best beloved the Lord can find no surer or safer place. O Lord, let me always abide under Thy shadow, close to Thy wounded side. Nearer and nearer would I come to Thee, my Lord; and when once specially near Thee, I would abide there forever.

What a covering is that which the Lord gives to His chosen! Not a fair roof shall cover him, nor a bomb-proof casement, nor even an angel’s wing, but Jehovah Himself. Nothing can come at us when we are thus covered. This covering the Lord will grant us all the day long, however long the day. Lord, let me abide this day consciously beneath this canopy of love, this pavilion of sovereign power.

Does the third clause mean that the Lord in His temple would dwell among the mountains of Benjamin or that the Lord would be where Benjamin’s burden should be placed, or does it mean that we are borne upon the shoulders of the Eternal? In any case, the Lord is the support and strength of His saints. Lord, let me ever enjoy Thy help, and then my arms will be sufficient for me.

~ Charles Spurgeon ~

Evening Prayer

GOD’S CALL

[Genesis 12:1-3]

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Today

I pray that you will always be sensitive to God’s voice, so that you may discern and follow His calling for you. May you never hesitate to follow Him wherever He leads you, and may you willingly follow Him to the land He will show you. I pray that God will accomplish great things in your life – that He will make you a great nation and bless you; that He will make your name great. I pray that you will not fear His plans for you. I declare that God will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. May all people on earth be blessed through you, as you follow His call.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Strength Today

The Lord always proves faithful and reliable to those who follow the demands of his covenant.

[Ps 25:10]

~~~~~~

Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth,

Speak peace to my anxious soul,

And help me to feel that all my ways

Are under Thy wise control;

That He who cares for the lily,

And heeds the sparrows’ fall,

Shall tenderly lead His loving child:

For He made and loveth all.

~ ANON ~

It is not by seeking more fertile regions where toil is lighter—happier circumstances free from difficult complications and troublesome people—but by bringing the high courage of a devout soul, clear in principle and aim, to bear upon what is given to us, that we brighten our inward light, lead something of a true life, and introduce the kingdom of heaven into the midst of our earthly day. If we cannot work out the will of God where God has placed us, then why has He placed us there?

~ J. H. THOM ~

Morning Devotional

Listening Hard for God

When there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but the one who keeps the law, blessed is he!

[Prov 29:18]

Our lives must be quiet and restful if we would see God. There is power in the sight of some things to affect one’s life. A quiet sunset will bring peace to a troubled heart. Thus the vision of God always transforms human life.

Jacob saw God at Jabbok’s ford, and became Israel. The vision of God transformed Gideon from a coward into a valiant soldier. The vision of Christ changed Thomas from a doubting follower into a loyal, devout disciple.

But men have had visions of God since Bible times. William Carey saw God, and left his shoemaker’s bench and went to India. David Livingstone saw God, and left all to follow Him through the jungles of dark Africa. Scores and hundreds have had visions of God, and are today in the uttermost parts of the earth working for the speedy evangelization of the heathen.

~ Dr. Pardington ~

There is hardly ever a complete silence in the soul. God is whispering to us well-nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear the whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.

~ F. W. Faber ~