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Praying the Psalms for One Another
Using the pamphlet "Praying the Psalms Daily" and combining it with our "2022 Amber Church Prayer Reminder" which lists all the members of the church family, we encourage you to pray for each other every day.  Below is the list of daily Psalms and the office or mission and the individual for each day.  Perhaps after praying for the person of the day you could call, text or email them and let them know you prayed for them. 

February

 1         Psalm 31:1-24                       Minister – Tom Fetterman and Cheryl Schulte 

 2         Psalm 32:1-11                        Elders – Joelle Howlett – Danielle Mudge

 3         Psalm 33:1-22                       Trustees – Deb Eibert – Jordan Sanford

 4         Psalm 34:1-22                       Clerk – Nancy Simmons – Cathy Smith

 5         Psalm 35:1-28                       Treasurer – Eric and Christine Robinson

 6         Psalm 36:1-12                       Financial Secretary – Margaret Isensee

 7         Psalm 37:1-40                       Ministerial Relations Chair – Audrey White

 8         Psalm 38:1-22                       Worship Director – Tom and Noreen Schmidt

 9         Psalm 39:1-13                       Worship Services – Dorothy Herold

10        Psalm 40:1-17                       Sunday School –Jen Drummund

11         Psalm 41:1-13                        Bible Studies – Donna Sundwall – Kris Volles

12        Psalm 42:1-43:5                          Youth Group – Gary Sanford

13        Psalm 44:1-26                       Christian Education Director – Dawn McDonough

14        Psalm 45:1-17                        Men’s Club – Roxanne Pikarsky

15        Psalm 46:1-11                        Women’s Fellowship – Nancy Frost

16        Psalm 47:1-9                         Supper Club – Deb O’Brien – Alyse Bradley

17        Psalm 48:1-14                       Outreach Director – Barbara Kittelson-Webster

18        Psalm 49:1-20                      CCCC – Linda White

19        Psalm 50:1-23                       CNY Congregational Churches – Connie Amidon

20       Psalm 51:1-19                        Neighboring Churches – Angela Trendowski

21        Psalm 52:1-9                         WMHR (Wayne Taylor) – Caitlin Sarantis

22        Psalm 53:1-6                         RBC Ministries – Laurie Just-Torrance

23        Psalm 54:1-7                         His Mansion – Jodi Green

24       Psalm 55:1-23                       Teams 4 Medical Missions (John Heater) – Cindy Casler

25        Psalm 56:1-13                       New Hope (Kathy Jerman) – Doug and Lynn LaFrance

26       Psalm 57:1-11                        Men’s and Women’s Conferences – Jenn Schultz

27        Psalm 58:1-11                        Search Committee – Connie Carlton

28       Psalm 59:1-17                        Schools for Haiti (Carla Flesch) – Melanie Shelley

Prayers for the Day –February 25, 2024

 

Psalm 56:1-13

 

The superscription identifies the setting for David’s writing of this prayer-psalm as “when the Philistines had seized him in Gath.”  That account is recorded in 1 Samuel 21:10-15.  It must have been a traumatic experience for him.  He was fleeing from King Saul and knew that going into Philistine territory would keep Saul’s army from following him.  However, the Philistines were Israel’s enemy and David himself had killed the Philistine giant Goliath, so going there was a risky venture as well.  To escape he pretended to be crazy and acted insane so that the Philistines would either feel sorry for him or at least not consider him a threat and would leave him alone.  Apparently his ruse worked.  He escaped unharmed.  He wrote two prayer-psalms about this experience, this one and Psalm 34.  This brief period of trauma left him with some pointed memories.  

 

This is a prayer for those times in our lives when we are scared.  Perhaps we are seeking to protect ourselves from the harm that others desire to inflict on us.  Perhaps we have run away or withdrawn into what we hope is a safe place, trying to put distance between ourselves and whatever it is that threatens us.  Maybe we have even done something stupid and now are praying simply for an escape.  “Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me” (56:1).  “They twist my words…they conspire, they lurk” (56:5-6).  There is reason for our fear.  

 

But the repeated line in this brief prayer is “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me” (56:3-4,10-11)?  With that confident statement we face anything and everything for we are “under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offering to you…and walk before God in the light of life” (56:12-13).

 

We are to pray today for New Hope Family Services and for Doug and Lynn LaFrance.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Father, be near to us in those times when we are afraid.  We know that fear is an emotion that just bubbles up inside us and we cannot do much about it.  But once it is recognized we can give it to you with this prayer of trust.  Increase our confidence in you so that we actually feel the reality of our words when we pray “I will trust in you!”  

 

We pray today for the ministry of New Hope.  Please provide for them so that they can continue to provide services for those involved in crisis pregnancies.  We pray too for Doug and Lynn.  We ask that you would keep them from the fear and anxiety of the times we live in.  May you be their strength and help so that their trust and confidence in you outweighs all other concerns.  We commit ourselves and these we have noted by name to you in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  

Prayers for the Day – February 24, 2024

 

Psalm 55:1-23

 

This is another prayer-psalm written by David.  It is another cry from a place of trouble.  “Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear and answer me” (55:1-2).   The reason for his concern is not new, he has people seeking to do him harm.  His life was full of that from Saul to Absalom and several in-between.   The person he is troubled by in this prayer is not named but he was formerly a “companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship” (55:13-14).  My mind thinks of the betrayal of Ahithophel as a possible setting (2 Samuel 15-17).  Whoever it was it was heart breaking for David.  Jesus knew this kind of betrayal as well for he speaks at the Last Supper of one who sits at the table with him will betray him (Matthew 26:23-25).  And although all denied him and forsook him, Judas Iscariot betrayed him to the authorities who arrested, tried, and crucified him.

 

None of us have known betrayal to this extent yet most of us have found ourselves emotionally in similar circumstance at some point in our lives.  We have had friends who turned out not to be friends.  The response we make is often to wish that we “had the wings of a dove…and could fly away and be at rest…flee far away and stay…in the place of shelter” (55:6-8).  When withdrawal isn’t possible, we at least have maintained our ritual times of prayer, “evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress” (55:17).  It is there that we “cast our cares on the LORD and he sustains us” (55:22).  

 

We must let God deal with others even though our hearts may be angry, our feelings hurt and our sensibilities full of injustice.  We commit this all to God in prayer and state affirmatively, for ourselves as much as for God, “But as for me, I trust in you” (55:23).

 

Our Prayer Reminder has us praying today for TEAMS for Medical Missions and for Cindy Casler.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Lord, hear our wounded, hurting souls as we cry out to you.  You know our pain, not just because we tell it to you but because you were betrayed by one you had called to be your disciple.  Is there ever a betrayal like that of Judas Iscariot?  Thank you that you listen and respond to our cries for mercy and grace.  Sort out our feelings of injustice from those of retribution.  Protect us and surround us with your love.

 

We pray today for John and Linda Heater as they seek to lead TEAMS.  Thank you that the short-term ministries in Jamaica have resumed.  We pray that you will continue to meet the need for volunteers and supplies on these quarterly trips.  And for Cindy we pray too that she would know your presence and care in all the affairs of her life.  We commit ourselves and all those we love into your hands in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Prayers for the Day – February 23, 2024

​Psalm 54: 1-7

The superscription gives us the occasion for writing and praying this psalm. It is when “the Ziphites had gone to Saul” and reported on where David was hiding. The story is in 1 Samuel 23:19-29.

​The story turned out well for David. He escaped. His prayer was “Save me...hear my prayer...strangers are attacking Me (54:1-3). But “the Lord is the one who sustains me” (54:4). Therefore, “I will sacrifice a freewill offering...I will praise your name, O LORD” (54:6).

​We may not have had enemies out trying to take our lives but we know what it is to face opposition. We have all known trying times. This is a prayer for situations like that.

​We pray today for His Mansion and Jodi Green. 

Let’s pray together.

Father, it is unusual for any of us to feel threatened or pursued by enemies.  We do not face “strangers attacking us.”  But we do know the alienation of friends and family.  We do know the fear of living in a pandemic.  We have experienced the resentment of unexplained losses.  Lord, sustain us in the midst of today’s troubles and enable us to rise and praise you no matter the circumstance.

We pray this for our friend Jodi.  Keep her safe as supply all she needs as a mother and wife.  And be with those who seek to bring a new reality to the residents of His Mansion whose lives have experienced so many tragic losses.  Teach us again to pray words of praise as we refocus our lives on your sustaining grace.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day –February 22, 2024

Psalm 53:1-6

Today’s prayer-psalm is identical to Psalm 14.  I have always found it interesting that the only psalm that appears twice is the one that begins “The fool says in his heart there is no God.”  It goes on to basically call us all fools for “everyone has turned away...there is no one who does good, not even one” (53:3).

​The only hope we have is to be one of those who “call on God” (53:4).  It is the evildoers who don’t call on God and who are the unrepentant fools.  But we pray and wait for the day when “salvation...comes out of Zion...and God restores the fortunes of his people” (53:6).

​We pray today for RBC Ministries and for Laurie Just-Torrance.

​Let’s pray together.

​Lord, forgive us for our foolish thinking, our attempt to make ourselves the center of life. We are sorry for turning away from you. Hold us and draw us back so that we might not be “overwhelmed with dread” (53:5). 

​What we pray for ourselves we also pray for Laurie.  Keep her close to you. We pray too for those who print Our Daily Bread devotional guides. Supply their needs so that they may continue to help us in our walk with you. Hear this repentant prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayers for the Day – February 21, 2024

 

Psalm 52:1-9

 

The superscription to our prayer-psalm today directs us to 1 Samuel 21-22.  David was fleeing from Saul who was trying to kill him.  He stops by the city of Nob where the priest there gives him food and sends him on his way.  His actions were innocent enough, he was not taking sides in this political struggle between Saul and David.  But there was present a person with connections to King Saul.  His name was Doeg the Edomite, and he reported this to Saul resulting in Saul’s order to have all the priests of Nob killed.  What an insane and tragic action.  In our prayer-psalm David places the blame for this at the feet of Doeg.

 

“Why do you boast of evil…you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God” (52:1).  “Your tongue plots destruction…you practice deceit…you love evil rather than good, falsehood rather that speaking the truth” (52:2-3).  In this prayer we are reminded that “God will bring to everlasting ruin…the one who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth” (52:5-7).

 

The opposite is true of the righteous even when it appears that they are losing in this life.  So David prayed “I trust in God’s unfailing love…I will praise you forever for what you have done…in your name I will hope” (52:8-9).  This can be our confidence as we pray too.  God will punish all evildoers and will rescue his own.  We have no assurance of specific timing but the ultimate security is ours so we hope in God.  

 

Our prayers today are for Mars Hill Radio (WMHR) and for Caitlin Sarantis.  

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Father, there are times when it appears that your people are in the losing position, that we are being taken advantage of and our security is even called into question.  We know that this happens often in repressive countries around the world to those in the persecuted church.  We pray for them that you would give them hope and bring the time of suffering to an end.  We pray that you would keep this kind of political danger from overtaking our own country.  We pray for justice.

 

We ask that you would continue to supply the needs of Mars Hill Radio so that they might broadcast your message of truth to the world around us.  Encourage Christians and bring unbelievers to repentance.  And bless Caitlin as she seeks to do the right and refuse the wrong.  Give her encouragement and hope in the midst of life’s uncertainties and trials.  We pray this in the name of Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – February 20, 2024

 

Psalm 51:1-19

 

The prayer-psalm today is one of confession.  The superscription tells us it was written by David after he became convicted for his adultery with Bathsheba.  He begins, “Have mercy on me, O God…blot out my transgressions…wash away all my iniquity” (51:1-2).  He acknowledges his sin and desires to be washed clean.  “Cleanse me…and I will be clean” (51:7).  The only one who can do this of course is God, the one to whom we pray.  “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (51:10).  

 

And what is required of us for this gift of forgiveness?  “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (51:16-17).  All we can offer is ourselves, our worship, our everything.  With this and this alone God is pleased.  

 

So we come, guilty sinners all of us, but as we lay ourselves before him and plead for his mercy and grace he is glad to give us not only forgiveness but new life.  We can be remade from the inside out.  This is our prayer.

 

Our prayers today are not just for ourselves but for all those in our neighboring churches and for Angela Trendowski.  

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, we come to you and lay ourselves before you.  We place our all on the altar.  Yes, we gladly accept your gift of forgiveness but we desire so much more.  We desire you.  We want to be clean and pure within and to not even think of sinning again.  Make us, Lord Jesus, like yourself.  

 

This is not a prayer that we can keep to ourselves for we want everyone to know you as we have begun to do so.  Cleanse and free all who call on your name.  We pray this for our friends in the churches around us.  We pray it for Angie.  We pray it for all whose hearts are full of guilt and sadness.  Grant us your grace and peace.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day –February 19, 2024

 

Psalm 50:1-23

 

Today our prayers find us in the courtroom.  We have been called there by Almighty God and we are the ones on trial.  “The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth…he summons the heavens above and the earth, that he may judge his people” (50:1,4).  This is not a pleasant experience.  God is calling his people to account, and he is doing it in the very presence of the unbelievers.  

 

Well what are the charges?   He states, “I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings” (50:8).  That is, we have maintained the outward practices of public worship.  But the reality is that God is not impressed with these ritual acts as he doesn’t need “bulls…goats…cattle…birds…creatures of the field…for the world is mine, and all that is in it” (50:9-12).  What he desires from us is “thank offerings…to fulfill your vows to the Most High” (50:14).  He wants our hearts devotion not some mere public display.

 

Now lest the wicked sitting in the courtroom get the impression that they are the innocent ones, God turns to them and says, “What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips?” (50:16).  They are certainly not going to get off easy with their breaking of the commandments.  He accuses them of thinking that when he was silent he wouldn’t act.  “You thought I was altogether like you.  But I will rebuke you to your face” (50:21-22).  No one gets away claiming innocence.  God is the only one righteous and he holds us all accountable.  

 

The lesson of our prayer then is to “sacrifice thank offerings and honor him…so that I may show him the salvation of God” (50:23).  Let’s take note and “worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

 

We pray today for Connie Amidon and for our regional fellowship of churches the Central Corridor Congregational Fellowship.  

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Help us, Lord, to take you and our faith seriously.  Remind us that you are both our Savior and our Judge.  May we be found to be pleasing to you as we seek to relate honestly and with thanksgiving.  

 

We pray that you will use us to demonstrate to the world around us that you are real and true.  May our correction be an example to others to put their lives in order.  We pray for Connie and thank you for her lifetime of devotion to you and to our church.  Continue to use her to touch others in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – February 18, 2024

 

Psalm 49:1-20

 

Our prayer-psalm today is called a “wisdom” prayer, that is, it is an observation from life that experience instructs.  “My mouth will speak words of wisdom” (49:3).  We might expect to find a statement like this in the book of Proverbs but here it is as a prayer in the Psalms, “I will turn my ear to a proverb” (49:4). 

 

The observation has to do with wealth and position, “both low and high, rich and poor…. No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him” (49:2, 7).  In other words, all people, regardless of their place and station, will die, and no one can take their wealth with them.  There is clearly something else then that should be our life focus and that is the only thing that endures beyond death.  “But God will redeem my soul from the grave; he will surely take me to himself” (49:15). 

 

The lesson then is to “not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies” (49:16-17).  So “a man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish” (49:20).  Let us learn this prayer of the wise and pray it for ourselves and our children.

 

The church Prayer Reminder has us praying today for our Conference and for Connie Carlton.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Father, you are wisdom itself.  You are both Creator and Redeemer and yet we confess that we have often sought to follow the wisdom of this world which is foolishness to you (1 Corinthians 1:25).  Call us back to your ways and to yourself.  Make us wise with the wisdom of the ages.  Keep us from a foolish pursuit of life that abandons your redemption for a pot of fool’s gold.  

 

We pray this for our children too, for all who seem trapped by this materialistic society.  May the truth of your message be clear to them.  We pray that for all the churches of our Conference as they strive to be faithful proclaimers.  We ask too for our sister Connie that you will bless and provide for her in her advanced years.  Grant her health and peace in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


 

Prayers for the Day – February 17, 2024

 

Psalm 48:1-14

 

“Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise” (48:1).  That is how our prayer-psalm begins today.  The focus is on God, as it always should be but often isn’t when we pray.  Most of us need some reminders, some aids to worship.  This psalm provides that in the form of the great city, Jerusalem.  This is “the city of our God, his holy mountain.  It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth” (48:1-2).  What makes this city unique is that it is the symbolic central place where God is worshiped as king.  The temple was built in Jerusalem, so it was the nation’s capital city both politically and religiously.  

 

We sometimes need a physical reminder to enable us to regain our spiritual focus.  We have them, our little white church with the steeple pointing to heaven, the large wooden cross on the front wall of the sanctuary to remind us of Christ’s death on our behalf, the baptismal font and the communion table to remind us of our commitment to the God of the covenant.  All of these can be to us what Jerusalem was to the Sons of Korah.  

 

“Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love” (48:9).  It is for that reason that we come week after week and assemble together.  It is here where we are called to refocus our lives on Jesus.  “For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end” (48:14). 

 

We pray this prayer of refocusing for ourselves and for our Outreach Director, Cathy Smith, and for Barbara Webster.  

 

Let’s pray together.

 

O Lord, it is easy for us to lose our way, to lose our perspective.  We are surrounded by so many distractions that tend to sideline our hearts and minds.  We need your holy reminders.  Thank you for the symbols of our faith, that even though they are not the reality itself they point us to it.  Thank you for the church and for all those who gather to regain and rejuvenate their faith.

 

We pray today for Cathy and her role as Outreach Director.  Encourage and enlighten us all on how to reach beyond ourselves to a needy world all around us.  We pray too for Barbara.  Keep her faith strong and focused as she goes about her daily tasks of work and home.  Help us all to never lose the wonder of life lived in relationship with you.  This we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – February 16, 2024

 

Psalm 47:1-9

 

Today’s prayer-psalm is more of a proclamation than it is an intercession.  It begins like a call to worship.  “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy” (47:1).  This is a message not just for the church as they assemble for Worship, however, for it is addressed to all the nations.  It is a public announcement.  How often does the church call the world to recognize the awesome activity of God in the affairs of mankind?  Maybe it’s time we did.  

 

God has “subdued nations under us…he chose our inheritance for us” (47:3-4).  In other words, God is taking care of his church in every country.  We are the multi-national, inter-national organization that is the best chance for peace that the world has.  So “sing praises to God…sing praises to our King…for God is the King of all the earth…God reigns over the nations…for the kings of the earth belong to God” (47:6-9).  The last line puts everything in perspective, “he is greatly exalted” (47:9).  The goal of history is not peace and brotherhood, although that is a side effect.  The real goal is the exaltation of God.  That is where history is going.  Let’s make sure the world around us knows it.

 

Our prayers today are for Deb O’Brien and Alyse Bradley.  

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Lord God Almighty, we acknowledge you and your position and your worth.  You are “the King of all the earth.”  You reign supreme over all people and all created things.  We begin our day by singing and clapping your praise.  You are awesome!

 

May we maintain this awareness as we walk into the activities of this day.  We pray this for both Deb and Alyse as well as for ourselves.  Keep us from losing our focus and getting off-track with the distractions and temptations of life.  May our lives honor you today through the name of Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – February 15, 2024

 

Psalm 46:1-11

 

The prayer-psalm today is identified as “a song.”  Singing is a good way to start the day and this is a familiar and often quoted prayer.  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear” (46:1-2).  There are two stanzas to this song.  The first one is from 46:1-6 and the chorus is 46:7. The second is 46:8-10 with the same chorus following in 46:11.  

 

The first stanza describes the “trouble” that is being experienced.  It uses the picturesque language of a storm where the “waters roar and foam and the mountains quake” (46:3).  Yet in the midst of this there is no need to fear for “God will help” (46:5).  The chorus sings the affirming message, “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (46:7).

 

The second verse sings the aftermath of the storm having passed.  This time the language is not of weather but of war.  “He makes wars cease…he breaks the bow and shatters the spear” (46:9).  In the midst of this kind of warfare where God is victor our part is simply to “be still, and know that I am God” (46:10).  This is the decision of trust that enables us to again sing the chorus “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (46:11).

 

With this kind of experience behind us to sing about, we can face a new day no matter what kind of storms or wars it brings.  We know “the LORD Almighty.”  One commentator explains this title for God as meaning “the embodiment of every possible potentiality and power.”  That is the God who awakens us for this day’s journey.

 

As we pray confidently for ourselves let’s pray also for the Women’s Fellowship, and Nancy Frost.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

God of heaven and earth, we come to you in prayer knowing that you hear and are already responding to us. Thank you for the history we share in walking together through life’s ups and downs.  You have never deserted us but are indeed the God of deliverance.  Bring to us again today the confidence of your peace and the victory by your might.

 

We pray today for the women of the church.  We ask that you would help them to stay connected to you, to each other, and in service together.  Please be with Nancy and the concerns on her heart.  Draw all of us closer to you for you are the LORD Almighty, strong to save in every situation.  Hear us as we come in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – February 14, 2024

 

Psalm 45:1-17

 

The superscription tells us that today’s prayer-psalm is “a wedding song.”  Indeed it begins by identifying this as a royal wedding, “I recite my verses for the king” (45:1).  Verses 2-9 describe the king as he looks on his wedding day.  The items mentioned are not so much his appearance, although his robes are mentioned at verse 8, but what is primarily visible to all is his character.  Words such as “truth, humility and righteousness” (45:4) describe him.  “Justice” is also noted and the fact that he “hates wickedness” (45:6-7).  As he stands at the altar “the royal bride” is at his right hand (45:9).

 

Verses 10-15 are addressed to her.  She is certainly described as beautiful, but it is a beauty that is enhanced by the fact that “the king is enthralled with your beauty” (45:11).  It is what the groom thinks of the bride that is most important.

 

Marriage is a familiar theme in the Bible and is often used to describe the kind of intimate relationship that God desires to have with his people.  He is obviously the king and we are his bride (Ephesians 5:32).  With that idea in mind it is an amazing truth to ponder that Jesus is enthralled with our beauty.  I am reminded of the old saying that a person becomes what the most important person in his/her life thinks of him/her.  Well, Jesus thinks you and I are really something.  

 

The last words of our prayer are about the next generation.  “Your sons will take the place of your fathers…I will perpetuate your memory through all generations” (45:17).  What we do as the bride of Christ can have a tremendous effect on our children and grandchildren for generations yet to come.  

 

Let’s pray that we become all that Jesus knows we can be.  Let’s pray the same prayer for Roxanne Pikarsky.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Father in heaven, we thank you for giving us away in this marriage to Jesus.  What a wonderful relationship this is and can be.  We recognize his character and his desire to nurture our character and make us like himself.  Help us to not do anything that would hurt our marriage to Christ.  Thank you for the joy of children and of the next generation who are being brought up hopefully to know you too. 

 

We pray today for Roxanne.  Thank you for her love and devotion to you and to family.  Bless her children and her grandchildren.  May they all know the “joy and gladness” of living in “the palace of the king” (45:15).  We offer our prayer for long life and blessing in the name of Jesus our Savior and Lord.  Amen.  

Prayers for the Day – February 13, 2024

 

Psalm 44:1-26

 

Our prayer-psalm is one of history, lessons that we have been taught by our fathers.  “Our fathers have told us what you did in their days…you drove out the nations and planted our fathers…and made our fathers flourish” (44:1-2).  Everything went well for them as you blessed them with your protective hand.

 

But what are we to make of that in our day?  You don’t seem to be treating us like you treated them.  “You have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies” (44:9).  This assessment continues for a number of verses.  “You...” did this or that or failed to do this or that.  “All this…though we had not forgotten you or been false to your covenant” (44:17).  How do we apply the lessons of the past, the stories of the Bible, to our lives when God seems to not be treating us all the same?

 

The prayer ends with a wake-up call.  “Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep” (44:23)?  Usually we think of God having to wake us up but in this prayer we are trying to awaken him.  Interesting turn of events.  Interesting prayer.  Do you dare to voice this one?  How does it apply to us?

 

Our prayers today are for Dawn McDonough.  Let’s ask God to “Rise up and help her” (44:26).

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Father, there are some prayers in your prayerbook that seem odd and hard to apply.  We are a little timid to tell you to wake-up.  But if we are honest with ourselves and with you, we have felt that sometimes we have done everything right, we are trying hard to learn from others about you, and the pieces don’t seem to fit together.  We are at a loss to know why, so we say, even if we do it meekly, “wake-up please.”

 

We know that our dear sister Dawn has known this journey as well.  We pray for her that you will indeed show to her “your unfailing love” (44:26).  You are the God of covenant love and we need to be reminded of that in more than just words.  Help us to hang on to you even when we wonder and doubt.  Be present for us all in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – February 12, 2024

Psalm 42:1-43:5 

The prayer-psalm today is actually two in one as the NIV footnote states: “In many Hebrew manuscripts Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm.”  There are three equal sections all ending with the same refrain, 42:5, 42:11, 43:5.  This repeated verse gives the proper response to each section’s dilemma, “Put your hope in God…my Savior and my God.”  

The first section remembers the good-old-days when public worship was well attended and a time of “joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng” (42:4).  That was how things used to be but without that we feel parched and dry.  “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (42:2).   

The second section recalls times of personal spiritual vitality.  The mountain top experiences and the beautifully refreshing times in the well-watered valleys.  These are special “holy places” where God has met us one to one and revived our souls.  But now it appears that he has “forgotten me…why must I go about mourning” (42:9)? 

 

The third section finds us examining our present situation and finding ourselves opposed by “ungodly…deceitful and wicked men” (43:1) while God apparently has “rejected me” (43:2).  While this may be the way we feel our assessment is not an accurate one.  God has not abandoned us, and he waits to reveal his “light and truth” (43:3) to us if few ask.   

The solution to all of these prayers is to rise up to our downcast souls and put our hope in God.  This is done by returning to the practices of Scripture reading, prayer and worship.  Then “I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” 

We are to pray this prayer today for our youth and for Gary Sanford. 

Let’s pray together

Lord, you know how easily we can get off track and think that life is all about us.  Even as we attend public worship we can find it unsatisfactory and even a lonely experience because we think that somehow we should be the one worshiped.  We so often have the up and down emotions of a rollercoaster.  We imagine things as being worse than they are and that you have abandoned us altogether.  O Lord, help us see ourselves and the world properly, and especially help us to see you. 

We pray this prayer for Gary too.  Help him to build a solid foundation of faith in Jesus that can sustain and guide him through all the ups and downs of life.  And bless too all of our young people as they experience emotional feelings of adolescence.  Lord, give us hope so we can praise you together and alone in Jesus name.  Amen. 

Prayers for the Day – February 11, 2024

Psalm 41:1-13

 

Today’s prayer-psalm is a reminder to take care of others, to stand up for the poor and the weak.  “Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble” (41:1).  This is a familiar theme in the Bible, to be generous and just in one’s treatment of the most vulnerable in society.  Too often we pass judgment on others based on their health or wealth.  We reason that these are evidences of God’s blessing and when they are absent then certainly those people’s lives must be in disorder.  But actually the poor always provide those with resources the opportunity to act like Christ and “give generously without finding fault” (James 1:5).   

But our prayer doesn’t stop with this reminder.  It proceeds to pray for mercy.  “O LORD have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you” (41:4).  And despite the fact that we confess our sin to God who graciously forgives, others are often not so obliging.  “All my enemies whisper together against me” (41:7).  They seem to be out for blood.  This is the prayer of the one who is misunderstood and judged by those around him.  

This may be our experience from time to time and when it is we can feel overwhelmed.  It is then especially that we need to remind ourselves that it was treatment like this that Jesus endured.  Verse 9 states, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”  This is quoted by Jesus at the Last Supper with regard to Judas Iscariot (John 13:18).  It is because of Jesus that we can face opposition and still walk forward in praise.  “In my integrity you uphold me…praise be to the LORD…from everlasting to everlasting” (41:12-13). 

Our prayers today are for our church Bible Studies and for Donna Sundwall and Kris Volles. 

Let’s pray together. 

It is difficult, Father, to maintain a proper outlook on life and on others when we feel unappreciated, taken advantage of, or worse, spoken against.  So we pray that you will remind us always that our responsibility is to care for the weak and needy no matter what.  And we do thank you that Jesus not only gives us the proper example but also gives us his sustaining grace to pick up and do the right thing in every situation.  Keep our eyes on you, Lord Jesus, so that we do not despair in the midst of ill treatment.  

We recognize that we need to know you better.  Bible study is one of the best means of gaining that knowledge.  Enlighten us as we gather and open the Scriptures together.  Give us both corrective information and the encouragement to apply it practically in our life choices.  We pray this too for Donna and for Kris.  Surround them with your mercy and grace.  Teach them and use them in the lives of those they come in contact with every day.  Protect them both and keep them safe in the name of Jesus. Amen.  

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