Praying the Psalms for One Another
Using the pamphlet "Praying the Psalms Daily" and combining it with our "2020 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. During this time of restricted assembly why not call, text or email the individual and let them know you prayed for them.
1 Psalm 63:1-11 Minister – Jack and Janet Seymour
2 Psalm 64:1-10 Elders – Mel Simmons, Jenn Simmons
3 Psalm 65:1-13 Trustees – David and Roxann Bailer
4 Psalm 66:1-20 Clerk – Arlette Sherwood – Jared Locke
5 Psalm 67:1-7 Treasurer – Andy and Linda Henderson, Alex
6 Psalm 68:1-35 Financial Secretary – Duane Wright – Jason Wright
7 Psalm 69:1-36 Ministerial Relations Chair – Jenny Wright, Alex Wright
8 Psalm 70:1-5 Worship Director – Jim Seymour – Andrew Henderson
9 Psalm 71:1-24 Worship Services – David Angelo
10 Psalm 72:1-20 Sunday School JAM – Chuck and Sue Ellen Harris
11 Psalm 73:1-28 Bible Studies – Teal Trendowski – Karen Swierk
12 Psalm 74:1-23 Youth Group – Mike and Cheryl Curtis
13 Psalm 75:1-10 Christian Education Director – Kim Vile
14 Psalm 76:1-12 One-to-One Meetings – Mark and Brenda Henderson
15 Psalm 77:1-20 Women’s and Men’s Groups – Rick and Lois Chaffee
16 Psalm 78:1-16 Supper Club – Garrett Crysler – Larry Wheeler
17 Psalm 78:17-55 Outreach Director – Rich and Lisa McVicar
18 Psalm 78:56-72 CCCC – Bob Post
19 Psalm 79:1-13 CNY Congregational Churches – Adele Reagan
20 Psalm 80:1-19 Neighboring Churches – Barbara D’Aiutolo
21 Psalm 81:1-16 WMHR (Wayne Taylor) – Terry Wheeler
22 Psalm 82:1-8 RBC Ministries – Jim and Gail Frary
23 Psalm 83:1-18 His Mansion – Matthew Henderson
24 Psalm 84:1-12 Teams 4 Medical Missions (John Heater) – Marilyn Fish
25 Psalm 85:1-13 New Hope (Kathy Jerman) – Dave and Kristin Heath
26 Psalm 86:1-17 Men’s and Women’s Conferences – Emma Crysler
27 Psalm 87:1-7 Young Life Syracuse West – Carl and Nancy Barber
28 Psalm 88:1-18 Schools for Haiti (Carla Flesch) – Faith Stopyro
29 Psalm 89:1-18 Teen Challenge (Dave Pilch) – Carole Ianuzi
30 Psalm 89:19-37 The ShoreLight – Mike Wheeler, Scott Trendowski
Prayers for the Day – September 18, 2020
In this last section of this long prayer-psalm the waywardness of the people continues. “They rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statues. Like their fathers they were disloyal and faithless” (78:56-57). So instead of the corrections of the past God finally became so angry with them that “he rejected Israel completely. He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent he had set up among men” (78:59-60). When they finally arrived in the land of Canaan, Shiloh was the location where the tabernacle was set up. It was the permanent place for the nation to hold its public worship. Yet when they failed to do so, he allowed it to be destroyed and the articles of worship to be captured and displaced. What a tragic thing it is to be without a central place to worship.
This story is repeated over and over again in the history of the church. When churches fail to attend to the worship of God and replace him with a host of other things, attractions and alternative priorities, then God may turn his back on them and their places of worship become merely buildings, sold and used for other purposes. This is the warning present in the book of Revelation to the churches of that day. “If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Revelation 2:5). It is a reminder to us in Amber to not forsake God least we face a similar consequence.
In our prayer-psalm the story turns to a new leader, an unexpected one. “He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens…to be the shepherd of his people… And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them” (78:70-72). I am not sure why David is singled out as an effective leader when the history told in this psalm included leaders like Moses, Joshua and Samuel. But it is nice to know that God is forgiving and is always willing to respond positively when his people return to him. I assume that the timing of this psalms writing was when David was becoming the new leader. A new day with a new potential had arrived. The lesson for us is to be sure to not wander, and when we do to promptly return.
Our prayers today are for our Conference and for Bob Post.
Let’s pray together.
Father, you are the God of history. You have walked with your people in every age. You have seen every form of betrayal and abandonment. You have been pushed to the limit of your patience more than once. We come today and offer to you our prayer of confession. Hear us as we seek to worship you as we should, “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).
We thank you for the long life of Bob Post. We thank you for blessing him with such fine caregivers as the Gilmores. As he approaches his 101 birthday in a month or so we ask that you keep him well and strong. For our Conference we ask that the churches will be open and responsive to you. That your truth and light will shine from them to draw many to faith. We pray for an increased presence and connection for ourselves with the churches in this region. We pray this that you will be glorified by your people in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 17, 2020
Our prayer-psalm continues from the story of salvation to the experiences of life lived in the presence of God. This is history too, our history. It starts by knowing the history of our fathers. They were redeemed from Egypt miraculously as verses 11-15 detailed. But they were not content with that, they wanted their cravings met. So “they continued to sin…rebelling…they willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved” (78:17-18). As we read the stories in the Book of Numbers we are astonished that the people turned away from God so quickly and over such trivial things as what they had to eat. Because of their diet they “spoke against God” (78:19).
In the grace and mercy of God he gave them what they asked for. He opened the doors of the heavens and rained down manna …and meat…. He had given them what they craved” (78:24-29). Yes, we often get what we ask for but we also get what we deserve, “God’s anger rose against them” (78:31). There is a cost to our disobedience and a number of them died and those who didn’t “ended their days in futility and their years in terror” (78:33). Life outside of God’s will is no picnic.
They, and we, make a lame attempt at getting back in God’s graces. “Whenever God slew them, they would seek him…they remembered that God was their Rock… But then they would flatter him…lying to him with their tongues; their hearts were not loyal to him” (78:36-37). This part of our prayer ends with a retelling again of the miracle of redemption, the story of the exodus (78:42-55). And this is what we are asked to return to as well after our wandering. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s word to the Corinthians, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith, test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
We pray today for our Outreach Director, Cathy Smith, and for Rich and Lisa McVicar.
Let’s pray together.
O Lord, how often we wander from you. How often we want our own way, our own pleasures, our own cravings. Please keep us from pursuing them, and especially from demanding that you grant them. Teach us from the disasters of our fathers. Thank you for not giving up on us.
We pray this prayer for Rich and Lisa as well. Remind them of your love and grace. Keep them on track, pursuing you and not their own desires. As they and we do so may we be good examples to those who don’t know you. Encourage and direct us in better and more consistent outreach efforts. Help Cathy as she seeks to inspire us all in this endeavor in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 16, 2020
This is truly an education prayer-psalm today. It is a long one and we have divided it into three sections. Today we are praying only the first sixteen verses. This gives us the introduction to our history lesson. If focuses on “things we have heard and known, things our fathers have told us” (78:3). These basic lessons of faith are passed down from one generation to another. Our part is to make sure that the next generation hears them accurately. “We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD” (78:4). To be sure, we cannot make our children believe. Faith is a personal decision. But we are responsible to tell them the stories and present them with the truths which they must accept or deny. The hope is that “then they would put their trust in God” (78:7).
The primary lesson shared is the story of salvation. Verses 8-16 tell of the exodus from Egypt, how God led his people out of bondage through a series of miracles. He led them through the Red Sea and across the wilderness guided by “the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night” (78:14). He gave them water from the rock in the desert dryness.
We have a story of salvation as well. It includes the exodus story in the days of Moses and the calvary story in the person of Jesus. But it is also a personal one, our own redemption story when we surrendered our lives to the gospel of Christ and became Christians in reality and not just in an inherited designation. That story must be shared with our children and grandchildren. The next generation must hear this and who else will tell them if we don’t?
We pray today for two of our inactive members, Garrett Crysler and Larry Wheeler.
Let’s pray together.
Lord God Almighty, the God who frees us and leads us through life, help us to take our history seriously. Help us to make time to read and understand the stories of our faith, the Bible stories from creation to consummation, from Genesis to Revelation. May these lessons be more than mere facts or incidents, may they be life to us, and may we share them with others.
We pray today for Larry and Garrett. They used to sit regularly with us in church and Sunday School. They have heard the lessons of the Bible. They know the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer. Bring these lessons back to their minds and walk with them as they cross the wilderness of their lives. Hold them close to yourself we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 15, 2020
Our prayer-psalm today is a lesson in emotional/spiritual health. It begins with the admission of depression, “I cried out to God…when I was in distress…at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted” (77:1-2). The activities of a depressed mind are few. “I remembered…I groaned…I mused…I grew faint” (77:3). “I thought about the former days…I remembered my songs in the night…my heart mused…will the Lord reject us forever” (77:5-7)? That is only the beginning of the negative questions that we ponder when we feel depressed.
The beginning of getting out of depression is in changing our questions for statements of fact. “Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal…I will remember the deeds of the Lord…I will remember your miracles…I will meditate on your works…and consider all you mighty deeds’” (77:10-12). A change of focus brings a change of heart. Whereas in the first nine verses of our prayer there are 17 references to “I, me, my,” and just 2 to “you” meaning God. The transition comes in verses 10-12 where there are 5 “I” references and 3 “your” references. This gives way in the later section of the prayer, verses 13-20, to 17 references to “you, your” and none to “I, me, my.”
The conclusion is that it is then that we are able to follow wherever the Lord leads, “through the sea…though your footprints were not seen,” for “you led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (77:19-20).
We pray today for the men’s and women’s groups of the church and for Lois and me. Thank you.
Let’s pray together.
Father, keep us from the despondent and depressing thoughts of “woe is me.” Keep us focused on you and not on ourselves. Help us to see that even in the difficult times you are walking right beside us. Give us good memories to cling to for encouragement and strength. Help us never to forget what you have done for us, and how you have rescued us from the pit of sin.
We pray this for the men and women of our church family as well. Even in these days when meeting together is more difficult, encourage us to maintain contact with notes and phone calls. Thank you for the shared life we have had with our brothers and sisters in the church. Bless all who call on your name as we pray in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 14, 2020
The scene being pictured in our prayer-psalm today is of a military conquest. A closer reading seems to show that a possible time would be the Lord’s defense of Jerusalem in what should have been a complete and easy defeat by the Assyrians. The story is told in 2 Chronicles 32 and Isaiah 36-37. The invading army is the strongest in the world and Jerusalem is both weak and outnumbered. Yet at the prophet Isaiah’s word, King Hezekiah does not surrender. Even the taunting from the Assyrian soldiers meant to demoralize the citizens was not enough to turn the hand of the king. And God miraculously delivered the city. “The angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp” (Isaiah 37:36). They obviously then withdrew and returned home without ever taking the city of Jerusalem.
Our prayer sings that victory. The superscription describes it as “a song.” And the main theme is God. “In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel…. There he broke the flashing arrows, the shields and the swords, the weapons of war” (76:1-3). The lesson we are to remember in our prayers as we face obstacles that seem insurmountable is that God’s word is to be feared and obeyed. He will deal with those in the wrong. And here is an arresting concept to ponder as we pray, “Surely your wrath against men brings you praise” (76:10).
We pray today for Mark and Brenda Henderson.
Let’s pray together.
Lord God Almighty, we recognize your greatness and bow before your power and strength. We so often fear the wrong thing and allow our emotions to control our faith rather than our faith in you to control our emotions. Forgive us and strengthen us. Protect us and instruct us. Teach us through the stories of others so that we won’t need to learn all our lessons the hard way through personal experience.
We pray today that you would be with Mark and Brenda. Strengthen them as they seek to walk with you. Keep them from the hurtful things of those who fail to believe in you. Use them to encourage others to in the life of faith. Bless us all this new week and keep us pondering the mysteries of you. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 13, 2020
The opening verse of our prayer-psalm today is positive. “We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near, men tell of your wonderful deeds” (75:1). It reminds me of the prayer of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4-5, “Rejoice in the Lord always…Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Is the Lord near in the sense that he is coming back soon? Is he near in the sense that God is omni-present? Is he near because we speak of him and pray to him constantly? All are true.
It is important to remind ourselves of this as things in our world can get difficult and very negative. But the reinforcement of the nearness of God concept is affirmed as we speak of his authority and action in our world. He says, “I choose the appointed time, it is I who judge uprightly” (75:2). It does the wicked no good to boast or lift up themselves before others. “It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another” (75:6). Everything ultimately is under his oversight and control. What are we to do then? “I will sing praise to the God of Jacob” (75:9). That is our part in the triumph of good over evil.
We pray today for the education ministry of the church and for Kim Vile. Join us in our prayer today at Sunday Worship when it is posted on the website under Worship Services.
Prayers for the Day – September 12, 2020
This is a prayer-psalm that only slowly begins to see the real picture. It starts with the question, really like an accusation, “Why have you rejected us forever, O God? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture” (74:1)? What follows is a description of the destruction of Jerusalem and the burning of the temple. That is the worst that could happen. Our home is gone and “we are given no miraculous signs; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be” (74:9). We are praying out of the feeling of great loss with no real hope that things will ever get better for even God has abandoned us.
But then we begin to reflect and to refocus. “But you, O God, are my king from of old; you bring salvation upon the earth” (74:12). We retell our story of salvation to ourselves and perhaps even to others, anyone who will listen. This enables us to see that life is not about me and my situation but about God, always about God. Our prayer changes then from one of self-centered loss to one that sees everything in light of him. “Remember how the enemy has mocked you…reviled your name…have regard for your covenant” (74:18-20). Our prayer is not for ourselves, but that God’s name and his ways would be honored. “Rise up, O God, and defend yourcause” (74:22). What a change of perspective from our starting point of a self-centered rejection.
We pray today for the youth of the church and for Mike and Cheryl Curtis.
Let’s pray together.
Lord, please save us from our preoccupation with ourselves. How easy it is to see everything in light of how it affects me. Give us the more realistic and truthful understanding that things revolve around you, and so should our lives. We pray this not just for ourselves but for the youth of the church, those growing up under our influence. May they be spared from the self-centeredness of our culture, even the egoism of the church. Make us good examples for them. We pray this also for Mike and Cheryl. Thank you for giving them a measure of your grace to share with others. Help us all to sing your praise in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 11, 2020
Our prayer-psalm today is one that is both a universal and a frequent complaint. It begins, “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me…” (73:1-2). Why is it that God always seems to bless others but not me? That is a real source of frustration. Admittedly, “I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (73:3). Yes, those who don’t seem to have time for God have time to make lots of money and to enjoy the easy life. They even flaunt their disregard of God and rub it in our faces. “They say, ‘How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge’” (73:11)?
As I ponder that I say to myself, “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure” (73:13). But even thinking this way makes me feel guilty and I refuse to voice to others my inner confusion and frustration. But then… “I entered the sanctuary of God, then I understood their final destiny” (73:17). Yes, we are to live with eternity’s values in view. When we do, we realize that even now we have everything that we need. “Being with you, I desire nothing on earth” (73:25).
This prayer that began with a “But as for me” frustration ends with a “But as for me” blessing. “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds” (73:28).
We pray today for our church Bible Studies, for Teal Trendowski and for Karen Swierk.
Let’s pray together.
Oh Lord, how easy it is for us to get distracted by the bling of what appears to be an easy life. How we wish that things were easier for us, that we had more money, more time for vacations, more toys and treasures. And then we come to Sunday Worship and are reminded of what life is really all about. We have the opportunity to refocus on the things that endure and the relationships that matter more than life itself. We remember that we are yours. Thank you for prompting this recollection before we did or said something stupid.
We pray that you will use our Bible Studies to assist others in focusing on the essentials. We pray that Teal and Karen will also see these lessons and rejoice in what they have in you. Keep us all from the trap of materialism and instead help us to see the beauty of true and loving relationships with you and with each other. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 10, 2020
Our prayer-psalm begins with the superscription “of Solomon” and ends with the note “This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse” (72:20). How can both be true? Well, the superscription may mean it was written by Solomon or perhaps about Solomon, and verse 20 registers the end of the work of collection that David was doing of the Psalms at that point. Not all of the first 72 Psalms were written by him, and in fact he wrote some of those numbered between 73 and 150. The collection of prayer-psalms was organized into five books. Psalm 72 concludes Books I and II.
Our prayer is really very appropriate for Solomon and reflects his desires to be the kind of King that God would want him to be. 1 Kings 3 tells the story of his request of God to be a wise and discerning leader. God was pleased with his prayer and granted him wisdom beyond his years. Psalm 72 sounds very much like that story. “Endow the king with your justice…with your righteousness. May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice” (72:1-2). The newer edition of the NIV makes all of these lines requests whereas the older edition makes them statements. “He will defend the afflicted” becomes “May he defend the afflicted” (72:4) and so on. It is a good reminder that our prayers are to be requests of God and not demands that he must grant.
The result of becoming the person God calls us to be is that others are also benefited. Because “he will deliver the needy who cry out…and take pity on the weak…and rescue them from oppression and violence” then they in turn will pray “May his name endure forever, may it continue as long as the sun” (72:13-14,17). The end is that all will sing God’s praise. “Praise be to the LORD God…who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen” (72:18-19). May this be true of us as we seek to follow God by serving others.
We pray today for Chuck and Sue Ellen Harris.
Let’s pray together.
Father, we acknowledge before you that we have received good from your hand. We thank you for the gifts of your grace. And as we remember your goodness we pray that we will be sensitive to share what you have given to us with those around us. May this be true of our resources, our time, our talents, but most importantly of ourselves. May you bless others through us.
We pray this for Chuck and Sue Ellen as well. We all can see the gifts that you have given to them as people of strong faith and wise counsel. Give them opportunities to share these traits of character with their children and grandchildren, with their friends and neighbors, with those of us in the church family. Give them strength and recovery from the losses and stresses of their lives and reward them with your grace. We pray this in Christ’s name and for his glory. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 9, 2020
There is a repeated word in our prayer-psalm today that seems foreign in our present culture. It is the word “shame.” Our prayer begins, “In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame” (71:1). Later we read, “May my accusers perish in shame” (71:13), and our prayer ends with the words “My tongue will tell of your righteous acts…for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame” (71:24). Shame is a very strong word but sadly its force seems to have diminished. I suppose it is not a new thing. Jeremiah spoke of the lack of shame in his day. “Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush” (Jeremiah 6:15). The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret” (Ephesians 5:12).
We live in that kind of culture where the abandonment of God and of his moral teaching is considered liberty and a freedom that is to be guarded and respected. Shame on us if we succumb to this level of ethics. Instead, we must continue to affirm the message that has not changed since God first gave it. Our whole lives should be devoted to him. “From birth I have relied on you…I will ever praise you…do not cast me away when I am old” (71:6,9). We pray it again, “Since my youth, O God you have taught me…when I am old and gray, do not forsake me” (71:17-18). It is our responsibility to “declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (71:18). It is then that we can live a life free from shame.
We are to pray today for our Worship Services and for David Angelo.
Let’s pray together.
Lord, we are surrounded by a world that refuses you. We are like Lot, whose story is told in Genesis and who was referenced by the Apostle Peter, “Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men, for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard” (2 Peter 2:7-8). To us Lot was not a very righteous man but then again neither are we. Make us like yourself we pray. Disturb us when your ways are ignored or profaned. Keep us on the straight and narrow all our lives so that we need not be ashamed.
We pray that our Worship Services will provide the encouragement and guidance that our church needs to live for you. We pray that you will stand close to Dave and keep him in the palm of your hand. Bless us as we seek to stand for truth and do so in a manner that draws others to you instead of driving them away. We offer to you our praise in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 8, 2020
The superscription of our prayer-psalm today in the NIV says that it is “a petition.” There is an alternate inscription which a few other translations offer us. They have “for the memorial sacrifice” or “to bring to remembrance.” Not knowing which is the original one I will simply say that our petition today should remind us to offer God a proper sacrifice of worship for what he has done for us.
The text of the prayer asks for God to come to our aid. “Hasten, O God, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me” (70:1). The reason for our request is because there are those “who seek my life” (70:2), and those “who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!” (70:3). In other words, some folk either want to hurt and discredit us or perhaps make fun of us apparently because of our faith. So we pray for escape and deliverance and we ask that we will not be put to shame but that they will. And “may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you” (70:4).
As we conclude our prayer we have yet to see an answer but we are confident that God is “my help and my deliverer” (70:5). We offer this prayer as we remember and worship.
Our prayers today are for our Worship Director, Nancy Barber, and for Jim Seymour and Andrew Henderson.
Let’s pray together.
Lord Jesus, we need your help every day. We have experienced the struggle of trying to live a Christian life in the company of those who find faith a foolish superstition. Some have made teasing and hurtful remarks to us. We confess to not knowing how to respond. So we pray. Help us, Lord. Come to our aid. Silence those who make these remarks and help us to live faithfully. We make this request with the determination to worship and to remember you.
We pray for Nancy as she seeks to encourage all of us to a more faithful and meaningful worship. We pray for Jim and Andrew as they encounter opposition in their places of employment or among their friends and neighbors. Remind them of their need to worship and to follow you and help them see your salvation. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 7, 2020
This is a longer prayer-psalm than usual, 36 verses. Our prayer starts with a feeling of being overwhelmed, “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck” (68:1). This is not an uncommon experience for most of us, we are in over our heads and have no idea how to escape. In this prayer we become aware of people that are upset with us “without reason” (68:4). It is impossible to deal with what we don’t know, so we pray for God to intervene. Still there may be some justified reason for this person’s anger at us so we pray “May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me…may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me” (68:6). Our lives are a testimony and a reflection of the God we profess to worship.
As the prayer continues things don’t get any better, if anything they seem to worsen. “Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me” (68:15). What we are reminded of as Christians as we say this prayer is that this was the experience of our Savior Jesus Christ. Verse 21 is quoted in Matthew 27 about his crucifixion: “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.” There is also a quoted reference to his betrayer Judas Iscariot. Verse 25 is quoted in Acts 1 as justification for electing someone to take Judas’ place in the twelve disciples. “May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents.” Whenever we feel that the stresses of life are too much for us to handle, we remember what Jesus did for us and say thank you for all he bore in saving us from all the effects of these things. Our prayer ends with a song of praise, “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving” (68:30).
Our prayers today are for our Ministerial Relations Chair, Mike Curtis, and for Jenny Wright and Alex Locke-Wright.
Let's Pray Together.
Father, we often face times of difficulty and stress when we feel completely overwhelmed. Please walk close to us during these times and keep us safe. We do put our hope in you. We have had folk speak negatively of us and although we think it is unjustified there is a part of us that wonders if there isn't some truth to their criticism. Please Lord, don't let our sinfulness be the reason that others don't follow you.
We pray for Mike and Jenny and Alex in this regard too. Keep them from sinking down or giving up when things get rough. Give them the assurance of your love and forgiveness and keep them on track singing your praise. We pray this in the name of Jesus who has faced all our enemies and defeated them all so that he can provide to us the strength of the cross. Hear our prayer in his name. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 6, 2020
Our prayer-psalm today is written by David. It references the mountain of God, Jerusalem, and the temple which makes me think that it was written about the time when he was assembling the sanctuary furniture, bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and gathering all the building materials for the construction of the temple. Those stories are in 2 Samuel 6-8. But there are abundant allusions to the exodus and the early victories of the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, crossed the wilderness and settled in Canaan. These are stories from the time of Moses and Joshua. They are stories of God’s deliverance.
The prayer begins with the words of Moses spoken every time that the people moved across the wilderness following the cloud and fire of God. “May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him” (68:1). This is a direct quote of Number 10:35. It is God whom they are following. It is only with his guidance that anything positive happens in life’s journey. And the prayer-psalm tells the story of that journey. As they traveled they, due to their own disobedience they lost an entire generation of people, all of whom died in the wilderness. Yet God promised to be “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows…God sets the lonely in families” (68:5-6). He will care for us in just the same way as we journey through our lives.
There are so many other historical references made in this prayer-psalm that demonstrate and remind us that God remains faithful to us even when we wander. The Apostle Paul will quote a line from this journey to refer to the church and its gifting by God that enables us to care for one another in the power of the Spirit. Ephesians 4:8 quotes Psalm 68:18. He leaves off the end of the verse “even from the rebellious” although it is comforting to know that when we sin we are not excluded from God’s family, although there will be correction. There is so much to ponder in this psalm but I hasten to the end where people who are not followers of God come to worship him as his people praise him and lead the way. “Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord….you are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!” (68:32-35).
Financial Secretary, Faith Stopyro, and for Duane Wright and Jason Wright. Join in with our prayer which will be posted on the Worship Services page of this website.
Prayers for the Day – September 5, 2020
Today’s prayer-psalm begins like a benediction, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us” (67:1). This is the kind of prayer that one speaks for another, including oneself in the corporate prayer. It is a prayer about “us.”
But it moves from that kind of public statement to a direct prayer to God to do something. “May your ways be known on earth, your salvation among all nations” (67:2). If God answers this prayer then it would follow that praise would be the natural result from all the people. “May all the people praise you” (67:3).
Another request mixed with the reality of what God is doing is spoken in verse 4, “May the nations be glad and sing…for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations.” It is not so much a prayer for the individual but for the corporate group. That brings the same result that was spoken back in verse 3. “May all the people praise you” (67:5).
The conclusion is that “then the land will yield its harvest, and God…will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him” (67:6-7). This little short prayer moves from the requested action of God to the response of the people to the resulting blessing of God continuing to the ends of the earth. Surely we can find ourselves in this prayer with both the spoken word and the appropriate praise response.
Our prayers today are for our Treasurer, Gail Frary, and for Andy and Linda Henderson and Alex.
Let’s pray together.
Father God, we do pray a prayer of blessing on our church and its families. We number ourselves in this so that we are not only blessed but are consciously praying for your blessing to be on others as well. With that in mind we pray for Gail. Not only has she church responsibilities but also a house full of children and grandchildren. Give her strength and energy to do all her tasks in the love and grace of Jesus. And for Andy and Linda we pray as well. Bless their home and their now adult children, Alex in particular as he has returned to college. Keep him safe and provide all he needs as you draw him closer to the realization of your hand in his life. We commit them all to you, along with ourselves, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 4, 2020
The prayer-psalm today seems to reverse the normal order of our prayers. Generally they begin with a personal story and then because of the acts of God on the individual’s behalf an appeal is made to the larger group to join in and share the salvation story. This time, however, the prayer begins with the general call to praise. “Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing to the glory of his name; offer him glory and praise!” (66:1). “All the earth” is called in here and they are mentioned again in verse 4. They have witnessed God’s acts whether they recognized them as such at the time or not.
The story that follows is a kind of retelling of the exodus account. “He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the river on foot” (66:6). It is the salvation story of the Old Testament, the liberation of those held in bondage. It was the literal story of the Israelite nation, and it is the spiritual story of all who turn to God from their bondage of sin. It is a reminder here that every one of us who is a Christian has a salvation story. It is good to remember it and to share it with others from time to time.
The story continues with the Israelites through the wilderness wanderings. “He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping…he tested us, refined us…but you brought us to a place of abundance” (66:8-12). Because of all of this the whole world should join in God’s praise. “Come and listen…let me tell you what he has done” (66:16). Our prayer now gets to the personal part and ends with the keeping of our vows…the sacrifice of our offerings…and the praise to the one “who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (66:20). That which is general and available to all must be applied and appreciated by us as individuals.
We pray today for our Church Clerk, Cheryl Curtis, and for Arlette Sherwood and Jared Locke.
Let’s pray together.
Lord Jesus, we are thankful as a church family for your protection and provision. Thank you for preserving our lives and our health in the midst of this pandemic. Thank you for your patience in carrying us through our often wayward and inattentive lapses. Help us to fulfill our vows and in doing so to call the world to recognize your grace.
We pray today for Cheryl, for Arlette and for Jared. Hold each one close to you. Remind them of their own personal salvation story and reinvigorate their faith. Hear their prayers and meet them in their need. Fill them with thankful hearts we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 3, 2020
Our prayer-psalm today is a harvest song of celebration. But before getting to the joy of that season it begins with the giving of our praise to God for the forgiveness of our sins. “When we were overwhelmed by sins, you atoned for our transgressions” (65:3). As a result of this we sing praise and promise that “our vows will be fulfilled” (65:1). “We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple” (65:4).
Having our sins addressed is like the experience of having “stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves” (65:7). This then “calls forth songs of joy” (65:8). We experience God’s care for us just as he cares “for the land and waters it; you enrich it abundantly” (65:9). We are like the “grasslands…the hills…the meadows…the valleys…they shout for joy and sing” (65:12-13).
As this month begins we are enjoying the fruits and vegetables that are ripening. As we eat these delicious items on our table let’s thank God that he cares for us as a garden.
We pray today for the Trustees and for Dave and Roxann Bailer.
Let’s pray together.
Father, we are so grateful for the new life that you have given us. Thank you for the forgiveness of our sins. We sing to you songs of praise because you have cared for us and nurtured us and brought us to a place of productivity. Please remind us daily of your benefits to us both spiritually and materially.
We pray for our Trustees whose job it is to care for our church’s physical and material elements. Give them wisdom as they seek to preserve and maintain your property. We pray too for Dave and Roxann. Thank you for supplying their needs and giving them the benefit of bounty. Help them to appreciate every gift as those that come from your hand. Hear us as we sing your praise in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 2, 2020
This prayer-psalm is by David and as many of his it is a complaint. “Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint” (64:1). We certainly feel that we have a host of criticism to tell God about regarding the condition things in our world. The complaint here is about a conspiracy. “Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked” (64:2). It is hard to resist the thought that he is writing about political situations, and certainly in our world today we have a host of conspiracy theories about almost every issue and from every imaginable perspective. Some of them seem to make sense while others are completely farfetched. Yet discerning the difference seems to reside in the mind of each of us and often we don’t agree.
How do we pray in the midst of the news that seems completely unreliable? How do we know who is telling the truth, and what side we are supposed to be on? “Surely the mind and heart of man are cunning” (64:6). But even if it doesn’t give us great discernment Psalm 64 gives us words to say as we voice these concerns to God. We pray that “God will shoot them with arrows…turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; so all who see them will shake their heads in scorn” (64:7-8). In other words, there is a time when the best we can do is ask God to intervene and to show the difference between truth and error by publicly shaming those who lie and decieve. Lord, we commit ourselves to you. Protect us from the confusing world of national politics.
We are to pray today for our church Elders, for Mel Simmons and for Jenn Simmons.
Let’s pray together.
Lord, we are small town folk with small town perspectives. We don’t pretend to know and understand the complexities of issues in our world. Politics, health care, economics, and so many other areas of everyday life for us are crowded with conspiracy theories from both the left and the right. Our complaint is that we don’t know who to believe anymore. We ask for your protection.
We pray this for our Board of Elders as they seek to guide the church in the things that are clear, the things you have revealed in the pages of the Bible. Give to them discernment along with clear, helpful and loving application. We pray for Mel and for Jenn as they no doubt have to work through the same conflicting maze of messages that are being offered by our culture. Hold them close to yourself and give them confidence and assurance in the areas of faith that are most essential. Thank you for our salvation in Jesus. We pray in his name. Amen.
Prayers for the Day – September 1, 2020
Our prayer-psalm today is another one on the run. The superscription says it was written “when David was in the desert of Judah.” There were two occasions when he fled to the desert. Once was when he was hiding from Saul (1 Samuel 23:14f) and once when he was running from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:23f). In both cases people were seeking to do him harm.
The desert is a dry, hot place and the prayer begins “my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (63:1). But even from this place we can rest assured of God’s presence because we “have seen you (God) in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory” (63:2). Because we have had a good
worship experience, we know that God’s “love is better than life” (63:3).
I have often read this psalm and prayed this prayer for folk in the hospital. I have done o particularly because of verse 6, “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through he watches of the night.” My prayer has been that those who are confined to their beds nd may have difficulty sleeping will know the presence of the Lord and be able to say,
“because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings” (63:7).
Our Prayer Reminder has us praying today for your minister and for Jack and Janet Seymour.
Let’s pray together.
Sometimes, Lord Jesus, it feels like we are on the run. Sometimes this is because of conflict with others, other times it may be the pressures and stresses of everyday life. Whatever the cause may be it is an uncomfortable thing to feel dry and thirsty emotionally. We are reminded that even on these days that you have told us to come and drink from you and you will satisfy our dry and parched hearts (Isaiah 55:1, John 4:14, John 7:37-38).
We pray that you will satisfy the longing of our souls, and especially the souls of Rick, Jack and Janet. Satisfy them so that they may have sufficient strength and resources to share this spiritual life with others. In the midst of life’s dry times give us the abundance of your love that refreshes us all in Jesus’ name. Amen.
ens 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 the development of a regional fellowship of churches here in our area.
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.