Prayer For The Day

yellow coltsfoot flowers

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1–2, NIV

Lord, our God and Father, we thank you for letting us walk in the way of Jesus Christ, for helping us on the way to the Cross. Come what may, we belong to the Savior, and we are your children. We want to be joyful and full of faith, full of hope, full of patience, for your mercy leads us on. In all we experience how often we can say, “Thanks be to God. He has helped us here, he has helped there, he helps every day in spite of all the evil in the world. Praise and thanks and honor be to him forever!” In Jesus name, Amen. 🙏🏼

Daily Prayer for Saturday

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we ask you from our hearts to give us your peace. Grant that nothing may take your peace from us, and protect us from all that is evil. May we always be mindful that we should serve you in self-denial. May we be faithful on all our ways, looking to the great promise you have given each one of us. Keep us under your protection, as you have always done. We praise and thank you for all that comes to our hearts from you, making us full of trust and certain of your further help. In Jesus name, Amen. 🙏🏼

Come, Holy Spirit Draw Near to Me. The Bible makes it clear that there is no way we can live our Christian faith without the Holy Spirit as our guide. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is like turning on a light bulb. It’s powerful! And it’s Sudden! When the disciples first experienced the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they were forever changed, and people around them noticed this change. According to Acts 4:13, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished.” Imagine going from ordinary fishermen to seminary grads to pastors in an instant. Also note in Acts 2:6-12 that the disciples spoke different languages — actual languages. Talk about amazing! It was so amazing that the people thought they were drunk. So how do you and I know if we have been filled with the Holy Spirit? The Bible says the Holy Spirit is like an advocate. He speaks truth to us. He guides our path. He also prays for us and intercedes on our behalf. I don’t know about you, but none of that sounds spooky or scary about the Holy Spirit. It sounds exciting and necessary. What I appreciate most about the Holy Spirit is the transformation that takes place when God chooses ordinary people to do extraordinary tasks. No matter what you believe about the Holy Spirit, the Bible makes it clear: there is no way we can live our Christian faith without the Holy Spirit as our guide. That’s why Jesus knew his physical presence on earth wasn’t enough. He told the apostle Peter that the cross was necessary. Peter, the leader of the disciples, was the kind of guy who was full of courage, and yet he kept sticking his foot in his mouth. One minute he was thinking like Christ, and the next minute Jesus was rebuking him, saying he was full of Satan. And yet. God still used Peter as a disciple for his glory. When Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome went to visit Jesus’ tomb, the angel specifically mentioned Peter by name (see Mark 16:7). As if to remind Peter that his faith, in fact, hadn’t failed. No matter how weak, strong or courageous your faith is today, the Holy Spirit is waiting for you. Come. Draw near to his presence. Reflect. Have you ever felt like your actions discount you from relying on the Holy Spirit’s help?

Daily Prayer February 21

feather

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27, NIV

Lord our God, remember us even though we are only a few. Protect us from all evil, from all inner harm, which threatens us every day. Let your hand be over us so that at last a great power may stream out from your church into all the world, bringing the fulfillment of your promises. We thank you for all your goodness. Watch over us, we pray. Keep us in the right spirit and purpose, and help us resist all that is wrong and harmful. Grant that we serve you and not the world. Protect us this day and every day.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Daily Prayer February 20

large pine cone

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11-12, NIV

Lord our God, we thank you that in spite of all the evil, we may look toward the good and toward a change for the better. For your love, your Spirit of love, can be with us. In spite of all that has gone wrong, we can change. Through genuine faith we can become worthy in your sight. Everything can turn to the good. The nations can become glad, rejoicing in life because you are working among them to help them change.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Daily Prayer February 19

shells

Thus we have come to know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love; he who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16, NEB

Lord our God, we come to you as poor, heavily burdened people who often do not know where to turn. But we have trust in you, for you are love. Your love penetrates deep into our lives, righting what is wrong and making amends for our blundering. And so we are joyful and await your grace and your help on all our ways. Bless us, and help us find what is right in every situation, to your praise and your honor. In Jesus name, Amen.

Daily Prayer February 18

leaf and sprout

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29–31, NIV

Lord our God, our loving Father, we thank you for all that our hearts and spirits are allowed to receive from you. We thank you for the community you give us, strengthening us to face life even through toil, struggle, and privation. Grant that your powers flow out to give us strength and courage. May we see and recognize you in your deeds ever more clearly. Do not let us faint or grow weary, no matter what we have to suffer. Grant that your Spirit may penetrate us ever more deeply to bring peace to us and those around us, and finally to bring blessing for all peoples of the earth. Amen.

Daily Prayer February 14

candy hearts and rosemary herb

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5, NIV

Lord our God, keep us in the grace that is ours through Jesus Christ. Uphold others also in this grace. Reveal yourself everywhere to those who trust in you and who await your kingdom. May your blessing be on our household. We thank you for helping us, and with your help we want to be faithful to you. Then when hardships come, we can be certain of your presence. We know and trust you. We know and trust the Savior, and we know and trust the Holy Spirit, in whom we can have community and be strengthened to serve your glory.

In Jesus name, Amen.

St. Valentine

Flowers, candy, red hearts and romance. That’s what Valentine’s day is all about, right? Well, maybe not.

The origin of this holiday for the expression of love really isn’t romantic at all—at least not in the traditional sense. Father Frank O’Gara of Whitefriars Street Church in Dublin, Ireland, tells the real story of the man behind the holiday—St. Valentine.

“He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time,” Father O’Gara explains. ” He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died.”

“I think we must bear in mind that it was a very permissive society in which Valentine lived,” says Father O’Gara. “Polygamy would have been much more popular than just one woman and one man living together. And yet some of them seemed to be attracted to Christian faith. But obviously the church thought that marriage was very sacred between one man and one woman for their life and that it was to be encouraged. And so it immediately presented the problem to the Christian church of what to do about this.”

“The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict.”

Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are legends surrounding Valentine’s actions while in prison.

“One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result.”

In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, “from your Valentine.”

“What Valentine means to me as a priest,” explains Father O’Gara, “is that there comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that —even to the point of death.”

Valentine’s martyrdom has not gone unnoticed by the general public. In fact, Whitefriars Street Church is one of three churches that claim to house the remains of Valentine. Today, many people make the pilgrimage to the church to honor the courage and memory of this Christian saint.

“Valentine has come to be known as the patron saint of lovers. Before you enter into a Christian marriage you want some sense of God in your life—some great need of God in your life. And we know, particularly in the modern world, many people are meeting God through his Son, Jesus Christ.”

“If Valentine were here today, he would say to married couples that there comes a time where you’re going to have to suffer. It’s not going to be easy to maintain your commitment and your vows in marriage. Don’t be surprised if the ‘gushing’ love that you have for someone changes to something less “gushing” but maybe much more mature. And the question is, is that young person ready for that?”

“So on the day of the marriage they have to take that into context,” Father O’Gara says. “Love—human love and sexuality is wonderful, and blessed by God—but also the shadow of the cross. That’s what Valentine means to me.”

By David Kithcart

Daily Prayer February 13

tulips sprouting through snow

Take all that shall be brought upon thee: and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience. For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation. Ecclesiasticus 2:4-5, DRA

Lord our God, we thank you for helping us again and again. Praised be your name for all you do for us and for all your help in many dangers and hardships! We trust you completely and have faith in you through Jesus Christ, the Savior. He reveals your grace everywhere, in every hardship, giving us the courage and freedom to look toward your kingdom. Help us remain courageous when we have to face suffering, for we want to be your disciples in Jesus Christ, the Crucified One. He has made suffering holy, that our suffering too may bear fruit for you in time and in eternity.

In Jesus name, Amen.