Prayer 556 - Week 1, Friday
Friday - A Forgiving Fire
We’ve spent a lot of this week thinking about fire as cleansing, purifying, guiding, and sacrificial. Before we move into next week and talk about the fire of God’s spirit as power and protection in our daily lives, let’s read a Psalm of confession and reflect once more. God is gracious and forgiving when we bring our whole selves to him!
At the end of the reflection section, you’ll note a “weekly review”. You can save these questions for this weekend if you’d like (or do them as part of an extended practice today). If you remember from our study in the Old Testament last year, one of the best practices we can use to build our faith is to REMEMBER. Many people will do a ”daily examen” at the end of every day. Let’s start with this weekly reflection!
Psalm 51 (NRSV, selected verses)
Have mercy on my, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain a willing spirit.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
We’ve asked as few times this week - reflect once more: what is something that God is asking you to offer up to him in this season? If you haven’t been able to think of something, ask the Holy Spirit to show you.
If you haven’t yet been able to name the thing out loud in prayer or in your journal, ask God for the courage to do that today.
What is something you’ve tried to hand over to God (previously or even this week) that you find yourself picking back up and carrying again? A painful experience, a grudge, shame, some nagging habit... whatever it is, can you name it today and ask God for the courage to give it to him today?
When (if) you find yourself picking it back up, don’t get discouraged. Get into the practice of offering that thing to God every time it rises up in you (even if that’s several times a day).
Where have you seen God move in your life this week? Take a moment and name this, then give thanks.
What are you being purified of in this season? Take a moment to confess and ask God to continue his work in you.
After you’ve reflected on where you’ve been this week, invite God to go with you into the week ahead.
O Merciful God,
grant that I may ever perfectly
do Your Will in all things.
Let it be my ambition to work
only for Your honour and glory.
Let me rejoice in nothing
but what leads to You,
nor grieve for anything
that leads away from You.
May all joy be
meaningless without You
and may I desire
nothing apart from You.
May all labour and toil
delight me when it is for You.
Make me, O Lord,
obedient without complaint,
poor without regret,
patient without murmur,
humble without pretence,
joyous without frivolity,
and truthful without disguise.
- Thomas Aquinas
To know that I have broken God’s heart by thought, word, or deed breaks my heart. In the Act of Contrition which our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters use, it is this thought that guides me in confession . I have heard John Michael Talbot sing this. I never want to break the Father’s Heart. David’s song seeks restoration to God’s presence and the renewed filling of the Holy Spirit. This flows after trie repentance. As the song says, “Run to the altar. The Father’s arms are open wide. Forgiveness is bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.” I think of the Parable of the Prodigal Sin.” I never want to be the Elder Brother. I know I have sinned and I rejoice in God’s wonderful gift of forgiveness. I want to rejoice when others find that gift of mercy and grace.
I have held an elder brother like attitude against a family member of Rosemarie's. It is that of resentment that I have asked God to take from me. However, it crops up periodically and leads to anger and bitterness. I hand that attitude over to God this week.
I know this isn't what you're asking as a message and I do have a lot inside my heart and allowed that I've been thinking I voted today. But I want to just say thank you Kaitlyn. for all the time and beauty that you put into all of this for everyone. I wake up in the morning and don't even look at time and think oh I'm gonna get The beautiful text any minute now. Sometimes when you're going through a lot come on people say that they understand but unless you're going through it, you really don't. This is giving me a purpose to get up every morning. Thank you once again for all that you do 🙏❤️
God has brought a couple of different bad habits to my kind this week, and today's devotional especially encourages me to offer them up with each temptation. So many times when I've tried to change habits, I give up after one failure, not trying to start over because I don't have the will power to succeed on my own. This reading shows a different way of thinking about the struggle, and offers hope in the Holy Spirit.
It has been a broken, hard two years for me. I've forgiven those who have hurt me and ask the Lord to keep that which had been stolen from me, they I may never pick it up again. It's been a learning fighting struggle with the Lord, but by His grace and mercy I'm being healed. Thank you Lord that You are a forgiving Father who never turns His back on His children.