“They also were to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on Sabbaths and at New Moon festivals and at appointed feasts. They were to serve before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.” (1st Chronicles 23:30-31)
Prayer is a constant part of the congregation’s life. True prayer cannot be discontinuous for prayer in fellowship with God. This was the service of the Levites who helped Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the Lord: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, we know we are to be persistent in our prayer lives and also in the prayers at our churches, whereby we are led to serve You in a variety of ways, that only You know and give to us. In many ways, our prayer lives are never ended, they are merely put on hold while take care of specific tasks, but then we rejoin our prayers throughout the day and into the night. Today we continue to pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“God doesn’t love us for who we are, but by what He knows we can be.”
“Now when Daniel learned that the decree of King Darius had been published stating that no one could pray to any other god, except for the king, for 21 days. Daniel went home and up to the top of his house and prayed towards Jerusalem three times a day, as was his usual obedience to God. He was found and reported to the king and under his decree, anyone violating the decree was to be thrown into the king’s lion’s den. Men went to Daniel’s house and found him praying to God and he was arrested, but God had been praying to God for His help.” (Daniel 6:10-11)
Daniel know of Darius’ decree. He knelt, a token of humility. He maintained his regular prayer habits. God vindicated Daniel’s courage. Prayer should not be an emergency measure; rather it should represent habitual communication and fellowship with God. Thanks and petition are parts of regular prayer and Daniel followed all parts of prayer, to seek God’s intervention on his behalf.
“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 rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:1-5)
The Spirit provides the believer’s guarantee. Paul wrote of he past (“we have been justified”), the present (“we have peace”), and the future (“the hope of the glory of God”) aspects of salvation. The gift of the Spirit to Christians is an assurance that in the future our hopes will be fulfilled. Through the Spirit, God pours His love in out hearts. God demonstrated His love by the cross (v8), and so the pouring of His love into Christians’ hearts through the Spirit includes the Spirit’s continuing witness to Christ (John 15:26). The Spirit, by His presence, gives us the assurance we are loved by God. Through the Spirit, God provides Christians with the love which they are to mediate witness to others, for the fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal. 5:22). This hope in love guaranteeing our future with God does not protect us from suffering. It provides courage to endure present problems or troubles in face of future reward.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.’ Jesus did not answer a word, So his disciples came to him and urged him, ‘Sen her away, for she keeps crying out after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’ The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me! She said. He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the their dogs.’ Yes,’ Lord,’ she said, ‘but even the doges eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matthew 15:21-28)
Before they came upon the Canaanite woman, the disciples told Jesus to explain the parable concerning being clean and unclean. Jesus’ answered them saying, “Are you still so dull?” Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart and these make a man “unclean.” “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man “unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him “unclean.”
Jesus was upset at the disciple’s lack of faith. Therefore, upon the arrival of the Canaanite woman, Jesus used her persistent faith as an object lesson for the disciples. Prayer is not a onetime test of God but an ongoing communication with Him. Even though the woman had correctly identified Jesus by calling out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me.’ In essence she was calling out to Jesus as “Messiah.” Though she correctly identified Jesus, she gained healing for her daughter through persistent faith, not proper identification. Do you know Him? Do you communicate with Him?