As we close out our first week of this 3-week time of prayer and fasting, I have some questions for you to ponder. So, grab your journal, pen, and Bible, and let’s dig in. First, a prayer:
Oh, Holy Jesus, I adore You. You are my King! I recognize my weakness without You and I give You thanks for calling me Your own. Draw near to me this night, my shepherd, as I, Your lamb, cry out to You. Let my worship be pleasing to You. Let my prayers rise before You as incense.
Our Scripture today is Isaiah 41:8-10 (NIV)
“But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In this passage, God is reminding the Israelites of who they are in Him – they are His chosen people – and that they can take courage in their circumstances because He is with them and is helping them in their times of trial. This good news is for you, too! Jesus has made it possible for the rest of humanity to have a relationship – a right/good relationship, even – with God. Therefore, there is no need for us to fear the terror of the night or the arrows that fly by day. There is no need for us to be dismayed in our situations (yes, it may be – well – awful – for awhile and it’s OK to recognize that, but dwelling on the pain/awfulness of the situation won’t help us move out of it, and God calls us to focus on Him rather than on our circumstances), instead, we can take heart in the promise that God makes: He will strengthen us (yes, you, too!); He will help us; and He will hold us and our situation together, working it out for our own good.
Some questions for your reflection:
- Over the last week, how has God shown you that He has called you His own? How about over the last year?
- Over the last year, how has God been present and shown you He loves you in the midst of a trial? How has He eased your fears
- Over the last 1-5 years, how has God put the puzzle pieces of your life situations together to work things out for your good?
- If you are still in the middle of a traumatic life situation, how is God strengthening you to meet each new challenge? What people/situations/Bible verses/etc. has He used to encourage you?
- Over the last week, how has God encouraged and strengthened you? How about over the last year?
May God bless you this night with peace, courage, and strength!