Counting Down the Omer, Day #24:
(May 16, 2019)
Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper, “You are the light of the world…” As you exhale, whisper, “…we are the light of the world.”
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:22-24, ESV)
For further consideration:
A Prayer for Our U.S. Military Personnel
Heavenly Father, we thank You for our U.S. Military personnel. We especially thank You for those men and women who sacrificed their lives to defend this nation. Thank You for being a Comforter, Provider and Protector for those family members of our U.S. Military Personnel. Lord, we praise and honor Your Name. Your Name is the Lord and we rejoice before You. You have been our home through all the generations. We praise You, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen! O Lord, what a variety of things You have made. In wisdom, You have made them all. The earth is full of Your creatures. Lord, You are a faithful, loving and compassionate God and we bless You.
Righteous Father, we declare that You are the light and salvation of our military personnel; they will not be afraid. You are their fortress and their protection from danger; they will not tremble. We declare that any enemy or foe who comes to attack them will stumble and fall. We confess that our soldiers will trust in You with all of their hearts and they will not depend on their own understanding. They will seek Your will in all that they do, and we know that You will show them which path to take. We declare that our military personnel are blessed and highly favored. We decree that they will submit themselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from them. With the authority given to us, we cancel the assignment of anxiety, depression, anger, fear and confusion and declare that no weapon formed against them will prosper. We command God’s order to prevail within the Veteran Affairs system.
Holy Spirit, show me how I can be a blessing to a military veteran:
Holy Spirit, please strengthen and encourage the family members of those Military Personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty. Meet the financial, emotional and relational needs of these families. Help the surviving spouse and children to access the benefits that are afforded to them. Holy Spirit, please comfort those children whose parent is deployed overseas. Calm their fears and remind them that God promised to never leave nor forsake them or their parent. As our soldiers return home, Holy Spirit, help them to process all they have experienced. Heal any physical and emotional wounds. Please help them with their familial, social, and professional relationships. Lord, we ask that the wait times for appointments at the VA Hospital will be shortened and that each veteran will be treated with dignity and respect. Holy Spirit, we ask that You give our government officials the wisdom on how to cut down on the redtape that ensnares so many veterans from receiving all of the benefits they are entitled to. As a nation, help us to not overlook or discount the sacrifices our military veterans have made for the freedom of our nation.
Forgiving Father, please forgive our active and inactive military personnel for their sins. Forgive them for lying, cheating, stealing, slander, strife, malice, envy, jealousy, selfishness, disobedience and rebellion. Forgive our nation for hypocrisy, slander, greed, racism, injustice, elitism, hatred, and violence. Father, forgive the media for misrepresenting the truth. Father, forgive the Church for not praying consistently for local, national, and world leaders. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind our military personnel of those they need to forgive and help them to be quick to forgive. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to show you names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He shows you, say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help our military personnel not to yield to temptation but deliver them from the evil one.
Triumphant Lord, You reign. You dwell between the cherubim; let the earth be moved. You are great in Zion and high above all people. Your Name is so great and awesome. You are Holy. Yours is the Kingdom, the power and glory, forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References for the Written Test (NKJV & NLT):
Psalm 90:1, Psalm 104:24, Psalm 27:1-2, Proverbs 3:5-6, Luke 1:28, James 4:7, Isaiah 54:17, I Corinthians 14:40, Deuteronomy 31:6, Matthew 6:13, Psalm 99:1-3
Concepts to Consider:
In ancient times it was thought that the eye itself produced light that allowed us to see. In this teaching Jesus is speaking out against people who are stingy and unwilling to give. This kind of person was said to have a “darkened eye.” They were blind to the needs of others (see: Luke chapters 16 and 21). For Jesus, this type of blindness and servitude to money (“mammon”) does not befit His followers. He is blunt in His statement. We “cannot serve both God and money.”
- Now, some people will try to split hairs and quibble over the word “serve” here in the Biblical text. They will claim they do not “serve” or “worship” money. “That’s absurd!” However, Jesus knows the hearts of humanity all too well. How much time do we spend in a day thinking about, worrying about, managing, etc. money in some way? How to get it, spend it, save it, earn it, etc.? What/who does Jesus invite us to spend our precious time and energy on for the sake of His Kingdom?
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image. You may want to set a timer.