Counting Down the Omer, Day #23:
(May 17, 2019)
Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper, “We breathe in trust…” As you exhale, whisper, “…and exhale fear.”
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.’ (Matthew 6:25-32, ESV)
For further consideration:
A Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Holy Spirit
Heavenly Father, we thank You for saving us through the sacrifice of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. We thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to instruct, guide, teach and comfort us. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for empowering us to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ and being God’s guarantee for the inheritance He promised. Because of You, this guarantee includes that we have been purchased to be His own people. Hallel YAH! Father God, we praise You, our Savior. Each day You carry us in Your arms. You are the God who saves, the Sovereign Lord who rescues us from death. We will sing to You, the One who rides across the ancient heavens; Your mighty voice thunders from the sky. We will tell everyone about Your power. Your majesty shines down on Israel; Your strength is mighty in the heavens. You are awesome in Your sanctuary!
Mighty God, we have not received a spirit that makes us fearful slaves; instead, we have received Your Spirit when You adopted us as Your children. We confess that the same Holy Spirit who resurrected Jesus from the dead now dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who gives life to our mortal bodies, just as He gave life to Christ and raised Him from the dead. We decree that You, Holy Spirit, are our Comforter and our Helper. You are Holy. We depend on You to remind us of everything Jesus taught while He lived on the earth. You are God’s power source, and You are the Teacher of all truth. We thank You for being God’s Representative in the earth, the One through whom God relates to all believers, the Producer of the Fruit of the Spirit and our Advocate. We love You, Holy Spirit, and thank You for working through us to perform miracles, signs and wonders so that people will experience the Kingdom of God. As a Church Family, we confess that we will not be filled with wine, but we will be filled with the Holy Spirit; singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among ourselves and making music to the Lord in our hearts.
Holy Spirit, continue to lead and guide our lives. As we study God’s Word, reveal the Kingdom of God to us and within us and help us to share the Kingdom in this dark world. Show us those areas in our personal lives that we need to get in order so that we will not bring You sorrow by the way we live. Help us to get rid of all bitterness, unforgiveness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, show us how to be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven us through Christ Jesus.
Holy Spirit, show me which of the fruit of the Spirit that I have yet to cultivate and help me to mature in that area:
Heavenly Father, forgive those who deny the existence or power of the Holy Spirit. Forgive those who have discouraged others from embracing the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Forgive us for not completely yielding control of our lives to the Holy Spirit. Father, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind us of those we need to forgive and help us 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 reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them, say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Almighty God, the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it all belong to You. You are the God of gods and Lord of lords. You are the great God, the mighty and awesome God who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. You alone are worthy of praise because You alone perform such great miracles. In the majestic Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen!
Scripture References for the Written Text:
Acts 1:8, Ephesians 1:14, Psalm 68:19-20,33-35, Romans 8:15, Romans 8:11, John 14:16, John 14:26, John 16:13, Ephesians 5:18-19, Ephesians 4:30-32, Matthew 6:13, Deuteronomy 10:14,17-21
Concepts to Consider:
In this passage at the end of Matthew 6 Jesus acknowledges our fears and concerns over having our basic needs met. He encourages His hearers—most of whom lived a subsistence lifestyle in material poverty in the Galilee region—to trust in God for their basic needs and to look forward to the Kingdom of God yet to come, where no one will be naked or go hungry! Indeed, we see the earliest church living into Jesus’ vision for Kingdom provision. In the book of Acts His followers “held all things in common” and shared with one another to the point that “there were no needy among them” (Acts 4:34). As you might imagine, this type of radical hospitality had a huge evangelistic impact. Remember, Jesus had said to his disciples not long before, “by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
- If you were truly free from worrying about money and having your daily needs met, how would it affect your decisions? What steps might you need to put into place that may help you to better manage your money and/or reduce debt? How might the Lord be leading you to simplify your life?
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.