Counting Down the Omer, Day #5
(June 4, 2019)
Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper, “We will arise…” As you exhale, whisper, “…and follow You.”
“You heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on Me, but I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.” (John 14:28-31, ESV)
For further consideration: Video: http://b.link/BoldTVTrinity
A Declaration of Restoration of the American Family
Heavenly Father, our souls honor You. Thank You for our family relationships. We thank You for Your peace umpiring our familial relationships and interactions. Lord, we thank You for fulfilling Your plans and purposes in our lives and for surrounding us with favor like a shield. Thank You for blessing us continually with Your loving-kindness and tender mercies. Lord, Your mercy endures forever. You are great and Your power is absolute. Your understanding is beyond comprehension. We love You and extol Your Holy Name. Out of the mouths of babes and infants, You have ordained strength. What are mere mortals that You should think of them, human beings that You should care for them?
Omnipotent Father, we rebuke every enemy that is coming against American families including: domestic violence, divorce, adultery, incest, selfishness, poor communication and broken homes. For the first time in recorded history, there are now more single adults than married adults. We understand that not all are called to be married, but we rebuke the spirits of pride, stubbornness, fear and greed that prevent those who are supposed to be married from fulfilling their purpose. Lord, You told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply; to fill and subdue the earth and to have dominion. Lord, it is Your will that the people created in Your image be in charge here and not the forces of darkness. We cancel the assignment of the enemy against the wombs of married women causing them to be barren. Children will obey their parents because they belong to the Lord and this is the right thing for them to do. They will honor their fathers and mothers so that things will be well for them and they will have a long life on the earth. Fathers will no longer provoke their children to anger by the way they treat them, but they will bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from You, Lord.
List those families that you know are in trouble. Now ask the Holy Spirit how you can pray for them:
Holy Spirit, help us, as a nation, to make the family a priority again. Help parents to stop being so focused on material items, that they fail to spend time with their children and impart Godly self-esteem and emotional stability into them. Remind us that God’s Word should be our guide and not the norms and customs of the world. Help our parents to stop allowing the television, internet or video games to raise their children, but instead to spend time with their children and impart Godly values and wisdom into them so that when they have grown up, they will not depart from Your ways. Help our married couples to honor one another and not take each other for granted. Keep the lines of communication open in these marriage so that the marriage bed will not be defiled. Help our married couples to honor their marriage vows and not be so quick to look for a way out when things get difficult.
Merciful Father, please forgive our American families for sin. Forgive us for allowing our jobs to be a greater priority than our families. Forgive us for taking our loved ones for granted. Forgive us for not praying for our family members consistently. Forgive us for strife, anger, envy, jealousy, adultery and for verbal or physical abuse within our homes. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind us all 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 our families not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Sovereign Lord, You are King! You are robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. Your throne has stood from time immemorial. You are from the everlasting past. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References for the Written Text:
Psalm 5:12, Psalm 51:1 NKJV, Psalm 136:1, Psalm 147:5, Psalm 145:1, Psalm 8:2-4, Ephesians 6:12, Ephesians 6:11, I Corinthians 7:7, Genesis 1:28, Ephesians 5:21, Ephesians 6:1-4, Proverbs 22:6, Hebrews 13:4, Matthew 6:13, Psalm 93:1-2
Concepts to Consider:
OK, so hold up. What does it mean when Jesus says, “the Father is greater than I?” Is Jesus subordinate to the Father? Is He “less than” in some way? Here is where context is truly everything. If you read the near context and the Gospel of John as a whole, you realize pretty quickly that Jesus is not jettisoning His equality with God in essence or nature (John 1:1-4; John 10:30; John 17:23). His statement is one of humility and a posture of obedience that He is exemplifying for His followers. (pro tip: it is possible to submit to authority without becoming subordinate to it.) People in Christ, unified by the Spirit, can have different roles and levels of authority in this world yet still operate as one in Christ (Galatians 2:11-22; 3:28). The “bottom line” answer, therefore, to Jesus’ paradoxical statement is that the Father is only “greater” than Him in office or role, not substance.
In Philippians 2 the Apostle Paul tags onto John’s ideas about radical love and radical unity being demonstrated through radical humility. “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that He had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, He set aside the privileges of Deity and took on the status of a [servant]; became human! Having become human, He stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted Him high and honored Him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that He is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father!”
- How does the call to pursue radical unity through radical love and humility challenge us today in our highly divisive world, even in the church?
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.