Before we begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “Lord, open our ears…” As you exhale whisper, “…to see Your glory.”
Slowly read aloud the following Scripture
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, thank, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under
His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:15-23, ESV)
For further exploration:
Holy Father, we thank You for freedom of speech in the United States. Thank You for allowing us to live in a society where we are free to exchange and express ideas. Thank You for revealing the technological knowledge that allows global communications. Father, You are the great and awesome God who keeps Your covenant of unfailing love with those who love You and obey Your commands. Lord, You are our Master. Every good thing we have comes from You. You alone are our inheritance, the cup of our blessing. We bless You because You are the One who guides us; even at night our hearts instruct us. Father, we know that You are always with us, so we will not be shaken.
Awesome Father, we take authority over the spirit of the airwaves in our nation. We command Your Word, which we speak with boldness and faith, to interrupt the airwaves and destroy every word that is spoken by the media that does not align with Your will for our nation. We decree that every attempt to misconstrue the Truth will be confused. We cancel the assignments of division, confusion, anger, wrath, lying and deceit that are being unleashed through the various forms of mass media. By faith, we declare that the heart of every station manager, editor, publisher, producer, reporter and writer will be pliable in Your hands. We silence the demonic voices that give direction and influence tothe hearts of leaders in the area of communications. We command those who have intentionally used their positions to stir up strife and confusion to turn from evil and do good. In Jesus’ Name, they will search for peace and work to maintain it. As kings of the King and lords of the Lord, we understand that death and life are in the power of our tongues, so we declare that only the truth will prevail, and all distortions and misrepresentations will be exposed and rendered powerless.
Holy Spirit, please open the eyes and ears of the American people to hear, see, and understand the messages that are being communicated concerning the issues being raised in the local, state and national sectors of government. Please convict the hearts of the members of the media who intentionally cause strife and confusion in this nation, especially those who are believers. Expose hidden agendas, deceitful motives, wicked schemes, and subversive plots. Speak to the members of the American media about being impartial in their reporting. Direct the American public to not base their voting decisions on a thirty-second sound bite, but to research every candidate and seek Your will so they can make informed decisions.
Loving Father, forgive the members of the media for allowing their personal feelings to color their professional duties. Forgive station executives who have sold out their integrity for corporate greed and positioning. Forgive the citizens of our nation whose ears are itching to believe untruths from both political parties. Forgive those in our nation who incite racism, hatred, anger, and violence and forgive the members of the media who pander to these individuals. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that You have committed).
Holy Spirit, remind the members of the media 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 aloud, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in Your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit help the members of the media not to yield to temptation but deliver them from the evil one.
Almighty King, You are the great Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You are the First and the Last; there is no other God. You are the Creator who made all things. You alone stretched out the heavens. You alone are worthy of glory, honor, and power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References for the Written Text: Nehemiah 1:5, Psalm 16:2,5,7-8, Deuteronomy 10:16, Psalm 34:14, Proverbs 18:21, Romans
2:11, II Timothy 4:3, Matthew 6:13, Isaiah 44:6,24, Revelation 4:11
Concepts to Consider
As we close out our week focusing on a few of the concepts found in Jesus’ Model Prayer, we will end where we began, in learning to lean in and listen and look deeply into the heart of Jesus. In everything that Our Master did, He was working to demonstrate Who He is, and who we are. Every healing and teaching was meant to reveal more about what the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth was meant to be and what the Church’s role is in bringing this Ultimate Truth into reality.
Listening and seeing take practice. That’s why it’s important to stop on a regular basis and just listen to the people and the world around us.
If you are able, at this very moment, open a window or door, close your eyes and take a few minutes to listen to the sounds around you. What or who do you hear? Don’t feel like you have to engage with what you’re hearing at the moment. Just listen. If your situation is not conducive to this exercise, you may want to listen to this natural soundscape through speakers or headphones:
It is also necessary to learn to “listen with our eyes.”
As Jesus said, sometimes people hear but do not listen; we look but do not see who God is and what He’s doing right in front of us.
Jesus scrambles our sensory expectations. He was and is both human and familiar while at the same time Divine and “wholly Other.” Our brains have a difficult time making sense of it all. This sensorial uncertainty is, I believe, exactly where we need to be in order to begin to observe and listen intently to the song of God’s love for all humanity. He has asked us to join His chorus. To learn “the unforced rhythms of grace.” It is a song we all used to sing together in a Garden long ago. It is a song humanity has forgotten, and it is a song that Jesus came to help us remember. It is His Spirit Who continues to whisper the words and melody into our ears even now… if we will just stop, look, and listen.
Personal Reflection: Find time to engage with the Ephesians 1 passage above using Lectio Divina using Week 2 as you guide. What did you see? What did you hear?
Kingdom Reflection: The world is rushing madly on. How is God inviting us to slow down and be with Him? To see Him? Listen to Him? And in the process begin to truly see and hear the world and people around us, and ourselves. When we consider these perspectives, how will it change our engagement with people? How will it change the way we pray?