Day 67: Showing Hospitality at Home

1. Center Down

Our breath prayer for today.  As you inhale, whisper, “Our hearts are at home…“  As you exhale whisper, “… when they rest in You.”

2. Slowly read aloud the following Scripture

Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days.

On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed!

After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, “If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests.” We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. (Acts 16:11-15, MSG)

For further consideration:

Video: http://b.link/AtTheTable

3. Kingdom Prayer

Triumphant Father, we thank You for the fathers in the Body of Christ.  Thank You for reminding them daily that they are created in Your image.  Thank You for crowning each of them with glory and honor.  Thank You for helping them to take their rightful place as the head of their homes.  We, Your servants, give praise to You, Lord.  Your Name will be blessed now and forever!  Everywhere from east to west, Your Name shall be praised.  Lord, You are high above the nations; Your glory is higher than the heavens.  No one can be compared with You!  Not to us, O Lord, but all glory will go to Your Name for Your unfailing love and Your faithfulness.

Majestic Father, by faith, we declare that the fathers in the Body of Christ are saved, sanctified, and filled with Your Holy Spirit. They are priestly providers and protectors of their families.  We confess that our fathers will not copy the behavior and customs of this world; but they will allow You, Lord, to transform them into new men by changing the way they think.  We decree that our fathers are the head and not the tail; they are always on top and never at the bottom.  They are not victims of society; but they are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus.  Their children will honor them; for this is right in Your sight.  We confess that our fathers will not provoke their children to anger by the way they treat them; but they

will raise them with the discipline and instruction that come from You, our Heavenly Father.  Above all, we confess that our fathers have victorious futures because Your plans for them are of hope, filled with good and not evil.  We decree that the fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are evident in their lives.  The light of Jesus is reflected in their actions.  We confess that our fathers are mighty men of valor.

I will pray for the following fathers in the Body of Christ:

Holy Spirit, we ask You to fill our fathers with the knowledge of Your Word in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Please order their days so that their daily activities are balanced and fruitful.  Make the crooked places in their lives straight and perfect those things that concern them.  Help each father not to grieve Your Spirit. Teach them how to develop the individual spiritual gifts and talents of their children.  Restore the broken or struggling relationships between fathers and children. Increase Your love in those father/ child(ren) relationships that are doing well. Holy Spirit, comfort those who have experienced the death of their fathers and equip us as the Body of Christ to provide the support that they may need.

Faithful Father, forgive our fathers for sins of disobedience, selfishness, and lying.  Forgive our wives and mothers for taking on the roles You have ordained for husbands and fathers. Forgive us as a society for focusing on the fathers who are not living up to their responsibilities while ignoring those who are taking care of their families. Father, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). 

Holy Spirit, remind our fathers 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 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 fathers not to yield to temptation but deliver them from the evil one.

Exalted Lord, we praise Your Name.  Your Name is great; Your glory towers over the earth and heaven.  You are worthy, Lord, to receive glory, honor and power.  You created all things; by your will they exist and were created.  You are Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

4. Concepts to Consider

Lydia, an entrepreneurial leader in her community and a God-fearing woman, heard the Good News about Jesus and put her trust in Him.  It’s interesting to note that her very first impulse after receiving Jesus was one of hospitality. She invites Paul and Silas, these traveling missionaries that she had just met, to her home, not just for a meal, but to be her guests, in essence, to stay with her and her family while they ministered in the area around Philippi.

One of the most familiar elements of a wedding reception is the cutting of the cake. Traditionally, this joint gesture by the couple is  meant to symbolize their intent to be  hospitable and to have a home where guests are fed and welcomed, just as the cake they have just cut will feed a room full of guests.

There is an old saying that goes, “charity begins at home” and so does hospitality. Most of the earliest churches were in family homes (like Lydia’s). In many ways our “first church” is still in our homes and hospitality radiates to the world around us from that anchor point.

May the Lord grant us peace in our homes so that they can become rest stops and way stations stations of healing and hope for those the Lord brings across our threshold.

  1. Reflection Questions:
  • Personal Reflection: What are some ways that you currently show hospitality to your family and those who enter your home? What are some areas you could, with God’s help, improve?
  • Kingdom Reflection: How can we begin to make our homes the incubator for Kingdom work in our communities?

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.

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