Day 56: “Healing the Future”
Our breath prayer for today. As you inhale, whisper, “You are the One Who was…” As you exhale whisper, “…and is and is to come.”
Slowly read aloud the following Scripture
So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”
You call out to God for help and he helps – he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.
Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately – at the end of the ages – become public knowledge, God always knew He was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.
Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said, The old life is a grass life, its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers; Grass dries up, flowers droop, God’s Word goes on and on forever.
This is the Word that conceived the new life in you. (1 Peter 1:13-25, MSG)
For further exploration:
Loving Father, we thank You for Your love. Thank You for the plans that You have for each of our lives, plans for good and not for disaster so that we may each have a future and a hope. Thank You that all of Your promises in Christ are “Yes” and in Him, ”Amen,” to Your glory through us. Lord, we are joyful because we trust in You. You have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If we tried to recite all Your wonderful deeds, we would never come to the end of them. Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice.
Glorious Father, You send Your Word out and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all that You want it to, and it prospers everywhere that You send it. Father, we declare that we will continue to circle the promises that You have made in Your Word and confess them daily, trusting that Your Word will produce fruit in our lives. We will remain persistent in prayer and expect the Jericho Walls in our lives to come down in Jesus’ Name. We will not grow weary while we wait for the manifestation of Your promises. We know that endurance develops strength of character which strengthens our confident hope of salvation; and we know that this hope will not lead to disappointment. We decree that we will rejoice in our confident hope, be patient in trouble and keep on praying. We confess that we walk by faith and not by sight. We refuse to give up on You. We refuse to give in to small goals and we refuse to give out to fatigue, disappointment or despair. Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ Jesus who loves us!
What promises of God are you still waiting for? Find those promises in His Word and confess them over your life daily:
Holy Spirit, help us to remember daily that our hope rests in our heavenly Father who loves us. Father, some of us have experienced so many disappointments that we have a hard time believing Your promises. Please help us to get the help we need to process our past so we will not cripple our present or future through unbelief. Holy Spirit, please help each of us to identify those God-given dreams and visions that we have put on the shelf and to start praying, praising and believing that in due season, those dreams and visions will become earthly realities.
Gracious Father, forgive us for trusting people and things instead of You. Forgive us for not praying emphatic, passionate prayers. Forgive us for doubting You and the promises You have given us. Forgive those for growing weary while waiting on the manifestation of promises and visions. 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 to you names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them to 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 us all not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
All glory, majesty, power and authority are Yours, King Most High, before all time, in the present and beyond all time. You are the One who is and always was. You have assumed Your great power and have begun to reign! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Concepts to Consider
Today we conclude our Examen adventure by looking into the future with hope, not “pie in the sky,” circumstantial optimism, but deep, God-oriented hope. Because God has been faithful in the past, we can look forward to a future that is qualitatively better than our “now.“
If faith “is the resolute confidence of and foretaste of things hoped for [based on the actions and promises of God] and the evidence of things not yet seen, but on their way” (Hebrews 11:1), then healing our future means re-aligning our expectations and hope with God’s imminent and already-on-its-way “New Creation.”
At a very practical level in order to live into our future hope, today we must ask for the daily bread we need in order to be sustained on the journey. We move forward by faith and “make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12)
We take our leave from our study this week with one final pragmatic thought from Dr. Linn’s book, Sleeping with Bread: Healing the future happens whenever we can ask the two Examen questions about what gives and takes life. What do I fear will take life in the future? What gives (or, in the future, could give) me life as I face [whatever lies ahead]? When I know my needs and the resources [that are] available to me, the future loses its power to terrify me.
May we cease living out of loss and lack, and begin to embrace our joyfully sufficient and abundant future in Christ Jesus! Amen.
Personal: As you look back over this week and your Examen experience, what have you learned about yourself? What areas of your life need a deeper experience of God’s Presence and healing?
Kingdom Reflection: How will you share your experience of God in Examen with those around you? How will your prayers for your family, church, nation, and world change?