Daily Devotion

Remember our Sick and Shut-In Members with a card, a call,

but most of all, remember them in your prayers.

“Pray Without Ceasing”

PRAYER FOR SLOAN MEMORIAL UMC AND ST. MARK’S UMC

Amazing Father, You are our God; we will exalt you; we will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. Thank You for Your faithfulness to Sloan Memorial UMC and St. Mark’s UMC and for blessing us with the opportunity to worship together in this season. Both congregations have been deeply affected by COVID 19.  Some have faced the loss of loved ones, unemployment or under-employment. Some contracted COVID-19 and recovered. Others did not.  Still others, have struggled to help teach their children and keep them safe both from COVID and systemic racism.

Father it has been a lot, and we could have never made it this far without You. Thank you that while our flesh and heart may fail, You are the strength of our heart and our portion forever (Psalm 73:26).  We Praise You Father for how You set our feet on solid ground and steadied us as we walked along. (Psalm 40:2b)

Gracious Father, in You we will trust as we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7) Make known to us Your ways Father; teach us Your paths. Lead Sloan and St. Mark’s in Your truth and teach us. (Psalm 25:2, 4-5) All Your paths are grace and truth to those who keep Your covenant and instructions (Psalm 25:10). Share with us Your wisdom and discernment that we may walk in Your ways and not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Help us to trust in Your timing believing that Your plan for us will unfold as it should if we are willing to wait on You (Psalm 27:14).

Father, like Abram and Sarai (Genesis 12:1), You are taking us into uncharted territory, a place we have never been before.  We can’t yet see what the future looks like, but You already have our future in Your hands. We know that You were with Joshua as he prepared to lead Your people into the promised land.  And we know that You told him to be strong and courageous. Help us to be strong and courageous and not be frightened or dismayed for You have promised to be with us wherever we go. (Joshua 1:9)

All powerful Father, we also ask You to open our eyes, so that we are all able to see the wonders of Your truth (Psalm 119:18). Let any agendas or visions that are not from You Father, be cast aside. Help us to become one with You and with each other just as You and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one. (John 17:21) Remind all of us that You have given us a great commission: to go out and train everyone we meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit lead us in how to instruct them in the practice of all that Jesus’ commanded us. The devil will try to deter us, but we have nothing to worry about because You Jesus have promised to be with us as we do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age (Acts 28:19-20 MSG)

Forgive us for being slow to let go of the past and follow You. Show us who we need to forgive and help us to forgive them so that we do not carry unneeded baggage on our journey into becoming one with You and with each other.
 
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for helping us to recognize temptations and being there to help us deal with them. Thank You, Jesus for delivering us from the evil one.
 
Your throne, Almighty Father endures forever and ever.  You rule with a scepter of justice.  You love justice and hate evil.  (Psalm 45:6-7a).  Holy and awesome is Your name (Psalm 111:9b).  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
 
“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
-1Thessalonians 5:17-18
 

Prayer Changes Things!!!

PRAYER FOR SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Almighty and everlasting Father, we thank You for being our point man and rear guard. We thank You for watching over our coming and going both now and forevermore! We thank You that no matter how hard things get, You are with us. We thank you for how you strengthen us and help us and hold us up with Your victorious right hand.
 
For all authority and power is Yours Jesus. For in You all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through You and for You.
 
As so we ask Holy Spirit, help us to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Show us how to put on the full armor of God, so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes in Fifth Ward, in our own lives and in the community of faith – Sloan Memorial UMC. Send Your angel armies to stand in the gap with us and to tear down every spiritual stronghold. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
 
Jesus assist us in putting on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to stand our ground. May the belt of truth be around our waist, and the breastplate of righteousness guard our heart. Place shoes on our feet that will help us walk and deliver Your peace to those in Fifth Ward and beyond. Strengthen us to take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Guard our minds with the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word God. Remind us to stand in the gap and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
 
Gracious Father, please forgive us for those times when we’ve doubted your power, and given in, or given up in the face of evil. Help us to forgive others the way you have forgiven us, and to bear no grudge or resentment against them.
 
Thank You, Holy Spirit, for helping us not yield to temptation and for delivering us from the evil one.
 
All honor and glory to You God forever and ever! You are the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; You alone are God. In Jesus’ Holy Name we pray. Amen.
 
Based on: Isaiah 52:12; Psalm 121:8; Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 28:18; Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 6:10-18; Matthew 6:12-13; 1 Timothy 1:17.
 

“ALL IN” MANIFESTO

From Mark Batterson’s “ALL IN” –  Resource for One of Our Bible Study Sessions.
 
 
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions.
Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God.
Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.
Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.
Stop playing it safe and start taking risks.
Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey.
Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.
Live like today is the first day and the last day of your life.
Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.
Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails.
Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith.
Quit holding out. Quit holding back.
Push all of your chips to the middle of the table.
It’s time to ante up all of your faith.
It’s time to go all in.
It’s time to go all out.
 
 

1 Corinthians 13 – The Message (MSG)

The Way of Love

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
 

“SCRIPTURE AFFIRMATIONS”

We need to be in agreement with God about  WHO WE ARE and WHAT WE CAN DO “WITH HIS HELP”!
 
It’s not enough to just read scriptures. We have to make them personal and apply them to our lives. That’s where “SCRIPTURE AFFIRMATIONS” come in. They are the first step to take in applying God’s Word to our lives. Repeat these affirmations until your mind repeats them back to you; and then repeat them some more. Write them in your PRAYER JOURNAL! Tape them up in your WAR ROOM! Post them on your refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, on the console of your car/truck. “SCRIPTURE AFFIRMATIONS” are high-powered food supplements for your spirit!
 

“SCRIPTURE AFFIRMATIONS”

These are power tools for the Christian, scriptures quoted as affirmations that when you speak out loud in Jesus’ name, you command your body, your mind, and even your demons to do what you say.
 
 
Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG) I trust God from the bottom of my heart; I don’t try to figure out anything on my own. I listen for God’s voice in everything I do, everywhere I go; He’s the one who will keep me on track.
 
Colossians 1:13-14 (MSG) God rescued me from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set me up in the kingdom of His Son He loves so much, the Son who got me out of the pit I was in, got rid of the sins I was doomed to keep repeating.
 
Psalm 27:1 (MSG) Light, space, zest – that’s my God! So with Him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.
 
Philippians 4: 13 (MSG) Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
 
Colossians 3:16 (MSG) I let the Word of Christ-the Message-have the run of the house. I give it plenty of room in my life to instruct and direct me, using good common sense. And sing, I sing my heart out to God.
 
John 10: 4-5 (MSG) The Good Shepherd leads me and I follow Him because I am familiar with His voice. I won’t follow a stranger’s voice, but will scatter because I am not used to the sound of it.
 
Nehemiah 8:10 (MSG) He told me to go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with those who don’t have anything. This day is holy to God. I don’t feel bad. The joy of the Lord is my strength!
 
I Peter 2:24 (MSG) He used His servant body to carry my sins to the Cross, so that I could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became my healing.
 
Psalm 138:8b (MSG) Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal – don’t quit on me now.
 
Psalm 91:10-11 (MSG) Evil can’t get close to me, harm can’t get through the door. He ordered His angels to guard me wherever I go.
 

Additional Spiritual Support:

 
 
Bible Gateway (Audio Available)