Lent daybook, 14: Out of the north, disaster

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. (You can see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

Definition by John Brosio (source)

Definition by John Brosio (source)


Song for today: And Am I Born to Die by Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn

 

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah!
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

*

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see an almond branch.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.’

The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, ‘What do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.’
— Psalm 57:1-3 * Jeremiah 1:11-19 (ESV)

Prayer for today:

For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. Psalm 57:10-11, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that you have always been gracious to us, revealing your great goodness and power in ages past and in the present. In this revelation we live, O Lord our God. You are the almighty One, who works wonders on earth and who rules the heavens so that we can be blest and helped on our earthly paths. Let your goodness and your justice be revealed throughout all the world. Arise, O Lord our God. Let your light shine in us who believe in you. Let your light shine into the whole world. Let your name be glorified. You are indeed our Father, both in heaven and on earth. You give our lives security now and in eternity. Amen.
— Evening Prayers: For Every Day of the Year by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Spiritual practice for today:

Take a short nap today or this evening, and give thanks for the Father's gift of sleep.


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)

Lent daybook, 13: To build and to plant

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. (You can see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

Friedensgelüste / Peace Cravings by Max Ernst (source)

Friedensgelüste / Peace Cravings by Max Ernst (source)


Song for today: Trees of the Field by Wendell Kimbrough

See song lyrics / purchase song here.

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,

“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”
*
’Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’
— Jeremiah 1:9&10 * Mark 4:3-9 (ESV)

Prayer for today:

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer (Collect for second Sunday of Lent)

Spiritual practice for today:

Consider your ‘media diet.’ What television, internet, books, magazines, newspapers, etc. do you consume? Where do you get your news? This week try eliminating one or two of these media from your life so you can listen to God better. (source)


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)

Lent daybook, 10 & 11: Draw near to the throne of grace

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. (You can see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

Charis Seat by Makoto Fujimura (source)

Charis Seat by Makoto Fujimura (source)


Song for today: Be Thou My Vision by Audrey Assad

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
*
...be no longer stubborn. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.
*
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
*
The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
— Ps. 95:3 * Deut. 10:16-22*Heb. 4:14-16*John 3:35-36

Prayer for today:

Dear Father in heaven, we look to Jesus Christ, who is at your right hand, through whom you have promised help for the whole world. Unite us with him so that we may receive authority to help all people according to your will. May your name be kept holy among us, for your children have every reason to rejoice in the Savior you have given them. We thank you for everything you have shown to those who believe in you. We pray to you, hasten the time when your day shall come with glory, the day when you will give the glory to Jesus Christ, when he will reign and triumph over all evil and bring the peace you have always wanted to give the world. We wait and long for this. Amen.
— Evening Prayers: For Every Day of the Year by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

 

Spiritual practice for Friday & Saturday:

On Friday, choose one of the following fasts in honor of the crucifixion of our Lord:

  1. No meat

  2. Skip one meal

  3. No caffeine

On Friday or Saturday, use the guide below to examine your heart and look for meaningful ways to put your faith into practice.

Prayer of Examination:

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!(Psalm 139:23-24)

Take a moment to quiet your heart and reflect upon the past week. Look especially for ways to express gratitude and thanksgiving to God for his goodness and love, as well as genuine sorrow over your own sin and brokenness. Close this time of prayer by expressing your hope in the power of the Holy Spirit who is faithful to forgive, cleanse, and transform you into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). (source)


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)

Lent daybook, 9: Today, please listen

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. (You can see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

Contemporary, hand-stitched embroidery by Ilaria Margutti (source)

Contemporary, hand-stitched embroidery by Ilaria Margutti (source)


Song for today: The Valley from The Oh Hellos

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


Are you listening, dear people? I’m getting ready to speak;
Israel, I’m about ready to bring you to trial.
This is God, your God,
speaking to you.
*
Remember that God said,

Exasperated, I vowed,
‘They’ll never get where they’re going,
never be able to sit down and rest.’

God made that vow, even though he’d finished his part before the foundation of the world. Somewhere it’s written, ‘God rested the seventh day, having completed his work,’ but in this other text he says, ‘They’ll never be able to sit down and rest.’ So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient. God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s psalm, centuries later than the original invitation:

Today, please listen,
don’t turn a deaf ear . . .
*
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
— Psalm 50:7 * Hebrews 4:1-10 * John 3:16-18 (MSG)

Prayer for today:

God of Spirit and Truth, you give us truth so large that we know it has to be true everywhere, all the time, and for everybody - or it is not your truth. Open our ears to your truth. Give us hearts and minds that can stand humbly and patiently before such truth. May we fasten it on the doorposts, plant it in our hearts, and bring the blessings of your bread and wine, and your living water, to a hungry world. Amen.
— Richard Rohr, OFM, "God For Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter"

Spiritual practice for today: 

This week, ask God to boldly work in your life so that you might be a blessing to someone else. Ask him specifically in a way that will stretch you beyond your own limits and abilities. Trust that God will put someone in mind from work, school, or your family that is in need of the compassion and love of God through your words and actions. (source)


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)

Lent daybook, 8: Do not harden your heart

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. (You can see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

Epectase 9 - photographer Corentin Fohlen and performer Jérôme Von Zilw source

Epectase 9 - photographer Corentin Fohlen and performer Jérôme Von Zilw
source


Song for today: Melt My Soul to Love by Red Mountain Church

 

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
— Hebrews 3:12-19 (ESV)

Prayer for today: 

O Lord, we beseech thee to deliver us from the fear of the unknown future; from the fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; and from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by thy grace to love and fear thee only, fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in thee; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
— Akanu Ibaim (Nigeria)

Spiritual practice for today:

Almsgiving is a traditional Lenten practice. Today pray that the Lord would show you his face in the most distressing of your neighbors, and lead you to ways that you can show compassionate mercy. (source)


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)