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shhh


You, Holy Spirit, are a whisper. A frequency
so humble that our city noise would drown You out but for desperately longing hearts.

When we’re anxious to hear God, when we’re frustrated at how little His voice manages to drift through our crowded minds, when we’re unconvinced by His promise for closeness, we can be still——God is gentle – far more than we are. His agenda is always accompanied by His presence because, in all things, he longs more to be known than to simply aid——Silence is a room that we can build within us, through consistent practice, to house our face-to-faceness with God. If we’re always expecting to find Him in the ecstatic, the loud and the kinetic, we may spend our entire lives enjoying only a small aspect of the way He speaks——To hear God daily is to listen each day. To stop, to wait and to give attention to the very small voice that rises up in His timing——So may God finetune our ears to the still, kind voice that never stops singing love over us. (Strahan Coleman)

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;

    my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things

    too great and too marvelous for me.

 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

    like a weaned child with its mother;

    like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord

    from this time forth and forevermore.

Psalm 131

  • Take a few minutes to reflect on this reflection and psalm.
  • Then take time to respond in prayer .

Practice for the end of the day:

A breathing exercise for embracing stillness:

1. Find a quiet place and quiet yourself. Don’t turn on music. Let the silence carry weight, let it make your still. Take deep breaths in and out.

2. Open your palms and turn them upward, as if you were offering someone something from your hands.

3. As you breathe out, release the stress and pressure of this present moment. Allow God to take it from you. You may feel an emotional release or lifting of pressure.

4. As you breathe in, receive anew the peace of God, the healing balm of his presence. Let it wash over you.

Stay in this place of peace as long as you need to, and repeat the breathing as much as you’d like.

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Honesty


One of our goals for this first week of First Seek is to prepare. We want to prepare our hearts and minds and will to be open to a season set apart for communal fasting, worship, and prayer (note: you can sign up for your fasting week(s) here). We are repositioning ourselves to encounter God.

HONESTY IS THE FOUNDATION
Choosing to live openly and honestly is foundational to experiencing fullness of life in God. God doesn’t seem to engage with our facades. He doesn’t speak to, love on, heal, deliver, or empower the false self we try and portray. Rather, the Spirit faithfully pursues who we really are, drawing us out from the walls we’ve built up around our hearts.

1 Peter 3:10 says, “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.” When the Bible talks of honesty, it isn’t simply talking about God’s heart for us to speak truthfully, but also that we wouldn’t believe or live out lies. There is no life in trying to appear as something we’re not. Abundant life comes with communion with God, and God always meets us where we are (actually) at.

Assess your life today. Are you living honestly in every area of your life? Are there are areas where you are trying to portray yourself as something you’re not? Where might you be deceiving yourself? Are you coming before God just as you are?

Honesty is at the foundation of being with Jesus (upward), becoming like him (inward), doing what he did (outward), and walking with him in community (withward). God is not asking you to clean yourself up before you go to him. The Sprit invites you to come as you are, that you might encounter the steadfast love he has for you, and his transformative power to make all things (even you) new.

Take a moment to reflect on the importance of being open and vulnerable. Allow the Spirit to illuminate any ways in which you are valuing appearance above reality before God or others.

Prayer

1. Meditate on the importance of honesty. May Scripture help you make honesty a core value.

“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.” 1 Peter 3:10

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26

2. Assess your heart. In what ways do you value appearance above reality? Where are you working to try and appear as something you’re not. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate any ways in which you need to live more honestly.

3. Ask God to reveal his love for you even in your imperfections. Allow his love to fill you with the courage to be honest today. Rest in his unconditional love for you.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

May you find new peace and joy today as you walk more and more in the light.

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Heal Our Land


“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
– 2 Chronicles 7:14

Good morning church! Let’s Spend at least 15min in prayer based on this passage:

• Father, we are Your people, called by Your name, and we will humble ourselves before You.
Perhaps consider kneeling or lying prostrate on the floor before God. These are two biblical postures of humility. Spend time naming and repenting of any lack of humility before Him – without guilt or shame.

• Lord Jesus, we are Your people, called by Your name, and we will pray. Take some time to confess prayerlessness and times when prayer has been your “last resort” instead of your first response. The value of the possession is seen in the intensity of the pursuit. Where have you not to properly valued Jesus and time with him. How can that change this season?

• Holy Spirit, we are Your people, called by Your name, and we will seek Your face. Confess times when you have sought after other things for your wisdom and counsel before the Lord, and/or when you have placed your trust in ________. The Holy Spirit was given as a gift to teach us, comfort us and to intercede for us. Take a moment to remember the Spirit is with you. – be still and listen:

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him,because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
– John 14:16-19

• Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are Your people called by Your name. Right now we repent of these sins we have confessed before You: lack of humility, prayerlessness, and seeking other things, idols or gods before seeking Your face. We turn from our sin and ask for Your forgiveness.

We mean to turn towards You now, giving You our full attention. We will walk in humility. We will give ourselves to prayer. We will seek Your face and forsake lesser things in which we have placed our dependence.

• Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, we give You thanks for listening to our prayers. We thank you for the forgiveness that is now ours through Christ Jesus, and in faith we stand upon Your promise to heal.