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This is a special edition Fall Feasts 2018 Prayer & Study Guide (Volume 2) publication for the Windsor Village United Methodist Church Family members and the Christian community.

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Published by WVUMC, 2018-09-13 17:46:02

Special Edition Fall Feasts 2018 (Volume 2)

This is a special edition Fall Feasts 2018 Prayer & Study Guide (Volume 2) publication for the Windsor Village United Methodist Church Family members and the Christian community.

Keywords: Religious liftestyle,bible study,bible study guide,devotional,spirituality,Christian living,Christian literature,scripture reading,The Jewish Feasts,Feast of Trumpets,Day of Atonement

GREAT GOD. GREAT FAITH. GREAT WORD.


FALL FEASTS 2018


PRAYER & STUDY GUIDE

30 DAYS OF VICTORY!













VOLUME 2

WEEKS 3-5










Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible
Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Scripture quotations marked CEB are from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.TM Used by permission.
All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked ESV are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.
Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
TM
Scripture quotations marked VOICE are taken from The Voice . Copyright © 2012 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. © 2002,2003,2008,2010,2011 by Artists for Israel International, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked JPS are taken from The Jewish Publication Society, JPS HOLY SCRIPTURES 1917 (English). The Bible text designated JPS 1917 is from The
Holy Scriptures (Old Testament), originally published by the Jewish Publication Society in 1917. Electronic text Copyright © 1995-98 by Larry Nelson (Box 1681,
Cathedral City, CA 92235). All rights reserved. Used by permission. Noncommercial duplication of the JPS text is permitted.

©2018 Caldwell Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved--No reproduction of the material is permitted without the expressed permission of CMI.



TABLE OF CONTENTS







● Introduction to Volume 2 of Our Special Edition Prayer & Study Guide..................................................5

● Prayer & Study Guide, WEEK 3:
Day 15: Victory through the Gifts of the Spirit ..........................................................................................7

Day 16: Victory as the Holy Church..........................................................................................................11
Day 17: Victory as the Universal Church..................................................................................................15
Day 18: Victory through Holy Communion (Day of Atonement).............................................................19
Day 19: Victory for the Righteous Dead (Day of Atonement/Fast Ends) .................................................25
Day 20: Victory through Baptism ..............................................................................................................29
Day 21: Victory through Worship.............................................................................................................33

● Prayer & Study Guide, WEEK 4:

Day 22: Victory through Kingdom Building..............................................................................................37
Day 23: Victory through the Transformed Mind (Feast of Tabernacles).................................................41
Day 24: Victory through Prayer (Feast of Tabernacles/Men’s Gathering)..............................................47
Day 25: Victory through Service (Feast of Tabernacles)...........................................................................51
Day 26: Victory through Our Future Hope of the Resurrection of the Body (Feast of Tabernacles)......55
Day 27: Victory through Our Future Hope of Everlasting Life (Feast of Tabernacles).............................59
Day 28: Victory through Our Future Hope in the New Heaven and Earth (Feast of Tabernacles)..........63


● Prayer & Study Guide, WEEK 5:
Day 29: Victory as Maranatha People (Feast of Tabernacles) .................................................................67
Day 30: Victory through the Word of God (Feast of Tabernacles/ Celebrating the Word of God).........71


● Fall Feasts 2018 Guide
○ Fall Feasts Overview..........................................................................................................................76
○ Fall Feasts 2018 Schedule-At-A- Glance............................................................................................79
○ Fasting Instructions (September 10-19, 2018)
■ Fasting Instructions for Adults..........................................................................................82
■ Fasting Instructions for Children and Youth.....................................................................86
■ Covenant Groups...............................................................................................................87
■ The Promise of Giving........................................................................................................88



5


INTRODUCTION



Welcome back! During the next 15 days, you are invited to stay strong and continue to walk the path of this
victorious quest into the heart of our living and loving our Triune God! As you make your way through each
set of daily exercises, you will be drawn into a deeper understanding of God’s ways and priorities through
Scripture, prayer and reflection. We are at a point in history where those who truly desire to follow Jesus
Christ must strive to all be “on the same page.” These daily forays into victorious Christian living will
strengthen us as a Church Family and help unite us around God’s grace and love.


In order to enhance your experience, you are strongly encouraged to gather a Covenant Group of
spiritually encouraging friends and/or family to journey with you through these days. Find times
to meet together (at least) weekly in person, online, or on a conference call to share how the Lord is working in
your lives throughout this time of intentional study, prayer and reflection.


**Please register your group here: http://tiny.cc/CovenantGroupForm and follow the guidelines found
on page 87. The DEADLINE for registering to be a part of the prize drawing is 11:59pm, Friday,
September 28, 2018. Drawing will be held as a part of the Sunday, September 30, 2018, 7pm worship celebration.**


The equipment you will need for this spiritual expedition are:
● This guide;
● A Bible;
● A pen or pencil;
● Approximately 30 minutes of your time;
● Map colors/markers (optional);
● A Covenant Group of 3 or more Jesus Followers to meet with weekly; and
● An open heart and mind to the leading of the Holy Spirit.


Thank you for staying the course… here we go… again!

6

7


Day 15



Victory through the Gifts of the Spirit





1. Center Down

Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep breaths, expanding from
your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “Holy Spirit...” As you exhale whisper, “thank You for Your
gifts...”

2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)
Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I [Paul,] encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received
from God. Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, and
make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. You are one body and
one Spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and
Father of all, Who is over all, through all, and in all.
He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. His purpose was to
equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the Body of Christ until we all reach the unity of faith
and knowledge of God’s Son. God’s goal is for us to become mature adults—to be fully grown, measured by the
standard of the fullness of Christ. As a result, we aren’t supposed to be infants any longer who can be tossed and
blown around by every wind that comes from teaching with deceitful scheming and the tricks people play to
deliberately mislead others. Instead, by speaking the truth with love, let’s grow in every way into Christ, who is
the Head. The whole body grows from Him, as it is joined and held together by all the supporting ligaments. The
body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does its part. (Ephesians 4:1-6; 11-16, CEB)




If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing
cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete
faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and
hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-4, CEB)



For further learning: Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Video: http://tiny.cc/KeenerGifts2

8


3. Concepts to Consider:

First things first. Let’s dispel two common, modern myths right out of the gate: 1. In the New Testament, there
is no distinction made between “natural” and “supernatural” gifts (this is an artificial, extra-Biblical division);
and, 2. The gifts of the Spirit are for the Church today, as much as they were for the Church in the Book of Acts.
The historic, Biblical perspective is that everything we are and everything we have is from the Lord. The Holy
Spirit is the One who makes our very life possible, including any ability with which He has endowed us. The
question is, are we allowing Him to use our gifts for His purposes? The gift lists we find in Romans 12,
1 Corinthians 12, and truncated version in Ephesians 4, are a sampling of how the Spirit can work through us for
the building up of the Body of Christ and the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ.


The Holy Spirit desires to supercharge the abilities, gifts and graces that have been given to us. We are given
gifts so that we might reflect the beauty of God’s character. We are, after all, made in His Image. The miraculous,
therefore, in a general sense, is supposed to be ordinary in the Church. Sometimes we see God work in an
amazing moment when faith needs to be built up and encouraged; other times, we see God appearing in the
seldom-noticed nooks and crannies of our world. Whether the Lord acts in an instant, or He reveals Himself
through processes, all of these manifestations are miraculous. And how does God often effect His work?
Through His people! Us! He desires for us to become loving conduits of His grace by allowing Him to activate
and enhance our abilities for the benefit of the people and spaces where He places us. When we have our
eyes on Jesus, He will give us His vision for others and for our world.

Important Reminders: 1. It is God who works through and in us. Our Pharisaic, performance-based
perfectionism (see: Colossians 2:20-23) is very different from surrendered excellence. We operate in excellence
when we partner with our Creator, not when we grasp and control (Philippians 2:1-11). 2. God can use our
“comfortable gifts” (the ones we most often operate in), and He can also endow us with gifts outside of our
comfort zone for a period of time or in a specific situation as needs arise in the Body of Christ. 3. Nothing the
Holy Spirit does or says will contradict the revealed Word of God. The canon of Scripture is closed. There is no
new revelation that is outside of the scope of what God has already said. Therefore, we must be spiritually “on
our guard,” and “test every spirit.” Just because it sounds good and is “the next new thing,” doesn’t mean it’s
from the Lord.


“By His Divine Power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through the knowledge
of the One who called us by His own honor and glory. Through His honor and glory, He has given us His precious
and wonderful promises, that you may share the Divine Nature and escape from the world’s immorality that
sinful craving produces.

This is why you must make every effort [grounded in His Divine Power] to add moral excellence to your faith; and
to moral excellence, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to
endurance, Godliness; and to Godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. If all these are
yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of
our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever lacks these things is shortsighted and blind, forgetting that they were cleansed
from their past sins.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, be eager to confirm your call and election. Do this and you will never ever be
lost. In this way, you will receive a rich welcome into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
(2 Peter 1:5-11, CEB)

9


4. Reflection Questions:

(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where
others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).

1. What abilities, gifts, and graces has God given you? What are some things you do that are life-giving for
you, and equip, bring encouragement, loving exhortation and/or edification to the Body of Christ?
(Examples: singing, sewing, exercising, visiting the sick, teaching, cooking, encouraging others, writing, listening, researching,
discernment, prophesying, healing, etc.) Please write these things down:





























2. One by one, take a moment to surrender (or re-dedicate) your abilities, gifts and graces to the Lord. Ask
Him how He would have you use them. (It could be something totally “outside the box!”) Ask Him to
give you Holy Spirit eyes to see people and spaces as He does. You may want to write down a short
prayer of surrender here:

10


5. Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the many gifts, graces and abilities You have given us. Thank You, God, for
guiding our feet into the way of peace and holy love. Thank You, Lord, for calling us to committed and dedicated
work in Your Kingdom. Father, Your majestic Name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne. Lord, You are such a faithful God. You are our
rock, our deliverer, in Whom we trust. You are worthy to be praised.

Righteous Father, let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven through the gifts Your
Spirit has made manifest in our lives. We declare that we will begin to understand the roles we play in partnering
with Your plans for Your Kingdom. We desire the mind of Christ and hold the thoughts and purposes of His heart.
We will hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering for You are faithful in fulfilling Your promises.
We will be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. Fill us with joy to serve and not give in to discouragement,
because we are rooted in Your truth and love.

Forgiving Father, forgive us for our acts of sinfulness. Forgive us for idolatry, dissension, strife, pride, rebellion,
discord, jealousy, injustice, hatred and slander. Forgive us for sometimes having impure motives for serving.
Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind us 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 show you names and faces of people that you may need to forgive.
As He shows you, say aloud, “I forgive names of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your
soul caused by unforgiveness.)


Holy Spirit, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.

Triumphant Lord, You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. You are worthy to receive glory
and honor and power. You created all things, and by Your will, they exist and were created. In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.






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 passages 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.

11


Day 16



Victory as the Holy Church





1. Center Down

Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep
breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “We are….” As
you exhale whisper, “...Your Holy Church.”


2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)


[The Apostle Peter teaches,] “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like
newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have
tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to Him, a Living Stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves
like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a Cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.’ (Isaiah 28:16)


So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
‘The Stone that the builders rejected
has become the Cornerstone,’ (Psalm 118:22)
‘A Stone of stumbling,
and a Rock of offense.’ (Isaiah 8:14)

They stumble because they disobey the Word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him Who
called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people;
once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (See: Hosea 2:23).” (1 Peter 2:1-12, ESV)


For further learning: 1 Corinthians 1; Ephesians 5; Video: http://tiny.cc/BrokenBlessed

12


3. Concepts to Consider:

What do you see in your mind’s eye when you think of something or someone that’s “holy?” Perhaps a
communion cup or an altar table, or someone who’s “got it all together,” or maybe someone who comes across
religiously severe? Let’s take a closer look at the word “holy” in its native Biblical habitat, and see if we can
hone our understanding.


The origin of the English word “holy” stems from the Germanic “heilig” [HI’-lig] which can be defined as, “to
keep whole, healthy, separate, or unviolated.” It is related to the Biblical idea of “being set apart for God’s
קד
special purposes.” “Holy” in Hebrew Scripture is most often derived from “quadash” (kah-dash' ש ) and in the
Greek New Testament, “hagios” (hag'-ee-os ‘αγιος ). “Holiness” is associated with people and objects that are
set aside for the particular use of a deity. (Watch this video for a more thorough treatment of “holy” in the
Bible: http://tiny.cc/holyword.)

Now that we’ve tackled what “holy” means, what, then, is “the church?” Is it a building where we go to worship
God? Is it an adjective used to describe the special clothes we might wear when we “go to church?” The word
most often translated as “church” (ekklesia [ek-klay-SEE'-ah] εκκλεσια) in the New Testament carries with it the
idea of “being called out to assemble together.” It is interesting to note that in the Bible, the “church” is never
a building, but it is only an assembled group of people.


So then, what does it mean to be the “Holy Church?” If we combine all that we’ve learned above, we are
becoming an assembled group of people called out from our self-referenced existences, set apart under the
leadership of Jesus for the purposes of our Heavenly Father; who, empowered by His Spirit, are being united
around the simple, common goals of loving the Lord with all that we are, and loving our neighbors and our
world as we learn to love ourselves, like God loves us.

Whew! That’s a mouth (and page) full! Suffice it to say, we best understand what a “holy church” looks like
when we ARE the “holy church.” We have to walk it out. It’s not just an idea; it’s a way of life.


4. Reflection Question:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where
others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).

1. What does it look like to be a part of the “holy church?” What are some ways that I am beginning to
think differently about what it means to be “holy” and “church?”

13


5. Prayer for Today:


Faithful Father, thank You for setting us apart and calling us out to love You and serve the world. Thank You for
Your amazing presence in our lives, both corporately and individually. Father, may Your glorious Name be
praised! We exalt Your Name above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. We will give to You, Lord,
the praise You deserve. We will bring our offerings as we come into Your presence. We will worship You in all
of Your holy splendor.


Exalted Father, let it be unto us according to Your Word. As the Holy Church of Jesus, we confess that as we
draw closer to You, we will know Your presence more fully. Holy Spirit, as blessings begin to overtake us, remind
us to be a blessing to others. Flood our hearts with light so that we can understand the confident hope that the
Father has given us, His holy people, who are His rich and glorious inheritance. Help us to continue to grow
spiritually each day. Remind us always to be thankful to You, O God, our Father, and Jesus, our Brother.


Generous Father, please forgive us for the sins of disobedience, hypocrisy, selfish-ambitions, pride, gossip and
sexual immorality. Forgive us where we have misappropriated Your blessings in the past. Forgive us for not
studying Your Word like we should and neglecting our prayer life. Forgive us for not operating in the fruit and
gifts of Your Spirit. 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 show you names or faces of people that
you may need to forgive. As He shows you, say aloud, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to
heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)

Holy Spirit, help us to not yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.


Triumphant Lord, You are our stronghold. The heavens declare Your glory and the skies display Your
craftsmanship. You are the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth. Lord, You are worthy to receive
glory, honor, and power. You created all things and they exist because You created what You pleased. In Jesus’
Name, Amen.




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 passages 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.

14

15


Day 17



Victory as the Universal Church





1. Center Down

Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep
breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “I am a part…”
As you exhale whisper, “...of the universal church.”


2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)
[The Apostle Paul teaches,] In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male
and female. Among us, you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also,
since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant
promises. (Galatians 3:28-29, MSG)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks
or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but
that of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 11:31-33, ESV)

Jesus: I am here speaking with all the authority of God, Who has commanded Me to give you this commission:
Go out and make disciples in all the nations. Ceremonially wash them through baptism in the Name of the
Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then disciple them. Form them in the practices and postures that I have
taught you, and show them how to follow the commands I have laid down for you. And I will be with you, day
after day, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20, VOICE)



For further learning: Acts 2; Philippians 2
Video: “Challenges for the 21st Century Church” http://tiny.cc/globalchurch

16


3. Concepts to Consider:

God’s heart-cry has always been that “none should perish” (2 Peter 3:9); that humanity would “come back
home” (see: Luke 15:11-32) and be in loving relationship with Him and each other, as it was in the Garden of
Eden. So, when Jesus, the promised God-Man, breaks into human history, He
works to restore “every tribe, nation and tongue,” not just one or two
(Revelation 7:9). We see Him, yes, going first to “the People of the Promise,”
through whom the Torah [TOW-rah, רָה תוֹ meaning, “instruction or teaching,”]
has been given, but we also see Jesus going to the Syrophoenician woman, the
Roman Centurion, and entering Gentile towns, such as Caesarea-Philippi in
order to teach and heal. Indeed, the very end of Matthew records that the
mission of “the church of God”--as Paul will call the global Body of Christ in 1
Corinthians--is to go and create ever-learning and mobile followers of Jesus
from ALL NATIONS.

In a time of growing ideological tribalism and division, where many people are
choosing to recede into a hard, binary, “us” and “them” mentality; where the only people who can be trusted--
we think--are people that are just like us, the Universal Church stands as a beacon of hope and as an antidote
to this anti-Gospel thinking. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are called--like the Church in Acts--to risk
expanding our base and receiving people who are outside our most comfortable circles, all of us revolving
around the hub of “the Lamb Who was slain” (Revelation 5, see video: http://tiny.cc/rev5Lamb), Who is alive
forevermore standing in the midst of the Throne of God; for, it is in this Tribune Reality that “there is one body
and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one
baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6, ESV)






4. Reflection Question:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where
others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).

1. In our divisive world, how can we, as a part of the Universal Church, in real and tangible ways, extend
the hope and love of Jesus to those around us?

17


5. Prayer for Today:


Our Father, we thank You for establishing the Universal Church in Your Son, Jesus Christ, and for empowering
the Church with your Holy Spirit. Thank You for calling each of us to serve You and Your world. Thank You for
using our individual gifts and talents to manifest Your Kingdom here on earth as it already is in heaven. Thank
You for increasing Your presence, power, anointing and abundance in Your Church throughout the world. You
are great and greatly to be praised. The earth is Yours and everything in it; the world and all its people belong
to You.


Loving Father, we declare that we will love You with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength. As Your children,
we proclaim that we have all put on Christ, like putting on new clothes, and we will walk in unity and love with
one another. It is because of this love that we exhibit for each other that we are Your disciples. Your Word tells
us that if we love You, we must also love our Christian brothers and sisters too. Therefore, we declare that we
will not look out only for our own interests, but we will take an interest in each other’s needs, those close to
home and our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.

Holy Lord, forgive our sins. We admit that at times we have sinned against you and against one another. Forgive
us for not praying more frequently for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. Forgive us for making
our worlds too small and for not seeing you at work around the world. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that
You have committed). Holy Spirit, remind us 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 show You names or faces of people that You may need to forgive. As He shows You, say aloud, “I forgive
name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in Your soul caused by unforgiveness.)

Noble Father, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.


Sovereign King, You are the visible image of the invisible God. You existed before anything was created and You
are supreme over all creation. Through You, everything was created in the heavenly realms and on earth. You
made the visible as well as invisible things. Thrones, kingdoms, rulers and authorities in the unseen world were
all created through You and for You. You existed before anything else, and You hold all creation together! In
Jesus’ Name, Amen.






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 passages 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.

18

19


Day 18





Victory through Holy Communion (Day of Atonement)



1. Center Down


Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep
breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “Jesus is...” As
you exhale whisper, “...the Bread of Life.”

2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)

When [the crowd] found Him on the other side of the sea [of Galilee], they said to [Jesus], “Rabbi, when did You
come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking Me, not because you saw signs,
but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures
to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him, God the Father has set his seal.”

Then they said to Him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the
work of God, that you believe into Him whom He has sent.” So they said to Him, “Then what sign do You do, that
we may see and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is
written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but
My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and
gives life to the world.” They said to Him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me
shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me
will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do
My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing
of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who
looks on the Son and believes into Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day.”

So the Jewish leaders grumbled about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have
come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me
unless the Father Who sent Me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets,
‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me—not
that anyone has seen the Father except He Who is from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life. I AM the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they
died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I AM the living bread
that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for
the life of the world is My flesh.”

20


The Jewish leadership then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” So
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood,
you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up
on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My
blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds
on Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the
fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as
He taught at Capernaum. (John 6:25-59, ESV)



For further learning: Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; Video: http://tiny.cc/BPAtonement

3. Concepts to Consider:


Tonight at sundown, we enter into the Day of Atonement. Throughout the subsequent 24 hours (sundown to
sundown), we will set aside time to fast, reflect, repent and to ultimately give thanks for the “the Lamb Who
was Slain.” Unfortunately, in the modern Western Church, we tend to “de-flesh” and “de-humanize” Jesus. We
have created a “holy” and “sterile” Jesus Who is easier for us to “digest.” A Jesus Who is just out of our reach
is one that we can put up on a tall shelf--out of sight, out of mind…until we need Him. But what the Gospels--
and especially the reading from John today--challenges us with, is a real, live, flesh-and-blood Jesus Who looks
us square in the eye, faces us toe-to-toe and does not flinch at being “found in human form” (Philippians 2:8).
The Biblical Jesus “don’t play.” He is a gritty, very human Messiah Who redeems us not only in His death but in
His living. He shows us what it means to be truly human and how to walk fully as God’s image-bearers (see: Day
2, Our Victory as God’s Image Bearers in Volume 1 of this guide). That’s why Jesus says, “Follow Me.” “Get up
and walk with Me in My living, My dying, My resurrection and My reigning ascension.”


Too often many of us live in extremes, either trying to escape our humanity altogether, or just giving up and
giving in to the baser, animalistic tendencies “of the flesh.” Jesus, however, makes it clear that through His
humanity, we don’t have to be slaves to such a false dichotomy. He came to set us “free indeed!” (He came to
save us utterly, body and soul.) This freedom, however, is unattainable unless, as Jesus put it, “we eat His flesh
and drink His blood.”


So what does that mean? On the face of it, Jesus’ words are disturbing. The Jewish leadership, in the John 6
passage above, struggles with His words as much as we do. Some hearers apparently thought that Jesus was
taking things too far. Cannibalism is forbidden by both Jewish and Greco-Roman standards. And even those
who got Jesus’ allegorical meaning (equating Himself with the Passover Lamb Whose flesh was to be eaten),
they would have balked at “drink My blood,” which was strictly forbidden in the Torah (Leviticus 17:10-11;
Genesis 9:4).


It appears that Jesus’ motivation here is to draw a rhetorical and theological “line in the sand” with His “flesh
and blood” discourse. He is trying to see who His true followers are. He is separating the “sheep from the goats,”
if you will. Who’s following Him around to try and discredit Him (Jewish leadership) and for “dinner and a show”
(the crowd), or who are following Him to have their lives truly transformed? It’s the difference between a “what
have You done for me lately” mentality (utilitarian and transactional) vs. a “wherever You lead, I will go”
mentality (relational).

21


4. Reflection Question:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where
others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).

1. If I’m honest with myself, how do I interact with Jesus? Is He Someone I keep at arm's length Whom I
“believe in” (intellectually and/or emotionally ascend to) but with Whom I am not “all in”? Or is He truly
my very “bread of life?” Take a few moments to reflect on the state of your relationship with Jesus...











5. Prayer for Today:

Our Father in heaven, we honor Your Name. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, as the sacrificial lamb
and High Priest who atones for our sins. It is because of Him we can say “Abba Father” and for this, we are
grateful. Thank You for this special time of refreshing, repentance and restoration. Thank You for taking the
legalism, ritualism and religiosity out of this day by making it about restoring, re-establishing and strengthening
our relationship with You and others. We are so appreciative that You desire that we, Your children, experience
Your atonement every year. No pagan god is like You, O Lord; none can do what You do! All the nations You
made will come and bow before You, Lord; they will praise Your holy Name. You are great and perform
wonderful deeds. You alone are God. Where is another God like You who pardons the guilt of the remnant and
overlooks the sins of Your special people? You will not stay angry with Your people forever, because You delight
in showing unfailing love. Once again, You will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under Your
feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! For this, we are thankful.

Glorious Father, as the Body of Christ, we acknowledge that we all have sinned and fallen short of Your glorious
standard. But, You, in Your gracious kindness, have declared us not guilty because of the sacrifice of our Lord,
Christ Jesus. Lord, we are expecting You to hear us, forgive our sins and heal our land because we are Your
people who are called by Your Name, who humble ourselves and pray and seek Your face and turn from our
wicked ways. We declare that we will strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily
hinders our progress. We will continue to run with endurance the race that You have set before us. We come
with the expectation that all guilt, shame, regret, disgrace, defilement and dishonor will be eradicated from our
lives because we know that when we confess our sins, You are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from
all unrighteousness. Hallel YAH!


Loving Father, search our hearts and know our thoughts. Point out anything in us that offends You, and lead us
along the path of everlasting life. Holy Spirit, help us to admit our sins and guilt and to come into agreement
with the Father about our sins. Bring to our remembrance any past sins which we may have buried deep down
because the thought of them may be too painful. Help us to deal with and process any secret sins which we do
not want others to know about. Holy Spirit, lead us to and help us receive God’s forgiveness and restoration.
Help us to accept and fully understand God’s love for us and not get stuck in regret and condemnation. Assist
us in repentance by helping us to turn away, walk away, stay away and never to look back.

22


Begin to list, confess and repent of all your sins and mistakes. Let the Holy Spirit help you empty yourself. He
will guard your heart and emotions as you pour yourself out before the Lord. If you feel like crying, then cry.
If you feel like screaming, then scream. Let the Lord work on you inwardly. Do not be afraid. God is with you,
and He will lead you through this time of repentance.

● ____________________________________________________________________

● ____________________________________________________________________
● ____________________________________________________________________

● ____________________________________________________________________
● ____________________________________________________________________
● ____________________________________________________________________

● ____________________________________________________________________
After you have confessed and repented from each sin, thank God for forgiveness and His cleansing power.
Write in bold letters across the list, F-O-R-G-I-V-E-N.





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 show you names
or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He shows you, say aloud, “I forgive name of person(s).”
Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)


Holy Spirit, as the Body of Christ, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.

Reigning Lord, You are Holy. You are the blessed and only Almighty God, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
You alone can never die, and You live in light so brilliant that no human can approach You. No one has ever
seen You, nor ever will. To You be honor and power forever, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.



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 passages 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.

23


























































Have Mercy On Usve Mercy On Us
Ha
SaintAnnesHelper.com

24 Notes:

25


Day 19



Victory for the Righteous Dead


(Day of Atonement/Fast Ends @ Sundown)




1. Center Down


Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep
breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “Jesus is...” As
you exhale whisper, “...the resurrection and the life.”

2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)



Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation
14:12-13, ESV)





[Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church,] And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what
happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not
carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since
Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.

And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the
Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them
behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master Himself will give the command. Archangel thunder!
God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest
of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be
walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with
these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, MSG)





For further learning: John 11; article: http://tiny.cc/jdwRez

26


3. Concepts to Consider:

A traditional part of today’s Day of Atonement worship is to pause and remember our loved ones within the
past year who have transitioned from this life to the next. In Hebrew, this remembrance is called “Yitzkor” (yiz-
יז
ˈkôr “may (God) remember” כר ). For those who have died in the Lord, it is a time to recall that death does not
have the final victory. Indeed, because of Jesus (remember, He, Himself is the Resurrection and the Life--catch
this--even before He actually rises from the dead!), we, who have cast in our lot with Him, stand in sure and
certain hope of our own resurrection in the New Heaven and New Earth. (See: The Anglican Book of Common Prayer
Burial Rite, Ephesians 1:11-14, and Revelation Chapters 13 and 21).

This, my sisters and brothers, is Good News! And we know that our world certainly needs some good news right
about now! Not fake, “pie-in-the-sky-when-we-die” news, but real hope, grounded and rooted in a Living Lord,
not just a Good Idea. Let us, therefore, learn how to live in the here and now, in our Resurrection Reality. Our
resurrection (and the resurrection of our loved ones who have died in the Lord), like Jesus’, starts in this life and
continues into the next. Resurrection life is not dominated by a “shadow of death,” but our life hidden in the
Risen Christ can be grounded in the simple joys of waking up, breathing and thanking the Lord for another day
to work in His Kingdom. We are meant to thrive, not just get by! (Video: http://tiny.cc/RULiving )



4. Reflection Questions:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where
others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).


1. In what ways do I seek to merely get by and survive rather than lean into the Resurrection Reality that is
promised me in Jesus?


















2. What “deadly” or distracting habits of my interior and exterior life do I need to let go of so that more
room is made for the Risen Lord to begin bringing His Resurrection Reality into my life?

27


5. Prayer for Today:


Redeeming Father, we thank You for bringing shalom to those whose loved one(s) have gone on to be with You.
Thank You for the impact that they had on their lives. Thank You, Jesus, for leaving them with a gift – Your peace
of mind and heart. Father, we give thanks to You and proclaim Your greatness. We will tell everyone of Your
wonderful deeds. From age to age, You are the same.


Merciful Father, as we enter into this Day of Atonement, we decree Your shalom upon those who are
overcoming the death of a loved one. Although they may be grieving, they will put their hope in You, God! Your
Word says that You will strengthen them and help them. You will hold them up with Your victorious right hand.
Your Name, Lord, is a strong fortress; the Godly run to You and are safe.

Holy Spirit, when we see our brother or sister mourning the death of a loved one, help us to be compassionate,
but also to encourage him or her with God’s Word of hope and peace. Bring Scriptures to our remembrance
that will help to bring solace to our brother or sister.

Gracious Father, when others are grieving, forgive us for being impatient as time goes on after a death. Forgive
us when we utter unkind words, making light of someone else’s pain at the death of a loved one. Forgive us for
not appropriately caring for others who have suffered loss. Father, forgive me for (list any sins that you have
committed). Holy Spirit, remind those who are overcoming the death of a loved one 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 show you names or faces of people that you may need to
forgive. As He shows you, say aloud, “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.


Almighty God, the heavens proclaim Your glory! The skies display Your craftsmanship. Day after day, they
continue to speak; night after night, they make You known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is
never heard, yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. In Jesus’ Name,
Amen!


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 passages 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.

28

29


Day 20



Victory through Baptism





1. Center Down


Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep
breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “I am raised
with Christ...” As you exhale whisper, “to walk in newness of life...”

2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)

[The Apostle Paul teaches,] When the law came into the picture, sin grew and grew; but wherever sin grew and
spread, God’s grace was there in fuller, greater measure. No matter how much sin crept in, there was always
more grace. In the same way that sin reigned in the sphere of death, now grace reigns through God’s restorative
justice, eclipsing death and leading to eternal life through the Anointed One, Jesus our Lord, the Liberating King.

How should we respond to all of this? Is it good to persist in a life of sin so that grace may multiply even more?
Absolutely not! How can we die to a life where sin ruled over us and then invite sin back into our lives? Did
someone forget to tell you that when we were initiated into Jesus the Anointed through baptism’s ceremonial
washing, we entered into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through this baptism into death so
that just as God the Father, in all His glory, resurrected the Anointed One, we, too, might walk confidently out
of the grave into a new life.

To put it another way: if we have been united with Him to share in a death like His, don’t you understand that
we will also share in His resurrection? We know this: whatever we used to be with our old sinful ways has been
nailed to His cross. So our entire record of sin has been canceled, and we no longer have to bow down to sin’s
power. A dead man, you see, cannot be bound by sin. But if we have died with the Anointed One, we believe that
we shall also live together with Him. So we stand firm in the conviction that death holds no power over God’s
Anointed, because He was resurrected from the dead never to face death again. When He died, He died to
whatever power sin had, once and for all, and now He lives completely to God. So here is how to picture yourself
now that you have been initiated into Jesus the Anointed: you are dead to sin’s power and influence, but you are
alive to God’s rule. (Romans 5:20-21; 6:1-11, VOICE)
For further learning: Psalm 106; Video: http://tiny.cc/ntwBaptism

30


3. Concepts to Consider:

The Exodus story where God establishes His covenant with the People called Israel hinges on two major events:
the crossing through the Red Sea and the giving of the Torah [TOW-rah, רָה תוֹ meaning, “instruction or
teaching,”] on Mt. Sinai. The Apostle Paul expounds on these events and sees them fulfilled in Jesus and His
Church. He even states in Ephesians 5:26 that the Church has been “washed by water and the Word.”


Christian baptism grows out of both the Exodus story (passing through the water) and the Torah commandments
requiring washing with water (ra-khatz’ רחץ and mik-veh' קוה מ ). (For a detailed, academic explanation, see this article:
http://tiny.cc/immersion2. )

Jesus and subsequently His followers, see baptism as a vital part of what it means to be a part of God’s faithful,
covenant people. Jesus demonstrates its importance by undergoing “mikvah” Himself (Matthew 3:16; Mark
1:9; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:31-33). Much of Jesus’ ministry extrapolates from the life of Moses. Luke, in the Book
of Acts, records the Apostle Peter preaching that Jesus is similar to but greater than Moses (Acts 3:22;
Deuteronomy 18:15-19).

Our baptism is, therefore, more than a symbol. It is an outward sign of an inward work of God’s grace. God is
the Initiator and Prime Actor in baptism. God happens in baptism. His grace is imbued and affirmed. The
pastor/officiant is simply a servant and conduit. There is no “magic” in the act of baptism, but rather a sealing
in the Holy Spirit of the Covenant of God, made possible through Jesus. (Titus 3:5)

Our victory over the primeval hold of sin in our lives is reenacted in baptism. When we go under the water, or
water is administered to our heads--the traditional seat of reason and spiritual cognition--we are saying (or
caring adults said it on our behalf, until we could confirm these commitments for ourselves), with the aid of
God’s grace, that we “die to self” and are turning away from our self-referenced lives; we set aside our self-
righteous rags (Isaiah 64:6) and put on the “new clothes” of Christ (Galatians 3:27). We hitch our lives to His;
merge our story with His Story. When we arise from baptism, we stand up with the Risen Christ and are “raised
to walk a new life.”

4. Reflection Questions:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where
others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).

1. When you were baptized (whether as an infant or an adult), God’s grace was sufficiently active in that
moment, making way for the Holy Spirit to begin the process of “lovingly growing you up into the likeness
of Christ” (Ephesians 4:15-16). The question is, are you cooperating with the Holy Spirit to walk in the
victory given you in your baptism? How are you cooperating? Or, how are you not cooperating?








2. Remember your baptism and God’s love toward you. We will walk in the direction of God’s hope when
we are convinced that what we are holding on to and counting as “hope” is actually slowly killing us or
hamstringing our lives. What do you need to release in order to live in victory and joy?

31


5. Prayer for Today:


Father God, You hear and attend to our prayer because we come in submission according to Your Word. From
the ends of the earth, we cry to You for help when our hearts are overwhelmed. You are our safe refuge, a
fortress where our enemies cannot reach us. We will live forever in Your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of
Your wings. We will praise You, Lord, with our whole heart.


Heavenly Father, we thank You for the victorious gift of baptism. You have given clear instructions to Your people
from John the Baptist, throughout Jesus’ ministry, in the disciples’ ministry during Jesus’ time on earth and
throughout Acts. Without acting on Your Word of repentance, salvation is retarded. Faith by itself, if it does not
have works, is dead. Jesus prophesied this same message would be taken to the ends of the world,
commissioning His disciples to do this ministry of repentance and promising the power of the Holy Spirit to help
fulfill God’s work. Father God, we know that You require repentance to be baptized into the Body of Christ –
into Your family.


Merciful Father, forgive us for minimizing Your gracious action in the sacrament of baptism. Forgive us for
stubbornness, rebellion and arrogance. Forgive us for disobedience. We thank you for your forgiveness and for
teaching us to continually forgive our neighbor. 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 show you names
or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He shows you, say aloud, “I forgive name of person(s).”
Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)

Father, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.


Almighty God, You are so gracious to Your people. You restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the
courage of those with repentant hearts. You take no pleasure in the death of anyone. Praise to our Rock! May
the God of our salvation be exalted! In the precious Name of Jesus, Amen!



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 passages 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.

32 NOTES:

33


Day 21



Victory through Worship





1. Center Down

Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep
breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “I worship You,
Lord...” As you exhale whisper, “in Spirit and in Truth...”


2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In His hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it,
and His hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For He is our God,
and we are the people of His pasture,
and the sheep of His hand. (Psalm 95:1-7, ESV)


The woman [at the well] said to [Jesus], “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this
mountain, but you [Jews] say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her,
“Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the
Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But
the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth,
for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship
in Spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ). When
He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I Who speak to you AM He.” (John 4:19-26, ESV)

For further learning: Revelation 4; Revelation 19:1-9
Videos: http://tiny.cc/ChanWorship; http://tiny.cc/worship4change

34


3. Concepts to Consider:

Ancient Hebrew poetry is a beautiful but very different thing. Unlike Western European poetry, Pre-modern,
Hebraic poetry doesn't seek to express itself in rhyme or meter. Rather, it is characterized by “semantic
parallelism,” i.e., one phrase explains, amplifies or “opens up” the meaning of a phrase that is near it. Just like
the opening of Psalm 95 above, Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our
salvation. “Sing” in phrase #1 is explained as being “a joyful noise” in phrase #2; and further, “the Lord” in
phrase #1 is explained in phrase #2, as being “the rock of our salvation.” These are not two separate phrases
but rather, they are connected, and must be read as such. These pairings are known as “binary” (two-part)
“colons” (phrases).


Why does knowing all this stuff about Hebrew poetry matter? Because being aware of how the Biblical writers
expressed their praise for and understanding of God matters. We see Jesus using this idea of “semantic
parallelism” in John 4 when He explains what worship is to the Samaritan woman at the well. “Spirit” and “truth”
are not two separate ideas but rather, parallels of the other. The true worshipper is, therefore, the one who
gives value and worth to the True Spirit, Who is God Himself.


Jesus, in this context, is working hard to try and reconcile a grave difference between Samaritan and Jewish
worship theologies and, in doing so, seeks to reconcile the woman to God through Himself. And this is the most
important thing to notice in this passage: the location of worship is in Jesus Himself, not a mountain and not
at the temple. He becomes the mediator between these seemingly irreconcilable theological differences. Both
of these “locations” had become idols. Where someone worshipped had become more important than the
Foundation of and Who was being worshipped. Indeed, the Apostle Paul will later equate the Followers of Jesus
as being the new “Temple.”


Word of Caution: This teaching does not give us an excuse to disregard meeting together as a Church Family.
(see: Hebrews 10:25). The core of Jesus’ teaching in John 4 is about where the emphasis lies. Buildings are fine,
but they are not the most important thing. Unlike the ancient world, where people often believed that deities
were associated with particular locations and buildings, the people who followed after Jesus began to
understand that “in Him the whole fullness of [the] Deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9, ESV), and that they
themselves were “being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22, ESV). These
statements are revolutionary! We have a God on the move (not limited to one place) Who has chosen to be
involved in human history, and to dwell in the midst of these human beings (His “temple”) to establish His
Kingdom “on earth, as it is [already done] in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).



4. Reflection Question:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where
others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).

1. How does it impact your worship to situate the location of worship in Jesus Himself rather than in a
particular geographic location?

35


5. Prayer for Today:


Mighty Father, we thank You for Your love and compassion. Thank You for keeping Your covenant with us
throughout the ages. Thank You for making us Your people. We bless Your holy Name. We proclaim Your
unfailing love in the morning and Your faithfulness in the evening. Lord, You are compassionate, merciful, slow
to get angry and filled with unfailing love. Let everyone stand in awe of You. Lord, You spoke and the world
began; it appeared at Your command. What a joy it is to be one of Your children. Father, You are good, and
Your faithful love endures forever.


Wonderful Father, we reverence and honor You. You existed before time and created everything that exists.
We acknowledge that You are the only living God. There are no other gods above You. You are so awesome!
We confess that we will keep Your commandments, walk in Your ways and honor You. Father, we confess that
Your instructions are perfect, reviving our souls. Your commandments are right, bringing joy to our hearts.
Father, Your Word is more desirable than gold, yes, even the finest gold. Your Word is sweeter than honey
dripping from the honeycomb. Father, You are great and most worthy of praise!

List three attributes about God’s character that you most appreciate:
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________


Loving Father, please let Your ears be attentive to our prayer. Holy Spirit, teach us how to reverence and adore
our Father in true holiness. Please touch the hearts of those in our congregation who do not reverence and
adore You, and help them to love You with all their hearts, souls and strength. Holy Spirit, place in us a hunger
and thirst for Your righteousness so that we will be filled.


List three ways you can show appreciation and gratitude to the Lord:
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Gracious Father, forgive us for sins of pride, arrogance, rebellion, disobedience, selfishness, hatred, idolatry and
lack of faith. Lord, forgive us for half-hearted worship. Forgive us for disrespecting Your Name and treating You
irreverently. Forgive those of us who are parents for not teaching our children to reverence and adore You.
Father, 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 show you names or faces of people that you may need to
forgive. As He shows you, say aloud, “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.

Triumphant Lord, You are the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. You are the God Who is, and Who
always was, and Who is still to come – the Almighty One. All honor and glory belong to You, God, forever and
ever! You are the eternal King, the unseen One Who will never die; You alone are God. Yours is the Kingdom
and the power and the glory forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

36


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 passages 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.

37


Day 22



Victory through Kingdom Building





1. Center Down

Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep
breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “I am… ” As
you exhale whisper, “a Kingdom Builder...”


2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)


Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God, and saying, “The time is
fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.”
Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea,
for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And
immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee
and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them, and they left
their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed Him. (Mark 1:14-20, ESV)



[Jesus] put another parable before [the crowd and the disciples], saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain
of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is
larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its
branches.”

He told them another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three
measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” (Matthew 13:31-33, ESV)


For further learning: Matthew Chapters 5-7 and Matthew Chapter 13
Video: https://www.seedbed.com/where-is-the-kingdom-of-god/

38


3. Concepts to Consider:

If we look carefully at what Jesus meant by “Kingdom” in the Gospels, it seems to be fundamentally different
than what His followers and most of His antagonists thought, like Tetrarch “King” Herod Antipas, the scribes,
Pharisees and Sadducees. For all of these people surrounding Jesus, they equated “kingdom” with
governmental, earthbound, power and authority; with mighty armies and economies.


Jesus, however, taught about a Kingdom that was “upside down.” One where the last in line was actually the
first in line, losers were winners, the poor were rich, etc. This inverse way of looking at life puzzled most of the
people with whom He came in contact. Let’s be honest; it’s still difficult to grasp what Jesus meant because His
point-of-view is so radically different from how we’ve experienced the world. To be a winner “out there in the
world,” means you have to “come out on top,” to be rich is everything, to be thin is everything, to be the best,
the brightest, the wealthiest, with the most expensive clothes and accessories.

In contrast, Jesus said that the qualities that identified His “Kingdom People” were things like being “poor in
spirit,” “meek,” “peacemakers,” “persecuted,” etc. (see: Matthew 5:1-16). To be clear, having quality things is
not the problem. Allowing the stuff--and/or the pursuit of those things--to become that which we actually
worship, that’s where the problem lies. (Worship here being defined as that to which we give prime worth.
What consumes the majority of our thoughts, money and time? That’s what/who we--in fact--are
worshipping.) “Seek first the Kingdom of God…” and then what we need will be added to us (see: Matthew
6:30-34).

The Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven (these phrases are used interchangeably in the Gospels), as
New Testament scholar N.T. Wright reminds us, is a union of heaven (the immediate presence of God) and earth
(the realm of humanity, where we were designed to reign as vice-regents under God’s ultimate authority) in
Christ Jesus (video: http://tiny.cc/HeavenEarthNT ).

By extension, the Church (see: Universal Church lesson above, Day 17) is designed, as the Body of Christ, to be
that place where the Kingdom of Heaven and earth tangibly come together. In other words, the Church creates
“outposts of the Kingdom of Heaven/God” here on earth “as it is already done in Heaven.” In short, that’s why
we persevere here on earth, instead of God immediately translating us into His direct presence, once we give
our lives to Christ.

To be a victorious Kingdom Builder, therefore, is all about cooperating with King Jesus, empowered by His Spirit,
to demonstrate the “upside down” Kingdom of Heaven ethics wherever we go. Let’s go out there and be
“Kingdom People” today!

39


4. Reflection Questions:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where
others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).

1. How has your understanding of “the Kingdom of Heaven/God” been enhanced or challenged by
today’s lesson?









2. How will you be a “Kingdom Builder” today?









5. Prayer for Today:


Eternal Father, we thank You for empowering us to be Your Kingdom Builders. Thank You for drawing us into
Your holy family through Jesus Christ. Thank You for creating us to be kings of The King and lords of The Lord.
Thank You for sending us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us on this journey of faith. We will sing praises to
Your Name, O Most High.


Righteous Father, as citizens of Your Kingdom, we are righteous people who live by faith. We declare that we
will trust in You with all of our hearts and not depend on our own understanding. We will seek to partner with
You in righteousness in all that we do. We will trust that You will show us the right path to take. We will strip
off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. We will run with endurance
the race that You have set before us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Champion, Who initiates and perfects
our faith. We confess that we will seek Your Kingdom above all else, and live righteously, and trust that You will
give us everything that we need. We declare as Kingdom citizens that we will trust You with our finances,
families, businesses, relationships and every other area of our lives. We confess that our works will reflect the
faith that we have in You, our Father.


Holy Spirit, please help each member of the Body of Christ to relinquish control to You to lead their lives. Help
our parents and guardians to model and teach Kingdom faith to their children and youth. Holy Spirit, please
show us all those areas in our lives where our faith is faltering and reveal the tools that we need to increase our
faith in those areas.
Lord, there are some who have had so many disappointments in life that they have a hard time walking by faith.
Please help them to get the help they need to process those disappointments and heal those internal wounds
so that they can begin to walk as Kingdom Citizens.


Write down those areas that the Holy Spirit shows you that you need to increase your faith. Now, ask Him for a
strategy to work on those areas:

40




Compassionate Father, please forgive us for at times not fully trusting You. Forgive us for having more faith in
ourselves, our jobs, our finances, our gifts and talents and other people than we do in You. 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 show you names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He shows you, say
aloud, “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.

Triumphant Lord, all glory belongs to You, who alone are God. All glory, majesty, power and authority are Yours
before all time and in the present and beyond all time! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.







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 passages 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.

41


Day 23





Victory through the Transformed Mind

(Feast of Tabernacles)




1. Center Down

Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep
breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “Jesus has
renewed...” As you exhale whisper, “my mind...”


2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)



So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice
that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. Don’t be conformed to the patterns of
this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—
what is good and pleasing and mature. Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you:
don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead, be reasonable since God has measured out
a portion of faith to each one of you. (Romans 12:1-3, CEB)



...Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in
true righteousness and holiness.

Therefore, having put away falsehood [your false self], let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for
we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no
opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own
hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your
mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness
and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:22-32, ESV)


For further learning: John 7 (See what Jesus was up to during the Feast of Tabernacles.)

42


3. Concepts to Consider:

At sundown today we enter into the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot (soo-COAT).
At its core, Sukkot is a harvest festival. Traditionally, the farmers of Israel would spend this time in the fields,
living in makeshift huts, known as sukkahs (SOO-cuz) gathering in the last of their fruit and grain crops before
the cold winter rains swept in.


As we also look forward to the transition of summer into fall, this very change of seasons is a reminder of God’s
persistent grace of provision in our lives. God is always in the business of transformation. He presents Himself
as the Divine Farmer throughout Scripture. From the Garden of Eden to the farming parables and the “I am the
vine, you are the branches” in the Gospels, to the renewed Eden in Revelation. At each turn, we observe our
Creator “getting His hands dirty.” He doesn’t leave us humans to fend for ourselves and just get by the best we
can. No, God gets intimately involved with nurturing humanity, as only a caring Farmer can. He weeds, prunes,
sends refreshing rains, sends light and hope.

Our transformational process into becoming more and more like Jesus (and thus, the best version of our human
selves! see: 1 Corinthians 15:49 and 2 Corinthians 3:18), can sometimes seem excruciatingly slow.
Transformation requires patience and waiting. Jesus speaks of this process in a parable, “God’s Kingdom is like
seed thrown on a field… The seed sprouts and grows…first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened
grain. When the grain is fully formed, [then it’s] harvest time!” (Mark 4:27-29, MSG). We’ve probably all seen
time-lapsed films of seeds growing (video: http://tiny.cc/wheatgrowth), but it actually takes 100+ days to grow
and harvest wheat, usually May-September in the northern hemisphere. Our instantaneous, “drive-thru”
society doesn’t help us conceptualize the necessity for slow and healthy growth very well.


The idea of waiting for anything, much less the lofty goal of “life transformation,” for some of us, may become
frustrating. In Psalm 37:7, we have a unique word that offers us some perspective. The word is ולל ח ת וה (v’HEET-
cḥōv-lêl). It only appears once in the Bible. A good definition of this word is “winding hope.” Imagine a vine
growing day by day around a post. The post can be compared to God’s steadfast love and grace toward us. He’s
not going anywhere. We grow around Him in expectant hope that we will bloom and produce fruit in His
Garden/Kingdom. In the meantime, we receive the nutrients for growth we need through prayer, study, worship
and learning to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. We receive pruning through honest self-reflection and group
accountability. We are trained to wind around our Savior--and not grow off in wild directions--through choosing
to focus on the truth of God’s love for us and on “whatever is lovely” (Philippians 4:8) so that little-by-little, our
thought patterns are changed. This intimate partnership with our Re-Creator and Divine Farmer is exactly what
the Apostle Paul was aiming for when he writes, “be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you
can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.” (Romans 12:2, ESV)

43

44


4. Reflection Question:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where
others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).

1. In what areas of life do you struggle with waiting, patience and process? After you write these areas
down, take some time to sit in silence and listen to what the Holy Spirit may say to you regarding building
up your trust in Him in these areas. Mentally loosen your grip on these things and offer them to your
Father, Who loves you…














5. Prayer for Today:


Abba Father, we thank You for calling us to worship You during the Feast of Tabernacles. Thank You, Jesus, for
teaching us Your Word as You taught in the Temple and spoke the Truth about Yourself during the Festival of
Tabernacles. Holy Spirit, we thank You for working to transform our minds as we walk in patient obedience. O
God, You are our God; we earnestly search for You. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how we praise
You! We will praise You as long as we live, lifting up our hands to You in prayer. You satisfy us more than the
richest feast. We will praise You with songs of joy.


Glorious Father, the Feast of Tabernacles belongs to You, and we will all appear before You, O Lord our God, at
the place You choose. We commit to appearing before You with special gifts. Lord, we will come before You
joyfully declaring that this festival will be a happy time of celebrating with our sons and daughters, pastors,
neighbors, foreigners, orphans and widows from our towns. For the next eight days, we will celebrate this
festival to honor You, Lord. We declare that this festival will be a time of great joy for all. While we remember
that You brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and had them live in temporary shelters, we will remember
that Jesus Christ has become our permanent shelter. We anticipate Your glory “tabernacling” among us during
this exciting feast. We are expecting your presence, anointing, healing, power, joy, peace and love.


Heavenly Father, we pray for Your provision of both the time and the resources to celebrate this festival in a
way that will be pleasing to You. Grant us favor with our employers during the festival. Holy Spirit, bring to our
minds the special gifts we should bring to the Lord on each of the first seven days of the festival. As we are
given the courage to build our shelters (tents), help us to share with our families so that everyone understands
that each shelter, regardless of its size or placement, is built in remembrance of God’s provision in our lives.

In Your mercy, Father, forgive those of us who are embarrassed or reluctant to celebrate Your feasts. 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 show you names or faces of people that you may need to forgive.
As He shows you, say aloud, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your
soul caused by unforgiveness.)

45




Holy Spirit, help us all not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.


Lord, You are King! Let the nations tremble! You sit on Your throne between the cherubim. Let the whole earth
quake! You sit in majesty in Jerusalem, exalted above all the nations. Let them praise Your great and awesome
Name. Your Name is holy! Mighty King, lover of justice, You have established fairness. You have acted with
justice and righteousness throughout Israel. We exalt You, Lord our God! We bow low before Your feet, for You
are holy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!




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 passages 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.

46 Notes:

47


Day 24





Victory through Prayer

(Feast of Tabernacles/Men’s Gathering)




1. Center Down

Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep
breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “I will pray...”
As you exhale whisper, “...consistently and persistently.”


2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, give thanks, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)

Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as
John taught His disciples.” Jesus told them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, uphold the holiness of Your Name.
Bring in Your Kingdom. Give us the bread we need for today. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone
who has wronged us. And don’t lead us into temptation.’” (Luke 11:1-4, CEB)




Brothers and sisters, we ask you to respect those who are working with you, leading you and instructing you.
Think of them highly with love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. Brothers and sisters, we urge
you to warn those who are disorderly. Comfort the discouraged. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone. Make
sure no one repays a wrong with a wrong, but always pursue the good for each other and everyone else. Rejoice
always. Pray continually [and persistently]. Give thanks in every situation, because [all three of these things
are] God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Don’t suppress the Spirit. Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages, but
examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good. Avoid every kind of evil. Now, may the God of peace
Himself cause you to be completely dedicated to Him; and may your spirit, soul and body be kept intact and
blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming. The One Who is calling you is faithful and will do this.
(1 Thessalonians 5:14-24, CEB)


For further learning: 1 Kings 8 (Solomon’s Temple Dedication, esp. vv. 23-30); most of the Psalms.







3. Concepts to Consider:


We talk a lot about and do a lot of prayer within the Windsor Village Church Family. Indeed, due to the
tremendous ministry and leadership of Pastors Kirbyjon and Suzette Caldwell, Windsor is recognized around the
world as a place that knows how to pray. This is an awesome thing that the Lord has wrought, and it is blessed
in His sight! Hallelujah!

48


It never hurts, however, to pause and recalibrate our “prayer lenses” from time-to-time by focusing in on some
of the finer points found in God’s Word concerning prayer. One of the questions that gets asked often in the
Body of Christ is, “Preacher, what exactly does it mean to ‘pray without ceasing,’ and how, exactly, am I
supposed to be thankful for everything that happens to me?” The short answer is, “context is everything!”

The passage we so often quote from the end of 1 Thessalonians 5 sits within a whole segment where the Apostle
Paul is closing out his letter with some practical teaching for the church in Thessaloniki, the capital of the
Macedonian province under Rome. This letter is one of the earliest writings of the New Testament (probably
around 50 AD), and it was composed primarily to encourage the fledgling church, who was experiencing severe
persecution; that they should persevere in following “King Jesus” despite Him not yet returning. Paul works to
give hope to them by teaching that the resurrection of Jesus is promised for His followers who are still alive and
for those who have already died (see: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Jesus hasn’t gone off and forgotten anyone. He
will return as the Cosmic King and rule with His people on the earth, both the living and dead (video:
http://tiny.cc/norapture ).


So then, what does it mean to “pray without ceasing” in this context? First of all, the language helps us
tremendously here. Aδιαλείπτως προσεύχεσθε (a-dia-LAYP-tohs pros-YOUK-es-thay) is probably best translated
as “persistently” or “consistently” or “continually” to pray. The idea is not that you should walk around
muttering prayers under your breath all day. It is rather the idea that, like Jesus, we should stay consistent in
our prayer life. And when the going gets tough, that’s when we can press in all the more; not so Jesus will hear
us better, but because we need to be reminded of the strength and intimacy of our relationship with our
Heavenly Father. When you need some additional parental input or support, you call them more often, but the
baseline of relationship is already established through previous, regular communication.

As to “giving thanks for everything that happens to me,” that’s not what the Greek text says. It simply says, “IN
everything give thanks” (ἐν παντὶ εὐχαριστεῖτε, en panti eukaristeite). There’s a huge difference between
giving thanks FOR everything and giving thanks IN the midst of everything.


An amazing example of this kind of praying saint is the story of a wealthy, 22-year-old, African (Tunisian) woman
from Carthage, named Perpetua (b. 187 AD-203 AD). She was imprisoned for following Jesus. Despite several
opportunities to be set free, she refuses to compromise her faith. She ultimately is beheaded for standing
strong. Throughout her diary, Perpetua records visions and prayers, but at no point does she thank God for her
circumstance, but rather she is thankful for His encouragement and consoling Presence. (Read her diary:
http://tiny.cc/PerpetuaDiary; Bio video: http://tiny.cc/PerputuaVid ). Perpetua wasn’t a superhero. She was just an
ordinary young adult who loved Jesus with everything she had, and with everything she was. She demonstrates
praying persistently and consistently, and she gives thanks in the midst of “everything” that was going on. Her
real, gritty, “my life depends on You” relationship with Jesus made all the difference in her prayers and in her
life.


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