Prayer is one of the most important aspects of our walk with the Lord. So, to start this Easter week, we will be taking part in a Week of Prayer. Led by our Elders and our Staff, each morning we’re sending out an email with a devotion and theme that we’ll be praying for as a church. These emails will be opt-in only so make sure to click the button below to opt-in to daily morning emails throughout the week, or opt-in to daily morning text devotions. We’ll also be posting these devotions on our social media throughout the week! Our Week of Prayer runs from March 29th to April 4th and will culminate with a live devotion online and our Easter services here at the church.
Other Ways to View Devotionals
Text “PRAYERWEEK” to 97000 to receive devotions each morning of the Prayer Week.
2021 New Year's Week of Prayer:
READ: Psalm 22
1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 2My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. 3Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel. praises. 4In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 6But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. 7All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8“He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” 9Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. 10From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. 12Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. 14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. 15My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. 17All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. 18They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. 19But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. 20Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. 21Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. 22I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. 23You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! 24For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. 25From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows. 26The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever! 27All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, 28for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. 29All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive. 30Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 31They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
DEVOTION - Pastor Ryan Marr
Psalm 22 tells the story of the infinite cost that God’s anointed (Psalm 2) will endure for those He loves. It brings into clarity that the “Holy One” will become forsaken and his rejection will become others’ salvation. Psalm 22 also shares the audience surrounding the “Holy One’s” death. The audience is one that is visible and invisible. The visible are those who are the ones whose fists and spears are piercing his flesh, while the invisible are those who surround him as prey. (Psalm 22:12). As Jesus fades into death he quotes Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was claiming to be the Holy One of Psalm 22. This Psalm is foreshadowing the depth by which God would redeem a people that have rejected him.
When the World Trade Center Towers were struck by a plane and the world was in shock, brave men and women ran into the compromised buildings at great cost to themselves in the sole hope of rescuing others. We call these people heroes – people who at great cost to their own lives, give it up to help others. This is the story of the Gospel. Jesus, at infinite cost to himself, became completely forsaken for us. I don’t know about you, but if I really stop and think about how much I am loved by Jesus despite my failures, that He would still rescue me. So when you find yourself beating yourself up from your own sins and thinking about the sins of others, remember how much you are loved. This love isn’t because of your heroic acts, but is because of Jesus’ cost. This love isn’t cheap or just a poetic rhyme, it’s action made visible. Jesus’ true love came at an infinite cost to himself. The Gospel is a beautiful story of God’s redemption of those who didn’t deserve it.
Jesus, you were forsaken, insulted and despised for me. You, as a holy King, humbled yourself so that I could be lifted up. Jesus, help me to see how much you really love me. When I read Psalm 22 and I become overwhelmed by the weight you endured, help me to see the true depth of your forgiveness in my life.
READ: Psalm 150
DEVOTION - Elder Phil Dickhaus
This past week, my wife and I have been going through an exercise, via a journal, of looking back at 2020… at things like the highs, the lows, the disappointments, and the areas of our lives where we’ve experienced the most growth, as well as the most challenges. As I’ve taken several quiet hours, at this point, to look back over an entire year, one can say that 2020 was not the ideal year to conduct such a review. However, I’m amazed as to what I saw looking back. Like you, I wasn’t “expecting the unexpected” that 2020 brought. However, now that I look back, I also can see His gentle leading, His comforting presence, His wise counsel, His strong protection, and His overwhelming grace. They were there whether I knew it or not! And for that, I’m grateful, and want to praise Him. Will you do that? Will you consider how His “acts of power” and “surpassing greatness” have led you through, and to, where you are now? The final verse tells us “let everything that has breath praise the Lord”. That’s you… and that’s me. To praise Him…. what a great response to such an amazing God.
Lord, we have the joy of knowing you as our Creator, our Comforter, our Counselor, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Teacher, our Healer, our Encourager, our Sustainer, our Provider, our Protector, our Conqueror .. and so much more. As a result, our praise for you should not be limited to a Sunday morning, or simply a whisper when we recognize your presence. Your love for us is continual, as our praise for you should be. Will you open our eyes, daily, to your acts of power, and surpassing greatness, on our behalf? You have given each of us this very next breath that we’re about to take. We want to use it, and countless more, to give you the honor, the glory, and the praise that you are so rightly due. We appreciate you… we love you… we praise you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
READ: Psalm 73
DEVOTION - Pastor Niles Parker
God, I thank you that although I am weak, you are strong. In my doubts, you are my clarity. In my resentment and frustration, you invite me into your presence to feel comforted. I ask that you would continue to reveal in me doubts, resentment, bitterness, pain, frustration, envy and anything else that is my flesh; so that I can bring those things to you to heal me. May your words be imprinted on my heart and mind at all times so when I do feel and think these things, you are close to me and I to you. Give me confidence, not in myself but in you and your hand working in my life. I know I can trust in you, so I do. Amen.
READ: Psalm 42
1As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. 5Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. 6My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 9I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
DEVOTION - Elder Tim Thompson
Our sweet Savior, we praise you and your lovingkindness. For you and you alone are our God! We long to seek and desire only you and you alone in our life. Help us keep our soul filled with you. Bring us into that deep, personal dependence on you alone.
READ: Psalm 23
1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
DEVOTION - Elder Sebastian Dortch
Ask yourself this question: “Do I believe and behave as if the Lord, the one who made and sustains the universe, is dedicated to guiding, protecting and providing for my life?” Can I, like the apostle Paul in describing the Lord, say: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” ? (Romans 11:36, ESV) As I walk through my “valley of the shadow of death,” do I proclaim through word and deed that “I will fear no evil,” because my good shepherd is with me?
“Father, you are so patient and loving with me. It is not because I am without sin. No, it’s because I have placed my hope and trust in the great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who died on a cross to make me a member of his flock. (John 10). Help me to rest in knowing that you are Lord, and I am not, and that your son is my Shepherd, the leader, provider and protector of my life. I am a sheep. Let me rejoice in this and live with confidence in this turbulent time.”
READ: Psalm 3
DEVOTION - Pastor Dave Dodge
This Psalm refers to the time when King David is fleeing Jerusalem because His son Absalom had stolen the hearts of the people with the intent of taking the throne and thereby making himself King. The Bible very honestly portrays the hearts of men. David, a man of whom God said “had a heart after mine”, is fleeing from His son. He is fleeing partly because of David’s own failure as a father, but also because Absalom believed his father had done nothing to punish the man (Absalom’s brother) who had raped his sister. This further exacerbated the situation by leaving Absalom in exile – after he took matters into his own hands and killed the guilty brother.
This story sounds more like a Jerry Springer show than a Biblical story about one of scriptures foremost heroes! That is the honesty of the Bible. There is none righteous – no not one. All of the hearts of humanity are tainted with sin. This is where the good news of God lands squarely on our broken souls. It reminds us that the Gospel is the biblical story that triumphs over all human stories. It covers redeemed humanity with a righteousness, bequeathed to believers by a resurrected Savior, who took the penalty we deserve and who covered us with His own righteousness. It is the good news of this Gospel that makes us presentable to Father God.
Who are these many foes who taunt us by saying that God will not deliver you? Look at our own sinful selves. Why would we think that God would even have anything to do with us? As David leaves Jerusalem and runs for his life, He understands that a son’s yearning for a Father’s love, or even being Israel’s King, offers him no security. He immediately exalts God and boldly reminds Him of what he said to Abraham in Gen.15:1, “I am your shield and your very great reward.” David is not saying I know you will protect me no matter what situation I am in, rather he cries out to a covenant God, who bestows glory on his head. God describes this Glory when Moses asks God to show it to him. He doesn’t say to Moses, remember the power of the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, or the water from the rock for two million people plus their livestock. He says this is my glory, and proclaims; “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” (Ex.34:6) David is calling on God’s Hesed love, Which is God loving us not because of us, but loving us because of His faithful committed love to us. It is in this that David exalts, “he will answer me from His Holy hill. I will lie down and sleep in peace. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. Arise and deliver me, Oh God.”
Heavenly Father, I’m besieged with troubles, some of which stem from my own sinfulness. I confess these to you, knowing that you will forgive me and help me turn from my sins. Be my shield, my confidence and my glory. Protect me, and bring me through this. I know you are with me and you are the lifter of my head. Amen.
READ: Psalm 2
DEVOTION - Elder Bruce Crawford
The text shows us the people and rulers conspired against the Lord. But God is on the throne and He laughs at man’s attempts to rebel against His plan. His wrath will be upon those who rebel.
God declares his son of the Davidic throne. We are instructed in verse 11 to serve the Lord with reverential awe and to rejoice, to submit to His authority and rule.
We are told ALL who take refuge in Him are happy.
Our hope is in the Lord. Why? Because He is still on the throne and will not be defeated. The word tells us to press in to the Lord, into His word. We can do this by worshipping Christ through songs of praise, reading the Word and by fellowshipping with one another. Confess our sins and draw near to the Lord.
Take refuge in the Lord.
Lord, it is easy to see all the chaos in this world and wonder where you are in it all. But Lord you say You are always with us and will never forsake us. Lord, help us to submit to Your will in our lives every day.
Help me to love you with all my heart, soul and mind. Lord, help us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Amen.
READ: Psalm 1
1Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. 4Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
DEVOTION - Pastor Ryan Marr
The book of Psalms is a compilation of 150 poems broken into five smaller sections or “books”. These books tell a story told through Israel’s songs, poems, and prayers of a coming King. The Psalms paint an honest picture, not only of life’s pain, disappointment and fragility, but it also reveals the everlasting hope and joy we can experience in our daily lives. The Psalms are inviting us, even today, to experience God’s rule in our hearts and minds.
The context of Psalm 1 is a reflection back into the Garden of Eden and is an invitation to meditate on God’s Law. This might seem odd to “meditate” on laws, but I think our English word “law” may be the reason we think this way. In Hebrew, the word for law is the word Torah. Torah speaks about God’s wisdom and the way which we are to live. The law mentioned in Psalm 1 is not just a simple word, it is a call to live out this Wisdom as seen in scripture. So what is mediation? Meditation is not the clearing of one’s mind (as is taught in Eastern Mysticism), but is actually the filling of one’s mind with God’s Torah. To fill one’s mind with God’s law is to read through and think about verses and chapters of the Bible as the story leads us to Jesus’ wisdom, glory, and Reign . All the while, praying, thinking and reading them into one’s heart and mind.
Psalm 1 starts off describing two types of people, the wicked and the righteous. The righteous are those who delight and meditate on God’s Law, while the wicked are those who make a way for themselves. The wicked refuse to give allegiance to the King and will ultimately find themselves standing in His judgement. One of the characteristics of the righteous is that they “meditate” on God’s Law. Which one will we be?
How do you meditate on God’s word? The first task is to take time to read the Bible and to read it slowly. Slowing down is so hard for us to do, but the fruit of it is that you are allowing your heart and mind to hear what God has said. For instance, look at Psalm 1:1-2. What do you see? I see that people are directionally moving in their own wisdom. This line of thinking forces me to think about which path I am on and what wisdom I am using in my life? Who am I really delighting in? What really is filling my mind? Do I get my advice from God or from others? Think through these questions yourself today. As you think about these questions, remember that Psalm 1:3 states that those who meditate on God’s word are like trees planted by water. It’s fulfilling what it means to walk in God’s Wisdom and fulfill our divine vocation as humans.
God, we know that we have allowed other things to fill our minds. Things that have dried us up instead of making us yield fruit. God, today I am making a commitment to plant your Word into my heart. My heart is to learn (and experience) the peace that comes through your life that you have given freely to us. Thank you Jesus for giving up your life for mine, so that I can experience your joy and delight.