Monday, August 2, 2021

Manna for Today: Psalm 85


Psalm 85:1-13

Key Verse: 6-7

“Won’t you bring us back to life again so that your people can rejoice in you? Show us your faithful love, Lord! Give us your salvation!” CEB

My daughter is good with plants. She will find a plant, someone has given up on and set out on the curb thinking that it is done for. She will bring it in, take care of it and with love, care, the right amount of Sun and water, she can bring it back to life. In this Psalm we are that plant and we are asking God to bring us back to life. We desire for God to show us the loving kindness, which can only be found in and through God. We cry out for God’s faithfulness, and provision. We need God to gives us what we need so we can live again, so we can be restored to fullness, life and growth.

If we choose to turn to God, God will turn to us. In fact, when we turn to God, we will find God is already turning toward us, reaching out to us, abandoned, lost, left to along the roadside by grief, hardship, pain or even just the overwhelming struggle of day to day life. God will bring us home, put us in the window.  God will provide us with exactly what we need to flourish and grow.  When we choose to turn to God in the midst of it all we will always find that God is there already, giving us what we need to bring light in to the dark places of our lives, redeeming the pain and sorrow we have experienced, restoring us so we can flourish and grow again.

A Prayer for Today

Lord God, I am so tired.  Sometimes I feel life has drained the life out of me. I am withered, sun scorched and dry. I am come to you today, in all my hurt, in all my pain, with all my struggles, with the monotony and dullness of this day, desiring the restoration on you can bring. As I turn to you let me see you at work with your faithfulness, your love, your care and your provision. Let me know your redemption and your salvation. Let me grow again. Let me flourish in your light and your love. - Amen


Monday, June 7, 2021

Mann for Today: Psalm 84

Psalm 84:1-12

Key Verse: 8

“Lord God of heavenly forces, hear my prayer; listen closely, Jacob’s God!” CEB

So much of this Psalm has made it into hymn and song. Something in this particular Psalm resonated with us on so many levels. How often have we prayed only to feel as if we speak words that dissipate like smoke. We cry out in our hearts and the words hit the ceiling and go no further. Even when we know God hears, there is still something inside which cries out. God, listen closely! God is the God of all things. God is mighty and powerful. God spoke all creation into existence. All that is, is because of God. And that is the God to whom pray. That is the God to whom we sing our praises, lift our petitions and to whom we cry out. Knowing the God of unseen and heavenly forces is listening is daunting, awe-inspiring  and humbling. So we ask for God to lean in, to listen closely, to hear our prayer. Because what a powerful thing it is to know God is listening; to know God hears; to know God understands. Whatever your prayer today, pray it knowing God is listening. God hears you today.  

A Prayer for Today

Lord God, you are magnificent. You are wonderful and good. You give me hope when the chaos is too much, when the pain and heartache threatens to over whelm. Your love fills me. I know your forgiveness, your grace and your mercy. I am thankful for all the ways your redemption is at work in my life and in this world. There is so much I wish to bring to you. I lay out my heartache, my pain, my hurt, my concerns for myself and those around me. I give it all to you. As I pray, I cry out, hear me! Listen to me. Let me see, let me know that you are at work in all of this. Let me know that you hear me, so that I might give praise to you for all the ways you work your redemption in my life, in the lives of those I love and in the world around me. -Amen

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Manna for Today: Psalm 83

Psalm 83:1-18

Key Verse: 1

“God, don’t be silent! Don’t be quiet or sit still, God,” CEB

Come on God do something! Do not be quiet. Do not sit still. Move! Be active. This is our cry in our frustration, in our anguish. When are hurting. When things are not going our way, we believe God is not working. We do not see how God could be at work right now. When things are not right; when there is so much injustice in the world around, when so many are sick and dying, when we look at the world and it does not see righteousness at work in the world’s events or in the events of our nation, then we want God to work, to do something. Why can we not hear God’s voice right now? Why do we not see God’s love and justice at work in the world, in our nation, in our own lives and the lives of those around us? God must not be moving. God must be silent. So we cry out to God to move, to act, to speak. Yet, God is at work, there is nothing on this earth which is outside the reach of God. Even in the darkness, God is at work. Even when it seems there is nothing but injustice and chaos, God is seeking to set things right and bring order. God is at work. God is working.  Yet sometimes, it is only when we call out to God to not be silent, to break the quietude, to move and act, that is when we are best able to see the hand of God at work in the small ways God is moving. When we call out for God to work, then we are often most able to see how God can work in and through us. Even as God is always at work, it is never wrong to ask God to work, so that we can see God’s work with new eyes.


A Prayer for Today

Oh Lord, I cannot see you today. I cannot hear you. Where are you? Are you taking the day off? Are you on mute? Speak loudly to me today, so I can hear you. Help me to see you at work in the world around me. Allow me to see your grace, your love, your righteousness where ever it is in the world around me. Show me who you are today. Help me to see how I can enter into your work. Show me how I can be your voice, and your action, allowing others to see and hear you today. -Amen

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Manna for Today; Psalm 79


Psalm 79:1-13

Key Verse: 13

“We are, after all, your people and the sheep of your very own pasture. We will give you thanks forever; we will proclaim your praises from one generation to the next.” CEB

There are times when we our lives seemed filled with struggle. Sometimes it even seems as if all that is evil in this world is working to bring chaos, hardship and pain into our lives. All that is holy and good in our lives, in the world even, is over run by the forces of evil. We wonder if there is any place left for the goodness of God. Where is God’s hand of grace? Even when the darkness does not overwhelm, and is limited to certain places in our lives, sometimes it is hard to see how the goodness of God can ever come to bear on that particular situation, or in one area of our lives. Even when we can not see God at work, even when we are unsure if God’s grace and goodness have any bearing on a particular thing, we are still God’s people. Even in the chaos, even in the darkness, even when God’s hand does not seem to be at woek we can give praise to God, we can proclaim God’s goodness, even when we do not see it at work. God is always good, God is always at work. We are God’s and God’s righteousness, goodness, grace and justice are always at work in the darkness bringing light, in the chaos creating order, amidst the evil bringing justice, for this we can give praise to God.


A Prayer for Today

Lord you are bring light to the darkness. You mend what is broken, you make right was is corrupted by sin and evil. There is chaos, there is sin, there is evil, there is death an and there is destruction. None of those things will have the final word. These things are but temporary and all that you are is eternally and you are eternally at work to make all things right.  In all things, at all times you are good. Your righteousness is at work and your justice is coming. I give glory to you for all the ways I see and do not see you at work in my life and in this world. Amen


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Manna for Today: Psalm 78


Psalm 78:1-77

Key Verse: 1-2

“Listen, my people, to my teaching; tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a proverb.” CEB

We have before us today Psalm which recounts the history of God with the people of Israel up until the reign of David. It begins with an invitation to listen. In Romans Paul reminds us that someone is unable to have faith unless they have heard. Faith cannot to those who have not experienced Jesus for themselves, unless we share what God has done. Those of us who have seen, who have heard, who have experienced the love and grace of God ourselves must be willing to join the Psalmist in recounting what we know for all those who will hear. We too must proclaim the goodness, the greatness, the grace, the mercy and the forgiveness of God and live out its truth in our lives. Let us be a voice like John the Baptist proclaiming the goodness of gospel. And when we hear the truth proclaimed by others, such as the Psalmist let us rejoice together in knowing we serve a good God who works with people and draws people into true relationship. God desires to know us as we learn to know God.


A Prayer for Today

God of grace and power, of mercy and love, help me to see you today. Help me to know you in my life. Help me to see you at work I my life. Help me to hear the truth of who you are as it is proclaimed by those who love you and have experienced you at work. Let me join with them in their proclamation. Let me share the truth of your character with my actions as well as my words. Amen

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Manna for Today: Psalm 77


Psalm 77:1-20

Key Verse: 1-2

“I cry out loud to God—out loud to God so that he can hear me! During the day when I’m in trouble I look for my Lord. At night my hands are still outstretched and don’t grow numb; my whole being refuses to be comforted.” CEB

When I am hurting, when I am struggling, when the injustice, the pain, the chaos of the world around me is more than I can bear, I turn to God. I cry, I weep, I wail, I rage, I scream. And yet the injustice continues, the pain, still hurts, the struggle remains real and in the midst of the storm I cannot find peace. There is no comfort.

It all goes on, and on and on. We cry out with the Psalmist, “Will my Lord reject me forever? Will he never be pleased again? Has his faithful love come to a complete end? Is his promise over for future generations? Has God forgotten how to be gracious? Has he angrily stopped up his compassion?” (vs 7-9). We want to cry out with Jesus (quoting another Psalm), “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Where is God? Where is God’s graciousness, and compassion? Why is there no relief for me, and for all those who suffer?

It is hard to remember the goodness of God, when we are surrounded by the pain and suffering which so often fills our lives. It is hard to see the hand of God at work when the world seems to be flooded with injustice. Yet God is at work. God is always at work, bringing redemption to the darkest places and bringing order to the chaos created by sin and evil in this world.

Even in amidst the flood we can trust that God is at work. Even when we feel unheard, we can know God hears. Do not give up, do not ever believe God has abandoned the work of salvation at work in this world.


Things to Think on

Do you feel as if God hears you when you cry out?

Have you ever grown weary calling out to God?

Is it hard to trust God when you see the death, the pain, the suffering, the injustice, the chaos in the world around you?

Can you recount the times when God’s faithfulness, goodness, and compassion have been see in your life or in the lives of those around you?

Even in your pain, can you give praise to God for the things God has done, and trust that, even now, God is at work to bring redemption to the pain and suffering that is currently going on?

A Prayer for Today

Lord, you are God, forever and for always. I see the suffering. I see evil at work. I hurt. I am frightened. I know the chaos sin brings into this world. Every day, I call out to you. I lay all the burdens me at your feet. I give you the pain, the suffering, the hurt, the injustice. But it all goes on and on. Help me to trust you even when I do not see you at work. I have seen you at work in the past. Help me to look to your great deeds, so I can give you praise even now when I feel unheard and I do not see my prayers being answered. Amen

Monday, March 29, 2021

Manna for Today: Psalm 75


Psalm 75:1-10

Key Verse: 1

“We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.” NLT

This is the week in which we take time to truly think and ponder on all that the Lord has done. We are truly thankful for all the ways Jesus was obedient to God in all things. In Jesus the life, death and resurrection of of Christ, God draws near to all humanity.  As we ponder the last week of Christ’s life we are not only remembering but proclaiming the wonderful deeds of Christ in our world.

Remembering all that Christ did through the course of his final week here on earth, is a way of taking the event of Jesus’ life seriously. Jesus moved toward the cross obediently, trusting God in all things. When we remember the great and mighty things the Lord God has done, allows us to better recognize the ways God moves in and through our lives, so that we too can respond, as Christ did, in trusting obedience. Let us as we move with Christ toward his cross, seek out ways we too can speak of the wonderful deed of God, not only in the life of Christ but in our lives. Let us use Christ’s example and be ready to follow God to all the places God might lead. Let us trust, let us obey and let us see the great and mighty ways God’s redemption is always at work even when the events of our lives seem to be the bleakest or most terrible. God is able to bring redemption to all things, just as God brought redemption through the life and death of Christ.  


Things to Think on

Take time today to pay attention to the things God has done and is doing in your life.

How does remembering the ways God has worked move you toward obedience?

What are the events of the last week of Jesus’ life?  In what ways was Jesus faithful to God in his final days?

In what ways do the final actions of Jesus help move you to obedience?

In what ways can you tell of God’s wonderful deeds through Christ today and throughout the rest of this week.

A Prayer for Today

Lord, as I remember who Christ is and what he has done for me, let me sense your nearness in my life this week. Draw close to me, as I draw close to you. Help me to not only remember, but throughout this week, proclaim the goodness and redemption of Christ in all I do, and in all I say. Help me to move in obedience and trust as Christ did. Amen