November 19 – 23, 2018

Monday

Philippians 3:1-11; Psalm 145:1-2

Praise from All Creatures by Ted Loder

Praise be to You, O Lord, who spins shining stars across the wondrous heavens     and stretches out the seas, who lifts the dawn into place     and sets boundaries for night, who awes the earth with storms     and gentles it with green, who gives everything a season     and breathes life and love into the dust of me. Praise be to You.

Praise in all things,     for all things: the soft slant of sunlight,     the sweat of battle, a song in the wilderness,     the evening breeze, the deep breath,     the tended wound,

mercy, quietness, a friend; for the miracles of the daily,     the mysteries of the eternal. Praise be to You.

Praise from all creatures,     laughers and list-makers,        wonders and worriers,           poets and plodders and prophets,              the wrinkled, the newborn,                 the whale, and the worm,                    from all, and from me.

Praise, praise be to You for amazing grace.

QUESTION

Can God be “found” in nature? What are examples of things of “the flesh” that Paul “counted as loss” (Philippians 3:7-8)? Do you praise God (Psalm 145:2) as often as you should?   

PRAYER

Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness, for Your salvation in Christ, for all of the blessings You pour out upon me! Help me, dear God, please, to be more faithful and effective in proclaiming You to others, especially those who may not know You!

 

Tuesday

Philippians 3:12-21; Luke 1:46-55

Praise Be to You for Life by Ted Loder

Praise be to You, O Lord, for life     and for my intense desire to live; praise be to You for the mystery of love; praise be to You for this day     and another chance to live and love.

Thank You, Lord,     for friends who stake their claim in my heart,     for enemies who disturb my soul and bump my ego.

Thank You, Lord,     for those who attempt beauty        rather than curse ugliness,     for those who take stands        rather than take polls,     for those who risk being right        rather than pandering to be liked,     for those who do something        rather than talking about everything.

Lord, grant me grace, then and a portion of Your spirit that I may so live     as to give others cause        to be thankful for me, thankful because I have not forgotten     how to hope,        how to laugh,           how to say, “I’m sorry,”     how to forgive,        how to bind up wounds,           how to dream,     how to cry,        how to pray,           how to love when it is hard.

Praise be to You, Lord, for life;     praise be to You for another chance to live.

QUESTION

Whom has God put into your life to enable your growth in following Christ? What goal was Paul “pressing on toward” (Philippians 3:14)? What inspired the Virgin Mary’s song (Luke 1:46-55) of praise and thanksgiving?   

PRAYER

Thank You, holy and precious Father, for the challenges and opportunities in my life to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ! Help me never to grumble or complain about “misfortunes,” but to see You and Your salvation in all circumstances!

 

Wednesday

Philippians 4:1-9; Psalm 100

I Praise You for What Is Yet to Be by Ted Loder

Wondrous Worker of Wonders, I praise You, not alone for what has been,     or for what is,        but for what is yet to be, for You are gracious beyond all telling of it.

I praise You that out of the turbulence of my life     a kingdom is coming,        is being shaped even now           out of the slivers of loving,                my bits of trusting,                my sprigs of hoping,                my tootles of laughing,                my drips of crying,                my smidges of worshiping; that out of my songs and struggles,         out of my griefs and triumphs,        I am gathered up and saved, for You are gracious beyond all telling of it.

I praise You that You turn me loose     to go with You to the edge of now and maybe,        to welcome the new,           to see my possibilities,              to accept my limits, and yet begin living to the limit     of passion and compassion        until, released by joy,           I uncurl to other people              and Your kingdom coming, for You are gracious beyond all telling of it

QUESTION

What are some areas of your life where God is challenging and encouraging you to grow? What are some of the ways Paul suggests we can walk faithfully with God (Philippians 4:4-8)? Why is it important to remember and note that God made us (Psalm 100:3)?   

PRAYER

Thank You, my glorious Redeemer, for making me so fearfully and wonderfully! Search me, O God, and know my heart! Test me and know my anxious thoughts! See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139).   

 

Thursday

Philippians 4:8-13; 1 Chronicles 16:28-34

I Am So Thankful to Be Alive by Ted Loder

Praise be to You     for holding me in the womb of mystery        through all the eons of creation until now and raising me to life     in this time and place…

I am so thankful to be alive—     eyes in love with seeing,        ears in love with hearing,           heart in love with attending,              mind in love with connecting; eager to miss no message of grace     in the ballet of beauty        or in the camp of struggle           of this incredible life; attentive to all the clues of love,     daringly and outlandishly        scattered for me through Jesus’ life,           overturning habit and hate; attentive to the dreams He renews,     the wounds He heals,        the promises He nails up           for me to step out on.

I am so thankful to be alive,     thankful for those times        when the rhythms of my life           catch the cadences of Your kingdom…        when the creep of courage           allows me to dare to serve the gifts              You have put in me… thankful for the surge of determination to accept difficulty     not as an excuse for passivity,        but as a goad to creativity,           as the door to abundant life,              and the seed of peace the world cannot take away,           as it takes away so much else.

QUESTION

What are some ways that you might “miss” or overlook God and His wonder in your everyday life? What was Paul’s “secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:12)? Why is it important to give thanks and praise to God?   

PRAYER

God of wonder and glory, Your creation is awesome! Thank You, Jesus, for Your saving sacrifice and fellowship! I thirst for Your living water—help me to continue to thirst for You, for ways to serve You and to help build Your kingdom!

 

Friday

Philippians 4:14-23; Psalm 95:1-7

O God of Timelessness and Time by Ted Loder

O God of timelessness     and time, I thank You for my time     and for those things that are yet possible        and precious in it;     a word of forgiveness,     and sometimes a song,        for my breathing…my life.

Thank You for the honesty which marks friends     and makes laughter; for fierce gentleness     which dares to speak the truth in love…

Thank You for justice     which repairs the devastation of poverty; for liberty     which extends to the captives of violence; for healing     which binds up the broken bodied and broken hearted;

for bread broken     for all the hungry of the earth; for good news     of love which is stronger than death;        and for peace; for my calling…my life.

Thank You for Your praise in my heart; for the undeniable awareness     that the need of You is the truth of me,     and Your presence with me is the truth of You,     which sets me free        for others,           for joy,              and for You; for Your grace…my life…forever.

QUESTION

What are some of the things you should be thanking God for? Why was Paul grateful for the Philippians’ generosity (Philippians 4:17)? Why is it important to sing to and worship the Lord?   

PRAYER

Thank You, Yahweh, my Lord and Savior, for this land and its freedoms which You have provided! Forgive us for forgetting You, for taking all that You do for granted. Lord God, please bless our country, Glenkirk Church, and our leaders; help them to lead in ways which please You!

Sources:

Ted Loder’s prayer poems are from GUERRILLAS OF GRACE, Prayers for the Battle. Published by Augsburg Books, 1981 (www.augsburgfortress.org).

Click for PDF version