Last night I came to the end of the first CLC Prayer Tour. Over the last several weeks CLC people have gathered with me in eight different locations around the SCV for a brief time of informal prayer for our congregation and the community. I have enjoyed it so much I am already making plans for another one…a CLC Prayer Tour, Too. Later this spring, when it warms up, I’ll launch the Prayer Tour, Too at some new locations. I want us to be a “Congregation that prays for the community, in the community.”
At each stop I began by reading some verses from Isaiah 55. So our prayer focus throughout this week, here at the end of the prayer tour, will be those verses.
Our prayer focus this week: My Word Will Not Return Empty.
God’s promises on which you can rely, as you pray throughout the week:
- Why turn anywhere else to be filled? - Isaiah 55:1-2
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
- Listen that you may live - Isaiah 55:3
Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
- Seek the Lord - Isaiah 55:6
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
- God’s thought are above our own - Isaiah 55:8
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
- God’s ways are not our own - Isaiah 55:9
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
- God’s word will not return empty - Isaiah 55:10-11
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
- You will go out in joy - Isaiah 55:12
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
This week, focus your prayer on:
- Pray for CLC, that we would recognize the true nature of our own thirst and hunger, and look to the Lord to be filled, rather than in other places.
- Thank God for his everlasting relationship with us in which he pours out his forgiveness and faithful love.
- Pray for our community and nation, that we would collectively seek the Lord and his ways.
- Reflect on how we tend to dethrone God and his word in favor of our own opinions and ideology. Ask forgiveness and that the Spirit would work within to humble us before God.
- Pray that as a congregation, and as individuals, we would submit our desires to God’s ways.
- Think about how the recent rains have turned the mountains green and brought beauty and new life. Thank God that in the same way as his word does not return empty, that our prayers do not return empty, for he listens and acts.
- Imagine the mountains along route 126 bursting into song, and the trees clapping their hands in joy. Can you pray with that same joy for God’s goodness? Ask that someone who is struggling now would know that joy.
Each day, you can begin or end your day with these prayers by Martin Luther:
Luther’s Morning Prayer:
I thank you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that you would keep me this day also from sin and ever evil, that all my doings and life may please you. For into your hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.
Luther’s Evening Prayer:
I thank you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that you would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.