21 Days of Prayer - Day 17

Today, let us pray for one another.

  • Pray for Pastor Ray as he teaches this morning.

  • Pray for the Elders of Northbridge.

  • Pray for your small group leader

  • Pray for the members of your small group

  • As you go to worship this morning, ask God to give you someone to pray for during worship.

The irony is that many conservative Christians, most concerned about conserving true and sound doctrine, neglect the importance of prayer and make no effort to experience God, and this can lead to the eventual loss of sound doctrine… Christianity without real experience of God will eventually be no Christianity at all. - Timothy Keller

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 16
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Pause to express your thoughts of praise to God.

O My God,

Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee
in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou has given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing sense to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

Matthew Henry’s prayer

Prayer turns theology into experience.

-Timothy Keller

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 15
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Pause to express your prayer of thanksgiving.

We can never know God as it is our privilege to know Him by brief repetitions that are requests for personal favors, and nothing more.

- E M Bounds

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 14
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O God of Grace,
You have counted my sin to my Substitute
You have counted His righteousness to me
You have Clothed me with a Bridegroom’s Robe
You have Decked me with the Jewels of Holiness.

  • But in my Flesh – I am still in Rags

    • My best prayers, stained with sin;

    • My best tears, filled with impurity

    • My confessions of wrong, aggravated with pride

    • My receiving of the Spirit, subverted with selfishness

  • I need to Repent of my Repentance;

    • I need my tears to be washed

    • I have no Robe to cover my sins

    • I have no Loom to weave my own righteousness

    • I stand in Filthy Garments

  • Yet, by grace, I am always receiving a change of Dress, For You justify the ungodly

    • I come to you empty, and I am filled

    • I come to you naked, and I am clothed

    • You forgive me and You bring me forth, Dressed in Your Robe of Righteousness

    • Every morning, like the flowers of the field, you array me in this Precious Robe –

    • Every evening you lay me down under its cover,

    • I go out to the day’s work in it,

    • I eat and drink in it,

    • I am married in it,

    • I will grow old in it,

    • I will die in it,

    • I will stand unashamed before the great white throne in it,

    • And I will enter heaven in it, shining as the sun – dressed in Your Robe, adorned in Your Glory.

  • So Grant me Jesus never to lose sight of my need to be Dressed by you. Help me always to see…

    • The exceeding sinfulness of my sin

    • The exceeding Righteousness of Your Salvation

    • The exceeding Glory of Christ

    • The exceeding Beauty of Your Holiness

    • The exceeding Wonder of Your grace

Yet even now, Dearest Christ, as I feel the pangs of pride…
I cast away my dirty rags, and clinging to Your Holy Robe, I Repent of my Repentance, and I Rest myself in you.

Adapted from the Valley of Vision p76

Prayer, like everything else in the Christian life, is for God’s glory and for our benefit, in that order.

- R C Sproul

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 13
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Pause and focus your praise today on God’s expression of his character through the names of God.

A

ABBA (Romans 8:15)
ADVOCATE (I John 2:1 kjv)
ALMIGHTY (Genesis 17:1)
ALL IN ALL (Colossians 3:11)
ALPHA (Revelation 22:13)
AMEN (Revelation 3:14)
ANCIENT OF DAYS (Daniel 7:9)
ANOINTED ONE (Psalm 2:2)
APOSTLE (Hebrews 3:1)
ARM OF THE LORD (Isaiah 53:1)
AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION (Hebrews 5:9)
AUTHOR OF OUR FAITH (Hebrews 12:2)
AUTHOR OF PEACE (1 Cor. 14:33)
AVENGER (1 Thessalonians 4:6)

B

BEGINNING (Revelation 21:6)
BISHOP OF SOULS (1 Peter 2:25)
BLESSED & HOLY RULER (1 Timothy 6:15)
BRANCH (Jeremiah 33:15)
BREAD OF GOD (John 6:33)
BREAD OF LIFE (John 6:35)
BREATH OF LIFE (Genesis 2:7, Revelation 11:11)
BRIDEGROOM (Isaiah 62:5)
BRIGHT MORNING STAR (Revelation 22:16)
BUCKLER (2 Sam.22:31 kjv,Psalm 18:2 kjv, Psalm 18:30 kjv,Proverbs 2:7 kjv)

C

CAPTAIN OF SALVATION (Hebrews 2:10)
CARPENTER (Mark 6:3)
CHIEF SHEPHERD (1 Peter 5:4)
CHOSEN ONE (Isaiah 42:1)
CHRIST (Matthew 22:42)
CHRIST OF GOD (Luke 9:20)
CHRIST THE LORD (Luke 2:11)
CHRIST, SON OF LIVING GOD (Matthew 16:16)
COMFORTER (John 14:26 kjv)
COMMANDER (Isaiah 55:4)
CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL (Luke 2:25)
CONSUMING FIRE (Deut. 4:24, Heb. 12:29)
CORNERSTONE (Isaiah 28:16)
COUNSELOR (Isaiah 9:6)
CREATOR (1 Peter 4:19)
CROWN OF BEAUTY (Isaiah 28:5)

C

DAYSPRING (Luke 1:78)
DELIVERER (Romans 11:26)
DESIRED OF ALL NATIONS (Haggai 2:7)
DIADEM OF BEAUTY (Isaiah 28:5)
DOOR (John 10:7 kjv)
DWELLING PLACE (Psalm 90:1)

E

ELECT ONE (Isaiah 42:1)
EMMANUEL (Matthew 1:23 kjv)
END (Revelation 21:6)
ETERNAL GOD (Deut. 33:27)
ETERNAL LIFE (1 John 5:20)
ETERNAL SPIRIT (Hebrews 9:14)
EVERLASTING FATHER (Isaiah 9:6)
EVERLASTING GOD (Genesis 21:33)
EXCELLENT (Psalm 148:13 kjv)

F

FAITHFUL & TRUE (Revelation 19:11)
FAITHFUL WITNESS (Revelation 1:5)
FATHER (Matthew 6:9)
FIRSTBORN (Rom.8:29, Rev.1:5, Col.1:15)
FIRSTFRUITS (1 Cor.15:20-23)
FORTRESS (Jeremiah 16:19)
FOUNDATION (1 Cor. 3:11)
FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS (Jeremiah 2:13)
FRIEND (Matthew 11:19)
FULLERS’ SOAP (Malachi 3:2 kjv)

G

GENTLE WHISPER (1 Kings 19:12)
GIFT OF GOD (John 4:10)
GLORY OF THE LORD (Isaiah 40:5)
GOD (Genesis 1:1)
GOD ALMIGHTY (Genesis 17:1)
GOD OF THE WHOLE EARTH (Isaiah 54:5)
GOD OVER ALL (Romans 9:5)
GOD WHO SEES ME (Genesis 16:13)
GOODNESS (Psalm 144:2 kjv)
GOOD SHEPHERD (John 10:11)
GOVERNOR (Psalm 22:28 kjv)
GREAT HIGH PRIEST (Hebrews 4:14)
GREAT SHEPHERD (Hebrews 13:20)
GUIDE (Psalm 48:14)

H

HEAD OF THE BODY (Colossians 1:18)
HEAD OF THE CHURCH (Ephesians 5:23)
HEIR OF ALL THINGS (Hebrews 1:2)
HIDING PLACE (Psalm 32:7)
HIGHEST (Luke 1:76)
HIGH PRIEST (Hebrews 3:1)
HIGH PRIEST FOREVER (Hebrews 6:20)
HOLY GHOST (John 14:26)
HOLY ONE (Acts 2:27)
HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL (Isaiah 49:7)
HOLY SPIRIT (John 15:26)
HOPE (Titus 2:13)
HORN OF SALVATION (Luke 1:69)
HUSBAND (Isaiah 54:5, Jer. 31:32, Hosea 2:16)

I

I AM (Exodus 3:14, John 8:58)
IMAGE OF GOD (2 Cor. 4:4)
IMAGE OF HIS PERSON (Hebrews 1:3 kjv)
IMMANUEL (Isaiah 7:14)
INTERCESSOR (Romans 8:26,27,34 Hebrews 7:25)

J

JAH (Psalm 68:4 kjv)
JEALOUS (Exodus 34:14 kjv)
JEHOVAH (Psalm 83:18 kjv)
JESUS (Matthew 1:21)
JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD (Romans 6:23)
JUDGE (Isaiah 33:22, Acts 10:42)
JUST ONE (Acts 22:14)

K

KEEPER (Psalm 121:5)
KING (Zechariah 9:9)
KING ETERNAL (1 Timothy 1:17)
KING OF GLORY (Psalm 24:10)
KING OF JEWS (Matthew 27:11)
KING OF KINGS (1 Timothy 6:15)
KING OF SAINTS (Revelation 15:3)

L

LAMB OF GOD (John 1:29)
LAST ADAM (1 Cor. 15:45)
LAWGIVER (Isaiah 33:22)
LEADER (Isaiah 55:4)
LIFE (John 14:6)
LIGHT OF THE WORLD (John 8:12)
LIKE AN EAGLE (Deut. 32:11)
LILY OF THE VALLEYS (Song 2:1)
LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH (Revelation 5:5)
LIVING GOD (Daniel 6:20)
LIVING STONE (1 Peter 2:4)
LIVING WATER (John 4:10)
LORD (John 13:13)
LORD GOD ALMIGHTY (Revelation 15:3)
LORD GOD OF HOSTS (Jeremiah 15:16)
LORD JESUS CHRIST (1 Cor. 15:57)
LORD OF ALL (Acts 10:36)
LORD OF GLORY (1 Cor. 2:8)
LORD OF HARVEST (Matthew 9:38)
LORD OF HOSTS (Haggai 1:5)
LORD OF LORDS (1 Tim. 6:15)
LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:6)
LOVE (1 John 4:8)
LOVINGKINDNESS (Psalm 144:2)

M

MAKER (Job 35:10, Psalm 95:6)
MAJESTY ON HIGH (Hebrews 1:3)
MAN OF SORROWS (Isaiah 53:3)
MASTER (Luke 5:5)
MEDIATOR (1 Timothy 2:5)
MERCIFUL GOD (Jeremiah 3:12)
MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT (Malachi 3:1)
MESSIAH (John 4:25)
MIGHTY GOD (Isaiah 9:6)
MIGHTY ONE (Isaiah 60:16)
MOST UPRIGHT (Isaiah 26:7)

N

NAZARENE (Matthew 2:23)

O

OFFSPRING OF DAVID (Revelation 22:16)
OMEGA (Revelation 22:13)
ONLY BEGOTTEN SON (John 1:18 kjv)
OUR PASSOVER LAMB (1 Cor. 5:7)
OUR PEACE (Ephesians 2:14)

P

PHYSICIAN (Luke 4:23)
PORTION (Psalm 73:26,Psalm 119:57)
POTENTATE (1 Timothy 6:15)
POTTER (Isaiah 64:8)
POWER OF GOD (1 Cor. 1:24)
PRINCE OF LIFE (Acts 3:15)
PRINCE OF PEACE (Isaiah 9:6)
PROPHET (Acts 3:22)
PROPHET OF THE HIGHEST (Luke 1:76)
PROPITIATION (1John 2:2, 1John 4:10)
PURIFIER (Malachi 3:3)

Q

QUICKENING SPIRIT (1 Corinthians 15:45 kjv)

R

RABBONI (TEACHER) (John 20:16)
RADIANCE OF GOD’S GLORY (Heb.1:3)
REDEEMER (Job 19:25)
REFINER’S FIRE (Malachi 3:2)
REFUGE (Jeremiah 16:19)
RESURRECTION (John 11:25)
REWARDER (Hebrews 11:6)
RIGHTEOUS ONE (1 John 2:1)
ROCK (1 Cor.10:4)
ROOT OF DAVID (Rev. 22:16)
ROSE OF SHARON (Song 2:1)
RULER OF GOD’S CREATION (Rev. 3:14)
RULER OVER KINGS OF EARTH (Rev 1:5)
RULER OVER ISRAEL (Micah 5:2)

S

SAVIOR (Luke 2:11)
SCEPTRE (Numbers 24:17)
SEED (Genesis 3:15)
SERVANT (Isaiah 42:1)
SHADE (Psalm 121:5)
SHEPHERD OF OUR SOULS (1Peter 2:25)
SHIELD (Genesis 15:1)
SHILOH (Genesis 49:10)
SONG (Exodus 15:2, Isaiah 12:2)
SON OF DAVID (Matthew 1:1)
SON OF GOD (Matthew 27:54)
SON OF MAN (Matthew 8:20)
SON OF THE MOST HIGH (Luke 1:32)
SOURCE (Hebrews 5:9)
SPIRIT (John 4:24)
SPIRIT OF ADOPTION (Romans 8:15)
SPIRIT OF GOD (Genesis 1:2)
SPIRIT OF TRUTH (John 14:17,15:26,16:13)
STAR OUT OF JACOB (Numbers 24:17)
STRENGTH (Jeremiah 16:19)
STONE (1 Peter 2:8)
STONE OF ISRAEL (Genesis 49:24)
STRONGHOLD (Nahum 1:7)
STRONG TOWER (Proverbs 18:10)
SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (Malachi 4:2)

T

TEACHER (John 13:13)
TEMPLE (Revelation 21:22)
THE ONE (Psalm 144:2,10)
TRUE LIGHT (John 1:9)
TRUE WITNESS (Revelation 3:14)
TRUTH (John 14:6)

V

VINE (John 15:5)

W

WALL OF FIRE (Zechariah 2:5)
WAY (John 14:6)
WISDOM OF GOD (1 Cor. 1:24)
WITNESS (Isaiah 55:4)
WONDERFUL (Isaiah 9:6)
WORD (John 1:1)
WORD OF GOD (Revelation 19:13)

Y

YAH (Isaiah 12:2 kjv, Psalm 68:4 nkjv)

No man – I don’t care how colossal his intellect – No man is greater than his prayer life.

-Lenard Ravenhill

Ray Brandon
Resources: Unit 4, Session 4

 

Other resources:

A must watch movie: American Gospel

Article: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/american-gospel-blows-hole-prosperity-gospel/%3Famp Available on Amazon, iTunes and Vemeo.


Learn How to 'Adult' Before You 'Missionary'

ALEX KOCMAN | JANUARY 18, 2019

Every head bowed, every eye closed. Good. Now, do you feel a stirring deep in your soul when I talk about missions? If so, stand up.

If you’ve spent any time in evangelicalism, you know all too well this familiar scene, when the trajectory of one’s life boils down to a single, mystical moment as the band ascends the stage and a synth pad drones in the background.

January isn’t just the season of resolutions, frigid temps, and caloric deficits. It’s also conference season in the evangelical world. And for many college-age believers, it’s a chance to double-down on their spirituality, arms high and heart abandoned in a sea of like-minded students.

I’m not against conferences—many of them I love. I work conferences regularly, I am friends with those involved, and I even attended a Christian university where our thrice-weekly chapel was itself a literal arena event. But the problem with spiritual mountaintop experiences, like any other high, is that there’s always a low. Just as the demon-riddled lowland greeted the disciples after the transfiguration, the monotonous valley of everyday life never lags too far behind the final chorus. This is normal. And it wouldn’t be a problem at all, in fact, if it weren’t so radically divergent from the enchanting bill of goods the Christian conference cottage industry often sells young adults.

Many conferences rally young people to do extraordinary, counter-cultural, radical things for kingdom. High school, college, and seminary students are exhorted to do anything but settle for a predictable, cozy existence. The drumbeat, intentional or not, is risk, run, burn out, and die for Jesus.

This, admittedly, is what many young people—and the rest of us—probably need in order to pierce through the haze of apathy that envelops our cushy American lifestyles. But I doubt if such rhetoric always represents the counsel most fitting for current college students.

Generational Trends

Christian college students are far from immune to the cultural trends affecting Generation Z (defined, after millennials, as those born after 1997).

College students need to learn to “adult” before they “missionary.”

I’m not saying that all students born after 1997 are delinquents. Such a claim would be absurd. I am saying, however, that our pastoral rush towards the “radical” rally-cry exposes a gap in our discipleship track: ordinary faithfulness.

Faithfulness First

When I was a biblical studies student at my Christian university, I bought into the logic of extraordinary Christian living. I rushed to finish my undergrad in two years, convinced I had a far more glamorous calling awaiting someplace in which my talents and I would finally be recognized as God’s gift to the world. God needed me, after all.

Wide-eyed for ministry, I eagerly proposed to my girlfriend, and we made plans to begin our adventure right after college. But with precious little professional experience at my unripe age, having pigeonholed myself as a professional evangelical, my ambitions backfired, and I quickly found myself scrambling for ministry jobs to no avail.

The best pieces of advice I received during that season of life came from two respected guys on campus, both a few years my senior. My first friend brought me to 1 Chronicles 21, where David, relying on his own achievements, orders an unsanctioned census of Israel, incurring national judgment. In spite of David’s hubris, God mercifully lessens the severity of the punishment (v. 15), an act of mercy that literally lays the foundation for the temple (v. 28; cf. 22:1). In this, the Lord reminded me that knuckleheaded decisions have consequences—and God is gracious anyway.

The second guy simply reminded me of Luke 16:10: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (ESV). At a season in life when I was looking for my big break—to burn out for Jesus in a proverbial blaze of glory—I needed to focus on ordinary, menial obedience.

I wanted to win the world, but I needed to get a job. I wanted to preach, but I needed to do the dishes. My calling was simply to do the next thing, what Eugene Peterson called “a long obedience in the same direction.”

Starting Small

Hell is real, Jesus saves, souls are in the balance, and time is short. The oft-posed Monday morning question, of course, is, what next?

If we do not disciple the up-and-coming generation with an understanding of obedience in the ordinary, we will produce fickle missionaries at best. Full-time ministry—in any culture—is, after all, the sum of a hundred ordinary days at the office, church budget meetings, and sermon prep sessions after the kids have gone to bed.

While we challenge young people to live lives of eternal significance, our counsel must also include:

  • Join a church. (As a member.) Submit to elders. Serve faithfully. Do jobs nobody else wants.

  • Make a budget. Limit your expenditures. Live below your means.

  • Get a job. Develop a good rapport before the watching world. Make yourself useful to other people. Contribute to society.

  • Tithe. Give above a tithe. Save money. Pay off your loans.

  • If you want to get married, stop playing juvenile dating games and get married. Learn to love a spouse, raise children, and die to self.

  • Exercise. Eat right. Lose weight if you need to lose weight. Gain weight if you need to gain it. Pick a goal and strain to reach it.

  • Read your Bible every day. Know it by heart. Master it, and be mastered by it. Abide in Christ.

  • Pray fervently. Make disciples locally. Preach the gospel in your Jerusalem.

I’m not saying that full-time ministry is reserved for those who have reached the pinnacle of human perfection. God graciously uses us in our mess—just as he redeemed my boneheadedness in college, and redeems my daily boneheadedness now.

But adulthood is a baseline qualification, not the pinnacle. It takes no super-saint to have a spiritual experience while the music reaches crescendo in a room of thousand; the proof is in the life that follows. We should be able to say, with Paul, “When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Rally-cries have their role, but God’s program for our lives always winds through lengthy valleys of ordinary faithfulness. This requirement is intrinsically good and is divinely hard-wired into the sanctification process for our maximal maturity and God’s greatest glory.

If we aspire to ministry greatness or missionary success, we must first be made small. If we cannot be faithful with the “little” of adulthood, we will surely be unfaithful with the “much” of mission.

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Dr Dan Dewitt 2018 summer Northbridge speaker

Book Wins Double Honors

Dr. Dan DeWitt, Director of the Center for Biblical Apologetics and Public Christianity and Associate Professor of Applied Theology and Apologetics at Cedarville University, has earned double honors for his first children’s book, The Friend Who Forgives. This story about the friendship of Jesus and Peter was honored by Christianity Today and the Gospel Coalition.

Ashley Sheffer Church Planting Assistant Update January 2019

Thanking the Lord from Germany!

Thank you for all the prayers during my travels!

Arrived!

I arrived in Germany on Saturday after around 21 hours of travel, and proceeded to attempt to stay awake for the remainder of my day!  Directly from the airport I was taken to a small party prepared by the teen group that I worked with during my last time in Germany!  They made a large banner and had flowers to welcome me:) We all went to Burger King for an early dinner and it was fun to reconnect with them!

My German is by no means perfect, but it is coming back to me and I feel so much further along than the first time I came.  I spent the week settling into my apartment, waiting on luggage, and getting legal documents in order. I also visited two of the kids' clubs. It was SO fun to see them. When they realized I was back, we jumped right back in as if I had never left! 

Missing Luggage

Thank you to everyone who prayed for my luggage to be returned. I miraculously caught a flight I should have missed due to delays, but my luggage did not. I waited from Saturday until Tuesday for it to make it to Germany. Thank you, Lord!

New Office!
It‘s exciting to be in the new building - which includes my own office.  My name is on the door with office hours which makes it feel very official.  

Prayer Requests
That all of my legal documents can be finished without any issues arising.
That I can quickly settle into the work and communicate well.

 
Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 12

Let us give thanks to the Lord,
for he satisfies the thirsty, 
he fills the hungry with good things,
and he heals the afflicted. 
Let us celebrate his abundant goodness.

We thank you, gracious Father,
that you provide for all our needs,
for food on our tables,
for the clothes on our bodies,
for the beds we sleep in,
for the dwellings that shelter us.

We praise you, Lord,
for all your gifts that go beyond our basic needs,
for the things that make our work easier,
for the conveniences of modern life,
for the beauty and pleasure that you bring into our lives.
Thanks be to God!

Pause to express your prayer of thanksgivng.

We are thankful for those who gave to the Above and Beyond. We were able to purchase Logos Bible Software for a church planter, help Ashley Sheffer with her support, provide daily necessities through Christian Neighbors and more. God is good.

By praying with friends, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived. - Tim Keller

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 11

Pause to thank God that he is patient and kind to show us the way and ask that the spirit of God would reveal to you areas of repentance.

Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin, a dread of its approach.
Help me chastely to flee it
and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone. 

Give me a deeper trust,
that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee,
the ground of my rest, the spring of my being.
Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself
as Saviour, Master, Lord, and King.
Give me deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in Thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.
Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until Thou alone art seen in me,
Thy beauty golden like summer harvest,
Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no master but Thee,
no law but Thy will, no delight but Thyself,
no wealth but that Thou givest,
no good but that Thou blessest,
no peace but that Thou bestowest.

I am nothing but that Thou makest me.
I have nothing but that I receive from Thee.
I can be nothing but that grace adorns me.
Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing with living water.

From The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett.

I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.

- CH Spurgeon

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 10
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We will learn today in church that God has designed us as interactive creatures. The purpose of our interaction is to promote the praise of our God.

  • What voices are you listening to?

  • Who are you influenced by?

  • Do these voices and influence help or hinder your praise? Who are you influencing?

Pause to meditate on the questions and then express your praise to God. See you at the 8:30, 10 or 11:30!

If the spiritual life be healthy, under the full power of the Holy Spirit, praying without ceasing will be natural.

- Andrew Murray

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 8
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Pause now to pray to God for your physical neighbors.

  • Who are the people you live next to?

  • Who works next to you?

  • Who are the people next to you where you recreate?

  • Who are the people next to you where you learn?

  • Who are the people in your church you intentionally develop community with?

Pray specifically about what actions you can take to show the love of Jesus to your neighbors.

All of us would be wiser if we would resolve never to put people down, except on our prayer lists. - D A Carson

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 7
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Pause to express your praise to Jesus:

Praise You, Jesus, You are my life, my love. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the name above all names. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are Emmanuel, God with us. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the King of Kings. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the King of creation. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are King of the universe. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Lord of lords. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Almighty. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Christ. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are Christ the King. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Lamb of God. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are Lion of Judah. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Bright Morning Star. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Champion and shield. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Strength and our Song. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the way of our life. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the only truth. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the real life. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Wonderful Counselor. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Light of the World. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Living Word. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Redeemer. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Anointed One. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Holy one of Israel. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Good Sheperd. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Sheepgate. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Lord of hosts. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Rock of all ages. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are my hiding place. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Savior of the world. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the strong tower. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Mountain Refuge. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Bread of Life. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Font of all holiness. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Living Water. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the True Vine. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are my Spouse. my Maker. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Fortress. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Deliverer. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Victory. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Salvation. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Righteousness. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Wisdom. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Sanctification. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Justification. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Door. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the great I AM. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the great High Priest. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Cornerstone. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Sure Foundation. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Joy. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Portion and Cup. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are my Healing and Wholeness. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are our Covenant. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Promise of the Father. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Everlasting One. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Most High God. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Lamb that was slain. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Just Judge. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Balm of Gilead. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Mighty Warrior. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are my Defense. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Bridegroom. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are my Patience. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Solid Reality 
Praise You, Jesus, You are my Provider. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Resurrection and the Life. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Alpha and the Omega. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are the Beginning and the End. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are all that I need. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are all that I want. 
Praise You, Jesus, You are worthy of all praise. 
Amen

Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian

-Andrew Murray

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 6
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We are thankful for God’s good generosity through his people.

More than 3,500 meals were delivered on Thanksgiving, foster and adoptive children have needed clothing through Braden’s Closet and needs are met in Allegan County through God’s people and the ministry of Christian Neighbors.

Ashley Sheffer’s lost luggage made it to Germany.

We are thankful to see Northbridge Church growing in love for one another, building relationships and loving people in our community and faithfully, joyfully sharing Jesus.

Pause to express your thanksgiving to God

A consecrated life is both a prayer life and a thanksgiving life. - E M Bounds

Ray Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 5
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We learned on Sunday from the Bible that the human heart is dynamic having the ability to think, to emote and to act. Today’s Scripture prayer focuses on repenting of actions.

As you pray and repent of sinful behaviors, ask God to search your heart and reveal to you the dynamics of your heart. Do you sin out of a wrongly held belief or belief system? What do you desire? What are you afraid of? Are you acting out of a conviction that could expose wrong thinking?

Consider at a later time, after prayer, reviewing some of the X-ray questions by David Powlison

God proved his love on the cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died it was God saying to the world — I love you. - Billy Graham

Ray Brandon
Resources: Unit 4, Session 3

The quote is from Spurgeon. He is saying that Scripture is the very words of God, and who doesn’t love to hear the sound of God’s voice? ¹ The problem is that most of us want to hear God’s voice, but we don’t crack our Bibles, and we don’t even buy our own excuses for not doing so. We can all use some fresh motivation.

Here are ways Scripture motivates us to start reading.

Scripture is the words of God to you. Open the Bible anywhere and the words there could be introduced with “the Spirit says” (Heb 3:7). These words are bread for our soul (Deut 8:3). They bring life.

Over the past year, I have watched how they bring this miracle of life. I have seen it in friends whose bodies were dying, and I have seen it in friends who have lost loved ones. Their stories are each uniquely hard and beautiful, but there is a way they are the same. They all fed on Scripture. They asked for Scripture from others. They prayed Scripture. As a result, though they were facing death, they were profoundly alive.

Israel’s kings were directed by God to handwrite a personal copy of his words and keep it with them (Deut 17:18-20). They didn’t, of course. Hezekiah may have been the exception because he knew the Law of Moses and did not depart from it (2 Kings 18:6). Life and power were evident during his reign. Take note of Josiah, too. During his reign, an extensive rehab project of the temple was undertaken and a copy of the Law was unearthed. When it was read, the Spirit used it to revive an entire nation (2 Kings 22-23).

Scripture was the words of the Father to Jesus. King Jesus was the one who had the words of the Father close at hand. When he took on flesh, he lived with the same resources we have—Scripture—and it was food for his soul. Watch him in the wilderness. He did battle and stood firm against Satan, not because he had singular connections to the Father and the Spirit, but because he remembered Scripture—“it is written” (Matt 4:1-7).

Scripture is about Jesus. Moses wrote of Jesus. (John 5:46). The bread that came from the mouth of God (Deut 8:3) was Jesus, who said, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). This means that as we feed on Scripture we are feeding on Jesus himself. The person is more prominent than the commands. Task number one in Scripture is to discover the suffering servant and risen Lord. And though we might think that an audible voice or a spectacular visitation from God would be a great boost to our confidence in what God says to us, Scripture anticipates us here. “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets,” Jesus said, “neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

I have been in accountability groups in which we would ask about our times in Scripture from the week before. The reminder was helpful and the fellowship was sweet, but the reminders didn’t always get us into the Word. Perhaps a simple question would have been more effective. “Anyone want to hear words that come from the very mouth of God?” Then we could simply have read Scripture together.

¹I paraphrased Spurgeon for the title of my lecture at our 2018 Annual Conference: “Loving Your Bible: A Personal Invitation.”

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Help for asking questions.

A great resource for group leaders and personal study of the Bible

21 Days of Prayer - Day 4
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Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship to God.

It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances. - Timothy Keller

PrayerRay Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 3
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As you give thanks, let us remember to thank God for the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission and the generosity of Christians that care for the needs in our community. We are thankful for those who gave to the Above and Beyond at Northbridge to bless the expansion project of the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.

To pray is to enter the treasure-house of God and to gather riches out of an inexhaustible storehouse. - C H Spurgeon

PrayerRay Brandon
21 Days of Prayer - Day 2

Today is Ashley Sheffer’s first day in Germany. As you take 5 minutes to pray the following Scripture. let us pray for Ashley Sheffer, Rich and Julia Rudolph and Michael Landoll.

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Pause to pray that God will fill you, our church and our missionaries with his love so that it brings the lost to Jesus.

Prayer is the way we work our way out of the comfortable but cramped world of self and into the spacious world of God. - Eugene Peterson

PrayerRay Brandon
21 Days of Prayer

Welcome to the 21 Days of Prayer!

Each day we will pray the Scripture together for ONE thing. The prayer categories are Praise, Repent or Request and Thanksgiving.

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Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly.

- E M Bounds