In our own homes – let us worship the Lord and give thanks to Him for His salvation.

You call us, Lord, to “lead a life worthy of Your calling” (Ephesians 4:1). We say, ‘I can’t.’ You say to us, “I have blessed you, in Christ, with every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3). Why we do allow our lives to be controlled by our own weakness when we can be transformed by Your strength? Help us, Lord, to think of all that You have given to us, in Christ, and to rise up, with new strength – Your strength – to live for You day-by-day.

We thank You, Lord, for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. In Him, You give to us “rivers of living water” (John 7:37-39). How are these “rivers of living water” to flow in us and through us? – We need less of this world – “Do not be conformed to this world” – and more of Your Word – “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

When, Lord, we settle for anything less than Your very best, we miss out on Your blessing – and we have no blessing to pass on to other people. Help us, Lord, to move out of complacency and into commitment, out of the ‘No’ attitude – ‘no time for You, Lord’ – and into the ‘Yes’ actions – “Yes, Lord, I will follow You, I will serve You.”

Lord, we like to take it easy. We like to have a comfortable life. We don’t want to be too committed. We’ve become half-hearted. Where does this apathy come from? Does it come from You? Are You not calling us to be whole-hearted? Lord, lift us out of a life pf paying lip-service to You and into a life of being changed by Your love and Your power.

We thank You, Lord, that Your love goes on and on. We may stop loving You – but You will never stop loving us. What a wonderful love You have for us. There is no love like Your love. Thank You, Lord, for Your love.

Help us, Lord, to hear Your Word, to speak Your Word, and to live Your Word. You speak to us. Are we listening? There are people who need to hear Your Word. Do we fail them? Do we keep Your Word to ourselves? The world is watching us. Are we living for You? In our hearing, speaking and living, help us, Lord, to be, more truly and more fully, all that You want us to be.

Lord, You have done great things for us. You are still doing great things for us. You will continue to do great things for us. When we say, “Thank You, Lord, for Your many blessings”, help us never to take Your blessing for granted. Help us to keep on living in obedience to Your Word. Help us to see, more clearly, the vital connection between obedience and blessing: Keep the obedience going, and the blessing will keep on coming.

Help us, Lord, to mean what we say, and say what we mean. May our words of faith by backed up by a life of faith. In our life of faith, may we be unashamed to say, “I’m living this way because I love Jesus. It’s not about me. It’s about Jesus. He’s changing me – “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

When things are going well, help us, Lord, to thank You. When things are going badly, help us to trust You.

Sometimes, Lord, You say to us, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). Sometimes, You say to us, “This is not the way. Do not walk in it.” Help us, Lord, to walk in Your way –  and not in the way of the world.

Lord, may there be less trying to get our own way – and more walking in Your way.

We are weak. You are strong. Teach us, Lord, to look beyond our weakness to Your strength.

We find it so easy, Lord, to forget You and all that You have done for us. We feel the pull of the world – drawing us back to what we were before we met You, drawing us away from all that You are calling us to become. Give us grace, Lord, to remember You, to rejoice in You, and to be renewed by You.

Lord, there are two ways of living – the self-centred way and the God-centred way. Show us, Lord, that Your way is always the best way.

You call us, Lord, to get real with You, to mean what we say. We’re not to say one thing, and do something else. We say, I will follow You, Lord.” Help us to remember what we have said – and help us to remember what Jesus said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

Lord, we don’t go out looking for problems – but, sometimes, we can’t avoid them. Help us, Lord, to turn obstacles into opportunities. When we’re on the verge of collapse, may Your grace lead us on to spiritual growth.

At the beginning of the lockdown, Jack McHugh, the Moderator of the Presbytery of Greenock and Paisley, wrote a letter to the members of our Presbytery. For several months, I have been including Jack’s letter in these times of worship “in our own homes.” In this letter, he calls us to pray. Although our Presbytery, now, has a new Moderator, we continue to include Jack’s letter.

Keep on praying!

As you read Jack’s letter, pray for the people he mentions – and don’t forget to pray for him, giving thanks to God for his much-needed and much-appreciated spiritual leadership.

Call to Prayer

Jeremiah 33:3

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As we face the uncertainty surrounding the present coronavirus pandemic and the fact that we cannot see, feel or touch the problem, it can lead us to become either sceptical about its seriousness or terrified of what it could do to us or our loved ones. There is no doubt that we face the greatest test that our nation has faced since the end of the Second World War. It proves, once again, that we really do not have all the answers to life’s problems.

However, even in the uncertainly and the need to listen carefully to the scientific and medical experts, who are seeking to help our nation get through these difficult times, I believe that there is One who does have all the answers, and we can pray to Him.

I have no doubt that we have all been earnestly praying in these days, but I have been led to believe that, although we cannot come together as a Presbytery, we can still pray together. I would like to suggest that we, as a Presbytery, endeavour to set aside time each day at the same time if possible to pray about the present situation; and I would suggest 11.00 a.m.

It may be that for some that is not possible, but let us pray every day at whatever time is suitable for each one of us.

Let us pray for doctors, nurses, scientists, emergency service workers and indeed all who would seek to respond in these difficult days. Pray for the vulnerable folk in society; let us pray for those who have had to self-isolate, and for folk who contract the virus that they will make a full recovery. Let us pray for families with children who are at home because our schools are closing, that they can cope with the need to keep the children interested and occupied.

Let us pray for our congregations and the folk in our Presbytery and nation. Pray for folk whose employment and income is adversely affected by not being able to work.

Pray for our politicians in Westminster and Holyrood that God will sustain them and inspire them with His Holy Spirit that their decisions will be in accordance with His will and purposes.

Let us all remember that God is Sovereign and that he has shown the depth of his love for us by sending His Son, Jesus, into our world to be our Saviour and our Lord. He will not abandon us now in our time of need.

God bless you all.

Jack McHugh

Lord, may our lives be an echo of the words of Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me … ” (Luke 4:18-19). We look at what we are, and we ask, “How can we become more like Jesus?” It begins with the death of Jesus – “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). It continues with the gift of the Holy Spirit – “the Holy Spirit has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). We look at Jesus, our Saviour. We look at the Holy Spirit. What do we see? We see Your love(Romans 5:8 and Romans 5:5). It’s Your love that changes us. It’s Your love that makes us more like Jesus.

Lord, we thank You that our lives are not controlled by what we are. They are transformed by what You are. We are sinners. You are the God of grace. Will our sin triumph over Your grace? – “God forbid!” (Romans 6:1-2). “Sin shall not have dominion over us” (Romans 6:14). Your grace has brought us forgiveness. May it also bring us renewal: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Lord, we find ourselves somewhere between tragedy and triumph. We look at ourselves – and we see our potential for tragedy. When we forget about You, we’re like a runaway train – out of control and heading for a big crash. When, Lord, You take control, everything changes. You turn things around. You set us on the road to triumph: “Thanks be to God who always leads us to triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Lord, it’s not easy to keep on praying, “Your will be done.” Our will gets in the way. We start thinking about what we want – and we forget about what You want. We try to get the best of both worlds – pleasing You and pleasing ourselves. We become “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4). Help us to become more like Jesus; “I seek not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 5:30).

Help us, Lord, to “be still, and know that You are God” (Psalm 46:10) – but help us not to remain silent when we should be speaking up for You: “If you confess with your mouth , ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Even when we get ourselves into a right mess, You’re still in control. You are Lord. Nothing changes that. We wonder, “Can things be turned around?” You say to us, “Yes. They can.” You say to us, “It’s not all about you. I am there with you. I have never left you. I’m not going to leave you now. Trust Me. Let My love give you the strength that you need to keep on going, when the going gets tough.”

Lord, we read, in Your Word, that “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25) – and it seems like we are reading a description of today’s world. We look around us, and we see so little love for You. Your Son is “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). Our Saviour is “ignored” (Hebrews 2:3). We seem to hear nothing but bad news. Is there any good news? Do You have something to say to us – something to lift us out of our darkness and into Your light? We thank You, Lord, that there is Good News – Jesus is “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). Help us, Lord, to pray that the light of Jesus will shine more brightly in our world. Help us to pray for revival – and help us to begin with ourselves: “O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee. Send a revival. Start the work in me” (J. Edwin Orr, “Search me, O God”).

Sometimes, Lord, it seems to us that some things just happen by chance. You’re saying to us, “No. It’s more than that.” You are working in us. You are showing us Your love. Day-by-day, You are showing us that You are the faithful God. You are the God of “amazing grace.” Help us to say more than “These things just happened.” Help us to say, “God has blessed us. Thank You, Lord.”

Thank You, Lord, that Jesus has become one of us. He’s come down to this earth for us – and He’s gone to the Cross for us. He came from heaven – and He’s taking us to heaven. He has taken our sin – and He’s given us His forgiveness. When we think of Jesus – all that He has done for us, all that He is doing for us, all that He will do for us, may our hearts be filled with praise to You, the God of our salvation.

We come to You, Lord, with sadness. You give us gladness. How does this gladness come to us? It comes to us when we stand upon Your Word, when we believe Your promises. Our life is not controlled by our feelings – the feelings that drag us down, the feelings that pull us away from You. Your promises lift us out of these feelings. They lift us into Your presence. They assure us of Your love. They lead us into Your blessing. Thank You, Lord, for Your promises and Your presence, Your love and Your blessing.

Lord, there are two ways of living. There’s the way of holiness and joy, the way of living in the strength of Your Spirit. There’s the way of living to please ourselves, living without the joy that comes from You, living in the weakness of the flesh. Help us, Lord, to keep on choosing Your way, and not to persist in going our own way and doing our own thing.

“Here I am, Lord … I have heard You calling in the night. I will go, Lord … I will hold Your people in my heart” (Daniel L. Schutte). Lord, You come to us. You come with Your Word. It is a Word for ourselves. It is a Word for others. We receive Your Word. We share Your Word. Glorify Your Name, Lord – in us and through us.

Lord, You are the true God, the living God, the everlasting God (Jeremiah 10:10). You are our Saviour (Isaiah 43:11). Speak to us Your truth. Breathe into us Your life. As Jesus draws near to us, help us to trust Him and be led by Him on the pathway to Your eternal glory.

“Holiness, holiness, the only life that the Lord will bless” (Don Francisco). Lord, You are the holy God. You call us to be holy. The way of holiness is the way of blessing. Help us, Lord, to walk with You in Your way – the way of holiness, the way of blessing.

Lord, You are the King. There is no king like You. No human king can even begin to compare with You – the divine King, the “King of kings” (Revelation 19:16). We lift to You our song of praise: “O worship the King, all glorious above. O gratefully sing, His power and His love.”

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!” When, Lord, we say that You are the great King, may we not think only of the greatness of Your power. May we think, also, of the greatness of Your love.

“Praise, my soul, the King of heaven; To His feet thy tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like thee His praise should sing?” No earthly king could ever bless us the way You, Lord, have blessed us. What a great Saviour You have given to us! Jesus is greater than any earthly king. He does for us what no earthly king could ever do for us. He brings us into Your everlasting Kingdom.

We thank You, Lord, that You speak to us the right Word at the right time. Sometimes, we need to hear Your Word of promise. Sometimes, we need to hear Your Word of warning. Assure us, Lord, that, in all life’s changing circumstances, “Your grace is always sufficient for us” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Is there any hope for us, Lord? Sometimes, we wonder. It seems like we’re in a dark hole – and we can’t get out! Then, Lord, You come to us. You say to us, ‘I am the God of hope. I will fill you with hope’ (Romans 15:13). In ourselves, there is no hope. With You, there is real hope. Our future is in safe hands – “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).

“We all make mistakes. If any one makes no mistakes … he is a perfect man” (James 3:2). Lord, there is only one perfect Man – Jesus. When we get it wrong, help us to look to Him – to put it right, to make us right. Our difficulties may not disappear, but, with Jesus on our side, we will rise above them.

Again and again, Lord, we take the easy way out. We avoid conflict. We side with evil, when we should be choosing good. Why are we like this? – We’ve always been like this. It’s the story of our life. It’s everybody’s story. Can we be changed? We’ll never be perfect, but we can begin to triumph over evil. Help us, Lord, to begin with You, to receive Your strength – strength to do good rather than evil.

God bless you all.

Charlie

3 thoughts on “In our own homes – let us worship the Lord and give thanks to Him for His salvation.

  1. Thanks, Light Writers, Donald, Whispering Leaves, Tides and Tidings, Ryan and Ccoutreach, for liking this post. God bless each of you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.