Evening Prayer: January 17th

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Living God, day has come to a close; have our actions and words been acceptable to you? We pray we have honored you today. As I close my eyes and submit to the renewing of the night, guard my heart from the hand of the enemy and renew and refresh my spirit.

Tonight I lift up those who have no home and who sleep and shiver in the cold. I pray for those who have no food, that somehow they may be fed. 

Now, Father, if it be your will I wake to another sunrise on this earth, may I walk all the more closely to you. If I waken to another sunrise, may I hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into my rest.” I the blessed name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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Thoughts to Ponder from 20:19b

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John 20:19 (ESV)

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews,  Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

The disciples had been through a substantial life-altering event. This Jesus they had been following, this Jesus that they had dropped everything in their life to follow, this One they had dared to believe was the Messiah, had ended up dead on a Roman cross. This was not supposed to be the plan. The plan was for them to see Rome destroyed and see the glory days of Israel reestablished. Rather than seeing this happen, the disciples now found themselves hiding behind closed doors, hoping that they would not suffer the same fate as Jesus. To say that the disciples were anxious, scared, and apprehensive is an understatement.

Such is the backdrop to our passage in John’s Gospel. As if the events of the past few days was not enough, while behind locked doors, in strolls Jesus. Understand, the disciples were no different than us. Dead is dead, period. They knew Jesus had died on that cross. There was no disputing that fact. And now, before their eyes, stood this dead Nazarene carpenter. They were about to find out just what the power of God was about and could do. So into the midst of the confusion, dismay and anxiety – Jesus spoke. His words are simple and few but their impact is profound.

You see this is the power of the Gospel for us. Being human is not easy. Life is beyond challenging at times. How often does life throw us the curve balls that just knock us for a loop? Whether it is the loss of a relationship, the loss of health, the loss of financial security. Whatever it may be, if there is one thing we understand: Life is anything but peaceful. Yet this is not what God intended for us. Not even remotely. God knows that sometimes we need to hear those simple words; “Peace be still.” Sometimes we need God to just come right into the mix and fray of our lives and speak these words and actually calm the storm. Do we have the faith and trust to allow him to do just that?

What circumstances in your life do you need Jesus to come into and speak the word of peace that will bring you comfort and assurance?