Friday January 22, 2021
In the busyness of our everyday lives, we often fail to prepare our hearts and minds for reading God’s word and experience God in this time. Take a moment to allow this prayer to lead you into your time with God today.
As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.
Holy and loving God, in this new season I invite you to shape my soul with your words and inspire my life with your works. Teach me to walk in the way of peace and grace. AMEN.
*This prayer adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network. To find out more about this resource, visit this link.
Exodus 16:4-5; 21-26
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”
So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. ix days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”
After freeing Israel from bondage, God reshapes the identity of these former slaves. Whatever food they received in Egypt was given so they could continue their work. For their former taskmasters, the people of Israel were nothing more than tools to be used to support their livelihood, to further Epypt’s glory and fulfill Pharaoh’s dreams.
Rescuing Israel involved more than removing them from Egypt. It also included helping them leave behind their identity as slaves. God’s provision of manna in the wilderness and the instruction that they only collect what they needed for each day was a way of rebuilding their trust in God. It was also God helping them reclaim their sacred worth.
To fully step into the new, is God asking you to leave who you once were behind? Where is God providing ‘manna’ to help you leave your old life behind?
When you are finished with your time of reflection and before you close in prayer, spend a few moments committing the words of scripture to memory which come from Philippians 3:13-14.
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Father, help me to live this day to the full, being true to You, in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.
*Our opening and closing prayers are adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network. To find out more about this resource, visit this link.
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