The First 15

Thursday November 23, 2023

by Jan Davis

Today is Thursday, November 23 and this week we are exploring what the Bible says about communion.

Opening Prayer

As I enter this time of prayer, I pause and become still. I breathe deeply and slowly and focus myself entirely upon God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Pause and Pray

Blessed Lord God, thank you for loving me. I am grateful that you are always near and communicate with me throughout the day. Help me to slow down and seek your voice in my life. Teach me to listen with the ears of my heart and discern the particular message you have for me. Amen.

Scripture Reading

In the morning I praise God with the ancient words of Psalm 133.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. Psalm 133:1-3>

Pause and Pray

We do not make our journey in the Christian life alone, we share the joys and challenges with other travelers along the way. God knows we were created to be in relationship with other people and that those relationships have the capacity to greatly bless us. One of the greatest blessings of this life is family, another is Christian community – the relationships we share with fellow believers in Jesus Christ. At the end of his earthly life, Jesus prayed for his disciples and for those who would become disciples down through the centuries.

My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23

Reflection

Jesus’ prayer is for me. His prayer leaps off the pages of scripture, extends across the continents, transcends the barriers of time and speaks to my heart. I am to be one with Christ and my fellow believers. This is not a solitary journey I travel. I walk the well-worn paths of Christianity with a multitude of faithful followers from every time and place. I am to be one with them as God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one. Christ is in me and that unites me with every soul who loves him and believes in him. Unity in Christ is a witness to the world of the truth of Christ.

Ask: How am I connected or disconnected to other Christian believers? When do I recognize Christ in me and Christ in others?

Pause and Pray

Lord Jesus, thank you for your prayer from long ago that continues to bless me today. Teach me the value of Christian community and help me discover those who truly love you and believe in you as I do. Bring your unity and peace so that I may be one with you, one with other believers, and we may be one in ministry to all the world. I read the words from John again and listen for the message you have for me.

My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23

Ask: What image, word or phrase stands out to me when I slowly read this passage? What is God trying to say to me through these words of scripture?

Pause and Pray

As I walk this spiritual journey, I remember how God loves me and wants to speak into my life. I spend time with God because I trust him. I want to hear his whispers in my soul and endeavor to listen closely. As I ascend the walk of holiness, I go deeper into spiritual relationship with my Lord. I consider the state of my spirit and ponder how these words of Jesus might speak to me at this age and stage of my life. I repeat the word or phrase that stands out to me and record it in my journal. I keep in mind that God may speak to me later throughout my day.

Pause and Pray

Lord Jesus, come into my heart and show me where Christian community is lacking. Bring good, faithful people into my life and foster relationships that will mutually bless us. Give me a gentle, humble heart, knowing I need others to walk with me on this pilgrim way. Amen.

May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. Genesis 28:3

Closing Prayer

I leave this time of prayer to invest myself in the blessings of Christian community. I join others to share the love of Christ far and wide.

Amen

The First 15

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