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3 Days of Prayer and Fasting (2024/05)

DAY ONE: LOVING GOD

 

John 3:16-18

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

 

Reflect:

“For God so loved the world.” This is an astounding statement, because it extends God’s love no longer merely to Israelites, His chosen people, but to the whole world. It is God’s love for the world that enables the promise “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” You and I can believe in Christ and have eternal life, because God so loved the world.

 

People sometimes steer clear of Christianity because they dread a God of judgment and fear the condemnation of Christians. However, at its core, Christianity presents a solution to the condemnation that we are all already under. We would not lack warmth of feeling toward Christ, if we understood the weight of condemnation that he freed us from. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Does the thought of Jesus Christ fill you with joy and gratitude?

 

Recommended Song:

“The Love of God” by Mercy Me (Find it on our church’s Spotify playlist, “Trinity Hymnal,” at http://bit.do/trinityhymnal)

 

Pray:

  • Pray that you would know the depth of God’s love for you, for “[he] so loved the world, that he gave his only Son.”
  • Pray that a deeper understanding of God’s love would inflame your love for him.
  • Pray that you would not fear God’s condemnation, but live in light of your justification in Christ.

 

DAY TWO: LOVING ONE ANOTHER

 

John 13:1-17

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

 

Reflect:

Just before his death on the cross, Jesus gathers his disciples for supper during the Feast of the Passover. The feast that was traditionally celebrated with one’s own family, Jesus now celebrates with his disciples who are his “own” (v. 1), the new family of God. We, the church of God, are also members of this family and invited to partake in the feast of the Lamb.

 

During supper, he humbly serves his disciples by washing their feet. He washes not only the feet of his loyal disciples, but also the feet of his betrayer, Judas. This is all the more remarkable due to the fact that feet-washing was a task considered too demeaning even for Jewish slaves. It was a task reserved for non-Jewish slaves. Yet, Jesus, the “Teacher and Lord” (v. 13), stoops down to wash his disciples’ feet and says, “you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (v. 14).

 

Do we recognize that we are a new family of God? Are we willing to humble ourselves before others, consider them better than ourselves, and serve them? Do we serve only those who love us and are loyal to us, or also those who do not love us and are disloyal to us?

 

Recommended Song:

“Overcome” by Jeremy Camp (Find it on our church’s Spotify playlist, “Trinity Hymnal,” at http://bit.do/trinityhymnal)

 

Pray:

  • Pray that we would be willing to wash one another’s feet, seeking to serve rather than to be served, and humbly considering others more significant than ourselves.
  • Pray that, though many of us live apart from our biological families, that our church would truly be a family of God, opening up our homes toward one another in hospitality, watching each other’s children, sharing our possessions generously with one another, etc.
  • Pray for unity in our church, that, instead of suspicions, gossip, and slander, we’d have love for one another that bears all things, believes all things, endures all things, and hopes all things.

 

DAY THREE: LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS

 

John 17:1-26

17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

 

Reflect:

Jesus’s prayer at the end of his earthly ministry is a great model for the church’s ministry on earth.

 

Jesus says to his Father, “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word” (v. 6). In the same way, we could baptize and teach only those whom God gives us out of the world. This understanding should rightly drive us to prayer for our unbelieving friends and neighbors.

 

Jesus gave people “the words that [his Father] gave [him]” (v. 8). He gave “them [God’s] word” (v. 14), and prays on their behalf, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (v. 17). In our ministry, also, the Word of God must be central. It is the reception of the word that reconstitutes people so that they are counted no longer as “of the world” (v. 14). Are you rooted and steeped in God’s Word? Do you faithfully minister God’s Word to people?

 

The ultimate purpose of all our ministry is God’s glory, and we most glorify God when we love him. God shares his glory with his Son, because he loves him (v. 24). The Son shares his glory with his disciples, “so that the world may know that … [God] loved them even as [he] loved [him]” (vv. 22-23). We, then, ought to reveal this glory to others by sharing the love of Christ with them.

 

Recommended Song:

“Speak O Lord” by Keith & Kristyn Getty (Find it on our church’s Spotify playlist, “Trinity Hymnal,” at http://bit.do/trinityhymnal)

 

Pray:

  • Pray that the Word of God may be central to the ministry of Trinity Cambridge Church, and that we would be obedient to the Word in every aspect of our lives.
  • Pray that God’s love would cascade down to us, from Father to Son, from Son to us in the Spirit, and flow out into the world.
  • Pray that we would be zealous for the glory of God.

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