July 4 Devotional

Opening Prayer: O Lord, our God, give us the grace and the strength to dwell in you all the minutes of this day. Allow us the pleasure of beholding your beauty in all times and through all the circumstances that lie before us. May we continually seek your face. Amen. 

Scripture: Psalm 27:1-8

Journal: What beauty have you beheld recently? How has God shown himself beautiful in your life and world? What did that do within you? How will you go about seeking his face today?

Reflection: The spiritual guidance Brother Lawrence (Practicing the Presence of God) offers is simple: the love of God is everything, a love that surrounds and enfolds us. Out of this love should proceed a rhythm of continual internal awareness of God. Our constant conversation with God helps us to remember that he is our partner in everything we do. Br. Lawrence used to say to the Lord, “So that my work will be better, Lord, work with me; receive my work and possess all my affections.”

Just as two people who love each other find their days filled with thoughts of each other, so in this practice we raise our minds to remember the One who loves us most. We establish a loving, familiar union with God, who holds us in the palm of his gentle hand. The practice of the presence of God becomes a habitual state of the soul, an openness to the Divine One who surrounds us in our busy lives. (Beginning Contemplative Prayer by Kathryn J. Hermes)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Steve Hoke works with national church denominations and mission organizations in 25 countries and North America in the area of leader development and strategic life coaching. Pray today that the Spirit will guide Steve to make connections with the leaders and organizations with which to work and that he will have spiritual authority to speak into the lives of mission leaders requesting assistance. 

Knox County CAC is a public agency serving the citizens of Knoxville and Knox County. Cedar Springs is partnering with CAC Homeward Bound Emergency Transitional Housing Project (ETH). The program helps specific groups find housing: (1) Families with children that cannot find shelter space, (2) Seniors that cannot get into shelter or who are too frail for existing shelter, (3) Individuals with an already established housing plan. Pray today for the staff of CAC as they seek to find housing for these individuals.

Closing Prayer: God, I’m asking for one thing, only one thing: To live with you in your house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate your beauty; I’ll study at your feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, the perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. God, hold me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for your place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to You. - The Message