Matthew 14 – PRAYER, FAITH & ACTION

Matthew - a journey through Matthew

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 14 here.

That was because John had told him, “It is not right for you to live with her.”

Matthew 14:4

This isn’t really a favourite verse of mine in the good sense, and it always fill me with discouragement.  John was killed because he boldly spoke the truth.  It’s really kind of scary, for we also are called to speak the truth.  Sometimes.  This particular truth – “It is not right for you to live with her” – seems to be particularly hard for people to hear.  They’ve already convinced themselves that there is nothing wrong with it.  But if this is you, you really do need to change your lifestyle at some point to be able to hear and accept God’s truth.

When Jesus heard this, He withdrew by boat from there to a deserted place by himself.

Matthew 14:13

I read the book Poustinia by Catherine Doherty recently.  In there, she talks about taking yourself to a secluded place (your poustinia) to pray.  She shows that the prayers offered there are for the community and if the community needs you, you leave the poustinia to serve. Afterwards, you return to prayer and the poustinia.  So the service is a prayer and the silence is a prayer.

Even though both is a prayer, my challenge today is to find some quiet prayer at adoration –  to spend a good hour just adoring before my “busy” prayer of rosary and scripture reading and journal writing.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 14 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 11 – PRAISE AND TRUST

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 11 online here.

Father, Lord of heaven and earth, to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children.

Matthew 11:25

I recently read how as we grown up we lose the wonder we had as children.  The learned and the clever, or us as adults, are able to explain away any wonder that is presented to us by God, yet what we are called to do is to look on in wonder and offer God praise.  We can praise Him for the small everyday wonders as well as the big wonders.  When we do, we will regain that awe that we had as children.  My husband has this awe, and when I see it in him it is a reminder to me.

Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.

Matthew 11:28

Life isn’t meant to be lived without God.  He created us and He calls us to Himself.  We are called to praise Him, but also to trust Him.  It is only when I try to do things on my own that life becomes weary and burdensome.  When there is no one else to lean on, God is always there to turn to.  Trust.  And allow God in.  That’s my challenge.  To let God in so He can take over.  I need to step back so that God can once again by center of my life.  It’s amazing how often I let him slip from the center…

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 11 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 10 – MISSION

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 10 online here.

What I am doing is sending you out like sheep among wolves.

Matthew 10:16

Even though we are WOLF – Women of Laughter and Faith – God is calling us to be like sheep. Sheep gather together for protection, they listen to the voice of their shepherd, they trust their shepherd, they follow their shepherd, they are gentle towards others, their wool keeps them warm or cool and protects them from rain and injury, and they are just so soft and cuddly looking!  If we are called to go out like sheep among wolves, then Jesus is calling us to witness to others by our very lives and to stand true to the truths that we learn from Jesus.  He will protect us.

Go instead after the lost sheep of Israel.  As you go make this announcement:  “The reign of God is at hand!”

Matthew 10:6-7

Our mission is to find other sheep among those wolves.  Yes, we need to witness with our life and stand firm with God, but we also need to witness to others with our words.  We need to announce that the reign of God is at hand.  So many people want God in their lives and don’t know how to do it!  And sometimes they don’t realize even what it is that they are searching for.

My challenge is to look at my life and see what I am doing to witness.  Writing it down will help me to see what I am doing, and how God wants me to grow or change those areas.  I’m being called to do less, but do it more effectively.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 10 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 9 – STEPPING FORTH IN COURAGE

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 9 online here.

When Jesus saw their faith He said to the paralytic,  “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.”

Matthew 9:2

 

But of course Jesus does much more than heal our hurts, He forgives our sins.  Jesus is God, one part of the Holy Trinity:  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is so much more than a teacher and a preacher and a healer:  He is God.  And He speaks of courage again, the courage to face life and whatever trials come our way, knowing that Jesus is not only with us, but that He has forgiven our sins and make us worthy to approach God the Father.

The harvest is good but labourers are scarce.  Beg the harvest master to send out labourers to gather His harvest.

Matthew 9:37

God is calling us to labour for Him.  It is us who needs to respond to His call.

I started jotting down all the ways that God has helped me to grow – through people, through situations, through books, through opportunities, through scripture, through prayer… – and just the act of thinking about this journey with God has filled me with so much gratitude.  My heart actually feels like it has swelled in my chest.  Who am I, that my Lord has come to me?  Or my Saviour, that He is mindful of me?  I am nobody.  Yet God has touched me and wishes to use me.

The summer is always a great time to look back on what the Lord has done, and also to plan for the next year.  I look to see what ministries I can serve in, what books I can read and study, how to arrange my personal schedule for bible study and prayer.  So that’s my challenge again this year – to take time to pray and take time to plan.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 9 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 8 – GRATEFULNESS AND COURAGE

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 8 online here.

Where is your courage?…complete calm ensued.

Matthew 8:26

Courage – when faced with illness or storms or attacks by evil spirits – brings calm.  And not just any courage, but the courage to trust that Jesus will act.  And not just any calm, but complete calm.

Jesus took her by the hand and the fever left her.  She got up at once and began to wait on Him.

Matthew 8:15

“Jesus took her by the hand.”  That’s how close Jesus is to us when we’re suffering.  We are not going through it alone.  And when the time comes that we are healed – of physical, emotional or spiritual pain – we shouldn’t waste any time acting.  It’s Jesus who healed us, people!  We are HEALED!  Now is the time to show Jesus how grateful we are. By how we treat others.

Building on my challenge from yesterday, I will make small acts towards those who’ve hurt me – keeping the truth behind my actions a secret.  Just because Jesus has healed me of my hurt (and I trust that He has!), doesn’t mean that the relationship still doesn’t need healing.  For my part I can begin this process of healing the relationship with kindness and serving.  This too takes courage, because there’s always the danger that I’ll be treated the same way again, but without the past hurt still there, I can now react differently and take the new situation to prayer.  And really, if someone does hurt me, it should be their problem and not mine.

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 8 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Matthew 7 – WISDOM AND FREEDOM

Matthew - a journey through MatthewHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Dear Jesus, I come before you today.  Open my heart and my mind as I read Matthew. Help me to understand what You are trying to say to me, and to see what You are trying to show me.  I love You.

Amen.

You can find Matthew 7 online here.

Anyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like the wise (woman) who built (her) house on rock.

Matthew 7:24

The challenges we take after reading or hearing Jesus’ words in the gospels is what Jesus is talking about here.  Wisdom is recognizing Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and becoming His disciple:  allowing Him to teach us and mold us.  Then it doesn’t matter what storms will come, because our wisdom comes from God and will keep us strong.

Your verdict on others will be the verdict passed on to you.

Matthew 7:1

This verse, as well as verse 15 of chapter 6:  “If you do not forgive others neither will your Father forgive you,” really speak to me.  Keeping our thoughts pure is just as important as keeping our actions pure.  Even if nobody knows what we’re thinking, God does.  But eventually our negative thoughts come out in our words or actions.  There are a few people I need to forgive more wholeheartedly.  So what if they hurt me?  I can walk away from the hurt, and if they continue to hurt me, I can walk away from them.  I need to pray for their hidden hurts, the ones very few people know about, because there is a reason why they hurt me.  They probably have no idea that I’m still hurting, or even the extent of the hurt they caused, which I also have hidden.  Releasing that hurt, and the resulting anger and resentment, will bring freedom!

YOUR TURN:  Read Matthew 7 and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you.  Then write down what you hear and feel, or what stands out for you in your journal.  You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.  If you’re unsure what to write, you can follow the method listed below.

ABC BIBLE SHARING:  A great way to read your scriptures.  Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.

PRAYER:  Thank you God for sending Your Son, Jesus, to lead us and guide us in the Gospels close to Your loving heart.  Help me to listen to Your Word with my heart and allow Your Word to draw me closer to You.  Amen.

Taking a Prayer Walk in the Morning

Taking a prayer walk in the morning

What better way to start the morning than taking a walk?  But let’s not lose this opportunity to pray!

My favourite prayer to pray while walking is the rosary.  It lends itself very well to the repetitiveness of the sound of footsteps on the ground.  I often contemplate a specific scripture or Word from the Lord while meditating on the mysteries of the rosary.

At least once a week, I like to pray the Jesus Prayer while walking around town.  As I walk by each house, I pray for the people in those houses – for their needs and their intentions.  I usually walk very early in the morning before anybody is out and about, but if I walk a little later, I’ll stop and pass the time of day with anyone who is looking to chat.

I live in a very small town and it takes less than 1/2 hour to cover all of the houses, but your neighbourhood is probably just the right size for you.

But don’t stop there, you can also take a similar walk around your home.

Going from room to room, pray for your family members who occupy those rooms.  As you wash the dishes, pray for the people who ate off those dishes.  As you fold the clothes, pray for the people who wore those clothes.

Prayer is an important ministry.  Miracles happen because of prayer.

So spread the love, and pray for your neighbours.