Friday, April 10, 2009

A Prayer From the 7 Last Statements of Jesus on the Cross

1. "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
(Luke 23:34)

On this Good Friday, I pray that we can all find some grace in the eyes of the Lord...grace for one another...grace for ourselves...today I'm thinking about the forgiveness that I personally need in my own life, and the forgiveness that I need to show and give others...I pray today for a manifestation of the heart of Christ, so that I can even go beyond forgiveness, and make this kind of pure intercession for those who have wronged me, truly believing with a child's mindset that "they know not what they do"...


2. "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise."
(Luke 23:43)

On this Good Friday I pray that, as Jesus assured the dying thief that everything would be all right for him in the end, that we would all have the same assurance concerning the things, attitudes, opinions, strongholds...even perhaps some hopes and dreams...that may be in the process of death...and that we would not fear it...that we would let that die which needs to die, knowing that in the death we will ultimately find paradise...


3. "Woman, behold your son: behold your mother."
(John 19:26-27)

On this Good Friday, I pray that we would all be concerned with the preservation of relationships...that as Jesus gave the responsibility of His mother over to John in His last words, creating a new sense of family in so doing, we would also embrace the ministry of reconciliation...that we would be aware that there's much too much pain in the world...too many broken hearts...I pray today for the possibilities of restoration, even in the midst of death...


4. "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?"
("My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?")
(Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34)



On this Good Friday, I pray for an outpouring of empathy in and for all of us...that, as Jesus identified with man on the cross, and with his sense of being disconnected from the Creator...as He cried out these desperate words in His native Aramaic to "God", not "My Father", as He had always said before...I pray that we can all feel for each other today, and realize that we are not disconnected, after all...from Him...from one another...that we would cry out for each other in our own familiar words, and that, as we pray for one another, we would all be healed...



5. "I thirst."
(John 19:28)

On this Good Friday, I pray that we would not overlook the needs of the human being...the natural man...that we would remember that all the while Jesus, the holy Son of God, was wrestling with death in the spirit-realm, He was still very much the thirsty (hungry, sweaty, bleeding, stinking, bruised, wounded, naked, pain-ridden) Son of Man, struggling for survival...He said "I thirst", and we can all relate...we're all thirsty...we're all needy...we're all human...all of us...



6. "It is finished."
(John 19:30)

On this Good Friday I pray that we could all, once and for all, accept the fact that it was and is, indeed, finished...that today we would cease from our constant striving...from proving our points...from propping up our own agendas...from waving around our own filthy rags of righteousness, trying to defend ourselves and make ourselves look good at all costs...from always having to be right...and intentionally enter into the rest that only comes from knowing that Jesus truly finished for us what He started...


7. "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
(Luke 23:46)


And finally, on this Good Friday, I pray that we would all embrace the blessedness of committing a thing into the hands of God, and then letting it go...that we would grasp the concepts of release...of surrender...of acceptance...and of making peace with our own destiny...Jesus asked "God" why He had forsaken Him, but He volunteered His spirit up to His "Father"...may we all have a revelation of the security we have in the nurturing, loving care of our Creator...

I pray that this Good Friday would truly be good for all people, everywhere...amen.


28 comments:

Northern Light said...

Bishop,
I can't say much here.....I AGREE!
No waste of space/words needed.

Peace,
Northern Light

River said...

Amen

Cool Pic

Be Blessed On This Good Friday

Anonymous said...

For HE who gave so much For so many. Then what did we do, we killed Hem. And in the midst of all that suffering He makes this statement FATHER forgive them for they know not what they do I think that is the most powerful selfless gift I have ever known. I received and receive that gift. I pray I live in the fullness of foregiveness all the days of my life. Bigg Keith

"elle" said...

Beautiful post! Thank you :) Like the others, I have no more words.

Given what I posted in the prayer room a couple of days ago, I just have to share this. Got a really good laugh to start my day!

"Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do 'practice'?"

:) Blessings & peace to all!

Anonymous said...

How could anyone reject this love so great? It's sometimes overwelming to think that I was His choice.

Northern Light said...

I do have a thought on verse 6...

"IT IS FINISHED"

I have to believe that when those three words "IT IS FINISHED" were spoken, it probably is/was the only time it didn't please those hearing them. Usually when we accomplish something and say "it is finished", it is a good thing to us.

Know what I mean >?

Man, to have been there and then to think of what it felt like. Yes,certainly a relief for Jesus not suffering like that anymore, but to have to turn and walk away from him hanging there would have been another kind of emotional torture.

"IT IS FINISHED".......and we are to Praise for the gift we were given!

WOW.........

Peace,
Northern Light

Donald said...

That's good!
No!........no,by God, that's gr-e-e-a-a-a-t-t-t!

Pastor Nancy said...

Edification, exhortation and comfort...
I have chills, tears,and thankfulness---
Amazing GRACE how sweet the sound

Pastor Nancy

Ebony said...

Selah

Pastor Dennis said...

I felt a very special peace as I read these words this morning. Not just peace in myself, but a different kind of peace with the world through Christ.......

"IT IS FINISHED" these words have brought me much comfort through the years; but I received a new revelation in these words this morning as I read how you connected them with "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." I believe Jesus was showing us a pattern here. First believe and affirm by declaration a thing is finished, done, completed in Christ - then commit it into The Father's Hands and rest assured that God will take it from here. Oh what peace, assurance and confidence......

Grace & Peace,
Dennis

Izumi/JOY said...

Remember what Petros said?

"Not only my feet (places I've walked), but my hands (works) and head (thoughts), too." I'm thankful for Jesus' response.

The sky's overcast. There was a short downpour a moment ago. I'm sitting in my dining room, enjoying a view of azaleas; red, pink and white. Their branches provide dry canopy for a soggy winged bluebird; makes me laugh, unexpectedly.

Planted in the clay-dirt beneath, there's cana lillies, beside Lucy guarding her beloved hard rolls, rubbery pepper cheese chunks and corn cobs - hidden treasure stash.

Paradise - a King's garden, yes. Thank You for this healing memory, Father.

Like your prayer, Papi Bish, I am mindful of the fragility of relationships. I babysat Gavin (2) and Chloe (1) recently. After handing them a pack of fruit snacks, I walked them around the backyard. Gavin's pack spilled onto the ground. He tried to stuff them back in, with acorns, twigs, grass & who knows what else.

I grabbed the contents & tossed them out of his reach. He didn't understand.

I made my grandson cry. Handing him another pouch, I explained that I didn't want him eating dirt. He smiled and hugged me. When he stopped crying, I began.

Wonder if that's how God feels, sometimes. I'm thankful for the ministry of reconciliation. (and, please let it always be so easy among all Your children, heavenly Father.)

Thank You for helping me to remember how good it is to be anywhere with You. There were criminals beside You, but, it didn't matter. Your grace. Your mercy. Your grace.

A man rang our doorbell, yesterday. Forgive me for not answering. God, You already know all my flimsy excuses. In a hurry, can't talk now. What if it's a ruse? I don't need encyclopedias or anything he's selling. Do I?

Seeing a teenager walking down the street shortly afterwards, kinda alarmed me. What if the pair were messengers, sent to salute the neighborhood? Thank You for the urge to pray for them, too.

For the pungence of vinegar that evokes imagery of that sponge on Your mouth. For splotchy, dribbled-on paper towels. For crayon scribbly dyed eggs & for tablecloths that we'll never get the stain out. (but, You did) It all matters. For the olive branch and the toothpick olive animals, parading across munchie trays of the nations, thank You.

For the forest and the ferns. For deserts and for seas. For Your splats of Blood from Head to toes. For all eternity.

Thank You!

Avatar said...

This post is very real for me right now.

Amen.

Northern Light said...

I shut the television and radio off today and told the kids that all "music" that we would listen to this afternoon would be from Bishop's Playlist in the W2OR3RG, (my prayer room)....

WOW......I play it all the time, but today, with nothing else happening, in a quieter house, with a peaceful heart, I HEARD those songs as if it were for the first time. Well, perhaps it WAS HEARING for the first time.

Play them.......listen....no, I mean HEAR the words, the phrases, the situations in them. Powerful stuff there, Bishop.

More GOOD stuff. I love it here !

Peace,
Northern Light

Northern Light said...

word ver was: satio

" Saturate " yourself in those lyrics....... perfect word!

Anonymous said...

Amazing Grace

Amazing Mercy

Amazing Love

Amazing Savior

Amazing, Just Amazing!

wv...jewbred

Northern Light said...

Now THAT word ver was something !

Thanks for sharing......

Peace,
NL

tracy said...

That was a perfect post for this day this week...this season. Thank you.

Northern Light said...

Bishop,

Your DVD from last Sunday's service (Hosanna)just arrived here in MI, and my 4 yr. old daughter is practically glued to the sofa and is thoroughly "getting" what you are preaching. However, I'm now trying to figure out how I will explain (when the service is finished) how come there was a show called Jesus Christ, Superstar. She asked, "Mommy, you mean Jesus was a "Superstar"..?"

She is quite serious about her
Jesus, even at this age, and in fact says she's going to be a "preach" (preacher) when she gets bigger. I believe her.

I thought you'd get a lift from that.

Peace,
Northern Light

Northern Light said...

Cont.....
Oh, and Bishop.....you and I should have a sit down, go round sometime over being an "only child". I hear ya!
Funny, I didn't start a church, but I have had 8 kids (biologically and adopted) and 66 foster kids in my home. My oldest says THAT is the "only child syndrome" in overkill. haha...you get it. Now they wonder what my passion for the homeless is gonna do.

That service had me on the edge of my seat for many reasons. I soooo look forward to my STANDING ORDER DVD of every service.

By the way, Robyn is a dear and goes overboard to be sure all is well with that ministry with the orders and all, good job!

So THIS only child, who was raised Catholic, who loves these blogs because she is also communication thirsty, who also appreciates the collars on the pastors felt like that service was hand cut for me.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely beautiful

Larry Usher said...

Wow!

Vs 4: "Why have you forsaken me?" It really just hit me very deeply that to be tempted in ALL points like us, Jesus had to feel this separation as powerfully as we do at times. Having gone through the valley of apparent separation from God, I understand a little bit what Jesus must have experienced, sensing this isolation from the warmth and comfort of the Spirit- there is nothing worse! To be going through this horrifying ordeal of torture, revilement and crucifixion only to have your sense of hope taken away- my God! Jesus- you are SO worthy to reign, so worthy to be the object of our praise and affection, so able to comfort and ameliorate in thing human, so able to identify totally with us.

Praise reports:

1)The mortgage company for a rental house I own in Fla., has cut my payment in half and after three months will go into a slightly higher long term solution, allowing me a big break in my monthly obligations.

2) Met with a former boss and friend of mine today after not having seen him in 3 years. He shared with me how he has finally "settled things" with God and come to faith in the Lord. He had been ostracized from the Catholic church growing up and it skewed his ideas of God. Very content now and in a good church. Hallelujah!

Blessings and Good Friday indeed to all!

Bro Lar

Amalia said...

Amen 7 times.

Pastor Nancy said...

Bishop,
Just saw a write-up of CITN in the AJC living section-How Churches Make the Easter Season Special...
there's a light at the end of the tunnel--Yes!
Looking forward to the service.
Pastor Nancy

Anonymous said...

Faith & Values

How churches make Easter season special

By Jon Waterhouse

For the Journal-Constitution

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter doesn’t have the commercial sizzle of Christmas, yet it remains the most important and holiest day on the Christian calendar.

But warmer weather, spring break and other factors may tempt Christians to skip Easter Sunday service. So how do local pastors keep a strong focus on Easter within their congregations? We talked to the following church leaders about different approaches ranging from elaborate events to traditional ceremonies.

Bishop Jim Swilley

Church in the Now, Conyers

During the Easter season, this interdenominational church concentrates on its Resurrection Sunday service, which takes place at 10 a.m. Sunday. According to Swilley, making Easter and the church in general a priority is a challenge he and his staff face all year.

“I guess I would approach Easter and presenting it to the public as I would all of our ministry,” Swilley said. “So much of people’s attitudes toward the local church have changed and are changing. So we’re constantly having to explore what makes the church relevant, why do they come, why is it worth them taking time out of their busy schedules? The story of Jesus’ resurrection has relevance to people of all faiths, even people of non-religious [beliefs]. What it says is that death is not the end. There’s always something else, there’s always a reason to hope, there’s always reason to believe things will get better and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Northern Light said...

Confirmation...
I just had one of those "examples" of how God sometimes speaks directly to you, through unusual vessels. Although, I frequently
am moved, goose bumps, chills, tears, etc. and sensitive to lyrics in songs, this experience in the car is above and beyond that.

I was driving along,thinking of a situation that God is working out, in HIS time, for me and I began to cry. Just as I took off my sunglasses (YEA......sunny in MI today) and wiped my tears, the voice on the radio says "gently wipe away those tears"......I did one of those "WHAT????" Seriously, I have never heard that song before, did not hear who sang it, don't know what the title is. Doesn't matter........I know that was a word for me at that moment, and I felt peace.

I dig it when things like that happen. Just had to share!

That's my story and I'm stickin' with it.

Peace,
Northern Light

Northern Light said...

FYI..sharing
I just ran across something that some might find amusing. It was a pad of paper from a recent hotel stay. (oops.....does that tell you someone brought it home??)Ah well, not like a robe.....anyway (don't feel guilty on my account whoever of you have a robe that says Holiday Inn or Hyatt or Marriott or whatever.....HAHA) I'm just sayin'.

ANYWAY......

Going along with Bishop's suggestion of being motivated, organized, etc. To write down a "to-do" list and attack it one thing at a time and see it reduce. Well, here's another slant....
the pad of paper says on it :

"ACCOMPLISHED LIST"
"Much more gratifying than a to-d-list, don't you think?"

It says all that on the top...so I assume someone WAS to take it home, 'cause I certainly don't think we're suppose to do the things there at Marriott, after all.
Whew.........what were you thinking of me....HAHAHAHA

AH......it's a beautiful day today, waiting for that tomb to be found EMPTY tomorrow !

Off to color 2 dozen eggs !

Peace,
Northern Light

Anonymous said...

WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW!WOW! WOW!

you're! Well I am short of words!

Northern Light said...

Bishop,

I just watched the DVD, again, of last Sunday's service. Not only did I, once again, thoroughly enjoy it & got a good Word.....there does already seem to be a bit of a different flow out of you, the way you moved from worship to word. Not that I could have imagined it any better, but I think you did accomplish what you're feeling with the "flow" within, and out to the people.

Palm Sunday.....can you believe it's been a week....Resurrection in mere hours ! Hosanna ! Praise God !

HE IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN INDEED!
Peace,
NL