Daily Prayers: October 25-November 3

Forty Days to a New Beginning

Seeking Guidance in a Posture of Repentance

Ten Days with Confession

We will pray one paragraph a day through

C.H. Spurgeon’s great prayer of confession.*

DAY 11: Friday, October 25

OUR FATHER, when we read Your description of human nature we are sure it is

true, for You have seen man ever since his fall and You have been grieved at

heart concerning him. You have so great a love towards him that You would not

judge him harshly or excessively.

You love him in truth; thus every word that You have spoken to him must be

according to the truth, the truth, verily, of our complete and total depravity. In

love You have truly measured and computed the iniquity of man, for You have

laid it on the Well-Beloved.

Revelation on Guidance: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew

5:8)

Reflection: What is in our heart determines what we see. If our hearts are clean our sight

will be clear. We will see who God is and what He is doing, to follow His lead. If our hearts

are not clean we will walk blindly and end up stumbling badly—for “if anyone walks in the

night he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” (John 11:9)

Your reflection on this verse:

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1. Prayer of Repentance: Father, forgive me for ignoring the heart I see with, for all the

times I presumed I could see into people and problems when I had logs in my own eyes.

Show me what flesh patterns or hidden sins might be distorting my sight and clouding

the insight you have for me. Forgive my presumption that I can see clearly and walk

wisely without giving equal attention to my purity.

Oh Father, “the heart is deceitful beyond all else and is desperately sick; who can

understand it?” (Jer.17:9) Search our church, Lord. Search me. “Search me, O God, and

know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in

me; and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23,24) [Take some time to listen.]

Your repentance (for yourself, your family or our congregation):

* While remaining true to Spurgeon’s authorial intentions, a few of these have been adapted and expanded

for a modern audience.

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2. Prayer for Guidance: Father, who I am determines what I see, so make me what I

should be. Turn me into the kind of person who sees as You see, that I may not “judge

according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). For all this, I

desperately and continually need You.

Do this for us as a church too. Help us to see any unfinished business or unhealthy

patterns that are darkening our vision, lessons we should learn from last year’s

controversy. On this foundation, may we see and seize Your plans for us. Give us purity

in what we see and clarity about what we should do, to clear the way to our destiny.

Purify our hearts that You may be a light unto our path. Clear our eyes that we may

follow You. Be thou our vision, O Lord of our hearts.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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DAY 12: Saturday, October 26

O God, we are distressed, we are bowed down greatly when we see what is the

condition to which we and all our race have fallen. “Where is boasting then?” And

yet we grieve to say that we do boast, and have boasted, and that our fellow-men

are great at boasting, whereas they ought rather to lay their hands upon their

mouths before You.

Revelation on Guidance: “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself; nor is it in a

man who walks to direct His steps. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle.” (Jeremiah

10:23,24)

Reflection: What should we do with our lives is not in us. It should not be our own decision,

for we are unable to make such decisions wisely. Yet even the godliest among us can do

this, ignoring God’s voice and missing His best. Our most needful guidance is that we need a

merciful God to correct us before we stray too far from Him.

Your reflection on this verse:

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1. Prayer of Repentance: Forgive us, Father (forgive me) for living as though the way was

in us, as though we have the competence to choose our path, for sallying forth without

consulting or even obeying You. Forgive us for failing to center ourselves in You, in

obedience seeking Your guidance. We do this instinctively, so help us. Don’t leave us to our

own devices, or we’ll go on auto-pilot, living without and straying from You.

Correct us to this end, Lord, to greater obedience and deeper dependence. Do this by

incremental degrees that keep us pliable, so You can be gentle. Forgive us for our

cluelessness, for being so slow to get it—so slow to feel the nudges that I should seek

You. Thank You that You turn up the heat until I do. [Stop and think of specific ways that

He’s trying to get your attention right now.]

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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2. Prayer for guidance: Father, thank You that the knowledge of the right way, of “what

is good and right and true” is in You. Wicked as I am in the flesh, the way I should go is

certainly not in me. You know the way I should go, You decreed it. “Every day of my life

was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed”

(Psa.139:16). Show me Your ways in each area I need guidance. [Stop and pray about

those areas.]

Lord, heaven knows that the way of a church is not in itself, however storied its history.

Show us Your ways as a congregation. Especially guide the Transition Team, the Search

Committee, the leadership, and the many others who will give them input.

Continue to guide us with Your gentle staff; if necessary correct us with Your rod. We

will not “reject the discipline of the Lord”, for “whom the Lord loves He reproves, even

as a father, the son in whom He delights” (Prov.3:12). Thank You that You have loved us

enough to get our attention by Your discipline. Keep our attention now as we transition

to a new chapter.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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DAY 13: Sunday, October 27

It has become a wonder to us that You should look upon man at all. The most

hateful object in creation must be a man, because he slew Your Son...and yet truly

there is no sight that gives You more pleasure than man, for Jesus was a man. The

brightness of His glory covers all our shame. The pureness of His obedience shines

like the sun in the midst of the thick darkness. For His sake, You are well pleased

to dwell with us.

Revelation on Guidance: “Trusting oneself is foolish, but those who walk in wisdom are safe.”

(Proverbs 28:26)...”for if you make your ear attentive to wisdom, if you seek it like silver, and

search for it as for hidden treasures...discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard

you...and you will understand righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.”

(from Proverbs 2:1-11)

Reflection: Looking to ourselves for guidance is not only unwise but unsafe, which is easy

to learn the hard way. In our folly, we need God’s wisdom to show us the way.

Your reflection on this verse:

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1. Prayer of Repentance: Father, forgive our folly. It’s a minefield out there, yet we walk

around like Mr. Magoo. We meander ahead without thought of You. We take our

crooked, clueless courses to what we want, yet we have no idea what’s under our next

step or lurking around the next corner.

On top of the dangers around me, there’s the constant risk of wandering into “friendly

fire” within me. My spirit and flesh are so intertwined that I can’t possibly untangle

them on my own. Yet still I default to my own understanding. “Every man’s way is right

in his own eyes” (Proverbs 21:2).

Forgive us for our waywardness in falling from You, for our foolishness in living apart

from You, for our laziness in not seeking You. Forgive us for being restless rather than

rooted, reactive rather than reflective, scattered rather than centered. Forgive us for

trusting our gut instincts, for judging according to appearances, for leaping without

looking—rather than seeking the wisdom that comes by diligently searching, praying,

and confessing, on the foundation of obeying.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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2. Prayer for guidance: Truly, Father, “trusting in oneself is foolish.” So give us Your

wisdom—wisdom for ourselves, for our children, for our families, and for our church.

Tune our ears, cleanse our hearts, concentrate our minds to seek Your wisdom. We

want to trust You alone. Help us to prize Your wisdom, to pursue it “as one would for

lost money or hidden treasure.”

You promise in these verses that “those who walk in wisdom are safe.” Thank You for

being our shield as we walk in Your ways. Thank You that You “protect those who walk

in integrity.”

O Lord, protect us by guiding us into Your ways. As together we seek You with all our

hearts, fulfill Solomon’s promise that “wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will

be pleasant to your soul. Wise planning will watch over you. Understanding will keep

you safe”.

On this foundation, show us what is “right and just and fair” as we judge,” and “every

good course” as we plan.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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DAY 14: Monday, October 28

Lord, we once thought that those descriptions of our heart were somewhat

strained. But we think not so now, for truly we perceive that had it not been for

Your restraint we, in our unregenerate state, were capable of anything; and even

now when we are regenerate, the old sin that abides in us is capable of reaching

to a high degree of infamy. Did not the new life restrain the old death, we know

not what we might yet become.

Revelation on Guidance: “But Jesus himself would often slip away to the wilderness and

pray.” (Luke 5:16)

Reflection: Even Jesus Christ sought God the Father’s guidance and deliverance through

private times of prayer. He chose His twelve apostles only after having “spent the night

praying to God” (Luke 6:12). He stayed for extended times, centering Himself in the

arms of the Father (John 17). He defeated the devil after forty days of prayer and fasting

(Matthew 4:2).

Your reflection on this verse:

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1. Prayer of Repentance: Father, forgive our prayerlessness. Even if I didn’t understand

why I should pray, Christ’s example shows me that I should. All through His life He found

Your presence, Your guidance, and Your deliverance through prayer. If He needed this,

how much more do I? Forgive me for living apart from You.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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2. Prayer for guidance: Father, give me, my family, and my church family a craving to

slip away and spend time with You every day. Help us not to take time with You lightly.

Help us to realize the value of this amazing privilege of entering the heavenly veil.

Thank You that Christ purchased direct access to You by His blood. Thank You that this

was why He came—“to bring us to the Father.” Thank You for receiving me with such a

warm welcome whenever I come to You; for eagerly awaiting my coming; for wanting to

hear the smallest details of my concerns.

May we all commune with You just as He did, even as I am doing right now. As I do this,

be with me intimately, guide me concretely, work through me powerfully, just as You

did through Christ’s prayers. As we seek You together as a body—as, in repentance,

scores of others are lifting up this very prayer this very day—grant us Your guidance,

presence and deliverance congregationally.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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DAY 15: Tuesday, October 29

We thought once we were humble, but we soon found that our pride will feed on

any current flattery that is laid at our door. We thought we were believers, but

sometimes we are so doubting, so unbelieving, so vexed with skepticism that we

should not certainly choose to follow—that is Your work in us. By nature, we are

such liars that we think You a liar too. The surest token of our untruthfulness is

that we think that You can be untrue.

Revelation on Guidance: “Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your

truth; direct and unite my heart to reverentially fear and honor Your name.” (Psalm 86:11)

Reflection: God eagerly teaches us His way, but we must be teachable. This means

reverentially fearing Him with an undivided heart, without distrust or doubt or a double

mind. Only God can unite our hearts to fear Him, to be pure and undivided in our

commitment to Him. Such integrated hearts concentrate our souls to hear and obey Him.

Your reflection on this verse—

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1. Prayer of Repentance: O God, You are the holy and awe-inspiring Creator, “majestic in

holiness and awesome in praises, working wonders” (Ex.15:11). Forgive me for serving

other masters, for marching to the beat of other drummers, for pursuing other lovers.

Like the publican, eyes down, beating my breast, I repent before You in dust and ashes.

Forgive me for a divided heart that does not seek You humbly, press into You diligently,

beg You passionately to teach me who You are, the very One I was created to know.

Forgive my wandering attention, my meandering motivations, my divided affections. Oh

for the fierce filial loyalty of the Son at the heart of all I do and say! Forgive us all—me,

my family, and my church family—for hearts that are not united to fear and to honor

You alone.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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2. Prayer for guidance: Father, unite our hearts individually and congregationally to fear

and honor You alone, in all simplicity. Give us simple, humble, teachable hearts through

which You can enlighten and empower us—that we may walk in Your ways, that we may

live Your truth, that we may please You whatever the cost. We need to know Your mind

and Your heart as we look ahead—so teach us the way of reverential fear and humility,

trust and devotion, that’s “the beginning of knowledge” (Prov.1:7).

We can’t do it on our own. We can’t even figure out what’s happening now, much less

fathom the future. As we stand on the threshold of this new chapter, give us a single10

minded devotion to You alone. In our heart of hearts, help us be where You want us to be,

so we’ll go where You want us to go. As the Psalmist asks in this verse, “Direct and unite

[our] hearts in reverence to fear and honor Your name.”

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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DAY 16: Wednesday, October 30

Oh, this base heart of ours! Has it not enough tinder in it to “defile the entire

body” and to “set on fire the course of our life”? If a spark does but fall into us,

any one of our members, any congregation, left to itself, would dishonor Christ,

deny the Lord that bought us, and turn back into perdition.

Revelation on Guidance: “With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward You will

take me into glory.” (Psalm 73:24)

Reflection: Whatever the appearance, I do not need to be anxious, for God will show me

His way and keep me on the path that leads to glory.

Your reflection on this verse:

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1. Prayer of Repentance: Father, in light of Your sovereignty and the certainty of my

heavenly destiny, forgive me for getting so anxious about life’s uncertainties.

I am so prone to wander. Together we’re like this. We suffer such crises of confidence in

You. We lose faith in Your continual presence and guidance, who are ever with us. We feel

lost, even orphaned, though You say “I will never leave you nor forsake you” until You

“take me to glory.”

Forgive me for not getting the kindergarten of Your plan—that above it all, my future is

secure in the heavens; that my life is in Your hands to this end. Forgive me for failing the

first lesson, that no care compares to what I’ve been spared, that “I give them eternal

life,” and “no one will snatch them out of my hands” (John 10:28). Thank You that

“everything will be OK in the end, so if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”

Your prayer of repentance:

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2. Prayer for guidance: Lord, when I feel anxious, give me the Psalmist’s faith that “with

Your counsel You will guide us.” Through these 40 days, quiet my heart to hear Your voice

without anger, fear or despair.

O Father, don’t let our distance or disbelief distort or delay Your speaking. We are

coming to You, Lord. May we feel Your comfort as we come, hear Your counsel as we

listen. In our repentance may we discover Your presence and guidance as we seek You

through the Word and prayer, for a great deliverance.

Guide us as we look backwards to what happened last year; and as we look forward to a

new chapter, may the members of the Transition Team and Search Committee be guided

in all their labor, and anchored by a future that’s sure.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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DAY 17: Thursday, October 31

O righteous Father, we are altogether ashamed. Truly Your Word is fulfilled in us,

“You shall be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore.” Your love for us

has silenced us. It has taken boasting from us. The “great love wherewith You

loved us when we were dead in trespasses and sins” has stunned us. We lay our

hands on our mouths at the love wherewith You love us still, though we flaunt

Your mercy by our many iniquities, by our ill manners, our wanderings, our

shortcomings, and our excesses.

Revelation on Guidance: “But [God] led His own people forth like sheep and guided them

like a flock in the wilderness. Yet they tempted and provoked and rebelled against the

most high God.” (Psalm 78:52,56)

Reflection: The Lord is the Good Shepherd. He leads us by His sovereign hand through

desert lands. He leads us to the promised land, even through our rebellion.

When our hearts are right, He can make a straight path through the wilderness. When

our hearts are not right, He still guides us, but by roundabout ways. Like Israel,

sometimes we wander in circles, complaining as we go until we come to our senses.

Again and again they questioned His goodness in the face of His faithfulness. They

murmured and quarreled in a wilderness of their own making. So He had to teach them

hard lessons along a long and arduous way, delaying the fulfillment of His promise for

forty years of “double double toil and trouble.”

Your reflection on this verse:

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1. Prayer of Repentance: Father, we’ve tempted and provoked You just like they did.

Forgive us for last year...

Forgive us for scorning those we accuse of greater sinning; for judging according to how

things were appearing; for assuming we know the complete story; for presuming to see

as only You can see; for “darkening counsel by words without knowledge” (Job 38:2),

when we despised what men had done, for our high opinion of our own opinion. Forgive

our folly in this wilderness of our own making.

We have allowed fear to get the best of us. We have let the shadows of giants darken

our faith in Your faithfulness. We have murmured and quarreled along the way. We

have sat in the seat of scoffers. We have delayed the coming of Your goodness, as they

did when “for forty years [You] put up with them in the wilderness” (Acts 13:18). We lay

our hands on our mouths at Your great compassion in the face of our sins.

Forgive us for our unbelief in the face of Your invisible hand—we who know the scope of

Your sovereign plan, “who works all things after the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11)

Forgive us for our failure to extend mercy—we who know breadth and length and height

and depth of the mercy that drives Your sovereignty. Forgive us for the failure of faith—

we who know that You work greater glory through our iniquity, greater gain through all

our pain, greater good through our great evil, through all our crosses and losses.

We seek Your guidance, Father, in a posture of repentance, for a great deliverance. We

repent and believe, and seize upon the hope of a new beginning.

Your prayer of repentance—

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2. Prayer for guidance: O Father, may we not follow in Israel’s footsteps any longer.

May we enjoy Your goodness and celebrate Your faithfulness in the wilderness, not

pointing unholy fingers but lifting holy hands.

Show us not only where we should go but how we should get there. Set a seal on our

lips, that we would not sow discord, unbelief, or division. Give us truth in love. Give us

wisdom and compassion as we pursue reconciliation, to forgive and be forgiven. Cleanse

our hearts. Renew our minds. Restore our love. Help us to “put on a heart of compassion,

kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving

each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone” (Col.3:12,13).

Deep in our hearts, straighten the way to the promised land. May we press on without

murmuring or quarreling, judging or condemning. May we move on with the lessons of

our history firmly in hand. May we forgive what lies behind, that we may “reach forward

to what lies ahead”: life from the dead, the new life that lies ahead.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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DAY 18: Friday, November 1

Oh, the matchless love of God! Truly if there be any glory it must be all the Lord’s.

If there be any virtue, it is the result of grace. If there be anything whatsoever that

lifts us above the devil himself, it is the work of the divine Spirit, to whom be glory!

Revelation on Guidance: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my

thoughts; and see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

(Psalm 139:24)

Reflection: David knew that for better or worse, he lived his life from the inside-out. He

knew that the everlasting way must start deep in the interior of his own heart. He knew

this from hard experience, that his internal ways led to his external ways. As his father

Solomon had said: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs

of life” (Prov.4:23).

The unexamined life will stray from the everlasting way of a holy God. “Any offensive

way in me,” unchecked, is tantamount to straying from the way, whether by the adultery

of the heart or by murderous thoughts. On its own, “the heart is more deceitful than all

else, and is desperately sick” (Jer.17:9). This is why David asked God to examine his heart.

On this basis alone could he lead David out of the muck and mire of his own ways onto

the highways to Zion.

The straight way to the promised land of a new pastor is primarily an internal journey,

one for which we desperately need His guidance. Where we go as a congregation, and

who we find, will be as much a matter of who we are as what we do. When it comes to

finding a Senior Pastor, we must become the right partner to find the right partner,

because our vibe attracts our tribe.

Your reflection on this verse:

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1. Prayer of Repentance: Forgive us, Father, for focusing on the doctrines of the truth

more than the ways of truth, the head but not the heart. Truth be told, deep down I am

“prone to wander” from Your way. Forgive us for our unexamined lives, personally and

congregationally, for presuming that our ways don’t need examining, that our

unexamined ways are best. Forgive us for being so self-deceived, for such ignorance of

the offensive ways within us. Open our hearts tomorrow to consider what Brian will say

about us—to say “It’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer,” without pointing the

finger at others.

Your prayer of repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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2. Prayer for guidance: Search me personally, O Lord, even as You search us

corporately through Brian’s report on our congregational challenges and the lessons

learned from last year. Help us to become the right partner so we’ll find the right pastor.

Do this before we look ahead of us. As we look behind and around us, show us “any

offensive way” within us. Show us patterns that are fleshly, unfinished business in our

history. Like David, as we seek Your guidance in a posture of repentance, make us willing

to hear anything about ourselves, individually or congregationally, that would keep us

from the everlasting way of Your righteousness.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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DAY 19: Saturday, November 2

In abject repentance, in heartfelt dependence, we rejoice that covered is our

unrighteousness. From all condemnation we are now free. We will not always be

favored of men, but we are most certainly the favored of God. You have given us to

taste of that love which is laid up for us, upon which we will someday feast forever.

O that we would taste and see the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Revelation on Guidance: “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good

Spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:10)

Reflection: David was putty in God’s hands. This man after God’s own heart wanted to

know God’s will because “You are my God.” This meant He was David’s Lord and Master,

whom he wanted to please more than any other. David also knew that God is good—

that He knows what’s best—and that His “good Spirit” would teach him and lead him to

what’s best, especially if asked.

By His good Spirit, our God is the good teacher. He is the good shepherd, with good

plans, “plans for welfare and not for evil” (Jeremiah. 29:11). Whatever He commands us,

however He deals with us, wherever He leads us, it will all be good. We must only trust

and obey.

David desired the “level ground” of future guidance; but he pursued the level path of

present obedience. So first he said, “Teach me to do Your will.” The most important

guidance is not the will of God we don’t know, but the will of God we do know. This sets

things aright and prepares us for the future. Though it may feel risky, obedience levels

our topsy-turvy lives. It’s the basis of stability and security, grounding us personally,

familially, and congregationally on a level foundation.

Your reflection on this verse:

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1. Prayer of Repentance: Father, too often I cannot say, “You are my God.” Forgive me

for the other gods I serve—from pastors, to pleasure, to careers, to pleasing others, to

the anger I nurture. Forgive me for feeling that what I want is better; for disobeying You

because I know better; for failing to seek You because I fear what You may have in store.

Forgive us for treasuring other goods above Your good will; for fixing on our desires and

neglecting Yours; for asking Your direction while avoiding Your directions.

Your prayer of repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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2. Prayer for guidance: By Your good Spirit, Father, lead us back to the “level ground”

where we can flourish as a congregation. Wherever way You lead us, keep us centered

on the level ground of our deepest good, on the firm foundation of righteous lives built

on the rock of obedience to Your way.

Deliver us from disobedience that would keep us from Your best, from the ideal future

You have in store. Deliver us from lesser goods that would sidetrack us from getting

there. Save us from slip-sliding away. Keep us from the slippery slope of discord and

division, bitterness, wrath and malice. Center us in Your way. “Teach us to do Your will

and guide us,” that together we may say, “I walk in my integrity…my foot stands on level

ground” (Psalm 26:11).

Your prayer for Guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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Today marks the halfway point of our 40-day journey. On this Lord’s Day, before we

move on, let’s take some extra time to seek “Christ Alone” as our sure foundation...

DAY 20: Sunday, November 3

Oh Father, how Your mercy abounds through our depravity, “the love of God which

is in Christ Jesus our Lord”! “There is now therefore no condemnation for those who

are in Christ Jesus,” for “the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts”—and

we have received the Spirit of adoption whereby, in Him, we cry, “Abba Father!”

We rejoice in the redemption of our spirits. We look to the redemption of our

bodies. We believe that they too shall be raised incorruptible, to be with Him in

eternal glory. “O death, where is your victory?”

Revelation on Guidance: “We live by faith not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage.”

(2 Corinthians 5:7) “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

(Romans 10:17)

Reflection: This side of heaven, for a multitude of reasons, we must “live by faith not by

sight.” This is often hard to do. Paul says we must be of “good courage” because God’s

way requires courage. Like the heroes of the faith, we must be prepared to be stretched

considerably, to move ahead without knowing all the whys and wherefores, to walk into

our fears, to overcome our afflictions, to follow uncharted paths, to sever anchors of old

traditions when He calls us into new lands.

How do we do this? In following Christ, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the

word of Christ.” We must cling to Christ through His Word. This is our deepest soulanchor

that keeps us from losing our grip. The grip of our faith will grow proportionately

to our grasp of His Word—when we respond not just with the head but with the heart,

for “with the heart one believes” (Romans 10:10). If we respond to God’s Word with all

our heart and soul and mind and strength, we will live by faith in Him.

Your reflection on these verses:

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1. Prayer of Repentance: Father, I confess that my preference for junk food, for watered

down substitutes, for infant formula, is greater than my desire for the meat of Your

Word. [Think about what you prefer over God’s Word.] Oh that the Word of Christ

would strengthen my soul and satisfy my heart. Forgive me for not taking the time to

make it my own, to digest it personally.

Too often this is why I don’t cling to You by faith, much less walk by faith. Too often I

lose my grip. Too often I drop Your hand at the mere sight of what I fear. Too often life

looms larger than Scripture. Too often I have lived by sight, not faith—by how I’m

feeling, by what I’m fearing, by where I’m fleeing, rather than by what I’m believing. Too

often I’ve shrunk back when You have asked me to forge ahead. Too often I neglect the

Word of the Lord that leads to the Lord of the Word.

Thank You for the table You’ve prepared for me each day. Forgive me for not going

there. Forgive me for feasting at the world’s troughs, especially in this entertainment

culture. Help me “take and eat” personally, daily, deeply, even as I am right now.

Your prayer of repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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2. Prayer of guidance: O Lord, we are infants in need of feeding; we are blind in need of

a guide, we are fearful children. “Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah.” With Your guidance,

give us the courage to follow with diligence. Give us the faith that comes through Your

Word when it strengthens and directs our hearts. Through Your revelation,

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord

Thou my great Father, I Thy true son

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise

Thou mine Inheritance, now and always

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart

High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won

May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heav'n's Sun

Heart of my own heart, whate'er befall

Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all

“Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word.”

Stir in us all a soul-hunger for Scripture—not just from the pulpit but in the prayer closet. May it be our soul anchor. May we all “treasure the words of his mouth more than [our] necessary food.” (Job 23:12) Help us to taste and see how rich it is, how delicious and nutritious, how necessary to living with vitality. “As with marrow and fatness” (Psa.63:5) may it satisfy us deeply. May we “not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Deut.3:8)—well chewed and deeply digested into our heart and soul and mind, that it may be our strength. O Lord of the Word—Bread of Life—be our strength. Give me, my loved ones, and the congregation the faith that comes by hearing with the heart, to be of good courage as we enter a new chapter. Ever may our soul be fed, with this true and living bread. Day to day with strength supplied, through the life of Him who died.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

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Final Paragraphs of Spurgeon’s Prayer

By faith, affirm this for FEC:

O Jesus, You will bring Your Israel out of Egypt and not a hoof shall be left behind.

No, not a bone, nor a piece of Your elect shall be left in the hands of the adversary.

We will come out clean, delivered by Him who does nothing by halves, but who on

the cross said, “It is finished”—who much more will say it on His throne.