Summer Series

Due to the holiday season, the January Daily Readings were prepared far in advance of the Summer Series, and so therefore are not connected with the content of the Summer Series. The readings for the next four weeks will take on a slightly different format than usual.

Each Daily Reading will contain a passage from the Psalms, as well as several questions, words and phrases, or ideas to be used as prompts (if you wish) for you to pray through in response.

December 25 – 31

This first week of readings focuses on praising God for who he is and what he has done.

Day 1 – Praising God’s Greatness

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 145:1-8

1I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Exalt, praise, extol, proclaim, celebrate. What other words could be used?

·         What reasons are there to praise God for who He is?

·         What reasons do you have to praise God for what he has done in your life?

·         “Slow to anger, rich in love.”

·         Meditate on the wonderful works of God.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 2 – The Character of God

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 145:9-16

9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Prompts for Prayer

·         The importance of regularly praising God.

·         How is God’s character revealed in this passage?

·         How have you experienced His character in your life recently?

·         How does the king stoop to help those in need?

·         God as bountiful and protective Creator.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 3 – Let Us Praise Him

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 95:1-7

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

Prompts for Prayer

·         How do you praise God? How often?

·         How does your love and praise of God show itself in the moments of the day no one else sees?

·         In the moments of your day that others do see?

·         God as King.

·         God as Shepherd.

·         God as Creator.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 4 – God is Coming to Rule His People

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 98

1 Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvellous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.

Prompts for Prayer

·         God’s restorative justice.

·         The global perspective of all creation.

·         What does it mean that God will ‘judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity’?

·         God is perfect justice and perfect love.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 5 – Made in the Image of God to Praise the Image-Maker

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 8

1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honour.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Prompts for Prayer

·         What does being made in God’s image actually mean?

·         What have we been made for?

·         What is our relationship to creation?

·         How is our relationship with creation an avenue of praise of God?

·         Stewardship, creation care, bringing wholeness and fullness.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

January 1 – 7

This second week of readings focuses on confessing our sins and weaknesses to God and seeking his forgiveness.

Day 1 – Openness and Honesty Before God.

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 6

1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?

4 Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?

6 I am worn out from my groaning.

All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.

8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Complete honesty before God.

·         What effects does sin have upon us and our relationship with God?

·         What stops us being honest with God?

·         What do you hope for when you confess to God?

·         The forgiveness of God.

·         What do you need to confess to God?

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 2 – From the Depths of Despair

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2     Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

Prompts for Prayer

·         From what depths has God rescued you in the past?

·         In what areas of your life do you need God’s help at the moment?

·         God as rescuer.

·         Forgiveness and restoration.

·         What is the waiting that verse 5 talks about? How do we wait?

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 3 – Prayer in the Midst of Hopelessness

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 143:1-9

1 Lord, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.

7 Answer me quickly, Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
for I hide myself in you.

Prompts for Prayer

·         “No one living is righteous before you.” What does this mean?

·         What does it mean to trust in the Lord?

·         What does David do to remind himself who God is?

·         What relationships in your life need repairing?

·         Hiding ourselves in God in times of trouble.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 4 – A Sense of Wretchedness

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 51:1-9

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Ask for a pure heart and a clean, renewed spirit.

·         The power of genuine repentance.

·         Offering God a broken spirit rather than sacrifice.

·         What are your weaknesses? How can God help you in your weakness?

·         What should be our reaction when we sin?

·         What does David ask God to do?

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 5 – Forgiveness and Renewal

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 51:10-19

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Saviour,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Has sin ever put a barrier between you and God? How have you dealt with a situation like this?

·         What is the problem with unconfessed sin?

·         How does God’s forgiveness affect our forgiveness of others?

·         Helping others find forgiveness.

·         Corporate confession, community confession.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

January 8 – 14

This third week of readings focuses on offering thanks and praise for God’s work in our world and in our lives.

Day 1 – Eternal Love

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 118:1-9

1Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good,
and his love is eternal.
2 Let the people of Israel say,
“His love is eternal.”
3 Let the priests of God say,
“His love is eternal.”
4 Let all who worship him say,
“His love is eternal.”

5 In my distress I called to the Lord;
he answered me and set me free.
6 The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid;
what can anyone do to me?
7 It is the Lord who helps me,
and I will see my enemies defeated.
8 It is better to trust in the Lord
than to depend on people.
9 It is better to trust in the Lord
than to depend on human leaders.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Giving thanks at all times for all things.

·         What do you find it hard to give thanks for? Why?

·         Trusting in the Lord.

·         The eternal love of God evident in your life.

·         How is the Lord ‘with you’?

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 2 – Giving Thanks for Deliverance

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 34:1-11

1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

Prompts for Prayer

·         What does it mean to fear God?

·         “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

·         What have you sought God for recently?

·         What do you have God to thank for?

·         The different ways of giving thanks to God.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 3 – Reverence, Obedience and Fear

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 34:15-22

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the broken-hearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Prompts for Prayer

·         What does the Psalmist promise in this passage?

·         Who are the people God rescues in this passage?

·         How are fear and obedience connected?

·         Seeking peace.

·         A promise to the broken-hearted.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 4 – His Love Endures Forever

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 136:1-12

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

4 to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
7 who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
8 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Pray “His love endures forever” at the end of each sentence of your prayer.

·         What is God’s love like?

·         How is the story of Israel mentioned in this psalm?

·         What have the Israelites given thanks for throughout their history?

·         God on the side of the poor and marginalised.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 5 – Prayer and Praise

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 138

1I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
I sing praise to you before the gods.
2 I face your holy Temple,
bow down, and praise your name
because of your constant love and faithfulness,
because you have shown that your name and your commands are supreme.
3 You answered me when I called to you;
with your strength you strengthened me.

4 All the kings in the world will praise you, Lord,
because they have heard your promises.
5 They will sing about what you have done
and about your great glory.
6 Even though you are so high above,
you care for the lowly,
and the proud cannot hide from you.

7 When I am surrounded by troubles,
you keep me safe.
You oppose my angry enemies
and save me by your power.
8 You will do everything you have promised;
Lord, your love is eternal.
Complete the work that you have begun.

Prompts for Prayer

·         What prayers has God answered for you this year?

·         Prayer and praise go together.

·         Including God’s plans in our plans.

·         What will you ask of God for the future?

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

January 15 – 21

This fourth week of readings focuses on offering our hopes and dreams to God, and what we want to ask of him for the immediate future.

Day 1 – The Only One to Ask

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 86:1-10

1Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.

5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvellous deeds;
you alone are God.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Calling on God, crying out to God.

·         The nature and character of the One we cry out to.

·         Where is God leading you in 2018?

·         How will you trust God to lead you?

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 2 – Signs of God’s Goodness

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 86:11-17

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.

14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Prompts for Prayer

·         What are you seeking God about at the moment?

·         Seeking a sign from God.

·         How does God guide us and tell us what He wants?

·         Help, comfort, guidance, protection.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 3 – Looking for a Way Out

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 88:1-9

O Lord, the God of my salvation,
I have cried out by day and in the night before You.
2 Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry!
3 For my soul has had enough troubles,
And my life has drawn near to Sheol.
4 I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit;
I have become like a man without strength,
5 Forsaken among the dead,
Like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom You remember no more,
And they are cut off from Your hand.
6 You have put me in the lowest pit,
In dark places, in the depths.
7 Your wrath has rested upon me,
And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah.
8 You have removed my acquaintances far from me;
You have made me an object of loathing to them;
I am shut up and cannot go out.
9 My eye has wasted away because of affliction;
I have called upon You every day, O Lord;
I have spread out my hands to You.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Holding on when times are tough.

·         Looking ahead when there seems no hope.

·         Where is God wanting to take you this year?

·         What answers to prayer do you need at the moment?

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 4 – Rescued and Redeemed

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 107:1-9

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.

4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Rescuing the wanderers, the sick, the imprisoned and those afflicted by life’s storms.

·         A life-giving offer.

·         What has God rescued you from in the past?

·         Sharing the rescue and the life offered with others.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

Day 5 – To End as We Began to Begin Again

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Psalm 150

1 Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Prompts for Prayer

·         Exalt, praise, extol, proclaim, celebrate. How have you done this over the last four weeks?

·         What answers to prayer have you had over the last four weeks?

·         What new ways to praise God could you adopt/try?

·         How is your entire life praising God?

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)