Morning Prayer Summary for Thursday, April 11, 2024

Morning Chapel Prayer Playlist
Morning Chapel Prayer Today

Pastor Heather…

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to morning Prayer. My name is Pastor Heather Sibinski, one of the pastors here at Living Word. And it’s my honor to lead everyone in prayer today.

Psalm 136…

To start out, I was praying and the Lord brought to my remembrance a couple times this week, Psalm 136. I love it in the Passion translation because it says He’s “easy to please.” And I love that. And I don’t know what everybody’s denominational background is. For me, I grew up somewhat Catholic. I don’t say like a true Catholic. It was like the Easter and Christmas Catholic and parents made you go to Sunday School Catholic. But it wasn’t about a relationship. It was really about the religion. There are Catholics that love God. So hear what I’m saying. But for me, it wasn’t that. It was really growing up in that kind of environment. I always thought that God was angry with me or that He was a judge, or that He was hard to please. And then if I did something wrong, I had to pay for it or earn my way back into His graces. And so that’s why I love the Passion translation version of Psalm 136.

His tender love for us continues on forever…

It says, “Let everyone thank God for he is good and he’s easy to please. His tender love for us continues on forever. Give thanks to God our king. His tender love for us continues on forever. Give thanks to the Lord over all lords. His tender love for us continues on forever. Give thanks to the only miracle working God. His tender love for us continues on forever. Give thanks to the creator who made the heavens with wisdom. His tender love for us continues on forever. To him who formed dry ground, raising it up from the sea, his tender love for us continues on forever. Praise the one who created every heavenly light. His tender love for us continues on forever. He set the sun in the sky to rule over the day. His tender love for us continues on forever. Praise him who set in place the moon and the stars to rule over the night. His tender love for us continues on forever. Give thanks to God who struck down the firstborn in Egypt. His tender love for us continues on forever. He brought his people out of Egypt with miracles. His tender love for us continues on forever. With his mighty power, he brought them out. His tender love for us continues on forever. He split open the Red Sea for them. His tender love for us continues on forever and led his people right through the middle. His tender love for us continues on forever. He vanquished Pharaoh’s armies, drowning them all. His tender love for us continues on forever. He led his people through the wilderness. His tender love for us continues on forever. He’s the one who smashed mighty Kingdoms. His tender love for us continues on forever. He triumphed over powerful kings who stood in his way. His tender love for us continues on forever. He conquered Sahan King of the Amorites. His tender love for us continues on forever. He conquered the giant named King of Bashawn. His tender love for us continues on forever. Then he gave away their lands as an inheritance. His tender love for us continues on forever. For he handed it all over to Israel His beloved. His tender love for us continues on forever. He’s the God who chose us when we were nothing. His tender love for us continues on forever. He has rescued us from the power of our enemies. His tender love for us continues on forever. He provides food for hungry men and animals. His tender love for us continues on forever. Give thanks to the great God of heavens.”
Do you know what comes next?
“His tender love for us continues on forever.”
Does anybody see a theme in that psalm? His tender love for us continues on forever. And it’s like God just really wanted to drill that home. So He’s going to say it 26 times and yet still, sometimes we walk around and we wonder if God loves us or we don’t feel His love, or we question His love. And there’s so many scriptures. I mean, just go through the Psalms alone. The times they talk about God’s love for us is amazing. And obviously Jesus comes… for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. But there’s so many examples of His love for us, but yet sometimes we still question Him. But I loved most specifically the opening that He loves us and He’s easy to please.


There’s a footnote and it says, “The ancient rabbi said that the 26 verses of this Psalm corresponded to the 26 generations from Adam to Moses. They maintained that since these generations were not given the Torah or the law, they could not earn merit. And were sustained only by God’s loving kindness.”

And we forget that. We think about some of the Old Testament prophets. They didn’t have the Word like we have. They had to get that Word straight from the mouth of God, the heart of God. And so, their merit was sustained only by God’s loving kindness. I think that’s a good place to be.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must, 1) believe that God exists. And 2) that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”

I put in the one and two; it helps to break it down to know what is faith. Because sometimes we can complicate faith, and we think it’s like a series of things that we have to do. And sometimes faith does correspond with works. I’m not denying that. But faith is that believing that He is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. It’s not about the doing, it’s about the believing and believing in His character that He’s a good God, that He loves us and He’s easy to please. Amen.

“The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer…

I wanted to read a little bit out of “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer. I thought this was perfect for what He had put on my heart. And it is a little Old English, so bear with me. But if you haven’t read this book, I highly encourage it. It is an amazing book, just full of wisdom. And I’m going to start in page 92, which is “The Gaze of the Soul.” It’s chapter seven. He says…

The Gaze of the Soul…

“In a dramatic way, in the book of Numbers, faith is seen in action. Israel became discouraged and spoke against God, and the Lord sent fiery serpents among them, and they bit the people and much of the people of Israel died.” (Numbers 21:6)

“Then Moses sought the Lord for them, and he heard and gave them a remedy against the bite of the serpents. He commanded Moses to make a serpent of brass and to put it on a pole in sight of all the people. It shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten when he look upon it shall live. (v. 8) Moses obeyed and it came to pass that if the serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (v. 9)

“In the New Testament, this important bit of history is interpreted for us by no less an authority than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He’s explaining to His hearers how they may be saved. He tells them that it is by believing. Then to make clear, he refers to this incident in the book of Numbers, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so the Son of man must be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. Our plain man in reading this would make an important discovery. He would notice that look and believe were synonymous terms. Looking on the Old Testament serpent is identical with believing on the New Testament Christ. That is the looking and the believing are the same thing.”

It’s easy to please Him, right? Just keeping our eyes on Him.

“And he would understand that while Israel looked with their external eyes, believing is done with the heart. I think he would conclude that faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God. When he had seen this, he would remember passages he had read before and their meaning would come flooding over him. They looked unto Him and were lightened and their faces were not ashamed. (Psalm 34:5) “Unto thee, I lift up my eyes, oh thou, thou, that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of the servants look unto the hand of their masters and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress. So our eyes wait upon the Lord our God. Until that he have mercy upon us.” (Psalm 123:1–2)

“Here, the man seeking mercy looks straight at the God of mercy and never takes his eyes away from Him until mercy is granted. And our Lord Himself looked always at God looking up to heaven. He blessed and broke the bread and gave it to His disciples. (Matthew 14:19).

“Indeed, Jesus taught that He wrought His works by always keeping His inward eyes upon His Father. His power lay in His continuous look at God. (John 5:19–21) In full accord with the few texts we have quoted in this tenor of the inspired word, it is summed up for us in the Hebrew epistle when we are instructed to run life’s race looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. From all this, we learned that faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the triune God. Believing then is directing the heart’s attention to Jesus. It is lifting the mind to behold the lamb of God and never ceasing that beholding for the rest of our lives. At first, this may seem difficult, but it becomes easier as we look steadily at His wonderful person. Quietly and without strain, distractions may hinder, but once the heart is committed to Him, after each brief excursion away from the attention will return again and rest upon Him like a wondering bird coming back to its window.

“I would emphasize this one committal, this one great volitional act, which establishes the heart’s intention to gaze forever upon Jesus. God takes His intention for our choice and makes what allowances He must for the thousand distractions which beset us in this evil world. He knows that we have set the direction of our hearts toward Jesus, and we can know it too and comfort ourselves with the knowledge that a habit of soul is forming, which will become after a while, a sort of spiritual reflex requiring no more conscious effort on our part.

“Faith is the least self-regarding of the virtues. It is by its very nature, scarcely conscious of its own existence. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself. Faith is occupied with the object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. While we are looking at God, we do not see ourselves. Blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect one.”

I thought that was so good. Sometimes we’re so consumed with what’s happening inside of us and fixing it and striving. If we just get our eyes on Him.

“While he looks at Christ, the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do. Faith is not in itself an emeritus act. The merit is in the one toward whom it is directed. Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus. Sin has twisted our vision inward and made itself regarding. Unbelief has put self where God should be and is perilously close to the sin of Lucifer who said, in his essence, “I will set my throne above the throne of God,” Isaiah 14:13.

“Faith looks out instead of in and the whole life falls into line. All this may seem too simple, but we have no apology to make to those who would seek to climb into heaven after help or descend into hell. God says the Word is nigh thee, that is the word of faith, (Romans 10:8). The Word induces us to lift up our eyes unto the Lord and the blessed work of faith begins. When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God, we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us. For it is written that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout all the earth. The sweet language of experience is thou God sees me, (Genesis 16:13). When the eyes of the soul looking out, meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on earth. When all my endeavor is turned towards thee, because of all thy endeavor is turned towards me. When I look unto thee alone with all my intention nor ever turn aside the eyes of my mind, because thou doest unfold me with thy constant regard. When I direct my love toward thee alone because thou who art loves self hast turned thee toward me alone. And what, Lord, is my life? Save the embrace wherein thy delight some sweetness doth so lovingly enfold me. So wrote Nicholas of Cusa 400 years ago.

“Life eternal, says Nicholas, is not other than the blessed regard, where if thou never ceases to behold me. Yea, even the secret place of my soul. With thee to behold to give life tis unseasonably to impart the sweetest of love to thee. Tis to inflame me to love of thee by love’s imparting and to feed me by inflaming and by feeding to kindle my yearning and by kindling to make me drink of the dew of gladness, and by drinking to infuse me to a fountain of life and by infusing to make it increase and endure.

“Now, if faith is the gaze of the heart to God and if this gaze is but the raising of the inward eyes to meet all the all-seeing eyes of God, then it follows that it is one of the easiest things possible to do. It would be like God to make the most vital thing easy and place it within the range of possibility for the weakest and the poorest of us.

“Since believing is looking, it can be done without special equipment or religious paraphernalia. Since believing is looking, it can be done at any time. Lift your heart and let it rest upon Jesus. You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him.

“I do not want to leave the impression that ordinary means of grace have no value. They most assuredly have. Private prayer should be practiced by every Christian. Long periods of Bible meditation will purify our gaze and direct it. Church attendance will enlarge our outlook and increase our love for others. Service and work and activity, all are good and should be engaged in by every Christian. But at the bottom of all these things, giving meaning to them will be the inward habit of beholding God. A new set of eyes, so to speak, will develop within us, enabling us to be looking at God while our outward eyes are seeing the scenes of this passing world.

“So 100 worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ are in heart, nearer to each other than they would possibly be were they to become unity conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.”

In other words, we have to get our own hearts right first.

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