1 Kings 19:1-18

When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”

3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” 6 He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”

8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai,[a] the mountain of God. 9 There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

15 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. 16 Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi[b] to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. 17 Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! 18 Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

You know me so well, Lord. You know my fears and my limitations. And, like Elijah, sometimes the journey is just too much for me, Lord, when I am afraid and ready to quit, let me feast on the bread of Your Word and the water of Your Spirit. Visit me with Your manifest presence and speak to me with Your still small voice. Renew my vision and send me on this great adventure of faith.

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

We thank You, Father, that You have not left Your church defenseless. Rather, You have called us to the battleground of prayer and have fully equipped us each day to carry forward the Gospel of Christ as we wage war against the evil one. Teach us to preach, to pray and to persevere; and as the dust settles after each victory, may we be found standing our ground, prepared for the next foray into battle.

Psalm 63:1-8

1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Heavenly Father, You are our Lord and Master. As we seek You, we are filled by Your Living Water and our lives are richer by Your grace. You have provided blessings beyond number, more than the stars in the sky or the sand on the beach. We will sing YOur praises from morning to evening, and when we sleep we will remember You. Strengthen us as we cling to You; You are all the help we will ever need.

Matthew 8:2-3

2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.

Lord Jesus, You are so willing to meet us, if only we will come to You – if only we will reach out to You and ask. But so often we continue to wrap ourselves in the filthy rags of our own sinfulness. We become comfortable with our misery. O Lord, I don’t want to live without wholeness or holiness. Your healing is so near and so powerful. I know You are willing to touch me. I’m reaching out to You. Speak to me those powerful words, “Be clean.”

Matthew 7:7-12

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Lord, You have instructed us to keep asking for all that we need and want. You have taught us to keep seeking those things we cannot grasp. And You have told us to keep knocking on unopened doors. This affirms that we are utterly reliant upon You. You are our sole provider. You are the One who understands and explains all mysteries. You alone have the power to unlock the doors into the future. Apart from You, Lord, we can do nothing. But with You all things are possible.

Amos 8:11-13

11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.

12 People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.

13 “In that day
“the lovely young women and strong young men
will faint because of thirst.

O God, what worse famine could there be than to be deprived of Your Word? What thirst could be more horrible than to be denied Your living water? Apart from Your nourishment, we stagger about, famished and depleted. But, by Your Grace, You offer us life-giving food; You give us water from a spring that will never be dried up. Dear Jesus, Bread of life, when we come to You, we will never be hungry! O Spring of living water, when we believe in You, we will never be thirsty again!

2 Timothy 3:15-17

15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Holy Spirit, breath of God, breathe through the words on these pages once more. May they become life and health and peace for my soul. May I find in their wisdom all that I need to be fully equipped for a life of service to God. Intensify my hunger for the Scriptures, clarify their meaning and quicken my heart to a swifter obedience.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Lord, fill my heart with Your love for the lost, for You take no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Teach me to be patient and passionate in helping others come to know and love You, even as You know and love them. May Your presence in my life inspire others to put their faith in Christ alone.

2 Peter 1:1-8

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Your glory and goodness have called me: Your grace and peace have filled me. Knowing You is my soul’s delight. You gave me this most precious faith and continually strengthen it with Your unfailing power. You cleanse me from this world’s corruption and empower my life with the great promises in Your Word. By Your grace, Lord, I will make every effort to grow in every way – in goodness, knowledge, patience, hope and brotherly love. I will press on along the upward way, keeping my eyes fixed upon You.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

23 This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
    or the strong boast of their strength
    or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

Father, I praise You for the ways in which You make Yourself known. I will not boast in my wisdom, because You have chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. I will not boast in strength, because You have chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong. You have chosen lowly women, men of ill repute, powerless people from nowhere, ordinary folks without human credentials, anonymous people – people like me – to show the world that You are indeed a kind, just and righteous God.