As Jesus expands His public ministry, He teaches extensively using parables.
Faith does not come to us full-blown.
It must be cultivated and nurtured. Jesus cultivates the faith of His disciples. After an extensive time of teaching, Jesus goes out into the Sea of Galilee with the Twelve, knowing that a storm will come. He calms the storm and then asks, rhetorically, "How is it that you have no faith?" (Mark 4:40). His disciples marvel and their faith grows. We, too, must go through times of testing to become strong.
· Offer your praise to the God who loves you and who seeks your love in return:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
You who are mighty have done great things for me, and holy is Your name. And Your mercy is on those who fear You from generation to generation (based on Luke 1:49-50).
· Pause for personal praise and thanksgiving. As you seek to keep your life free from sin, pray this confession:
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
· As you consider the mercy of God, confess any sins which the Holy Spirit brings to your mind. Now pause to pray this affirmation to the Lord:
For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:16-17).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, pray for:
· the leading of the Lord in your walk with Him,
· Christians worldwide who are persecuted for their faith in Christ,
· your activities for the day.
· Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer