Psalms 91:1-7 NKJV
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.”
-Intimacy in Greek is entugchanein which means to entreat, pray or to express intercession. Those who dwell in the secret place abide under the shadow of the Almighty, knowing His protection, comfort, and care. Jesus in Matthew 6:5-6 reveals that, “when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” It is important to dedicate time and pray to our Father in our secret place and we will be rewarded openly. Daniel prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10). David also prayed three times daily, in the morning, at noon and in the evening (Psalm 55:17). To develop intimacy with God, we need to pray feverantly.
Your steadfast love never ceases, Your mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness dear Jesus. Thank You for enabling us to see this new week. Thank You for the gift of life and for this far that You have brought us. Thank You Jehovah Shalom for the peace that You have given us in this nation. We humbly ask You for continually grant us peace even as the Supreme Court delivers its verdict. May this verdict be from You dear Jesus. We pray for Your purpose to prevail in our lives and in this nation for the glory and honor of Your name. May You bless us with Your dew from heaven and make us prosperous Abba Father. May You teach us how to pray and help us to dedicate ample time for prayer. May You intercede for us Holy Spirit with groanings that cannot be uttered. May You hear our prayers and answer our hearts desires according to Your will. May You forgive us all our trespasses and wash us with Your precious blood. We thank You for Your goodness, mercy and everlasting love dear Jesus. All glory, honor, power, wisdom and strength belongs to You Jesus now and forever. Amen
Further reading: 1 Timothy 2:1
Acts 9:3-7 NKJV
“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.”
-Saul was a staunch follower of Judaism and sought for authority through an official letter from the high priest to bound and chain any man or woman who followed Christianity. In Galatians 1:13-14, Paul remembers his former life saying, “For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.” Saul encountered Jesus as he persecuted Christians. He heard a voice and did not see the one Who spoke but responded, “Who are you Lord?” Somehow Saul knew it was the Lord and he fell to the ground and he was transformed. Like Saul who practiced Judaism, many muslims, Hindus and other religions do not know the One true God. It is through a personal encounter or through the experience of others that they are converted. For instance, in the election of some leaders who have openly acknowledged their victory to God, that many people and religions are curious and want to know more about their God. Moses encountered God during the incident of the burning bush and his life was transformed (Exodus 3:2). To enhance our intimacy with God, we need to have a genuine personal encounter with Him, and know Him experientially.
Lord You are God and there is none like You. Some trust in horses, others trust in chariots, but we put our trust in You. May You reveal Yourself unto us dear Jesus, we desire to know You more. You are the God who keeps promises, we seek Your favor and grace. Your promises are yes and amen, may You fulfill Your promises upon our lives, families and nation. May we decrease as You increase dear Jesus. We thank You for Your peace that surpasses all understanding upon our nation Jehovah Shalom. May You have genuine encounters with You and develop intimacy with You Jesus Christ. May You show Yourself strong in our lives and situations. May You transform us and all other religions, tongues, tribes and nation that we may all know You and follow You dear Jesus. May Your revival be effective according to Your plans and standards. May You use us as vessels of honor for the glory and honor of Your name. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen
Further reading: 1 Kings 18:39
Luke 24:29-32 NKJV
“But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
-Cleophas and his friend were unaware that Jesus was the One talking to them as they walked to Emmaus. They thought that He was a stranger in Jerusalem. Jesus broke both the bread of life by revealing the scriptures from the Old Testament and the New Testament to them as they walked from Jerusalem, and the living bread which we partake in remembrance of Him. The two became witnesses of the resurrected Christ, and their hearts burnt within themselves as Jesus spoke. Christ calls us to abide in Him saying, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:4-8). Like most of the disciples who abound in Jesus Christ, and were willing to suffer for the gospel, we are called to abide in Him and He in us so that we may be fruitful and become His disciples and develop an intimate relationship with Him.
Dear Lord Jesus You are the Vine and we are Your branches, may You teach us to abide in You as You are in us so that we may bear much fruit for the glory and honor of Your name. Jesus You are the living word, You are the bread of life we desire to draw near to You as You are in us. May Your presence go with us Lord and may You give us Your sure peace. We desire to be Your witnesses all over the world, may You enable us to preach Your gospel fearless in all the nations according to Your divine grace. May You bless our children, so that they may know You more and take heed to Your word. All glory, honor, power and praise You now and forever. Amen
Further reading: John 6:51, Acts 1:833
Matthew 6:33 NKJV
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
-If we consider two main words in the above scripture, seek and first. Seek means to attempt to find or desire to obtain something. First means to come before all else/others. Therefore, to seeking God and the things of God first is the key to intimacy with Him. Psalm 11:7 tells us that, “the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face”. God is Righteous and when we seek Him with pure hearts, we see Him. The kingdom of God requires that we find righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). As we seek first God’s kingdom we are called to consider the things above and not below, that consist of the spirit so that we may not walk in the flesh and gratify its desires. Jesus Christ also calls us to believe in Him and rely upon Him who gives us all righteousness which does not come from the law but through faith (Philippians 3:9). It is vital to remember that Jesus became our holiness and redemption, that through Him we might become the righteousness of God. We are then called to apply the beatitudes in our lives through the power of God’s grace that we may hold fast love for God and for one another which is the tool to effectively operate in His kingdom.
Dear Lord Jesus, You have redeemed us with Your precious blood and we have become the righteousness of God, how great are Your works in all the heavens and the earth. You are our Lord and King, none can compare to You. We humbly ask You dear Jesus to forgive us all our trespasses and wash us with Your precious blood. May You help us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. May You help us to seek first Your kingdom and righteousness, and add unto us all other things. May You help us to seek after the things above and not below as we follow Your teachings and the direction of the Holy Spirit. We pray for all those are sick and suffering in our society, families, nation and all the nations of the world that You may restore them in Your merciful love. We pray for all those who are waiting on You for spouses that You may remember them and answer their hearts desires for You have said in Your word that none shall lack a mate. We pray for all those who are facing challenges in marriage that You may be at the center of their families. We ask for the blessing of children that only comes from You dear Jesus, that You may do a new thing in each family. We pray for all the street children and families, that You may respond to their every need. We pray for our nation and the leadership of this nation that Lord You may touch the hearts of every leader that Your purposes may prevail in every government function. We ask You dear Jesus to bless us and enable us to function well in Your kingdom for the glory and honor of Your name. Amen
Further reading: Matthew 5:3-12, 2 Corinthians 5:21
Daniel 11:32 NKJV
“Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”
-Trusting in God is a major avenue to intimacy with God. As we run through this years theme, let us now forget to seek God’s grace that enable us to do exploits. We are cautioned from corruption, and reminded that those who have faith in God and endeavor to worship the One and only true God have the assurance of being strengthened, and we will perform great and powerful works for the glory of God.
Intimacy with God is paramount to spiritual growth. Many Christians read the Bible and know God but they are yet to develop a relationship with Him. We have reviewed various ways that enable us to have intimacy with God. First is through dwelling in the secret place of prayer and God rewards us openly. Jesus exemplified the importance of prayer through His life. Often times do we see Him withdrawing to a secret place to pray (Luke 5:16). The tragedy of many believers is that they believe that the knowledge of God is in the volume of spiritual activity. To have intimacy with God, we are called to dwell in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91:1), and He will answer us according to His will. Secondly is by abiding in Jesus Christ as He abides in us. John 15:4 tells us, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me”. By abiding with God is a commitment to live for Him, and spending time in studying His word and we will bear much fruit. 2 John 1:9 tells us that, anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God, but the one who abides in the teaching, has both the Father and the Son. Thirdly, to have intimate relationship with God requires that we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all other things will be added unto us. To seek first God’s kingdom requires that we prioritize God and consulting Him first in everything. To seek God first can also be achieved through loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and your neighbor as yourself, which is a summary of the law and prophets. Fourthly, intimacy with God can also be developed through having a genuine encounter with Him. Saul encounter God when he approached Damascus and he was converted, and his name was changed to Paul. Abram fell on his face when he encountered God (Genesis 17:3), and his name was changed to Abraham. Last but not least, we are reminded to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). This requires strong faith as we follow the Good Shepherd without wavering, for without faith we cannot please God. By having faith in God, we are assured of strength and we are able to do exploits that builds intimacy with God.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Thank Abba Father for loving us and for this far that You have brought us. We count our blessings and name them one by one. We thank You Father for assuring us that You will strengthen us and uphold us with Your righteous right hand. Thank You for You have been a good God, we exult Your holy name. May You renew our strength and increase our faith, that we may do exploits in Your kingdom for the glory and honor of Your name. May You give us endurance and encouragement that we may have the same attitude of mind that You Jesus Christ had. May You bless us and keep us Lord. May You make Your face shine upon us and be gracious to us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. Amen
Further reading: Romans 15:5, Isaiah 41:10