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     “This is what the LORD says—he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. Some will say, ‘I belong to the LORD'; another will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ and will take the name Israel.” Isa. 44:2-5 
     Compassionate Father, today we bring before you those with whom we share the closest relationships—especially members of our families. How we long for you to be gracious on behalf of our children, our parents, our siblings, our extended families and our friends. O Lord, there are so many for whom we carry heartbreaking concerns and heavy burdens.
     Gracious Father, thank you not only for forming us in our mother’s womb but also for sovereignly revealing Jesus in our hearts. This gives us great courage to ask you to pour out your Spirit on a big circle of people we cherish. For our children, siblings, and parents who don’t know you, bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus. More than anything else, we long to hear them say, “I belong to the Lord.” Only you can make the gospel beautiful and believable to them.
     Holy Spirit, for our family members and friends who are living foolish and destructive lives, do whatever it takes to save them from themselves. To those who have a deceiving and numbing abundance of good things, bring abundant life. Replace fools’ gold with grace gold. Arrange circumstances of your choosing to bring them to the end of themselves and to the beginning of your mercies on into the fullness of your grace. In the meadows of their madness, bring the grandeur of your goodness.
     Lord Jesus, for those who love you deeply but are living in hard stories of failing health or financial stress, emotional stress or mental illness, marital meltdown or relational disconnect, pour forth your life-giving Spirit. Where there is weariness, bring your centering presence; where there is hopelessness, bring fresh encouragement; where there is despair, show up as a mighty and merciful God, and use us as conduits of your promised grace.
     We forsake our fears in light of the pledge of your help. So very Amen we pray, in your matchless and merciful name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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