Hallowed be Your Name – adoration (Prayer day 14)

Holiness is a foreign concept in our secular society.  This is not surprising, since the opposite of holy is secular, or common. So how can we understand what it mean to pray “hallowed be Your name?”

Today’s devotional reading will be greatly enhanced by this well-known hymn by Reginald Heber (1783-1826).


Psalm 99 – The Lord Our God Is Holy

1 The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!
The King in his might loves justice.
You have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the Lord our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel also was among those who called upon his name.
They called to the Lord, and he answered them.
In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them;
they kept his testimonies
and the statute that he gave them.

O Lord our God, you answered them;
you were to them God-Who-Forgives,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the Lord our God is holy!

Ark of the Covenant
“The Lord sits enthroned above the cherubim (Ps 99:1).” These are angelic beings with a human body and also with wings. They are assigned to vindicate the holiness of God against the sin of man.– Description from Believers Bible Commentary.

 Observations and reflections

  1. A simple way of understanding the message of the psalmist is by rewriting the Psalm in your own words:
  • V1
  • V2-3
  • V4-5
  • V6-8
  • V9
  1. This psalm is a lesson to us.
  • What is the chore call of this Psalm? (hint: look for repetition verses 3, 5, 9)
  • This Psalm has three main lessons about our relationship to the Holy God (hint: look before the repeated phrases, i.e. at verses 2, 4, 6-8)
  1. Mark the (a) names of God and (b) attributes of God praised in this psalm.

Personal reflection and Prayer

To say that God is holy means that he is not like us, that his ways are different, and that his character and nature is unique. And this is the call of praise in Psalm 99: God is high above all people, his governance shows no favouritism, is fair and free of corruption; yet although God is awesome and untouchable he saves those who call on Him, has relationship with sinful people, forgives freely yet punishes wrongdoing.

  1. What makes God unique in your eyes? Tell him that.
  2. In your own words pray along the lines of this Psalm:
  • Tell God in which way He more powerful than humans, angels or any force in creation.
  • Praise God for his
    • justice without corruption
    • mercy: His saving and forgiving nature
    • that He is relational, and cares about you too.



Justice in an unjust society 4

God powerfully identifies with the poor, weak and oppressed in our world and rewards every act of kindness towards “the least of these”.

Today’s reading will be powerfully enhanced with this song from Leeland:


Matthew 25:31-40

31  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32  Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33  And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

34  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

37  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Observation questions

  1. What event is Jesus referring to in this text?
  2. Who is Jesus referring to by “the Son of Man”? (verse 31; refer to Daniel 7:13-14)
  3. Note the judgment of the King: what is the reason mentioned for allowing “these to inherit the kingdom prepared”? (verses 34-36)
  4. List the kindnesses shown by those who inherited the kingdom. (verses 35-36)
  5. How many kindnesses did the recipients of the kingdom have to show to receive this reward? (v40)
  6. Why are the recipients of this reward so surprised? (verses 37-40)

Reflection and application questions

  1. What are the key truths in this texts about (a) eternal judgment, (b) mercy / kindness, and (c) God’s identification with the poor, weak and oppressed?
  2. Can you recall one poor, weak, sick, or imprisoned person whom you have shown kindness in the past? What does this text say about God’s attitude towards your act of kindness?
  3. When last have you gone out of your way to show kindness to a weak, poor, or oppressed person?
  4. Pray for compassion and wisdom, then schedule time this week to show kindness “to one of the least of these”, as though you do it to God himself.


Justice in an unjust society 3

Jesus and the prophets continually rebuked God’s followers for fixating on religious observation but neglecting “the more important aspects of the law”.


Matthew 23:23 [NLT]  “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

Micah 6:8  He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Zechariah 7:9-10  “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.’

Observation and reflection questions

Regarding Matthew 23:23

  1. In your own words summarise Jesus’ message to the Pharisees of his day.
  2. Why would Jesus call these devout religious leaders “hypocrites” in the specific context of the verse?
  3. What do you think Jesus meant by these “more important aspects of the law”?
    1. Justice
    2. Mercy
    3. Faith

Reflection and Application

Consider the following three phrases which may describe what “living a life that pleases God” looks like?

  • Not sinning morally, reading the Bible and praying daily.
  • Participating in church worship activities and inviting others to church.
  • Living a life of faith and power through the Holy Spirit.
  • Caring for the weak, the poor and marginalized in society.
  1. Which of these statements would best describe contemporary Western Christianity’s view of “a life that pleases God”?
  2. Which of these statements best describe Jesus and the prophet’s view of “a life that pleases God”?
  3. How does your attitudes and activities line up with Jesus’ “more important aspects of the law”?
  4. What can you do this week to do “justice and mercy”? For whom will you do it?


Pray for God’s compassion to well in your heart, that you may be “moved with compassion” to acts of mercy and justice, as Christ was moved.

Repentance 5 – a New Day

The aim of this devotional study is to consider God’s way for a fresh start, a clean slate – each new day.

This short song will greatly add to your devotional time study today. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnOFh9WFe6k]


Lamentations 3:20-23, 40-42a

20  My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. 21  But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!

40  Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! 41  Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven: 42  “We have transgressed and rebelled [against You].”

Observations and identification

  1. Notice two related movements of the prophet Jeremiah in these two portions quoted:.
    1. Describe the first change (v20-23).
    2. What caused this shift?
    3. Describe the second change (v40-42a).
    4. What caused this shift?
  2. The prophet calls the nation to “examine [their] ways and return to the Lord!”
    1. What do you understand from “lifting” both “hearts” and “hands” to the Lord?
  3. Identify the following elements of repentance in this Text by identifying the verse and phrase that reveals that aspect of the truth:
    1. “Godly sorrow produces to repentance” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
    2. “It is the goodness of the Lord that leads us to repentance” (Roman 2:4)
    3. Repentance requires taking responsibility for your own sins.
    4. Repentance requires turning away from your sinful ways.
    5. Repentance requires turning towards the Lord.
    6. Repentance requires confession of sins.

Prayer and Personal Reflection

Pray slowly and repetitively through this portion of Psalm 24, allowing the Lord to search your heart and hands. As the Holy Spirit reveals confess and repent of your transgressions and sins.

“3  Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. 5  He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6  This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.”

PRAYER 6 – God’s Pardon Obtaining: Mercy through prayer

The aim of this devotional study is to discover God’s heart and our responsibility concerning mercy for ourselves and other people.


Ezekiel 22:30-31

30 “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me of behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their heads,” say the Lord God.

Observations & Reflection

Israel have once again walked away from God and the people oppressed each other, committed robbery, mistreated the poor etc. (see Ezekiel 22: 23-29 for a list of their wrongdoings)

  1. What two parts of God’s character are illustrated through this portion of scripture?
  2. Why did God punish them in the end?
  3. How does that make you feel?

Personal Application & Prayer

  1. When you read this Text, which individual, family, group (such as a school, community) comes to mind? Try to articulate what the person / group’s vulnerability is, and why.
  2. Now pray for this person and community. Don’t just “list the request” but sincerely pray as the Spirit guides you.  Appeal to God’s mercy.
  3. Make some reminder/ marker (such as a bookmark in your Bible/ sticky card on mirror/ calendar reminder on your phone) and pray for this person/ community daily for the next week (or until the Lord releases this burden).

Thanks to Ester Venter for this devotional series on prayer.

PRAYER 5 – God’s Pardon: Obtaining Mercy through prayer

The aim of this devotional study is to discover God’s heart and our responsibility concerning mercy for ourselves and other people.


Genesis 18: 20-33

20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether  according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not I will know. 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.

23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would you also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there where fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”

27 Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28 suppose there were five less than fifty righteous; would You destroy all the city for lack of five? “ So He said, “If I find there forty five I will not destroy it.” 29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “suppose there should be forty there?” So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.” 30 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: suppose twenty should be found here?” So He said, “I will not destroy it for twenty.” 32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more. Suppose ten should be found here?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for ten.”

33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.

Observation & Reflection

A righteous just Judge could not have left the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah stand. Various scriptures confirm their wicked conduct and moral depravity, yet God was willing to spare the city on the terms that Abraham interceded for.

  1. How many times did Abraham appeal to the Lord?
  2. What does Abraham’s boldness in approaching ‘the Judge of all the earth’ (v25) on behalf of sinners reveal to you about a) Abraham, b) God and c) their relationship.
  3. Why did God NOT spare Sodom and Gomorrah in the end? (You can read the rest of the story in the following chapters)

Personal Application & Prayer

Can you think about an organization, system or person/s that you sometimes wish would just cease to exist or perish or at the very least get a righteous punishment for their deeds.

  1. If you see God’s willingness to spare Sodom and Gomorrah in spite of their wickedness how does that make you feel as a) a fellow Christian called to intercede for others and b) as a human being who makes mistakes.
  2. Praise God for his heart that is willing and ready to extend mercy. Think of someone who is in need of God’s merciful intervention – stand before God and plead their cause.

Thanks to Ester Venter for this devotional series on prayer!

BS1 Motivational Gifts7 – the merciful

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the mercy (or compassion).


Luke 10:30-37

30  Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.  31  Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.

34  He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’

36  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”


Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the generous character and motives the Good Samaritan to better understand the motivational gifts of the mercy or compassion. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) that each person is born with which drives his/her actions throughout his/her life.

  1. Mercy / compassion motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in the story of the Good Samaritan?  Comment and give references from the Scripture above.
    1. They have a unique ability to sense distress or pain in others.
    2. They have the capacity to show extraordinary love (compassion) for people in need.
    3. They are gentle-hearted and put others above themselves, while remaining joyful and cheerful.
    4. They are very attentive to what others say and do, seeking to identify with them.
    5. They are very careful not to cause harm to others.
    6. They are sensitive to the motives of others, and can discern wrong motives easily.
    7. They tend to feel what is the right thing to do where others think what is the right thing to do.
  2. From the Good Samaritan’s story above, which characteristic of the mercy (or compassion) motivated person is most striking to you personally?


  1. Looking at the Good Samaritan as an example of a mercy-motivated person – what should a person with this motivational gift take care before taking initiative? What questions will you tell this person to ask before getting involved in other people’s lives?
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider mercy motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong mercy motivated person? Considering this example of the Good Samaritan:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that he may grant you grace to grow in love, patience in dealing with others, discernment of people’s needs and intentions and wisdom to know how to help people most appropriately while taking adequate care of myself and my family.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly mercy motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – for their care for you and those around you, and the way they showcase God’s compassionate love and thereby teaching you how to show patient, selfless, compassionate love.
    2. Thank God for them and their good influence in your life. Pray for these people by name that God will bless them with grace to grow in love, patience in dealing with others, discernment of people’s needs and intentions and wisdom to know how to help people most appropriately, yet not to the neglect of themselves and their families.

Salvation 13

The Aim of this devotional study is to learn about God’s forgiveness and salvation in response to our cries for help.


Psalms 130:1-8

1  Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!  2  O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

3  If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?  4  But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.

5  I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;  6  my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

7  O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.  8  And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.


  1. Take one word from every section to summarize that portion of the Psalm





  1. Now in one sentence, summarize what you understand this Psalm is about.
  2. What do you think is his link between “depth” (v1) and “iniquities” (v3) in this Psalm?


  1. When you read this Psalm, to whom would you recommend it as encouragement and guideline to help them with their situation? e. into what type of situation does this Psalm speak?
  2. What practical guidelines do you learn from this Psalm response to hopeless situations – even if they were caused by your foolishness or sin?


Personalize and pray this prayer of deliverance for yourself or someone in a tough, hopeless situation.

Salvation 8

The Aim of this devotional study is to discover the process (sanctification) and completion (glorification) of our salvation.


1 Peter 1:3-9

3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5  who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7  that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8  whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9  receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.


  1. What phrases that Peter use make you realize that you have been saved by grace, and through faith?
  2. What phrases that Peter use indicate that your salvation (and inheritance) is secure?
  3. What phrases that Peter use indicate that now at present God is working in various ways to work out your salvation?
  4. What phrases that Peter use point to a specific moment in the future when your salvation will be complete?


  1. Peter writes that hardships (in this case – religious persecution resulting imprisonment, poverty and even beatings) tests our faith. How does it test our faith, and what impact does it have on our salvation?
  2. Have you ever experienced that difficult times test your faith? When and how?  (if not, do you know someone that went through such hardship?  What do you know about their faith?)


Prayerfully reflect on your current life circumstances and your hope of an glorious inheritance in Christ.  Paul wrote somewhere that “there light afflictions does not compare to the glory that awaits us in Christ”. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the glorious inheritance in reserved for you Christ.