Isaiah 58:6-12 (NRSV)

6 Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator  shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, 10 if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. 12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.   

Isaiah 58:11 (NRSV)

11 The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.

DEVOTION – Lance Ek (Florida)

As I have served out my prison term here in Florida, I have come to appreciate the spiritual discipline of fasting.  It has become a ministry for me.  I always ask the Holy Spirit, “To whom should I give my meal tray today?”  Many times, the Spirit shocks me by leading me to give my meal to someone who isn’t a Christian.  Often it’s someone I don’t even care for.  The thought of giving my meal to someone like this at first seems like a mistake.  I understand the Spirit’s guidance only when I see the look on his face as I hand him the tray and say, “God bless you.”  You see, most of the guys here in prison are not used to kindness.  I thank God for using me to show them some.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God’s Spirit is at work even within prison walls.

PRAYER: Thank you, dear God, for helping us show kindness in unexpected ways.  Lead us to take care of one another as you care for us.  We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, And the glory, for ever” (Matt. 6:9-13, KJV).  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE IN PRISON

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