Sunday, July 24, 2022
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Listen while you read: "Blest Be The Tie That Binds"1 (Lyrics)

Revelation 1:17-18 – When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." (ESV)

The area around our church includes a neighbourhood which in the past has been rather dilapidated. Now, it has been regenerated and revamped with a community centre at its heart. Some of the terraced houses have been removed and the subsequent area rebuilt with low-rise flats or apartments. Post lockdown, the composition of our congregation has changed dramatically. Because of this, our intercessors group recently felt led to prayer-walk these streets.

As we walk the streets, we pray and say hello to those we meet and those who are lingering about The Hub, which used to be a one-stop shop for help and advice to the community. Now, post-lockdown, it is currently unoccupied with only part-time office staff.

When we arrived at The Hub, there was a lone workman fixing the shutters on the empty building's lower windows. The shutters protect the windows from any potential projectiles thrown by headstrong youths out of hours. I offered to lend the workman a hand in his work. It transpired that he needed someone inside the building to turn a key in the office. The key activated the power for the shutters to go up and down whilst he, in turn, was making adjustments outside.

As I turned the key one way, all the shutters moved up. When I turned the key the other way, they all came down in unison, and the blinds shut out the light. He thanked me for the assistance, and I carried on with the others, who were seated on a bench nearby waiting for my return.

As we walked away from the shuttered windows, it came to mind that many of us have shutters in our lives. Metaphorically, we turn them on, and down they descend, when we shut others, including Jesus, out of certain areas or even all of our lives.

Jesus has the keys of the kingdom. He is the One Who can supply the power for us so that we can turn the key to lift the shutters in our hearts and minds through grace.

Jesus is at the start and the end of our existence, both individual and corporate. He is the beginning and the end. He is our protector and the light of our salvation. How far are we willing to open ourselves up to allow His light to shine into and through our lives today?

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that You protect our spirits from the assaults of the world and its agents. You can repair the damage done to our hearts and minds. We rejoice that You can lift our shutters and illuminate our lives once more today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Rod.

    Thank you very much.

    Wonderful reminder of willful blindness. Blessings.

    A wonderful thought, to open the shutters. Thank you.

    Amen Rod. A good one.

    Yes indeed! Jesus holds the keys to give us everything necessary. Thanks for the good analogy.

    Thanks Rod, to you and your intercessors group. May you keep up your helpful prayer-walk mission. Many blessings to you all.

    What a perfect illustration, Rod. Thank you.
    Please tell me about your intercessors group.

    Thanks, Rod, for another very special writing. Our Lord is surely a great “protector” throughout our lives and a giver of joy and comfort. Blessings for these great devotional writings you deliver and enjoy a wonderful day.

    Good morning, Rod,
    I have not heard of a prayer-walk on the streets. Is the purpose to pray for the area that you are walking through? Is the purpose to reach out to the people you meet along the way? Or maybe it is both.
    I like your example of “shutters” that we use to protect ourselves from the world which sometimes seems too much for us. We get hurt and feel that this is the best way. We need to remember that Jesus can help us move past this and we don’t need to shutter ourselves. He is always there for us.
    Thanks for the good analogy to what we do automatically and that we can do something different. As we reach out to others, we can carry this message of Jesus opening up their shutters and comforting them. Blessings.

    Well-done, Rod! Great application of your faith.

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