DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Pray Anywhere, Any Time
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. – 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-17
Prayer is an essential part of a healthy Christian life. Just as omitting an essential vitamin from our diet will make us physically weak, so a lack of prayer will make us spiritually anemic.
The Bible says, “Pray without ceasing.” It isn’t enough to get out of bed in the morning, quickly bow our head, and repeat a few sentences. Instead, we need to set aside specific times to be alone with God, speaking to Him in prayer and listening to Him speak through His Word. If you set aside special times for prayer, your unconscious mind will be saturated with prayer all day long.
For the overworked mother or other busy person this may seem impossible (although even a few minutes alone with God can reap rich rewards). But even when we are busy, we can “pray without ceasing” in our hearts and minds. We can pray anywhere, any time—and God will hear us. Today let prayer saturate your life “without ceasing.”
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Through Troubled Waters
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:6–7
You lose your job. Your spouse files for divorce. You discover that one of your children is on drugs. A loved one is diagnosed with cancer and given only six months to live. Such times are extremely disorienting. They strike with such intensity that emotions can be buried beneath a tide of fear and anxiety.
Yet these pillars of truth can help You endure and triumph:
God knows your problems. Your woes have not taken God by surprise. He is aware of every detail of your troubles: “Your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:8 NASB). God cares about your problems.
God loves you without limit. As the Good Shepherd, He will protect and defend you: “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15 NASB). God is able to deal with your problems.
God has the power to handle your problems. Because He knows and cares, He will act according to His wisdom and will: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6–7 NASB).
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
My dear child.
When you need wisdom, come to me. I will supply it generously. But when you come, come believing, not doubting. The tiniest doubt splits the sails on the vessel of your faith.
How do you handle the doubts that plague you? First of all, don’t pretend. Be forthright with me. If you do have doubts, you cannot hide them from me, for I know you. Shine a flashlight on each small doubt that creeps, as an intruder, into your heart. Then ask me for help – for more faith. I will supply that, too. Learn to pray like this: “I do believe! Help me to believe more!”
There is no need to be tentative or shaky. I am your God. I know your heart and I can heal your doubts. I supply faith and wisdom and guidance at every crossroad in your life.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you. Selah
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob. Selah
9 Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
12 O Lord Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Praying to God in Secret
When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place . . . —Matthew 6:6
The primary thought in the area of religion is— keep your eyes on God, not on people. Your motivation should not be the desire to be known as a praying person. Find an inner room in which to pray where no one even knows you are praying, shut the door, and talk to God in secret. Have no motivation other than to know your Father in heaven. It is impossible to carry on your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer.
“When you pray, do not use vain repetitions . . .” (Matthew 6:7). God does not hear us because we pray earnestly— He hears us solely on the basis of redemption. God is never impressed by our earnestness. Prayer is not simply getting things from God— that is only the most elementary kind of prayer. Prayer is coming into perfect fellowship and oneness with God. If the Son of God has been formed in us through regeneration (see Galatians 4:19), then He will continue to press on beyond our common sense and will change our attitude about the things for which we pray.
“Everyone who asks receives . . .” (Matthew 7:8). We pray religious nonsense without even involving our will, and then we say that God did not answer— but in reality we have never asked for anything. Jesus said, “. . . you will ask what you desire. . .” (John 15:7). Asking means that our will must be involved. Whenever Jesus talked about prayer, He spoke with wonderful childlike simplicity. Then we respond with our critical attitude, saying, “Yes, but even Jesus said that we must ask.” But remember that we have to ask things of God that are in keeping with the God whom Jesus Christ revealed.