DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
People of Prayer
Lord, teach us to pray. LUKE 11:1
Thousands pray only in times of great stress, danger, or uncertainty. I have flown through bad storms and found myself surrounded by people praying for the first time in their lives. It is instinctive for us to pray in times of trouble. Only then do we realize our helplessness.
But Christ instructed His followers to pray at all times, both by His teaching and His example. So fervent and so direct were His prayers that once, after He finished praying, His followers pleaded, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). They yearned to be in touch with God, as they knew Christ was.
Have you ever said, “Lord, teach me to pray?” Prayer shouldn’t be casual or sporadic, dictated only by the needs of the moment. Prayer should be as much a part of our lives as breathing. Never has our world stood in greater need of people who will pray. Will you be one of them?
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Teach Us to Pray
In the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. – Mark 1:35
In the first chapter of the book of Mark, we are given a rare glimpse into the early days of Jesus’ ministry. The twelve disciples had not been chosen, but Andrew, James, John, and Peter were already emerging as followers of Christ.
In Mark 1:35-37, we read for the first time of Jesus’ prayer life: In the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there. And Simon and his companions hunted for Him; and they found Him, and said to Him, ‘Everyone is looking for You.’”
Jesus’ behavior was not the norm. He didn’t always go to the temple to pray as everyone else did. Instead, he arose early to be alone with God. But His goal in prayer wasn’t to complete a ritual; it was to communicate with His heavenly Father and to gain refreshment for His soul.
Later, Luke recorded a different scenario as Jesus interacted with His disciples. The same men were the ones thirsty for what Jesus was experiencing with the Father. They, too, wanted to know that type of holy communion and pleaded, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).
God loves us and He wants to make His love apparent. Would you, too, yearn along with the disciples, “Lord, teach me to pray”?
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Bring Me The Things That Worry You
I have hidden the treasures of my heart from the worldly wise and cynical, but I am revealing them to now to you, for I see that you are willing to humble yourself and come to me like a child. What pleasure you give me when you are simple and trusting and childlike! Then, more than ever, I delight in you.
I am known to no one but my Son and those to whom he chooses to reveal my nature. When your heart is open to him, my heart is open to you!
Come now, bringing the things that worry you or trouble you, the things that produce stress in your life. I did not create you to bear these things in your human strength. If you let me, I will carry you.
You have much to learn from Jesus. Spend time with him. You will find that his yoke is light and his burden is easy. This is the kind of load you were created to carry. Put on his gentleness and humility, and enter into my rest.
Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Purpose of Prayer
. . . one of His disciples said to Him, ’Lord, teach us to pray . . .’ —Luke 11:1
Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man. We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer. When a person is born again from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve or nourish that life. Prayer is the way that the life of God in us is nourished. Our common ideas regarding prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.
“Ask, and you will receive . . .” (John 16:24). We complain before God, and sometimes we are apologetic or indifferent to Him, but we actually ask Him for very few things. Yet a child exhibits a magnificent boldness to ask! Our Lord said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3). Ask and God will do. Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work. The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end. When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact, it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems— the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end. But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.
To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.