DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Ask and Receive
Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. – MARK 11:24
Someone has said that before our prayers can mean anything to God, they must first mean something to us. Mindlessly repeating a prayer we memorized in childhood, or vaguely asking God to bless everyone, everywhere—that isn’t authentic prayer. Prayer is speaking to God about the deepest concerns of our hearts.
What is the source of true prayer? It is a heart attuned to God. It is a life lived in loving obedience to the Father. The Bible says, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).
God delights in the prayers of His children—prayers that express our love for Him, prayers that share our deepest burdens with Him. Don’t pray casually or thoughtlessly, but “come boldly to the throne of grace, that you may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
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 JESUS CALLING – SARAH YOUNG
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – EPHESIANS 3: 20– 21
I am able to do far beyond all that you ask or imagine. Come to Me with positive expectations, knowing that there is no limit to what I can accomplish. Ask My Spirit to control your mind, so that you can think great thoughts of Me. Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered. Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark. The more extreme your circumstances, the more likely you are to see My Power and Glory at work in the situation. Instead of letting difficulties draw you into worrying, try to view them as setting the scene for My glorious intervention. Keep your eyes and your mind wide open to all that I am doing in your life.
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me to devour[a] me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
DEVOTIONAL FROM MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST – OSWALD CHAMBERS
And After That What’s Next To Do?
. . . seek, and you will find . . . —Luke 11:9
Seek if you have not found. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss . . .” (James 4:3). If you ask for things from life instead of from God, “you ask amiss”; that is, you ask out of your desire for self-fulfillment. The more you fulfill yourself the less you will seek God. “. . . seek, and you will find . . . .” Get to work— narrow your focus and interests to this one thing. Have you ever sought God with your whole heart, or have you simply given Him a feeble cry after some emotionally painful experience? “. . . seek, [focus,] and you will find . . . .”
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. . .” (Isaiah 55:1). Are you thirsty, or complacent and indifferent— so satisfied with your own experience that you want nothing more of God? Experience is a doorway, not a final goal. Beware of building your faith on experience, or your life will not ring true and will only sound the note of a critical spirit. Remember that you can never give another person what you have found, but you can cause him to have a desire for it.
“. . . knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). “Draw near to God . . .” (James 4:8). Knock— the door is closed, and your heartbeat races as you knock. “Cleanse your hands . . .” (James 4:8). Knock a bit louder— you begin to find that you are dirty. “. . . purify your hearts . . .” (James 4:8). It is becoming even more personal— you are desperate and serious now— you will do anything. “Lament . . . ” (James 4:9). Have you ever lamented, expressing your sorrow before God for the condition of your inner life? There is no thread of self-pity left, only the heart-rending difficulty and amazement which comes from seeing what kind of person you really are. “Humble yourselves . . . ” (James 4:10). It is a humbling experience to knock at God’s door— you have to knock with the crucified thief. “. . . to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:10).