DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
If my people … will … pray and seek my face, … I will hear from heaven. – 2 CHRONICLES 7:14
From one end of the Bible to the other, there is the record of those whose prayers were answered—men and women who turned the tide of history by prayer; who fervently prayed, and God answered.
Elijah prayed, and God sent fire from heaven to consume the offering on the altar he had built in the presence of God’s enemies. Elisha prayed, and the son of the Shunammite woman was raised from the dead. Hannah prayed and God gave her a son, Samuel, who would bless God’s people for decades.
Paul prayed, and dozens of churches were born in Asia Minor and Europe. Peter prayed, and Dorcas was raised to life, to have added years of service for Jesus Christ. Their prayers were the natural outflow of their deep inner faith.
Their prayers were part of a greater whole: godly lives lived for God’s glory. As the seventeenth century theologian, John Owen, said, “He who prays as he ought, will endeavor to live as he prays.”
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
The Great All
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6
AW. Tozer underscored the vital necessity of reckoning with the unseen reality of God and His power:
The spiritual is real… We must shift our interest from the seen to the unseen. For the great unseen reality is God. “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). This is basic in the life of faith.
Every man must choose his world… As we begin to focus on God, the things of the Spirit will take shape before our inner eyes.
Obedience to the Word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21–23).
A new God-consciousness will seize upon us, and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel the God Who is our life and our all.
More and more, as our faculties grow sharper and more sure, God will become to us the great All and His Presence the glory and wonder of our lives.
Tozer concluded with this prayer. Lift it as your own today:
Dear Lord, open my eyes that I may see; give me acute spiritual perception; enable me to taste Thee and know that Thou art good. Make heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been.
DEVOTIONAL FROM JESUS CALLING – SARAH YOUNG
Seek My Face
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? – PSALM 42: 1-2
Seek My Face, and you will find all that you have longed for. The deepest yearnings of your heart are for intimacy with Me. I know, because I designed you to desire Me. Do not feel guilty about taking time to be still in My Presence. You are simply responding to the tugs of divinity within you. I made you in My image, and I hid heaven in your heart. Your yearning for Me is a form of homesickness: longing for your true home in heaven.
Do not be afraid to be different from other people. The path I have called you to travel is exquisitely right for you. The more closely you follow My leading, the more fully I can develop your gifts. To follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your desire to please other people. However, your closeness to Me will bless others by enabling you to shine brightly in this dark world.
Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
11 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:
“‘Father, 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.’”
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
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).