PrayerCenter - Devotionals
Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Daily Devotionals
Instead of Revenge
After Jim Elliot and four other missionaries were killed by Huaorani tribesmen in 1956, no one expected what happened next. Jim’s wife, Elisabeth, their young daughter, and another missionary’s sister willingly chose to make their home among the very people who killed their loved ones. They spent several years living in the Huaorani community, learning their language, and translating the Bible for them. These women’s testimony of forgiveness and kindness convinced the Huaorani of God’s love for them and many began to follow Jesus.
What Elisabeth and her friend did is an incredible example of not repaying evil with evil but with good (Romans 12:17). The apostle Paul encouraged the church in Rome to show through their actions the transformation that God had brought into their own lives. What did Paul have in mind? They were to go beyond the natural desire to take revenge; instead, they were to show love to their enemies by meeting their needs, such as providing food or water.
Why do this? Recalling a proverb from the Old Testament (Proverbs 25:21–22), Paul said that the kindness shown by believers to their enemies could win them over and light the fire of repentance in their hearts.
Abba, Father, it is difficult, even impossible, for us to love others in our own strength. Help us through Your Spirit to truly love our enemies, and use us to bring them to You.
“Chasing tornadoes,” says Warren Faidley, “is often like a giant game of 3D-chess played out over thousands of square miles.” The photojournalist and storm chaser adds: “Being in the right place at the right time is a symphony of forecasting and navigation while dodging everything from softball-sized hailstones to dust storms and slow-moving farm equipment.”
Faidley’s words make my palms sweat. While admiring the raw courage and scientific hunger storm chasers display, I balk at throwing myself into the middle of potentially fatal weather events.
In my experience, however, I don’t have to chase storms in life—they seem to be chasing
me. That experience is mirrored by Psalm 107 as it describes sailors trapped in a storm. They were being chased by the consequences of their wrong choices but the psalmist says, “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed” (Psalm 107:28–29).
Whether the storms of life are of our own making or the result of living in a broken world, our Father is greater than the storm. When we are being chased by storms, He alone is able to calm them—or to calm the storm within us.
Bring What You Have
“Stone Soup,” an old tale with many versions, tells of a starving man who comes to a village, but no one there can spare a crumb of food for him. He puts a stone and water in a pot over a fire. Intrigued, the villagers watch him as he begins to stir his “soup.” Eventually, one brings a couple of potatoes to add to the mix; another has a few carrots. One person adds an onion, another a handful of barley. A farmer donates some milk. Eventually, the “stone soup” becomes a tasty chowder.
That tale illustrates the value of sharing, but it also reminds us to bring what we have, even when it seems to be insignificant. In John 6:1–14 we read of a boy who appears to be the only person in a huge crowd that thought about bringing some food. Jesus’s disciples had little use for the boy’s sparse lunch of five loaves and two fishes. But when it was surrendered, Jesus increased it and fed thousands of hungry people!
I once heard someone say, “
You don’t have to feed the five thousand. You just have to bring your loaves and fishes.” Just as Jesus took one person’s meal (John 6:11) and multiplied it far beyond anyone’s expectations or imagination, He’ll accept our meager efforts, talents, and service. He just wants us to be willing to bring what we have to Him.
Walking with the Spirit
Ten thousand hours. That’s how long author Malcolm Gladwell suggests it takes to become skillful at any craft. Even for the greatest artists and musicians of all time, their tremendous inborn talent wasn’t enough to achieve the level of expertise that they would eventually attain. They needed to immerse themselves in their craft every single day.
As strange as it might seem, we need a similar mentality when it comes to learning to live out the power of the Holy Spirit. In Galatians, Paul encourages the church to be set apart for God. But Paul explained that this couldn’t be achieved through merely obeying a set of rules. Instead we’re called to walk with the Holy Spirit. The Greek word that Paul uses for “walk” in Galatians 5:16 literally means to walk around and around something, or to journey
(peripateo). So for Paul, walking with the Spirit meant journeying with the Spirit each day—it’s not just a one-time experience of His power.
May we pray to be filled with the Spirit daily—to yield to the Spirit’s work as He counsels, guides, comforts, and is simply there with us. And as we’re “led by Spirit” in this way (v. 18), we become better and better at hearing His voice and following His leading. Holy Spirit, may I walk with You today, and everyday!
Slowing Down Time
A lot has changed since the electric clock was invented in the 1840s. We now keep time on smart watches, smart phones and laptops. The entire pace of life seems faster—with even our “leisurely” walking speeding up. This is especially true in cities and can have a negative effect on health, scholars say. “We’re just moving faster and faster and getting back to people as quickly as we can,” Professor Richard Wiseman observed. “That’s driving us to think everything has to happen now.”
Moses, the writer of one of the oldest of the Bible’s psalms, reflected on time. He reminds us that God controls life’s pace. “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night,” he wrote (Psalm 90:4).
The secret to time management, therefore, isn’t to go faster or slower. It’s to abide in God, spending more time with Him. Then we get in step with each other, but first with Him—the One who formed us (139:13) and knows our purpose and plans (v. 16).
Our time on earth won’t last forever. Yet we can manage our time wisely, not by watching the clock, but by giving each day to God. As Moses said, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (90:12). Then with God, we’ll always be on time, now and forever.
- Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers
The Call of the Natural Life
When it pleased God…to reveal His Son in me… â€”
The call of God is not a call to serve Him in any particular way. My contact with the nature of God will shape my understanding of His call and will help me realize what I truly desire to do for Him. The call of God is an expression of…
The Voice of the Nature of God
I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" â€”
When we talk about the call of God, we often forget the most important thing, namely, the nature of Him who calls. There are many things calling each of us today. Some of these calls will be answered, and others will not even be heard. The call is the expression…
Do You Walk In White?
We were buried with Him…that just as Christ was raised from the dead…even so we also should walk in newness of life. â€”
No one experiences complete sanctification without going through a “white funeral” â€” the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crucial moment of change through death, sanctification will never be more than an elusive dream. There must be a “white funeral,” a death with only one…
Called By God
I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." â€”
God did not direct His call to Isaiahâ€” Isaiah overheard God saying, “…who will go for Us?” The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear Godâ€™s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear…
Have You Ever Been Alone with God? (2)
When He was alone…the twelve asked Him about the parable. â€”
His Solitude with Us. When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendshipâ€” when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us. Notice Jesus…