Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements? 

Call to Prayer

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8)

Prayer of Confession

Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.

Most Holy and Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. In your mercy, forgive what we have been, help us to change what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

Reading Plan

This reading plan will help you to develop the habit of being in God’s Word each morning and evening. Come to this time with expectation. Expect God to reveal himself to you. Expect that he delights in you being there, even when you’ve wandered away. Growing a spiritual habit is a slow, patient process. So be kind to yourself as you grow!

Readings are hyperlinked. Simply hover over the passage or click Morning/Evening Reading (email version). 

Morning Readings

Pray Psalm 86 | Read Hebrews 11

  • Praying the Psalms: Read slowly. Take note of words and phrases. Bring them before the Lord in prayer and personalize the passage as you pray.
  • NT Context: The writer of Hebrews was concerned that his readers were still dealing with external practices instead of being aware of their righteousness in Jesus Christ. Hebrews proclaims that the Jewish law, the prophets, and the Biblical narrative of the Old Testament all point to and are fulfilled in Christ. Meditate on the passage. What is the main point? Why is it important today?

Evening Readings

Pray Psalm 87 | Read Amos 5

  • OT Context: Amos prophesied during a period when Assyria was ebbing in power and both Israel and Judah were prospering. Israel saw a “golden age,” but Amos had the hard job of telling them that they were about to be overrun again. Reflect on the passage. What’s one way you can immediately apply this text to your life?

“Songs for Every Season” Readings

This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) from Sunday’s sermon. Use it to reflect upon the ways Christ has been working in your life this week. Makes a great midday reflection, or group discussion guide.

Read Psalm 13:1-2

One of the beautiful things about the Psalms is their earthiness. They’re set in the everyday and full of the sort of things that we sigh out at the end of a tense day, or mumble as we stir our tea and scroll through the news. 

Tim Keller once said that “the Psalms are the preeminent place to see how to deal with your emotions and the conditions of the heart.” In Psalm 13, David gives honest voice to the condition of his own heart as he experiences deep emotional and spiritual pain, and in so doing shows us how to process our own dark valleys.

David pulls us right into the shadows of his valley. He’s in triple trouble: His enemy is superior, his heart is in agony, and his God is silent. It’s not that God is absent. It’s that his silence is ongoing. David is direct: “How much longer, Yahweh, will you go on forgetting me? Forever? How much longer will you go on hiding your face from me?”

David cries out to God. It’s almost a howl. He’s angry. The fact that this Psalm is in the Bible shows us that God truly does want to hear what we really think. Yet, amidst it all, David never stops praying and that’s the key. David isn’t giving up on God. He’s calling God to be who He’s said He is. We know that because David calls God Yahweh (usually translated LORD) throughout his prayer.  

Yahweh is a story-name. It tells the story of God’s covenant promise, made to Abraham and fulfilled in Christ, to be present with his people. You could actually translate it as a thought: “Yahweh is the God who will be present to be all that his people need Him to be.” 

That’s the God David is hurling his complaints at. David doesn’t hold anything back from Yahweh because Yahweh has promised to hold back nothing of Himself  from David. 

We can do the same. We can take our anger, our fears, our deepest unmet longings and questions and hurl them, howl them at God. He can take it. He is a safe place to turn to with all the pain and troubles this world has to offer. Don’t bottle it up. Let it out. Let God know exactly how you are feeling. If we are going to survive the evil of this world, we must learn how to express our feelings when we experience the deep valleys of life.

Prayer

  • Thank God for being present with you even when you might not understand him. Thank him holding nothing of Himself back in Christ’s reconciling work on the cross.
  • Thank God for the gifts he has given that we can share generously with others in need. Pray that God would help you and Christians everywhere to have a willingness to serve others through radical generosity.
  • Thank him for the way he is healing our society across racial, economic, and cultural divides though we may not always see how. Pray for those who need physical healing because of the virus or chronic illness—that they might know God’s comfort, rest in his sovereignty, and turn to him.

Benediction

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. ()

© 2014 - OPC|Milford