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
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Prayer of Confession
God of grace, the gospel is like a key that opens up all of heaven and unlocks dead-bolted human hearts.
As you send your church to declare the good news, remind us that we carry a key and not a hammer; convince us that the gentle gospel promises fit the contours of human life, opening minds to know and receive the forgiveness of sins through what Jesus has done.
Today, unbolt my heart to accept the grace of Jesus. Amen.
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
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).
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: “In his letters to two young associates—Timothy in Ephesus and Titus in Crete—we see Paul encouraging and guiding the development of just such leadership. What he had learned so thoroughly himself, he was now passing on, and showing them, in turn, how to develop a similar leadership in local congregations. This is essential reading because ill-directed and badly formed spiritual leadership causes much damage in souls. Paul in both his life and his letters shows us how to do it right.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “People who want God as an escape from reality, from the often hard conditions of this life, don’t find this much to their liking. But to the man or woman wanting more reality, not less—this continuation of the salvation story—Joshua’s fierce and devout determination to win land for his people and his extraordinary attention to getting all the tribes and their families name by name assigned to their own place, is good news indeed. Joshua lays a firm foundation for a life that is grounded.” Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
THE PRAYER OF THE HEART*
Read: Romans 8:26–27
Tenderness is what follows when you . . . experience that you are deeply and sincerely liked by someone. — Brennan Manning
God is holy, high, and infinite. We do well to bow before God’s strength and power. Jesus invites us to do that and more, to enter into something we could hardly imagine: intimate friendship with God. The breath prayer of “Abba, I belong to you” is a prayer of the heart. (It’s worth noting how many types of prayer overlap and intertwine!) Whether with words or “sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26), in these prayers we draw near to our tender Father and Friend. Richard Foster writes:
The Prayer of the Heart is the prayer of intimacy. It is the prayer of love and tenderness of a child to Father God. Like the mother hen, who gathers her chicks under her wings, we, through the Prayer of the Heart, allow God to gather us to himself—to hold us, to coddle us, to love us (Luke 13:34).
1. Today’s passage says that when we don’t know how to pray, the Spirit prays for us. What does this mean? Has there been a time when you’ve been aware of the Spirit praying for you in this way?
2. This week many types of prayer were covered. The point isn’t to become an expert on prayer but to explore ways to be with the God who longs to be with us. Today, let’s try an exercise. Imagine God is there beside you, smiling upon you—then God speaks a blessing over you. What words might God say in this blessing? Write them down. (You may find it helpful to read Numbers 6:24-26.)
*This week’s devos come from The Reservoir by Christopher Hall and Carolyn Arends
Evening Prayer of Examen
Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.
“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” (Eph. 6:24)