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
“Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.” (Ps. 66:1-2)
Prayer of Confession
Holy God, I confess I’m not far from murder because I see shoots of it snaking through my heart. The ugly wish for another to fail, bitter sarcasm, anger I throw like grenades, even the secretly guarded prejudice I keep locked down. Kill off this ugly root and grow the good fruit of love. In Christ who died for me. Amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 106)
*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).
Pray Psalm 12 | Read Luke 1
- 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: Mark wastes no time in getting down to business—a single-sentence introduction, and not a digression to be found from beginning to end. An event has taken place that radically changes the way we look at and experience the world, and he can’t wait to tell us about it. There’s an air of breathless excitement in nearly every sentence he writes. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
Pray Psalm 13 | Read 1 Kings 13
- OT Context: “Sovereignty, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most difficult things for people of faith to live out in everyday routines…This story makes it clear that it was not God’s idea that the Hebrews have a king, but since they insisted, he let them have their way. But God never abdicated his sovereignty to any of the Hebrew kings; the idea was that they would represent his sovereignty, not that he would delegate his sovereignty to them. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
This week marks our 10th year as a church. So in celebration of God’s faithfulness, we are re-running a series of devotions from the Psalm 13 about God’s faithfulness in his person, promises, and provision.
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.
REFLECT: Today we saw God’s faithfulness in his person. He is Yahweh. Always present with his people to be all that we need him to be. Take some time to thank him for his faithfulness today!
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.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)