Monday, January 19th

Monday, January 19th

Come with great power, O God, and rescue me! Defend me with your might. Listen to my prayer, O God. Pay attention to my plea .... But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive .... I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good. For you have rescued me from my troubles. Psalm 54:1-2, 4, 6-7A

Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles .... Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. How quickly I would escape—far from this wild storm of hatred .... But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them .... Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:1-2, 6-8, 16-19, 22

What do we do when we run into trouble as we go about living life? For many the answer is prayer. This is what the Psalmist did in the passages above. However, the question needs to be asked, "are we turning to prayer when we run into trouble in the middle of seeking to live fully for God or in the middle of living for ourselves?" God does want to take care of us but he is able to care for us best when we are operating in the sphere of his plans and purposes rather than those of our own. And so God's plans and purposes begin with getting us established in a life that seeks to live fully for him. This redirection begins with receiving the "forgiveness of sins" offered through Jesus Christ. The "forgiveness of sins" brings about God's indwelling presence in our lives which puts us on the path of being able to live fully for him. So, prayer is something we do when we run into trouble, but it should be the trouble we run into as we seek to live fully for God. This distinction is a good beginning for this week's devotions as we seek to go deeper and  further in our pursuit of "Getting Prayer Right."

Lord, you know how much we really want to get prayer right. Help us to make great strides this week in getting it right. Please reveal where we really are with this beginning consideration. Show us the distinction being made in today's devotion more clearly than ever before. Reveal to us the actual commitment we have to living fully for you. Grant that our surrender to you be more full and complete than ever before. Finally, give us a time in prayer with you today where our experience of giving our burdens to you and having you take care of us takes on a whole new level of what it means to be before you in prayer.

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