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Devotions in Quarantine

Devotions and Encouragement, September 21, 2020

This Week’s Theme: 

Prayer 

So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  

(Luke 11:9)

Thought

Jesus invites us into something pretty incredible. To ask is to dare to approach someone.  To search usually requires time.  To knock is to risk annoyance.  Dare, he says.  Dare to approach the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Keep seeking the movement of God’s hand in your life.  Keep knocking, even when it seems God doesn’t answer. It is God’s will to respond to our asking; to be present to our seeking; and to open the door, as we knock.

Quote

We should seek not so much to pray but to become prayer.
St. Francis of Assisi

Question

How might you ask, seek, and knock today?

For Children

Have your children ask something of you today, look for something today, and 

knock at a door, as you open it.  Jesus promises that God will hear us as we ask, seek, and knock.

Prayer

Give me courage to ask, O God;

Restlessness to search;

And fortitude to knock

Amen

.

Devotions and Encouragement, September 22, 2020

This Week’s Theme:

Prayer 

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.  

(Romans 8:26)

Thought

You’re not alone if you think that you don’t really know how to pray. Most of us wonder the same thing, at least some of the time.  What do we ask for? How do we ask?  What words do we use?  Is there a proper tone of voice, a proper way to ask?

Romans 8:26 gives a word in this:  To pray is first of all not be consumed with how to do it—and let the Spirit intercede.

Quote

Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”

Mother Teresa

Question  

What might it mean for you to let the Spirit “intercede” for you?

For Children 

Play a game:  ask your children to keep quiet as you count to 10.  Jesus prays for us when we can’t find the words to speak.  That’s how much Jesus loves us!

Prayer

When I have no words, O God,

Through the Spirit, given in your Son,

Speak for me.

Amen

Devotions and Encouragement, September 23, 2020

This Week’s Theme:

Prayer 

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

 (Philippians 4:6)

Thought

To live without worry is hardly possible.  It’s none other than Job, in the Old Testament, who says that we are born to trouble, “as the sparks fly upward.” If we care for or about life, we are going to worry!

One key in all of it is to not leave worry by itself.  Paul, in Romans, calls us to bring “prayer and supplication” right beside it.  With every worry is a reason to pray.  Our care for life is nothing, in the face of the care and mercy of God.

Quote

Pray, and let God worry.

-Martin Luther

Question:  

How has prayer strengthened your response to stress and worry?

For Children

Play a game: Have your children sit on the ground.  When You say the word, “worry,” have them jump up, and then sit down again.  When you say the word pray, have them stand up to the count of 10 before sitting down again. Play this a couple times. Every time we worry, Jesus invites us to pray.

Prayer

For every request I pray, O God,

Let me remember that for which I give thanks.

Amen

Devotions and Encouragement, September 24, 2020

This Week’s Theme:

Prayer 

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 

(Colossians 4:2 )

Thought

It’s interesting that we “devote” ourselves to prayer, or stay consistently in it, as we keep “alert” in “thanksgiving.”  Remembering how we have seen God’s hand at work in our lives through Christ propels us ahead to keep praying.  Even thanking God simply to thank God- given no apparent reason for the thanksgiving—propels us into further prayer.  If it does nothing else, thanksgiving reminds us of what Jesus says of God and reveals of God, over and over again.  God is for us, not against.  God is on our side, not in opposition to us. God’s first and final will is to shower us with mercy and grace, love and life.  It is precisely in that promise and hope that we have reason for and hope to pray.

Quote

If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.
-Meister Eckhart

Question  

What would it mean for you to “keep alert” in prayer “with thanksgiving?”

For Children 

Teach your children this prayer.  When they say the words, “Keep my eyes open!” invite them to put their hands toward their eyes and pretend to use them to keep their eyes open.

When I worry, dear Jesus,

Keep my eyes open

To see your love.

Amen

Prayer

Gracious God,

Keep me alert in prayer, 

That I might be alive also to the gifts of faith, hope, and love 

Given to me in your Son.

Amen