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PrayerCenter - Devotionals

Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

Father, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.

Devotionals
 
Our Daily Bread
Daily Devotionals

Dumb Sheep, Good Shepherd

My friend Chad spent a year as a shepherd in Wyoming. “Sheep are so dumb that they’ll only eat what is right in front of them,” he told me. “Even if they’ve eaten all the grass in front of them, they won’t turn to look for a fresh patch—they’ll just start eating dirt!”

We laughed, and I couldn’t help but think about how often the Bible compares humans to sheep. No wonder we need a shepherd! But since sheep are so dumb, not just any shepherd will do. Sheep need a shepherd who cares about them. When the prophet Ezekiel wrote to God’s people in exile, captives in Babylon, he compared them to sheep led by bad shepherds. Instead of caring for the flock, Israel’s leaders had exploited them, profiting from them (v. 3) and then leaving them for the wild animals to devour (v. 6).

But they were not without hope. God, the good shepherd, promised to rescue them from the leaders who exploited them. He promised to bring them home, put them in lush pastures, and give them rest. He would heal the injured and go after the lost (vv. 11–16). He would banish wild animals, so that his flock would be safe (v. 28).

As God’s flock, we are in need of tender care and direction. How blessed we are to have a Shepherd who is always leading us to green pastures! (v.14).



Who’s Driving?

My neighbor Tim has a figurine on his dashboard of a “wild thing” from Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are.

Not long ago Tim was following me through traffic and made some abrupt moves to keep up. When we arrived, I asked, “Was that the ‘wild thing’ driving?”

The following Sunday I forgot my sermon notes at home. I “flew” out of the church to retrieve them, passing Tim along the way. When we met later, he joked, “Was that the wild thing driving?” We laughed, but his point hit home—I should have paid attention to the speed limit.

When the Bible describes what it means to live in a relationship with God, it encourages us to “offer every part of [ourselves]” to Him (Romans 6:13). I took Tim’s response to me that day as a gentle reminder from God to yield my “lead foot,” because I am to give all of myself to Him out of love.

The question of “who’s driving?” applies to all of life. Do we let the “wild things” of our old sin nature drive us—like worry, fear, or self-will—or do we yield to God’s loving Spirit and the grace that helps us grow?

Giving in to God is good for us. Scripture says that God’s wisdom takes us down “pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17). Better to follow where He leads.



Confident Hope

Dr. William Wallace was serving as a missionary surgeon in Wuzhou, China, in the 1940s when Japan attacked China. Wallace, who was in charge of Stout Memorial Hospital at the time, ordered the hospital to load his equipment on barges and continue to function as a hospital while floating up and down rivers to avoid infantry attacks.

During dangerous times, Philippians 1:21—one of Wallace’s favorite verses—reminded him that if he lived, he had work to do for the Savior; but if he died, he had the promise of eternity with Christ. The verse took on special poignancy when he died while falsely imprisoned in 1951.

Paul’s writing reflects a deep devotion we can aspire to as followers of Jesus; enabling us to face trials and even danger for His sake. It is devotion enabled by the Holy Spirit and the prayers of those closest to us (v. 19). It’s also a promise. Even when we surrender ourselves to continued service under difficult circumstances, it is with this reminder: when our life and work end here, we still have the joy of eternity with Christ ahead of us.

In our hardest moments, with hearts committed to walking with Christ now, and with our eyes firmly fixed on the promise of eternity with Him, may our days and our acts bless others with the love of God.



His Presence

The anxious father and his teenage son sat before the psychic. “How far is your son traveling?” the psychic asked. “To the big city,” the man replied, “and he will be gone for a long time.” Handing the father a talisman (a kind of good-luck charm), he said, “This will protect him wherever he goes.”

I was that boy. However, that psychic and that talisman could do nothing for me. While in that city, I put my faith in Jesus. I threw away the talisman and clung to Christ. Having Jesus in my life guaranteed God’s presence.

Thirty years later, my father, now a believer, said to me as we rushed my brother to the hospital, “Let us first pray; the Spirit of God goes with you and will be with you all the way!” We had learned that God’s presence and power is our only security.

Moses learned a similar lesson. He had a challenging task from God—to lead the people out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land (Exodus 3:10). But God assured him, “I will be with you” (v. 12).

Our journey too is not without challenges, but we are assured of God’s presence. As Jesus told His disciples, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).



What We Can Do

Even though confined to his bed, 92-year-old Morrie Boogaart continues to knit hats for the homeless in Michigan. By February 2017, he had reportedly made over 8,000 hats in fifteen years. Instead of focusing on his health or limitations, Mr. Boogaart looks beyond himself and does what he can to place the needs of others above his own. He declared that his work made him feel good and gave him a purpose. “I’m going to do this until I go home to the Lord,” he said. Though most recipients of his hats won’t know his story or how much he sacrificed to create each love cap, Morrie’s simple act of persevering love is now inspiring people across the world.

We too can look past our struggles, place others before ourselves, and imitate our loving and compassionate Savior—Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:1–5). God in the flesh—the King of Kings—took on the “very nature of a servant” in genuine humility (vv. 6–7). Giving His life—the ultimate sacrifice—He took our place on the cross (v. 8). Jesus gave everything for us . . . all for the glory of God the Father (vv. 9–11).

As Christ followers, it’s our privilege to show love and demonstrate concern for others through acts of kindness. Even if we don’t think we have much to offer, we can adopt the attitude of servanthood. We can actively seek opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives by simply doing what we can do.




 
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Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers

Discovering Divine Design

As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me… —Genesis 24:27

We should be so one with God that we don’t need to ask continually for guidance. Sanctification means that we are made the children of God. A child’s life is normally obedient, until he chooses disobedience. But as soon as he chooses to disobey, an inherent inner conflict is produced.…



Faith or Experience?

…the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. —Galatians 2:20

We should battle through our moods, feelings, and emotions into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus. We must break out of our own little world of experience into abandoned devotion to Him. Think who the New Testament says Jesus Christ is, and then think of the despicable meagerness of the…



The Changed Life

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. —2 Corinthians 5:17

What understanding do you have of the salvation of your soul? The work of salvation means that in your real life things are dramatically changed. You no longer look at things in the same way. Your desires are new and the old things have lost their power to attract you.…



The Supreme Climb

He said, "Take now your son…" —Genesis 22:2

God’s command is, “Take now,” not later. It is incredible how we debate! We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later— it must be done now.…



Fellowship in the Gospel

…fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ… —1 Thessalonians 3:2

After sanctification, it is difficult to state what your purpose in life is, because God has moved you into His purpose through the Holy Spirit. He is using you now for His purposes throughout the world as He used His Son for the purpose of our salvation. If you seek…




 
Max Lucado


Max Lucado
Healing at the Table

(photo Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images) The news of yet another shooting leaves us stunned. Violence, it seems, has taken up residence down the street and we are left unnerved, undone and insecure. An uneasiness sits over our country like a midnight fog. We hear of opioid abuse, increasing numbers of suicides and this, a former Marine turned gunman kills 12 people in bar rampage. What are we to do? We feel like locking our doors and never entering society again. But it is time for us to do just the opposite. It’s time for us to reach out to one… Read More

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.



Read Chapter 1 of Unshakable Hope

Click here to read Chapter One:  “God’s Great and Precious Promises”   It’s a shaky world out there.  But Let’s be what we were made to be– People of the Promise. Keep this declaration handy. Say it out loud. Fill your lungs with air and your heart with hope.; and let the devil himself hear you declared your belief in God’s goodness. We are building our lives on the promises of God! Because his Word is unbreakable, our hope is unshakable. We do not stand on the problems of life or the pain in life We stand on the great and… Read More

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.



When Storms Come, Hold On To Hope

We saw the storm coming. While it was still days away, the predictions chilled our spines and jolted our complacency. “It’s a monster!” “Disaster is not only at our doorstep, it’s coming in!” Now it arrives and will it be as vast and terrible as advertised? It promises to pounce, then sit and sit upon vast swaths of our coastland – drenching, driving, and destroying so much of what we love. Many on the East Coast are fleeing the flooding. And as images of destruction begin to roll across our screens, we are all tempted to worry, wonder and fret.… Read More

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.



The Choice at Creation

The Choice by Max Lucado He placed one scoop of clay upon another until a form lay lifeless on the ground. All of the Garden’s inhabitants paused to witness the event. Hawks hovered. Giraffes stretched. Trees bowed. Butterflies paused on petals and watched. “You will love me, nature,” God said. “I made you that way. You will obey me, universe. For you are destined to do so. You will reflect my glory, skies, for that is how you were created. But this one will be like me. This one will be able to choose.” All was silent as the Creator… Read More

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.



Pence Makes Sense on Morality and Marriage

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen have a rule for relationships. “Don’t travel or dine alone with a person of the opposite sex who isn’t your spouse.” The Vice President sees this a healthy guardrail to protect him and his family from even the appearance of impropriety. He’s not the first to implement such a policy. Billy Graham did the same. I’ve known men and women of less status yet equal resolve who have made the same choice. One might think that the Vice President’s boundaries would be robustly and widely applauded. The #MeToo movement has called each… Read More

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.