Prayer & Praise
"Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, for He is our God. We are the people He watches over, the flock under His care. If only you would listen to His voice today!"
It's been heavy on my heart and I'm sure a lot of yours as well...all the storms, earthquakes, fires, war talk, and the devastating things going on in the world right now. It breaks my heart so much that I really just sit down to pray and can't even find the words to say. I told PK this and he shared a prayer with me from Pastor Jim Cymbala of The Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York. I'd like to share it with you and ask you to pray with me.
"The world is reeling from so many natural and manmade disasters, but as Christians we know that Jesus is a rock and that he remains the same yesterday, today, and forever! We can put our trust in him and pray about all of these situations in his name. We ask, Lord, that you bring comfort to the people of Dominica, whose homes have been wrecked by the hurricane; and to the people impacted by the earthquake in Mexico. We lift our voices for the Virgin Islands and for Puerto Rico as they brace for the impending storm. Protect life and give strength and provide comfort! Use these situations to bring people to you. We also pray for the situation regarding North Korea. We ask for peace, Lord! Nothing is impossible for you. We’re not going to be anxious. We’re going to bring these requests before you with thanksgiving in our hearts and we’re going to believe in you. Turn these situations around so the world will know there is a living God! In Jesus' name, Amen!"
We also have some people at our church going through health issues right now. I ask for prayer for them. Thank you.
The assurance provided by the Truth in today's devotion met me today. We've been talking about being dependent on God alone in times of trial, and today's words remind us that there is nothing else that can provide the peace and assurance that God's Truth can. Have a Wonderful Wednesday ladies!
p.s. six boys??!!!
Meeting Our “Night Seasons” with Truth
“I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.”
Psalm 16:7 (NKJV)
I unexpectedly awoke at 3 a.m. and was quite unhappy about it.
Now that all six of my boys were older and sleeping through the night, waking up worried about things I couldn’t do anything about came as an indicator to my heart that my current season of strain and busyness was taking its toll.
As I tried to fall back asleep, my mind raced.
Uninvited thoughts and lists of all the unfinished and unwanted situations in my life rolled through my head. And, as it is with most middle-of-the-night awakenings, all the concerns seemed unfathomably difficult and impossible to reconcile. Incoherent sentences beginning with What if … and Don’t forget to … filled my mind as I tried to find solutions for …
The wayward child.
The wounded friendship.
The overwhelming inbox.
The routines still not implemented with the kids.
That thing she said that really hurt.
The unexpected prognosis.
The disappointment that remains.
The anxious heart. (Oh! To be anxious about having an anxious heart!)
We know where our anxious thoughts lead when our feelings and circumstances inform them, don’t we?
Problems aren’t solved, tasks go unaccomplished and fears do not subside. Try as we might, we simply can’t worry or think our way to rest.
But, in those dark hours of the night, and other times since, I remembered God’s Word afresh …
- There is no true rest apart from resting in who He is, our shield. “But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head” (Psalm 3:3, ESV).
- There is no assurance apart from rehearsing the truth that we are His. “Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his” (Psalm 100:3a, ESV).
- There is no better response than to pray with thanks. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, ESV).
- There is no safer place than to remember His provision. “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8, ESV).
Sometimes the night reveals what we’re too comfortable to recognize in the light, and we admit our need. Those night seasons help me take God’s Word seriously, apply it to my life and realize God loves me enough to wake me up that I might draw close to Him and ask Him for help.
Sometimes the Lord allows difficult seasons that offer no answers or solutions, so we might find ourselves wholly submitted to Him, trusting in His care, dependent on His leading. Would we take the assurance of His Word as a lifeline otherwise? In the vulnerability of night, God draws our hearts to His when we have nowhere to run, nothing to distract and nobody else to hear us but Him.
What small or great need do you have today? Preach the truth of God’s Word to your own heart, friend … and trust that the restlessness or weariness in your current season is the very place He’s choosing to show you the relief and rest only He can provide.
Dear Lord, help me to want Your provision more than I desire my own solutions. Forgive me when I forget Your promise to both save and sustain me. Whether You remind me of Your Word in the night or by day, let me find rest in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Ruth Chou Simons
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 42:11, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (ESV)
Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (ESV)