DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Brad
Welcome back to Hope@Home! We hope you had a restful weekend and that all of you moms were loved greatly. Our devotional today is from staff member Brad Thuerbach. Let’s listen!
Let’s speak this prayer over our country today. This was first shared by Billy Graham, written in 2001. Even though it’s almost 20 years old, it speaks over similar hardships that we are enduring right now.
“Our Father and Our God, we praise You for Your goodness to our nation, giving us blessings far beyond what we deserve. Yet we know all is not right with America. We deeply need a moral and spiritual renewal to help us meet the many problems we face. Convict us of sin. Help us to turn to You in repentance and faith. Set our feet on the path of Your righteousness and peace. We pray today for our nation’s leaders. Give them the wisdom to know what is right, and the courage to do it. You have said, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”. May this be a new era for America, as we humble ourselves and acknowledge You alone as our Savior and Lord. This we pray in Your holy name, Amen.”
-Billy Graham’s prayer for the nation, 2001
We are called in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
This can seem like a lot when there are days where we don’t have the opportunity to set aside a real quiet time; but think of it as more of being mindful of His presence in your life at any given time. We can be caught up in the material or superficial distractions of life that we often don’t give God acknowledgement. There’s not one perfect way to do this, but it’s good to find what works best for you to grow in your relationship with God. Here’s a few exercises to implement to grow in this practice of “praying without ceasing”.
Thanking God for the little things
In the moment when you notice something you’re thankful for, tell God. Are you thankful for your family? Your home? Maybe you’re just thankful for a good cup of coffee. Give thanks to God for all of His blessings in our lives regardless of how minute they might seem.
Be real with God
The Lord knows everything you’re thinking and feeling. Hebrews 4:15-16 puts it this way, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Since God empathizes with our struggles, you can be real in your emotions to God. He wants to hear your heart where you’re at. Biblical lament and questions of doubt are all over the scriptures showing us that God allows us to come to Him even with the messy things. So when you’re frustrated, scared, tempted or any other variety of emotions, come to the Lord in that moment.
Plan certain times to pray
Maybe you’re a planner, some of us are and some of us are not! It can be helpful for us to have a set time(s) throughout the day or whenever you perform a certain activity, to prompt yourself to pray habitually. You could try praying every time you get in the car or every day after lunch. Whatever schedule you can make to build the habit, eventually you’ll be spurred on to pray without even being aware of it.
Give yourself reminders
Set aside ways in order to remind yourself to pray. Put sticky notes around your house, set notifications on your phone, whatever works to make you mindful. Even an object can be a reminder to prompt you. For example, if you decide, “Every time I look at Haleakala, I will be reminded to pray.”, you might find yourself praying a whole lot more every time you set your gaze Upcountry.
Every prayer doesn’t have to be eloquent in words or dance around the real feelings (Jesus in fact warns against this, not that it’s necessarily wrong but it’s the heart behind the prayer that matters). The smallest thought can be enough, such as “God I’m tired” or “I give you control”. It doesn’t take much to start dialogue with your Heavenly Creator, in fact it takes very little! To conclude here is a beautiful excerpt from Tom Junod’s phenomenal article on Mister Rogers. “But Mister Rogers, I can’t pray,” he said, “because every time I try to pray, I forget the words.” “I know that,” Mister Rogers said, “and that’s why the prayer I’m going to teach you has only three words.” “What prayer is that, Mister Rogers? What kind of prayer has only three words?” “Thank you, God,” Mister Rogers said… “
If you didn’t catch the livestream this weekend you can still get it online! Watch Craig’s message here.