Join us on the journey as we set aside time to recognize the Lent season and all that Jesus did for us on his path to the cross and beyond. A new devotional will be posted each day leading up to Easter Sunday.
Intercession is prayers for others. When we pray for our family, friends, co-workers, and even those that oppose us, we are praying intercessory prayers. Intercession is intervening on behalf of someone else.
Father. How does that name make you feel? If you had a good dad, then maybe it makes you think of safety, authority, strength, provision, respect, or love. If you didn’t, then maybe it makes you feel anxious. God may want to renew your ideas of what a good father looks like.
Jesus taught us how to pray in Matthew 6. Jesus gave us a glimpse of the deep love and unity that he has with his Father, and when we pray like he did, we enter into deep connection with God. The Lord’s Prayer gives us an insider’s view of what Jesus’ private prayer times were like.
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and the blazing furnace is one of the more commonly known Old Testament stories among Christians. In this account three Hebrew men in a foreign land (Babylon) stood up to one of the most powerful kings in history, Nebuchadnezzar, and risked their lives for their faith. The king ordered that all of the people living in the land should worship a gold statue that he established, and that anyone who refused to would be cast into the blazing furnace. Despite this threat the Hebrew men refused to worship the idol, and an enraged Nebuchadnezzar condemned them to death in the furnace.
Have you ever been woken up in the middle of a dream? It can be startling when your dream is interrupted. The world and life you were living in your dream is abruptly interrupted by the more-real life waiting for you when you wake up. How was it going to end? Did you win the game? Did you pass the test? Did you remember your lines? Did you escape your fear? Did you find what you were looking for?
Pain is one of those why moments for us when it comes to our relationship and conversations with God. Why does God allow pain in our lives? What’s the point?
We live in a world that fears vulnerability, that lives behind the filter, and that believes that power only comes from a perception of perfection. In our faith journey, however, we learn that our point of weakness is often where we find our greatest strength.
Prayer is more powerful than simple conversation. Prayer doesn’t just change circumstances; it changes us. Luke wrote about a transformational experience that Jesus had when he prayed.
Have you ever prayed one of those let’s-make-a-deal prayers? They are those desperate negotiations with God. If you will just let me get through this situation, then I’ll do…
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who talked a mile a minute, never pausing to allow you to respond or even answer a question? Even when you love that person, it takes great patience to keep listening. It feels like a one-sided relationship, like they aren’t really interested in you.
Have you ever been disappointed by a relationship that you had high hopes for? Most of us have experienced this kind of hurt. It’s easy for that hurt to become a cynicism that causes us to put limits around our hopes for relationships, in an effort to self-protect.
David in Psalm 139 identifies this process of surrender as a continual choice of allowing God to search our hearts, test our thoughts, see if there are ways in us that are not in-line with who God is and to lead us in the way everlasting.
Surrender is not a word we like to hear. And it’s no wonder why! Surrender is most often associated with losing to an enemy, and who wants that? But Christians are called to live a life of surrender. God is not our enemy, and he is not opposing us. He’s our loving heavenly Father who has great plans for our lives. He cares more for us than we probably can ever understand. Yet in order for him to work in our life the way he wants to, we have to become people of surrender.
Sometimes life gets busy, and it’s difficult to set aside the time that we would prefer to have for prayer. Missiologist David Bosch talks about having a spirituality of the road. We don’t typically have the daily luxury of getting away on retreats or long hours to be refreshed in prayer because God intends us to be busy on mission for him. Whether we are at work, at home with children, at school or at church, our mission is building God’s Kingdom and bringing Jesus into our world. Having a spirituality of the road means that we connect with God while we go, as we serve—even in the middle of a crowded and busy room.
During Jesus’ last night on earth, he prayed all night so that what he wanted would be in clear obedience to God’s will. Scripture says that Jesus was experiencing agonizing stress as he waited to be arrested, beaten, and crucified. While Jesus waited, with excruciating anxiety for even greater suffering, he prayed desperately for clarity. The intensity with which Jesus prayed reveals the intensity of his desperation for clarity. Jesus wanted his Father’s will, and nothing less. So Jesus prayed all night that the Father’s will would be in clear focus, and that Jesus’ own will would be in alignment.
How often should we pray? Jesus prayed frequently. God’s desire is that our relationship with him would be robust and alive, which means coming to him for more than a few minutes of prayer time on Sundays or a few times a week. Prayer is our open line of communication with the Father.
Why fasting? Fasting is abstaining from food (or some other enjoyable pleasure) for a spiritual purpose.