March 27 - April 1
Monday, March 27 – “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: ‘Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?’” (2 Samuel 7:18) First, King David “went in and sat before the Lord”. This was an intentional act. When was the last time that you prayed, intentionally? Not just prayed in the heat of the moment when you needed help or felt afraid? Second, King David went to prayer in order to better understand himself, “Who am I”. When was the last time you went to God to better understand who you are? Not just ask God for what you want. This is why King David was known as a man after God’s own heart. What are you after?
Tuesday, March 28 – “On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.” (Acts 16:13) Prayer comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes prayer even looks like an unexpected conversation. God can and will speak to you through other people. Yet, just like private prayer, hearing God in a conversation requires you to be listening. The power of prayer isn’t found in the form, it’s found in the function: How can I listen to God speaking into my life today?
Wednesday, March 29 – “So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noon. ‘Baal, answer us!’ they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.” (1 Kings 18:26) Prayer isn’t just a follower of Jesus thing. Everyone prays. Everyone seeks meaning, purpose, peace and fulfillment through some kind of relationship with something outside of themselves. The problem is that prayer, other than prayer in the name of Jesus, goes nowhere. Yes, it might make you feel better. It might connect you to a community of others who are praying in the same way. But, it won’t deepen your relationship and understanding of God. Jesus is the only stamp that enables your prayers to reach God.
Thursday, March 30 – “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26) Have you ever not prayed because you didn’t know what to pray for or what to say? You’re in good company! Paul teaches us that even prayers that are simply groans still reach the ears of God, because the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf. The Holy Spirit, through faith in Jesus, lives in you. Through prayer you are allowing God to speak to God in you. Which allows God to move through you.
Friday, March 31 – “’Abba, Father’, he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet, not what I will, but what you will.’” (Mark 14:36) This is the prayer of Jesus on the night before his crucifixion. There is nothing wrong with asking God for anything – “Take this cup from me.” Just as long as you know that prayer isn’t intended as a way to get everything you want. The purpose of prayer is to mold you into who God has created you to be – “Yet, not what I will, but what you will.” The goal of prayer is to cultivate listening, as opposed to talking. And being as opposed to doing.
Saturday, April 1 – “Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, Here it is, or There it is, because the kingdom of God is within you.’” (Luke 17:20-21) The three revelations of God: (1) The Father, God out there. (2) The Son, God with us. (3) The Holy Spirit, God in us. The kingdom of God is here, living in the lives of all who follow Jesus. Well, if the kingdom of God is living in you, doesn’t it make sense to devote yourself to understanding what that means for your life? The only way that this understanding can be gained is through prayer. Not just praying for your food or before you go to bed, but prayer as a relationship with the kingdom of God that is living in you right now.