Devotions

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Right Words or Right Spirit?

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 with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. Romans 8:26-27  
 
Prayer is a blessing and something we continue to learn how to do. I don’t know about you, but the form of prayer has often been a distraction for me. Have you ever puzzled over what words to use or wonder if you got it right? Paul is wise to tell followers of Jesus that the Holy Spirit will help us when we don't know how to pray. The accent of our prayers isn’t on the words so much or on whether we get it “right.” God longs to spend time with us, and his Holy Spirit is ready and waiting to join us in prayer. 
 
Richard Sibbes wrote that “God can pick sense out of a confused prayer.” His words sound like a modern translation of Paul’s letter. Let that ease our minds and encourage us to pray. We benefit from daily conversation with God, and prayer is the best way to do that. It's about getting close to God. Did you know that sea otters hold hands while they are sleeping so they don't drift apart? Prayer trains our minds and hearts to stay close to God. This is the function of prayer. God knows our sentences fall short and many times we don’t even know what to say. I’m thankful he provides the blessing of his Holy Spirit to intercede for us. Lift up your prayers and trust that God’s Spirit stands ready to help you.

What Do We Do in Times of Distress?

Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1 

What do we do in times of distress? This psalmist suggests that we should call out to God as a form of worship. This psalmist suggests that stress should not promote the absence of God, but a calling for the presence of God to be in our midst. And so a bold and faithful way of life is to make our voices and supplications known to God at all times, even in times of distress. 

I used to always figure that the worship of God necessitated my happiness and freedom from pain. However, here today we learn that the worship of God enables human beings to place our focus on God in every single situation of life. Thus, worship is not reserved for the sanctuary. Worship is not reserved for smiles only. Worship is not a mere moment of happiness, but an action of our living to be honest with God. When we honestly call out to God in our times of distress, this is a form of worship of the One who hears us and can help us. This worship, as Psalm 4 suggests, is a call to the divine to say, “I trust you. I need you. Please help me.” So what are we to do in times of distress? We are to pray. We are to call out. We are to be honest. We are to worship, knowing that God is willing and able to meet our needs. 

Posted by Josh Miles
Tags: devotion

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