Friday, March 15, 2013

Lent Devotional Week 5

Lent Devotional Week 5

Day 23: PRAYER
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still
dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place,
and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35
Being a musician and a native of “the city that
never sleep,” I’m naturally not a morning person.
Although there are implications for waking up early
to pray (perhaps sacrificing the comfort of sleep for
undisturbed prayer time), I believe that the central
point of this verse is that Jesus prioritized spending
time with His Father. Whether you are a morning
person or a night owl, the challenge for us today is
this: Are we willing to make the necessary sacrifices
to spend time in prayer? Do we struggle to pray or feel
our prayers are inadequate or superficial? Take some
time today to see what frivolous distractions you could
set aside to dedicate more time in prayer.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they
do.” Luke 23:34
All it took was one look at people in need of a Savior
for Jesus to be filled with love for them. In His
dying breaths, Jesus showed the truest example of
compassion by not only forgiving those responsible for
His death but also interceding to the Father on their
behalf. In this season of Lent, let our hearts be heavy
for those in need, our prayers be constant in bringing
them before the throne, and our actions be stirred by
only a glance.

Day 25: PRAYER
“When those that love the Lord cry out to Him in
prayer, earnestly seeking His goodness and response,
we can trust that He hears us. He promises to be
near to us always, offering comfort and healing, as
He is the ultimate.” Psalm 34:17–18
Be encouraged: the God who created the heavens and
the earth is always present for and available to us. cry
out boldly and be covered in His grace.

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the
hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their
fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you,
they have received their reward. But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face, that your
fasting may not be seen by others but by your
Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees
in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:16–18
“When you fast”–not “if.” Jesus fasted and assumes
his disciples will do likewise. He doesn’t “need” us
to fast to be approved by men or Him, he merely
wants our presence. Consider starting with a partial
fast this week and not for merit or gain, but merely
to seek the presence of Father & be fed by Him.

“I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying;
my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—
that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish
in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were
accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of
my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”
Romans 9.1-3
The compassion that the Apostle Paul expresses for
his Jewish brothers in these verses directly reflect
a heart rooted in the compassionate gospel of
Jesus. The same people who ran him out of cities,
attempted to stone him to death, and would beat
him for his faith, Paul claims to have “unceasing
anguish” for. This begs the question: How do I feel
for my fellow New Yorkers? How do I feel for my
friends who I claim to love and have never lifted a
finger of aggression towards my faith? Clearly, my
life does not reflect the same depth of compassion
that Jesus showed me - laying down his own life for
my undeserving faith. Let us pray today for our lost
family, friends, and neighbors, praying for them to
be saved and that we would have the compassion of
Jesus and Paul to share the gospel with them.

Day 28: PRAYER
“’Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant
in prayer.” Romans 12:12
There are not many circumstances in life where I
can respond with joy and react to pain in the same
way. Consistent prayer implies that we are not only
uttering unceasing praise, but that we also endure
in times of pain and struggle. Prayer, this perfect
conversational design, is a gift; an invitation to offer
thanks and vent frustrations, but also to listen in
stillness to the Designer of prayer Himself

No comments:

Post a Comment