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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

in God

Opening Prayer: Find rest, O my Soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. 

Scripture: Psalm 62:1-2

Journal: How do you try to find rest?  What would it look like to find your rest in God alone?

Reflection: “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.”  There is so much about this verse that I love—not the least of which is the idea of my fearful and anxious soul actually being able to find true rest.  But just how is this rest, which my soul so deeply longs for, supposed to come about?
     It is supposed to come about in God.  And not just in God, but in God alone.  It comes about when I am finally willing and able to give up my own efforts and formulas and strategies, and simply climb up into the heart of God and stay there.  It comes about when I finally stop trying so hard and simply learn to abide, or dwell, in him.  For God does not want me to just live for him, or even to live with him.  What he really wants is for me to live in him.  That is the sweet spot.  That is where the real rest lies.  And it has a lot more to do with being than it does with doing.  It is when God lives in me and I live in God.  That is when my soul will be able to finally find rest.


Closing Prayer: Help me, O God, to learn how to live my life in you.  For that is the only way my soul will ever find true rest.  Amen.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

and know

Opening Prayer: Lord God, help us to be still and to know that you are God, for both are necessary.  

Scripture: Psalm 46:10

Journal: How good are you at being still?  Do you have much stillness in your life?  How good are you at knowing he is God?  How does being still help you to know that he is God?  How, where, and when will you do both of those today?

Reflection: The words of this ancient prayer teach us a great spiritual truth: It’s not just “be still,” but “be still and know that I am God.”  Both are required.  
     It is being still that makes it possible for us to know that he is God.  It helps us to make space and time for that knowing to take place.  But being still on its own is not enough.  In fact, the being still part doesn’t do a whole lot of good without the knowing he is God part.  
     It is a beautiful thing that God longs to be known.  In fact, that’s where we get it from.  He made us for the purpose of knowing he is God.  Not just intellectually knowing him (that’s part of it), but spiritually, emotionally, and relationally knowing him as well.  God wants us to know him intimately.  And when we do—when we know to the core of our being that he is God—it changes everything.  Everything else comes into perspective.  Everything else falls into its proper place.  
     So let us take the words of this ancient prayer to heart today.  Let us be still and let us know that he is God.  For being still is of some value, but being still and knowing that he is God is of value for this life and the life to come.


Closing Prayer: Thank you, O Lord, that you desire us to know you deeply.  Help us to be still this day and turn our hearts and minds and souls to you in prayer, so that we may truly know that you are God.  Amen.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

least complicated

Opening Prayer: Forgive us, O Lord, when we make things more complicated than they really are.  Help us to delight in your word and meditate on it day and night, so that we might be more like a tree planted by streams of water and less like chaff that the wind blows away.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 1:1-6

Journal: What is your life like these days?  Do you feel more like a tree planted by streams of water, or like chaff that the wind blows away?  Why?  What will get you to the life you most deeply desire with God?  Will you do it?

Reflection: Life with God is a lot less complicated than we make it out to be.  Take the words of Psalm 1, for example.  If we wish to live lives that are fruitful and alive and vibrant; if we really wish to be like a tree planted by streams of water, there is a simple way to do just that—delight and meditate.  Otherwise, we will be like chaff, blown around by the wind.  
     It is a simple case of A, plus B, equals C.  The problem lies in our unwillingness to do A and B.  The psalmist makes it very clear that if we delight in God’s law (A), and meditate on it day and night (B), we will be like a tree planted by streams of water (C).  So the question is not if the formula works, the question is are we willing to do what it takes to get the result we most deeply desire?


Closing Prayer: Plant your words within my heart, O God, that I might meditate on them throughout the course of this day.  That way I can live my life firmly planted in you, rather than being blown around by the winds of mood and circumstance.  Amen.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

be still

Opening Prayer: Lord God, whatever it takes, whatever it may cost, whatever else I might have to say no to, help me to be still today and know that you are God.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 46:10

Journal: How will you be still today and know that he is God?

Reflection: “You know that be still and know that I am God thing?  That was not a suggestion.” ~God


Closing Prayer: Forgive me, O Lord, when I start to believe that being still and knowing that you are God is not a fruitful or productive thing to do.  Forgive me when I simply refuse—due to an over-exaggerated sense of my own place or importance in the world—to stop and set my heart and mind on you.  Forgive me when I am unwilling or unable to stop all of my trying and striving and simply spend time with you—the lover of my soul.  You deserve better than that.  Amen.

Monday, May 20, 2019


Opening Prayer: Fill me to overflowing, O God, with your grace and your goodness and your love, that I might pour those things out on all who cross my path today.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 23:5

Journal: What is your heart and soul full of right now?  How will you make space and time to be full of God and his goodness and love?

Reflection: It’s a simple rule of life: Our lives will overflow with whatever they are full of.  If we are full of anxiety and insecurity and fear, that’s what will pour forth from our lives.  If we are full of anger and frustration and impatience, that’s what those around us will get a healthy dose of.  If we are filled with dysfunction and need and scarcity, how can we expect that those in our lives would get anything but that?
     But if we are filled with the very life of God, if we are full of his grace and his goodness and his love, if we are saturated with his Spirit and his character and his life, then that is what will pour out on all who cross our paths.
     So the question becomes, what are you full of today?  What is occupying your heart and soul?  Because whatever it is, that is what will pour forth from your life.  Count on it.


Closing Prayer: Lord, you are my shepherd, therefore I shall not want.  You are more than enough for me and for those I love.  Help me to live my life out of that abundance.  In the name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.

Sunday, May 19, 2019


Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, what do you want our lives to look like?  What is progress to you?  Please show us, or else we will never really know.  Define spiritual progress for us, so that we will always be on the same page with you.  Amen.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:15

Journal: How are you progressing in your spiritual journey?  How do you define progress?  How do you think God defines progress?

Reflection: “Be diligent in these matters; give yourselves wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15)  How do you define progress in your spiritual life?  And more importantly, how do you think Jesus would define it?  Think about that for a moment.  In fact, make a list of both and see how similar—and how different—they are.  
     Were the words poor in spirit or meek or merciful on your list?  How about hungry and thirsty or pure in heart or persecuted?  How about least or last or selfless or humble?  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control make your list?  The fact of the matter is that Jesus’ definition of progress in the spiritual life is often much different from our own, so it is probably a good idea for us to try and get on the same page.  That way we can actually look at our lives and determine whether we are, in fact, becoming more like Jesus or not.
     The older I get, the more I am coming to believe that when I think about myself less, I am actually just beginning to make some progress.  When I care less about what other people think and care more about what God thinks.  When I begin to let go of what I know and begin to embrace the fact that I really don’t know much of anything.  When I am more content with being unseen and unnoticed—because I am fully seen and fully noticed by Jesus—rather than always trying to be the center of attention.  When I finally start to listen more than I speak.  When being loving becomes more important than being right.  When I stop climbing up and allow Jesus to lead me down.  When I stop wondering so much about who I am, and become more concerned with whose I am.  
     Those are the types of things I’m trying to pay attention to these days.  What about you?


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us never to define progress as the world around us—even the Christian world—defines it.  Show us who and what you want us to be, and help us to be that.  Amen.

Friday, May 17, 2019


Opening Prayer: My heart is not proud, O Lord, and my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 131:1-3

Journal: Where and how does pride manifest itself most in your life?  What is at the root of it?  How do you fight it?

Reflection: “My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty,” say the words of the ancient prayer.  Which lets us know, in no uncertain terms, that pride is one of the biggest enemies of the spiritual life.  That’s because pride, when present within and among us, occupies a significant amount of our inner space.  Thus, when we are filled with pride, we are so full of ourselves that there is no room for God’s Spirit to move and to act.  Our eyes become so consumed with ourselves that we can’t really see him.  There is no way for our souls to be still and quiet like a weaned child with its mother because we are so busy trying to prove to ourselves and our world that we are worth loving.
     There are several words translated pride in the scriptures.  Here in Psalm 131:1, the word is gabahh.  It means to be high or exalted.  In the book of Proverbs, the word most often used is ga'own, which means elevation, arrogance, or exaltation.  And in the New Testament, the main word is hyperēphanos (James 4:6), meaning showing oneself above others, or overestimating one’s importance.  It literally means to outshine others.  Wow, that sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
     The truth is that pride is just fear in a clever disguise.  Fear is what lies beneath.  In fact, the older I get, the more I realize that underneath every episode of pride in our lives, there is just a frightened little boy or girl looking for approval and acceptance.


Closing Prayer: My heart is not proud, O Lord…My heart is not proud, O Lord…My heart is not proud, O Lord…O Lord, help my heart to not be proud.  Amen.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

blessed are the meek

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, if we ever hope to be anything like you, we must learn to be meek.  Unfortunately, that is so much against our nature that we can never hope to do it on our own.  You must grow it in us.  Have mercy on us, Lord Jesus!  Make us more and more like you each day.  Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 5:5

Journal: What does it mean to be meek?  Why are the meek blessed?  How do they inherit the earth?

Reflection: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) We live in a day and age, it seems, where the things this world values the most are in direct opposition to the life Jesus describes as blessed.  That would be especially true when it comes to being meek.  
     The word meek is a hard one to define.  In essence, it means to be gentle or kind.  It is generally associated with a spirit of kindness, humility, and submission.  The word Jesus used in Matthew 5:5 is prays, which means gentleness of spirit or mildness of disposition.  Thus, meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness or self-interest.  The meek are those who are not occupied with self at all, but totally reliant on God.  Meek people don’t stomp around, but tread lightly.  They don’t feel the need to continually air their opinions, but listen carefully.  They do not see people as threats or competition, but look tenderly.  They do not fight and grab and push their way to the front, but they touch with reverence.  Meek people know that true growth requires nurture, not force.  In our rough and tumble world, meekness can be a vivid, tangible reminder of the presence of God among us.  The meek do not posture nor promote, they do not campaign nor draw attention to themselves, but they offer their contributions to the world in quiet tenderness.  Therefore, the meek are able to inherit the earth because they are not trying to control, conquer, manipulate, or impress it.  They are blessed because they are a blessing.


Closing Prayer: 
Jesus, meek and lowly,
Savior, pure and holy,
On Thy love relying,
Hear me humble crying.
~Henry Collins, 1854

Monday, May 13, 2019


Opening Prayer: Lord God, I am still so full, it seems, of everything but you.  Help me to let go of all that occupies my heart and soul, and help me to take hold of—or be taken hold of—by you alone.  Make me lie down in green pastures and lead me beside still waters, that my soul may be restored to its creation intent.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 23:1-3

Journal: What is occupying you most these days?  What would it look like to make space and time –inside and out—for God to occupy you?

Reflection: Occupied: to be filled up (space, time, etc.).  I find that I am often occupied.  And at times even preoccupied.  The problem is that I am not usually occupied with the right things; or at least not the things that lead to life and freedom.  I am all too often occupied with my own worries and insecurities and fears—which makes me a really bad version of myself.  And at times I am occupied with my own opinions and plans and agendas—which leaves me oblivious to anything other than my little corner of this great big world.  But the bigger problem is that when I am occupied, I have no room.  I have no room for God and I have no room for anyone else.  I am far too full of myself.
     I think that’s where Psalm 23 comes in.  It comes in and tries to reorient me.  It tries to shift my focus from being occupied with self—which wears me down and burns me out—to being occupied with God—who longs to renew my soul and make my cup overflow.  Which can sound self-centered in and of itself unless we realize how the spiritual life is designed to work.  It is the overflow of the life of God within me that is supposed to pour out on those around me.  True ministry is always designed to happen as a result of this overflow. 
     Psalm 23 is God’s attempt to say, “How I long for your attention and your affection.  And the things that occupy you only distract you from what is most important—me.  So stop.  Just stop.  Let go of all of the things that fill your space, and make time and space for me.  Here is what I want you to do today: lay down, be still, be mine.  Everything else will take care of itself.”


Closing Prayer: Occupy me, O God, until I am full of nothing but you.  Amen.

Sunday, May 12, 2019


Opening Prayer: Leave it to you, Lord Jesus, to turn everything upside down.  It seems like that’s what you were constantly doing, so it should come as no surprise.  Help me to embrace that turning, rather than resist it.  Help me to see things the way you see them and to live life the way you intended it to be lived.  Help me to become more and more like you each day.  Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12

Journal: What is your response to the Beatitudes?  Where do you see them taking shape in your life?  What is Jesus asking of you today?  

Reflection: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Jesus certainly turns everything upside down, doesn’t he?  The poor and the mourners and the meek and the hungry and the merciful and the peacemakers and the persecuted are the ones who are blessed?  Most of us would normally think the opposite was true.
     If he is right, however, that the ones on the bottom are the ones who are really blessed, then why do I keep trying to get to the top?  If it is true that the nobodies are the ones who are living in line with his will and his desire, then why do I keep desperately trying to be somebody?  If it is, in fact, accurate that the poor are the ones who are better off, then why do I keep trying to get rich?  If being hidden and unnoticed and lowly and small is the path to true blessing, then why do I keep trying to be visible and noticed and well thought of and important?
     Blessed is the man who is not constantly consumed with himself, but is consumed with the things of God.  Apparently Jesus needs to turn me upside down as well.


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me the grace and the strength and the courage to truly become one of the “blessed.”  Amen.

Friday, May 10, 2019

begging for mercy

Opening Prayer: O God, have mercy on us.  Far too often we think more highly of ourselves and our efforts than we ought.  Far too often we come casually and comfortably into your presence, when we should come in reverence and humility.  Give us the right posture and the proper attitude as we come into your presence this day.  Teach us to pray, O God.  Amen.  

Scripture: Luke 18:9-14

Journal: What strikes you most about this parable?  How does it teach you to pray?

Reflection: Prayer is not so much about method and technique, it seems, as it is about attitude and posture.  When we think we have mastered it, or become proficient at it, we have surely lost our way.  When we feel like we’ve arrived, we have not yet even begun.  When we think we have learned to say great prayers to God, we are most likely only praying to ourselves.
     The way directly into God’s heart is the lowly way.  It comes through getting dirty.  Or, better yet, through realizing that we already are dirty—in desperate need of his love and his mercy.  It comes through crawling to him.  It comes through humbling ourselves—fully realizing who we are and who he is—rather than exalting ourselves.  This is the way to prayer.  This is the only way we are ever able to go home justified before God.


Closing Prayer: O God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

humility and prayer

Opening Prayer: Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee; Thou only knowest what I need; Thou lovest me better than I know how to love myself.  O Father! Give to Thy child that which he himself knows not how to ask.  I dare not ask either for crosses or consolations; I simply present myself before Thee, I open my heart to Thee.  Behold my needs which I know not myself; see and do according to Thy tender mercy.  Smite, or heal; depress me, or raise me up; I adore all Thy purposes without knowing them; I am silent; I offer myself in sacrifice; I yield myself to Thee; I would have no other desire than to accomplish Thy will.  Teach me to pray.  Pray Thyself in me. ~Francois Fenelon

Scripture: Psalm 62:9

Journal: How are humility and prayer linked for you?  How does one lead to the other?

Reflection: There is an undeniable link between humility and prayer; one always seems to lead to the other.  For, in its truest form, prayer is surrender.  It is the giving up of power and preference and prerogative.  It is the movement from “my will” to “Thy will.”  Therefore, it involves a giving up of self and an embracing of our inherent powerlessness and dependence.  For once we are finally willing to make ourselves nothing, God has the room and the freedom to become everything.  Once we finally arrive at a healthy indifference to anything but the will of God, we give him the space to make a substantial difference in and through our lives.  Once we finally make it to “God alone” we have reached the ground where God does some of his very best work.  It just takes a while to get there.  For becoming nothing is a hard place to arrive.  But once we have embraced our nothingness, we have entered the very beginnings of true prayer.


Closing Prayer: Lord God, help us to never run away from humility, because when we do, we run away from the good, good work you are trying to do in and through us.  Amen.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

ask, seek, and knock

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us to pray, for if you don’t, we will never really learn how.  Amen.

Scripture: Luke 11:1-13

Journal: What do the words ask, seek and knock do within you?  Which one is most present in your life of prayer?  Which one is most absent?  Why?  How are the three intended to fit together?

Reflection: It sounds pretty simple, right?  Jesus tells his disciples, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)  So all we have to do is knock and knock and knock, until eventually Jesus gets so tired of the knocking that he opens the door and gives us what we want?  I don’t think so.  What if we are knocking on a door that was never supposed to be—or never intended to be—opened?  What then?
     I think that’s where the ask and the seek parts come in.  There is a sequence here that we must pay attention to.  These verses are not carte blanche to ask for whatever we want, knowing that if we are persistent enough in our asking, God will eventually break down and give it to us.  I mean, what if we come to him asking for a snake or a scorpion?  What then? 
     Perhaps ask does not mean asking for whatever we want, but asking him what he wants.  And perhaps seek does not mean seeking our own will and preference, but seeking God’s will and God’s preference.  For after we ask God what he wants and seek his will and his way in whatever we might be praying about, then we can knock and knock and knock, and rest assured that when the timing is right he will open the door. 
     For at times it is just as likely that God’s answer to our deepest prayers might come in the form of a closed door, as it does an opened one.  And far be it from us to keep knocking and knocking on a closed door, and not receiving the guidance and direction it has to offer.  That is why ask and seek must come first.  And that is why Jesus used all three of these words as he was teaching the disciples how to pray.


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to always ask, seek, and knock, knowing that all three of these acts are essential to the process of prayer.  Amen.

Monday, May 6, 2019

watchful and thankful

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us to pray.  Help us to know what it means to be watchful and thankful.  This day and every day.  Amen.

Scripture: Colossians 4:2

Journal: If you had to pick two words that you wanted to describe your prayer life, what would they be?  What words do you think God would pick?  Why?  What do the words watchful and thankful mean to you?  How do they describe your prayer life?  How could they describe your prayer life?

Reflection: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)  
     If you had to pick two words that you wanted to describe your prayer life, what would they be?  Would you want it to be described as fervent and diligent?  How about powerful and passionate?  Or what about tender and intimate?  And what two words do you think God would pick?  Of all the words that God could have chosen, who would guessed that he would have picked the words watchful and thankful?  Two great words no doubt, but probably not the first two I would have thought of.  I guess that shows what I know about prayer.
     In Colossians 4:2, Paul encourages us to be devoted to prayer.  It is the same word used in Acts 2:42 to describe the four things the new community of believers devoted themselves to in order to nurture and grow the fires of God’s Spirit that were burning among and within them.  The Greek word (proskartereō) actually means to be strong toward.  So, here in Colossians, Paul is encouraging us to always be strong toward prayer.  And the way we do that is by being both watchful and thankful.
     To be watchful (grēgoreō) means to give strict attention to, to be vigilant, or to stay awake.  Thus, a significant part of the life of prayer is relentlessly paying attention to all that God is doing within and around us.  Having eyes to see and ears to hear exactly what he is up to.  I guess he knew how easy it would be to get distracted, or to be lulled to sleep, by all of the daily tasks and worries and chores that compel and consume us.
     And he also tells us to be thankful.  The word used here is eucharistia, which comes from the word eu, meaning good, and the word charizomai, which means to grant favor.  Thus, we are thankful when we realize that we have been granted good favor.  When we begin to see that all things are a gift and that God is the giver of all good gifts.  Life is not a right but a privilege.  It is something that has been given to us and, therefore, is something to be cherished and nurtured.
     Thus, prayer is a way of being with God that nourishes and sustains these two things.  It helps us stay awake to him and all that he is up to, and it fills us with gratitude for both who he is and for what he does.  It makes us grateful that we belong to him and that we have the privilege of living both for and with him each day.  Now that’s something to be thankful for!


Closing Prayer: Help us, O God, to devote ourselves to prayer this day, being both watchful and thankful.  Amen.

Sunday, May 5, 2019


Opening Prayer: Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:4-5)

Scripture: Psalm 32:8-11

Journal: How is God guiding you these days?  How has he guided you in the past?  What confidence does that give you as you look to the future?

Reflection: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.” (Psalm 32:8-9, ESV)
     God never promises that he will give us the answers to our deepest questions of life and vocation, but he does promise that he will always give us himself.  He will instruct and teach and guide us.  He will be with us and walk with us and give us understanding about the things of God.  The rest is up to us.  
     All too often we look for writing in the sky, or a voice from the clouds, when he has already given us everything we need.  He does not want us to be like a horse or a mule who have no understanding and must be controlled by bit and bridle.  That is not the kind of relationship he wants with us.  That kind of life requires no faith, no trust, no dependence.  He wants us to live in continuous union with him, so that when a decision does need to be made it will flow out of an ongoing, intimate inner life with him.  That’s why he reminds us that “the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.” (Psalm 32:10, NIV)


Closing Prayer: Help us to trust in you, O Lord, for your unfailing love surrounds us.  Amen.

Friday, May 3, 2019

what are you waiting for?

Opening Prayer: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5, NIV) 

Scripture: Psalm 130:5

Journal: What are you really waiting for?  Are you waiting for the Lord, or are you waiting for an answer?  What if what you are waiting for is not what God chooses to give you?

Reflection: “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope,” say the words of this ancient prayer.  But what does this really look like and how do we know if we are doing it or not?  We are so easily deceived.  
     It is easy to think we are waiting for the Lord, when we are actually waiting for something (or someone) else altogether.  We are waiting for him to do what we want or expect or demand.  We are watching for a sign or an epiphany or an answer.  In fact, we are often so consumed with how we think he should show up or what we think he should be doing that we often miss him altogether.  What if what we are waiting for is not what he chooses to give us?  What then?
     That’s why waiting for the Lord involves paying extra careful attention.  We never quite know how he will show up, or what he will say, or where he will choose to appear.  And because of that, he is easy to miss.  What a shame it would be if we were to wait and wait and wait for something that’s already given.
     So let’s wait on him—alone.  However and wherever and whenever he chooses to show up.  Let’s wait on him and not just on an answer.  For it is quite likely that he wants to give us far more than an answer, he wants to give us himself.  


Closing Prayer: For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5, ESV)

Thursday, May 2, 2019

humble yourself

Opening Prayer: O Lord, our God, forgive us when our pride and arrogance and self-centeredness keep us from turning to you in humble obedience and dependence.  Forgive us when we get a little too full of ourselves and a little too big for our britches to realize that apart from you we can do nothing.  Forgive us when we fall in love with our own opinions and observations and stop listening for your voice and seeking your face.  Forgive us when we begin to think that we can handle this life on our own, or make things happen for ourselves.
     Humble us, O God, and remind us of who we are and of who you are, that we might, once again, return to you with our whole hearts in prayer and self-surrender.  We pray this in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:14

Journal: How is God growing humility in you these days?  Who or what is he using to accomplish that?  How can you consciously choose to humble yourself today?

Reflection: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
     When will you ever realize that you can’t do this thing on your own?  When are you finally going to admit that you need my help?  When will you finally stop trying to do it all yourself and turn to me?  What will it take?  How much must you go through?  When will you finally humble yourself and pray and seek my face?  When will you finally turn from your wicked, self-centered ways and acknowledge that this life is too big for you to manage?  
     When you get to that point, then we are getting somewhere.  Then we are just beginning to make some progress.  Then you are starting to mature.  After all, this life is not about you in the first place, but about me.  The sooner you realize and acknowledge that the better off you will be.
     So here’s the thing, you can either humble yourself, or I can do it for you.  Which one would you prefer?  Because one way or another, we are eventually going to get there.


Closing Prayer: Lord, thank you for the fertile soil that humility creates in my soul and spirit—soil that is receptive to whatever you desire to plant in me.  Help me, this day, to learn what it means to truly humble myself, that you might be lifted up.  Amen.