Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Conversations with God: Prayer

Experience prayer this week. Pray on another’s behalf. Choose someone in your life who will be your prayer focus. This type of prayer is also known as intercessory prayer, interceding with God on their behalf.

Do you now the person’s needs? Is there a health concern, or a challenge at work that needs to be presented to the Lord? If so, pray specifically that God carry and encourage. Or perhaps it is a time of joy to celebrate a life event or milestone. In this case, praise God and recognize God’s work and concern. 

You may even desire to learn your prayer person’s favorite scripture text. Knowing a person’s favorite text is a special way to pray. As an example, if the favorite text is Romans 8:28, a promise that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes you can be specific in your prayers. You might choose to repeat the scripture text in your prayers, you could choose to pray for God to lead and bring things to a positive resolution.

As you pray, recognize the great value God places on the person you are praying for. If you are brave, you may even choose to pray for one who wronged you and needs your forgiveness.

At the end of the week evaluate your experience with a few questions: How did it go? Did you feel God’s presence during the exercise? Would you repeat the exercise? What would you differently?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Conversations with God: Bible Study

Experience Bible study this week. Choose a ten verse passage in the Bible to focus on for the rest of the week. Perhaps a piece from the Bible reading calendar! Your translation of the Bible can help you with this, because it is divided into paragraphs and sections.

The next step after choosing your passage is to choose two more translations to compare the passage in. This means you will be reading the same verse in three different Bibles in order to understand it better. If your Bible translation shelf is a little lean, perhaps a tool like can help.

As you read notice the slight variations that bring out different textures and details, but always carry the same key meaning. Ask yourself the most important question we ask a text, “What does this passage tell me about God?” Then spend some time talking to God about what you learned through the exercise.

At the end of the week evaluate your experience with a few questions: How did it go? Did you feel God’s presence during the exercise? Would you repeat the exercise? What would you differently?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tell Your Story

There’s a phrase in the book of Acts that I love, “It became known, and many believed on the Lord.” You see it after the early Christian church deals with a challenge and finds a resolution that is fitting to God’s work. You see it after Dorcas is raised to life as an answer to prayer. This phrase shows the power of testimony. It is the power of a story that can compel people to believe on the Lord. 

The first situation was a crisis over caring equally for the widows of the community. A problem with the ability to divide and bring out the worst in people. But through prayer a solution came, and many believed on the Lord. The second situation was the loss of a dearly loved and gifted lady. Even as the church in Joppa mourned, they turned to prayer and as a result God raised her to life. The result is described with the same phrase, many believed on the Lord. Stories are needed! Your story is needed that many may believe on the Lord.

Will you risk to tell your story? Will you be the testimony that is needed for a friend to see the value of God in their lives? Will you be the voice that causes many to believe on the Lord?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Your Devotional Life

Connection, refreshing and joy are the goals of a devotional time. Connection with the one living God, a refreshing of your relationship with Him, and joy in following His will. In a relentless world that demands everything, it is the moments of peace that renew. It is the feeling of being wrapped inside a text so fully that you can hear the word of God anew. In those moments the rush of the world stills and all that matters is the heartbeat of God.

Each day demands so much, and so we rise to the occasion. We manage the tasks required for work, we accomplish the necessities for the family, and even find time to volunteer at church. And in the whirlwind of doing, the quiet of being is eclipsed. The focus of a devotional life is creating space to just be with God. The spiritual practices are opportunities to be with the living God. From seeing a spiritual practice in the life of an Adventist pioneer to experiencing it in your life, your devotional life invites you to let the flurry of the world wait, for just a bit, while you relish the presence of God. How will you relish the presence of God today?