See the source image  Pentecost 20 – Monday Devotion

Readings:  Deuteronomy 18:1-22 and Matthew 14:22-36 

Matthew 14:23 And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. 

 

“Time With God” 

Every day we face challenges in our lives. This is no earth-shattering revelation. What is important is how we face these challenges. In this reading Jesus gives us an example that we would all do well to follow. 

When I first began to have private daily devotions, I would make statements like “I have to go do my devotions”. But the very wording made it law-oriented. It was an obligation. Over the course of time I began to realize the importance of a daily connection with God in devotional reading, study of His Word, and prayer for personal growth and understanding. Today, I want to spend time with my Lord every morning to begin my day. I also find it comforting to close each day with time in prayer. 

Granted, Satan will do whatever he can to stop this. Wandering thoughts can be a challenge to manage. Illness may take focus away from this time and refocus it on recovery. Work and family issues may try to take the time you have set aside. But, as I have learned, having a place set aside, away from distractions, with a routine laid out before you makes it much easier to spend daily time with God. 

The greatest example of our need to do this is Jesus Himself! If He, the Son of God, found it important to regularly get away, to go to a quiet or desolate place to spend time with His Heavenly Father, how much more do we need to do the same? It was here that He would connect with His Father. He would also find strength and guidance during this time.  

While a challenge to the religious leaders of His day, Jesus clearly was connected to God. He spoke His Word and taught His ways. He was the One Who led from the traditions to faith in the Living One. His voice was the voice of God itself. Yet, worship and prayer were important to Jesus and should be to us also. 

So, how should we pray? When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray He gave them what we know today as the Lord’s Prayer. It is a good prayer for us to us as a guide. There are many other examples of prayer, both in the Bible and written through the course of history. The book of Psalms is loaded with prayers to guide us through various times in our lives. My favorite prayer from the Bible is: “Lord, we know not what to do, but our eyes are fixed on You.” 

And that is our key. We keep our eyes fixed on God in our prayers, in our reading and study and in our growth as Christians. We seek His will and ask for the strength to follow it. Then, living in faith, we go forth into the new day. We know we do not go alone, but He will be with us at all times and in all ways.  

So, let us set aside the time to call upon Him and then let Him surround us with His grace. Let us each say, Lord, teach us to pray, as we go before Him, guided by His love. 

 

PRAYER:  Lord, Jesus, it was of great importance to You to go off by Yourself to spend time with Your Father in prayer.  There He strengthened You. Teach us, in like manner, to daily spend time with You in Your Word, and at Your feet in prayer. Strengthen us to live each day for You, and in You, that Your love would be spread world-wide. Amen