One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional
Today’s Bible Reading: January 20
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Clicking on the Scripture links above will open a new window where you can read the scripture from the Holman Christian Standard Bible at Biblegateway.com or choose the Bible version you prefer to read. Check back each day to get the Scripture to read in the One Year Bible Reading Plan.
Is Prayer Really Important?
Prayer doesn’t change God – it changes me
In a scene from Shadowlands, a film based on the life of C.S. Lewis, Lewis has returned to Oxford from London, where he has just been married to Joy Gresham, an American woman, in a private Episcopal ceremony performed at her hospital bedside. She is dying from cancer, and, through the struggle with her illness, she and Lewis have been discovering the depth of their love for each other. As Lewis arrives at the college where he teaches, he is met by Harry Harrington, an Episcopal priest, who asks what news there is. Lewis hesitates; then, deciding to speak of the marriage and not the cancer, he says, “Ah, good news, I think, Harry. Yes, good news.”
Harrington, not aware of the marriage and thinking that Lewis is referring to Joy’s medical situation, replies, “I know how hard you’ve been praying …. Now, God is answering your prayer.”
“That’s not why I pray, Harry,” Lewis responds. “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. And, I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God; it changes me.”
Is Prayer Important?
Prayer is one of the most important things a Christian can do. Through prayer we communicate with God and therefore, it should be taken very seriously. It doesn’t have to be complicated and difficult. It doesn’t come with a magic formula. There aren’t certain words that God pays attention to more. It’s something anyone can do anywhere at any time. And it’s something every Christian should constantly – without ceasing. But please, if you’re driving, please pray with your eyes open – God still hears, I promise!
Jesus found it important to pray
Jesus found it important to pray while He lived on this earth. In Matthew 14:23, Jesus has just finished feeding 5000 people and he sends them home. He then sends the disciples in a boat to the other side of the sea. Jesus climbed a mountain to have some time alone and pray to His Father. He stayed there until late into the night.
Through prayer, we get to know God
Prayer is one of the ways that we get to know our Heavenly Father. It’s impossible to know someone if you don’t talk to them. As we pray, we discover God’s will, He will convict of sin, and He will reveal His heart to us. If you want a relationship with God, you must seek Him with all your heart and one way to seek Him is through prayer. You can’t have a relationship with someone if your refuse to speak to them.
Through prayer, we fight spiritual battles
Another reason prayer is important is because we fight spiritual battles in prayer. It is through prayer that Satan is defeated and the strongholds that hold as captive are broken. The Word of God is our sword in the battle, but prayer gives us the strength and the faith to be victorious. Satan’s goal is to destroy us, make us ineffective for the cause of Christ. God’s goal is to bring us closer to Him.
Through prayer, God makes us more like Him
As we spend time with God in prayer, God works on our hearts and He changes us so that we are becoming more and more like Him. It’s been said that couples who have been married a long time slowly begin to look and act like one another. They’ve spent so much of their lives together that it becomes difficult to see the individual characteristics they each brought to the relationship in the beginning.
The same is true with God. The more time we spend with Him, the more like Him we become. Our habits and lifestyle will changes. Our language will change. Through prayer, our priorities will change. Our attitudes will change. We will no longer live a self-centered life, but instead, we will love our neighbor as we love our self and we will love God with all our heart, mind, and soul. Instead of an “it’s all about me” mentality, we will find joy in serving others.
Through prayer, we find strength when life is hard
In prayer we find strength for difficult circumstances. As Jesus faced the cross, He went to the Garden to pray. He knew what was waiting for him after He left the Garden. But it was in the garden that he prayed and found strength for what was coming. How often have you been in something very difficult, heartbreaking in life and instead of going to your Father in prayer, you became angry and bitter at him. These are the moment we should too God – not away from Him.
Through prayer we discover God’s will for our lives
In prayer we can seek the face of God to understand His will for our lives. With every major decision we face, we need to be sure we are seeking God and asking for His wisdom and guidance so that we make the right decisions. Sometimes, it takes time and hard, earnest praying to get an answer, but He will give you an answer at just the right moment.
Is prayer important? Yes! When was the last time you got alone with your Heavenly Father and spent time talking with Him in prayer and then pause to listen for His voice?
#ReadYourBible #Genesis #Matthew
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Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.
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God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars
by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?
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