And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1 ESV
Some of you have noticed that I love to write devotionals. The truth is I also love to read devotional collections. Oswald Chambers, Joni Eareckson Tada, Charles Swindoll and Rick Warren have become friends whose example and teachings have encouraged me through some of the darkest times of my life. About a month ago, my wife, knowing my love of devotional writing brought me home a Beverly Lewis book titled, “Amish Prayers.” In it the author has compiled a selection of prayers translated from a German prayer book dating back to 1708. What a special blessing this little book has become to me!
The book, “Amish Prayers” in many ways reminded me of the book of Psalms. Then as I looked closely, I discovered that the Psalms are as much a book of prayers as an ancient Hebrew collection of hymns. That inspired me to begin looking through the Bible for other prayers and I discovered them everywhere! In fact, the Bible could just as well be called, God’s Prayer Book, because at the heart of the stories of the men and women of scripture is the heritage of their prayers. Some of those prayers are questions, some complaints, some cries for mercy and others simply times of praise. If you will join me, over the next week we are going to listen in to a few of those prayers and then bow our heads and pray along with them!
Be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5b-6 ESV
When our two boys were about four and six years old, my wife and I decided to travel cross country to stay with some friends, while enjoying a bit of camping along the way. “Okay guys we are going to Missouri.” I explained to the boys. “We will be traveling for three days and will be sleeping in our tents for two nights along the way. Don’t worry about when we get there, just enjoy the ride, play games and don’t fight! “I told them enthusiastically.
The next morning with our little car packed to the max, we headed down the highway. I felt confident we were well prepared for our first big family road trip until about twenty minutes down the highway when our older son tapped me on the shoulder and asked. Hey Dad. Are we there yet?” I can’t remember if I laughed or cried, but either way I saw that, despite my best efforts, I had not communicated very well with our boys about the road ahead. I am sure many of you have experienced this same scenario and have discovered that whether we laugh, pull our hair out or try repeating our explanations, our kids aren’t satisfied with details. What they really want is a regular assurance that everything is okay – every mile along the way. It is the same with us as we travel the Christian life with God. But the wonderful difference between God and me is that He didn’t just give us an explanation of the road map; He promised to stay with us and guide us every mile along the way!
Whether by day while working away With the heat of the sun overhead Or the pit of despair In the darkness and gloom With lightening crashing down everywhere
Still He's holding my hand As God walks by my side And Jesus fills me with His peace
He's our shelter in storms By His grace and His power And our refuge in darkness and night He's a friend who stays true As He leads us all through To His Heaven and a placed filled with light
I loved the peace of this violin rendition of In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. For those unfamiliar with the lyrics here is the first verse.
In Christ alone my hope is found He is my light, my strength, my song This cornerstone, this solid ground Firm through the fiercest drought and storm What heights of love, what depths of peace When fears are stilled, when strivings cease My comforter, my all in all Here, in the love of Christ, I stand