Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 26, 2016: Humble Prayer

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 178  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of Bebo Norman singing … I Will Lift My Eyes, expressing the need of all Christians to come our Lord with a pure heart in prayer. … AND ON TO THIS LINK to hear a chorus singing … Surely The Presence of The Lord Is In This Place.

Highlight Passage:  1st Peter 3:12 [NKJV] …    
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. 
… Peter quotes from Psalm 34:15-16 as to coming to our God, seeking His peace with a pure heart. 
Highlight Context – 1st Peter 3:7-12 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… God’s, thru Peter, for Christians to come to God, seeking His peace with a purified heart. 

Reference Passage #1 … Isaiah 26: 3 [NKJV] …  
3 You [God] will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you. 
… We can’t expect peace when we’re focusing on self rather than on the Savior.

Reference Passage #2 – Philippians 4:6-7 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… When we come to God seeking His peace, we must have a heart, purified with humble thanksgiving.

Reference Passage #3 … 1st John 1:9 [NKJV] …  
9 If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
… A good strategy before we pray to cleanse our hearts of unresolved sin.

My Journal for Today:  … Our Daily Bread author, Tim Gustafson, used a somewhat humorous illustration to teach on how we must come to God in prayer with a purified heart. The ODB author wrote: When the minister asked one of his elders to lead the congregation in prayer, the man shocked everyone. “I’m sorry, Pastor,” he said, “but I’ve been arguing with my wife all the way to church, and I’m in no condition to pray.” The next moment was awkward. The minister prayed. The service moved on. Later, the pastor vowed never to ask anyone to pray publicly without first asking privately. 

Many of us can probably identify with that church elder, can’t we? Yeah, I’ve been there, haven’t you, … trying to pray to God, sometimes seeking His peace with a heart full of unrighteous turmoil, … maybe even unresolved sin? Does’t work, does it?

No, as Bebo Normon sings in the linked song above, we need to lift our eyes to God with a purified heart. And sometimes, that means being cleansed by confession (see 1st John 1:9); … or it may mean recognizing and acknowledging our thankfulness (see Phil. 4:6-7; … or merely focusing on God’s essence rather than on our own selfish desires (see Isaiah 26:3).

Today, as I come here, seeking His peace again today, I am praying with a deeply thankful heart, cleansed by confession of my sinfulness, and entirely seeking my Lord’s way rather than mine; … and, as the chorus sings in the 2nd linked song, I feel His presence in this place. How about you where you are as you read this? Perhaps you need some cleansing … as you join me and come to Jesus today, seeking His peace.

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … Lord, it is with a cleansed and grateful heart that I come here today, seeking Your peace. And I feel Your presence in this place as the song linked above declares.    Amen    

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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