Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Friday, August 26
“Set your heart on God and reach out to him.”
Job 11:13 TM
LET IT GO
Jesus, “the Great Physician,” never covers up an infected sore. He insists it be lanced, drained, cleansed, and given time to heal. Maybe you’ve given birth to a child out of wedlock, or had an abortion, or been in prison, or walked through a bitter divorce. Don’t be discouraged. Jesus is not impressed by our virtues, He’s touched with “the feeling of our infirmities” (Heb 4:15). He understands your struggle. “He himself has…been through suffering and temptation, he knows what it is like…and…is wonderfully able to help us” (Heb 2:18 TLB). Maybe you’re wondering if someone with your past problems can be blessed and used by God. Absolutely! The hymn by William Cowper puts it like this: “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins; and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.” The rewards of repentance are awesome! Zophar replies to Job: “Prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you. Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear. You will forget your misery; it will be like water flowing away…Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and…rest in safety. You will lie down unafraid, and many will look to you for help” (Job 11:13-19 NLT). Whether it’s guilt over something you’ve done, or the pain of something that was done to you—let it go! Today, step into the river of God’s grace and let it flow over you, setting you free.
Saturday, August 27
“The Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.”
Ro 8:27 NLT
PRAYING ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL
Since we sometimes pray outside of God’s will, part of the Holy Spirit’s job is to change our minds—not convince God to give us what we want. That’s why the Spirit “searches our hearts” in prayer. Sometimes words are inadequate; you don’t always know what someone’s really thinking or wants based on what they say. But if you could see inside their heart you’d know exactly how to interpret their words. That’s what the Spirit does when He searches our hearts and interprets our requests to the Father. But if the Holy Spirit is going to intercede for us (appeal to God on our behalf) we’d better learn what God’s will is. And where do we learn that? In His Word. Before we can pray in the will of God two things have to happen. First, we must have a regular intake of Scripture. God’s mind is revealed in His Word, so when you read the Bible you learn how to pray the way you should. Second, if our prayers are going to hit the mark we need to practice meditating on the Scriptures. Just as a good cook allows a stew to simmer in order to bring out all the flavors, we need to “marinate” our minds in Scripture and allow it to become part of us. When that happens, we’ll start to see things change in our prayer lives because the Spirit’s intercession is tied to God’s will, which is tied to His Word. In the final analysis you may think you know what you want, but God knows what you need!