Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Tuesday, May 24
“Search me, O God, and know my heart.”
Ps 139:23 NKJV
PRAY WITH THE RIGHT MOTIVES
Here are two mistakes we make when it comes to praying. (1) We focus on our failures. Therefore we pray without faith and confidence (See 1Jn 3:21- 22). (2) We fail to examine our motives. The Psalmist wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart…see if there is any wicked way in me” (Ps 139: 23-24 NKJV). There are prayers God won’t answer for our own good—or at least not right now. Pastor Jerry Sittser writes: “Your cause may be right, but you may still be wrong: manifesting pride, gloating in victory, punishing wrongdoers with excessive severity…The great hazard for people on a crusade is…they become blind to their own faults. They fight for civil rights but treat janitors like second class citizens. They uphold standards of Biblical sexuality but show little grace toward their spouse. Unanswered prayer is God’s gift…it protects us from ourselves. If all our prayers were answered we’d abuse the power…use prayer to change the world to our liking, and it would become hell on earth. Like spoiled children with too many toys and too much money, we’d grab for more. We’d pray for victory at the expense of others…intoxicated by power we’d hurt people and exalt ourselves. Isaiah said, ‘The Lord longs to be gracious to you…therefore He waits’ (Isa 30:18 NAS). Unanswered prayer protects…breaks…deepens and transforms. Past unanswered prayers which left us hurt and disillusioned, act like a refiner’s fire to prepare us for future answers.” Bottom line: Pray with the right motives!
Wednesday, May 25
“Remember…not the former things, neither consider the things of old.”
RECOVERING FROM DIVORCE (1)
Divorce is one of the most painful things the human heart can experience. If it’s happened to you, you know that’s true. If it hasn’t, be grateful and show compassion toward those who’ve been devastated by it. Have you been crushed by someone you trusted? Does loneliness overwhelm you in the midnight hours? Do you feel as though your hands are completely tied? Does it upset you because your friends don’t seem to understand? Don’t despair—your present circumstances will change. You will recover; you will rebuild; you will not stay down. It will take time, and you’ll have to invest some effort. You will experience pages of sadness in your diary of success, but by God’s grace you will learn to live again and love again. As you draw close to God and search His Word, He will reveal to you the secret of inner peace, and how to take back your life. If you are the innocent party, read this Scripture and hide it in your heart: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Ps 147:3 NIV). If you are the guilty party, remember you haven’t committed the unpardonable sin. So your failures are forgivable and forgettable. God’s promise to you is: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isa 43:25 NIV). Whether you are the innocent or the guilty party, the word for you today is: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past…I am doing a new thing!…I am making a way” (vv. 18-19 NIV).