REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Mark Chun of Radiance Christian Church in S.F., is an updated version of his blog originally posted on March 26, 2013. Mark is a graduate of University of California, San Diego (BS) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Praying with Expectation”
Psalm: 28:1-2; 6-7
To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. 2 Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary. 6 Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
One key mark of spiritual growth is the amount of time that a Christian devotes to prayer as well as what he actually prays (substance). That is to say, there needs to be both quantitative as well as qualitative growth in our prayer lives. Of course, this is not something that is easily accomplished, for it would take years of concerted efforts to build the spiritual discipline of prayer. And to develop a healthy prayer life, embodying consistency, perseverance, and faith is necessary. One key lesson gleaned from David’s life is his unwillingness to accept the silence of God.
Undoubtedly, every one of us will go through periods when it seems that our prayers are unheard, and thus, there is no response to our cries. Refusing to accept those conditions, David confesses that only those who have rejected Him deserve such a fate.
Too often we accept the silence of God as normative when it should be a rarity. While we are completely dependent on God for answered prayers, we have the privilege of approaching the throne of grace with confidence. As we experience answered prayers in greater frequency, the more our trust will grow and the more our trust grows, the more effective our prayer lives will be.
When is the last time you received an answer to prayer? Pray with the expectation that God hears your every prayer.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach me how to pray as you prayed to the Father. Even as I go through periods of silence, teach me to persevere and to wait upon you in expectation. May my faith be strengthened and my trust increase as I pray for your will to be done in my life.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 6
Lunch Break Study
Read Luke 18:7 (NIV): “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Questions to Consider
- What is the lesson that is to be learned from this parable? (Luke 18:1)
- Why is God compared to a lazy and indifferent judge?
- What is the basis of God’s answer to our prayers? (Luke 18:7)
- The lesson is to always pray and not lose heart as we wait for God to answer. When we ask God to right the wrongs committed against us—that is seeking justice. When we take justice into our own hands—that is seeking revenge. One of the great benefits of prayer is asking for God’s justice to prevail when we have been sinned against. In this way, prayer keeps us from being consumed by the poison of bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger.
- Sometimes the comparison of God to this wicked judge can be confusing. This is a literary device used in the Scriptures called a fortiori reasoning. Essentially, the questions Jesus is asking is the following: “If the unjust judge yielded to the continuous cries of the widow, who was a stranger, and granted her the vindication she sought, how much more will God, who is just and their loving Father, hear the cries of his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night.”
- The basis of God’s answer to our prayers is two-fold: God’s covenant agreement with his people (i.e., the church consisting of those who believe Jesus as their Lord and Savior) and our unceasing prayer, which is a sign of our faith.
How has your prayer life been? Have you been mindful of answered prayers or things that God has spoken to you during the day? Write down any words or impressions that might be from God.