Daily Devotional for May 25, 2022

One of the primary reasons I write devotionals is to help our congregation begin each day with prayer and scripture.  Also, if I didn’t write devotionals for our church, I would have to deal with Shannon.  I’d rather not.
Throughout the years there have been a few occasions when I have forgotten to include the prayer.
Forgetting to include the prayer always gets on Melissa’s nerves, and because her office is right across the hall, I’ve made it a point to remember to always write a prayer.  If I didn’t, I would have to deal with Melissa.  I’d rather not.
I truly believe the foundation for a Christian life revolves around prayer and scripture.  
Yesterday, Pastor Kit and I were reviewing a devotional journal we are going to ask members of our church to start using.  I was very impressed.
As we talked about the indisputable truth that prayer is an essential part of helping each of us grow closer to God, Melissa said, “How are we supposed to pray if you don’t tell us?” 
I was so struck by what she said, I wrote it down.
If you are someone who struggles with prayer, let me offer a simple model I have found to be very effective.
First, find a quiet place where you can calm your mind, relax, and be receptive to the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Then, pray for yourself.  This does not mean praying for a Maserati in the driveway and a huge bank account.
Instead, give God thanks for the blessings in your life and share your worries, struggles, failures, and pains. Know that God hears.
Next, pray for others. 
Don’t say a generic, beauty queen prayer with no real substance.  Instead, use a list to be very specific in who you are praying for and why you are lifting them up.  This will keep you on track and it will allow you to make sure you remember the struggles others are going through.
Then, pray for the church.  Not just our church, but the Church Universal, or as we say in the Apostle’s Creed, the “holy catholic church.” 
We do this because it is through the church we are exposed to holy teachings, worship what matters most, gather with other believers, and work to make disciples for Jesus Christ.
Finally, offer yourself without reservation for God’s purpose.
That’s all there is.  These five components of calming your mind (centering yourself), praying for self, others, the church, and offering yourself to God and an easy format that covers all the bases.
If you make this a daily part of your routine, I promise you will be more aware of God’s presence in your life and be more available to be the person God created you to be.
Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  (Romans 12:2)
Give this prayer format a try.  You will be glad you did.
Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me grow closer to you.  Make me aware of your presence, joy, and plan for my life.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.
Soon, you will be hearing about the devotional we are going to be using as a church.  I truly believe it will help you hear God.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins