Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take Up Thy Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Hebrews 3:12-14 – Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. (ESV)
I have an aging car with an old battery nearing its expiry date. Via a connector in the boot, I have attached a trickle-charge solar panel in the tailgate window to keep the battery charged up as high as it will allow. This way, the car starts when we do the run each school day.
In the morning, I have little spiritual input accumulated to start the day. Like Number Five, the robot in the film Short Circuit, I need input. Although a quick Lord's Prayer at my bedside is not the most receptive way to interact with God, it is better than not praying at all.
I belong to two early-morning Wednesday intercessory prayer groups online. They are a spiritual kingdom lifeline to me because they force me to put time aside, like now when I write, to put God first for once, and not rush off into the day. It provides a space where I can listen, share, commune, intercede, and in the process, look outwards and become thankful.
The earlier session is with the church faithful, and the latter is with people from the school and town where we live. I have to make the effort and hide in the solitude of the office as the rest of the family also start their day. Sometimes, it is too much to ask. As a result, I arrive before God, dressed and ready to go, clean on the outside but in a state of flux on the inside. I know that I really need this time with God despite what circumstances may insist.
As I sit still, I listen to others pray and focus in on God, and I invoke their prayers. In the process of listening, I become aware of His stillness and tune into praise, devotion, and the needs of the world. I lift my voice and pray with them.
By the time I arrive at the second prayer group, I am in a much better place to share, praise, pray, intercede, encourage, and in turn, be blessed. I guess it is a bit like the car battery: I have been charged up, energized, to be in a healthier state, filled up to give out.
Talking with God is always good, wherever, however we find ourselves, and we need that life-giving connection to be refilled with His peace and stillness.
Prayer: Lord, what can we do to justify our fallen humanity? We call upon Your mercy and know that You hear. You have set captivity captive so that we can be completely free from any inner turmoil, angst, or spiritual oppression. In Jesus' name, Your resurrection gift to us is Your Holy Spirit, who empowers us to be able to worship and praise our God, and to be set free from the influence of the world. So today, once more, we ask for You to come and soften our hearts to be free from anxiety and doubt as we seek to follow You. Thanks, Lord, for Your grace. Amen.