Daily Archives: May 24, 2021

Evening Prayer: May 24th

God, I come to this night offering my whole being in praise for this day that you have given me. The day ends but my praise to You will never cease. I will sing to Your glory. I will lift my hands in praise. I will join others in praise and tell of Your goodness. Surround me with your angels this night, give me rest, renew in me a right spirit that I may awake ready to worship you in spirit and in truth tomorrow. In the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

Daily Scripture Passage: Psalm 19

Psalm 19 (ESV)

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect

19 The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Thoughts to Ponder from Mark 9:14-29

Mark 9:14-29 (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit

14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.”20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

“This kind can only come out through prayer” (Mark 9:29)

Helen was almost late for a job interview for which punctuality was a must. As she drove into the parking lot, she could see it was filled. Panicking, she prayed, “Lord, please help me find a parking spot.” As she rounded the corner, right in front of her was an empty space. “That’s oaky, Lord,” she prayed. “I found one myself.”

We may chuckle at this story, but it raises a good question: why are we so quick to look for natural solutions and slow to look for the supernatural answers? Could it be a lack of trust in God? We read self-help books to cope with the challenges in life. We go to friends for advice on how to handle troublesome situations. We automatically call a doctor when a loved one gets sick. But we don’t think naturally about taking our challenges to Jesus, either for his intervention or for his help in persevering.

Isn’t this what happened to Jesus’ disciples when they were unable to heal the young man possessed with demons? It seems that they were relying on their own abilities instead of God’s power. Jesus told them that they were unsuccessful because “this kind can only come out through prayer” – something it seems they hadn’t done (Mark 9:29).

This story shows us how crucial prayer is. It tells us that we can bring all of our petitions to the Lord and that he will act. Remember, you are not merely a “natural” person. Created in the image and likeness of God, you have a “spiritual”dimension as well. As you pray, you can connect with the Holy Spirit and make a difference in this world. You don’t have to be subject to every bad situation that comes your way. Neither do you have to think that your loved ones are stuck in their ruts. You can pray, and lives can change!

No matter how powerless you may feel today, tell yourself that Jesus is with you anyway. Tell yourself that he can help you to reach out to people and pray for them. God ahead; ask, seek, and knock. Surely God will answer.

Jesus, help me in my unbelief. Open my eyes that I may see you more clearly. Open my heart that I may love you more faithfully. Lord, I want to be yours alone! Amen.