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TODAY'S DEVOTION:    may 11, 2020

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Reflection:

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Is prayer the first place you turn when you feel stressed? Why or why not? Isn't it amazing that the very things that push our panic buttons can catapult us into earnest prayer? Yet prayer should become our first resource, not a last resort as often we treat it. If we let Him, God will transform us from a worrier into a warrior--a prayer warrior, that is. A consistent pattern of prayer will gradually break the pattern of worry and fear. The question is, do we give God our problems and worries all the time and leave them with Him? In Philippians 4:9 Paul says, "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." In other words, don't do this one time and give up if the worry comes back! Keep practicing!

To practice means giving our concerns to God (and give them back if we start obsessing over them again); to practice thanking Him in the midst of difficulties because it's another chance for Him to show Himself mighty in our lives; to practice receiving His peace and dwelling on the positive instead of the negative.

God wants us to give them all to Him: our shattered dreams, deepest burdens, worries, and pain. He can handle them, transforming our panic into peace and our worry into wonder. It's kind of like pouring out water from a pitcher--we pour out these burdens and problems, which makes room for God to pour in His peace, joy, love. So, keep pouring! Keep practicing! Keep praying! In the simple act of letting go of your fears and problems, you will experience His presence, which is far more wonderful than we can imagine; you will have a changed perspective; you will draw near to God in your difficulty--and He promises to draw near to you (James 4:8).

Prayer: 

Lord, help me to make prayer a priority, especially when life is hard. Lead me through the Spirit, to focus on Your promises in the Bible in times of trial and hold on to it in prayer. I pray to You, in Jesus Name, Amen.

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"Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

James 5:13-16 (KJV)

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