Evangelical Alliance Week Of Prayer 2021: Bible Engagement

Day 5 of 8 • This day’s reading

Devotional

THINK


We invite you to start with reading Luke 10:27.


What I find fascinating about Jesus is that he doesn't ask us to switch off our minds. On the contrary. The greatest commandment says that we shall love God with all our mind. God loves it when we think, investigate and fathom his thoughts.


But by doing this, we often encounter questions that make us feel insecure: how shall I handle difficult passages from the Bible? How do certain biblical statements fit a loving God? Why do I experience so few of the promises made in the Bible? God invites you not to push questions like these aside but to look into them. To dig deep, to investigate and to discuss them with God and with other people.


Doubts and trials belong to our faith. The Bible speaks about them. The mothers and fathers of faith knew them.


But how do they influence our prayers? When we stop talking honestly to each other in a partnership or friendship, we drift apart. Things left unsaid block access to the other person. The distance increases. It becomes more difficult to come together. That's what can happen when we don't share the urgent questions and doubts that plague our mind and our heart with God.


The Psalms show us how we can remain in conversation with God. The psalmists lament and pour out their hearts to God (e.g. Psalms 13 & 69) - honestly and without mincing their words. Thoughts are expressed in the raw. Yet even if their minds and hearts are full of questions and doubts, they experience how trust grows out of honest dialogue with God. For centuries, men and women at prayer have borrowed words from the Psalms when in conversation with God.


In addition to honest prayer, it is helpful to fix one's eyes on Christ. Even if we struggle with difficult passages from the Bible, we return again and again to the place where the love of God is painted in front of our eyes in all clarity. When I look to Jesus, it becomes clear to me that his promise is meant for me: My faith does not depend on my feelings or thoughts, but on his promises! Lie down in them just like in a soft feather bed. Breathe in deeply. For He is for us. (Romans 8:31ff)


PRAYER TOPICS


Praise



  • That God invites us to search for him with our mind.

  • For his invitation to stay in honest conversation with him.

  • That nothing can separate us from his love – no questions, doubts or trials!


Lamentation



  • Where we don't understand God, where we are disappointed and angry.

  • Where the Bible seems unfamiliar, incomprehensible and doubtful to us.

  • Where God's character is a mystery to us and where his love doesn't seem to reach our hearts.


Supplication



  • That Jesus would meet us in our searching, thinking and investigating.

  • That he shows us his perspective on our questions and doubts.

  • That he speaks to our minds and our hearts and that we can trust.


SUGGESTED PRAYER 


Foreign influences may temporarily succeed in taking your Lord from you, but they cannot succeed in taking you from your Lord! Sometimes it may seem like you're falling into the abyss, but you won't be able to fall any lower than into the rescuing hands of God.


(Hans-.Joachim Eckstein, „Du hast mir den Himmel geöffnet“; Translated from the original German)




“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28-30, NIV)






Author: Heike Breitenstein, Switzerland, Speaker at the Zacharias Institute for Science, Culture and Faith.