Dear Ones,
Hope you wake to a day of prayerfulness. Al will be going to Men’s Group, and I plan to do food prep and make bars. We have Donut DayEmoji and Bible study this afternoon.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Self, self, self! Our whole society has an obsession with ourselves, and selfishness has never been so evident and even violent as everyone wants to do what they want without regard for others. I am reading Eugene Peterson’s book, Earth and Altar that is all about a community of prayer in a self-bound culture. He writes of how we can begin to unself America of being so preoccupied with self and says the answer is prayer. He uses the Psalms to help us learn how to pray in ways that shape our society and nurture our own souls. That would not be selfish prayers, or prayers only in private but prayer in community, and prayer that embraces all the aspects of our lives, including our nation. He says that “far more of our nation’s life is shaped by prayer than is formed by legislation.” I have read Psalm 46 many times but Peterson helped me see how prayer can make a difference in our violent society; and even though we would desire to find a comfortable place that is safe, we cannot control the dangers around us.

Psalm 46 is written in the midst of violence and prayer is what can make a difference. The Psalm itself uses the images of the violence in nature and political violence and military violence; we can see for ourselves that violence is everywhere. But violence is not the main subject in the Psalm but God is. “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalm 26: 7. God is the head of angelic armies and all powerful and yet personal with us for He is our refuge, our place of protection. We are loved and valued and protected by the Lord. No matter what is going on outwardly, we are loved and listened to by the One who is over all.

In the midst of it all that is happening, God is present, “in the city of God”, and will not be moved. If God is in our midst, we need to have eyes trained to see Him and His actions. The city of God is safe, because He is very present always and ready to help. Now help doesn’t always come like we want or expect that gets us out of the situation, but when we look at what is going on in our lives or in history, some of the greatest revivals have occurred in the midst of upheaval. We have to look deeper if we are to see the mighty works of God and discern what He is doing. His works are everywhere and as Peterson says, “Prayer is looking at the works of the Lord.”

In this Psalm we are told to “Be still and know that I am God.” We need to be quiet and still to discover what God’s will is for the world and for us. We need a deep heart knowing that comes when we are quiet to listen. And out of it, God may give us direction of what He would also have us do.

Challenge for today: Read Psalm 46 slowly and prayerfully open your ears to what God has to say to you.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy