Looking Behind, Moving Ahead (Prayer Devotional for the week of February 1, 2015)

It rained last night for the first time in several weeks, and it was still sprinkling when I left the house this morning. On the drive to work, I glanced in my rearview mirror and noticed a bright rainbow in the distance. I could only look at it for a moment, since I was driving, and I started thinking about how God gives us glimpses of his promises – not necessarily for us to stare at and dwell on for a long period of time, but a quick reminder to prod us as we move forward.

 

We first read about rainbows in Genesis 9, when the Lord illustrated his promise to Noah that he would never again destroy the earth in a flood. Rainbows are lovely, but they don’t linger very long. They come and go with the rain. This is speculation on my part, but I wonder if God chose a rainbow purposefully, as a periodic reminder.

 

You’ve probably heard the cliché, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” In my experience, oftentimes, he may show me the window, but I have to get up off of my rump and open it myself. We can’t go through life expecting easy answers. Sometimes, you just have to keep walking in faith until God reveals the next turn.

 

It’s important to keep that rainbow in our rearview mirror, though. We need to remember God’s faithful promises. He assured us that he will never abandon us (Deut. 31:6 & Hebrews 13:5). His mercies are new every morning, and he is faithful (Lamentations 3:23).

 

Perhaps your life feels like you are driving in circles right now. I encourage you to hold on to the promises of God. Spend time in the word, reading your Bible and renewing your mind with scriptures (Romans 12:2). Commit verses to memory, so that you can easily recall them in times of distress. Pray scriptures over situations and people in your life. Put you own name into the Psalms, for example, and pray for yourself. When you aren’t sure which step to take next, keep your focus on God’s word and remember his faithfulness.

A Chance of Rain (Prayer Devotional for the week of August 10, 2014)

I’ve never really minded the rain. I don’t particularly care if my hair gets wet, and I like watching the rain fall. Growing up in the Houston area, I learned to interpret weather forecasts differently from most people. You see, if the news said that there was a 30% chance of rain, that meant it would rain 30% of the day – it was a given that there would be rain, of some sort. The question was only how much rain.

One of my favorite Bible stories has to do with rain … rather, the lack thereof. I encourage you to take some time this week and read 1 Kings 18. Elijah is one of the most remarkable people in the Bible; I would love to have a teaspoon of his faith! The passage begins in the middle of a terrible drought: three solid years without a drop of rain. Elijah was the only living prophet of the Lord, and King Ahab had succumbed to the influence of false gods.

Elijah did something ridiculous in his challenge to the prophets of Baal. Not only did he stand up against 450 of them, but he even drenched his sacrifice in water before asking God to light it on fire. What astounding, sold-out faith! You’ll have to read the chapter to catch the details, but suffice it to say that once Elijah was finished, there was no doubt whatsoever that the Lord was the one true God.

The sacrifice was one fantastic part of the story, but what happened next was equally amazing. Elijah climbed a mountain and prayed earnestly to God for rain. He sent a scout seven times to check the sky for clouds, and finally, a small cloud began to take shape in the sky. That measly little cloud quickly grew and became a torrential downpour on the thirsty land – God’s answer to Elijah’s prayer.

Are there things that you have been praying about for what feels like ages, and it seems like God hasn’t answered yet? Keep the faith, dear ones! Like Elijah, keep your eyes on the Lord and seek him earnestly with all of your heart.