November 9 Devotional
Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.
Opening Prayer: Gracious and loving God, you know the deep inner patterns of my life that keep me from being totally yours. You know the misformed structures of my being that hold me in bondage to something less than your high purpose for my life. You also know my reluctance to let you have your way with me in these areas. Hear the deeper cry of my heart for wholeness and by your grace enable me to be open to your transforming presence. Lord, have mercy. (Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland Jr.)
Scripture Reading for the Day: Mark 5:24-34
Reading for Reflection: Few words in all of the Old Testament are as rich as the Hebrew word shalom. As a matter of fact, the translations of this one little word are varied and numerous - trying in vain to capture the fullness of the idea it is meant to communicate. The most common translation we have for the word is peace, but that does not seem to go far enough. Therefore, it is also translated prosperity, tranquility, well-being, safety, and security. Maybe the best word we have in the English language, however, that even comes close to capturing the true essence of shalom is the word wholeness. Because at its core shalom is about experiencing the creation intent of God. Shalom is life as God intended it to be - life before sin and brokenness. Shalom is finding our way back into the garden where we were created to enjoy and experience God in His fullness as we “walk with Him in the cool of the day.” It is what our souls are really and truly longing for - deep communion and connection and intimacy with our God.
Reflection and Listening: silent and written
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
The “Professors” create curriculum materials, providing teacher training, advising and helping others establish ESL ministries in a Creative Access country. They also work on “secret” projects with national Christians who teach weekly Bible studies. They are using innovative technology tools to communicate their training to teachers including podcasts that can be accessed while teachers are commuting to work. Pray today for all of the teachers who will be using their teaching tools in the coming months.
Knoxville Christian Arts Ministries (KnoxCAM) is an outreach ministry directed by Dr. Jill Lagerberg. It uses the talents of singers, instrumentalists, dancers and handbell ringers. They minister primarily to prisons and the inner city. They perform up to 10 concerts each year, telling stories of God’s unfailing mercy and providence through fully integrated music dramas. Pray today for Jill and the members of KnoxCAM as they perform concerts this winter.
Closing Prayer: My God, I wish to give myself to thee. Give me the courage to do so. - Francois Fenelon