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April 18 Devotional

Opening Prayer: O God, my God, lead me into your desert and speak tenderly to me. Allure me, open me up to receive your passionate love. Betroth me to yourself, capture me with your Great Affection, and make my heart completely yours. Amen.

Scripture: Hosea 2:14-23

Journal: Listen to the voice of God as he speaks tenderly to you. Write down what he says.

Reflection: The key to this home, this heart of God, is prayer. Perhaps you have never prayed before except in anguish or terror. It may be that the only time the Divine Name has been on your lips has been in angry expletives. Never mind. I am here to tell you that the Father’s heart is open wide - you are welcome to come in.

Perhaps you do not believe in prayer. You may have tried to pray and were profoundly disappointed...and disillusioned. You seem to have little faith, or none. It doesn’t matter. The Father’s heart is wide open - you are welcome to come in. 

Perhaps you are bruised and broken by the pressures of life. Others have wronged you, and you feel scarred for life. You have old, painful memories that have never been healed. You avoid prayer because you feel too distant, too unworthy, too defiled. Do not despair. The Father’s heart is wide open - you are welcome to come in.

Perhaps you have prayed for many years, but the words have grown brittle and cold. Little ever happens anymore. God seems remote and inaccessible. Listen to me. The Father’s heart is wide open - you are welcome to come in.

Perhaps prayer is the delight of your life. You have lived in the divine milieu for a long time and can attest to its goodness. But you long for more: more power, more love, more of God in your life. Believe me. The Father’s heart is open wide - you too are welcome to come higher up and deeper in.

If the key is prayer, the door is Jesus Christ. How good of God to provide us a way to His heart. (Prayer by Richard Foster)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Knoxville Area Rescue Mission (KARM) provides emergency shelter and food to homeless men and women and offers recovery for those seeking a way out of drug and alcohol abuse. Pray today for KARM as they prepare for the fundraising Dragon Boat Festival in June.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, our Heavenly Father, lead us into your very heart this day. Help us to know your deep, deep affection, not only for us, but also for your world. In the name of Jesus. Amen.