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December 13 Devotional

Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.

Opening Prayer: To the God who pursues. Our world is groaning around me and my heart groans with it. So many tears and questions, so many stillborn children, so much cancer and divorce, so many orphans and so much poverty. Closing my eyes doesn’t make the wailing stop; doesn’t turn the grief into joy. I hear your Spirit groaning with me, taking the cry of my heart to your throne. Hear our groans. Have mercy on us. (A Heart Exposed by Steven James)

Scripture Reading for the Day: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Reading for Reflection:

groaning by Jim Branch

o groaning
you wear many faces 
today you are loneliness
yesterday you were longing
last week insecurity and inadequacy
and before that struggle, sadness, and hurt 

you are a constant companion
always present in some form or another
at times visible and recognizable
and at times hidden and buried deep within
so that i can hardly tell you are there

you walk with a purpose
opening up something deep inside me
creating fertile soil in my vulnerable heart
you expand my soul
hastening my becoming

you bring me low when i’m too high
make me smaller when i’m too big
you empty me of self when i’m full of it
and meet me tenderly when i’m bruised or broken

you open me up
making me receptive to true presence
you accomplish a purpose
that only a Dreamer could possibly dream up

sometimes i run from you
sometimes i ignore you…or try
and sometimes i embrace you as a long lost friend
which is exactly what you are

o groaning
you wear many faces
work your work in me

Reflection and Listening: silent and written

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Tim and Barbie K. are currently working in Africa to translate the Bible into the “Makori” language. Their goal is to see the church there effectively using its own translation. Pray today for safety for more input from the Makori people on how to write and how to spell in Makori Ajami.

Choices Resource Center is a Christian, life-affirming pregnancy resource center offering services to help people facing decisions regarding pregnancy, parenting, purity, and post abortion healing. Pray today for each young woman who will visit this center this week.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your grace, which is always sufficient. Amen.