May 8 Devotional
Opening Prayer: O God, our Heavenly Father, thank you that as you sent Jesus into the desert, you sent him with the words, “You are my Beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” ringing in his ears. Thank you that those words sustained him and offered him encouragement and nurture during his time of temptation in the desert. Thank you that we too can carry those words into whatever deserts we may encounter; that we might be nurtured and sustained by your great affection in our times of deepest need. Amen.
Scripture: Matthew 4:1-11
Journal: What do you think God was up to as he led Jesus into the desert? What do you think his purpose was for leading Jesus there? What is the value of “the desert” in our lives? What might God be up to in the deserts of your life?
Reflection: The desert initiates us into the life of the Spirit by helping us to discover who we most deeply are. To follow Christ means that we must let go of excessive attachments to passing pleasures and possessions, to ploys of autonomous power, to tangible goods as if they were ultimate. Christ asks us to abandon our idols, whatever they may be, and to love him with our entire being. (With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray)
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Michael and Kim Essenburg have been serving at Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ), a school for missionary children (40% of student body) and children of business and professional people (60% of student body) that is located in Tokyo. They ask that you pray for effective closure to their 27.5 years of service at CAJ. In July, they will start serving at Okinawa Christian School.
At The Restoration House (TRH), they are working to help restore single mothers and their children back to God’s good intent for their lives. Through transformational housing, team mentoring, and service planning, TRH is helping single mother families end cycles of poverty and distress. Pray today for the ongoing construction of The Village, a community of housing for single mother families.
Closing Prayer: O Lord my God, give me an ever-deepening intimacy with you, and an ever-deepening trust in your unfailing love. Amen.