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Mission Devotional - February 8, 2016

Opening Prayer: My God, I lift my face toward you now like a hungry child asking to be fed. My soul is starved; my flesh yearns for the touch that only you can give. Come to me, O God, and stay with me; I abandon myself into your hands. Do with me as you will, and whatever you do with me, I thank you. I am prepared for anything; I will accept everything so long as your will is accomplished in the totality of my living.

My God, I give myself to you, placing myself in your hands as a gift of love. It is necessary for me to give myself to you in confidence and without reserve because I love you, and I know you love me also.

Reach down inside me now, O God, and change the gears that race and roar. In place of turmoil give me peace; in place of frenzy give me patience. Then shall I be more like Jesus, who taught us to make room for you in our hectic days.

Teach me, God, to make room for you in all the events and affairs of my days. Then I shall find rest. Then I will be at peace with myself and with you. (A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God by Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck)

Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30

Journal: How do you need to come to Jesus today? What yoke will you have to lay aside in order to do that? What does it mean to take his yoke upon you?

Reflection: Come to me implies that we have been away from him to begin with. That we have once again wandered off into our own patterns, agendas, and devices. That we have taken up burdens that are not ours to carry. That we are weighed down by fears and doubts and worries that are far too much for us to bear. That life has, once more, worn us down and worn us out, and we are just about to collapse under that strain of it all. How are these things true of your right now? For it is into these very circumstances that Jesus utters this beautiful invitation, and everything within us breathes a deep sigh of relief. That's what we have been longing for and hoping for and dreaming of, but we have to be willing to come. Will we?

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Tom Matthews serves as a translation consultant to Bible translation teams from multiple people groups in northern Tanzania and Kenya. Some of the groups are minimally reached for Christ and some are dominated by Islam. Pray today for Tom and Juanita as Tom seeks wisdom in all aspects of his work, both as a Bible translation consultant and as Entity Committee Chair.

Joni and Friends Knoxville ministers to families and individuals affected by disabilities in Knoxville, TN, as well as in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and in Guatemala. The vision of Joni and Friends is to accelerate Christian ministry in the disability community by communicating the gospel and equipping Christ-honoring churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple people affected by disability. Pray today for the Knoxville staff of Joni and Friends.

Closing Prayer: Dear Jesus, during this day help me quiet all the thoughts that fill my head - where I must go, whom I must see, and what I must do. In their place, give me a sense of your order, your peace, and your time.

Help me to understand that you are in control, and I can trust you with my day. Help me to realize that nothing on my to-do list is important if it is not what you want me to do.

I give all my tasks to you and trust you to bring order to them. In these moments, dear Jesus, come to me, be with me, and free me from the tyranny of "to do." (Quiet Spaces by Patricia F. Wilson)