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Mission Devotional - July 19, 2016

Opening Prayer: O Lord, my God, how you long for me to come to you, rather than running to the many places I try to feed my soul each day. You are the Living Bread, Lord Jesus. You are the bread that we can eat and never hunger again. And yet, so often we run to other things and other people to try and satisfy the deepest hunger of our souls. Forgive us. Help us to come to you this day, and listen to you, that our souls may live. Amen.

Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-3

Journal: What do these verses do in you today? What do they bring to life? How do they challenge you? Will you come and listen to Jesus today?

Reflection: I am becoming more and more convinced that listening to God is one of the most important practices in all of the spiritual life. I am also becoming more and more convinced that it is something we do far too seldom. Maybe it's because we are afraid that if we really try to listen to God, he will not say anything, which will lead us to doubt, hopelessness, and despair. Or maybe, on the other hand, we are afraid that he will say something, but not the something we were hoping to hear. In either case we cannot deny the importance of the practice. It is mentioned so frequently in the Scriptures. For it is in the listening, and then in the hearing, that we find life.

So the other day I asked myself (or maybe God asked me, come to think of it), "What do I think God is trying to say to me today?" And here was the reply: "Relax. Stop trying so hard. Find rest in me. Unburden yourself. Live at peace in me. Breathe. Be free." Now that's something worth listening to!

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Paul and Karan Davis have been working with TEAM in France since 1978 in church-planting ministries. They have planted churches in the southern suburbs of Paris, northwestern suburbs of Lyon, and more recently in the Alps region around Albertville. Pray today for the local government to grant the property a tax exemption and for other issues to be resolved in the neighborhood.

Becoming Like Christ (BLC) is dedicated to equipping women to be all God means for them to be by providing a discipleship experience that is based on biblical principles in a safe environment with 10-12 followers of Jesus. Pray today for Kristin Cazana, the National Executive Director of BLC, and all the women currently involved in BLC.

Closing Prayer: Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway - buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money - everything's free! Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words. (The Message)