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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, July 31, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
The Christian’s most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer. The results are often greater than we thought were possible. Some people see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails. This approach is backward. Prayer should come first. Because God’s power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense to rely on it—especially because God encourages us to do so. (NLT)
James 5:13-18 – Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.
Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years! Then he prayed for rain, and down it poured. The grass turned green, and the crops began to grow again.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NRSV)
Barbara Christwitz (California) titled her story “ONE DOOR CLOSES;” here is Barbara’s story:
“My friend Doris, an artist, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She was gravely discouraged, and our town also mourned. No longer could Doris provide public meeting spaces with noble portraits and beautiful paintings of waterfalls and sunsets. In desperation, Doris cried out, ‘God, what good am I to anyone?’ Within a week someone from the local college called Doris to ask if she would teach a painting class. Students blossomed under her skilled instruction, and the dean asked Doris to return the following semester.
“Scripture invites us to pray about every aspect of our lives: the sufferings, the joys, the conflicts, even the weather. God hears and answers our prayers – rarely in predictable ways, but God answers all the same. How grateful we are for God, who cares about our challenges and our victories far more than even we do!”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God often answers prayers in unexpected ways.
Prayer: O God, give us the will and courage to accept new opportunities. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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