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Daily Devotionals

Day 6 – Issue 19

todayMay 1, 2015 7

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Be Still Know

Jonah 2:2 NLT

He said, “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord, you heard me!

It seems to me that the time I’m most unlikely to pray is when I feel like I am being pulled apart. This is the experience with which Jonah opens his prayer. Distress is an experience of extreme pain, anxiety or sorrow; often the three combined. In distress my chest tightens, my breathing quickens and becomes shallow, my mind races and often imagines the most catastrophic of outcomes. I feel panicked and alone. Hardly the moment that I pause and say to myself: “I know, let’s just have a moment or two of prayer!”

Yet, I also wonder, is my distress consequent upon the many times I fail to pray when life is calm and I can choose to be relatively reflective? It is one reason I encourage every one of us to develop the discipline of a daily method of prayer that suits our temperament and time style. Jonah recognised God’s voice and promptly fled in disobedience. He recognised the reality of God but had no ready means for processing both what God said and his own reaction. 

The heart of all prayer is reality, a reality that may only emerge in crisis when my normal management techniques have collapsed beneath the pressure of circumstance. In such moments we may find it easier to be honest with God, with the danger that such honesty when shared with others can lead them to judge and reject us. I know that as I found increasing intimacy with God, my network of friends across the Church slowly faded. I am left scratching my head, wondering if the two need to be mutually exclusive. 

QUESTION: How is your rhythm of prayer? Does it suit you or feel rather uncomfortable?

PRAYER: Lord, thank you that when I cry out to you, even if it feels so late, you hear my cry.

Written by: Matt Weet

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