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Encouragement in Prayer

How's it going, Relentless Students? I hope you guys are surviving this quarantine and enjoying your Easter weekend amidst the circumstances. Today is day 13 of our 30-day Devos. Our practice has shifted from going outside 15-20 minutes to slowing down and participating in a guided prayer available below.

Our passage for today is Psalm 37:1-11 which says,

"Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace."

What comes to mind as you read this passage? For me, I see this poem unfolding. Look away from that which is considered evil and turn to God, in doing so ____ will happen. When reading passages like these I feel saying "Amen" at the end is justified. We can typically walk away from passages like these feeling encouraged because we do trust in the Lord.

But then we reread the passage. "Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." "Well, I desire to see friends and family, yet here I sit in quarantine". Or "trust in him and he will act". "I've tried trusting in him to end the chaos outside, yet nothing has changed and now it seems to be getting worse". Or "wait patiently for him". "This last month has felt like a year, how much longer do we wait?"

These may be your thoughts as you read some of the verses and that's okay. Part of today's practice is to slow down and talk to God. Tell Him how you feel. Be real with Him. I hope that as you read today's verses that you would feel encouraged, but to those of you who don't I understand. If you don't feel encouraged, know that you aren't alone. You have friends, family, and leadership who feel the same. The challenge is taking it to God and not letting the overwhelming feelings control you.

My challenge to you today is to sit through the entire 15 minutes of guided prayer and be real with God. If you aren't struggling, praise Him and if you are struggling, tell Him.

Our prayer today,

God, we thank You for loving us. Thank You for being present with us always. This time is a weird one, but we know even in that You remain and for that we praise You. Use today's passage and prayer to encourage us and fill us with Your peace. We love you God and know that through this Your love is forever the same. May we praise Your name today and every day! In Your Son's blessed name we pray, Amen.

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