Scripture: John 16:22-24
Jesus has my best interests in mind. He wants me to experience unbelievable joy in life. This is now a time of grief, but he promises that joy will come. It will came for the disciples after they saw his resurrection. It happens for mewhen Icome face to face with the living Christ. But living with Christ is only part of that joy. An essential element in this text is the joy of answered prayer. I love it when God answers prayer. Over and over again I have watched God answer very specific prayers. I have witnessed my brother-in-law pass from death to life through prayer (and the work of some pretty creatively skilled doctors). I have seen neighbors drop their petty conflicts because of prayer. I have seen God intervene in my own life time and time again. He listens and he loves and he responds. Why don't I seek him more? My prayer is that God will reignite my first love for him through prayer in these 40 days between now and Easter. My prayer is that God will relight our church's first love in the same time.
Verse 24 tells me that I may be low on joy because I am low on receiving. I may be low on receiving because I am low on asking. I may be low on asking because "until now, I haven't asked for anything in his name." I do fall into patterns (or seasons) of prayerlessness. I am long on seeking him in worship and praise, but too often I am short on the ASKing. During this 40 Day Discovery I will turn to God and ask him for things I don't ordinarily ask. I am hoping that God will make me a dangerous pray-er. I'll be looking to learn from the models of prayer in these daily verses as well as in John 17.
Today, Lord I ask that you will use the disciplines of these 40 days to reignite my passion for prayer. Would you use these verses to draw me to you? Please enlarge my heart and my understanding and increase my faith. I long to see you work in new and fresh ways in my life and in the life of my church. Specifically today encourage me to be bold to ask you for things in your name and according to your will. If there are things in my life that are prohibiting your answers, then I ask you to remove them. In the name of Jesus, the supreme joy-giver, Amen.