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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 145:1–8

I will extol you, my God and King,
   and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you,
   and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
   his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall laud your works to another,
   and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
   and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
   and I will declare your greatness.
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
   and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
   slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (NRSV)

I read a lovely devotion by Oswald Chambers recently in which he describes prayer in this way:

Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural person. We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he or she doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in them, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer. When a person is born again from above, the life of the Son of God is born in them, and they can either starve or nourish that life.

One of my favorite things about living in Chicago is the ability to walk everywhere. Most of the time I am in conversation with God, and I have realized recently that there are so few times that I praise God as much as I ask God and wrestle with questions. To start my conversation in thanksgiving helps create a habit in me that so desperately needs to take place: a habit of praise. It is wonderful that prayer can nourish the “Son of God” in us, but I feel we also need to remember that we need to give just as much back to God in prayer and not just ‘take.” As this psalm so eloquently states, “Every day I will praise you and extol your name forever and ever.”

Lord, much of my day is spent in my thoughts, which can feel overwhelming at times. Help me to center myself in thanksgiving when I come to you in prayer so that I will be reminded of all that you have done for me for which I did not even ask. Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director, Center for Life and Learning

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