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First Pray

Daily Reading: 1 Timothy 1-2

Scripture Focus: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people. (1 Timothy 2.1)

Devotional Thought: After the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas, there were many reminders and much encouragement to pray for the victims and their families. It also was the occasion for much ridicule: "What can prayer do...", "The people were praying when it happened...", "You should do more than pray..." Some of the comments were quite derisive, some callous, some even hateful.

There are those who think that prayer is a cop-out, that it's meaningless to say, "I'll pray for you." But, the Apostle Paul would have disagreed with such sentiments. He said, prayer should be "first of all." Prayers "for all people." More importantly, God wonders at the lack of prayer: " Why, when I came, was there no man; why, when I called, was there no one to answer? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver?" (Isaiah 50.2)

I recently read something that I would like to share with you today. "No Christian duty toward our fellowmen compares in importance with one's duty to pray for them... No one can do anything to help another until first of all he has prayed for him. After he has prayed, there are many things he can do; but until he has prayed, there is nothing he can do except pray." (J. Glen Gould, Beacon Bible Commentary, 569).

Prayer is not a substitute for action, rather it is a precursor to action. By all means, we should stretch out our hands to help, but first let us lift up our hands in prayer.

Prayer: Jesus, we pray for our land. There is much hatred and violence. You - the Prince of Peace - will bring the only solution. Help us to be once again a people of prayer. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! 2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! 4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! 6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. 8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me! (Psalms 119:1-8)

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