24 Jan Day 1
Whether it’s my grandmother’s made-from-scratch, Parker House rolls, my mother’s red velvet cake, or my wife’s potato salad, I love great family recipes. I also love the thought of having those recipes so that I have a road map to follow whenever I want to re-create a memorable dish. One thing I’ve learned though, while watching those special women in my life cook, is that recipes are not always written in stone. For example, my absolute favorite meal is New Orleans-style gumbo. The interesting thing about gumbo is that you could try a thousand different gumbo recipes and you might never come across two that are exactly the same. One recipe might include okra. Another recipe might include crab and crawfish. Yet another recipe might include chicken and sausage. You may even come across a recipe that includes all those things and more! But as long as a few key ingredients are present, the essence of the dish remains the same.
Deepening our relationship with God through prayer works in much the same way. There is a recipe for how to pray, but your prayer recipe may not look exactly like my prayer recipe. As long as a few key ingredients are present, we can rest assured that our prayers have power. One day during his earthly ministry, Jesus was asked by his disciples to teach them how to pray. Jesus gives them the recipe for prayer in Luke 11:2-4; and fortunately for us, that recipe is still effective today. That’s what our Day 22 Devotional is all about – providing you with the recipe for a deep, powerful, effective prayer life.
As Jesus teaches his disciples how they should pray, several key ingredients, or themes, emerge. The first ingredient is surrender – surrender to the recognition that he is our Holy Father, that we are his adopted children, that he is worthy of honor and praise, and that his will for our lives is perfect. The second ingredient is confession – confession that we are journeying through a broken and dying world, that we are dependent on him for provision, and that we are imperfect beings in need of his grace and mercy. The third and final ingredient is forgiveness – forgiveness from God for the times when we fall short of his best and the humility to extend the same forgiveness we’ve been given to the people around us.
Each day for the next twenty-one days, Journeyers will share a devotional around one of these three themes. Drawing on a daily scripture, our writers will share an observation to focus on, a short devotional on the application of that scripture, and a prayer for God to help us internalize his truths. As we begin our devotional journey and you go deeper in your prayer life and your relationship with God, we’ll share the recipe, but don’t be afraid to personalize the ingredients. Add some spice. Maybe that means listening to worship music during your Slot and Spot. Stir for a few minutes longer. Maybe that means spending more time reading the chapter before or after that day’s scripture. Sprinkle in some sweetness. Maybe that means journaling a love letter to God. No matter how you experience God’s presence over the next twenty-one days, his essence will never change!
Prayer: God, thank you for this opportunity to enjoy a deeper relationship with you. Open my heart over the next twenty-one days. Help me to hear what you hear. Help me to see what you see. Let this experience be the beginning of something powerful in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Feel free to use each day’s devotional as a guide for your slot and spot.
- As our spring semester of J-Groups begin, feel free to use our daily devotionals as discussion topics.
Cresean Hughes/Production Team Leader, Evening Program Class of 2021
Cresean has a passion for sharing through the written word. He currently serves on several teams at The Journey, including the Production, Communications, and Research teams. Cresean and his wife, Jade, have been attending and serving at The Journey for the past four years.