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Start With Prayer

God's laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light. God's laws are pure, eternal, just. They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them.

But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. And keep me from deliberate wrongs, help me to stop doing them. Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime.

May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:7-14 (TLB)

If you want to know what God wants you to do ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it. James 1:5 (TLB)

John D. Bown is from Minnesota. During his career he had the opportunity to give numerous presentations. Over the years he has also had the pleasure of giving the sermon at his church on many occasions, and the preparation process he used at work has helped him put together sermons as well.

Recently as John was getting ready to work on a new sermon, it dawned on him that he was overlooking the critical first step. John was immediately jumping into his standard preparation routine of coming up with a topic, working on the message, and then asking God to bless it. How much better it is to start off by consulting God in prayer, seeking God's will, and asking for guidance, rather than just launching off on his own!

John believes the principle of first praying to God applies to any task or challenge we face. Instead of just jumping in and relying on our own efforts, we can make it a practice to start with prayer. The words from Proverbs offer good advice: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" (Pro.3:5-6).

Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for creating us to be in relationship with you. Help us always to seek your wisdom and your will for our lives, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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