April 16, 2023 Your Daily Prayer For Sunday

April 16, 2023 Your Daily Prayer For Sunday

April 16, 2023 Your Daily Prayer For Sunday

Praying is such a vital tool for Christians to take hold of the power and strength God wants to give us. Use our daily prayer devotional to focus your mind and heart on the love of God at the beginning of each day and throughout your day.

Welcome to Your Daily Prayer Today – A Prayer for When the Path is Unknown May God bless you as you study and pray.

Bible Verse: “The whole Israelite company set out from the Desert of sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.” – Exodus 17:1-2

A Prayer for When the Path is Unknown
By Kyle Norman

I want my life to make sense and be ordered and arranged, with my day running according to my own plans. If there is to be a twist, hurdle, or anything unforeseen, I would like to see it coming a mile away to have adequate time to prepare myself. After all, complications are less frustrating or upsetting when we can manage them away. Am I alone in this? You may have noticed life doesn’t work this way. And more to the point, God rarely works this way. Throughout Scripture the people of God often find themselves engaging in the unexpected and the unplanned. God’s presence cannot be managed or controlled, and because of this, we sometimes find ourselves facing that which we would never have conceived.

Israel’s exodus journey is a prime example of this. The Israelites had experienced a grand work of liberation with the miraculous parting of the Red Sea. This redemption was powerful, exciting, and vibrant. Underneath was a promise of new life. God was leading them to a land across the river, a land of promise and blessing, joy, and delight. There is no doubt Israel bubbled with excitement as they began their journey. But God did the unexpected. Israel traveled from place to place.

Their pathway to the promised land seemed to turn this way and that way; it appeared the way to freedom was not as straightforward as they had imagined. And then, to top it all off, the Lord led them to Rephidim, where there was no water. Importantly, Rephidim was known as wadi, a watering whole. Rephidim was defined by the presence of life-giving water, and yet there was none. Before we think perhaps Israel had taken a wrong turn along the way, we must remember the Scripture declares Israel traveled “as the Lord commanded them.” This dried-up wadi was the exact place God brought them to.

When God leads us in unexpected ways or doesn’t do what we think he should do, our natural inclination is to believe there is something wrong. We either believe God is not present or that God is punishing us. Either way, we become mired in negativity and doubt, and that is what Israel did. Scripture says the lack of water led them to quarrel. The word for quarrel means to bring a legal case against someone. Israel didn’t just air their frustration or confusion, they charged Moses (and by extension the Lord) with not doing his job. God didn’t do what they thought he should have, which led them to anger and annoyance. Why? Because this whole liberation thing was not going according to their plan.

Do we ever conflate God’s will with our own ideas? It’s easy to do. Yet, if we are serious in our desire to follow God’s will, and honestly pray for God to take control of our lives, we must willfully accept that God sometimes leads us in ways we would not expect. Faith involves acknowledging that God may, in fact, guide us to places where we feel stretched, uncomfortable, or maybe even a bit frustrated.

Ultimately, however, it is because our life isn’t always as we design it that we can know God does guide us. God is faithful. Whether we are wise or whiney God is faithfully present. In the unexpected place of Rephidim, God asked Moses to walk ahead of the people and strike the rock with his staff. Amid the confusion and complaining, and people questioning whether the Lord was amongst them, God declared “I will stand before you” (17:6).

This unexpected place became one where Israel learned it is not out of luck, they received their life but by God’s merciful hand. And so, Moses struck the rock, water came gushing out, and the people drank life-giving water. We always have a choice over the questions we ask. We can either ask “Is the Lord among us or not?”, or we can ask “What is the Lord doing here?” We can ask “Why are you not giving us water?” or we can ask “How will the Lord provide?” One set of questions assumes God is passive and distant, the other recognizes that even during the unknowns of life, God is with us.

Let’s Pray:
Gracious and loving Father, I thank you that in you I live, move, and have my being. You know the number of my days and the course of my life. Thank you for holding, guiding, and providing for me. While I believe you are in control, I find I can so easily become frustrated or angry when my life doesn’t occur according to my own wishes or schedules. In those times when I feel anxious or afraid, I pray that you send your comforting Spirit upon me.

Help me to see my life in the context of your will. When I find myself in an unexpected place, or facing an unexpected hurdle, help me see how you stand before me. Jesus, you are Lord of my life. Give me the strength I need to release my grip over my days and to release my life into your hands. May you stir within my heart so I might long for your will beyond my own. Open my eyes, O Lord, that I might see your glory lead me night and day. This I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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