PSALM 28:6-9 (NIV)

6 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. 9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

JEREMIAH 29:13 (NRSV) The Lord says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

DEVOTION – Gloria Graves Gregory (Tennessee)

At times I am sure of God’s presence; I feel God’s love, and I understand God’s will for me.  But in other, “desert” times I feel cold and distant, far from God’s light and guidance.  When I pray during those times, I feel as if I am speaking to the walls.

Still, every night I pray with my 13-year-old son.  My son is not so willing as he once was to pray aloud, but we give thanks for the persons and events for which we are most grateful each day.  It is a lovely way to close the day, welcome the night, and enter into rest.

One recent night, my life seemed to be spinning out of control.  I am a single parent.  I was unemployed, and I was even losing the battle with daily household chores.  All I could think to pray was, “Help!”  My son was delighted; he thought “Help” was a wonderful prayer, simple and to the point.

So I prayed “Help” – for my mom in her fight with acute leukemia, for the family of a band director who suffered multiple strokes overnight and then died, and for my prayer partner who was recovering from her second knee surgery.  God lifted each burden from my heart as I prayed one word:  Help.  By the time I had finished praying, I felt reconnected to God.  Like the psalmist, I can say, “I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me” (120:1).

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: If we ask, God will help.

PRAYER: Dear God, help! Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Children of single parents