To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2016 Issue – The Presence of God, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Psalm 88:1-18 (NIVUK): ”Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.
You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths. Your wrath lies heavily on me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape; my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do their spirits rise up and praise you? Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction?
Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion? But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?
From my youth I have suffered and been close to death; I have borne your terrors and am in despair. Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me. All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me. You have taken from me friend and neighbour – darkness is my closest friend.”
In this study, Selwyn recommends that we set aside a daily ‘quiet time’ with God.
He writes: “The second measure I would like to suggest as we consider ways in which we can increase our awareness of our Lord’s presence in our daily life is this: establish a time, as soon as possible after you awake, when you can be alone with Him in prayer and contemplation.
I know of nothing that sharpens the awareness of God’s presence in a believer’s life more powerfully and effectively than the regular practice of a morning quiet time.”
Some people use this devotional Every Day with Jesus, as their entry point into a daily quiet time. Others start their day with prayer; giving thanks for God’s blessing and then pleading the cause of those who are suffering or in need, in some way or another. It’s also beneficial to meditate on some verses from Scripture because it’s important to learn more about God from His Word.
I often use the time when I’m driving my car for prayer; otherwise I find that my mind just drifts off into a mist of random thoughts that serves no good purpose. The important thing is that you develop a daily habit, where at least once during the day you communicate with God from your heart.