July 12, 2017
Read: Hebrews 4:14–16
Bible in a Year: Psalms 4–6; Acts 17:16–34
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge.—Psalm 73:28
A woman desiring to pray grabbed an empty chair and knelt before it. In tears, she said, “My dear heavenly Father, please sit down here; you and I need to talk!” Then, looking directly at the vacant chair, she prayed. She demonstrated confidence in approaching the Lord; she imagined He was sitting on the chair and believed He was listening to her petition.
A time with God is an important moment when we engage the Almighty. God comes near to us as we draw near to Him in a mutual involvement (James 4:8). He has assured us, “I am with you always” (Matt. 28:20). Our heavenly Father is always waiting for us to come to Him, always ready to listen to us.
There are times when we struggle to pray because we feel tired, sleepy, sick, and weak. But Jesus sympathizes with us when we are weak or face temptations (Heb. 4:15). Therefore we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (v. 16). —Lawrence Darmani
Lord, thank You that I can pray to You in all places at all times. Put the desire to come near to You in my heart. I want to learn to come to You in faith and in confidence.
For help in your prayer time, read In His Presence at discoveryseries.org/q0718.
God is everywhere, is available every time, and listens always.
INSIGHT: How different is our relationship to God from that of Old Testament Israel! At Sinai, the people trembled at God’s presence and were afraid to be near Him (Ex. 19:16). Israel followed this pattern throughout their relationship with their covenant God, requiring the people to go to Him through human priests who stood as intermediaries between God and the people. All of that changed through Jesus. He came to make it possible for us to come directly to God (John 14:6), giving us access to God through our faith in Him (Rom. 5:1-2). Through Jesus we become children of God who now have a family relationship with the perfect Father (John 1:12). And, to strengthen this relationship, Jesus now acts as our High Priest (Heb. 2:17; 4:15; 7:25), interceding and mediating on our behalf (1 Tim. 2:5). Based on our new standing as children of God, and resting in Jesus’s perfect intercession, we can boldly approach the Creator of the universe—and call Him Father!Spend some time reflecting on these encouraging Scriptures, and then thank the Father that, through Jesus, He has made a way for us to come directly to Him with the needs and joys of our lives. Bill Crowder
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