Thursday, September 5
1 Samuel 8:6, “But when they said, ‘Give us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.”
Imagine this: Somebody comes up to you and confronts you face-to-face. “Confront” makes it sound better than it is, when actually, they are just whining and complaining without concern for how it affects you. They want a new leader. It feels like they’re saying, “You’re not good enough! The way you’ve led us so far isn’t working!” How do you respond to this? I’m sure you’re better at controlling yourself than I am, but my gut instinct would be to get in their face and fire right back with a piece of my mind! Can you relate?
In today’s verse, Samuel encountered a situation like this. But, he had developed a pattern of prayer throughout his life that helped him not go with that gut instinct of retaliation. Instead, he heard what they had to say and turned to his pattern of prayer. What a great example to us. When we’re mad, we need to turn our attention to Jesus and pray! But, the only way we’re going to succeed at this in the heat of the moment is to make it a pattern in our life. So, even when things are going great, make it a pattern to be in conversation with Jesus. That habit, that pattern, will become your instinctive response that will kick in even when you’re punched in the gut.
If we want to establish a pattern of prayer in our lives, let’s start with a small step every day! Set your phone alarm to go off once a day (maybe at lunch). When it goes off, take a minute to have a conversation with Jesus about whatever is going on right then. Some days it’ll be a great day and some days it’ll be hard – either way, talk to him about it!
God, thank you for the ability to have a conversation with you at any time! Help me develop the pattern of turning to prayer in both the good times and the bad. Thank you for your willingness to guide me in every situation if I’ll just come ask you! Amen.