40 Days Weekly Devotions

Devotional Series

40 Days, 17-22


| Mar 8, 2021

40 Days, 17-22

Daily Prayers

DAY 22 – MARCH 13

DAY 22 – MARCH 13

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DAY 21 – MARCH 12

DAY 21 – MARCH 12

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DAY 20 – MARCH 11

DAY 20 – MARCH 11

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DAY 19 – MARCH 10

DAY 19 – MARCH 10

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DAY 18 – MARCH 9

DAY 18 – MARCH 9

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DAY 17 – MARCH 8

DAY 17 – MARCH 8

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STUDY – to read to gain a broader textual understanding, examine author’s intent, absorb truth, and reflect on meaning. Helpful additional resources may include

commentaries, dictionaries, various biblical translations, and concordances.


MEDITATION –
Hebrew חַשׂי ִsiach – to muse, ponder, dwell. To consume God’s Word not merely to gain knowledge, but to experience transformation. Taking small sections of Scripture, reading slowly and purposefully, and letting the Spirit reveal meaning to the written Word.


CONTEMPLATION – kän(t)əmˈplāSH(ə)n – deep reflective thought. A natural second step to meditation, the act of seeing beyond the word, sitting with a thought, being still, a practice of doing less and being more.


A common tradition among Christians is a Bible-reading plan, especially annual “Read through the Bible” plans which start on January 1 and end on December 31; they can be arranged in many different formats including chronological and those from Genesis to Revelation. These are great methods for familiarizing yourself with Scripture in small and readable chunks. Reading Scripture is always a good habit. Studying and meditating on Scripture takes this beneficial habit to the next level.

Reading the Word and studying the Word are not the same thing. Studying involves reading, but adds research, context, perspective, discernment, and gaining insight to the author’s intent. This is important to help translate ancient words and practices into greater meaning, and oftentimes relating application to our personal lives. Understanding the audience the author was addressing, knowing the issues of the day that prompted the writing, and adding cultural and historical context to the books produces deeper knowledge and understanding.

Using different translations (all English Bibles have been translated from original languages) sheds light on various interpretations of content. Some versions use word-for-word translation practices and others use thought-for-thought. Studying the original text, in Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic, is helpful in this case. You don’t have to go back to school to study these languages; you can use resources such as Biblehub.com, which provides Strong’s Dictionary and Concordance, and investigate the words further. There are many resources available, but just like translations of Scripture, it’s helpful to know the history of those resources. Pray God will give you discernment as you pursue how to study his Word.

Meditating on Scripture is different than reading or studying and is yet another way to gain fuller meaning and understanding of the Word. The word meditate is accurately transcribed as muse, ponder, even to chew on or gnaw like a dog does with a bone. As a practice, then, it is taking a small portion or passage of the Bible, saying it over and over and then sitting still with it, focusing only on it, and letting the Holy Spirit speak the truth of the Word into you. Meditation is like nourishment, feeding on the Word and letting it roll around in your mouth, tasting its flavors, and digesting it for its full benefits where it sustains you. These habits and disciplines bring truths alive and give context on how to live a life that Jesus will be proud of. “So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.” - Philippians 1:9-11 MSG

As you read each prayer and Scripture, you have the opportunity to practice the spiritual discipline mentioned and explore how it enriches your relationship with God.

PRACTICE STUDY: Studying God’s Word is something we should prioritize and delight in, but it’s not always so simple. You may wonder where to start, how you should explore Scripture, whether you should study chronologically, break down the Old and New Testaments, etc. This week, create a daily practice of studying the Bible. You may want to pray for direction on where to start, explore available Bible studies meeting on campus or online, or simply dive deeper into each daily Scripture during 40 Days of Prayer. 

PRACTICE MEDITATION/CONTEMPLATION: Study, meditation, and contemplation work together to help us grow closer to God. Meditation and contemplation require us to slow down, be intentional, remove distractions, and create a quiet space to be with God so we can hear him clearly. As you read each day’s prayer and Scripture throughout this week, try meditation and/or contemplation. Ease into this practice by reading each passage of Scripture slowly and carefully, pausing to listen for God’s voice during this quiet time. Then, take a moment to go deeper into the Scripture’s meaning, and reflect on this time, enriching your biblical knowledge and relationship with God. 

 

CONNECT:

Join a Bible study, group, or class:

https://crossings.church/info

https://crossings.church/locations/okc

https://crossings.church/locations/edmond 

LISTEN:

Listen to the album "Nothing Else"

EXPLORE:

Download the Pray As You Go app

Download the Lectio 365 app

Explore Biblehub

READ & REFLECT:

Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina by Michael Casey

Questions to prompt study: What does this say about God? What does this say about me? What should I do with this now? How does this apply to me? 

Glossary of Terms