June 22

Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved! Genesis 19:19-20

Take a look at the different parts of Lot’s prayer.  The first part of a good prayer is giving thanks to God.  Giving thanks includes acknowledging God’s wonderful acts of kindness and praising God.  When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we certainly do ask for daily bread.  But we first address God as our Father right at the beginning of the prayer.  With these very words, we are acknowledging that he has already provided food, and protection for us, as a father would, up to that very day.  Praising and thanking God are good ways to acknowledge his kindness.

The second part of a prayer is to pour out our deepest concerns to God about personal problems and needs.  In Lot’s case, he was saying, “I’ll be in danger if I do what you say and run for the mountains.  In the past, I have gotten into trouble for being too slow.  I could be in bigger trouble now if I’m too slow.  Please give me what I’m asking, for I know you are merciful.”

In the third part of Lot’s prayer, he proposed his own solution to the problem and asked God’s permission, to carry it out.  He wanted to run to a nearby city where he thought he would be safe.  He pointed out that it was a small town, which would provide a safe place to stay.

This was Lot’s prayer.  Think carefully about this incident and what happened as a result.  Lot prayed, and then God changed his plan.  At this point, we shouldn’t debate about whether or not God changes his mind.  Rather, we should learn what Psalm 145:19 teaches: “He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.”

Martin Luther, Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional

Edited by James C. Galvin

Timeless insights from one of the most important people in church history. Resounding across the centuries, Martin Luther’s prolific writings as a pastor, theologian, scholar, Bible translator, father, and more, remain powerful and richly relevant. Faith Alone is a treasury of accessible devotionals taken from Luther’s best writings and sermons from the years 1513 through 1546. This carefully updated translation retains the meaning, tone, and imagery of Luther’s works such as this gem:

Some people value good works so much that they overlook faith in Christ. Faith should be first. It is faith—without good works and prior to good works—that takes us to heaven. We come to God through faith alone. —Martin Luther

Through daily readings, Luther’s straightforward approach challenges you to a more thoughtful faith. Read one brief section a day or explore themes using the subject index in the back of the book. Faith Alone will deepen your understanding of Scripture and help you more fully appreciate the mystery of faith.

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