Friday, October 30, 2009
Like many, my first experience with the disicpline of a daily devotion came with my Mother. It was she who taught me to pray, not the Lord's Prayer, but the childhood prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen." As I look back I realize that my first prayer was a frightening one. I guess it is a good thing I did not dwell too much on the part about not waking up, or I never would have gone to sleep! As I moved away from the memorized childhood prayers prayed at bedtime, I started including some Bible readings and a daily devotional like "The Upper Room."
It was at college that I found Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest." It is the only book other than my Bible that had to be replaced because it suffered from being used, worn out, and falling apart. Just this past week I was reading one of Chamber's devotions again and found myself amazed at how it continues to be such a strong word for me after so many years of reading. If I could only have two books, one would be the Bible and the other would be this daily devotional book by Chambers.
Over the years one thing I have learned again and again is how important it is to have some time each day that is set aside and dedicated to God. When there is no time for being in the presence of God, life soon becomes unmanageable, people become more annoying, and my sense of God's presence in my life is blurred.