February 14, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God. Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;

  he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me,

  I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,

  the anguish of the grave came over me;

  I was overcome by distress and sorrow.

Then I called on the name of the LORD:

  “LORD, save me!”

The LORD is gracious and righteous;

  our God is full of compassion.

The LORD protects the unwary;

  when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,

  for the LORD has been good to you.

For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,

  my eyes from tears,

  my feet from stumbling,

that I may walk before the LORD

  in the land of the living…


I will sacrifice a thank offering to you

  and call on the name of the LORD.

I will fulfill my vows to the LORD

  in the presence of all his people,

in the courts of the house of the LORD—

  in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the LORD.


Psalm 116:1-9, 17-19


What is prayer? On Sunday, we talked about how prayer is a relationship centered on communication, anticipation, the supernatural, and combativeness. This means that when we think about the question, “What is prayer?”, we need to understand that prayer is a conversation that reveals things to us, centers on God’s presence, and stands against the power of the enemy. God is present in our prayers even if we are unaware of his presence.

I don’t know about you, but I often struggle to see prayer this way. Sometimes my prayer life feels empty, like it’s just an item on a to-do list for me to get through. If prayer is really about a supernatural relationship, then it should be something more, right?

When I was growing up, I remember feeling like I had to pray to God and ask for forgiveness constantly, because I was terrified of ending up in hell. I was at summer camp one year and talked to my counselor, asking whether I was praying the right way. I must give this college kid credit (he wasn’t a Bulldawg, but I’ll claim him), because he responded to me with a lot of wisdom. He asked me whether or not I was trusting God to do his part in the prayer. This rocked my world, because up until that point, I had never thought about God’s part in the equation. I didn’t see prayer as a supernatural conversation. Up until that point, prayer was just a transactional thing to get my soul right with God.

But relationships are not healthy if they are transactional. God is the creator of everything and he still wants to communicate with us. He wants to bring healing and stand alongside us against darkness. This is the essence of prayer, but how often do we remember this truth? Look back at the verses from Psalm 116 again and mark down how the psalmist prays to God and how God responds. Take note of the reciprocal nature of this relationship, then spend some time praying the words of Psalm 116 to yourself. Put yourself in the psalmist’s shoes and let these words teach your heart about the supernatural, relational, nature of prayer.

For Reflection

What is prayer to you? Is it a relationship or more of a transaction between you and God?

What would it look like for you to view prayer as a supernatural relationship this week? How would your communication with God and outlook on life change?


Holy Spirit, please fill my heart. Help me to understand that you are present in my prayer and that prayer is a relationship with you. I pray that you will stand with me against the enemy today and that my life will reflect your character and goodness. Amen.