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DEVOTIONAL: Pray…Acknowledge…Turn

If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.  — I Kings 8:35-36 (NLT)

Of all natural disasters, some call drought the most misleading and devious, because it sneaks up on you. Whereas most natural disasters like tornadoes, forest fires, floods or earthquakes come suddenly and wreak immediate death and devastation, droughts creep up inch by inch, with sunny days and blue skies, one right after another, for months or years. Some are calling the megadrought that has gripped much of the American West for years possibly the worse dry era in over 1,000 years.

Almost 3,000 years ago, King Solomon of Israel prayed and laid out a three-step game plan for the Jews to follow if they were to someday find themselves plagued by drought. 1. Pray: This is not mouthing empty platitudes or religious mumbo-jumbo, but prayer is a personal conversation with the God of the universe. 2. Acknowledge:  The root word is “knowledge.” Know you are praying to God. Some Bible versions translate this as “praise God’s name.” Recognize that God is God, and we are not. 3. Turn: Turning implies a deliberate change of direction. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates “stay on a rebellious, selfish path but as long as you utter empty prayers, all will be well.” The “praying and acknowledging” imply words and language. The “turning” implies action and behavior.

If you are not living in a place of physical drought, that is something to be thankful for. However, are you experiencing a spiritual, emotional, physical, or relational time of drought? Does God seem “dry” and distant? Remember the three-step path back to God and wholeness. Pray…Acknowledge…Turn. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)


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