Finding Our Way in the Darkness
...with an Understanding Born of the Holy Spirit
NO BOOK PLUNGES deeper in its quest for understanding than does Ephesians. Nor is there one that takes us higher in its release of revelation. As we begin this month of praying together, let us see what Paul had to say in Ephesians regarding the mind and its ability to grasp spiritual truth.
DAY 1-The Release of Light for the Gentile Nations
Acts 26:15-18 I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee , to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light
LORD, set me free from the bondage of lifeless religion like You did for Paul. I've held ways and ideas that have no life or strength in them. Some of it has been out of tradition. Some of it has been out of ignorance. I am now ready for You to bring me into the life and strength of Your Kingdom. Let its light shine in my mind.
Coming from Darkness to Light-Rom 13:12; II Cor 4:1-6
DAY 2-Paul's Prayer that Darkness Be Removed
Eph 1:15-18a Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened
FATHER, I have acknowledged Your Son Jesus Christ as my Lord. I am ready for the light of the revelation that comes from Him. Let it find out every part of me that withstands You, and Your Kingdom. Let it make me pure and alive for You. And let it shine through me to others.
A Warning: Turning from God, Once Light Has Come, Will Increase One's Darkness.-Rom 1:16-22
DAY 3-Taking Leave of the Darkened Way
Eph 4:17,18 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
LORD, because my understanding has been so dark, I need mercy along with Your light. Deal tenderly as You bring light inside me where before I've been afraid for You to come. Leave no part of me in the dark since I no longer fear Your light or the revelation it brings.
Separating from the Darkness-II Cor 6:11-7:1
DAY 4-The Renewal of the Mind
Eph. 4:22,23 put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind
LORD, my way of thinking has retained some darkness. It's difficult for me to let it all go. I need the help of Your Spirit. Send Him through all the avenues of my thinking to straighten and cleanse every thought and idea I have.
Transformation that Comes through a Renewed Understanding-Rom 12:1,2; I John 5:18-21
DAY 5-An Exhortation To Walk as Children of Light
Eph 5:8,10,11 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
LORD, since I want no more darkness in my life, I renounce all trickery, all hypocrisy, and all falsehood. I embrace truth openly and am ready to walk in the light with all who are around me. Give me Your grace in this.
The Call Out of Darkness-I Pet 2:1-10
DAY 6-Receiving Light Like Arising from the Dead
Eph 5:13,14 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
LORD, there are times I still feel the powers of darkness around me. I fear them, especially as they attack me in the night. But now, I renounce this fear. I know Your light overcomes the darkness. Heal me. Release in me an understanding of the authority I have over them.
What the Prophets Saw-Isa 60:1,2; Mal 4:1-3
NOW WE go to the Book of Job, an ancient quest for understanding. We find some amazing and pristine revelation from this man. He never had an understanding as to what was happening to him until God gave him to know. Even then, he came to the point where all he could do was trust the infinite understanding of God Who alone could see the sense and reason for what he was facing. As we follow Job's confession and its growth, our understanding will grow.
DAY 7-Job's Vain Attempt to Maintain His Own Understanding
Job 12:3a But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you
Job 38:1a,3b,4 Then the LORD answered Job , and said, I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
FATHER, I am ready to let go of the pride that makes me think I understand so much. My understanding is as nothing before You-or before men. I stand in need of the understanding that can only be born of Your Spirit. As I wait before You today, and as You hold me, enlighten me.
If God understands the secrets of the universe, we can trust Him with our lives.-Job 38:1-18
DAY 8-Job's First Positive Confession-Faith from within the Darkness of Understanding
Job 1:20,21 Then Job fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
GRACIOUS LORD, I worship You, even in the face of this continuing trial. I admit to my poverty of understanding in it. But I do not let go of my implicit trust in You. I rise up today to say, "Blessed be Your Name!"
How Job Frustrated Satan's Work by Giving Him No Credit for the Trial He Was Facing-Job 1:6-22
DAY 9-Job's Second Positive Confession-Even when Ridiculed by the One Closest to Him
Job 2:9,10 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
LORD, it is difficult for me to receive this pain and grief from Your hand. But I know that only in this way can it become sanctified. Therefore I thank You for every painful and grievous thing that has come to me. Sanctify it and make it holy in my life for Your Kingdom's sake.
The Sanctification of Trouble-II Cor 1:3-6; Ps 27:5-10
DAY 10-Job's Third Confession-with a Resignation of Despair that He Had no Mediator
Job 9:32,33 For He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman ("umpire") betwixt us, that might lay His hand upon us both. (But now-for us-there is a Daysman.)
I Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
FATHER, I no longer argue with You over the control of my life. I give it into Your hands-even these things I cannot understand, or control. But, I do approach You with confident freedom because of the Mediator Who has come in my behalf. Thank You for receiving me into Your bosom because of Him. My affliction is now endurable.
The Daysman Who Has Come-Heb 8:1-6; 9:11-15
DAY 11-Job's Fourth Confession-One of Utter Trust Even in the Darkness
Job 13:13a,15,16a Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him. He also shall be my Salvation
LORD, I have come to the place of trust in You. Even if my close friends do not understand, I am ready to maintain my stand. I am confident You are my Salvation and Your faithfulness to me will continue to be manifest even though it is not yet apparent. I trust Your love-and I wait.
Time Now for the Shepherd's Psalm-Ps 23
DAY 12-Job's Fifth Confession-Revealing a Growth in Confidence
Job 16:19,20 Also now, behold, my Witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.
Rom 8:33,34 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God That justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ That died, yea rather, That is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us.
FATHER, thank you for my human friends who have helped me through so many times of darkness. But now, my eyes are on You alone. I reach through the darkness and touch Your loving grace and tender care that is more healing than any human hand. Oh, heal my mind today!
The Utter Confidence-Rom 8:31-39
DAY 13-Job's Sixth Confession-with Confidence about a Day when He Shall Be No Stranger
Job 19:25-27 For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another ("not as a stranger"); though my reins be consumed within me ("my inner parts are consumed with desire for this day).
FATHER, what desire has laid hold on me, and what confidence! I know I have a Redeemer Who lives and Who will stand in triumph on this earth. I shall see Him and be no stranger to Him! My innermost parts long for this day. My understanding is increasing. Do all You will do in me to make me whole for my Redeemer's appearing.
The Joyful Expectation of His Appearing- II Tim 4:6-8; I Pet 1:3-12
DAY 14-Job's Seventh Confession-with Understanding that there Was Purpose in the Affliction
Job 23:8-10 Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: on the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him: but He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
POWERFUL LORD, what purpose has been in the darkness! What grace You have been working in me! I praise You for every step I am forced to take in a path where only You know the way. Thank You for holding me steady on the days I cannot see clearly-like today.
Purpose out of Affliction-Job 23:11-17; Ps 119:71
NOW WE LET our understanding grow along with some of the Psalmists who discovered that the greater the darkness the greater the light of understanding that can come.
DAY 15-God's Merciful Search for All Who Desire to Understand His Ways
Ps 53:1,2 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
Ps 27:8 When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
FATHER, I once was a fool. I walked in my own way and scorned those who sought Your face. I'm sorry for all I did in the darkness. I confess: some of it still tries to return. Now I am ready for the release of Your mercy to purge me from all that remains of inner darkness.
Jesus' Parable on Understanding-Matt 13:3-9, 18-23
DAY 16-God's Wonderful Offer to Guide Us
Ps 25:9 The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.
Ps 32:8,9a I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding.
LORD, I know I can trust You. You've proved it over and over. But I am weak in the area of always trusting. I sometimes falter over little things. Release Your mercy upon me and teach me in what I am facing today that there is no trial too small-or to large-for Your concern.
Yielding to God's Tender Forgiveness -Ps 32:1-11
DAY 17-The Understanding Born of Obedience
Ps 111:10a The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments
Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
LORD, I confess that some of my lack of understanding came because of my own disobedience. My fear of You has been imperfect. Be merciful to me and bring me clearly into the path that You have ordained for me. Even in my weakness, I trust You for any change You will bring.
In his Epistle to the Romans Paul placed great emphasis on obedience.-Rom 1:5; 5:19; 6:16; 16:19,26
DAY 18-A Cry for Understanding to Keep God's Way
Psalm 119:27,34 Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy Law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
FATHER, I want to walk in the way You have ordained for Your children to walk. Sometimes confusion comes to me. Give me understanding so I can know, day by day, what is right in Your eyes. Govern me by Your Spirit.
The Value of Understanding God's Way-Pro 2:1-11
DAY 19-A Cry for Understanding to Keep God's Way
Psalm 119:72,73 The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn Thy Commandments.
LORD, I renounce my undue quest for, and worry about, money. I renounce sensual things that try to hold me. I am ready to desire You and Your ways more than earthly things. Give me understanding that I may learn what has value for Your Kingdom, and seek that only.
The Value of Putting the Kingdom First-Mt 6:25-34
DAY 20-A Prayer of God's Servant for Understanding
Psalm 119:125 I am Thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know Thy testimonies.
Hebrews 5:8 Though He (the Lord Jesus) were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.
FATHER, even if I must suffer in my learning, I am ready for this. I confess I have wanted to learn by easier ways. But the lessons I learned haven't always remained with me. Give me understanding of Your testimonies so I can discern the way You have marked out for me.
DAY 21-A Cry for Understanding from God's Word
Ps 119:130,169 The entrance of Thy Words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. Let my cry come near before Thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to Thy Word.
O, LORD, this is my cry, also. I love Your Word. Give me understanding according to its ways and values. Let a spirit of revelation come upon me so Your truth and light might burst into all the ways of my living. Let it be translated into my life so I can become a living epistle.
The Manifestation of the Word in Our Hearts-II Cor 3:2-8
DAY 22-Receiving an Understanding from Eternity
Ps 119:144 The righteousness of Thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.
Isa 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding.
FATHER, by Your mercy You brought us Your everlasting Kingdom. You are teaching us to embrace truth and understanding that belongs to that Kingdom. Set me free from the strongholds of the temporal things that still surround me. Give me understanding in the light of Your eternal Kingdom. By faith I embrace it.
Entering into That Which is Eternal- Matt 19:16-22; Is 57:15
DAY 23-Receiving Mercy from God Whose Understanding is Infinite
Ps 147:3,5,6a He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite. The LORD lifteth up the meek
John 12:50a And I know that His commandment is life everlasting
FATHER, I'm thankful You hold and cherish what is broken. It seems it has more eternal value to You than what has never been broken. This gives me hope for my life. It's been broken so much that it holds less and less value on the temporal plane. Thank You for healing me.
How God Values His Broken Ones- Ps 34:18; Ps 51:17; Ps 145:17-21
DAY 24-A Call to the Simple to Understand
Pro 8:5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
LORD, even though my life is complicated and difficult, I am willing to stay before You as a simple one. I trust Your mercy as well as Your might. I present all my complexities to You. I am ready to cast my care aside and cling. While I can't understand all things, I know You do.
Yet to Remain Simple in Our Faith- Rom 16:19; II Cor 1:12; II Cor 11:3
DAY 25-A Call to Understand the Time of the End
Dan 8:16,17a And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man
FATHER, there are matters regarding the time of the end that none of us can understand. Yet, how we need understanding! Open our eyes. Purge our hearts with the fire of Your Spirit so we can receive the understanding we need for the days of peril that seem so close upon us.
The Understanding that Came to Daniel -Dan 8:18-25
DAY 26-How the Scriptures Increase Understanding with a Call to Repentance
Dan 9:2-4a In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession
GREAT GOD OF THE AGES, You alone understand what we need for the days upon us. We are ready to trust the wisdom and might of Your Word. Prepare our hearts with a call to repentance that we might receive and understand what You are doing and what You want for us.
How Daniel Prayed, a Guide for Us-Dan 9:3-20
DAY 27-How even Those with Understanding Will Go through Deep Trials
Dan 11:32b,33 but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
FATHER, even in the face of suffering and persecution, I desire the understanding that can be born in affliction. Bring me forward in understanding so I can be a praise to You in the most difficult of times.
The Final Days-Dan 11:30-36
DAY 28-God's Purpose in Making Us Wise
Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
LORD, make me wise for the final days. Should I stand with You in the last time of trouble, I want to be pure. I want to be simple in my trust. I want to be clean in my understanding.
The Final Understanding-Dan 12:1-10
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