From Our Daily Bread:
Have you ever been stuck in a conversation with someone who talks only about himself? To be polite, you strike up a dialogue by asking questions. The other person proceeds to talk endlessly about himself, and he never once asks you anything. It is all about that person—and nothing about you.
Imagine what it must be like for our heavenly Father to listen to our prayers during our devotional time. We may have read a portion of His Word, but then in prayer we swiftly shift focus exclusively to our needs. We ask for help in solving a problem, providing for a financial need, or healing a physical ailment. But the passage we’ve just read doesn’t even enter into our prayers. What God has just said to us goes largely unacknowledged.
Apparently the writer of Psalm 119 did not have this perspective. Instead, he sought God’s help in understanding the Word: “Open my eyes,” he said, “that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (v.18). And as he prayed he expressed how he treasured God’s Word, calling it his “delight” (v.24).
Let’s develop a discipline of praying our response to the Word. It just might transform our devotional time. Bible reading and prayer should reflect a two-way communication.
From Day 31 of 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
Offering intercessory prayer means nothing other than Christians bringing one another into the presence of God, seeing each other under the cross of Jesus as poor human beings and sinners in need of grace. Then, everything about other people that repels me falls away. Then I see them in all their need, hardship, and distress. Their need and their sin become so heavy and oppressive to me that I feel as if they were my own, and I can do nothing else but bid: Lord, you yourself, you alone, deal with them according to your firmness and your goodness.