*March 18 – Tuesday*
*Fasting Item(s):* Computer (except for school) & Video Games
*Today’s Scripture:* 1 Timothy 2:1-2 “*I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by **godliness and dignity.*” NLT
*Question:* When was the last time you prayed for someone other than yourself?
*Devotion:* 1996 to 1998 was a dark period in my life. Without going into great detail about the darkness that consumed my day-to-day time, I was fully centered on my selfish ambitions. I was a “drug-head” by all means of the word. I went from one fix to the next in order to achieve some level of a high. Looking back on those 3 dark years makes me cringe at the fact that I allowed such a thing to happen. So how did I get from that lifestyle to being a church worker? One simple word, *Prayer*. I hit rock bottom in terms of what I could handle about my condition. I needed help, but I placed myself so far away from anyone that could help. I didn’t believe in God at the time, but I was left with no other option – I called out to Him through tears of depression and asked for His help. I really didn’t expect an answer. However, that wasn’t how it ended. God DID answer my prayer in a timely manner. He gave me a sort of list to use as a way of receiving the help I asked for. Now many people at this point would laugh at such a statement, but that’s exactly what happened – maybe not how you think, but it was a very clear and precise way of correcting my current situation. I rode the Greyhound Bus back from Peoria, Illinois to Benton Harbor, Michigan and started my journey with dependence on the Lord. It wasn’t an immediate transformation, but I was moving in the right direction (His direction). Now about 3 months into being back home led me to another huge discovery. I found out that someone had been praying for me during my entire rebellious stint in Illinois. My soon to be mother-in-law (2001), Joyce Rudowske, prayer warrior. God had told her to pray for me even though I had treated her daughter so poorly in 1996. I wasn’t deserving of prayer, but Joyce was faithful to what God called her to do. I’m very thankful to God first and foremost that He chose Joyce to pray for me and that He softened my heart to be receptive to correct my sinful ways. I’ve come a long way and have still a long way to go, but at least I’ve got my head on straight now. So my question to you is, “When was the last time you prayed for someone other than yourself?” I believe in the power of prayer and I encourage anyone who doubts in God’s power to answer prayer to try a habit of praying for someone. Maybe even someone like me (circa 1996); someone who is “not deserving” of prayer. The Prayer Focus below is a great way to objectively think of someone to pray for. Give it a try and who knows, maybe you could save someone’s life…
*Prayer Focus:* Kids and Parents pray for your school leaders, church leaders and co-workers.
If you have been following the Lenten Fasting Calendar<http://firstlutherancharlotte.org/lent-2014/>, please consider this additional resource<http://www.itstartsathome.org/familynight/> to spend good family time with each other tonight to share faith lessons about God rather than waisting your time playing Video Games (today’s fasting item).