The First 15

Tuesday January 19, 2021

by David Alexander

Opening Prayer

In the busyness of our everyday lives, we often fail to prepare our hearts and minds for reading God’s word and experience God in this time. Take a moment to allow this prayer to lead you into your time with God today. 

As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God. 

Holy and loving God, in this new season I invite you to shape my soul with your words and inspire my life with your works. Teach me to walk in the way of peace and grace. AMEN. 

*This prayer adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network. To find out more about this resource, visit this link

Scripture Reading

Isaiah 43:18-19

This is what the Lord says—

    he who made a way through the sea,

    a path through the mighty waters,

who drew out the chariots and horses,

    the army and reinforcements together,

and they lay there, never to rise again,

    extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

“Forget the former things;

    do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!

    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

    and streams in the wasteland.


Last week we reflected on the question, in what way have I missed what God is doing in my life? This passage from Isaiah 43 last highlights one reason we fail to recognize God’s activity. The Lord, who is identified by what he did before, speaks to Israel saying, 

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” 

Our assumptions about how God is working now or in the future are often constrained by how we have experienced God’s action in our past. Notice what “bookends” this instruction to forget. What God did by making a way through the waters (vs. 16), God promises to do again in the wilderness (vs. 19.) 

Take a moment to “look around” your life. Be still. Search your heart. Seek God by asking, what is the new thing you are doing right now? Then, close your eyes and listen. 

When you are finished with your time of reflection and before you close in prayer, spend a few moments committing the words of scripture to memory which come from Philippians 3:13-14.

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Closing Prayer

Father, help me to live this day to the full,  being true to You, in every way.

Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.

Spirit, help me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.


*Our opening and closing prayers are  adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network. To find out more about this resource, visit this link.

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