The First 15

Wednesday August 24, 2022

by Jan Davis

Today is Wednesday, August 24 and this week we begin praying through the teachings of Jesus found in the Sermon on the Mount.

Opening Prayer

I catch my breath as first light awakens the tranquil sky. Early in the morning, I turn to Jesus my Lord and yield myself to his purposes and plans for the upcoming day.

Pause and Pray

Holy Lord God, I have come to this quiet place to listen for your voice and learn your truth. Speak to my soul and guide every step to accomplish your will and glorify your name. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I cry out to the Lord and seek his face with the lonely words of Psalm 13.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death. Psalm 13:1-3

Pause and Pray

In the eight blessings of Jesus called the Beatitudes, he turns the way humans perceive the success of the world upside down. Those who are poor, mourning and meek are the ones that are blessed. That might be difficult for me to grasp, does that mean I should desire those things in life? It will be helpful to invite the Holy Spirit to reveal what this means at a soul level. Jesus is talking about the condition of the soul. A soul that recognizes its poverty, mourns for its sorrowful condition and humbly forgoes worldly power will be lifted up in the eyes of the Lord. Listen carefully to the words of Jesus.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4


Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn.” Jesus is not talking about those who mourn for worldly things, grieve the loss of friends or fortune, or experience sorrow over trouble or disappointment. Those who mourn means those who mourn after God. These are the faithful who have found the Lord and experienced the joy of his presence and the grace of his forgiveness for a beautiful season and then sin returns, they hide from God and feel alone. The enemy capitalizes on this by encouraging them to doubt God’s love, forgiveness and presence. I mourn when I am tired of my trespasses, sick of the consequences of my transgressions and grieve my sinful thoughts and actions. Mourning is Godly sorrow and regret over the condition of my soul.

Ask: Am I aware of my tendency toward continued sin in my life? For me, what is the “sin that clings so closely” (Hebrews 12:1) and causes me grief?

Pause and Pray

Blessed Lord Jesus, help me to surrender my life completely to you and trust you with everything. The world tells me one thing and you reveal a profound mystery I struggle to comprehend. As the Holy Spirit reveals the poverty of my spirit, my heart laments for the continued brokenness of my sin-sick soul. Comfort me with the joy of your presence. I read the words from Matthew again and listen for the message you have for me.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4

Ask: What image, word or phrase stands out to me when I slowly read this passage? What is God trying to say to me through these words of scripture?

Pause and Pray

A casual reading of the Beatitudes of Jesus seems innocuous. It is only when the Holy Spirit opens the scriptures and stirs the depths of my heart that I see the enormous reality of what is being spoken. If a certain word is leaping off the page, I need to ruminate on that with the help of the Spirit speaking into my life. I contrast the words rich and poor and joy and mourning. What words define the current state of my soul and what does God want me to realize about myself?

Pause and Pray

Come, Holy Spirit, awaken me to my desperate need for the atoning blood of Jesus my Savior. Stir up a hunger for righteousness and a longing for holiness that stands in stark contrast to the wanton ways of the world. Bring me to tears. I travail for the places of poverty in my spirit that required my Lord to suffer on the cross – pierced for my transgressions. Amen.

I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. Zechariah 12:10

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all peoples on earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Revelation 1:7

Closing Prayer

I leave this time of prayer mourning my sin and seeking the sanctifying grace of Jesus Christ. I go to comfort others and share the truth of his love.


The First 15

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