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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Crying and no tears fall.

Weeping and no puddle to show.

Merciful or merciless?

I can’t tell.

I want to know.

Where does this emotion come from?

No, that’s not the question. Where? That I know.

Where is the evidence of such emotion?

Numbness, leave.  You are not welcomed here.

Christ, I know You are near.

Spirit speak, I’m eager to hear.

Abba, Your embrace is my comfort.

Like Nehemiah, Lord, I too long to overcome.

“Overcoming opposition takes an overwhelming confidence in God’s word.”

A burial from responsibilities, I am unprepared for!

Why have I allowed the task to become my authority?

If I drown, might it be that I drown overwhelmed by Your goodness, Your kindness towards me in Christ today.

I know, I’m learning Your Word.

I’m applying, I’m praying Your Word.

May Yours be spoken from my lips,

even more than my own.

Your words have power;

mine are…expression.

Still, you listen.

In Your sanctuary, You are.

My cries reach Your ears;

Songs, too.

Hallelujah, for You are praiseworthy.

Your promises assure:

I am made in Your image.

You affectionately, delight in me.

You rejoice over me, singing joyful songs.

Again, I remind myself:

I am made in Your likeness

Molded by Your marvelous hands each day

In my waking, I work to glorify You

In my resting, I am renewed by You

My thoughts I hold captive,

I focus my thoughts, my actions on You and You alone.

You are in my social, my emotional, my mental, my physical, and my spiritual  expressions of life.

Each breath, and in every heartbeat,

I have purpose in You.

Fully to enjoy You, O God, is to glorify You.

If what I say reflects Your promises,

then what is said is true.

So, again, I ask:

Merciful or merciless?

You are merciful, O Lord,

and I reflect You.

Therefore, there is no possibility that this dry spell I feel is absent of You.

You care.

You show compassion.

You allow Your people to speak of our perceived needs.

You meet us right. where. we. are.

I am crying.

Jesus, You wept.

We express heart cries for salvation:

for the new birth of salvation;

for the renewal of salvation;

for all people, of all nations.

You long for salvation.

Man made intimate with You.

I am renewed.

Never abandoned, never alone.

Commune.

I shall commune with You,

with Your community.

A fountain of mourning.

A fountain of pleading.

A fountain of hoping.

A fountain of healing.

You are cleansing us with Your pure waters.

O LORD, still, I cry dry tears.

I am only human,

but You, You are blameless, flawless in every way.

Your fountain, O Lord, will never dry out.

We come, we come to drink of You.

We come, we come to feast of You.

You, O Lord, Jesus the Christ,

You are all we need.

Brethren, in these next moments, be still. Let God hear your praises.  Whether your expression is spontaneous or led, you are gathering with sisters and brothers in Christ around the globe who know intimacy with God produces joyous hearts that cannot contain the gratitude we have for Christ. Praise God, glory glory glory, hallelujah.

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In a sermon entitled, “Abraham and the Torch,” Timothy Keller speaks of Abraham’s belief in God, but more than that, how Abraham believed God.  Through his life, God made promises to Abraham, but never revealed when, how, or where they would be delivered. Abraham still believed.

To believe God requires coming to Christ, bowing in respect, and hearing His promises.

I want to say with full confidence, as David’s advisers shouted, “We are with you…do what you think is best” (2 Samuel 15:15).  But I also want to be so entangled with all of who God is, that the words from my mouth are as trustworthy as David and his adviser, Ahithopel–“wise as though it had come directly from the mouth of God” (2 Samuel 14:20, 16:23).

This takes discipline.  Discerning what is of God and what is led by my fleshy desires requires submission before God and humility in accepting His correction.

It is a relationship, not a legalistic formulation.  I cannot account for any type of system or path to my own salvation, for it is a gift I am never deserving of.

I know all these things, and believe them… yet, I am all too quick at playing pharisee.  My relationship with Christ is wondrous.  It is not fair by any means, for Christ offers so much more than I am ever able to give back.  So I pick up my cross and follow, as He leads.

I am so grateful for a passion to delve deep with God, to listen and remain still, and for the ability to sing loudly and dance wildly knowing that it is in awe of the One who created it all.  In worship and praise, I hope to be so bold, so bonded with Christ that I have no care as to how foolish people may see me.  I worship for God, not for people.  I delight in God, not in people’s affections or view of whom they see me to be.

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.  If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” (Galatians 1:10).

I love spiritual disciplines.  But the way that God speaks to me, or the posture I take before Him, or the freedom of time spent away from worldly appointments, cannot become the standard I hold others to.  There is joy that comes from rejoicing in all God has done, is doing, and promises for the future.  There is hope that comes from searching the depths of His presence in all and everything that is and surrounds us.

But whom am I to judge? I don’t want to be Absalom stealing God’s people away from the anointed one (2 Samuel 15:1-12).  And yet, I have foolishly voiced my opinion on someone’s accords with God.  Only He knows the truth that is buried in one’s heart, not I!

From now on, I hope this to be true: Might I delight when I hear someone call themselves as a Christian.  Never again, will I judge whether their fruits reflect a life following Christ or their own dictates.

LORD, in You we entrust our lives.  By Your lead we shall not stumble.  Jesus we ask You to continue teaching us.  Father, discipline us with a rod when You see right.  Jesus,  no person was too ordinary for You to reach, show us Your way.  Your Word tells us, “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.  And don’t think you know it all” (Romans 12:16)!  God, You do know it all.  Everything is Yours.

I will praise the LORD at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
I will only boast in the LORD,
let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness,
let us exalt his name together

I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy:
no shadow of shame will darken their faces…

Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the LORD, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
– Psalm 34: 1-5, 8-9

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This is a midnight rant based off a discipleship discussion that just finished under the stars, over root beer floats and potatoes. In which, I ask, please excuse the lack of resources backing up my presented theory.

Prayer.

In group prayers we often follow a script, and when there is not a presented script, it is often, “You (pointing out a specific person) open, and I’ll close.  If anyone feels led to pray please do, I will wait to close until the Spirit leads me.” Still structure.  We also depend on someone completing their prayer with “In Jesus name,” or by stating “Amen,” before the next individual lifts their voice to God.

I think of Amen as our affirming a send off of our words to God, or as the closing of our prayer.  We also say Amen when agreeing with another’s words declared before God, whether honoring His name or declaring submission to His reign.

I know God to be outside of time, and therefore consider Him as being concerned for all prayers, but am captivated by the power of spoken prayers.  Here, now, in this present moment.

So in groups, as I finish my spoken thoughts, I know that my mind does not stop.  As the next person begins to speak, my heart, my mind are captivated and continue to communicate with God.

Therefore, I challenge myself, and anyone who wants to join me.  Rather than sending my prayer off with an “amen,” I will invite the group to stop, to rest, to allow God’s Truth to soak into our innermost being before we continue to speak.  In this rest, we will give opportunity to ourselves to hear God’s voice.  When we are quiet, still before God, is when we hear His whispers.

How I long to hear His whispers.  So as I approach accountability, fellowship, discipleship, and small group this week, I will voice my requests and my praises audibly amongst those who are present with me and Christ.  When I feel prompted to quiet my voice, I will say “selah” inviting a state of peacefulness and reflection.  Then the group will continue.  One voice at a time.  One heart beat.  We will be joined in communion with Christ as we establish open communication with Him.

What do you think?  Is it a bogus thought, or are you along for the challenge to change the structure of group prayer?

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