Strange, because i am… home.
My family followed a call from the Lord which brought us home. But we all miss the other place we used to call home. It’s the place where we belong, where we each have our own space, where we find rest.
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” (Maya Angelou)
Eventually we will find home. Soon our past home will sell and we will buy a new home to plant new roots. But right now we are in that state of “in between”. And my soul longs for a place to rest.
Psalm 84 says,
How lovely is your dwelling place,
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Reading this psalm I’m aware of the invitations from My Savior. He says, “Shane, make your home in me. Yearn for Me, not comforts in this world. Look how I’m taking care of the birds outside the window. Don’t you see I’m also taking care of you and preparing a home for you? Shane, come to me and make yourself comfortable.”
Lord, I’m sorry for caring for the pleasures of the world more than the blessings of Your heart. Allow this time of transition to strip away layers of my inner life that block true communion with You. Help me to see your blessings in this moment rather than longing for the past or the future. In your Holy and Precious Name, Amen.
Week Four in the book Passionate Prayer is entitled “Promises for Your Life of Prayer.” For me, it has been so helpful to review the promises of God in His Word and use them in prayer.
- God promises to respond to our prayers – Ps 34:17
- God promises to reveal things that we do not know through prayer – Jer 33:3
- God promises to do good in our lives – Matt 7:11
- God promises to help us in our prayers - Romans 8:26
- God promises to offer peace through prayer and thanksgiving – Phil 4:6-7
Take a look at these passages and comment on which promise in prayer God is working out in your life.
If you have posted about prayer, let us know and link up! Those of you reading the comments, please take a look at the other bloggers too when you get a chance!
Blessings in prayer this Tuesday!
Stepping to the microphone I close my eyes and breathe.
The music builds. I hear my cue.
My voice soars in devotion to the King.
It feels good – on key and from the heart.
I open my eyes and scan the congregation. Are they engaged? They seem disconnected. Is it me? My voice? The song?
Instantly the devotion drops and the performance begins.
The song ends and I take my seat. I open the pew bible to Matthew 6.
Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
I don’t know about you, but I often find myself in the battle between humbleness and confidence.
I suppose it all goes back to intention.
What were Jesus’ intentions in His public ministry?
…the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:15-16
I’m not for sure I could be that disciplined. If the crowds were coming out to see me, would I check my intentions at the door – or would I plunge into popularity head first?
But Jesus knew the source of His strength. He knew He needed to step away in private to refresh and refuel and not rely on His human nature.
If Jesus, being true God, needed to stop and spend time with His Father, how much more should we being made in His likeness? (Genesis 5)
Catherine Martin writes in Passionate Prayer “The time you spend with God in private will make you who you are in public.” She continues “Your life of prayer is the secret to faithful service to God, wisdom in ministry, and power in living.”
My ministry continues with full intention on remaining humble in prayer, but confident in Christ’s work through my life.
Does this mean we can’t be bold in our public life? Absolutely not! The more quiet time you spend with Him, the more “microphone time” He’ll expect of you!
Can’t wait to hear what God’s placed on your heart in regards to prayer today. Please link up in the comments!
How many times a day are you on your cell phone, your land-line or even email? It would be hard to count how many times I use a tool to contact another person throughout the day.
The one thing needed, no matter how you call, remains the same… do you have the number?
In the book Passionate Prayer, author Catherine Martin writes that Jeremiah 33:3 is often named God’s phone number.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (NIV)
Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own. (MSG)
Catherine goes on to say that God invites us to SPECIFIC and EXPECTANT prayer.
How can you get specific with God today? Can you get anymore personal with your Savior? Do you find yourself holding anything back from His control?
It’s amazing how many times God shows me something new in prayer – unsearchable things… and as The Message phrases it – things I would not have seen without God.
Every promise spoken in the Word will always hold true – He will answer you. You can count on it. God wants you to expect His response – to believe in it whole-heartedly
This Lord – our Holy God – wants to hear from you today. He’s standing by, waiting to take your call! You will not hear an answering machine or those annoying automatic help lines. The One, true God is ready. You have His number. What are you waiting for?
Sometimes the best conversations happen on a car ride. Do you agree?
“Mom, is that a needle on the ambulance?”
“It looks like a needle honey. But I believe it’s a snake. Snakes are sometimes used in signs – “
“Oh, yeah, I know all about that Mom. The ambulance must be a Christian. We’ve been reading about Moses and the people in the desert. They were complaining so God sent poisonous snakes. But Moses prayed because so many people were dying. So God told Moses to pick up a snake and put it on a stick. The people who looked at the snake lived.”
“That’s (almost) right sweetheart!”
“Yeah, I pretty much know it all now.”
I’m not lying… that exact conversation happened yesterday between me and my older daughter who is 8 yrs old and “knows it all”. She also informed me of why Moses wasn’t allowed into the promised land. But I’ll save that story for another day.
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Numbers 21:4-9
Now, before you get mad at God for sending snakes, know this – God loves His people. He rescued them from slavery. He caused enemies to fall into His people’s weak hands. All they had to do was follow His way. Although, not easy, God proved time and time again that He could be trusted. But, just like you and me, His people grew impatient and strayed from His law. Also, rest assured, God sent a sacrifice once and for all through Jesus. No more snakes!
So what’s the lesson here?
- Have a childlike faith?
- Follow God’s law?
- Don’t complain against God?
- Only drive behind “Christian ambulances”?
No, I think the real lesson here is God listens and prayer works.
But why do we often find ourselves looking at the snakes in our life and complaining instead of running directly to Him for a cure?
In the days before Jesus there was a barrier between God and His people. God’s people needed a sacrifice, a priest, or a leader to present themselves before God.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrew 10:19-22
What’s the cure for our lives?
- Have confidence that God listens.
- Jesus is your ticket to enter into God’s presence.
- Run to God with your heart wide open.
- Be assured that your faith has purpose.
Lord, we are weak. We don’t have what it takes. Please give us confidence, not in our own abilities, but in Jesus’ sacrifice. Grant us faith that goes beyond what we can explain with words. For those of us that have a hard time understanding, give us an extra measure of your grace and assurance that we are simply loved by an awesome God. Amen.
–>Bloggers – please link up your prayer post anytime this week! Question: would you like me to put Mr Linky on the sticky post up above for the entire month? Then everytime you post on prayer you can come over and link up all month long? Or would you prefer to link up via comments on my Tuesday posts as we’ve done in the past?
I’m lonely for home today.
Friends are awesome but they don’t offer the familiarity of home.
God enrolled me recently in a course on prayer. And today He posed the question: “Will you trust Me enough to give your family over in prayer?”
I have so wanted to take things in my own hands. I’ve been trying to get myself home. But my schedule just won’t allow. Since I couldn’t be there – I asked them (my Mom and Dad) yesterday if they could come here (Chicago). Nope.
And He aked once more, “Will you allow me to be ALL? All for you and All for them?”
But I want to help Lord.
Yes, but now isn’t the time Shane.
But Father, why?
Shane, am I enough for you?
Job offers this advise to me today from chapter 12:7-13 (via The Message)
But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you;
let the birds tell you what’s going on.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics.
Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree
that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand—
Every living soul, yes,
every breathing creature?
Isn’t this all just common sense,
as common as the sense of taste?
Do you think the elderly have a corner on wisdom,
that you have to grow old before you understand life?
True wisdom and real power belong to God;
from him we learn how to live,
and also what to live for.
I thought I was rich in common sense! But it seems even the animals have more than me today.
So, I pray.
I pray for more.
More sense in knowing God as sovereign. And more faith that my prayer does count.
Through prayer I give over my family. I give over my need to control.
I don’t think God wants me to give over the desire for home.
So I still long for home. And look forward to the day when I can rest at home.
I’m all about being “real”!
I drove a friend home today and she commented that it’s probably hard to be “real” when you are a pastor’s wife.
My response: “I’m over that!”
I love being myself, being vulnerable and real as a leader. It’s so obvious how it opens up communication within relationships.
Knowing that, you may find it strange that this statement in Passionate Prayer hit me hard last night while reading. The author writes “…I sought ways that would help me become more open and vulnerable with my Lord…”
It made me stop and think about how often I can sit and hash things out with friends and bring God my conclusion.
Maybe I should try things a little different and hash out my issues with God, then bring my friends the conclusion.
One of my journal responses in the book reads ”Thank you for new insights, a broader view, another glimpse of who you are. Father, search me, know me, purge the wrong within me. Lead me to Your fountain. May You, Lord, be the last and the first thought on my lips.” Then in smaller print I wrote “please help my fatigue subside.”
I am so thankful for this visual evidence of God’s work in my life. That day my fatigue was great. And, honestly, its been heightened again this week. But I didn’t focus on my problem in my prayer. It was an after thought. This is just a small indication that God was my vision, not my circumstance.
I desire to have heavenly lasik – God permanently planted on my vision. But it’s not that easy! It’s a daily surrender, a choice.
So, I’m off, to spend more time in prayer. I need to get real with the One who already knows!
How about you? Do you gloss over vulnerability with God? Or do you hash it all out?
Welcome to the 10 Day Col. Diet! I’m glad you made it. And I hope you make it back everyday and participate! Starting today and for the next 9 days you will find a healthy dose of Colossians as well as a challenge for personal application. Every time you stop by, go ahead a leave a quick comment to let us know you were here. Each comment gives you an entry into a drawing. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win! The winner will get their choice of one of these book options: The Message (in denim color), Come Along, and What Happens When Women Walk in Faith.
Ready to get started?
Today’s Diet Dose: Read Colossians 1:1-14 & Colossians 4:2-4
The beginning and the end.
It’s the first and last thought on Paul’s mind.
Communication between friends, quiet moments listening, intimate soul searching talks.
In my journey, prayer has come and gone and come again.
I remember a time, maybe 3 or 4 years ago, where all I wanted to study was prayer. Then my depression kicked in and I moved into an isolated, lonely place hiding from God. However, God brought me back with a new desire for prayer in my life.
Prayer for some people is quiet time, reflection, meditation. It may include certain steps or move in a particular sequence. Some people record their prayers in notebooks or journal their way through prayer.
Today, God is teaching me an art of prayer that never ceases – an ongoing open dialogue that moves throughout the day. It has no rules or any boundaries. And I like it!
We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.Col 1:3-5(NLT)
This new outlook has brought new meaning to “we always pray for you.” Earlier in my journey those words sounded very intimidating. I imagined a monk in a hole somewhere with a large scroll and quill pen bringing constant supplication to the Father. (Not that there is anything wrong with that!) But if you read Paul’s writings you know he was very busy. Sure he had his solitude moments in jail. But, even in jail, read what he encourages us to do in Col 4:2-4:
Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Don’t forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I’m locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I’ll be able to make Christ plain as day to them. (The Message)
Paul was always looking for opportunities to share Christ. He could have huddled quietly in the corner asking the guards not to disturb him because he was praying.
Of course, there are times when quiet solitude is absolutely necessary and vital for our health. But, prayer doesn’t have to be quiet. Nor does it have to be the same each and every day.
- consistent, constant, never-ending
- eager, persistent, tireless
- watchful, vigilant, spirited
Always praying, diligent and alert. That was Paul’s prayer life. How about yours?
Challenge: Take a base line measurement of your prayer life. How do you pray, when do you pray, do you have any rules to prayer? Then spend a few moments in evaluation. Allow God to speak to your heart about how He desires prayer to work for you.
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for further consideration:
Take Time to Listen Today (quiet listening prayer)
Is Prayer Important (why pray)
Victories in Prayer (answers to prayer)
Do you ever feel like you’ve run out of prayers? Too empty to pray?
You need a good broom tree to continue on.
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. 1 Kings 19:3-5a
Yet, God didn’t answer Elijah’s request. Instead God did something very practical.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. 1 Kings 19:5b-8
God is all about practicality! Sleep, eat, drink and more sleep.
Jill Briscoe has something to say about running out of prayers.
If Elijah had not believed that “God was not finished with him yet,” he would have died of a broken heart under the broom tree… As I lay miserably alone in that hospital bed, I remember giving a desperate glance heavenward. It was all I could manage, but it was enough. I am a prayer, Lord, I said without words. Read me. Words are nice, but words are not needed when you are under the broom tree. Just be content to know that every word you would have said, if you could have said it, is heard loud and clear among the angels and by the Lord. His ears are especially tuned to those sorts of prayers – to the solitary, silent scream!
I love the last line… God’s ears are tuned in to my silent screams for help.
What prayer is your life living lately?
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12
Lord, let my husband know he can trust me and that I am dedicated to helping him all my days. ~Prayer Portions
Lord you are able to do far more [in my marriage] than I could ask or ever dream, beyond my highest prayers, desires, hope and thoughts. ~Ephesians 3:20-21
Lord enable me to respect my husband. Help me to notice him, regard him, honor him, prefer him and esteem him. Allow me to defer to him, praise him, love and admire him exceedingly. ~Ephesians 5:33
Father, thank you for the gift of my husband and for the past 15 years together. Help us to stay connected in the day to day moments and not settle for mediocre. Give us courage to turn toward each other and to give up our own selfish desires. Remind us of your perfect love for us - your redemptive, unconditional love. With Your love, help us run the race that you have set out before us. Amen.