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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Whispers on the Wind

“Teach us to pray!” The disciples had been watching Jesus for some time when they asked him this. They must have noticed his prayers had power; they worked.

Most folks don’t actually see a lot of results when they pray; they get discouraged and come to some terrible conclusions about their spiritual life or God’s heart towards them. Honestly —some prayers work, others don’t, and there is a reason why.

imageSome prayers just happen, they are “the cry of the heart.” No training needed when it comes to this kind of prayer. We’ve uttered it thousands of times. Like when the phone rings and the bad news starts to spill and all you can do is say, Father…Father…Father, your heart crying out to God. It’s a good kind of prayer, rising from the deep places in us, often unbidden, always welcome to his loving ears.

But most people get stuck there, which is kind of like ending your education somewhere around the end of primary school. There is more.

The other kind of prayer is far more intentional, where we take up sword and shield and start making an impact through strong, determined prayer. We call this kind “the prayer of intervention.” Meaning we are intervening. Men and women were meant to rule the earth, and though we royally screwed up our first pass at that, God didn’t switch to Plan B. He intervened in and through Jesus of Nazareth to restore us as sons and daughters and put us back in the action. “Rule and subdue” is still the mandate. When we pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth,” we are acting as agents with God to bring about change, to enforce his Kingdom.

There is an element of prayer that requires us however to just stop talking, put away the lists, drop the fancy language, and listen. God has so much to tell us and share with us if we would just be still.

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Be still.
Be.

Fr. Richard Rohr’s prayer comes from Psalm 46:10 of the Hebrew Scriptures: “Be still and know that I am God.”

Perhaps this is what prayer is all about – listening, being still, and less talk.

May you this week be still and listen, maybe you’ll hear what you need, maybe in the quietness you’ll gain the perspective you want, and maybe you will find yourself in prayer.

Whispers on the Wind

I’ve heard the devout prayers
Of the people
In the church
As they seek to impress

I’ve heard the lists of wants
Written in haste
Because I gave them
Everything they ever needed

I have heard the cries
And the voices that speak
Without ceasing and the
Ears that never listen

I’ve heard the anger and rage
The fists that shake
Their questions
That have no answers

When will I hear the quietness
The stillness and open heart
The waits and knows
That I am God

Trust that listens for my voice
On the whispers on the wind
Presence with an open heart
That only I can fill wholly

Each day I am crafting your purpose
And presenting you opportunities
Will you be still, have eyes to see
And step into life eternal

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A Break for Freedom

Fear.  For me this word is both difficult to write and look at. It is only recently that I’ve been able to name it.  Fear is not actually what it’s called.  It more the fear of fear.  I know this because occasionally I go there and visit this house. It’s like a house that is overgrown with vines that twist and curl.  A house that has no windows and doors.

Amy Grant described this house in her song Come Into My World off her latest album. She also describes the meaning behind the song (see YouTube clip at the end of this post). 

What I do know now, is that I am only a visitor and I don’t live at this house, or in the neighbourhood anymore.  It may look the same, and the feelings of  fear are just the same.  The difference is that I choose to visit and then I choose to leave.  Why can I leave? It’s because I know someone who is much stronger than my fears, and he protects me and he sends his angels to walk with me. I also have developed a great support network. Why do I keep visiting?  That’s the question I’m working on.

So where do you live?  Are you a visitor or a lodger?  If you can’t relate to any of this consider yourself blessed. If you live here, be brave (you already are), seek the counsel of friends and wise people. They will know what to do and they will be able to help you. 

Remember there is always hope, this is what you must find and hold on to. Here’s a clue about hope. Hope often takes the form of light. Turn your face to it and let your shadows fall behind you.

A Break for Freedom

In the cell block of my mind
My thoughts lie captive still,
They circle inside the prison cell
Like they have lost their will.

The walls close in, it’s hard to breath
My palms they drip with sweat,
Oh how I wish time would fly ahead
But still it hasn’t yet.

I’ve placed my fears in a big box
And sent it to the one who cares,
But I keep worrying then back
And in my heart I feel such fear.

Some days I wish I had no thoughts
Or feelings of such fear,
But that is the way I am made
So I’ll write about them here.

I pray right now, release my thoughts
Direct them far from me
Heal and transform my mind
And let my heart be free.

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In his last devotion before David Wilkerson passed away last week he focused on belief and faith without sight (James 20:29).   You can read it here.  David summed it up this way

God has never failed to act, but in goodness and love. When all means fail – his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world

I often get discouraged when God doesn’t seem to answer my prayers.  I think I’m pretty good at believing but I get discouraged when I don’t see the results.  What I do know though is there are lots of things I pray for that are answered that I don’t see or even know about.  Why do I know this?   Simple, I have faith, and it seems like something God would do because it is all really about him extending his kingdom and not really at all about me.

After all, my faith is about being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see (Hebrews 11:1).  

So what are you certain about – what you see or what is unseen?

Beyond Belief

Do you see today
The answers to your long prayers
Do you hope to see

When all hope seems lost
It’s not because you are blind
You trust beyond hope

The enemy will
Make you believe that your God
Has not answered you

Blessed are your prayers
Know that your prayers never fail
When all hope seems lost

For if you don’t hear
The answer to your long prayers
Know this, you are heard

You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen ~ John 20:29.

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