Posts tagged ‘Prayer’

“Helping” the Helper?

Something interesting happened to me last night. I was journaling, just free writing about things that were weighing on my mind. Something else had come up, and in my venting, I wrote about how useless I felt, because I was having to add more to the “prayer pile” of things that we absolutely need to happen in our lives. Thinking about it now, it’s rather laughable. But, I was writing these things down, and really, in my emotions I really felt helpless…and I felt like there was something wrong with me for not being able to help God with the things that we need. I’m a helper. It’s my nature, but as it translates to my relationship with God, my journaling allowed me to see in the past, I’ve really tried to help God be God as it relates to the things that happen in my life…often to dire results. See, what I understand is that when we say we are helping God, we are really taking whatever burden we had released to Him, back onto ourselves. In a sense, we are telling God that we are more adept at handling the issues in our lives than He is, and as I think about the mounting list of things that we are really believing God for, if I’m honest, there is nothing that i can do about any of those things. Thus the helpless feeling.

Here’s the kicker…..there is something about realizing that God is the only one who can fix a situation, or answer a desperate prayer, that puts you right in the sweet spot of His will. The only help that God requires of us is to have faith, and be obedient when He tells us what to do. There is nothing we can do to help God move further along, faster, in His will for our lives. This truth is something that we tout quite often, and quote in our churches, but is it really something that we constantly act upon? I don’t. It’s hard. I see our needs. I know how the odds are stacked up against us. I know how many attacks have come our way since we made the conscious choice to trust God for the things that are deep in our hearts.  You see your needs, and no doubt you have ideas of how those things can be fixed. In truth, though, would your ideas really fix the entire situation or only muddle things for your future?

Our prayer pile is HUGE. It is GINORMOUS! It is so large that just looking up at it makes me shake, but the beautiful thing about that bountiful mountain of needs is that we have to look UP. It is forcing us to look past it’s peaks into the Heavens where my Abba resides and stands ready to move in His timing according to His process and will. He knows what we need, and no matter how big and important these things are to us, they are infintismally small and easily doable for Him. We just have to wait. And believe.

 

And stop trying to “help”.

Just a Blurt

There are some times when God blesses with such expediency that it sends shock waves through your system. Times when we see the results of Him moving with such precision that it is astounding to us. I just want to say this morning that God can touch any of us at any time that He pleases. His arms are not too short, neither are his ears deaf, his eyes short sighted. His plans are fool proof. His goals are recession proof. His dreams for us are failure proof. And while our faith will never be perfect, all it takes is just a little for God to move mountains on our behalf.

Yesterday evening at prayer, my wife and I really took the opportunity to pour out our hearts to God. We lifted everything up to Him, praying for whatever came to mind, and whatever cause came to mind. We prayed for the Kingdom of God to be born anew in our hearts, that the passion and fire for God that we knew once in our first conversion would never be stifled again. We prayed for those who had blessed us, and those that we will be able to bless in the future. We prayed that this year of shifts and changes, this year of tests and trials in the hearts of Christians would be so beneficial that Satan would be fearful even now of results yet to come forth. Friends, there is something so powerful in the works, but it begins in our hearts and minds. It begins in our spirits. As we strive connection with God and our fellow Christians, the things that we will see happen in this calendar year will have ramifications throughout the rest of our lives. I realize this sounds so vague, and I’m no prophet, but I just feel in my heart that God will astound us this year, and because of this, we will go forth and conquer new ground at a frantic pace.  So, I just want to encourage you. Stand firm. Speak life. Stay close to God. Don’t despise the things of God, no matter how insignificant they might seem to us. Esteem what He esteems as important. When you fail, get back up and look ahead, not behind. Don’t spend so much time focusing on what was lost that you can not see what has been gained. Seek after wisdom. She is readily available. She stands in the middle of the streets, calling out to us with a frantic voice. Seek understanding.

I know that this is a different kind of post, especially from me. I just have this overwhelming feeling, this sensation, that what God is working in the spiritual realm is going to shake this earth to it’s core once again. And I pray that we would be ready, a people centered in His will, kneeling patiently, waiting to submit to His every whim. God is so good to us, friends. His love endures forever. Give thanks, and know His power.

 

Be blessed.

A Process of Perfecting

“Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.: Phil 1:3-6 (MSG)

This will be just a shorty today. I’ve been under the weather, hence no blogs. I’m feeling a little better, and saw this verse this morning on my phone. I had to jot down just a few thoughts on it. I hope it blesses you.

Here’s the thing, we often wonder if God is really doing anything in our lives, if God is really perfecting us, and if so, why don’t we really see a difference? Sound familiar? For me, I spent the longest time praying to God for His purpose to be revealed. I mean, even as the years passed by and nothing happened on the preaching front, even as I became angry with God for seemingly not doing anything on my behalf, even as I sang on stage harboring doubts about God. I felt like God wasn’t doing anything in me, or for me. And I’m just being honest here. I think if we all look in the mirror, we all have those times where we feel like God is against us, yet Paul fully and completely discounts that thinking. And these verses also tell us that there is never a time when God is NOT working through us, in us, or for us.

Our perfecting, which begins by us being made into a new creation at salvation, continues until the day that Christ returns. This means that everyday, God’s faithfulness wakes us with an intent to continue growing things within us that will transform us daily into more and more of a direct reflection of His Son. And Paul says that he has no doubt! Faith is a really funny thing. We feel it so strongly when we are worshipping with fellow believers in a church service, and this is important. It’s a recharging. But I would argue, that the faith that we muster when we are alone is the faith that really sustains us towards doing the greatest work that God has for us. It’s why digesting and ingesting the Bible is so important. Even if it’s just finding a verse and meditating on it, it gives the further fuel for God to continue His working in our lives. The fact that we are being perfected day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, should be an exciting thing for all of us. To me it means that as long as I have breath in my lungs, God is working in me for His glory. The work that He begun at salvation is daily becoming more and more tangible. Please remember that Hebrews tell us that what is seen was made from that which is unseen. So the results of God’s working within us will often be invisible to us, until a singular moment when we see the results of that God has been doing. Think of it as a seed. Beneath the soil, roots are growing, sinking deeper and deeper into the soil. The seed is absorbing crucial nutrients. We often don’t concern ourselves with this part, but when we see that first bud shooting from the ground, our hearts rejoice.

It’s the same thing in our lives. Behind the scenes, God is growing our roots, increasing our capacity to receive His presence and understand the new life within our veins. But we go about our lives not feeling any differently, focused more on the mire of everyday life. At the appropriate time, God will force the bud to the surface, and we will see the results of all of the quiet time with God. We will see the results of all of the crying out to God in private. We will see the results of all of the time spent prostrate before God on Sunday mornings. Simply put, if nothing else produces results in our lives, God does! His results are the lasting kind that can take us from periods of lack to periods of plenty; and I’m not merely talking about financial plenty.

This work that Paul is talking about, this perfecting, when you finally see the results, it will astound you. For me, it happened on a Sunday morning, when despite my mind furiously working on what I lacked, my spirit man was rejoicing in God for all that He has provided, and every thought to the contrary was immediately silenced. Growth! A bud! Progress! Hallelujah! And while this growth will look different in the lives of each one of us. we will see it! And then when Jesus finally comes back, He will see Christians who look just like Him, as a result of a lifetime of perfecting, blooming, pruning, and more blooming. God is a constant gardener, and our lives are merely the soil for His seeds.

So, there we are. Until next time, be blessed!

My Prayer

This is a poem that I wrote a few years ago. It’s still very true today.

God, I need you

In my days, in my nights, in my seconds, minutes, hours
In sunsets, in sunrises, in twinkling skies, when storms rage
In my smiles, in my tears, in my triumphs, when I fear
When I’m right, when I’m wrong, when I come up short or shoot too long
In my thoughts, good and bad, funny and serious, pointed and pointless
In times of stress, strain, times of relaxation, light joyous and peaceful
In my downfall, my highest height, my deepest depth, my self -despair
In my depravity, in my sinful nature, in my life, and certainly at my death

In my heart, for the lost soul that can’t feel you as I do
In my eyes, for every sight of a world decaying without You
In my ears, in every cry out for You from those who have refused You
In my hand, that every touch be from You through me to others
In my feet, that I can walk away from that which is not good for me
In my words, that I speak only what I hear from You.

In my community, that I may be the salt that preserves what’s left

In my love, that mine may become as perfect as Yours.
In my spirit, that I may be as one with You.
In my prayers, that I may pray Your will and not my wants.
In my relationships, that I may nourish and not break them
In my community, that I may be the salt that preserves what’s left

In darkness, that I may be the light that leads others to You
In heartache, that I may understand how You must feel when we break Yours.
In loss, that I may remember the greatest loss that You suffered for our sin.
In defeat, that I may remember how to triumph in You.
In my air, that I am always breathing Your spirit.
In me, because without You, I am nothing.

Amen.