Prayer. It’s a subject that raises many emotions, beliefs, and practices.
About it, a friend told me this today:
I believe the Father and Son want a conversation. I’ve struggled with prayer having been raised in a church where everything was so formal. When I began talking to our Father like he was riding shotgun in my truck, I began to feel the difference.
Now that’s an image to check out how one’s prayer life is going.
- Is anyone riding shotgun?
- If so, who?
- Is it any person of the Trinity?
- How balanced is the conversation?
- How much listening is happening?
- How long is the trip?
- Does the conversation ever stop?
- If so, what stops it?
- What happens in the conversation lull?
Suggestion: use this imagery the rest of this week. See what changes in your praying. Who knew prayer could be like riding shotgun?
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Sinitta Leunen
I learned this morning that I have a temptation. Devotion #18 in Skye Jethani’s book revealed it.
I relate to Jethani. I don’t share sufficient outrage for some people. Does that mean I don’t get outraged? No. Actually, here’s my temptation-getting outraged at other’s outrage. That’s just as unacceptable. And can be equally exhausting.
When I imagine how Jesus would respond these days, I’m guessing it would be the same as how we read in the Gospels. Did he get outraged? Yes. But he didn’t live outraged. His moments of exhaustion resulted from living from compassion, not anger. Had he lived any other way, he would have never made it to the cross. I’m thankful he never gave in to any temptation, particularly this one.
What’s exhausting us? I pray it’s more compassion than outrage.
After reading Hebrews 12 and Galatians 1 this morning, here’s a simple summary:
Do what you do for God, not for man.
Do what you do through faith, till the end, eyes on Jesus.
In The Message, one phrase from Hebrews could be paraphrased, “Never Lose Sight of Where You’re Going.”
May your week be blessed in the how and why of your doing!
Started this book today:
Jethani has doodled and produced 72 devotionals based on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
After reading the first nine, I encourage you to check it out. If you wonder what might be troubling you about followers of Jesus, you might discover it in this book. It’s possible we haven’t taken Jesus seriously enough.
The month of September is an awareness month for suicide prevention. Today our center, Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast, hosted a much needed conversation with two of our counselors about this topic. Please watch and add your comments.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying to God.
About midnight Paul and Silas were singing to God.
About midnight the prisoners were listening to them.
About midnight, what am I doing?
Literally, most likely sleeping. Figuratively, good question.
What are my midnight prayers? Do they lead me to singing?
What are my midnight songs? Do they fix my mind on God?
What do people hear from me at midnight? Does it lead them to pray and sing to God?
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Jackson Hendry
I came across a 6-day reading plan on YouVersion that is worth rereading over and over. The reading plan is called “Turn Your Wounds To Scars” by Vijay Thangiah. Day 4’s devotion touches on the importance of learning how to forgive in order for wounds to become scars. For a biblical example of someone putting this into practice, Day 5’s devotion goes to the end of Genesis. Take a guess at who the example is.
If you said Joseph, you’re correct. Joseph got wounded by just about everyone in his life. He bore many scars. Yet, he is lifted as a great example of forgiveness because of this statement to his brothers in chapter 50:
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
That’s a statement from a scar, not a wound.
In all my readings and hearing messages about this passage, I’ve never heard the following statement that was in Day 5’s devotional:
His brothers on the other hand had never been able to forgive themselves for the wrong that they had done to Joseph and were constantly living in fear. So 37 years after they threw him down a well and having lived under his gracious care for 20 years, once their father Jacob dies, they are still afraid that Joseph will seek revenge against them.
What this portrays is the weight we carry when we don’t understand or practice how to forgive ourselves. Joseph’s brothers were not afraid because of a recent act. Their fear was 37 years old. That’s a long time for the enemy to wreak havoc.
That havoc, unfortunately, may not live in just one heart. It may leak out into many relationships resulting in many wounds that have nothing to do with the original wound.
Your healing is possible. And it may actually start with you forgiving you.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Felix Koutchinski
I just watched the newly released film Robin’s Wish. Came across it ondemand. Didn’t know anything about. Hadn’t seen any trailer or news about it. But after looking up the trailer, I knew I wanted to view it.
I imagine most people are in my shoes, thinking they know what ended Robin Williams’ life. Many have learned-now everyone can know as I now know-that it wasn’t what they first heard or thought. A few months after his death, his wife was told that Robin had Lewy Body Dementia. There is no cure. This film, with much storytelling by his widow Susan Schneider, captures the reality and challenges of this disease both of the sufferer and their caregiver.
Watching a documentary like this provides loads of takeaways. You should watch to see what yours are. Mine are the importance of knowing the truth and the need to share it.
Recently I was given a book of Puritan Prayers and Devotions entitled The Valley of Vision.
This photo is an excerpt of the prayer I read before sitting down to my desk to start work this Monday morning.
Only a few minutes in, I went to find a pencil in my collection of unused writing utensils. The first one I grabbed had the engraving “I Am Someone Who Makes A Difference.”
I saw a connection that we could all use. May we all pray to submit ourselves to make a difference in our God-given disposition. May we walk, therefore, confidently, purposefully, and observantly to make a difference.