Posted in Faith, God, Prayer, Thankfulness

Prayer

This morning my conversation is with the Holy Spirit (yes I believe there is a two way conversation that happens and no, there’s not necessarily a voice so I don’t need therapy (see Joy Behar)). The reality is, we’ve wandered away from one of the key topics of this blog, prayer. After all, the title does state our two desires, seek and pray. We do a lot of seeking, let’s spend a few days talking about prayer.

First, let’s talk about what prayer is. The Greek word we get it from is παράκληση (prosefchi) meaning request, solicitation, prayer, entreaty, invocation, or rogation. Thank you Google Translate for this information.

It is my view that we can see an evolution of prayer in the Old Testament until we get to Jesus’ teachings. In the beginning, Adam and Eve had a one-on-one face-to-face relationship with their Creator. They had no need to ask for anything, He had already provided. They just walked and talked. Enjoyed the amazing beauty of His work. How cool would that be!!!! Then we manage, as humans do, to screw it up, and bite the wrong thing and run away and hide. We stop talking, stop telling the truth. Until it comes out, either on it’s own or because it’s uncovered some other way; and with discovery comes consequence. We know longer get to talk to God, our friend, Creator, Abba as we had. How now?

Using BibleGateway.com, I discovered the word prayer does not appear in any version of the Bible until Genesis 20:7. While I found this interesting, the behavior of prayer throughout the Old Testament (OT) was the people would take their concerns, requests, and praises to a prophet or priest and with a sacrifice to God he would present it. Conversation was not two way always. Life was legalistic. People were told do this and you will make God happy and He will keep you. Blessedly, David, even before becoming a King, showed us a better way (he’s not the only one, but a prominent one). He sang! He played instruments! He danced! He rejoiced! He wrote poems! He talked with God, seeking answers, expecting to hear Him, faithfully (usually) waiting. The Book of Psalms shares all this with as.

Wait a minute! Sing? Dance? Play music? Rejoice? Isn’t all of the just shameful? Even David’s wife Mical challenges this (2 Samuel 6:20)! David basically tells her to get over herself. The love of God and the thanksgiving of His gifts are something to be celebrated, not hidden. We should be loud about our love of God, not silenced.

I’ll finish today with my two favorite thoughts on prayer. First, there are some awesome music groups out there with great music about prayer. Some of my favorites are Renew Me and The Creed by Avalon, Listen to the Sound by Building 429, and Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood. Those are but a few that come to mind quickly. Eden’s Bridge, for KING AND COUNTRY, Mandisa, Mercy Me, and Out of Eden are other groups that have fantastic music for praying!

Psalm 16:1 says, “Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You”. what a declaration! If we can make this statement, then we need to also be able to follow 2 Chronicles 7:14 :

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)

Heavenly Father, hear our cry, we reach out to you now. Let us, as we walk together, learn to talk with you consistently, learn to listen to you, learn to humbly but boldly follow you. Be with us and our loved ones, protecting us from the evils of this world, comforting us in the knowledge that you are carrying us through whatever our journey is. Thank you Father. Amen.

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Posted in Christ, God, Thankfulness

Thank you for what?

4:00 a.m. comes very early, I don’t care who you are or how used to it you are. Aches, pains, groans and moans come with (as I like to call it) maturity, aging is just not for wimps. No one lives for free, even if the wealthiest may not feel the daily, weekly or monthly torture of paying or avoiding bills, we all have at least some.

Shania Twain, a wonderful Country singer, wails us with a black cloud kind of day in her 1998 hit song, “Honey, I’m Home”.

The car won’t start-it’s falling apart
I was late for work and the boss got smart
My pantyline shows-got a run in my hose
My hair went flat-man, I hate that
Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse
I realized I forgot my purse
With all this stress-I must confess
This could be worse than PMS

We are bombarded by our music, readings, media, and social media either with reasons we should be filled with concern and angst OR how to feel better about ourselves; and, we don’t even have to try, we can just drive down the road and read a billboard.

20 Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.   Ephesians 5:20 (TLB)

Always. Always? So every morning my chronic pain won’t allow me to sleep more than four hours I should give thanks? Every moment even a step or a touch or a movement causes pain, I should give thanks? Every time a bill is in question I should give thanks? Car not starting? Late for work? PMS?

Yes. After all, I did wake up. I am able to feel. I have the ability, albeit slowly some days, to take a step or move or touch or type or write. Bills? Even if for no other reason my mind is intact enough to be aware that I’m having to make a decision about bills. I think you’re getting the message.

Everything is not just a matter of attitude, it’s a matter of awareness. Awareness of our condition in Christ and an understanding that all things are gifts from God, it’s what we do with it, where we take it, that corruption of it occurs. Corruption may be a strong word but it feels right.

As you step through this day, be it confined in a bed or hurtling through a marathon, I pray you do so with the awareness of Christ presence with you each moment of the day. Rejoice in those moments, sharing them with others, being a witness of Christ through your actions.