Wednesday, July 24, 2013

more and more



James 5 speaks of prayer. "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

The word for prayer is 'de├ęsis'... This word means 'petitions or supplications', however it is describing a heart-felt petition, a felt need that is 'personal and urgent' (biblesuite.com/helpsbible.com).

The word for righteous is 'dikaois', approved by God, in conformity to God's standard and will, in right standing with God.

This causes a problem, as Romans 3 says, no one is righteous! I know I fall short. Farther in the chapter though, God reveals his mercy and grace, 'This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Acts 3:14 describes Jesus as the Holy and Righteous One, rejected by man.

God takes our faith and belief and counts it as righteousness.

"Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord." - Psalms 118:19.

We are made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. God is holy and we have fallen short of His standard and His Will. Nothing we can do, none of our effort, can make us righteous and nothing we do can take away this righteousness since it isn't achieved by our effort. As a children of God, redeemed and made holy, our prayer is powerful and effective.


As I said, I want prayer to in every part of my life. I don't want to just wait till I find time, till I remember, till someone plans an event. No, make me faithful, diligent, purposeful.

Revival.

I want to see a rising of prayer warriors; my siblings, my friends, my generation on our knees, seeking God and asking Him to be with us,to guide us, to use us.  I hope to see us humbling ourselves before God in prayer, recognizing our need and who He is.






Monday, July 22, 2013

more

 Complacency is a constant battle. The last couple of days, I've been thinking about how to affects my prayer life. No. I do not pray continually. No. I do not bring everything before my father. Yes. I am negligent. Yes. I typically put selfish habits and desires before prayer.  I want more. I desire and yearn for more of God.


There are several reasons I push aside prayers. I'm afraid of sounding stupid, of what other people will think, of saying something 'inaccurate'. I'm comfortable with conversations. I'm get immediate 'satisfaction' and 'results' from venting to people. I get tired, and typically eating and sleeping comes way before praying crosses my mind. However, I'm tired of putting my fears and my comfort and my selfishness before prayer.

It is so easy to forget that our life is fleeting and just a 'breath' (Psalms 39). Here on earth, we are in a long and tiring marathon, and we are in a battle. Ephesians 6 talks about the struggle we have 'against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms'. After describing the armor of God we can equip ourselves with, Paul ends by focusing on and emphasizing prayer.

My heart is first. I want to be seeking God, pursuing Him, becoming a prayer warrior. It starts with my coming before God as an individual... however, I don't want it to stop there. I want prayer to infiltrate every area of my life. At my work, at home, on the road, even my social life. I'm so quick to make plans and to spend time with my brothers and sisters. However, often times our fellowship consists of watching movies, playing games, sometimes talking about life or even discussing God. However, I cannot describe us as being 'all joined together constantly in prayer' (Acts 1:14). The earl church 'devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer' (Acts 2:42).

I want it to be more then just me though.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

a brook

 I don't want to be living comfortably, floating by and settling for 'routine', but I have been tired and empty lately. Thankfully I have a God who meets me where I am at and knows my every need. I love solitude, hiding where no one can find me. Going and serving is important, but even Jesus left the disciples and the crowds to pray on the mountainside and to spend time fellowshipping with God. God unexpectedly gave me a babbling brook to listen to, a stone to sit on and a sheltering wall of ivy to look at; He gave me a retreat. I was able to physically breathe freely just walking in. In sitting there and pouring out my heart, hurt, desires and cries, He was faithful and brought such peace and restoration.

I can relate to David; sometimes my soul is downcast and I have to tell myself to "put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God" Psalms 42:5b. Despite struggling at times though, I can continually have joy in light of the fact that I am living for my Father and for His eternal kingdom.... this earth and these troubles are temporary, just passing.


Today, God meet me where I was at. Who else can meet my deepest needs? Who else can provide such peace and comfort? "If you seek him, he will be found by you" - 1 Chronicles 28:9. He did lead me besides still waters and He did restore my soul. Praise my Father, my Lord, my Shelter and my Strength!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

two fish and five loaves of bread

Matthew 14:13-21

Jesus told the disciples, "they do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."

"We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.

"Bring them here to me," he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.

Jesus took the two fish and the five loaves of bread and turned to God, thanking Him because He is the provider and source of everything, even what we deem 'meager' or 'small' and overlook.

"The disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children."

When I'm asked to give something, my response is typically one of doubt rather then faith. 'Only' is a word I use too often. I look at what I have; my physical belongings, my knowledge, my personality, my abilities and I respond with doubt. It isn't enough, I'm not adequate, what I have can't be used.

Jesus says differently. He gently responds and tells me to "bring them here to me."


Come, lay it before me, give it up, allow me to use it.

I'm reminded I can't do it, I can't be perfect, I can't impress God. Everything I have is God's, He is my provider and 'every good and perfect gift is from above'.

"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

It is all through Him. He has rescued us, He has qualified us, He has strengthened us! He will multiply where He sees fit and He will work all things together. God will use it.

Do I respond in faith? Do I respond in prayer?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Radical

I am reading a book called Radical by David Platt and would like to keep some of the quotes that struck me.


'We pray for the entire world, but we do not pray alone. We pray, "OUR Father in heaven."'


David struggled with questioning whether he was suppose to actually  go through the hassle and go to Sudan or if it'd be more effective to just send the 3000 dollars.
Andrew lived in Sudan and told him during his visit ' "A true brother comes to be with you in your time of need. David, you are a true brother. Thank you for coming to be with us."
Tears welled up in my eyes as the reality of the gospel hit home with me in an entirely new way. I was immediately reminded that when God chose to bring salvation to you and me, he did not send gold or silver, cash or check. He sent himself - the Son.'


'If we want to know the glory of God, if we want to experience the beauty of God, if we want to be used by the hand of God, then we must live in the Word of God.'

After talking about being woken up at four in the morning by the church holding a prayer meeting in South Korea... 'We express enthusiasm, emotion, and affection for football and other sports, and it begs the question, what would happen in our culture in the church prayed with such passion? What would happen if Jesus dominated our affections more than the superficial trivialities that garner our attention? What would happen if we spent hours before God praying on behalf of the church, the lost, and the poor around the world?'

Matthew 9. "Why do you think Jesus would look at the crowds around him, with all their deep needs and then turn to his disciples and tell them to pray for themselves? The answer is humbling. When Jesus looked at the harassed and helpless multitudes, apparently his concern was not that the lost would not come to the Father. Instead his concern was that his followers would not go to the lost.'