Sunday, November 26, 2006

Isaiah 40:27-31 Prayer

Isaiah 40:27-31
Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God"?

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

We hear You speaking to us Oh God. Reminding us that our paths are not hidden; that our ways are not unknown, and that the justice due us will not escape Your notice.

We do know! We do hear! You are God - Everlasting, Lord, Creator! You are not weary. You do not become tired. Your understanding is immeasurable. And, though we become tired and weary, You are our strength.

As we turn to You and have our hope in You, we will rise up with eagles wings.
We will run and not get tired.
We will walk and not faint, because…

We do know! We do hear! You are God - Everlasting, Lord, Creator, and Saviour…

In Jesus’ name - Amen.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanksgiving Prayer

Father, my prayer this Thanksgiving season, is for those for whom Thanksgiving is not a time of thanks giving. I lift up those for whom this is a very difficult time of the year - and only going to get worse with the next “holiday”... Oh, many of us joke about our families, but in reality, they’re pretty tame; but not everyone can say that.

I’m not even talking about those in war torn countries, or famine ravaged countries, or parts of the world where natural disasters have destroyed their ways of life - but those right around us, Lord, who are hurting.

Perhaps it’s a lack of food, or lack of job, or lack of love, but the void in their hearts and homes is “crater-sized.” And that, my God, brings an emptiness to the pit of my stomach, and a heaviness to my soul, and I lift them up to You.

Your Word, God, tells us that there is no temptation, no sorrow, no hurt, which our Saviour has not experienced, and so, You know, don’t You… You know “first-hand.”

As I lift them up, the faces I “see”, the one’s I’ve heard about, and the ones I just imagine, I ask, Lord, comfort their hearts. And more than that Lord, show me what I must do. How can I be serve these people? How can I bring the love and comfort of the Living Christ into another’s heart and home?

I love Your Word, Lord. I love to study it, I love to teach it. But today, Father, take me from the “Scribe's cloak” to the “Servant’s shoes” - and tell me where to walk.

In Jesus’ Name - Amen

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Prayer for strength in times of intolerance

God forgive me, for I am an intolerant and impatient person.

I don’t mean “tolerance” as the “world” means it - as accepting of all religions and all (supposed) ways to You; for there is only One Way. That’s not intolerance, that’s Gospel.

No, I am intolerant and impatient at times in dealing with “people” in general. Yes, it most often comes when I’m tired, or have a headache, or stressed, but that is no excuse; for they are your children, too.

“But,” my “self” says, “they aren’t acting like, talking like, living like, loving like, God’s children…”

Well, neither am I at this point, I confess…

It’s just, Lord; I get so tired of people. I’m tired of the cars that cut me off, the grocery carts that cut me off, and the individuals who cut me off, who only hear what they want to hear, and not what I’m really saying.

I’m tired of recorded phone calls, where the automatic messenger jumps right into his discourse before I can even register who is calling. (Does anyone really ever listen to the whole thing?)

But mostly, Lord; I’m tired of carrying this weight - this weight of “always doing the ‘right’ thing.”

“Discernment” is a double-edged sword. It allows me to “see”; but it also “makes” me see… I see what I “ought” to be doing. I see what “ought” to be achieved. I see what “ought” to be said…

I see what is the “right” thing to do, and I don’t always want to do it.

Sometimes I feel like Elijah - that I’m the oooonly person left who loves You; that I’m the oooonly person who truly serves You; that I’m the oooonly person who cares… and I only want to run and hide (as he did.)

Come to me, Lord, as You did to him. He looked for You in the fire, as You spoke to Moses, but You weren’t there. He looked for You in the wind, as You were with the Israelites, but You weren’t there. He looked for You in the earthquake, as You were with Job, but You weren’t there, either.

You came to him in a still, small voice - just exactly the way Elijah needed to meet you at that moment. And now, come to me Lord, in just exactly the way I need to hear you, and meet you, at this moment.

Speak to my soul; tell me (again) not to “grow weary in well doing.” Tell me (again) that You never promised it would be easy, but that You would be with me. Tell me (again) that You love me, and it’s not my always doing the right thing that makes You love me. It’s not my “works (lest any man should boast…”) It is purely Your Love and Your Grace.

God, You’ve given me this “double edged sword” of discernment. Now, I pray, grant me strength, wisdom, and grace to carry it.

In Jesus’ name (in Jesus’ authority I bow) Amen.

The rest of the story...

About an hour after I posted this, I went to work and flipped on the radio. Chuck Swindoll was preaching on "living in a hostile world." And God did, indeed, speak to me, exactly how I needed to hear Him...

Praise Him for His wonderful Word!