5 Ways to Go Deeper with God

Make one change for Him. Daily choices determine our habits, and habits form a life. Big changes always start with one step you take over and over again. Recently, I gave my phone to my husband as he headed out the door to work and told him I would pick it up in the afternoon. That was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I recognized that a habit I had allowed to form was drowning the one I really desired to live out. I needed to shut down the habit of checking in with the world so I could focus on what God has for me in this season. Because we are creatures of habit, change will always challenge us. Fasting is perhaps the surest way to awaken us to what we hold quite tightly too. When I want to shake my spirit from dullness, I skip a meal and cause my mind to reflect on God. What is one change you can make….or need to make…to help your focus turn towards Him? It may just be the best decision you make.

choices

 

Pick up a pen. No other created thing God made can communicate through the written word. There is something powerful about writing. Whether it means you begin taking notes again during the sermon time, start journaling your evening prayers or just always have a pen handy when reading scripture. I thoroughly enjoyed When I Journal, He Speaks by Dr. Michelle Miner. The Holy Spirit is actively speaking to believers. Writing helps us tune in to what we think we are hearing from Him. Putting the pen to paper (or hitting the keyboard) is one way we “capture our thoughts” so we can put them up against the light of truth and combat any lies of the enemy. As King David sang unto the Lord, he declared that his tongue was the pen of a skillful writer. (Psalm 45:1) He turned his praise into written word so others would know the goodness of the Lord. Just imagine if we did not have the Psalms today! Pick up a pen, listen and lean into what the Spirit is saying.

Cultivate daily worship. When a local radio station challenged listeners to listen only to Christian music for thirty days, they saw a huge response in the attitudes of callers who participated. We were made for worship. The ironic truth is that as we worship God, it actually renews our own spirit within. Feelings won’t always come first. That’s okay. You may even feel distant from the Lord and wouldn’t know where to start. Try out a Christian station on Pandora or play soft music on your iPhone while reading the Psalms in the morning. God has promised He will inhabit the praises of His people. When you choose to enter an atmosphere of praise, you are drawing near to God. And He will draw near to you.

Read the Bible out loud. We know from studies that when you increase the modes of learning, the brain sits up to pay attention. Even visual learners will increase their memory when sound is added. One really enriching way to do this is reading to your children, but anyone can benefit. Specifically, I find that reading the Psalms or Isaiah out loud can cause the words to catch in my spirit. I find I start praying the words and coming into agreement. God chose to communicate with us through the written word. He is waiting to speak to you on every page. If reading has become old hat, try something new. Find a hidden place to go by yourself and read aloud. Turn every reading into a time of prayer by saying, “Thank you God for this truth.”

Choose community. Christianity does not flourish in isolation. My most intimate times with the Lord have surely been alone with Him, but I will bear little fruit for Him, if any, sitting in my home. Because the Lord designed us in His image, we have the built-in need for fellowship and communion. For many, this step is huge or hard. Isolation has become common in a world in which connecting includes only a screen. Many are alone or don’t know where to start. When we sink into ourselves, our spirit will become dry.  Everyone, at some time or another, has felt alone. God wants to lift you up. He sees you. But you would help his cause quite a bit if you would give Him the chance to love you through the tangible hands and feet of the church again. If you have allowed a hurt from a person to transfer to the Lord, remember that God is defined as love. Choose to attend church this week. Let the pastor put the ashes on your forehead and remind you that “from dust you came and to dust you shall return.” Then remember that the pastor will also face eternity and we are all in the same boat. Call an old friend and ask them about their faith walk these days. Attend a Bible study and take a deep breath knowing everyone else in the room needs help just as much as you.

Deeper

Our church is asking a question during Lent: How can you go deeper with God? We’ll be discussing the vows we take upon joining a church and what that means for a follower of Christ. What are some ways you go deeper with Him? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share via your favorite social media. Be sure to use #deeper to share with others about your faith journey this Lenten season.

 

 

What Michael Phelps Can Teach Us About Prayer: Pushing Through

After Michael Phelps received his eighth gold metal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games someone asked him what made the difference. What separated him from all the other swimmers? He said that after all the other swimmers were done with practice and got out of the pool, he remained.

Michael Phelps just stayed in the pool.

When the last splash of water hit the pavement from the drip of a lesson done, this Olympian pushed harder. He took one more lap, one more backstroke and dreamed once more of a greater story. Many times, I’m sure he was alone.

Dreams for something bigger and better will include some isolation. To push along when you feel alone is not easy. Doing the hard thing over and over again separates great from good. And what we do in our places when no one is watching prepares us for when millions are.

Perseverance and longevity are not just physical strength lessons. They are the price we pay for spiritual maturity. George Muller was the Michael Phelps of prayer. He just kept praying when everyone else gave up.

I began reading Muller’s journals in the midst of a deep born hunger for prayer about three years ago. His was the only lesson I could not grasp. The term “pushing through” felt rough and hard. I wondered why we ever needed to pray more than once for something. If God really heard and we had as much faith as we could muster at the time and dotted all the right i’s, why did we have to play it on repeat? If we really believed we would receive, didn’t asking for it again negate that faith?

In the midst of these questions, I was finding myself praying for things which did not seem to bring fruit fast enough for me. As my prayer life was strengthened through long times of listening, adoration and targeted Scriptural prayers, my mind still wondered about the practice of “praying through.” I knew that, too often, I would give up too soon.

When my daughter was facing a possible serious medical procedure at a very young age, the Lord directed me to the first chapter of James. My faith was faltering because I wasn’t seeing results from my prayer the way I wanted to. A friend of my husband even felt moved to drive three hours to our home and prayer over her. That day I had very little faith to agree. I missed a great opportunity to believe in agreement with a man I barely knew because my worry trumped my faith. When our deepest concerns for those we love the most come head to head with our prayer life, we find our default faith. Sometimes the fear of losing what we love masks the love He wants to fill us with. (This is why hard days need friends. When you can’t see past your feelings, ask someone to believe for you). I’m so thankful that friend believed.

In that season something directed me to the book of James because verse four was for me.

“Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Just that portion and that portion alone in the midst of this known section on trial made my heart burn within. God was not finished yet. I was pulling out early. I needed to get back in the pool.

But it was more than wrestling in prayer for one thing. It always is.

Praying through is about answering the same question we wake up to every day:

“Do you believe?”

And I’ve found out that there is a faith only found in the process of praying through. Coming to Him over and over again about the same thing provides a depth to our prayer life that we need and don’t even recognize. It’s not a begging. It’s not a fight against God. There is a wrestling within ourselves, our death to self. To busyness about the wrong things – always. But there is also an opening up over time. A listening. A sensitivity to the request….”teach me, Lord, how to pray.”

It means I haven’t figured it all out and that’s okay. It means He wants to draw us to Himself instead of a formula.

George Muller prayed for twenty years for a lost friend to be saved. What did he say in year ten that he hadn’t said by year eight? I don’t know. But that man gave his heart to the Lord as Muller was dying. To pray for that long means he found a contentment in the asking. He found contentment in the One he was asking. His persevering prayer became a conversation.

This is where our talking meets up with listening and we adjust the need. We grow up in Him as we allow the Teacher to walk us through the asking.

Some days we just say, “I trust you.”

Other days we say, “Help me believe.”

And, finally, other days He does the speaking. “Just rest. I’ve got this.”

No matter the need, the circumstance or the prayer, perseverance seems to be the ticket. How many people have quit just short of a breakthrough?

I’m still praying for people I’ve been praying over for years. My prayers have changed. And so have I. And I just bet there are about a million people out there today in the same place. Waiting, hoping, still waiting. Possibly tempted to get out of the pool and wonder if any of the work, the time, the faith is worth it all? Perhaps other people would say it’s foolish. To believe for such big things only God could do. To get up early and get on my knees again. To go above for others when it doesn’t seem to matter. To serve behind the scenes or give generously when the world says to hold tight.

Faith won’t always make sense.

But I’m writing this today for myself and everyone else out there who just knows in your gut that God always comes through.

Whether it’s been two days or twenty years, it’s worth it to believe. For that dream. That healing. That restoration.

God is still in the business of redemption. He is the God who answers prayer. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Get back in the pool.

Get back in the pool

One more lap. One more prayer. Today. Because I’m walking my spirit into hope.

“..suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Rom. 5:3-4

On Mama Bears…and the Call of Every Prayer Warrior to Keep Watch

To be a Mom is to enter protective mode. From the first time they hand you that little fragile person, you think through every possible scenario to protect them from. Note the massive child safety industry with cabinet locks, baby gates and door handle covers. O bless you, non-removable cabinet lock.

A friend a I laughed over the phone recently about our “plans” should an intruder challenge our home. Golf clubs may have been involved.

I noticed something in the well-known “virtuous woman” text of Proverbs 31 the other day. She “watches” over the affairs of her household.

In the beginning, it’s believed men did spend most of their time hunting and gathering, while the women stayed by the place they had settled. (Yeah, housework started way back then) Just like a Mama Bear, we watch over the littles and make claim to our territory. I have no idea what women did back then without “20 Easy Crockpot Meals” from Pinterest. These are the great mysteries of life.

In the gospel of Mark, chapter 13, Jesus gave the disciples a specific exhortation to direct their lives after he left.

“No ones knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away. He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back-whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch'”

Christ is talking about His own return. Did you notice that everyone is given an assigned task, and one person is chosen to STAY at the door just to keep watch? So – we all have a task at hand. And who will keep watch?

The four different times mentioned in the second paragraph are not random. The Romans used four times of the night to watch for the enemy, and they were called night watches. We see mention of this in the Psalms when David refers to the “watches of the night.” Jesus is connecting to his listeners while also suggesting this type of vigilance in regards to watching for Him.

The prophet Habakkuk proclaimed to Lord in his book, chapter 2, that he would stand at his watch, and station himself on the rampart. The rampart was the tall thick wall built around a castle for protection. Watchtowers were very common, and men took turns covering every shift.

The job of a watchmen was extremely important and very dangerous. Their job was to alert the people if an enemy was seen approaching. But they were also very vulnerable, and the enemy knew to target the watchman. To take on the role of protector is a great responsibility.

The enemies most often attacked at night to hide their approach. Even the shepherds kept watch over their flocks at night, when the larger animals would come after the sheep. Night time was watch time.

It still can be. And for the ardent prayer warrior – some of the most powerful spiritual warfare will take place on the battlefield in the night hours.

Habakkuk takes this role and uses it in regards to watching for the Lord. Watchmen had the greatest advantage being so high. They not only saw the enemy, but they could see a messenger from a great distance.

Watch is my word for 2015, and for good reason. Other than the word LISTEN, it’s been about all the Spirit has been nudging me with.

To intentionally watch for Him is an act of faith. We are looking, expectant, believing. For that answered prayer….but mostly for Him. We wait for the day He will return to make all things right. We wait for Him to show up in our schools and court houses and places of worship. To activate our faith, we say expectantly,

“My soul waits for you, Lord…..more than watchmen wait for the morning…” Psalm 130:6

We take up our responsibility and privilege of keeping watch in prayer for His kingdom to come. To pray when we doubt and when we tire and when all around looks hopeless. We still pray, because it is our task…….and He is coming.

 

8 Words to Use in Spiritual Warfare Prayer

CLAIM

Lord of Heaven and Earth, I claim your promises over ________, that nothing can separate him from your love and no weapon formed against him shall prosper. Surely goodness and mercy will follow ______ all the days of his life, and he will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Ps. 23, Rom. 8, Isaiah 54:17)

REBUKE

Lord, I rebuke a spirit of competition in our city and speak UNITY over all believers, because your Word proclaims how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. (Titus 2:15, Ps. 133)

BIND

Father, in the authority of Jesus, I bind all spirits of fear, gloom and negativity attacking my friend _______ today and pray her joy would be unspeakable and full of glory. May you loose all assistance in heaven to aid her and her family today. Thank you Jesus! (Matthew 16:19)

EXPOSE

Gracious God, I pray that you would expose the deeds of darkness within our community – and the sins deep within my own heart, that all truth will come into the light for your glory and our sanctification. May a spirit of repentance fall upon us all, and may it start with me, O God. (Eph. 5:11)

GRANT

Faithful God, grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me in trials and suffering, that I may not shrink back in proclaiming Jesus Christ as the Son of the living God. May you grant me also, Gracious God, the courage I need to walk in the way that leads to life – even if it means death. (Ps. 51:12)

SHIELD

Eternal God, I thank you that you are a shield around your servant, _________. I ask today that you shield him from all schemes and wiles of the devil that _________ may continue to proclaim your great name, hidden within the shadow of your wings. (Ps. 3:3,17:8, Eph. 6:11)

CONFESS

Jesus, I confess you are the Son of the Living God, and there is no other. May you protect me from falsehood and the lies of the enemy, that this confession will find it’s full effect in me. Keep me always sensitive to your Spirit, O God, that I will be ready at all times to confess my iniquity and follow after you. (2 Chron.6:24-27, Rom 10:9)

COVER

Lord, you cover your faithful within the feathers of your wings, and underneath us are Your everlasting arms. May you cover now, your servant, ________ in protection and the blood of the Lamb, that no arrows of the enemy would befall her. Thank you for being her everlasting shield. (Ps. 91:4, Dt. 33:27)

Can’t Talk to God? —-> When’s the Last Time You Took a Long Walk?

I’d throw on my shoes and run up my rocky drive-way, past the basketball goal I’d worn out from free-throw practice over the years. She met me just past the pond at the bottom of the hill and we walked to the highway and back. We did this almost daily in the long summers of childhood…..weekly at least during school.

It didn’t matter if we’d seen each other at school that day. And over the years, our “groups” of friends changed. Kids would be surprised to know we were like sisters – but we didn’t care. We just kept walking.

It was our consistent thing. A place we could go and just be ourselves. It didn’t matter what we said. Some days, it was like dropping the weight of the world in a bucket, readying my spirit for the next day.

There’s something about the sole of your shoe hitting the road and your mind finding this open space to talk. There’s a freeing wind, really, pushing you forward. Anybody who can get me in these moments knows I can be really quiet until I get really passionate.

It was years ago when I first heard of prayer walking. Just like opening up with a friend, it can take time to sprout. But when it does, something happens – or should I say breaks open.

There seems to be this tension sometimes in prayer. This emptiness – this over-trying. I compare it to getting stuck in writing. They say those with writer’s block need to get moving – physically.

What if that’s what we all need to break the block of prayer?

Have you taken a walk lately? Might you try it today and find the courage to take some deep breaths….before whispering, “Hello, God. I’m here.”

How to Hedge in Your Pastor: Faithfulness to Jesus Christ

Faithful God, Keeper of promises, you keep your covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love you and keep your commandments. (Dt. 7:9) You are faithful in all you do. I praise you for who you are.

Thank you that your eyes are on the faithful in the earth. (Ps. 101:6) I give thanks that this includes my pastor _________.

Thank you that he proclaims Jesus as the Son of God, which gives him the victory to overcome the world! (1 Jn. 5:4-5) May he always lift high the name of Christ as the head over the church (Eph. 1:22) and not turn away from the truth, as many will in the last days. (Matt 24:10-14) I pray he will not be found among those who shrink back, but boldly proclaim Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life and be found among those who believe and are saved. (Heb. 10:39)

I rebuke lies and false spirits from his mind and heart, O God, that he will proclaim you as the ONE true God, being able to say “I know no other.” Shield him from persuasive words of wise and persuasive men, (1 Cor. 2:4-5) as you anoint him in the power of Your Spirit – that he may glory in Christ and Christ alone.

I beseech you, Loving Father, to enable and urge __________ to test all spirits to see if they are from You and discern false prophets which go out in the world and come to attack his flock. (1 Jn. 4:1)

Protect _________ from the love of money and worldly things, that he may not wander from the faith and pierce himself with many griefs. (1 Tim. 6:10)

Grant, O God, to _________ a trustworthy and faithful mentor to guide him in the truth and offer accountability in grace. May he find a faithful friend like Barnabas to walk with him on the Way, that he might always consider their way of life and imitate their faith. (Heb. 13:7)

And now, Faithful and Just God, infuse your servant with courage, I pray, that he may be found faithful in the last days, able to hear “well done, thy good and faithful servant“….and receive that beautiful crown of righteousness you promise to all who keep the faith. (Matt. 25:21, 2 Tim. 4:7-8)

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Praying for our PASTORS this week. Feel free to print and personalize. May we hedge in those who lead thousands – even millions all over the world in regards to their faith. May we cover those who will stand for the NAME of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

How to Hedge in Your Pastor: Wisdom

Gracious and all-knowing God, I thank you that you give wisdom generously to all who ask. I ask you today, Faithful God, to bestow upon my pastor __________ the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, that he may have a wise and discerning heart, able to know good from evil and walk in the way that leads to life. (1 Kings 3:12, Eph. 1:17)

May ___________’s love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that he may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God. (Phil 1:9-11)

I pray you will preserve sound judgment in his heart, O Lord, as he leads his flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made him overseer. (Acts 20:28) May you impart your love in his heart for all people, and bless him with the ability to draw out the motives of mens’ hearts. (Prov. 20:5)

May ________ be found as one who correctly handles the Word of truth. As the giver of all insight, may you, Lord, be his closest confident. (2 Tim 2:7) I rebuke all distractions from his devotional time, that he may drink deep of your truth and Word of life. Raise up supporters and encouragers for your servant, Lord, that he may be enabled to give his attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word. (Acts 6:4)

Impart within _________ a humble heart, for with humility comes wisdom. (Prov. 11:2) Thank you for all that he will teach me, because of what you have shown him. Open my heart to receive your wisdom through my pastor, and bless all the work of his hands, to your glory, forever and ever. Amen.

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Join me as we review prayers for PASTORS this week. Print it out, pass it along – what an honor to pray the Word of God over those he appoints to lead the way.

 

 

 

How to Hedge in Your Pastor

“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?” Job 1:10

pastor

We call them left tackles. Yeah, there’s a reason they get paid so much in the big leagues. The quarterback – he matters.

Everyone knows you don’t win many games when you only play defense. The offense needs a leader, and that leader needs a guard. Without protection, he finds himself surrounded quickly by the opposing team – alone.

Pastors need a left tackle team today.

To hedge him or her in. To build a stone wall of prayer that no arrow can befall. To stand together, encircling those who lead the way. It’s no small offering – this commitment. It’s kingdom work here. For those who believe beyond what they see – this is the call.

 What if we each….each of us…chose one prayer and whispered it daily for someone – someone leading the ranks.

I insert a name, God, every name that you bring to mind – the brothers, the sisters you look upon with honor and joy.

NOTE: I used both he/she pronouns at first, but it distracted from the reading of the prayer itself. I honor women who serve; please feel free to insert names/pronouns to personalize. I encourage anyone to copy and paste into Word, print and keep handy.

For Their Protection:

Faithful God, I come to you today for your servant, my brother, ____________. I thank you that your angels encamp around him, for he fears you. (Ps. 34:7)

By the authority of Jesus Christ and in His name, I stand against the wiles of Satan (Eph 6:11) and come against all assignments against _________. May you, O Lord, remove all obstacles to his total health and prosperity. I pray against any mountain of doubt or illness or fatigue, thanking you that he can do all things through Christ who gives him strength. (Mark 11:23, Phil. 4:13) I bind all spirits of fear, gloom and negativity which will come against ___________; let not his heart be troubled.

Thank you that ________ has the mind of Christ today. (1Cor. 2:16) For you did not give a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. (John 14:1, 2 Tim. 1:6-7) By your authority, I command all lies from his mind. I pray he will not be tormented today by impure, evil, negative or sinful thoughts. I rebuke confusion and ask for divine clarity in vision and in purpose. Transform him by the renewing of his mind so he may know your perfect will. (Rom. 12:2)

Bestow upon ____________ a spirit of praise, instead of a spirit of despair, Gracious God. (Isaiah 61:3) Fill him with joy in your presence! (Ps. 16:11)

I pray that _____ will hold tight to the shield of faith, with which he can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. (Eph. 6:16) Shield him from the fear of men, O God, and bestow upon him your Spirit of the fear of the Lord, which leads to life. (Isaiah 11:1-3, Prov. 19:23)

I claim your promises over your servant, God – that no weapon formed against him will prosper (Isaiah 54:17) – this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord; Surely, you will save your servant from the fowler’s snare and from deadly pestilence; __________ will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrows that fly by day; you will protect ____________, for he acknowledges your Name. (Ps. 91)

Set _________’s heart on your decrees, O God, and protect him from evil and temptation. You have given ________ authority to overcome all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19) May ________ demolish strongholds in the divine power of the weapons of warfare, even faith and prayer and your Word. (2 Cor. 10:4)

Protect _________ today, Faithful God, to your glory and for your NAME.

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This is a series on PRAYER in which we begin a mini-series on Pastoral Coverage. . May prayer warriors arise. See various prayers below as they are added….

Prayer for Wisdom

Spirit of Repentance

Perseverance

Keep Your Servant From Willful Sins: A Prayer From Psalm 119

Keeping our hearts on track today, Lord….we come with joy to your decrees…

 

keeper

 

Oh that my ways were steadfast in obeying you, sweet Lord.

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you, lover of my soul.

Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors. Counsel me, Oh God, in your truth. Sanctify me: Your Word is truth.

Oh that you would be gracious to me through your law and keep me from deceitful ways.

 

Turn my heart….oh TURN IT, GOD

 

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes – yes, those wandering eyes…. away from worthless things;

 

Like Job, I have made a covenant with mine eyes – to sway them back to you at every turn. Shut them fast – yes so fast –  at evil, give sight only to you.

 

Preserve my life – this life you give – according to your Word. Preserve me in your righteousness, for you are the life within my life – this light of glory…shining, glowing unto eternal places.

 

Oh, yes – this…..

I will hasten and not delay…to obey your commands. Hasten my Spirit, oh Spirit Divine.

 

Move within me, oh Spirit, quickly….quickly towards the Lord.

 

———————-> Move now. Closer. Nearer.

 

Oh for a blameless heart, dear God. And a path steady for these feet, walking your road alone. Stay me from evil…within and around and coming after me.

 

Your statutes, these written down morsels of life – they are my heritage forever. Mine and my childrens’ and all the worlds.’ They are the joy of this heart of mine. That heart, this beating deceitful thing….is set – yeah I will SET IT on keeping your decrees to the very end.

 

And when this soul, this flesh of mine has turned off, Merciful God, I thank you that you do not treat us as our sins deserve. Your mercies are new – so new and fresh and refreshing. Great…so beyond understanding and great is your faithfulness.

 

Your Word – the deep soul bread – tells me that anyone – ANYONE – who tries to conceal their sin does not prosper and that all things hidden in darkness will come into the light.

 

And that same ANYONE who confesses their sin – yeah, you are still faithful – again and again and again – to forgive – that blessed word…. our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Search my heart, O God, my King. Be my everything. May the words – the thoughts – the meditations – the movements and ways of my hands…and yeah, those eyes – be ever pleasing to you, my ROCK, my REDEEMER, my HOPE of everlasting LIFE.

 

Keep your servant from willful sin, O God. Those cherished ones I hold closer than you, tightly. Keep, me now, dear Spirit for you alone. Uproot, tear out all deep loves not abounding in your grace. No more willful sin here, God. No more.

 

I choose you. My heart is steady upon your Word, your grace, the fountain of love I cannot see but live within.

 

Keeper – my Keeper – Keep me ever close…for I am stayed by you.

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This is part of a series on PRAYER. May we hold fast to Him today. Blessings!

The Daily Bread is Before Us

She grabbed my hand and I felt something move into it. She said she was once a pastor’s wife. “Don’t say no – just take it. For you.” And with that, God used the hand of another to provide for me today.

It seems quite bold – the words Christ gave us.

Give us…our daily bread.”

How about “Would you, could you, will you…give to us?”

No. Jesus is showing us something here. Humility and boldness unite in prayer when the contrite heart meets the truth of God’s Word.

He has already promised provision. He will meet our needs. We come to the Father in the Lords prayer and fulfill his call to agreement one with another in prayer – “Yes, Lord, you are my provider; I agree and accept your gift.”

The key word is daily. Isn’t our problem just resting in the day to day of His promises?

To ask Him to meet all of our needs now is to misunderstand the ways of God. So Christ invites us to remember. Always remember. At the table, in the Eucharist…and in prayer. The work is done. Only now receive.

Yesterday’s manna, when depended on – can spoil the opportunity for miracles. What miracles are on the other side of our drought, when we look to Him alone for the rain.

The Israelites began to forget: It’s not natural for manna to fall from the sky. After forty years – it became an expectation. A norm. They lost the eyes to see the miracle. Then it stopped.

What bread – what provision – what blessing – is lying at our feet with no recognition to the Father?

We come to the Lord’s instruction and thank God for being a our God today. We marry his prayer with the words of Paul: I know God will meet all of your/our/my needs through His RICHES in glory/in Christ/in all of Himself.

Give us, oh Gracious and Generous God – our daily bread. We acknowledge you are the giver of all good things. May we feed the hungry and find our strength in you alone.

This is a series on prayer. You may begin here.