Posts Tagged: prayer

God I Did Not Form

A God I Did Not Form

Turning the Page On Suicide: A God I Did Not Form

A God I Did Not Form
My energy is all spent up
on belief in a God Invisible.
I die in this furnace of pride, while
Pagans laugh at you. All because I did not
shape you into what is acceptable.  This
God who claims to be the sole
provider of all things good in
my life. A slave who should
bow down to idols rather than
kneel in prayer—alone— in awe of you,
while the whole world pushes there
shiny gods on me.

Look up, child.

While flames lick around this
fragile form, you take my hand
in your callused carpenter hands
and hold me in the head-turning unexpected.
I sing, Holy, Holy, Holy when my faith should be singed
in the smoke of my humanness,
because you are not a God
I forged with my own hands.

 

If the God whom we serve exists, then He is able to deliver us from the blazing fiery furnace and from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18 BSB).

Turning Your Page:

The book of Daniel has always been one of my greatest fascinations. How do children, taken captive by a cruel king, cultivate faith willing to stand in a fiery furnace, face a den of lions, and eighty years as a captive? I want that kind of faith! Knowing the character of God takes reading scriptures, putting it into practice, confessing sin, and a willingness to be open to God’s will come what may. I encourage you this week to:

  • Pray on your knees.
  • Ask God to help you to maintain integrity when others ask you to bow down to other gods.
  • Express yourself in journaling, art, poetry. We learn from one another. Record God’s faithfulness.

Lord, I did not form you with my own hands, you formed me. Keep me in the flames so that I may never forget my dependency upon your will alone. Amen

For Further Reading: When God Hits the Pause Button in Our Faith

Reduced to Prayer

Luke 22:39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He told them, “Pray that you will not enter into temptation.”

41 And He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, where He knelt down and prayed, 42“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. 44 And in His anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.c

 

Conversation, smallest unit of trust,

on which faith’s DNA is shaped into obedience.

In the garden heaven multiplies cells of lush truth

while relating to our God.

Willing clay shaped by willing love.

So that, when we are tempted to despair, we are never alone.

It is Not About Our Circumstances

Scripture:

Romans 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,first to the Jew, then to the Greek. 17 For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”…

Thoughts:

If faith in Jesus Christ were dependent upon where we were born, who our parents are, or what religion we were brought up in, then the divisions in our beliefs would be concrete walls that were impenetrable. But trust in God, belief in His son Jesus is found throughout the world. Why?

  • God desires a relationship with his creation
  • Creation itself testifies that he is God
  • Men and women testifying to the nations about what they have seen and heard of Jesus
  • The Holy Spirit goes ahead, directs and softens, prepares, convicts and inspires
  • The truth of Christ is emboldened by persecution rather than crushed
  • We can test and see that God is good
  • His word does not go out and come back void

Prayer:

Father, I praise you that you want to be known! You are not an inactive, distant God. Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Thank you for letting me be an instrument of your will. May my testimony of what I see and hear of you encourage all who cross my path. Amen

Being with Jesus is the Fountain of Youth

Isaiah 41:…30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 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.

This is the strength I desire Lord! Being with you is the refreshment I need to do your will today. Thank you for being present with me, loving me, disciplining me, giving me hope. You are the reason I turn my page, and you alone turn my sorrow into gladness. Amen

 

Prayer Closet

There is a secret staircase I

spiral down, when the front

stairs feel too exposed. In

the darkness of fledgling hours

I retreat. Tracing your love notes

with heart, soul, and mind. Sipping

the earthy tea of you testaments. Conversing

together like old friends. Turning over to you all that

I am.

Allowing sunrise to color in the black and white outline

of your form. Loving because you first loved me.

the cross is necessary

God,Witness to Our Sorrow

2 Corinthians 1:8We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about the hardships we encountered in the province of Asia. We were under a burden far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.

Today my family witnessed the aftermath of a suicide off a highway overpass. My heart breaks for the young man and all who loved him!

Lord, you witness all of our brokenness and sorrow! You are not distant from our pain. Put a hedge of protection, around the children, taken away from him moments before he jumped, and the witnesses of his last moments. Soften the memories for the first responders so that they can rest deeply in your arms tonight. Father, I cry out to you, end the curse of depression and suicide!

I know you are in control. I know that your timing is perfect! But, move quickly to turn our sorrow to singing! God, you do not always spare us from our brokenness, and I struggle with why you linger. My mind cannot fathom, why you spared me from suicide, but not my son, or the young man today. I trust your sovereignty, though I do not understand it! As it took many years for Joseph to understand the wide berth of his dreams, I do not see all that you are doing with my circumstances. May I be aware of those struggling around me.

Teach me to rest content in your arms, though my circumstances crash around me. Amen

Hope Does not Disappoint

Romans 5:5The Message (MSG)

3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Do you honestly feel as if there is more to come? I struggled with believing this passage when it seems like around every corner is more trouble, more pain, and more sickness. I feel shortchanged!

Yesterday, while surrounded by the prayers of our church family, I began to grasp that God is breaking me of all that hinders my passionate patience, tempered virtue and creating in me an alertness to the goodness of God. Notice that it doesn’t say I, it says WE. I’ve been trying to shout on my own and I am getting hoarse. It is in community that the consistent and fervent prayers reveal the purest form of perseverance. We need each other! Since our battle is not against flesh and blood our weapons are not of this world. Satan knows my weakness is my family’s health. My faith seems to fall apart when their sickness increases. I need others to remind me that Satan does not have the last word!

I ask for prayers for Daniel, his reflux has worsened and he will be scoped on Wednesday.

I ask for prayers for Brian as he develops discipline in doing his vertigo exercises and wisdom for the doctors caring for him.

I ask for prayers for my insomnia, that I will develop healthy sleep habits.

I ask for prayers for Natalie that she doesn’t get lost in the midst of everyone’s struggles.

 

Resetting My Mission: Together2016 Prayer Rally on the Washington Mall

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
            Because the LORD has anointed me
            To bring good news to the afflicted;
            He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
            To proclaim liberty to captives
            And freedom to prisoners . . .

Brian and I just got back from Together2016.

DSC02271

Together2016

Before Together2016:

  • Spiritual battle: I was struggling to trust God’s goodness and sovereignty in my husband’s illness, prayer, blogging, reading scripture all became 10X harder
  • Physical: I barely slept all week, Brian’s vertigo reached epic proportions by Tuesday, Daniel woke up crying out in pain and I was fighting sinus issues that was beginning to mess with my ears
  • Mind: I couldn’t process or remember things and I wasn’t sure that I could even engage the D.C trip enough to make it worth our while
  • Heart: I was growing bitter and angry

I felt cut off from God. I did not feel his hand guiding us through the ugliness of our circumstances. All I could see is that he wasn’t healing Brian and allowing more struggles than either of us could withstand.

What I didn’t know, until this morning, is that my 6 (almost 7) year old daughter checked on her daddy regularly throughout Monday, and each time she prayed for him. She prayed specifically that he would be well and be able to make the trip to D.C.

Wednesday morning Brian woke up with such exuberance and stayed that way the rest of the week, in spite of some rough moments physically. I sought medical care for my ears and the kids sang VBS songs every day with such passion that it ministered to my weary soul. Even when I struggled to cry out, God knew what I needed!

After Together2016

  • I am returning with a clear mission: I am to speak boldly into the darkness
  • Surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses  (some who are now new friends) I WILL NOT QUIT!
  • I am  encouraged by a nation turning to pray for healing in the midst of so much world pain
  • I heard clearly from God
  • I am closer to my husband
  • Reset of purpose, and strengthened in offering the reason for the hope I have!
  • Abiding in Christ and trusting God with what I cannot see or fathom.

 

DSC02289

Together2016

Cradle of Prayer

We huddle against the odds.

Battle bruised and broken, interlocked

by purpose, cradling

each other in prayer.

 

 

 

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Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.