Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pray for Boston

Sometimes in the course of everyday life, an event occurs that drives us all to our knees.  My heart broke at the tragic news of the bombings in Boston and the senselessness of it all.  It's a grave reminder of how evil man is apart from God.

I can't imagine the heartbreak and sorrow that so many awoke with.

I pray for comfort, peace, strength and hope in the midst of sorrow, pain and confusion.  You alone can help.  You alone can heal.  May justice prevail.  May your wisdom guide the officers, detectives, officials, psychologists, therapists, nurses and doctors who embark on a journey of caring for victims and seeking truth.  Words alone don't express how desperately my heart cries out for you to help.  See our tears.  Hear our cries.  Answer our prayers. 
In Jesus Name, 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Update on 1,000 hours

Perhaps you're curious about my 1,000 hour challenge.  So far I have logged 117 total hours in my prayer journal.  An interesting phenomenon occurred around hour 50.  I quit keeping really accurate tabs on time.  There are two primary reasons this happened.

First, I began enjoying the presence of the Lord so much that I would forget when I started and try to linger in His presence as I began my day, carrying the conversation on with Him as I began laundry, swept or took care of other mundane tasks. 

Secondly, I am now praying more through out the day.  Using my prayer notebook app, I might pray while waiting for the kids or an appointment.  Hearing a firetruck might prompt me to pray for divine help for the firefighters. 

Funny story:  I had to go to the DMV.  Usually I dread the lines, the wait and the entire experience.  This time I was excited.  My husband would watch the children so I could go alone.  I had already predetermined I would pray for the people in my notebook as I waited in line.  No long line would steal my time today.  I would advance the kingdom of God in that atrocious line today and I was happy about it.  When I walked into the DMV there was NO wait.  I kid you not.  NO line at all.  I laughed to myself and was in and out of the DMV in less than 5 minutes.  So much for praying.  I guess the devil got word of my plan and made everyone else run late!  Just one  unexpected benefit of committing to a prayerful life.

A few other benefits I have noticed since I started this challenge are:
*A new found pleasure in conversing with God
*A deeper love for the Bible
*An intensified compassion for people
*Greater peace
*An awareness of God at work in my life and the lives of others

My Pastor read this scripture from 1 Peter 4:7-8 
The end of all things is near.  Therefor be clear minded and self-controlled so you can pray.  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. 
 I am still mulling over these verses from last Wednesday night.  Expect more thoughts from me in the future about this verse.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Be Still and Jackie Chan

Yesterday, while hanging out with some  friends, we watched Lisa Chan's video Be Still.

My husband was excited about this Lisa Chan movie.  Allow me a moment to explain something I shared with him.  For those of you wondering, as far as I know Lisa Chan has no relation to Jackie Chan.  Do not watch her video expecting anything remotely like a Jacki Chan movie.  Be Still is not an action packed kung-fu movie.  There were no buildings blowing up or high speed car chases or karate chops or roundhouse kicks.

So, in her exciting, yet decidedly non-action video, Lisa reminded us of the importance of taking time to be still and encouraged us with her story.  She said: 

"We are living in crazy times where life is so full and has so many distractions and so many things to do. Every year life just gets busier and busier, and there's more things we add in and more things we try to accomplish. And in all of this madness, God, who never changes, and who always stays the same, is saying "Be Still." Well, how in the world do I do that? Why would I make that a priority?"

She went on to explain how God drew her to Him and her story inspired me to draw closer to Jesus.

When I read Psalm 46:10 and it's admonition to "Be Still,"  suddenly I feel like a 3 year old, fidgety and restless.  I think of all I have to do.  I think of the places I need to go and it's hard to turn it all off.  It seems impossible to slow down .  Luckily, what is impossible for me is possible with God.

Earlier this week as I was organizing and cleaning, I read a quote on a piece of artwork that said:

Everything changed the day she realized
she had just enough time to do all the important things in life.

This simple quote pierced my heart.  God gives me enough time to do the important things.  Am I wasting time by not listening to God ? Am I doing things but not taking time to do the important things?  When I am quiet, I am aligning God's agenda with my schedule and pacing my life with His plan.

God has something better for us than being busy.  He formed us to be fruitful.  This can only be accomplished by being still and allowing God to set the pace and the agenda for life.

Lord, help me be still.  Help me to be quiet.  I want to hear your voice. In Jesus' name, Amen

To watch the trailer to Lisa's video check this out:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Walk the Walk

    A sweet friend of mine sent me a letter today and I was touched by her words.  She explained how she found herself telling someone, "I'll pray for you."  Later, she was convicted when she realized her words were simply a sentimental Christian expression and she didn't plan to pray.
   Needless to say, she's not alone.  I too have felt the conviction of saying I will pray and failing to follow through.  For me, a lot of it boils down to having a plan to pray.  I like to carry my prayer journal in my purse.  This enables me to write out requests, lest I forget.  And trust me, if I don't write it down, I will forget.  It also serves as a reminder to ask a friend how things are going with that particular matter of prayer.  My prayer notebook app on my phone has also been a huge help in reminding me to pray for important people and things. 
   In Quiet Talks on Prayer, Samuel Dickey reminds us of the importance of praying:

The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. 
 I do not mean those who talk about prayers;
 nor those who say they believe in prayer; 
nor yet those who can explain about prayer; 
but I mean those who take time and pray.  
They have not time.  It must be taken from something else. 
 This something else is important.  Very important, and pressing than prayer.  
There are people that put prayer first, and group other items in life's schedule around and after prayer.

I feel like Samuel understood the plight I face day after day.  Important and pressing things scream for my attention, particularly when I commit myself to prayer.  Overcoming the urgent to do what's important is a daily battle I face. 

Lord, help me to be someone who prays even in the midst of important, pressing things that must be done.  In  Jesus' name, Amen.