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Thursday, September 27, 2012

LIGHTENING ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP

                               Standing on the thundering alp,

Drenched in heaven's driving tears

With bending knees and tingling scalp

My glasses whining in my ears;

 

He's drawn me to this holy place.

Trembling in His phosphorescence,

I'm wincing from His gleaming face,

Shying from His holy presence.

 

Streamers reaching from my heart

Do not draw the heavens there.

Though I do my trembling part

Heaven draws and meets my prayer.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Out of the Depths 2 GLORIFY YOUR NAME!


How do you pray when your heart is troubled? Think with me back to a time when your heart was grieved or broken. Some of you do not have to think far back. How did you pray? Did you pray for comfort? Did you pray for deliverance? Did you ask God to turn your heart ache into joy? Did you ask him to change your circumstances? Those are surely legitimate prayers.
Do you ever ask yourself or God what you should pray in such times? In John 12:27 we find Jesus before the cross asking what He should pray.

Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say?

‘Father, save me from this hour’?”

But Jesus knew His purpose in life was not to avoid pain. Is that your purpose in living? It is not your purpose before God.

On this occasion Jesus prayed His purpose and ours.

“Father, glorify Your Name!”

The Father affirmed the rightness of that prayer with a thunderous voice from heaven.

I have glorified it and will glorify it again!”

Some of the people standing around said, “It thundered!” Others said, “An angel has spoken to him!” But Jesus said, “No. This voice was not for my sake but yours.” The voice was for us. Are you asking God to glorify His name?”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

OUT OF THE DEPTHS 1

Have you read Psalm 130 recently? Open your Bible now, or the next chance you get, and read this powerful psalm. It begins, Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!

You have probably cried out to the Lord out of the depths of trouble or heart ache. We just received an e-mail from a close friend whose cancer has made a turn for the worse. We cried out with her in desperate prayer. Some of our most powerful praying springs from the depths of trouble.

Troubles often humble our hearts before God. The next stanza of the psalm begins,

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?

But nothing increases the confidence of our faith like praying from the depths. The next verse concludes,

But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.

And our hope is made strong as we pray in times when there seems to be no immediate hope. The psalm confirms,

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
 my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning.

And such prayers become a powerful testimony. Nothing calls others to join us in prayer like praying out of the depths. The psalm concludes with a call for the people of God to put their hope in the Lord. Crying out to God in trouble will call others to cry out to Him as well.

 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

PRAYING FOR PRAYER

Many years ago I was asked to speak at a prayer retreat for a church. They had heard that the church I pastored agreed at the beginning of each year on a few things that all of us would pray for in the year. They wanted to do the same thing and asked me to help them come up with a list. One of the things they thought they should pray for that year was that they might become a praying church. They chose three other things they all believed they needed to pray for. Then they reduced each statement into one word so it would be easy to remember. When they came to becoming a praying church, they simply used the word “PRAYER.” I thought it very appropriate for them to be praying for prayer.

I pray for my prayers. I pray for God to help me discipline myself to spend time in prayer. I pray for God to help me keep my mind focused while I am praying. I pray for God to direct my heart to pray in His will. And I trust the Spirit who aids us in our weaknesses to inspire the prayers of my heart.