Lord, Save Us!

    

Psalm 118:25

Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!

Lent is a traditional time of self reflection and soul-searching.

In reality… I should do this daily. My soul needs to be renewed, refreshed, searched, and recharged. My soul gets weary.

I cry out to God… Lord, save us! Save this land, save my loved ones, and save us from a bountiful harvest of sins.

I know He hears us. I know He hears me. I pray He grants success to all who call upon His name.

Amen and amen.

Prayer – What does it look like?

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There seems to be an on-going debate about what constitutes prayer.

Can prayer be defined by speaking out loud to God, bowing our heads, talking to Jesus while driving a car, or being silent on our hands and knees?

Prayer doesn’t come with a clear form of protocol and no one should tell you so. Prayer is prayer.

It is an active and voluntary communication with God. You can plead, beg, thank, or just be still, but prayer is an individual endeavor with guaranteed results.

A favorite author, Anne Lamott once said, “Here are the two best prayers I know: ‘Help me, help me, help me’ and ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.” If this is all you can squeak out…it is enough.

The only thing that is asked of you is to pray.

Lord, hear our prayers.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6

Praying with the faithful at a little country church…

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Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Daniel 9:17-18

My parents were faithful members of a country Baptist church. They believed in the power of prayer.

Every Wednesday night they attended a service with Bible study followed by the prayers and petitions of the faithful and sometimes not so faith-filled. There were no time limits. If you needed prayer, they stayed and prayed.

Some nights I sat there astonished at the requests. Yes, they prayed for someone’s boils and another’s warts, but they also prayed for life and death situations and believe me when I tell you…they prayed in earnest. Whether it was what we might consider trivial or life threatening, each prayer was met with sincerity and seriousness.

My Dad used to say, “Not all prayer requests are the same, but all requests are to be considered and lifted to the Lord.”

I like that way of thinking. Too often we believe that the trivial isn’t worth bringing to the Lord but in fact, everything is worth asking God’s help to resolve.

Bring your petitions to God and sit back and watch what happens. It might not be what you expected, but it will be more than you can imagine. I have seen the power of prayer at work.

A little country Baptist church remains faithful to God’s call and someone is comforted.

God is good…

Amen.

My Soul Will Wait for the Lord…the Watch

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Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:37-38

Loneliness is a terrible thing. The fear that grows from the despair of loneliness can be difficult to bear.

I have experienced a deep sense of loss and loneliness. But, I have never experienced or could even fathom what Jesus felt that night in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus counts on His beloved disciples to watch with Him as He prays. They can’t do it.

As sweat turns to blood and Jesus cries out in prayer to the Father, the disciples sleep.

Preparing to drink from the cup filled with the sins of mankind would be beyond human comprehension. It is unimaginable. But Christians believe in the unimaginable. We believe in a Savior who died for us. We could not drink a cup containing just our own personal sins. So, imagine the sins of the world…it is too much to ask of anyone.

But Jesus went on that lonely journey to death for me and for you. He carried the cross, endured the humiliation, the beatings, and the pain for our sins.

Tonight, I watch for one hour. One hour of my time for a lifetime of grace.

I sit and I watch and I am grateful. I sit and I know I am unworthy but I sit and I am glad. I sit remembering His sacrifice and I mourn until I can rejoice again.

I sit…

Crossed wires at the Cross…

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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

We had the most unusual thing occur in church today. The wireless microphone system crossed wires with something or someone outside the church and for the longest and most annoying length of time, we heard a rather jarring conversation during the sermon and service.

As I watched the priests scramble frantically to find the offending noise, it dawned on me that this is exactly how things have been going for me lately.

I have not done my part to be still, pray and listen for God’s sweet voice in my ear. I have let the distractions of this world drag me down and disappoint me. I have not listened to the one person who can make my day better. I have been totally distracted.

Sin has a way of doing that. It takes me out of the present and away from God. I don’t like it but I find myself in that wasteland more than I care to admit.

The Dean finally explained that a movie crew was filming close-by and once alerted, changed frequencies so the service could continue uninterrupted. I think I heard an audible sigh of relief from all in attendance (no pun intended).

I ask God, here and now, to remind me to turn off distractions and turn to Him. Life is so much better when we don’t walk it alone.

What a relief.