Monday, January 25, 2010

Pray where your heart is

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:26-28

How do we know how to pray in God's will?  We know we are supposed to pray in God's will, but how can we do that if we don't know what He plans to do?

I have come to the place where I am comfortable to pray where my heart is, with confidence and with openness.

God wants us to come to Him honestly and share our heart.  So we can come to Him and pray for healing of physical or emotional brokenness, restoration of relationships, protection of ourselves and our friends, provision for our families.  Those are all good and worthy things to pray for.  These are all things God can do and desires to do for us.

But what if it is not in God's will to heal, to restore, to protect and provide in this circumstance?  This is where I can get stuck.  God, in His mercy, does not reveal our future to us.  Although I long to see my future, experience has shown me that I can not handle it.

Actually, that is not what matters.  What matters to God in prayer is where I am right now, that is what He wants me to pray for.  Even if what I desire is not God's will, as I perservere in prayer, God will change my desires and aline them with His.  As I prayed for things, I can see this progression, this journey. Day by day, as God and I walk together by reading His Word and my praying honestly to Him, He shows me His perfect will.  I need to be open to it.

And it needs to be a process.  Sometimes God wants to give us our heart's desire.  But sometimes, we need a while to accept the difficult parts of life: the wayward child, the abusive relationship, the inevitable death of family members.  He does not rush us through this, but works in prayer to comfort and encourge us as we grieve these losses.

So for now, just pray where your heart is and trust Him to take you step by step, where you need to go.

After all, that is what Jesus did...

"Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. Luke 22:42-43

Friday, January 01, 2010

He holds me by the hand

Psalm 37

3 Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

My boss (and oh how I love and respect her!) talks about being politically correct in the workplace.  Do the right thing, take the right action, be nice to the right people, avoid being seen with the wrong people  in order to be assured that you will keep your position and succeed. She is a pro at being politically correct and I watch her and take notes, to be quite honest.

But then, there is this place where we part company, her and I.  My Boss holds me to a higher standard...then again maybe that is the wrong way to put it.  A higher standard sounds like a harder standard, but it is not like that at all.

He wants me to trust Him and do good.  Even when it seems foolish, when it is politically incorrect.  Mostly, although I may not want to do these things, when I am obedient to Him, I find it is actually easier.  I experience the truth that "My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matt 11:30)  When I do the "difficult thing" such as remain calm and be kind and pleasant to people who are upset when they come to see me, I find blessing in the truth that Love does overcome.

I used to want to be rich and famous.  Well, sometime the baser part of me still wants those things.  Then I used to want to save and fix my family, my friends, well, the entire world around me!  But praise be to God!  He has healed me and revealed that only He can save and change hearts.  He only wants me to trust Him and do good.  He wants me to wait patiently for Him to act.  Only then can He work in my heart and in the hearts of others.  But it is Him, not me.

No amount of plotting, scheming, lecturing, striving can secure riches and fame for me.  And now I realize that if this is not of Him, I don't really want it anyway.  I want to be in His will, whatever that is.

Whatever riches He gives me, He wants me to share and not keep!

He wants me to Make Him Famous!  Give Him the Glory!

And this means I get to Be Still and Rest in Him.

7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
12 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance.
13 But the Lord just laughs, for He sees their day of judgment coming.

16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich.
17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly.

23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.