pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


Leave a comment

Faithful Prayer

Reading: Ephesians 1: 15-23

Verse 18: I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.

Today’s passage is about how Paul prays for others.  He is praying for a group of believers that he has heard of.  I think we all pray for a group of people.  While I most regularly pray for family and friends, I do add people to my daily prayers that I hear about at church.  At times, events in the community or in our wider world will draw my heart to be in prayer for those people or that situation.  So, like Paul, we too pray for people we do not know.  It is part of our role in the fellowship of all believers to pray for one another.  This all leads me to think about prayer.

The core of our daily prayer life focuses on the people and events that are close to our hearts.  Early each morning I pray for my extended family by name, for those I know battling cancer and illness, for those I know who have experienced recent loss, and for our church.  It is a pretty standard list.  It changes from time to time but remains pretty constant.  As I go for a walk, I also pray.  I pray for each pastor and their churches in our area.  I pray for our leaders – national, state, and local.  I pray for our police, highway patrol, EMTs, and firefighters and those who lead them.  I pray for the jail, both the inmates and the workers, as well as for the judicial staff across the street.  It is good to have a pattern of prayer to follow.  It is good to have a time set aside to pray.  It is good to have a regular list of folks to pray for.  It is good to be in prayer.  What and whom do you pray for each and every day?

Two other important areas of prayer that we need to consider are thanksgiving and confession.  It is important to take time each day to reflect on our blessings and to name them before God.  It acknowledges God as our provider and it reminds us of our need for His provision.  It helps us to be humble.  Another important area of prayer is our confession of sin.  We are sinful creatures so we are not usually in short supply of confessional material.  It is so important to daily bow before our Maker, to confess our sins, to seek His forgiveness, and to pledge repentance.  This act of prayer helps us stay in a right relationship with God.  How well do you offer thanks and practice confession?

Lord, may we ever bring our praise, our petitions, our thanksgiving, and our confessions to you.  You are faithful.  May we be as well.  Amen.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

His Ways

The psalmist refers to God as their refuge, rescuer, and deliverer.  These are just a few of the many names we can attribute to God.  Others include, but are certainly not limited to, healer, provider, forgiver, restorer, reconciler, redeemer, comforter, King, and guide.  Each of these names speak to a characteristic or trait of God.  As His children, we call on Him to act on or to be these things as we seek His action through our prayers.  It is at times as if we are reminding God of who He is in hopes of finding healing or restoration or whatever it is we are petitioning God for.

The names we attach to God can also remind us of who He is.  The many and varied names remind us of how powerful and limitless our God is.  The fact that He is so many things to us reinforces the belief that God can be our all in all.  As we consider this, we come to realize that our God is capable of anything.

Yet, to us, God does not always do all that we ask.  Or so it appears to us.  For example, in the midst of a storm or trial in life, we ask our Great Deliverer to deliver us from the situation.  Or perhaps we come to our Great Healer and ask for Him to bring healing to a friend or loved one.  But we find that the trial goes on or that the person passes away.  We question if He is indeed deliverer or healer.  We forget that His plans are not our plans.  Maybe in the first case God was not quite done refining us.  Maybe in the second, the person found the healing they truly needed.  His ways are far above our ways.

In the end, if we are faithful, we will find deliverance or healing or whatever we seek.  May we be ever faithful and trust in His ways and in His plans for our lives.

Scripture reference: Psalm 71: 1-3


Leave a comment

Don’t Worry, He Can Take It

In Exodus 7 the Israelites depart from the Desert of Sin and head out on the path that God directs them to follow. As they wandered they started to grumble – they were in a desert with no water. You and I would grumble too. But they went a step beyond where you or I would normally go. The Israelites come to God and almost accuse Him of a lack of care and concern for them. After all, they are in a desert and they are thirst and God is providing them with water. It kinda┬ámakes sense.

At times, in my own mind, I may question God and may even wonder why He allowed this to happen or wonder why He did not choose to intervene in this situation or that one. Sometimes I struggle with reconciling what I know of God with what I see happening in His world. But I don’t ever come close to accusing God of something.

Maybe this disparity about how we each relate to God reveals some things about us and some things about the Israelites. The Israelites certainly had a different comfort level with God. They felt that God would listen to their complaints and that He would listen and that maybe He would even fix things. We don’t see our relationship as that personal. We don’t see God as our direct caretaker. And I wonder ‘why not?’

Many times we pray for something or for someone. Last week, a fellow church member asked me to pray for a friend’s daughter who was very ill. The friend’s family lives in another state and I do not know them. But one morning later in the week I felt the Spirit move me as I prayed for this girl and her family – to tell God that I trusted in Him to bring her healing. I believe He is a mighty God and that He can do anything. So I placed this girl into His hands. Sunday morning my friend told me that she passed away. For a few minutes I was almost at a loss for words and for thought. I wondered how God could allow this. But then came my understanding. God did bring her healing. And in the midst of this tragedy He will continue to be present for this family. He will love on and comfort and get them through this. He will send the right words they need to hear and will send them the people they need to have in their life right now. He is a mighty God.

And just like we wrestle with what God lays before us from time to time, the people of Moses wrestled with God. From the expression of their frustration, the Israelites came to learn something. We need to learn this lesson as well. They came to see God’s mercy in His repsonse to their complaint. They came to know Him more. When we come to God with all of our good, bad, and ugly, we too come to know Him better. And don’t worry – He’s a big god, He can take it!