Lifting hands to heaven
When I pray sometimes I catch myself going through a formula to determine how effective my prayer will be:
- Have I been obedient for at least 48 hours?
- Length of prayer is directly proportional to its effectiveness.
- Fasting will really increase my chances for a favorable outcome to my petition.
It is funny how I think I can twist God’s arm by doing these things. Don’t get me wrong these spiritual disciplines are good to do, but they are not meant to leverage God––to get Him to do what we want. Instead they are disciplines that get us to a place of humility and dependence upon God.
I propose a different checklist to go through as you approach God with a request:
- Does God’s love reach to the heaven’s and endure forever? Psalm 36:5 √
- Is His compassion new this morning? Lamentations 3:22-23 √
- Is God faithful in all that He does? 1 Corinthians 1:9 √
I must remember prayer is all about God, and not about me.
Thank You, Lord
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
With God there is no “bait and switch,” no hidden purpose or ulterior motive to make me worry about getting anything malicious. All His actions toward me are based on His love for me. A love I cannot diminish or earn. Even when evil twist me into a knot I know that nothing can come between me, and God’s love in Jesus (Romans 8:38-39). What a good and perfect gift.
Reflecting the Creator
Of this life what shall we measure?
Is it time or is it treasure?
Beauty, fame or accomplishment?
Result in choking compliment.
These become for us gods, dressed as goals,
And bring forth pride, to become deep holes.
To be like Him should be our hope,
faith and love a heavenward slope.
Thus reflecting the Lord in all his glory,
And have His light become your story.
Can only be borne upon a tree,
All of Him and none of me.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
Trees sometimes make me feel small. Especially, when I look up and and see them pointing at the sky.
In a similar way, Ephesians 3:17-19 fills me wonder at the immensity of God’s love, and the smallness of my understanding.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
“Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!”
Refrain from “And Can It Be, That I Should Gain?” by Charles Wesley
Where earth and sky meet
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:1-6
And we can touch Heaven.
When the earth is still dark look up and take heart.
Courage and strength that comes from God, does not come in large reassuring scoops. Usually, the Lord doles it out in little wisps, as we stick our foot out for the next step. I guess, that is because having it in large amounts would direct our attention to ourselves, instead of constantly having to rely on God.
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14