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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

David's Prayer

2 Samuel 7:18 - 25 "Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: "Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family that You have brought us this far?....Is this Your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign Lord?....How great You are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like You, and there is no God but You, as we have heard with out own ears...Do as You promised, SO THAT YOUR NAME WILL BE GREAT FOREVER."

God has really been dealing with me over the matter of prayer. Sometimes, I do not feel that I am a very good pray-er. I have the desire - I just feel so....inadequate. I make beautiful lists, I can journal, and then I feel like I have just brought God a shopping list and asked Him to give me everything I think I want or need - thank you very much. Oh, and by the way, please bless me and mine in the process.

As I have been reading through the Bible lately, I have tried to pay particular attention to the prayers offered by some of the people in the scripture...or lack, thereof. A couple of days ago, I talked about getting ahead of God and how David made plans to build the temple without asking God what to do. God has just told David that his good plans aren't good enough, but that God has a better plan. After God reveals his plan to David, his reaction is very interesting to me: He went into the tent that contained the Ark of the Covenant and he sat before it.

Herein lies the problem for me. Sitting. Being quiet. "Be still and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10) Even if I sit and shut my mouth, how do I get my brain to turn off?? But David just sat and marveled at what God had done for him. He acknowledged God's sovereignty. And then, even though, it wasn't David's original plan, he tells God to go ahead and do what He needs to do in order to glorify His Name. As David finishes his prayer in v. 28 he says, "Your words are trustworthy and You have promised good things.."

So many things to learn from one, simple prayer - but I think I need to start with just sitting before God. Being in His presence. Turning off the TV, the computer, the phone. Getting alone with God. Often I hear people say that they just don't sense God's presence. In his book on prayer, Philip Yancey says that "prayer means keeping company with a God who is already present." He is there whether we can feel it or not, we just have to be still long enough to connect. I think that is exactly what David did.

"Lord, Help me learn how to sit quietly in Your presence - to experience You. No shopping lists, no interruptions, just quietly before You. Thank You that Your words are trustworthy and Your promises are good. Glorify Your Name."



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Say a Prayer

I had a devotional planned for tonight, but decided against it. Below is a picture of my son, Jared and his family. I ask that you pray for them and all military families tonight. I know of two military wives who gave birth just yesterday while their husbands are in Afghanistan. We often remember the soldiers, which is as it should be, but we don't always think about the sacrifices made by those they leave behind.
I have posted a list of scriptures on my Facebook page that can be used as prayers for soldiers. Please include them in your prayers.
Thank You.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting Ahead of God

2 Samuel 7:1-3 "Before long, the king made himself at home and God gave him peace from his enemies. Then one day King David said to Nathan the prophet, "Look at this: here I am, comfortable in a luxurious house of cedar, and the Chest of God sits in a plain tent." Nathan told the king, "Whatever is on your heart, go and do it. God is with you." (The Message)

David had a wonderful idea for a building project. It was an admirable idea - the people would surely back him up. His prophet gave the blessing to go ahead so it must be ok. But it was not to be. Later in the same chapter, God gives a message to Nathan to pass along to David. In verses 8-11, God essentially says "I have never had a cedar house before and it is not your job to build me one now". In spite of what Nathan had told David earlier, God had not blessed this plan. God tells him that it will be his son that will build the temple - David has just killed too many men.

How often do we run ahead of God? We make plans - good plans - admirable plans - even noble. Once we have made our plan, we bring it to God and ask Him to bless it.

Did you notice that not once in the first three verses of 2 Samuel 7 is it recorded that David or Nathan prayed about building the temple? Nathan didn't even ask for God's blessing, he just gave it unsolicited. Seems a little presumptuous to me....

HOW OFTEN DO WE DO THE VERY SAME THING?

But God - in the way that only He can - put a halt to their plans. He had a better idea. He would build David a house instead! A house that would last forever.God had another plan for David and it blessed him beyond his wildest dreams.

The next time things don't go as planned or God put's up a roadblock, hang on - you may be in for the ride of your life!

"Father, Help us to wait on You. Help us to look for Your best plan instead of our good one. Help us to understand that when things don't always go the way we think they should that You still have our best interests at heart. Take us for a ride, Lord. Show us Your glory!"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Praying For Our Prodigals

I wrote this after Mother's Day last year and posted it, much to the chagrin of at least one of our children... I am revising it some, but the basic message is the same.

On Mother's Day 2010, we had a beautiful Sunday evening service honoring mothers and many children stood and gave testimony regarding the influence their mother's had in their lives and the blessings they had received. After the service, I began to think, "What about the mothers whose children did not 'rise up and call her blessed'? What about the moms who are praying for prodigals that haven't come home? Where is their inspiration?"

For my husband and I, this is a second marriage. We do not have any children together, but between us we have five. Are you having an issue with a child? We can probably relate. We have dealt with everything from alcohol and drug use to psychiatric problems to unwed pregnancies to homosexual behavior to sexual promiscuity and cohabitation to sexual abuse.

Maybe you don't have any of these particular issues, but have a child who just doesn't hold to your values. They just don't seem to want to grasp the things you hold dearest to your heart. Maybe not as traumatic but just as painful.

Are you weeping over a child? In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was God's prodigal. They defied Him, called Him names, rebelled in ungodly relationships, abused Him, abused themselves - but He continued to pursue them not only like the Father that He is, but with a Mother's heart. A heart that never gives up on her child. He sent messengers to warn them of the consequences of their actions. One of those messengers was Jeremiah - the weeping prophet. He wept over the nation of Israel like we weep over our children. He wrote an entire book of Lament over them. And do you know what is in that book? In the midst of his weeping and lament Jeremiah wrote, "Yet, this I call to mind and, therefore, I HAVE HOPE: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions [mercies] never fail, they are new EVERY MORNING; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS." (Lamentations 3:21-23)

Do you have a prodigal - there is hope. One of our five children is currently serving the Lord with his life. He came home.

As for the other four...God is faithful. They have not returned, but God's mercies are new every morning. We continue to love them, and pray, and know that God's compassions never fail. He is faithful, not only to our children, but to all of the mother's who pray daily - who weep over their children. Lamentations 3:24-26 goes on to say, "I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for Him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

KEEP PRAYING - KEEP HOPING - THE LORD IS YOUR PORTION - WAIT QUIETLY FOR HIS SALVATION.