Psalm 27: 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour[a] me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Fear responds to danger by burying us beneath thick layers of self-defense, where we can only cower in shadows. Faith responds to danger by trusting God & lives head high out in the open w/ ‘shouts of joy’ (vs. 6).
Prayer: I refuse, O god, to live fearfully or cautiously. I name my fears one by one & turn them over to you, & find them simply trivial when set alongside your majesty. With lifted head I will live in your light & salvation, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
…this morning, with much on my mind – I named (& listed out) my fears, one by one in my journal. I felt like it was an exercise in faith as I committed today (or at least simply in this moment) – to not live fearfully, or cautiously in the areas of my life that I listed, but trusting my heavenly father.
Here is Dallas Willard’s paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer. He suggests that we paraphrase the prayer from time to time because its richness lends itself to much meditation.
Dear Father always near us,
may your name be treasured and loved,
may your rule be completed in us-
may your will be done here on earth in
just the way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today,
and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don’t put us through trials,
but deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one is charge,
and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours-forever-
which is just the way we want it!
HT: Missional Church Network
All-knowing God, you know our every thought! We cannot hide from you nor deceive you! Forgive and remove our prejudices, discrimination, stereotyping, and haughtiness. Lead us on a path of humility for your name’s sake. Amen.
from Richard Foster (via JR Briggs)
How desperately I need to learn to pray. And yet when I am honest, I know that I often do not even want to pray.
I am distracted!
I am stubborn!
I am self-centered!
In your mercy, Jesus, bring my “want-er” more in line with my “need-er” so that I can come to want what I need.
In your name and for your sake, I pray.
O gracious God,
I am fully aware that I am unworthy.
I deserve to be a brother of Satan and not of Christ.
But Christ, your dear Son died and rose for me.
I am his brother.
He earnestly desires that I should believe in him,
without doubt and fear.
I need no longer regard myself
as unworthy and full of sin.
For this I love and thank him from my heart.
Praise be to the faithful Savior,
for he is so gracious and merciful
as are you and the Holy Spirit in eternity.
– Martin Luther, from Luther’s Prayers
read this somewhere, but alas – dont remember where.
Anyway, after realizing that there are now two engaged couples in our canvas group & a couple of others that are close to us – who are engaged, I thought I’d post this…
Loving God More
(In 1928, Temple Gairdner wrote a poem called Prayer for a Fiancée or Wife. It’s a profound prayer, and I think you’ll see that it relates to more than just marriage._
That I may come near to her,
draw me nearer to thee than to her;
that I may know her,
make me to know thee more than her;
that I may love her with the perfect love
of a perfectly whole heart.
Cause me to love thee more than her and most of all.
That nothing may be between me and her,
be thou between us, every moment.
That we may be constantly together,
draw us into separate loneliness with thyself.
And when we meet breast to breast, my God,
let it be on thine own. Amen. Amen.
It reminds me of these words by C.S. Lewis:
When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased. God save us from idols so we can love him more, and enjoy all of his gifts as well.