Posted tagged ‘Christian Life’

Let Us Pray

October 27, 2014

I grew up bowing my head, eyes closed and hands clasped, to pray.  Over the course of my walk with God, however, I have gradually acknowledged that no part of that posture is necessary.  In history I learned that Stonewall Jackson prayed while riding his horse.  In my own pew, I observed my mother dealing with my youngest siblings before they were old enough to understand that “let’s pray” meant they needed to be quiet.  Neither of these situations allows for closed eyes or clasped hands.  In a war torn countryside, it’s doubtful that General Jackson kept his head bowed either.

I also learned that bowing in respect to Almighty God was more of a heart thing than a posture thing.  Have you parents ever had a child who sat when told, but you could tell they were still standing on the inside?  Have you ever been that child?  Well, sometimes we bow our heads, but our minds and hearts are so full of other things, that we might as well be walking out the door already.  Bowing your head ought really to be an outward sign of an inward reality, but instead, it has become a form, a traditional posture, that can be easily mimicked.  So posture is not the key to prayer.  But that doesn’t answer the original question.  Now jump forward to my late teens.

That’s when I met my Father God.

Sure, I already knew He was my father, but it wasn’t until my teens that I recognized something important.  I began to understand that God loves for His children to come gladly running to meet Him, whether in prayer, or devotions, or in going about His work.  My prayers became much more familiar, like I would talk to my earthly father.  And I began to look upward while praying.

You see, while I picture the Spirit as being inside me, and Jesus walking beside me, God the Father is in Heaven, so when talking to Him, I wanted to look toward Him, trusting like a little girl instead of hanging my head like a condemned sinner.  Yes, I still bow my head in reverence sometimes.  I also bow it in shame at others, but I am learning to bring everything to my Heavenly Father with confidence (Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:16; Romans 8:14-17).

So when I pray, and often while I listen to others pray, I look toward heaven.  I do tend to close my eyes, as that helps cut down on distraction, but looking up helps me remember that I am now a child of God, and He loves to involve His children in His work.  So I encourage you to step back and see if you bow your head simply because that’s what everyone does, or if you do it with a good reason.  I also encourage you that God is a Father who loves you, wants to hear from you, and wants to talk to you.  He desires fellowship, and I’ve always found that’s easiest with people if I look at them.  Why should fellowship with God be so different?  After all, He walked with Adam, didn’t He?

I look forward to the day when we walk with Him on golden streets, and can look Him in the eye.  What joy that uninterrupted fellowship will be!

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Are You Ready to Let Go?

April 28, 2013

Today started like any normal Sunday.  I was up and ready in good time to make it to church early with the rest of the worship team for warm-up.  Worship went smoothly, and the congregation settled in to the sermon.  We had one of our missionaries in town, so we were eager to hear how his ministry was going.  He took us through a brief slideshow of pictures from his mission field, and we were all ears.

Then he began to share what the Lord had been speaking to him during this last term.  The message he brought back to us was one very pertinent for American Christians, and the church at large.

In his particular field, the natives generally follow animism.  They make offerings and prayers to the spirits of the rocks and trees around them, hoping that by so doing they will win favor and help.  This missionary shared with us that in his own life and in that of the church, we have strayed to this kind of thinking.  We understand the cross was used to save us, but then we live as if after salvation, everything is based on what we do.  We think that we win favor and blessing by our good acts.

That is not what scripture teaches.  We can do nothing that God needs, and therefore anything He sends is not in response to anything we can offer.  Acts 17: 22-31 contains Paul’s sermon on Mars’ Hill.  In it, Paul expounds on this idea.  We cannot merit God’s favor.  We can only serve Him because as God He is worthy of our service.  His blessings are not tied to our behavior, but flow from God’s grace and goodness towards us.

So the question for the day is, are you ready to let go?  Are you trying to live the Christian life, and by so doing earn a place in Heaven?  Earn a good life?  Earn health and prosperity?  Earn favor with God and men?  Or have you let go of doing and embraced service?

The gospel is not about you.  The good news is about Christ.  He paid the debt.  He transforms us into His own likeness.  He glorifies Himself through us.  As we serve Him, growing in the knowledge of His love, He is able to use us mightily.

It’s all about Christ.

Let’s leave it that way.


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