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prayer

the practice of internal wonder

Posted in faith

Internal stillness takes practice. It is the fruit of hiddenness — a life that’s lived looking at God, a life of wonder in Him — and it needs to be cultivated. Sara Hagerty, Unseen

Do you ever feel tempted to make your relationship with God about appearances or productivity?

It can sometimes happen unknowingly, and the mindset shift can be stealthy. It sometimes happens under the guise of church activity or mentorship, even bible study and service.

God continues to bring the story of Mary and Martha in Luke to my mind.

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Martha, perhaps busying herself with tasks she had deemed more important than gazing at Jesus. She might have even had that internal warring going on many of us can relate to: so many people in my home, it needs to be clean…. I need to appear productive and making things happen…. I wonder what that person is thinking about me… These things need to be done first, then I’ll listen to Jesus.

Can you relate?

I can.

The tendency to believe the lie that work done for God is more important than my friendship with and love for Him.

But I think a greater truth is that our unseen time with Him is what makes all the difference.

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earth and heaven

Posted in inspiration

O Lord, I live here as a fish in a vessel of water,
only enough to keep me alive, but in heaven I shall swim in the ocean.

Here I have a little air in me to keep me breathing, but there I shall have sweet and fresh gales;
Here I have a beam of sun to lighten my darkness, a warm ray to keep me from freezing;
yonder shall I live in light and warmth forever,

My natural desires are corrupt and misguided, and it is Thy mercy to destroy them;
My spiritual longings are of Thy planting, and Thou will water and increase them;

Quicken my hunger and thirst after the Realm Above.

Here I can have the world, There I shall have Thee in Christ;

Here is a life of longing and prayer, There is assurance without suspicion, asking without refusal;

Here are gross comforts, more burden than benefit,
There is joy without sorrow, comfort without suffering, love with inconstancy, rest without weariness.

Give me to know that Heaven is all love, where the eye affects the heart,
and the continual viewing of Thy beauty keeps the soul in continual transports of delight.

Give me to know that Heaven is all peace, where error, pride, rebellion, passion raise no head.

Give me to know that Heaven is all joy, the end of believing, fasting, praying, mourning, humbling, watching, fearing, repining;
And lead me to it soon.

— Valley of Vision

 


 

Alexander S. Kunz

Cheer up. He is calling you.

Posted in faith

Do you know the story of blind Bartimeus? It’s in Mark 10…

Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road.

When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you,” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

This story of Jesus healing Bartimeus has become a call to prayer for me.

Weird connection? Stay with me.

My perspective on prayer has changed drastically in the past few years. I used to live in the camp that my prayers had to be well-put-together, with the right words, quoting scripture, asking for the best things, etc.

Now, through grace and Spirit-led discoveries, prayer is ongoing interaction with Father God. I invite Him to join me in my breakfast or morning jog. I ask His opinion before I speak or enter a meeting. I share frustrations, fears, and disappointment with Him on the spot, whether I’m driving, talking, or washing dishes.

The gift of praying, Holy Spirit inside us as a constant Companion, is so beautiful, so profound, so revolutionary.

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