Tuesday, March 16th, 2021
— John 5:14 —
“Jesus met him in the Temple and said, ‘Now you are well again, do not sin any more.”
Pray is communicating with God and when we offer every part of ourselves to God it keeps our hearts close to God. I know that when I try to “handle” things on my own, my heart gets very heavy, my spirit gets weighed down and my emotions often are erratic. I think sometimes we make prayer too complicated, and that is not (my opinion) what Jesus had in mind when he was teaching the disciples to prayer.
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:5-8 (NRSVA)
When we seek God and tell him our cares, concerns, joys, fears, sins, even our questions and doubts; he welcomes them all. I have no doubts concerning the answers to prayers. I may not like or want the answer I get due to my our stubbornness but God knows best.
🔘 Have you ever been disappointed in a response you received from your prayers?
🔘 Have friends every disappointed you?
🔘 What was your response to these events?
What I have learned and continue to learn is people will disappoint. I know that I have disappointed friends, family and partners, not necessarily on purpose but things happened. Sometimes we have been able to talk and resolve the issue. There have also been times when, things just could not be worked out; during these times I felt like I was the biggest loser to every walk on the planet earth! An exaggeration, perhaps but that’s how I felt and it was real to me. I give too much power away instead of caring for myself from time to time. Sometimes, I think I’m irreplaceable only to find out … well yes I am! A lesson or two I’ve learned the hard way. Foolish pride rears it’s ugliness when left unattended. If I had spent more time in prayer, giving my cares over to God and keeping my heart open and close to God’s; I might have missed some of life’s hardest lessons.
Here’s a good example of my not so stellar humanness. When I was in high school, my best friend and I had a disagreement and we stopped talking to one another, we were outside playing softball and she was running the bases and I threw the ball and totally hit her squarely in the back of her head, this was purely by accident but I was crushed. I thought I had killed her or at least seriously hurt her. I cried and cried, I was inconsolable. I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself and thought this must be punishment for not treating my friend well. I made the whole situation about me! I had no place for God in this incident whatsoever. I was about 14 or 15 when this happened, everything is huge at that age! In hindsight I can see this for what it really was, an accident. But this event made a major impact on my life. God continue to show me grace and mercy, not because I deserve it but because he loves me.
I continue to make mistakes, i make them every day. I know I’m not perfect, though I do pursue it. I mess up every day, the excuse and truth of the matter is I am human and I am sinful. Also true is you and I are loved by God, our Creator! God knows us and loves us, he longs to hear from us every day, every hour of every day…always in connection with you and me. ✝️🙏🏻🛐 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
— 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NRSVA)
Nouwen says this about prayer; “Prayer heals. Not just the answer to prayer. When we give up our competition with God and offer God every part of our heart, holding back nothing at all, we come to know God’s love for us and discover how safe we are in his embrace.”(1)
“Now I know that it is not I who pray but the spirit of God who prays in me. Indeed, when Gods glory dwells in me, there is nothing too far away, nothing too painful, nothing too strange or too familiar that cannot contain and renew by its touch. Every time I recognize the glory of God in me and give it space to manifest itself to me, all that is human can be brought there and nothing will be the same again. Once in a while I just know it: Of course, God heard my prayers. He himself prays in me and touches the whole world with his love right here and now.”
— Henri J. M. Nouwen (2)
▶️ an address (such as a petition) to God in word or thought
▶️ a set order of words used in praying
▶️ an earnest request or wish
▶️ the act or practice of praying to God
▶️ one that prays
— Matthew 6:9-15 NRSVA —
Pray then in this way:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
For if you forgive others their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you;
but if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~ Say Thanks – Day 24
We receive help from others in big and small ways all the time. Who has helped you along the way? Write a letter of thanks to someone who has made a difference in your life.
O Lord Jesus Christ,
you who forgive the sins of the paralytic
before you let him walk again,
I pray that [this Lenten period] may make me more
aware of your forgiving presence in my life
and less concerned about performing well in the eyes of the world.
Let me recognize you
at the virginal point in the depth of my heart
where you dwell and heal me.
Let me experience you in that center of my being
from which you want to teach and guide me.
Let me know you as my loving brother
who holds nothing —
not even my worst sins —
but who wants to touch me in a gentle embrace.
Take away the many fears, suspicions, and doubts
by which I prevent you from being my Lord,
and give me the courage and freedom to appear naked and vulnerable
in the light of your presence,
confident in your in fathomable mercy.
I know how great my resistance is,
how quickly I choose the darkness instead of the light.
But I also know that you keep calling me into the light,
where I can see not only my sins
but your gracious face as well.
Be with me every hour of my days.
Praise and glory to you, now and forever.
~Charlotte, the Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing
(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 86, paragraph 1.
(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 87, paragraph 2.
(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation
(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation