Devotional Thought of the Day:
6 “I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the LORD, who serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who hold fast to my covenant. 7 I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations. Isaiah 56:6-7 (NLT)
464 Look at the set of senseless reasons the enemy gives you for abandoning your prayer. “I have no time”—when you are continually wasting it. “This is not for me.” “My heart is dry… “ Prayer is not a question of what you say or feel, but of love. And you love when you try hard to say something to the Lord, even though you might not actually say anything. (1)
It was just a comment by a friend this morning, that came back to mind as I was doing my devotions. Basically, the comment on FB was something to the extent of, “I am so looking forward to pancakes this morning” (there was something about gluten-free there… but that seems like an oxymoron) The comment took me back to my youth, to the breakfasts at Downeast Coffee Shop in Salem with my dad (you know the kind of place with the grill opposite the counter where you sat?), the breakfasts with my gramps at the racetrack.
Heck – even though I liked sleep a lot in those days… we would be up before dawn if it meant a good breakfast, incredibly anticipating the bacon, eggs, pancakes, and the fun of going out with grampy or dad.
Which got me thinking – do we desire to have time with out heavenly father like that? Are we willing to get up earlier, to spend time with Him, Do we long for our time of prayer? The way Isaiah describes is, how could we not? Those of us who were outsiders, are now accepted. The sacrifice of Christ for us is accepted. We are made part of God’s family, and He longs to spend time with us. Conversing, feasting, laughing, enjoying each other! That is what prayer is, even in Church. As Josemaria Escriva pronounced, this is not about whether you have just the right words, or have the correct mental attitude. It is about the love, the relationship, the time together.
I can’t remember the topics my dad and I discussed at the coffee shop. But I can picture us there on the stools, me spinning around, him just enjoying his coffee. My brother Stephen enjoying a horrid mixture of half coffee half cream. I can remember the booth at the racetrack. The conversation there was always about the Red Sox, about whether Yaz was better than Williams, about the being the year of the World Series… I remember us together, I see it still as if I was still 10.
That’s the nature of prayer, the time knowing not only are we in God’s presence, but that we have His attention, His love. Some of the things we say are probably quiet silly in other people’s eyes. The problems we bring to Him, the burdens that are lifted… the fun, the joy, the communion.
This is prayer, so act like a 10 year old kid talking to his dad over pancakes…. and as often as you get a chance, partake of the Bread of Heaven with Him as well!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 2047-2051). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Devotional/Discussion thought of the day:
I think I heard it 15 times yesterday…..
First from my five year old – who didn’t wnt to get out of bed….
Then as the day progressed, it seemed everyone was tired, and would rather have spent the morning, if not the day, just relaxing, napping, ignoring the world around them, and just having some “personal time.”
I can look from the outside and see that the causes, trying to get back into the swing of things after our kids have been on vacation break, having finally begun to “let down” after the holidays, (rest? really? when?) I can also see the impact of our attitudes on our work – it becomes a little harder to be motivated, we work a little slower, we don’t do as complete a job. In truth, we would rather be resting, playing, just not… back in the swing of things…
Eventually we will get back to speed, eventually our attitudes should improve, but the longer we tolerate our rest…the more we lose out on, the less we see God working thourgh us, the more we become content with our half-heartedness. Is there a way to pass this phase quicker, to desire not to go back to bed- but to greet the day and move on?
I know o only one way – to anticipate who we will spend the day with, to realize that we are going to get to see God at work today, as He works on us, working in us, wortking through us. That we work on Holy Ground, not because of a burning bush, or an ark of the covenant, but because we work with God, He never leaves us on our own. He is there, bringing His mercy and peace and love. Knowing that drowns our lack of desire- and replaces it with anticipation. Realizing that we died in Christ to sin, leaves us rejocing that there is no condemnation for e are in Jesus, we can find ourselves with confidence drawn into His presence., we can rejoice knowing all things will work for good, and so we find our work changing, from being toil to being time with Him….
It’s the only way I can struggle with the wanting to go back to bed…. for I know God has some things in mind today….that will drive me into His presence, remind me that not only can I depend on Him – He desires me to…..
May we all cry for mercy, even as we look forward to walking in His presence, with anticipation. AMEN