Prayer 556 - Week 1, Wednesday
Wednesday - A Guiding Fire
Today we are looking at how God used fire to guide his people through their time in the wilderness. God's fire in Exodus was a provision, a gift, that made their journey easier. It was also a reminder of God's presence with them.
"The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire at night, to give them light so that they might travel by day and by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left it's place in front of the people."
Who or what has helped you to see God at work in your life? Has there been a person, event, practice or tool that has been like a guiding fire for your life?
How do you think God might be inviting you to return to those things or deepen them so that you can see and experience more of him?
Are you one to struggle with worry or fears about "what's next"? We see throughout Scripture that God promises to walk with us and to guide us (and provide guides for us). Take a moment to share your worries and anxieties with God this morning. He cares deeply for you and wants to walk with you through these things - providing light for your journey.
Hound us, Lord, with affection and conviction until we renounce all lesser things to follow you. Help us to see that in giving up the fool's gold of the world, we open ourselves to heavenly treasure that lasts forever.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.
Shane Claiborne, "Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals"
@hotmail.com I remember one time being in the hospital, and being told that I had to do an MRI. The technician asked me if he would be more comfortable with radio or music to help me through the time. I asked him if they had Christian music, and he replied yes. I remember that as I was concerned about the outcome of the MRI, God provided me with music that talked about him guiding me through that he cared for me, that he also cared about the outcome of what was happening to me. I was so rejoicing when I finished the test, that it didn’t really matter what the outcome was. I spent my time rejoicing not worrying. It happened that two of my friends were at the hospital at that time and came to see me. I spent more time telling them how I was blessed and how the Lord had guided me through that MRI with his word and with the songs. I am trying to change my life right now so that I do not confined the Lord‘s presence and words to this 5 o’clock session. It has been beginning to work with me, so that I think more about the Lord during my entire day. Lord, I pray that you would just be with me at every moment my day and that your Holy Spirit would prompt me as I deal with every day events. Hold me in your arms Lord and let me feel you were loving hug as I prepare my taxes today. Help me to see my taxes in a godly way, not just a task to be done for the government. Lead me to see that even you said what belongs to Caesar what is Caesars and what belongs to me is gods.Guide me through Lord God the completion of this task.
I remember God leading us to Cohoes. It was definitely not our flesh that brought us here. We saw Cohoes on a grey February day and wanted no part of it. We came and met the interviewing committee strictly because we had promised to come. One hour after meeting them, we knew we had been called to Cohoes. 3 months later when we arrived in Cohoes, Uncle Wes told my parents that whatever it took to make us happy, he would be there to help. He was true to his word. God guided us in so many ways. Even in the darkest times, God’s fire continued to guide us. I am so thankful for the cloud by day and the Fire by night.
I am such an external processor (and task oriented person) that I find God so often guides me in the form of other people. Often a surprising phone call or a word from someone. My ECO network and cohorts also provide this kind of guide. I find that I need that “outside voice” to sort of interrupt my train of thoughts usually.
This is why a practice of early quiet time is so important for my own spiritual development. It forces me to stop and listen. I had gotten so good at it for years and last year’s shut down really threw me off. But I am grateful to be coming back to it along side all of you. :)
So often God comes to me through the people that are around me. I’ll be struggling with something and that Sunday’s service is exactly speaking to the things that are happening to me that week - reminding me that God is always with me, sometimes it feels like he’s directly talking to me. I’ll get in the car and turn on the radio and it’s the exact song that I needed to hear. When things are going a little bit hectic in my life and I am not feeling peace within my soul, it’s when I reflect that I realize it’s not the external things that’s making me feel like that, it’s the fact that I keep trying to figure them out myself and I’m not leaning on God and when I pause and get back to my prayers in the morning or trusting in him with all that I am, the external factors don’t change but the peace returns to my heart and soul and I’m reminded I’m not meant to figure it all out myself or to try to control everything, I meant to trust in my heavenly father and have faith.
It's funny that you ask if I've seen any difference this week since starting this practice, and it happens to be the week classes finally started up again so... I am pretty tired. I'm so happy to see the students again but we're fully remote this semester, which takes quite a bit of different planning and a different level of energy.
But even though I've not read this at 5 for the past two days, I have set my alarm earlier than I need for my other reading and discussion so I can still do it before anything else. And both mornings when I woke up, I've had one of those "fire" songs in my head. So having a specific attribute of God to focus on for the whole week is really opening me up to that constant communication, as he's using it to speak to me before I'm really even conscious. This is something amazing for me-- most days I wake up with my to-do list running on a loop in my head.
I just came back from a walk and was praying to the Spirit to remind me of a situation where God was guiding me. This past December I was driving home in the early evening twilight after a eye doctor's appointment with much trepidation. i was praying for God's help as I anxiously drove on Troy's streets as the headlights from the oncoming cars created a halo starburst effect that made it difficult for me to gauge the road. Normally I have no problems driving after my eyes are dilated. But this time I also had a laser treatment in one eye and I hadn't realized ahead of time that the night would creep up so quickly in the December winter sky. With God's guiding light to help me see, I made it over the Troy-Waterford bridge and safely home after much sweating.
I'm not a 5am person so I'm always late getting my comment in. But I wedged to participate. The Holy Spirit, God's word and Pastors messages are what speak to me. They bring conviction, encouragement, hope and faith. I can be very stubborn when God is telling me to do something I really don't want to. However, when I do obey it's a release. When I keep my eyes on the Lord and off of me life goes better. Sitting with the Lord upon arising is my go to for the day. I listen to worship music throughout the day which keeps my thoughts on things above. I'm so thankful and blessed to be retired that I don't have to stress about when and how to spend time with my Lord. My prayer chair awaits.❤