Prayer 556 - Week 5, Wednesday
Wednesday - Define your Prayer
In our Scripture reading this morning, this is exactly what happens. Jesus is walking toward Jericho when a blind man cries out to him. Jesus asks the man plainly, "What do you want from me?" even though he certainly could have guessed. But God wants to hear our heart. And he wants us to come to him.
That's all we have to do in prayer - just share our hearts with God who is ready to hear us and respond.
Luke 18: 35-42
A blind man was sitting beside the road asking for handouts. When he heard the rustle of the crowd, he asked what was going on. They told him, “Jesus the Nazarene is going by.”
He yelled, “Jesus! Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!” Those ahead of Jesus told the man to shut up, but he only yelled all the louder, “Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and ordered him to be brought over. When he had come near,
Jesus asked, “What do you want from me?”
He said, “Master, I want to see again.”
Jesus said, “Go ahead—see again! Your faith has saved and healed you!”
Today's reflection is simple, there will be only one question.
Take time this morning to put yourself in this story. Jesus walks by you and you cry out to him.
Jesus asked, “What do you want from me?”
What is your answer? Do you have words for the things your heart longs for?
Jesus is asking, 'What do you want me to do for you?"
Answer him this morning.
Look on us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of your brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of your wisdom.
All our desires are known to you,
therefore complete what you have begun,
and what your Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek your face,
turn your face to us and show us your glory.
Then will our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.
- St. Augustine of Hippo
I want to move in the flow of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to feel like”it all depends on me”. When I am doing preparation for a service-whether it be this morning’s communion service, a sermon for a Sunday morning or a funeral or a wedding, I want to do my part. The bottom line is if I give from my flesh, nothing of consequence will happen. When the Spirit moves, greater things than I can imagine will happen. Andre Crouch sang, “And if I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary”. At the end of the day, I want to hear my Savior say, “Well done”. I remember Carol Gould, our Church soloist for many years. After one service , I told her that her solo was beautiful. She told me that she thought she”laid an egg”. I told her that the Holy Spirit had transformed what she heard. Between her lips and our ears, God had done a mighty work. The message of her heart had come through loud and strong. As St Francis prayed, “ Make me an instrument of Your peace”. Let that be so today. I want to flow in the Spirit.
Just before I read this, I read my "verse of the day" from Youversion, and it seems like the simplest answer: "One thing I ask from the Lord , this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple" (Psalms 27:4 NIV). This is true of me, to some extent, and it's the simplest and best "Bible study" response.
But in recent weeks I've really been longing for family. I love spending time with Lynette and the kids, and we've seen Chris and Lauren a couple of times and are going to spend the weekend with them. I am grateful for this.
But I haven't seen Frank and Kristen and their kids since October. I haven't seen my aunt and uncle we usually see every month or more since September. I have seen my parents since July. I haven't seen Suzie in person since December. And right now, this is getting in the way of lots of other things because there's an emptiness in my heart that us usually filled by family, by visits and dinners and birthdays.
So I'm asking God to help us all get vaccinated or whatever needs to happen so we can be with the family were missing again.
Lord, I want to give everything that I have to you, not just a fraction of what I have. I have always felt that when I hear other people pray, or see them serve, or give any part of them selves that I am totally in adequate. I have tried to serve you for 30 years by lifting up my voice in praise and worship for 30 years, but inside of me I have always thought “someday they’re going to realize that a really can’t sing well“. This thought has come up each and every time that I stood on a platform or even to a rehearsal. I so look forward to the day when I can sing before you in worship when I join you in heaven. I know then everything will be done to your perfection. I want to please you in everything I do I want to show you the depth of my heart. If I can improve my devotion to you even buy a small fraction, It will be a great improvement. I love you Lord and I want to please you in everything I say and do in this life now. Today Lord, help me To know that greater perfection even today. Thank you Lord thank you Lord hear my prayer oh lord.
At first glance I felt oh I know what I would want but then the words wouldn’t form, the obvious comes to mind of always protect my children keep them safe but then desires to keep all my loved ones safe as well, but then what about world peace or asking for him to heal our world or that I always see clearly the path I should go to grow closer to him. Interesting how much this question brought up so many questions in me. ♥️
I too have many answers to this question. Salvation for my family, physical healing for family and loved ones, cancer cure. Most important to me is the desire to be more like Jesus. To keep my focus on Him and not on situations and things I can't change. Lord help me to keep my focus on You so there will be less of me and more of You. Come Holy Spirit. I await.
"Fill us with holy love, and open to us the treasures of your wisdom." I'm thankful for this daily journey in a community of loving believers who have welcomed me with open hearts and who allow me to share my wisdom as I learn from their wisdom. For me, the practice of constant prayer, alone and with all of you, is a way for me to seek "a multitude of counselors" in Proverbs 11:14 & Proverbs 15:22, to seek His safety and for me to plan my next steps wisely. In a conversation with Pastor Kaitlyn on Monday, I told her that my time with all of you gives me validation of the prayers of my heart and broadens my wisdom, usually with a perspective I never considered. "...if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God's son, purges all our sin." This past year of social isolation thousands of miles apart from my extended family has been hard, especially on Julia. I felt alone because she has not been accepted here in our SoCal community. Lord knows I've tried... Feeling welcome with all of you has given me a new spiritual family I need to help me with my next steps as we all journey in faith together.