Good morning. It is Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Hump Day.
Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is plutography. This has nothing to do with Pluto (is it a planet or not??), but, rather, is “Tom Wolfe’s term for: the graphic depiction of the lives of the rich, esp. as a genre of popular literature, journalism, and broadcasting.”
As noted above, today is Hump Day, middle of the week. Downhill from here, right? There won’t be much going on tonight, as it is one of our “free” nights, during the week.
Last night’s Huddle meeting went well, I think, and we had some good, deep discussion. Much of it revolved around how we have the faith to do the things we are supposed to be doing.
The American League won the All-Star Game, 6-3. That means the AL gets home field advantage for the World Series. They take two more days off, as the next scheduled games are on Friday, the 17th.
For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant—
the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Asshur also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah.
Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
who were destroyed at En-dor, who became dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
who said, “Let us take possession for ourselves of the pastures of God.”
O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind.
As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
so may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane!
Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O LORD.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace,
that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.
(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
As chapter three comes to a close (pp 48-49), Timothy Keller briefly describes how the book of Job is a classic example of how prayer is heightened by knowing God. The majority of the book of Job consists of Job crying out to God, “agonizing prayer.” Job never gives up on God, never turns his back, never denies the existence of God. “Yet he cannot accept the life God is calling him to live.” Finally, in chapter 38, God speaks. He gives an account of creation, speaking of the mighty creatures that he has created (I swear “Leviathan” was a dragon!!). As God speaks, Job is both “astonished and humbled by this deeper vision of God and has a breakthrough. He finally prays a mighty prayer of repentance and adoration.”
Can we come to know God simply for himself alone, regardless of our circumstances? I believe that the book of Job answers that question with a resounding, “Yes!!” But only through prayer.
“The more clearly Job saw who God was, the fuller his prayers become.” This came through listening to what God had to say, and then responding in prayer. “The more true his knowledge of God, the more fruitful his prayers became, and the more sweeping the change in his life.”
So, we see, the “power of our prayers, then, lies not primarily in our effort and striving, or in any technique, but rather in our knowledge of God.” While we might desire to hear our Father speaking audibly out of the whirlwind, as Job did, we have an even clearer representation of God. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
“Jesus Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1-14) because no more comprehensive, personal, and beautiful communication of God is possible.” Just as we cannot look at the natural sun with the naked eye without damaging our eyes, we must look at our God through the “filter” of Jesus Christ, who is the “exact imprint” of the nature of God, while at the same time being fully human in nature. Through Jesus, our prayer becomes what John Knox called “an earnest and familiar talking with God,” and what John Calvin called an “intimate conversation” and “a communion of men with God.” For through [Christ] we . . . have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)
Father, my prayer today is simply to know you more. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth, and that my prayers may be fuller, more powerful, more beautiful. I want my prayers to be beautiful, not in my own eyes, but in your sight, as you are infinitely beautiful. Show me your beauty, Lord, during this day. I pray that you would amaze me with your presence and your beauty, so that I might see nothing else besides you.
I pray for this day, as always, that we would have safe passage to work and back. I thank you that Christi was able to bowl, yesterday evening, and has no pain walking, this morning. I pray for her day, today, that it will be stress-free and productive. I pray for Stephanie, that you would show your great love to her today. May you draw Rachel and Justin to your heart, and may you continue to hold up my mother in your loving arms.
I pray for Ema, who is having surgery today. Hold her in your arms during the procedure, and guide the hands of the doctors and attendants.
Your grace is sufficient.
The power of prayer comes in the knowledge of God. The more we know him, the better we pray.
Grace and peace, friends.