Good morning. It is Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Hump Day. Welcome to Autumn.
Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is, fittingly, equinox. An equinox is “a day when day and night are the same length.” The official definitions are, “either of the two points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator intersects the ecliptic, and, “either of the two times each year (as about March 21 and September 23) when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are everywhere on earth of approximately equal length.” Today, September 23, 2015, is the Autumnal Equinox.
Today is Restless Legs Awareness Day, so deemed to raise awareness of “Restless Leg Syndrome.” In my case, it was related to Sleep Apnea, which is controlled by my sleeping with a C-PAP machine.
Well, Huddle got cancelled, last night, because almost everybody else bailed, this time. One guy had been sick all night the night before, one couldn’t make it, offering no reason, another had his wife working late and had to stay with the kids, one is now travelling for work almost all the time, and the guys whose house we normally meet at had a very important meeting at work all day. That left three of us, and we were supposed to meet at a guy’s house that is probably 30 minutes from my house. He decided, after talking to the other guy that would be there, to call it off. So Christi and I watched the season premiers of Castle, which was very intense, and Big Bang Theory, which is giving every indication of jumping the shark. If you don’t know what that means, use Google.
Today being Wednesday, we have no plans for the evening. No doubt, we will watch the season premier (yes, it’s that time of year) of The Voice.
(From Heart Aflame)
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
“Seeking God, it is true, is the mark by which all genuine saints are particularly distinguished from the men of the world; but they come far short of seeking him with due ardour; and, accordingly, they have always need of incitements, to urge them on to this exercise, although they run of their own accord.” (p 267)
(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
The next touchstone in the segment of “Where Prayer Takes Us” is “Trust–Prayer Requires and Creates Restful Trust and Confident Hope.”
It is necessary that prayer contain both submission and importunity. At the end of every prayer, the thought must be that we need help to “accept thankfully from God’s hand whatever he sends in his wisdom.” He, alone, knows what is best for us, and, in truth, if he were to grant every request, we might be destroyed.
We are, though, invited to make our needs known to our Father, repeatedly and specifically. Keller has cited Norwegian author Ole Hallesby, who considers prayer to be both “work” and “wrestling.” Even as we should end each prayer with, “nevertheless, thy will be done,” we should also begin with “great striving with God. . . . Prayer is not a passive, calm, quiet practice.”
We need a balance between “restful trust and confident hope.” Charles Hodge, a systematic theology author, speaks of importunity and submission right next to each other. “If we overstress submission, we become too passive.” We have the great examples of importunity in the cases of Abraham pleading with God over Sodom and Gomorrah, and Moses pleading with God over the lives of Israel in the wilderness. But if we overstress importunity, we wind up only sending God our petitions with no foundation of accepting his wisdom and sovereignty, and we become angry when our prayers aren’t answered.
Ole Hallesby compares prayer to mining. There is a need for patience during the long stretches of boring into the rocks. But when that is finished, explosives are inserted and a fuse lit, which results in immediate results. “Anyone can light a fuse,” he says, while the long work requires more skill and effort. In this comparison, we have a warning against praying only “fuse-lighting prayers, the kind that we soon drop if we do not get immediate results.” A life lived in the light of God’s power and wisdom will be a “patient prayer life of ‘hole-boring.’ Mature believers know that handling the tedium is part of what makes for effective prayers.”
Father teach me this “hole-boring” type of prayer. I believe that you have been teaching me this, in cases where I have maintained the faithfulness of praying for the same things for a long time, seeing little or no results. Then, suddenly, things seem to happen. This brings me great joy, when the results come, but I need the patience to keep striving with you when results are not seen. Keep teaching me this.
I pray for this day, that our drive to work and home will be safe. I pray for wisdom and understanding for both Christi and me, as we handle situations at work, whatever may arise today. Let us be patient and calm, and let us display your kingdom in a wise manner. May your grace rain down on the rest of our family today, in whatever circumstances they find themselves in.
Come, Lord Jesus.
We must avoid the extremes of the two types of prayers mentioned, and strive for balance between “importunity and submission.”
Grace and peace, friends.