Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is inukshuk, “A structure of rough stones stacked in the form of a human figure, traditionally used by the Inuit as a landmark or commemorative sign, or to drive caribou toward hunters.”
Today is Plush Animal Lover’s Day. We have certainly had our share of those around the Bickleyhouse.
It turns out that last night was our last official Huddle meeting. The leader encouraged us to not let that stop us from gathering together, from time to time, which I think is probably a good idea. We had a good night of recapping the year and seeing where we are going from here.
Today is Wednesday, so we don’t have anything going on tonight. We do have a concern, though, in that Christi’s car is making some noises that sound like engine trouble. It’s always something, huh? We are probably going to have to get something done about that, but I don’t know when, because I have to work this Saturday morning.
The KC Royals won the first World Series game, last night, in the 14th inning. They tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and won it in the bottom of the fourteenth. Final score, 5-4. The Royals lead the series 1-0.
(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
I’m beginning the final section of the book, Part Five, “Doing Prayer.” Chapter Twelve is “Awe: Praising His Glory.”
“There are three basic kinds of prayer to God.” We have upward prayer, which is “praise and thanksgiving that focuses on God himself.” We have inward prayer, which focuses on “self-examination and confession.” This kind of prayer can and should lead to a “higher experience of grace and assurance of love.” Then we have outward prayer, which focuses on “supplication and intercession.” This kind of prayer can be both about our own needs and the needs of others in the world.
When Jesus gave instructions to his disciples on prayer, his model prayer began with praise. Praise should be primary in our prayer lives. “Praise motivates the other kinds of prayer. The more we attend to God’s perfect holiness and justice, the more readily we will see our own flaws and confess them.” That leads to the inward type of prayer. Likewise, reflection on God’s greatness will lead us to supplication. “The more we sense his majesty and the more we realize our dependence on him, the more readily we will go to him for every need.”
This does not mean that we can never go straight to petitions or even straight to confession. Especially during times of spontaneous prayer during the day. Certainly, if someone or something comes to mind during the day, and we feel strongly that we need to pray for or about them, we don’t need to embark on a formal session of prayer to make sure we include all of the ACTS acronym. However, “in our overall prayer life, praise and adoration must have a prime place.”
If we just straight into our prayer lists, we might find ourselves becoming more and more anxious about the things we are praying about. But if we spend some time praising and thanking God first, we might just find that we feel burdens being lifted rather than becoming heavier.
Father, teach me to praise you first, always. Help me to know and understand the importance of awe in my life. Let me know the truth, that in praising you, burdens and troubles can be lifted from my shoulders.
Teach me to do all things in your name and for your glory.
Come, lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.