“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”~~Zig Ziglar
Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is fugacious, “fleeting; transitory,” as in, “a sensational story with but a fugacious claim on the public’s attention.”
Today is Human Rights Day. This day was established in 1948. “From the most basic human needs such as food, shelter, and water, all the way up to access to free and uncensored information, such has been the goals and ambitions laid out that day.”
This is going to be a difficult Christmas, I think. It is the first one without my dad, and the difficulty is creeping up on us. Has reality finally set in? I don’t know that that’s what it is. I believe we have been pretty realistic about it all along. We got through Thanksgiving pretty well. But Christmas is the major holiday of the year, big celebrations and all that, and we will be missing my dad this year. My mother is missing him tremendously, right now. I don’t believe that is weakness. She might feel like it is, but, in truth, the strength that she has displayed has been phenomenal. There is no fault in feeling some pain and loneliness. It is real and it is life.
Time is running short, so I must move on.
The first piece of Timothy Keller’s suggested framework of prayer is called “evocation.” This means “to bring to mind.” It can also include what we commonly call “invocation,” which is calling on God. It is widely agreed that prayer should begin with “‘thinking over who it is that you will be addressing, what he has done to give you access to himself . . . how you stand related to him . . . [and] the truly breathtaking fact that through his Word and Spirit the Lord Jesus is building a friendship with you.'” (From Praying: Finding Our Way, by Packer and Nystrom)
One helpful way to do this is to “recap the Trinitarian theology of prayer.” Consider that God is our Father, and he is determined to do good for us. Jesus gives us access to God’s throne, and is our “mediator, advocate, and priest.” The Holy Spirit, God within us, prompts us and helps us pray, so that we can have confidence that, when we pray, God hears.
We should briefly meditate on verses that speak to these truths. Or we can read psalms such as Psalm 95, which are traditional psalms used for coming into the presence of God. Or, if we have them available, we can use one of the ancient prayers of the church, such as the collects of Thomas Cranmer, to be a sort of invocation to our prayer time.
This process should take no more than a couple of minutes.
Father, we do not invoke your presence when we pray, for you are always present. However, we do prepare our minds for prayer and remind ourselves of who you are. Teach us to pray with intimacy and awe, always remembering to whom we are praying.
Father, I pray that you hold my mother close during these days, that she may know that she is deep in your love and care.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.