Prayer Changes Us

“The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.”~~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
(BrainyQuote)

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is, appropriately, bissextus, which means, “February 29th: the extra day added to the Julian calendar every fourth year (except those evenly divisible by 400) to compensate for the approximately six hours a year by which the common year of 365 days falls short of the solar year.”

Today is Rare Disease Day. The purpose is to raise awareness of diseases that many people have never heard of, and, consequently, treatments are also inadequate. While I believe it is clever to have this day on a “rare” day, I wish there could be more awareness of these, as my father died from a rare disease, just under a year ago. Here is the information from the website I get my “holidays” from:

Rare Disease Day is an observance held on the last day of February to raise awareness about diseases that most people will not know of, as well as to improve access to treatment. EURORDIS (The European Organization for Rare Diseases) says that treatment for many rare diseases is insufficient, and some people’s quality of life is greatly hindered by inequality, simply because people have never heard of their disease, or do not understand the disease and the patient’s needs. Since 2008, EURORDIS has been putting in place social networks to help support individuals with rare diseases and their families, as well as Co-Ordinating events for Rare Disease Day at an international level.

2010 featured balloon releases, marathons, auctions and tree planting events to raise awareness, and each year people affected by rare diseases are encouraged to share pictures and their stories with the world.

Welcome to February 29. Leap Year Day. Monday.

We had an okay day, yesterday. I wouldn’t say great, but okay. Christi’s head was hurting most of the day, still, and we had to do the grocery shopping. I offered to go do ours, but she wanted to go ahead and get the groceries for her step-dad. Her mom is back in rehab again. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Once we got all that done, and picked up some lunch, we settled in to chill for the rest of the day, so that was nice. I think we watched about four episodes of Criminal Minds. We are into season three, now.

Back to work today, and I have band practice tonight. We have a concert coming up in just over a week. Tuesday night, March 8, at White Chapel United Methodist Church. 7:00 PM. If you are in the area, please come check us out.

Oh, and I didn’t watch the Oscars. No, I wasn’t boycotting. Worse. I just don’t care. 😀

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.

Psalm 31:19-20

Some people believe that Christians are trying to escape from reality. Eugene Peterson begins this reading with an interesting statement. “The person of faith does not escape from reality but into reality.” It is almost as if we are running from “a cave full of snarling beasts into a wide, lush pasture where the open air and the wide horizons bring the exclamation, ‘O how abundant is your goodness!'”

“‘Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand–
the shadow of a mighty Rock within a weary land;
a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day’
(Elizabeth C. Clephane, ‘Beneath the Cross of Jesus’). Amen.”

My dad and I used to sing that together.

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
Luke 11:1

In today’s reading from Daily Guidposts, Melody Bonnette Swang writes of something that occurred just after Christmas. Two weeks after Christmas, her neighbor dragged his fir Christmas tree around to the side yard of his house. Melody supposed that he was going to take it to the curb to be picked up, but it never left his yard. For some reason, I guess this bothered her, so she started praying that he would get the tree out to the curb. Each day, this became part of her prayer ritual. But each morning, the tree remained in his side yard.

A month later, and the tree had not moved. So, one morning, as she was taking her recycling bin to the curb, she went over to her neighbor’s yard, grabbed the tree, herself, and dragged it out to the curb, just in time for the truck.

Her neighbor opened the door and said, “Thank you! I hurt my back dragging that tree out of the house and didn’t know how I was going to get it to the curb.”

As she conversed with another neighbor over this, she said, “I asked God to move this man to move his tree. Instead, God moved me to move the tree.”

While I am slightly amused at the meddling nature of neighbors, considering the worthiness of getting annoyed just because a neighbor doesn’t move a tree, at the same time, I see the point being made. We think of prayer, too often, as a way to get God to change our circumstances, or even to change his mind about something. In reality, most of the time, prayer changes who we are.

Father, I confess that I frequently approach prayer in the wrong way, even after having read and studied about it for years. May your Spirit drive me to pray in the right ways, and may you change me first as I pray, before I dare ask you to change anything else.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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