Interceding Out of Sympathy

“The years teach much which the days never know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is snuggery, “a comfortable or cozy room.”

Today is Garden Meditation Day. I could so be into that, today. I would find a nice, secluded spot to sit in Fort Worth’s Botanical Gardens and just meditate to my heart’s content. Or fall asleep. Maybe both.

Band practice was okay last night. We are now preparing for our July 3 concert, which will be performed in the Southlake Town Square. July 3 falls on Sunday, this year, and we will have Monday off for the 4th.

Christi’s throat is still hurting, but she said she thinks she feels better, this morning. Hopefully, it is working its way out.

The Red Sox had an off day, yesterday, but so did most of the other teams in the AL East, so nothing changed in the standings. Except for the Blue Jays, who lost to the Texas Rangers, 2-1. I don’t know what’s going on in Chicago, this season, but both of their teams have the best record in their league, and the Cubbies are currently the best team in baseball.

Sunday is Mother’s Day. We will be celebrating on Saturday, with my mother. I don’t think she knows this, yet. Well, she does now, I suppose. Our plan is for all of us to converge on her house Saturday afternoon, go out for a meal, and visit, as we like to do. This way, on Sunday, Christi, the mother at our house, can chill and do whatever her heart desires. At this point in time, I believe one of those things will be a pedicure.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,
and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work.

Psalm 62:8-12

“The soul careens from side to side seeking a way to completion.” I really like that word picture. On one side is lawlessness, spiritual anarchy (“Those of low estate”). On the other side, the false security of wealth (“those of high estate”). But these are the ditches on either side of the highway. “The Lord himself is the way to wholeness.”

“First, God, I imagine that I want to live completely free, a rebel against all restraint – a lawless person. Then I imagine that I want to live completely secure, without any needs – a rich person. You expose both as vain fantasies: I will pour my heart out to you and find both liberty and security, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“Vital Intercession”

. . . praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
Ephesians 6:18

Chambers speaks, today, of dangers in intercession. One is when we begin to intercede out of sympathy for people instead of out of identification with God’s interest in them. This is difficult to explain, but if you consider that a brother or sister is going through a difficult time, there is always a possibility that God has brought this on them as a testing time. If we are praying out of sympathy for them, we might beg God to stop the trial; to bring them out of the difficulty. However, if we are praying out of an identification with God’s interest in them, we would be more likely to pray that God strengthen them as they go through this trial; that they might successfully learn what they are supposed to learn from it.

Obviously, this takes great discernment.

“It is impossible to intercede vitally unless we are perfectly sure of God, and the greatest dissipator of our relationship to God is personal sympathy and personal prejudice.”

Father, I pray for this kind of identification as I intercede. I have experienced times when I wondered if it was proper for me to pray for what the person asked, or if there was some other purpose that you had in mind for them. Help me to be “perfectly sure” of you in these instances. Give me the intimate connection with you that can draw this kind of thing out and make me an effective intercessor. Help me to identify with your interests in others.

I pray especially, this morning for James, who needs a job. May you lead him to the job that you have planned for him. Let him not give up hope.

Come, Lord Jesus!”

Grace and peace, friends.

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