This Is the Air I Breathe

Today is Friday, the twenty-fourth of June, 2022, in the twelfth week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ be with you today!

Day 23,479

I got up early, this morning, because I wanted to get a look at the planet alignment that is going on, right now. I didn’t get a great view, this morning, as it was almost too light out, but I did see Venus, the Moon, and Jupiter. So, right now, we have Mercury, Venus, Uranus, the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter all in a straight line. Saturn is up there, too, but couldn’t be bothered to get in line with the rest. Hah! I could see Jupiter and Venus with the naked eye, but not the rest. As I said, it was a little too close to sunrise. I was unable to get a bead on Jupiter with my telescope, but did get a decent view of the crescent moon.

I had a pretty good day at the library, yesterday. There were a few challenges, and I had to consult my manager a couple of times, but it all went well. I’ll be back at the library tomorrow morning, for a Saturday in the circulation department.

Okay. Time to get on with things.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Lord our God, we lift our hearts to you, our help in every need. You do so much for us even in difficult times, letting us always see your light and giving us your help in the many things you want us to bear in your strength, O Almighty God. In the end you will help our age come to your light. Through your great mercy let us receive your Word. Bless it within our hearts, and help us to serve you everywhere we go and in everything we are allowed to do. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven. 
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, 
as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, 
so our eyes look to the LORD our God, 
till he shows us his mercy.
(Psalms 123:1-2 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the beauty of the night sky, especially on days like these, when planets are aligned
2. for the mercy of God in giving us His Word
3. for the breath of life, breathed into me daily by the Lord (I'm alive and breathing)
4. that there is no need to worry about tomorrow, for God is already there
5. that God never changes and, having Him, I lack nothing

And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
(Mark 7:6-8 ESV)


Today’s word, in Pray a Word a Day, is breathe. Thich Nhat, a Buddhist monk, is quoted as saying, “Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body.”

There will most certainly be some folks who will “lose their minds” because a “Christian” devotional book included a quote from a Buddhist monk about breathing. If you’re one of those people, just scroll on, please.

One of the things that we, as a society, have forgotten how to do is breathe. Obviously, no one really “forgets” to breathe, because that is something we do naturally. Fortunately, the Lord created us with that as a kind of automatic thing. Imagine, if we had to remember to breathe, we would never get anything else done. But we aren’t talking about the natural thing that happens anywhere from 12 to 20 times a minute, for most people.

We’re talking more about how we breathe. We get so stressed out over so many little things, so many “first-world problems,” or, as I have called them in the past, “footstool” problems, that we forget to stop and take a breath for ourselves.

“When that deep pain in my chest starts to rise, for a moment I pause in confusion. What’s going on? Why am I feeling this way? The answer is simple. I didn’t take a breath. I’d let anxiety and stress take over.”

A little over a year ago, I read a book, called Breathe Well, in which the author was of the opinion that we, in the West, have forgotten how to breathe properly. A major cause of this is anxiety, and it begins about the time we start school. The author also believes that technology has hindered our breathing. No surprise, there, right? You can read my review of the book, if you are so inclined, as I have linked it with the title.

While there are certainly aspects of easter religions, such as Buddhism, that we might not want to embrace, we could benefit well from their practices of breathing. When things aren’t going the way we think they should, “Step back. Breathe. Inhale and exhale.” We’ll feel better.

And, in addition, there is certainly no harm in “breathing” a prayer in the process. The Jesus Prayer, for example. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Breathe in: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.” Breathe out: “Have mercy on me, a sinner.” Repeat as needed. I have found that practice to be most beneficial.

After all, what is it that made the first man a “living person?” It was breath.

Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.
(Genesis 2:7 NLT)

Father, when anxiety threatens me, when fear knocks at the door of my heart, help me remember to just breathe, to breathe in the breath of Your life and remember that You are in control of all things. When opinions threaten my well-being, or my relationships with others, help me to remember to “Breathe deep the breath of God.”


You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.
(Philippians 4:19 MSG)

Another reason for us to breathe is that, when it comes to our worries and fears about tomorrow or next week or next month or next year . . . God is already there. I wrote about this a few days ago, and it seems to be an ongoing thread, lately. It’s almost as if God is trying to tell me something. It also makes me worry wonder if things are going to get worse in this country. Like, is God trying to prepare me for something?

But, yeah, since God exists outside of time, as we understand it, whatever future events I’m worried about, God is already there, waiting for me. He’s letting me know that, as Julian of Norwich famously said, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” Then, there is also the prayer of St. Teresa of Avila.

Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
all things will pass away.
God never changes;
patience obtains all things,
whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.

Amen.
(St. Teresa of Avila)

“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”
(Matthew 6:7-8 NLT)

Breathe deep

How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:10-13 NLT)

Breathe deep the breath of God

And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there.
(Revelation 21:23-25 NLT)

Breathe deep

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

Breathe deep the breath of God


Father, truly we are blessed. Truthfully, having You, I lack nothing, and You are unchanging. You are not a man that You should lie or change Your mind. Humanity is fickle, ever self-seeking and self-centered. You are constant.

It is so very tempting to worry during these days. The world has been dragged through some deep darkness over the past couple of years, and there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, just yet. Unless, of course, we can manage to keep our eyes focused on You, in which case, all we can see is light.

I will not allow myself to be worried. There will, no doubt, be temporary periods where I will forget myself, and, for a moment, lost sight of Your control over everything. But You will, also no doubt, restore that sight and renew my faith and remind me that I have nothing to fear. I pray that we who follow Christ, who truly follow Him, will be able to spread the Gospel of peace and love to the world around us. Help us to follow the commands of Jesus, to love You with all our being, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

All glory to You, through the Son and by the Spirit.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!


Grace and peace, friends.

Breathe Deep

Today is Wednesday, the second of June (it is Wednesday, right?), 2021, in the second week of Ordinary Time.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,092

32 days until July 4.

The big news of the day is that our pool is running!! C texted me, as I was on my way home, with a beautiful picture of the waterfall running. I do believe tears came. It’s been four months since Snovid-21, when we were without power for almost two solid days in single digit temperatures, which is what broke everything.

Again, we were fortunate in that we decided to submit claims to insurance, and they covered most of the cost. The insurance payment covered almost all of the equipment that we had to purchase, so we were only out of pocket a little over a thousand dollars.

But it’s running. Now, of course, we need to wait and see if there are any pipe leaks, but, at the moment, there do not seem to be any.

There is actually only a 17% chance of rain today. Followed by seven consecutive days of over a 50% chance. What do June showers bring?

I’m behind already (isn’t that always the way?) because I wrote a quick book review before starting this, so I will get on into my devotional.

Oh, I almost forgot. A quick blood pressure update. This morning, after two nights of cutting the med in half, 101/62. Better. I’ll continue monitoring that and report back to the doctor in about a week and a half.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
all things will pass away.
God never changes;
patience obtains all things,
whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.

Amen.
(St. Teresa of Avila)

He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
(Psalms 23:2 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. that our pool equipment is finally running
2. for the way You allow me to rest in You
3. for the vision of Peter in Acts 10
4. that all people of all types in all places need to breathe deep Your breath
5. for Jesus, "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God"

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year

ORDINARY TIME – DAY 4

INVITATION

God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
(Romans 5:5 NIV)

I pause, briefly, to meditate on green meadows and peaceful streams.

BIBLE SONG

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt.
We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogant, of contempt from the proud.
(Psalms 123:1-4 NIV)

BIBLE READING

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
(Acts 10:9-16 NIV)

DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION

As I remind myself of the presence of the Lord in this place, I read these passages again, lingering to allow the Holy Spirit to direct my thoughts and meditations.

I do like the comparison in the psalm, that we look to God, at times, the way a servant looks toward their master or mistress for mercy. We look to God, at His hands, for whatever we need at the moment. And He provides.

And there are many ways in which we endure ridicule and contempt from groups of people. Perhaps not on a personal level, but there have been many times that I have read comments directed at Christians in general, comments which have made me sad. On the other hand, there are definitely things we could be doing better that might prevent some of those comments.

One of those things is illustrated by Peter’s vision on the rooftop. This happened right before some men came to his door to summon him to Cornelius’s house. You see . . . Cornelius was a Gentile. So Peter had to be shown that it was okay, more than okay, but necessary, for him to go to Cornelius and minister to him.

Later, there was great debate over this idea, but the more reasonable of them, the more Christlike of them, gave thanks and worshiped because of the idea that the Gospel was available to Gentiles, too.

All people need God. There’s a song that I really like by a band that I really like. The group is called The Lost Dogs, and the song is called “Breath Deep.” Here are the lyrics.

Politicians, morticians, Philistines, homophobes
Skinheads, Dead heads, tax evaders, street kids
Alcoholics, workaholics, wise guys, dim wits
Blue collars, white collars, war mongers, peace nicks

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God

Suicidals, rock idols, shut-ins, drop outs
Friendless, homeless, penniless and depressed
Presidents, residents, foreigners and aliens
Dissidents, feminists, xenophobes and chauvinists

Evolutionists, creationists, perverts, slum lords
Dead-beats, athletes, Protestants and Catholics
Housewives, neophytes, pro-choice, pro-life
Misogynists, monogamists, philanthropists, blacks and whites

Police, obese, lawyers, and government
Sex offenders, tax collectors, war vets, rejects
Atheists, Scientists, racists, sadists
Photographers, biographers, artists, pornographers

Gays and lesbians, demagogues and thespians
The disabled, preachers, doctors and teachers
Meat eaters, wife beaters, judges and juries
Long hair, no hair, everybody everywhere!

I have “friends” on Facebook who would cross out some of those. They haven’t seen Peter’s vision, yet. Over the years, I have embraced the lyrics of this song and the thought that everybody, everywhere needs to breathe deep the breath of God. The love of God has no limits.

We all need to see and embrace the vision of Peter.

Father, I am grateful that You have shown me this vision and that Your Spirit has drawn me to embrace it. I do pray that everybody everywhere would breathe deep Your breath, and embrace Your salvation in Jesus Christ, who loves all people. May You truly draw all people into Your grace and mercy, Father. I thank You for providing for our needs, as a master to a servant. Make me a valuable and worthy servant, Lord!

Startling God,
you explode our narrow vision by the wideness of your love.
Not only do we depend on you to open our hearts to your salvation,
but also to see and embrace your grand saving purposes.
We pray that you would enlighten our minds,
renew our wills,
and make us willing and able to freely answer your call to share the gospel with all those you are drawing to Jesus.
Amen.
(Westminster Larger Catechism 67)

BLESSING

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
(2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV)

Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
(Psalms 100:2 ESV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Father, help me to serve You with gladness, today, and sing songs of praise to You! May I also lay aside every weight that hinders me, and that “sin which clings so closely.” Help me to run the race, Lord, to persevere, and to look to Jesus for all things.

Lord, this morning, I pray for governments, leaders, and needs throughout the world. May Your presence be known among all as You provide for us. I specifically lift up the continent of Asia, this morning. I also pray for any international crises that may be occurring today. May Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Pray/Praise Where You Are

Today is Monday, October 26, 2020. Peace be with you.

Day 22,873

17 days until C’s birthday (that’s closer than Thanksgiving!)

Here in Texas, we are just barely into Autumn (a little over a month, but not much Fall-like weather during that time), and counties just west of us are having a “winter weather advisory!” In DFW, it is 52 degrees right now, and the temperature is projected to fall all day long, down to 38 degrees tomorrow morning. Tomorrow’s high is 42, and tomorrow night’s low is 42. And it’s going to be raining, apparently, most of that time.

At least I won’t have to water my lawn. I just hope it doesn’t freeze, up where I work, which is thirty miles northeast of here.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. We had a nice worship time, meeting in our hosts’ living room, rather than the back yard, because it was chilly outside. We were spread out pretty well, and everyone wore masks. We were able to sing a couple of songs, and I played their piano, so that was fun.

I forgot to mention, yesterday morning, that I had lost 2.6 pounds at WW on Saturday morning, for a total of 82.4 pounds lost since February! Our coach directly challenged me to not step on the home scale this week, as it does have an affect on my psyche, sometimes. I was really surprised that i lost that much. I was expecting to lost maybe a pound, because of what our home scale had read all week. So I have not stepped on it since Saturday morning.

I got ProTools and some accessories downloaded on the new PC, yesterday. I believe I might be ready to try it out by next weekend. I might get energetic enough to try it one night after work, but I certainly am not setting that as a goal.

The weekend was not good, as far as Coronavirus numbers go. Between Saturday and yesterday, there were over 140,000 new cases, far higher than most previous weekends. There continue to be no conversations from leadership concerning this.

This is the last week of October, and Halloween is Saturday. I am not sure what that is going to look like, but we have not bought any Halloween candy. We really don’t want it in the house. And then, I suppose, election day is a week from Tuesday.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

Scriptures and Prayers from The Divine Hours

So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!
(Psalms 31:24 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

  1. A new work week, full of opportunities to serve You and people; may I glorify You through it
  2. That You will keep Your Word, doing the things that You say You will do
  3. For the Holy Spirit, our Advocate/Helper and Your representative
  4. That we can pray and praise You wherever we are
  5. That You have freed me from my chains

The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever.
(Psalms 12:6-7 ESV)

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!
(Psalms 80:3 ESV)

You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.
(Psalms 71:21 NLT)

No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?”
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
(John 14:18-26 NLT)

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you,
that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
(Psalms 66:8-14 ESV)

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
(Psalms 66:18-19 ESV)

Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

"Merciful God,
who sent your messengers the prophets
to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Grant us grace to heed
their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ
our Redeemer;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God,
now and for ever.
Amen."
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word!
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and maidens together, old men and children!
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!
(Psalms 148:1-14 ESV)

In today’s reading from Our Daily Bread, Xochitl Dixon (one of my favorites) writes of a time when she and her husband were celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary at La Playa. (That means “the beach.”)

As vendors went by, they politely declined to buy anything. One was a little more persistent, but still they declined, and Xochitl said to him, “I pray God will bless your day.”

The vendor, named Fernando, turned to them and said, “He has! Jesus changed my life.” As he knelt between their chairs, where they had been reading their Bibles on the beach, he said, “I feel His presence here.”

Fernando recited Psalms, and prayed for them, and together, they praised God and rejoiced in His presence.

On the beach.

The psalm above calls for everything in all of creation to praise God. From the highest heavens to the depths of the sea, all are called upon to praise God. It doesn’t matter where you are.

“Though God invites us to bring our needs before Him and trust He hears and cares for us, He also delights in prayers of grateful praise where we are. Even on the beach.”

There’s a song by one of my favorite Christian bands, The Lost Dogs. At least one person who reads this blog will know who they are, I think. They have a song that I really love, called “Pray Where You Are.” The lyrics go like this:

In the submarines and tanks
In the S&Ls and banks
In the cancer wards, the prisons, and the bars
On the earth and on the moon
In the closet, in your room
In the flophouses, the think-tanks and the farms
To the salesman forever trying to sell
To the faithful daughter walking to the well

(Chorus)
Oh, pray where you are
Pray where you are
In the fields and in the factories
There’s no limits, rules or boundaries
At work or school or driving in your car
Pray where you are

In the strip joints, in the church
On a desperate lost-child search
On the airplanes and the back roads and the rails
On the blacktops and the beach
Down the sewer and up the creek
In the penthouses and the pool halls and the jails
To the criminal with no one left to con
To the movie star whose day has come and gone

To the junky with his back against the wall
To the lawman as he breaks another law

In the desert, off the shore
In a peacetime, in a war
In the pentagon, the court rooms, and the malls
In the tents and in the caves
At the truck stops, by the graves
In our hopes and fears and struggles great and small
To the corner prophet no one seems to hear
To the president who prays for four more years

And here’s the song.

Could that not just as easily say “Praise Where You Are?”

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
(Matthew 19:19 ESV)

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
(1 John 3:18-20 ESV)

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
(1 John 5:14-15 ESV)

What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.
Truly I am your servant, LORD; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the LORD— in your midst, Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.
(Psalms 116:12-19 NIV)

Father, there is so much to be thankful for and praise You for! There is also much to be praying about, as given to me by people that I know, every day. I pray that You would meet the needs of my friends who reach out to me for prayer every day. I pray for those unspoken requests that arise each day, that You would be Whoever and Whatever those folks need You to be in their lives. I pray for those who are grieving, that You would comfort them in their loss and surround them with Your presence. Thank You for Your all-encompassing goodness to me and my family.

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Make Me to Know Your Ways

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
(Psalms 25:4 ESV)

Today is Sunday, August 30, 2020, beginning the 22nd week of Ordinary Time. It is the 13th Sunday after Pentecost. Peace be with you!

Day 22,816

Eight days until Labor Day

What a night!!

Last night, around 8:00 or so, it might have been earlier, our power blinked off, then came right back on. I was in the middle of Dragon Age: Inquisition, and it knocked the PS4 off. So I started the process of rebooting the PS4, which also includes “repairing” the external hard drive. In the middle of the process, the power blinked off again, coming right back on. Fortunately, this time, it came on soon enough that it did not shut the PS4 down again, and it continued in its process of rebooting.

It had barely come back on when the power went off again. This time for somewhere between four and five hours (this all depends on what time this all started).

I can’t really sleep when the power is out. Number one, it’s too quiet. I know that sounds lame, but we have been sleeping with a fan/noisemaker on for decades. Number two, I sleep with a CPAP machine, as I have suffered from obstructive sleep apnea for many years. No power, no CPAP.

I did try. In fact, I put on my wireless headphones and set my iPhone to play some waterfall noise. I think I may have slept about an hour, but it wasn’t good sleep. So I got up and sat in the recliner, and tried to play some games on my phone. Even the LTE/5G service on the phone and table was terribly slow. The outage was affecting more than just our houses.

Oncor said that the estimated time of restoration was midnight. But by 11:00, they were saying 1:30 in the morning. Then, miraculously, the power came back on around 11:45. Even after that, my sleep was fitful, and not great. But I did manage to stay in bed until 7:45, which took some persistence, because there were several times in there when my body said, “Hey! You’re awake! Get up!,” and I said, “NO!”

The storm that caused the outage was tremendous. At one point, it was raining so hard with such high wind that I literally could not see past the fence in our back yard. There was a brief moment of small hail (sounded more like sleet), and I went to look in the front yard, and I could barely see the houses across the street. Lots of thunder and lightning, which distressed Tessie (dog) to no end.

But we lived through it. Power is on, and the Internet works. As far as we can see, nothing blew away, although the pads from the back porch swing were in the middle of the yard, and the door to the plastic storage shed in the back yard blew off.

Before that, yesterday was a pretty great day. Walmart Neighborhood Market came through with most of what we ordered, and the pickup process was fine. The Sprouts delivery from Instacart was awesome! They had everything we ordered, and it all looked good. And it arrived over an hour earlier than projected. We may be in trouble, though, as Walmart NM was out of our “no-sugar-added” Fudgsicles! Oh, the humanity!!

Fortunately, we have a box of 18 of them still in the freezer.

Also, no one seems to have cherries any more, which is sad for C. She loves fresh cherries, but, alas, they are only available from around April to the end of August. So, see you next year, cherries.

Today, we have our virtual worship gathering at 10:15. It’s my turn to “lead,” and I hope we can finish Revelation. We have three chapters to go, two of which are some of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible.

After that, we plan to order lunch from Applebee’s, and go pick it up, curbside. It was so good last week, we may have a new Sunday tradition.

The rest of the day is wide open.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I got in the study and made a little music, yesterday. I didn’t actually record anything, but I practiced a little, playing the guitar for a little while, as well. I want to, eventually, record this song by The Lost Dogs.

Minus the steel guitar, probably. The Lost Dogs, when this song was recorded, consisted of Terry Scott Taylor from Daniel Amos and The Swirling Eddies (first verse), the late Gene Eugene from Adam Again (second verse), Michael Roe from the Seventy Sevens and Kerosene Halo (third verse), and Derri Daugherty from The Choir and Kerosene Halo (fourth verse). After Gene passed away, at the age of 39, they didn’t really replace, him, but Steve Hindalong from The Choir became their permanent percussionist.

I could write for days about these people. They are my favorite musician/songwriters of any genre.

Anyway, I love this song. When Gene sings the line, “I’m too crippled now to walk again, but I’ll walk those streets of gold,” it brings tears to my eyes, because I think of my father.

"It's time to make your peace with God
'cause this life's over fast;
We were built for glory,
we were made to last."

Wow. I could stop now and just have my prayers.

Just kidding.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Eternal God,
who are the light of the minds that know You,
the joy of the hearts that love You,
and the strength of the wills that serve You;
grant us so to know You that we may truly love You,
and so to love You that we may fully serve You,
whom to serve is perfect freedom,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Prayer to Know God, by St. Augustine)

Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
(Psalms 111:1 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. To be alive and awake
  2. That we do not appear to have sustained any damage from last night’s storm/power outage
  3. For another opportunity to study Your Word with Your saints
  4. For the ability to hope continually in Your faithfulness and steadfast love
  5. That Your light and joy will shine on the righteous and upright of heart

. . . that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.
(Psalms 83:18 ESV)

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
(Psalms 71:14 ESV)

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
(Psalms 118:22 ESV)

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
(John 17:24-26 ESV)

A Psalm of David.
The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
(Psalms 110:1-5 ESV)

Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

"Merciful God,
who sent your messengers the prophets
to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Grant us grace to heed
their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ
our Redeemer;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God,
now and for ever.
Amen."
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)
"Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father,
you have brought me in safety to this new day:
Preserve me with your mighty power,
that I may not fall into sin,
nor be overcome by adversity;
and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose;
through Jesus Christ my Lord.
Amen."
(The Divine Hours, The Concluding Prayer of the Church)

Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins? Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven:
(Lamentations 3:37-41 ESV)

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:25 ESV)

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
(Psalms 25:4 ESV)

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
(2 Thessalonians 3:5 ESV)

Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.
(Psalms 97:10-12 NIV)

“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ,” says Paul in 2 Thessalonians.

As He does this, He will direct us to remove those “idols” that were mentioned in yesterday’s reading, one of the most prominent of which is . . .

. . . ourselves.

If I can remove myself from the “throne” of my heart, and place Jesus, there, He can make me to know His ways and direct my paths. If He does this, then light and joy will shine on me.

If light and joy shine on me, pesky inconveniences like power outages won’t bother me. Even really terrible things will seem less so.

If that light shines on me, “it will spread wisdom and beauty” in my heart. “Christians find what they see in the world and in their own hearts making more sense. And people around Christians see them slowly but surely turning into something loving and beautiful.”

Sadly, right now, the world is seeing something much different coming out of “Christians.”

But that doesn’t define all of us, and I can only hope that those of us who are truly trying to follow Jesus, His steps and His words, can show the world what a real Christian is and should be.

“Lord, I praise You that You are a God of light, that in You is no darkness at all. There is still, however, plenty of darkness in me. I am blind to my faults; I find it hard to ‘see’ Your glory and love during the day. Fill my inner being with Your light, whatever the cost. Amen.”

(From The Songs of Jesus, by Timothy and Kathy Keller)

Father, my prayer today, and every day, is that You would make me to know Your ways and teach me Your paths. Teach me Your ways, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. Help me to show Your steadfast love, faithfulness, and mercy to this hurting and broken world, all the while remembering that I am also hurting and broken.

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Colossians 3:15-17 NIV)

Grace and peace, friends.

All Is Grace

Good morning. It is Saturday, June 20, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is hobbit. Who doesn’t know what a hobbit is, right? It is “a member of a fictitious peaceful and genial race of small humanlike creatures that dwell underground.” As far as I know, hobbits were invented by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Today is World Juggling Day. I used to have a set of those vinyl juggling balls, but seem to have misplaced them. I got fairly decent at juggling three of them, but will never be as good as this guy!

The trip to work yesterday was interesting. My GPS sent me down the freeway, instead of across the side roads, and, initially, the trip was extremely quick and smooth. I encountered very little traffic until I got to Grapevine. Then, suddenly, everything stopped. It took me about twice as long as usual to get through Grapevine to Coppell, and on to the 121 access roads going on up to I-35E. Later, I found out what the problem was/is. Lake Grapevine is overflowing into Denton Creek (which I have never heard of), and has caused the closing of at least one major road in the area. 2499, a major thoroughfare, was closed at Grapevine Mills Pkwy and Lakeside Lane, causing backups for miles, which also affected the traffic the main highway, SH121, which is where I was. Fortunately, the first half of my trip went fast enough that this did not make me late for work. The scary thing is that it hadn’t even rained since Wednesday. Of course, it rained a lot on Wednesday. And reports still say that the Trinity River in Dallas is at 37+ feet, and the flood stage is 30 feet! So, even though we have not had any rain in three days, we are still under flood warnings. All that water has to go somewhere!

2499

Today, we will probably try to get the groceries done, as tomorrow is Fathers Day, and we will be in Mineral Wells for most of the day. That means I need to get moving with this here blog and get it finished in a reasonable time.

Today is two months since my father passed away.

On this date in 1214, the University of Oxford received its charter. In 1840, Samuel Morse got the patent for the telegraph. In 1893, Lizzie Borden was acquitted for the murders of her father and stepmother. In 1948, Ed Sullivan debuted with his show, originally called Toast of the Town.

Today’s birthdays include Jacques Offenbach (French composer), Errol Flynn (Australian actor), Audie Murphy (American Medal of Honor recipient and actor), Chet Atkins (American guitar player), Martin Landau (American actor), Olympia Dukakis (American actress), Danny Aiello (American actor), Len Dawson (American football player), Brian Wilson (American musician, The Beach Boys), Anne Murray (Canadian singer), Bob Vila (American TV host), Lionel Richie (American musician), John Goodman (American actor), Nicole Kidman (Australian actress), and Mike Birbiglia (comedian).

Brian Wilson is 73 years old today, born on this date in 1942. He is best known, of course, as being one of the leaders and co-founders of The Beach Boys. This clip is not Brian Wilson, but it’s about him.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

A Maskil of Asaph. O God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old, which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage! Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt.
Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins; the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!
Your foes have roared in the midst of your meeting place; they set up their own signs for signs.
They were like those who swing axes in a forest of trees.
And all its carved wood they broke down with hatchets and hammers.
They set your sanctuary on fire; they profaned the dwelling place of your name, bringing it down to the ground.
They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the fold of your garment and destroy them!
Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.
You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You split open springs and brooks; you dried up ever-flowing streams.
Yours is the day, yours also the night; you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.
Remember this, O LORD, how the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name.
Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of your poor forever.
Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name.
Arise, O God, defend your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!
Do not forget the clamor of your foes, the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!

Psalm 74

(From Solid Joys)

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10

Today’s reading is “Grace is Pardon–and Power!”

“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.”

Paul describes, 1 Corinthians 15:10, grace as the power that enables him to worker “harder than any of them.” When we make effort to obey God, it is not “an effort done in our own strength.” It is, according to 1 Peter 4:11, the strength that is supplied by God. Whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

Paul confirms this way of thinking in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12: To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Note that the works are works “of faith by his power,” and they are done, “according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“The obedience that gives God pleasure is produced by the power of God’s grace through faith.” This is the same grace through faith that gives us salvation. Grace saves; grace sanctifies. All is by grace.

Father, thank you for this grace, that first saves me, then enables me to live. Why do I not always avail myself of this grace in my life? I cannot answer this question. I can only pray that I would. May this grace that gives me the power for obedience shape everything in my life. May the desires of my heart become the desires of your heart. Show me the scope of my “mission” in life. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth.

I pray for this day. As we go to the store and do our errands, I pray for safe travel, and that all things will work out smoothly. May our time together this evening, in prayer and worship, bring glory to you. I pray for safe travel to Mineral Wells tomorrow, to visit my mother. I also pray for safe travel for Rachel and Justin, as they come down from Denton. May our time together be blessed by your presence.

Your grace is sufficient.

Grace is the power for life. Everything we need is wrapped up in the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

grace2

Grace and peace, friends.

I Am My Beloved’s. . .

“Intercession is not the breathing out of pious
wishes; it is believing, persevering prayer to receive specific
answers to specific requests.”

Good morning. It is Saturday, September 7, 2013.

Today is “Salami Day.” I’m not sure I’ve ever had any salami. Okay, I just checked. Yes I have. The Subway Spicy Italian sandwich is pepperoni and salami. Maybe I need to have one of those today to celebrate “Salami Day.”


We had a wonderful time last night with some friends from church. Part of our old Lifehouse group came over, and we had snacks, then pizza, then Christi, Mary, and the kids went out and swam while Alex and I stayed in and watched some comedy on Netflix. First we watched Jim Gaffican’s “Beyond the Pale,” after which we watched Eddie Izzard’s “Dress to Kill.” While we were watching Jim Gaffigan, Mike Napoli (NA-PO-LI!! NA-PO-LI!! NA-PO-LI!!) was hitting a grand slam (salami?) against the Evil Empire to drive them to a comeback victory. I had turned off the game when it was 8-3, Evil, not because I was giving up, but because I needed to pay attention to our guests. This is always difficult when the Sox are playing the Evil. Imagine my surprise when I awoke the morning to a 12-8 victory by the Sox! Woot!!

This morning, we have someone coming to get our home security system up and running again. Hopefully, it won’t cost an arm and a leg. Or even just an arm. Why do we even say that??


(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
On this date in 1812, Napoleon rose early and observed a brilliant sunrise, proclaiming, “Voila le soleil d’Austerlitz!” (Look, the sun of Austerlitz!) Austerlitz was, of course, one of Napoleon’s greatest victories. At this time, though, Napoleon was nearing the end of a march across barren Russia, which began with 530,000 troops. By the time he got to Phoenix Borodino, he only had about 130,000 left. Finally, the Russians engaged him, with a fresh army of 120,000, under the command of General Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, “a fat and heavy-drinking noble who had lost an eye fighting the Turks but who possessed the cunning, determination and ruthlessness to match his adversary.”

At the end of the day, the Russians had lost 45,000 replaceable troops. Napoleon had lost 30,000 irreplaceable troops, and was 1500 miles from home. (Apparently, a tale of this battle is told in Tolstoy’s War and Peace.) The next morning, Kutuzov ordered a retreat, “enabling the French to claim a victory.” Napoleon continued his march to Moscow. “But the Battle of Borodino was in fact Napoleon’s greatest defeat. During the next three months his soldiers occupied a deserted Moscow which burnt to the ground around them, and then struggled back to the Polish border in the dead of Russian winter, attacked by Cossacks, guerrillas, the bitter cold and starvation. Only about 10,000 of the original force of over half a million survived the campaign.” Tsar Nicholas I later said, “God punished the foolish; the bones of the audacious foreigners were scattered from Moscow to the Nieman.”

Napoleon’s days were numbered. His “sun had passed its zenith.” Talleyrand said, on hearing of the Battle of Borodino, said, “Voila le commencement de la fin” (There is the beginning of the end).


Today’s birthday is, has to be, Buddy Holly, born on this date in 1936. Holly was a pop musician with hits such as “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be the Day,” and this one, “Not Fade Away.” Tragically, Holly perished in 1959, in the plane crash with Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, Jr., “The Big Bopper,” on the day immortalized by Don McClean as “the Day the Music Died.”

Honorable mentions go to Queen Elizabeth I, 1533-1603, Corbin Bernsen, 59, Gloria Gaynor, 64, Evan Rachel Wood, 26, Julie Kavner, 63, Grandma Moses, 1860-1961, and Doug Bradley, 59.


While I was working on this, the security company showed up and fixed everything in our system, which is now up and running, and we are, once again, compliant with our insurance company’s expectations. Smith-Thompson Security. I would NOT recommend ADT. Their salesmen are on commission and VERY pushy. (I had to hang up on him.) Not to mention, they are extremely expensive.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Psalm 96:1
With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes. Psalm 119:145

“Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name; we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you, beholding the depths; in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.” Te Deum

Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way. Psalm 85:13
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:5-6

Dear Father, as I cry out, “Glory to you,” I pray that you hear my praise and it pleases you. As I sing to you, I pray that my songs of praise are pleasing to your ears. When I cry out to you, I pray that I might be getting increasingly closer to being “with my whole heart.” As “I meditate on all that you have done,” this morning, I pray that you show me the way that I should go, that I might lift up my soul to you.


Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “I Am My Beloved’s.” The scripture reading is Song of Solomon 7:10.

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.

In this simple phrase, we see the mutual affection of the man and the woman in this book from the Bible. “She gives herself wholly to him in this exclusive relationship. Married love is exclusive. Spouses belong to one another in a way they do not belong to any other person on earth.”

The book states (and I agree) that exclusive fidelity in a marriage relationship “is a form of chastity.” It is a sacred commitment “that con sometimes erode as time passes.” Single people have a totally different form of chastity, which is being challenged more and more as each day passes. I can tell you, from experience, that it is difficult work to maintain this kind of chastity in a marriage relationship. Our senses are assaulted, daily, with imagery and sensuality from the world around us. For almost 28 years, Christi and I have managed to maintain this relationship (yes, there were “hitches” along the way, but God got us through them), and, even though we may have made it look easy, it was not always the case. I will say, this, though. Our relationship, our love for each other, does seem to be one of those proverbial “matches made in heaven,” because, from the day we first met, there was something unique between us. We celebrate our relationship. We say, “I love you,” numerous times a day, and not just the passing, “Love yous” at the end of phone calls that happen several times a day. Almost 28 years, and we still say, “I love you.” Because it’s still true.

To all those who are married, that might stumble across this blog entry, I encourage you to revisit your marriage vows, especially if you were clever and wrote your own. We weren’t and didn’t. Our marriage vows are pretty standard. But it never hurts to revisit them. I noticed some friends from church posting pictures from their wedding and early relationship on Facebook the other day. It was very cool to see that. It wouldn’t hurt us all to daily reflect on how well we are honoring those vows.

I AM my beloved’s and she is mine!


Pray Without Ceasing: A Thirty-One-Day Course, by Andrew Murray

DAY EIGHT

What to Pray: For the Spirit on All Christian Workers

On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:10b-11

“There are Christian workers in every walk of life: not only in
our churches and missions but also in our schools, our hospitals,
our government, our military, our highways, our farms, our
markets, in business, and in leisure. God be praised for this! But think
what more they could accomplish if each were living in the fullness
of the Holy Spirit! Pray for them; it makes you a partner in
their work, and you will have reason to praise God when you
hear of blessing in their lives and in their work on every front.”

How to Pray: With Specific Petitions

And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Luke 18:40-41a

“In the above reference, the Lord knew what the blind man
wanted and yet He asked him. Verbalizing our desires gives
credence to the transaction in which we are engaged with God and
so awakens faith and expectation. Be specific in your petitions so
as to know what answer you may look for. Think of the great
number of Christians you know who are working for God in
their various fields and endeavors, and ask and expect God to
bless them and prosper them in answer to the prayers of His
people. Ask even more specifically for those in your own family
and place of work. Intercession is not the breathing out of pious
wishes; it is believing, persevering prayer to receive specific
answers to specific requests.”


Father, the more I work through this 31-Day-Course, the more excited I get. It is such a joy to be lifting up prayers for Christian workers everywhere. I pray for these workers, Lord; these people who are not only working for your kingdom in churches and missions, but in all walks of life. We sometimes forget, when we pray for ministers and workers, that there are saints working in all fields of life. So today, I pray for those. For all the people who name the name of Christ; who work in schools, in retail stores, in the military, in the police and fire departments; for those who work in construction, and those who drive trucks; for the Christians in the entertainment business; I pray for all of these and more, for there are many that I can’t even think about right now. May your Holy Spirit fall on them, Lord, blessing them to the fullest extent as they go about their business today and every day. May we remember to pray for all of these every time we stop to pray for the pastors and teachers in our churches and on the mission field. We need each other, and we desperately need each other’s prayers.

I pray for the remainder of this day. As we go about our usual Saturday chores, may we do so leisurely, not getting hurried or stressed about anything. Give me grace and skill as I practice this afternoon, getting ready for the worship service tomorrow morning. I also pray for that service, and for all the members of the worship band, that you will fill us with your Spirit as we worship you with our instruments and our voices, leading others to lift up praise in your name. If we decide to drive up to Denton tonight, I pray for traveling safety.


As I close this out, the reading from Andrew Murray vividly reminded me of this song by The Lost Dogs, called “Pray Where You Are.” I realize we were talking about praying for all of these different people in different occupations, but I still think this song applies. No matter where you are, you can pray, and no matter what you do, you need the prayers of others.

By the way, this video was brilliantly done. I love it.

Grace and peace, friends.