Change My Heart, Oh God

Good morning. Today is Sunday, the second of January, 2022, the ninth day of Christmas.

May the peace of Christ be with you.

Day 23,306

Twenty-one days until Hamilton!

It is currently 18 degrees outside, here in DFW (depending on which app I look at), and feels like 1 degree. It’s supposed to be fairly windy, today, with a high of 39. Looks like it will be well below freezing again, tomorrow morning. But there is little to no precipitation forecast over the next ten days. I suppose winter is here. It came quite quickly, considering what a warm December we had.

Yesterday was an easy day, for the most part. We didn’t do much. I cooked eggs and bacon for a late lunch, and then, while I went to get Sonic drinks, C made banana bread, because we had a bunch of over-ripe bananas. It was really good. Still is, actually, as there is a whole loaf left.

We are not having our church gathering, this morning, and will resume next Sunday. I was thinking about visiting a nearby church, this morning, but I’m thinking I may not venture out in this cold. I don’t know, yet.

Otherwise, there are, as far as I know, no plans for this day. I suppose someone will venture out for lunch from Applebee’s and drinks from Sonic. I don’t know, though . . . it’s not supposed to be above freezing until around 2:00 PM. Hahaha!

In other news, as most already are aware, we lost Betty White on New Year’s Eve. There are a few speculative posts on Facebook, ranging from “And we shall all remember that on the final day of a bleak 2021, the great Betty White gave herself to drive the darkness back and give hope to all humanity for the coming new year,” to “Should we be concerned that Betty White was just like, ‘No thanks 2022.'”

Personally, I’m leaning more toward the latter.

And then, to begin the new year, Dan Reeves, former halfback and fan favorite of the Dallas Cowboys, back in the good years of Tom Landry, passed away.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Praying With Feeling, by Daryl Madden

An intimate bond
When we reveal
To a close friend
Just how we feel

But what better friend
Could there ever be
Than our Lord Jesus
Of how He loves me

To sit side by side
Rather than kneeling
In Presence of love
To pray with feelings

Lord I feel nervous
I’m hurt or I’m mad
Lord I feel grateful
I’m happy or sad

And with time to listen
I believe we will start
That we will grow
To share the same heart

I love the sentiment portrayed in this poem. Truly, we can share as much and more with Jesus as we would with a human friend. “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”

What has been is what will be,
 and what has been done is what will be done, 
and there is nothing new under the sun. 
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? 
It has been already in the ages before us.
(Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the friendship of Jesus, in which I can share anything I am feeling
2. for the comfort I get from these verses in Ecclesiastes; I know that seems weird, but there is a consistency to life that seems to lurk under the surface of things
3. for the promise of God's presence in Exodus 33:14; He will see our journey through to the end
4. for the ways that God can change me and my willingness to be changed
5. for the salvation that God has provided, doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves

I’m going to start listening to Pray As You Go again, this year. I have not listened to them in a while, but since I finished the book, Seeking God’s Face, I feel the need to have something in my daily routine that keeps me connected with the liturgy of the Church. Today’s session begins with this music, from the Monks of Glenstal Abbey.

“Sing to the Lord, alleluia.  Sing to the Lord, bless his name, tell of his salvation from day to day, alleluia.  Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.”

There follows a reflection on how the new year is beginning for me. “How do you begin the New Year? With intentions, hopes, commitments to a ‘better’ you?” Yes, to all the above. I spoke of my “intentions” yesterday, only I referred to them as “aspirations.” More prayer, more reading, more music, less gaming. There is, as well, I suppose, a sort of commitment towards being a “better” me. I want to be the best me that I can be, and I must rely on Christ to get me there, by way of the Holy Spirit. I hope for more wisdom in the coming year, a year of “fullness of life, toward goodness and flourishing.” And remember, yesterday’s word from Pray a Word a Day, was “goodness,” springing from Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Father, as this new year begins, realizing the truth of the verses above, from Ecclesiastes, that there is truly “nothing new under the sun,” I desire to know You more in 2022. I desire to accomplish more in this life for You, even though I don’t really know what that looks like. Give me grace for goodness and fullness of life, the kind of life that Jesus came to give us, abundant life. Help me to live up to my intentions, both spiritual and otherwise. Help me to be the best me that I can be for You.

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.

I’m still thinking on how to best incorporate Spiritual Classics, as it doesn’t have the kind of structure that I’m used to. Since there is, essentially, a reading per week, it is up to me to decide how to work that. The first week’s selection is on meditation, and the devotional work is from Thomas More (1478-1535), called “A Godly Meditation.” I’m not going to copy the entire thing, but just the parts that speak most to me.

"Give me thy grace, good Lord,
To set the world at nought,
To set my mind fast upon thee.
And not to hang upon the blast of men's mouths.

Not to long to hear of any worldly things,
But that the hearing of worldly phantasies may be to me displeasant.
Gladly to be thinking of God,
Piteously to call for his help,
To lean unto the comfort of God,
Busily to labour to love him.

To be joyful of tribulations,
To walk the narrow way that leadeth to life.
To bear the cross with Christ,
To have the last thing in remembrance,
To have ever afore mine eye my death that is ever at hand,
To make death no stranger to me,

To have continually in mind the passion that 
Christ suffered for me,
For his benefits uncessantly to give him thanks.

To think my most enemies my best friends,
For the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favour as they did him with their malice and hatred."

The following Scripture reading is then offered:

This is what the LORD says:
 “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, 
who rely on human strength 
and turn their hearts away from the LORD. 
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, 
with no hope for the future. 
They will live in the barren wilderness, 
in an uninhabited salty land. 

“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD 
and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. 
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, 
with roots that reach deep into the water. 
Such trees are not bothered by the heat 
or worried by long months of drought. 
Their leaves stay green, 
and they never stop producing fruit. 

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, 
and desperately wicked. 
Who really knows how bad it is? 
But I, the LORD, search all hearts 
and examine secret motives. 
I give all people their due rewards,
 according to what their actions deserve.” 
(Jeremiah 17:5-10 NLT)

There are discussion and reflection questions that will be considered during the rest of this week.

Lord, as I work through this meditation in the coming week, open my heart to be completely truthful with both You and myself. May I especially work on that bit about enemies and friends. While I don’t truly have “enemies,” there are people that I need to display more love toward.

(From Symphony of Salvation, by Eugene H. Peterson)

“The human race is in trouble.” So begins the reading concerning the book of Exodus. “We’ve been in trouble for a long time.” Peterson goes on to talk about the people who have spent their lives working to get us out of trouble. “Parents and teachers, healers and counselors, rulers and politicians, writers and pastors.”

But at the core of this work, he says, “is God.” And the word that best describes what God is doing to “get us out of the mess we are in is salvation. Salvation is God doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves.” There is hardly a better picture of this work than what we see in the book of Exodus.

"I am GOD. 
I will bring you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt. 
I will rescue you from slavery. 
I will redeem you, intervening with great acts of judgment. 
I'll take you as my own people and I'll be God to you. 
You'll know that I am GOD, 
your God who brings you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt. 
I'll bring you into the land that I promised to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and give it to you as your own country. 
I AM GOD." 
(Exodus 6:6-8 MSG)

GOD said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.”
(Exodus 33:14 MSG)

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: 
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
 to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. 
(Psalms 27:4 NIV)
Not that I have already obtained all this, 
or have already arrived at my goal, 
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 
Brothers and sisters, 
I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. 
But one thing I do:
 Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:12-14 NIV)

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Today’s word for prayer is “change.” This could work its way into my prayers in a variety of different ways. The most common, and probably most obvious, is a prayer for God to change my heart. Immediately my thoughts were drawn to an old Maranatha (I think) song, called “Change My Heart, Oh God.” I’ve heard it recorded by a lot of different people.

Change my heart, oh God
Make it ever true
Change my heart, oh God
May I be like You

You are the Potter
I am the clay
Mold me and make me
This is what I pray

It’s a simple song, a simple prayer. I have also heard the second line changed to end with the word “new,” rather than “true.” Here is a fascinating clip, featuring a video of a potter creating a jar.

Another way that “change” can work its way into our lives (maybe not so much, these days, though) is in the idea of “loose change.” I don’t get very much of that any more, because I rarely pay for anything with cash. In fact, about the only reason I keep cash on hand, any more, is to tip my Sonic carhop if I’m at a Sonic that doesn’t allow mobile tipping. Oddly enough, that seems to be left up to the individual Sonic store. Nevertheless, the author of today’s reading, known only as “Bob,” suggests a prayer for the “wise use of ‘loose change.'”

What about unexpected schedule changes? Don’t those annoy us or get on our nerves? There is an opportunity for prayer.

So, Father, change my heart, as the song prays. Make it both “ever true” and “ever new.” I pray that You would constantly be changing my heart so that I am more like You. And, as a piece of clay, mold me into whatever You desire me to be. You don’t need my permission, or even my acceptance. You are the Potter, and I am the clay. And the beauty of this is that, should I happen to make a “wrong turn,” somewhere along the way, You can remold me into something new. And help me to always be willing to change my thoughts and opinions, especially as new information is brought to my knowledge. Let me never get too attached to my own thoughts and opinions. Help me to set my mind and thoughts on You, through the meditations You bring me.

Father, thank You for Your great salvation, You doing for us what we absolutely cannot do for ourselves. I pray for the salvation of all the world, that all would see Your beauty and majesty and begin to follow and worship You. I continue to pray for the eradication of Covid in our world. I pray for unity within our nation, but more importantly, unity within Your people. May we, as Thomas More writes, may we set our minds upon You and not “hang upon the blasts of men’s mouths.” All glory to You through the Son and by the Spirit!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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.

Grace and peace, friends.

Justice, Mercy, and Righteousness

Today is Saturday, September 11, 2021.

Shalom Aleichem!

Day 23,193

Eleven more days until the Autumnal Equinox, the official beginning of Autumn

Temperatures are beginning to drop a bit, already, as Fall approaches. Over the next ten days, today’s projected high of 94 (the upper limit of “warm,” in my view) is the highest temp predicted. We have a couple of days that may not reach 90, with possible rain and/or thunderstorms on those days. Yesterday morning, around ten or so, C and I went out and walked up and down our street, and it was rather nice out.

Speaking of C, she is experiencing a bit more pain, this morning, but hasn’t taken any pain meds since mid-day, yesterday (I think). I commented to her, yesterday, that this has not gone anything like I had envisioned, pre-surgery. I seriously had this picture of her being completely immobile for, like, at least a week. Little did I know that they stress getting up and moving around for quicker recovery, which is awesome.

There isn’t much on the agenda for today. Grocery pickup between 11 and 12, and probably either a delivery from or trip to Albertson’s to get things we don’t get from Walmart Neighborhood Market. I cooked Pecan-Crusted Buttermilk Chicken for dinner, last night, so the leftovers from that will be lunch, today.

Today is No News is Good News Day. It would probably be a good idea to not look at any news for a day or so, every now and then. I saw a great meme yesterday that talked about how news was pre-Internet. Back in those days, we only got hit with “bad news” once or twice a day. Now, with Internet access and 26/7 “news” sources, we get barraged with bad news constantly. It’s bad for our mental health, and I believe that this is evident in the state of the world around us. People are simply going mad all over.

Speaking of bad news, our Keurig coffee maker just broke. Fortunately, I had one cup already. The second attempt made a nice mess, and we discovered that the bottom needle, that punctures the bottom of the K-cup, was broken off. Also fortunately, we discovered that we can buy a whole new cup-holder insert thingy (technical language, there) for less than $20, and for a mere $2.99, have it delivered this afternoon. Cheaper than paying $200+ for a new coffee maker!

The word for today is yclept. This one is a little strange. On the actual definition page, it says that it is a past participle of clepe, which means “to call; name.” It’s an archaic word, seldom used in today’s world.

Today’s quote is another from Oscar Wilde: “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.” More and more, I find this to be true.

Significant birthdays on September 11:

O. Henry, American short story writer (William Sydney Porter), 1862-1910
Tom Landry, American NFL player (NY Giants) and coach (Dallas Cowboys), 1924-2000
Virginia Madsen, American actress, 1961 (60)
Kristy McNichol, American actress, 1962 (59)
Moby (Richard Hall), American musician, 1965 (56)
Harry Connick Jr, American singer, 1967 (54)
Ariana Richards, American actress (Lex in the original Jurassic Park), 1979 (42)
Jacoby Ellsbury, Native American MLB player (first full-blooded Navajo in MLB; debuted with Boston Red Sox), 1983 (38)

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

As I Am, by Daryl Madden

Lord, let us pray
As I am, where I am

For you love me
As I am, where I am

Receive Your love
As I am, where I am

And share Your love
As I am, where I am

A life divine
Where I am, As I AM

All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
(Psalms 145:10 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. that wherever I am, You are, and always have been
2. that You love me just as I am, and always have
3. for the example of people like Moses, in Your Word
4. for the admonition to pray for justice and righteousness in our leaders
5. that You work mercy for the afflicted and oppressed

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

ORDINARY TIME – WEEK SIXTEEN – DAY SEVEN

INVITATION

Yahweh is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knows those who take refuge in him.
(Nahum 1:7 WEB)

This morning, as I pause during this quiet time, I consider Your loving presence in my life, the fact that You are always, and have always been, present with me, and loving me, just as I am.

BIBLE SONG

Of Solomon.

Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor.

Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
(Psalms 72:1-4, 18-19 NIV)

BIBLE READING

Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land . . . Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”
And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.
Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
(Deuteronomy 34:1a, 4-7, 10-12 NIV)

DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION

There are some biblical passages that are always more challenging than others, especially when it comes to meditation. As I linger over these selections, this morning, I’m leaning heavily on the Holy Spirit to show me what I should be learning from them.

Right off the bat, I see, in the passage from Psalm 72, that this would be a good prayer to pray for the leadership of any nation. We don’t have a “king,” but we have a President and Vice-President, as well as other elected leaders. So it is good to pray for the Lord to “endow” these leaders with justice and righteousness. It is good to pray that our court’s judges, all across our land, would judge people with righteousness and equity, and especially treat the afflicted and oppressed with justice.

It is good to pray for prosperity in our land, whether it come from the “mountains” or the seas or the plains. And then, in verse 4, we see the prayer that our leaders would defend afflicted, rescue or save the children of the needy, and “crush the oppressor.” I love this prayer, as I would love to see oppression cease all over the world.

The ending of the psalm is simply a hymn of praise, requesting, finally, that the whole earth be filled with the glory of the Lord. A wonderful prayer for any time and any place.

In the Deuteronomy passage, we see the ending of an era in the history of Israel. After Moses’s lengthy farewell speech, which takes up most of the book of Deuteronomy (the word “Deuteronomion” literally means “the second law”), he is allowed to view the Promised Land from Mount Nebo, and then he died in Moab. According to verse 6, the Lord, Himself, buried Moses in Moab, and no one knows where his grave is located. So even the bones of Moses were not allowed to enter the Promised Land.

We also learn that Moses lived to be 120 years old, and maintained full vision and bodily strength. Whoever tagged on the last couple of verses made note that there was never another prophet in Israel who equaled Moses, “whom the LORD knew face to face.”

We learn a lot from following the life of Moses, but the thing that I am most grateful for is that we see his faults. Even though he performed some pretty miraculous deeds (or, rather, he was the vessel and channel for those deeds, as it was truly the Lord who did them), he was flawed in many ways. As previously noted, it is always good to see that the people that God used were (are) human in every way, possessing the same kinds of flaws that you and I possess.

Father, I thank You for the examples of the people in the Bible, people like Moses and Aaron, who, while they did some pretty great things, also had some pretty great faults. This gives me encouragement and hope, and helps me to not focus so much on my faults, but, rather, on the things that You are able to do in spite of those faults. Help me to pray more effectively, following the examples given me in the Psalms. Solomon’s Psalm today, encourages me to pray more fervently for the leaders of my country and state, and even my local leaders. I do pray, Lord for the just and righteous treatment of those who are afflicted and oppressed, and relief for their children. I also pray that You would, indeed, crush the oppressors, both in our own land, and around the world.

I pray that Your Church would work for the common good and benefit of the communities in which she resides, all over the nation. May “deep care, bold love, and rich community” be experienced within the walls and boundaries of Your Church, wherever and however she meets. I pray for Your Holy Spirit to be active in the elders and leaders within the churches.

"Ancient of Days,
I don't have enough days in my lifetime to see the complete fulfillment of Your kingdom vision.
But give me the faith to embrace and act on Your promises for this life and the world to come,
whether or not I see its fruit.
By faith,
help me to invest the days You have given me for the good of the world,
with a living hope for Your coming kingdom.
Amen."

BLESSING

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:29-30 WEB)

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
(Psalms 123:1 ESV)

Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.
(Psalms 123:2-3 ESV)

My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies.
(Song of Solomon 2:16 ESV)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
(Titus 2:11-14 ESV)

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.
(1 John 4:10-19 ESV)

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!

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
(Kyrie)

Grace and peace, friends.

Prayer Begins With God

Today is Monday, September 11, 2017. Day 21,732. 31 days until our 32nd anniversary.

Tom Landry, who was born on this date in 1924 (died 2000), said, “Today, you have 100% of your life left.” A bit of a twist on the old, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
BrainyQuote

Word of the Day

Antinome ~ “something that is contradictory or opposite to another; a logical contradiction.”

Today is Hot Cross Bun Day. I really don’t even know what those are. I remember a nursery rhyme about them. Apparently, they used to be eaten on Good Friday as a symbol of the crucifixion. Here is a Wikipedia article about hot cross buns.

We have had a wonderful weekend. My mother is still here, this morning, and C is taking the day off to spend some time with her, taking her out shopping, then will take her back home, later this afternoon.

Yesterday’s worship gathering went well, and my worship leading seems to have been well-received. I certainly enjoyed it, and the young lady who sang with me did very well.

The Red Sox and Rangers both lost, yesterday, so the Rangers lost the series to the Yankees, and the Red Sox lost ground in their lead in the AL East. They are 3.5 up in the standings. The Rangers did not lose any ground in the wild card race, as the Twins also lost. But the Angels won, so they gained on the Twins. The Cleveland Indians won number 18 consecutive. The Washington Nationals became the first team to clinch not only a playoff berth, but their division. The Dodgers lost their tenth in a row, and the Diamondback won, reducing the Dodgers’s lead to only nine games.

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

“Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!”
Psalm 68:26
Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
Psalm 74:20
Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, 
from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life.

Psalm 17:13-14
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
Psalm 53:1
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 
But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:42-44

(From Living the Message)

Eugene Peterson reminds us why we need theologians.

“The reason that we who pray need a theologian at our side is that most of the difficulties of prayer are of our own making, the making of well-meaning friends, or the lies of the devil who always seems to be looking after our best self-interests.” You see, we tend to be always about our own interests and forget about God’s interests, or, at least, put our interests ahead of his. We get all caught up in what is happening to us, and then get confused by the “discrepancies between our feelings and our intentions.” We also tend to get distracted by false claims from well-meaning people (or perhaps some who are not so well-meaning). Lies like, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” or, “God helps those who help themselves.”

“But prayer has primarily to do with God, not us . . . And the theologian’s task is to train our thinking, our imagination, our understanding to begin with God not ourselves.”

Start with GOD—the first step in learning is bowing down to GOD; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
Proverbs 1:7 (The Message)

Father, I pray for your instruction in prayer, that I might make it more about you than about me. Show me not only how to pray, but what I should be praying for.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.