Feeds:
Posts
Comments

And the Winner is…

winner-1548239_1920

Wouldn’t it be grand to get a prize when we conquer our own moods and sins and struggles? Today, I’m learning anew about the Prayer of Relinquishment. This is the type of praying that moves us from the struggle into the release. For me, it often follows the Prayer of Intercession or Prayer of Lament.

After the struggle, facing the battle and seeing the raw realities of our current situations, we have choices… Those split second moments when we talk to ourselves about others…about our situation…about ourselves…about our God. Do you believe everything you say at those moments? 😉

It’s worth it to go through lamenting times and times of intercessions, because on the other side of the Prayer of Relinquishment we can find a soul-satisfying rest. It is there we can say with the Psalmist, “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.” A child that is weaned is not grasping or desperate, but is safe and at peace.

Jesus modeled the Prayer of Relinquishment in the Garden of Gethsemane. What a struggle he fought…and won! We, too can conquer the desire to bypass trouble and pain, avoid rejection and and overwhelming sorrow for a higher good.

“Not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:39-46 captures Jesus’ words, but think about *how* He said them. What a wonder! He was yielded to God, but he was not resigned, nor bitter, nor defeated. It’s similar to how we say, “Whatever.” It can be stated with a tone showing we really don’t care OR it can be stated resolutely because we care deeply. Jesus models the more excellent way. And, it’s better than any medal available on earth!

The Scriptures are replete with great examples of people yielding to God at the end of struggling with themselves. While praying in the midst of great trauma, they also demonstrate great faith. If you want to be inspired, find these stories again and reflect on any parallels you see in your story.

– Abraham and his son Isaac
– Moses deliverer of Israel
– David and his son by Bathsheba
– Mary, mother of Jesus
– Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”

The circumstances differ, and it takes practice, but the result of yielding to God in this way is embracing a freedom like no other.

Author Richard Foster reminds us that “this dialogue with God is a letting go, but it is a release with hope. It results in a deeper relationship with God and includes training in righteousness, transforming power, new joys.” A prayer of relinquishment protects us from idolatry, as we so quickly get attached to our people, our things, our positions, our places, our health, our opinions and so much more.

How we need God to help us let go of our tiny vision to release the greater good He has in store for us! In place of what is lost, the release of our will gives us freedom from self-pity, self-absorption, self-deception, self-depreciation, self-indulgence, self-hatred and selfishness, in general.

Sometimes…ok…MANY times… the struggle is more than we can bear and we need real help wanting to go God’s way. In those times, ask people to pray for you, using Philippians 2. Praying through those verses yourself will help you align with the example Jesus provided.

At the end of this massive struggle, know that you can be strengthen, restored and revived. The war is on and the fight is worth it. More battles will be coming, but for now, embrace the Prayer of Relinquishment and find a rest for your weary soul.

“Don’t worry about what you will suffer…and you will be tested and made to suffer…But if you are faithful until you die, I will reward you with a glorious life.” Revelation 2:10

“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

I’d love to hear what you’ve experienced and what you think. I’m here and I’m listening.🙂

Several years ago, I visited Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine FL. This fortress from the late 1600s is a piece of American history, to be sure, but the place inside that captured my attention was St Mark’s Chapel. How many soldiers found hope and solace while in prayer before a battle? How many hymns took on new meaning as they stood together and sang as one? Today as we gather to worship and to be equipped to live out our faith, I’ll be thinking of those who have gone before us and…those who will follow.‪#‎SoliDeoGloria‬! (To God Be The Glory!)

Photos: Emilio Portuondo
More Info about the fort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaq_qEkDHmY

emilio portuondo chapel door emilio portuondo chapel front

What Would YOU Say?

sunset girl

My family still teases me because as a young mom, I tried hard to work around the jokes and odd noises at the dinner table to instill actual conversation. (Crazy, I know.) Story starters like this were common, “if you had a $1000, what would you do with it?”

In Mark 10, Jesus was not asking rhetorical questions. He asked a blind man, “What would you like me to do for you?” If you’re thinking “What a dumb question”, you are a little like me. Of course(!), the blind man would want to see again, right? But, maybe not. Saying aloud what we want or need is often harder than dealing with our difficulties. Or, sometimes, we work so hard to come up with the “right” thing with God that we stall out…and don’t ever ask for anything.

What would you say if Jesus asked you, “What would you like me to do for you?” It takes a measure of faith to say…something. Especially in the face of hardship, pain, loss or confusion. Fortunately, the man answered Jesus, “I would like to see.” Imagine! The first person he saw with his healed eyes, was Jesus. Amazing!

So, in many ways, that’s my prayer today. You, too? “Lord, I would like to see….You.” Amen.

Photo: Pixabay

The Light Goes On - Pixabay

The Light Goes On – Pixabay

Last night I realized that the shoes I had ordered weren’t coming. And, it’s because I don’t have enough money to cover them. Ack! The price has nearly doubled now that Labor Day has past. I was so frustrated!

You see, I need some substantial shoes because of working on my feet all day. I don’t buy much, so had carefully and prayerfully planned for the shoes, chose them and ordered them. I felt so dumb when the card was rejected. I felt vulnerable and unprotected. I became Dread, personified, as I know I’ll have sore, tortured feet for weeks till I can save up enough. (Note: Exaggeration is common while fuming… {Ahem})

I also felt angry at God. So much so, I couldn’t sleep very well. Been there? After tossing and turning for a couple hours I got up and He and I had a talk. It was more like me kind of listening in a pout and He setting me straight.  “If not getting the shoes you want make you doubt my goodness, what does that say about your faith for the important things, like your salvation?  What do you know that I am missing, Kris?” 

Well now.  When God speaks so clearly, there’s not much to say in return, is there?  In fact, I found myself smiling. He’s right, of course. He knows everything and not missing anything.  And, He knows I completely trust Him for my soul’s well-being, so why not trust my feet to him, as well?  When what I lack becomes symbolic of God’s nature, I’m on a dangerous slide toward despair instead of hope. There is another way. My hope must be in who God is and not just what he does or doesn’t do.  “Lord, remind me that when my sole focus on Your goodness, sovereignty, justice and mercy, my hope is sure and I’ll have faith to stand firm. Amen.” #SoulEpiphany

How about you? When has the light gone on for your soul?  Tell me about it. I’m here…I’m listening.🙂

Need a Mall Map?

Photo: ChurchMediaDesign.tv

Photo: ChurchMediaDesign.tv

Life can be confusing, no? There have been times when I’ve cried out to God for direction, for some sign, for some inspiration. I desperately want a *mall map* that says, “You Are Here”. And honestly? Sometimes, there’s been just… silence. Not an angry silence, but no fresh word, no miracle, no guidance. So what do you do?

It’s hard, but I’m learning to do the next right thing and not need the full picture to keep going. Whew! This takes more emotional effort and spiritual power than I have to keep trudging forward. To break the magnetic force of longing, you *can* do the things that are good and responsible, that are kind and gentle and that are generous and hopeful. During those foggy days, everything in me wants “answers”. Instead, our very loving God gives me… Himself. In reading the Psalms, I rehearse what I know of Him and remind my heart of His ways. This is, of course, what I needed more than anything. It’s then that my focus changes… I know He’s near and I can say, “You Are Here”.

 

What have you learned to do while in a fog or while waiting? I’m here and I’m listening…🙂

Hidden Words

If we’re not careful to find quiet…

           …these days are full of non-stop information sharing-news blaring-eyes glaring-mouths warring-all-day-noise…

Instead, let’s capture hidden joys in the secret place of private prayers… These are where the sacred things of the heart, the soul, the mind can come alive. Let God’s Word dwell… abide…hide…in your heart and nourish your soul. Here are three scriptures to slowly savor…soak in…saturate…

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  Psalm 119:11 NIV

“Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises.” Psalm 25:14 TLB

“Remember what Christ taught, and let his words enrich your lives and make you wise; teach them to each other and sing them out in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord with thankful hearts.” Colossians 3:16 TLB

Photo: ClothedByGrace

Photo: ClothedByGrace

 

 

Seeking God

Photo: Miguel Saavedra (from RGBstock)

Photo: Miguel Saavedra (from RGBstock)

Don’t be so concerned with finding the will of God that you miss the presence of God…in this very moment. He is near and welcomes us as dear children…

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me…You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” from Psalm 16

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,343 other followers

%d bloggers like this: