Month: September, 2013

Delighting in Prayer: 7 helpful thoughts from Garth Hunt

Image of open book.Garth Hunt has put up a new blog post about Christian prayer:  “Seven Helpful Thoughts For Your Prayer Life”.  This is another excellent post, well worth reading and absorbing!

Here’s an example (Thought #2):

Prayer is a delight and privilege, not just an obligation or duty
When I first became a Christian as a young boy of 8, I was instructed by my Sunday School teachers and other adults that daily Bible reading and saying my prayers was a duty, an obligation that all Christians needed to fulfill. Somehow, God was impressed and satisfied with me if I remembered to fulfill these duties on a daily basis. If I’m honest, it was closely akin to picking up my pajamas and making my bed in the morning: duty, obligation, discipline. It was not at all intended to be fun or pleasurable.

But that is so far from all that our loving Saviour intended! The reality of prayer is that, “You don’t have to; you get to!” The truth is that, notwithstanding our sinful lives and repeated failures at trying to keep the law, we have unrestricted and unlimited access to Almighty God 24/7! We get to spend unlimited time, whenever or wherever we want, with the King of kings and Lord of lords! There’s no right words that you have to use; there’s no purification ceremony that we have to endure. Muddy boots, runny nose and all, we can come into His presence in prayer! What a joy; what a privilege! It boggles the mind!

Do yourself a favour – read the whole post here!

Resources: Video on Anglican Worship

Here is an excellent video on Anglican worship.  Over an hour long, but well worth it!  (From St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Tallahassee, Florida)

Time To Rejoice!

Photo of footpath running through a clearing in a forest.I read I Chronicles 16:8-11 today, and this particular verse struck me:

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! (I Chron. 16:10)

The thing that struck me was the condition given for rejoicing:  let the hearts of those WHO SEEK THE LORD rejoice!

When we have a special touch from the Lord – when He speaks to us, in whatever way – then rejoicing is the obvious reaction.  But the scriptures here are telling us that we aren’t to wait!

We may be troubled, we may be struggling, we may simply be in a dry place or in “that dark night of the soul”… but the command is clear:  if we are seeking the Lord, then it’s time to rejoice NOW!

This speaks particularly strongly to me because the Lord has had me “in school” for a good seven years now, teaching me (over and over and over again…) to trust Him.  He keeps putting me in situations where I don’t know what to do or how to help myself – not because He’s a big meanie, or He doesn’t care, but because He wants me to trust Him, all the time, in all situations.

I have to admit to a besetting sin:  I’m a grumbler.  (Perhaps more accurately, a whiner!)  When things get tough I keep focusing on the situation (and on my own lack of ability to deal with it) – in my thoughts and in my words.  I try very hard to cling to my faith in God, but I’m like someone riding a tram car up a mountainside – I keep looking down, down, down and worrying “what happens if…?”

Here’s my verse for these times – for all times.  “Glory in His holy name” – stop looking at your circumstances; “…let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!”  As long as I’m seeking Him, I already have reason to rejoice!

Having a tough time of it?  Here’s the word for you:  Glory in God’s holy name; seek the Lord, and let your heart rejoice!